Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    John Adams said of Alexander Hamilton (but his words ring eerily true today):
    “That bastard brat of a Scottish peddler! His ambition, his restlessness and all his grandiose schemes come, I'm convinced, from a superabundance of secretions, which he couldn't find enough whores to absorb!”

    And not a really dirty word in it!
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited January 14
    Miss Amanda--

    Thx for the link! :) Good article; and I'd been meaning to catch up on the site, which I'm now doing.
  • Great insults are really great.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Gwai wrote: »
    If my post had been directed at any particular you, I would have tagged you. I'm just saying that I literally can't think of any word bad enough for people who imprison children etc. I don't see how we can yell at someone who calls out evil. When you find a supervillan, you don't need to fucking mince your fucking language and curtsey like a fucking gentlelady. And don't tell me that it's not a gender thing considering how many thing male politicians and judges have said and done, some of which Ruth listed well.

    How about cunt? It has the added spice of being forbidden.

    I generally prefer not insulting people by calling them anyone's genitalia. Genitalia are not bad things and being evil really is.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Actually, scratch that. The thing about swearing is that it is all about the person swearing. The target is only impacted if they want to be. If you want to attack someone with words, identify their values and judge them as wanting ... shit. Maybe that just works on me.

    Evidence that it's only about the person swearing in a different way than other words are? Because I'm not seeing it.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    This sounds like the same vapid bothsiderism that infected the U.S. political press during the 2016 election. Sure, on the one hand Trump is credibly accused of sexual assault and being a Russian asset, but Hillary Clinton didn't adhere to e-mail server best management practices while at the State Department! Both are "troubling". And worth equal time and consideration.

    That's not a fair interpretation of what I said. I said that there was enough space to think about and be troubled by Ms Tlaib's use of motherfucker and all of the things that I listed. I specifically said that I was no more than a little surprised that she used the word. That is not vapid bothsiderism and that is not comparing an allegation of sexual assault with misuse of an email server.

    I will simply note that a lot more ink/pixels have been spilled, both in the American press and here, over the fact that rookie Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib used the word "motherfucker" than has been devoted to the fact that veteran Congressman Steve King recently endorsed white supremacy and white nationalism. On the other hand maybe Seth Masket is right and the fact that Steve King is a white supremacist doesn't really count as "news" in the strictest sense of the term.

    To return to the more Trump-centric focus of this thread, blogger Paul Campos makes an observation.
    All of Trump’s behavior can be explained by a very simple hypothesis, which fits perfectly with everything we know about him. That hypothesis is: Donald Trump owes people in Russia money that he can’t pay back. That is both why he is president, and why he is doing what he is doing now that he is president.

    Now of course the fact that this theory explains the known facts with such elegance and economy doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means there’s a good chance it’s true. What flows from this?

    <snip>

    (2) Thinking of this issue primarily in terms of criminal law is a big mistake. The question isn’t: can Donald Trump and his associates be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal court of having violated this or that law? There will be time enough to answer that question later. The question of the moment should be: is it acceptable for the probability of the president of the United States being an asset of the Russian government to be above X?

    This question is based on the following suppositions: That there is some value of X for which the answer is “no,” and that there is a very real chance — indeed a high likelihood — that that value has already be exceeded in the case of Donald Trump.

    The rest of the analysis, plus the lead-in of the lengthy quote from Carl Bernstein's recent CNN appearance, is worth your time if you're interested in that sort of thing.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    The problem with supposing Trump has been bought by the Russian government is that it attributes to Trump enough principles to stay bought. Also it seems to imply some touching faith that Trump would only betray his country for some price greater than zero.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    The problem with supposing Trump has been bought by the Russian government is that it attributes to Trump enough principles to stay bought.

    The theory isn't that Donald Trump has been bought by the Russian government in the conventional sense, it's that the Russians hold most of the papers on the self-declared King of Debt. Donald Trump has exactly enough principles to not deliberately impoverish himself, if self-serving can be considered a "principle".
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Can someone tell me why congresspersons and senators are still getting paid? Doesn't the government budget include their salaries?

    Okay, first a bit of pedantry, then an explanation.
    Thank you for that. Most illuminating.
  • I would like to see American commentators address arguments that sound credible on a particular point and go against the position they are putting. One such argument is that Trump has 'been very tough on the Russians." It's probably bullshit, but I haven't seen it explained exactly why its bullshit.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 15
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I would like to see American commentators address arguments that sound credible on a particular point and go against the position they are putting. One such argument is that Trump has 'been very tough on the Russians." It's probably bullshit, but I haven't seen it explained exactly why its bullshit.

    Blogger Adam L Silverman asks the question "what, if anything, would the President be doing differently if we knew for certain that he was a Russian asset or agent?" He then proceeds with a bullet pointed list of actions that Trump has taken that make total sense if he were a Russian asset/agent and very little sense otherwise. It's a pretty telling list of bullet points. The ultimate answer he comes up with is that there's nothing a Russian asset/agent installed in the American presidency would do differently than what Trump has done. Make of that what you will.
  • There's a rebuttal of the Russian spy rumours in spiked (link) today. If spiked is involved it suggests the rumours are getting a hold.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    There's a rebuttal of the Russian spy rumours in spiked (link) today.

    That's not so much a rebuttal as an airy dismissal. For example, there's this:
    Leading figures in Trump’s election campaign, including Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, did have contact with Russian representatives – the so-called Trump Tower meeting – and they no doubt did talk of digging up dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    I'm not sure why the Trump Tower meeting deserves the "so-called" descriptor. It was a meeting that happened at Trump Tower. Anyway, in addition to meeting with agents of a foreign (and sometimes adversarial) government to discuss ways in which to influence the presidential election (which apparently isn't anything we should worry our pretty little heads about according to sp!ked), everyone involved seems to have lied about it, possibly including a false statement drafted by Trump Sr. That's the amazing thing. There seem to have been scads of meetings between various people from the Trump campaign and a collection of Russian officials yet none of these meetings were officially disclosed, either at the time or later when background checks were being made for security clearances. If that's not enough to at least raise a few suspicions, what is?
  • I didn't say I thought the sp!ked article was correct*, just that the fact that they felt they had to rebut the stories meant the stories were mainstream.

    (* I know how irritated I am getting with the sp!ked coverage of Brexit.)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Hey, here's something else that can be added to the growing list of "Trump Actions That Make Perfect Sense If You Assume He's a Russian Agent/Asset":
    Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

    Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Mr. Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    This account depends on anonymous "senior administration officials" being honest in their accounts to the New York Times, but it has the virtue of being wholly consistent with known public utterances of Trump's.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I would like to see American commentators address arguments that sound credible on a particular point and go against the position they are putting. One such argument is that Trump has 'been very tough on the Russians." It's probably bullshit, but I haven't seen it explained exactly why its bullshit.

    Blogger Adam L Silverman asks the question "what, if anything, would the President be doing differently if we knew for certain that he was a Russian asset or agent?" He then proceeds with a bullet pointed list of actions that Trump has taken that make total sense if he were a Russian asset/agent and very little sense otherwise. It's a pretty telling list of bullet points. The ultimate answer he comes up with is that there's nothing a Russian asset/agent installed in the American presidency would do differently than what Trump has done. Make of that what you will.

    I think that tackles the case FOR Trump being a Russian asset, but it doesn't address the case being put in his defence. This isn't a problem just with anti-Trump stuff. It is definitely an issue with the right-wing media who support Trump. Indeed it is much more of a problem with the right. I'd like to see elements of all the partisan media engaging with each other's arguments, instead of just putting their own.
  • I saw a week ago maybe from a source I'm leery about on facebook that Ivanka Trump is being floated as the next President of the World Bank. Now its being reported in my premier news source, together with some background about process, so that's not good.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    The New York Times reports the First Daughter will play a role in selecting the next World Bank president: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/us/politics/ivanka-trump-world-bank-president.html
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 16
    It looks like Speaker Pelosi has hit on a strategy to motivate Trump to end his shut-down of the federal government.
    Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.

    Can Donald Trump stand to give up a high profile television appearance? The bit at the end about submitting his report on the State of the Union in written form seems like just twisting the knife.

    It should also be noted that, despite several headlines to the contrary and the obfuscatory language involved, Pelosi isn't asking Trump for anything. The President* needs to be invited by the Speaker of the House to address Congress in person.

    Cross-posted with the Congress thread.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    The President* needs to be invited by the Speaker of the House to address Congress in person.
    Was there a particular historical reason for this, or just something that was though good practice/manners?
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    edited January 16
    I'm guessing it's part of having a completely separate executive and legislative branch with powers of their own.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Gwai wrote: »
    I'm guessing it's part of having a completely separate executive and legislative branch with powers of their own.

    That's pretty much it. The prerogatives of separate powers. Joint sessions of Congress are held in the House of Representatives side (more room) so the Speaker of the House controls whoever gets to address that chamber.

    I think this precedent goes back to the Washington administration.
    The president believed the Senate, which he saw as a council in treaty matters, had a role beyond simply approving or disapproving a completed treaty. Rather, he sought Senate advice on what instructions should be given to the commissioners charged with negotiating a treaty and believed that such advice should be given in person. On August 6, 1789, the Senate appointed a committee to confer with the president on "the mode of communication proper to be pursued . . . in the formation of Treaties." The committee met with Washington on August 8 and 10,at which time the President impressed on the senators that "oral communications seem indispensably necessary" to the treaty process. After the Senate determined the proper protocol for receiving the president, Washington, along with Secretary of War Henry Knox, visited the Senate Chamber on August 22 to discuss the state of relations with Indians in the south and a possible treaty with the Creek tribe.

    Washington sat in the presiding officer’s chair while Vice President John Adams, seated at the desk assigned to the Senate’s secretary, read a report and submitted to the senators seven questions posed by the president. As carriages rattled down the street outside the chamber, senators strained to hear the questions. In his diary, Senator William Maclay noted that no one could hear the details, only that "it was something about ’Indians’." The information was read again, but some senators requested more time to study the president's questions and Robert Morris of Pennsylvania moved that the papers be referred to a committee for further study.

    "This defeats every purpose of my coming here!" exclaimed an angry George Washington. The president ultimately accepted the postponement, but left "with a discontented air." He returned again the following Monday -- in a better mood -- and the Senate debated and voted on answers to his questions. Irritated, Washington vowed to conduct all future treaty business with the Senate in writing.

    Pelosi has now stated that Trump could deliver his State of the Union from the Oval Office if he wants. That's unambiguously under the President's* control and just as unambiguously someplace that the Secret Service doesn't have to take extra steps to secure. Of course Trump's Oval Office speaking is wooden and uninspiring, so some are seeing this as additional trolling by Speaker Pelosi.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you both.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    While I absolutely adore the Speaker's move with regard to the SotU speech, is there anything to stop the Orange One from staging a rally on the 29th somewhere deep in Red State Country, going off unhinged as is his usual wont (or maybe, in this case, a grocer-like apostrophe is justified, his usual won't) and calling that the State of the Union address?

    Are there requirements / standards the SotU must meet?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Ohher wrote: »
    ... Are there requirements / standards the SotU must meet?
    Like telling the truth, perhaps? I shouldn't hold your breath.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Ohher wrote: »
    Are there requirements / standards the SotU must meet?

    The sum total of requirements for a State of the Union report are found in Article II, §3 of the U.S. Constitution, which states (in part):
    He [ the president ] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; . . .

    That's it. No requirement as far as scheduling other than "from time to time". No requirements about content other than things that concern "the State of the Union" and recommendations for "such Measures as [ the president ] shall judge necessary and expedient". No requirement as to format, so it can be written, spoken, sent via semaphore flag, or even tweeted. As Pelosi notes in her letter, written State of the Union statements have a long historical pedigree.
  • He should tweet it dot dot dot
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited January 17
    If it's submitted in writing, then who gets to read it aloud? Alec Baldwin, maybe? (Portrays T on "SNL".) Or get someone to read it in a normal way, which would highlight how crazy the content is?

    ETA: Presuming that someone would read it aloud to Congress, and/or on TV, at some point.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited January 17
    I vote Colbert

    No no! I say get Amanda from Seth Myers to do it as an Amanda says WHAT??? segment.
  • Oh, Colbert would do it well! And, actually, once the text is out there, he'd probably perform some of it anyway.

    Of course, Hillary could do it...but that's too far to ask anyone to bend, when they're still feeling the effects of last few years.

    {Slight tangent.}
    One 2020 pres. candidate declared on Tuesday night's Colbert show--the first candidate to do that. Kirsten Gilliland, IIRC. Stephen gave her some kind of commemorative tchotchke--maybe a paperweight?
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    edited January 17
    Golden Key wrote: »
    If it's submitted in writing, then who gets to read it aloud? Alec Baldwin, maybe? (Portrays T on "SNL".) Or get someone to read it in a normal way, which would highlight how crazy the content is?
    Actually, Alec Baldwin -- when not hilariously portraying Trump -- has a lovely "normal" speaking voice. I was shocked the first time I heard him hosting the New York Philharmonic on the New York City classical radio station (WQXR). I couldn't connect his voice on that with his voice on Saturday Night Live.

    But I would LOVE to hear him read the State of the Union Address as his SNL character!
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Apparently we have now entered the phase where the president's* attorney is willing to admit that his client's campaign colluded with the Russian government, but is still willing to to maintain that the president himself was not personally involved.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    God, it's like water torture. Drip, drip, drip . . . DRIP.
  • Personally my preferred impersonator of Trump is Trevor Noah. Bonus points for being trolled by a person of colour.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    @ Croesos

    Rudi Giuliani showed the hand. In the last resort, Don Jr is expendable. Collusion stops with him. The duff draft was just a father helping out a son without being fully aware of what he was doing.

    Plausible denial? Implausible denial? Who can prove what kind of denial it really is? Would Jr rat on his dad? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ...
  • Yes, Giuliani opined "I never said there was no collusion". Great choice in lawyers.

    Just get T and his cronies to talk, separately, and keep them talking, and annoy them. All kinds of things will tumble out of their mouths--possibly enough to convict all of them.

    I have a vague hope/wish/prayer that T will get sick of being prez and leave. "You can't kick the Donald around anymore. I'm gonna take my toys and go home. Then you'll be sorry. But I won't come back, even if you beg and also promise me dinner from McDonald's every night. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!"

    (:votive:)


  • Golden Key wrote: »
    I have a vague hope/wish/prayer that T will get sick of being prez and leave. "You can't kick the Donald around anymore. I'm gonna take my toys and go home. Then you'll be sorry. But I won't come back, even if you beg and also promise me dinner from McDonald's every night. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!"

    (:votive:)


    I hope they count the spoons when he leaves.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    @ Croesos

    Rudi Giuliani showed the hand. In the last resort, Don Jr is expendable. Collusion stops with him. The duff draft was just a father helping out a son without being fully aware of what he was doing.

    Plausible denial? Implausible denial? Who can prove what kind of denial it really is? Would Jr rat on his dad? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ...

    It's always tough to predict who will go which way when faced with the prisoner's dilemma. At the moment two of the key potential witnesses are Trump Jr., whose only motivation in life seems to be a desperate need for his father's approval, and Roger Stone, a Republican true believer so fanatical he has a tattoo of Richard Nixon in a very private place. The optimal situation is not to have anyone know anything that could incriminate you. The next best would be for the info to be in the heads of people like Junior and Stone. (Possible name for a pop music duo.)

    As for Giuliani's behavior, possible explanations are:
    • Giuliani is terrible lawyer, yet still the best Trump could find to work for him
    • Giuliani's style of aggressive bluster let his mouth get ahead of his brain
    • Giuliani is trying to manage expectations, with the next step being something along the lines of "collusion isn't so bad anyway"
    • Giuliani is trying to get out ahead of something he knows is going to be revealed relatively soon

    Note that this is not a comprehensive list, nor are any of the explanations mutually exclusive.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    If it's submitted in writing, then who gets to read it aloud? Alec Baldwin, maybe? (Portrays T on "SNL".) Or get someone to read it in a normal way, which would highlight how crazy the content is?

    ETA: Presuming that someone would read it aloud to Congress, and/or on TV, at some point.
    Oh, there is no contest. It HAS to be read by Mark Hamill using his "Joker" voice! He has done it, brilliantly, with several of Trump's tweets.
  • Is trumpy merely a special agent of himself?

    And couldn't he confine his state of the onion address to twitter as usual?
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    I think yesterday I saw a re-tweet of him saying on Twitter that he would tweet the SOTU, but I can't find it now.
  • tangent -

    Q. I say I say I say - what shall I do, my government does not work!?

    A. Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?

    :smile:

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Well, this bit of passive-aggression was very expectable.
    Dear Madame Speaker:

    Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.

    It should be noted that there are a few differences with Pelosi's cancellation of the State of the Union Address. The first is that, unlike the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security (which handles security for the SOTU), the military and the Department of Defense (which handles things like official trips to war zones such as Afghanistan) are currently fully funded and not affected by the Trump shut-down. Indeed, since Trump himself used them to travel to Camp Cupcake in Iraq during the shut-down he should know this. Another difference is that unlike the State of the Union address Pelosi's travel plans were secret, allegedly for security reasons, until President Blabbermouth let the cat out of the bag.
  • Should that be Madam Speaker?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 17
    The response from Pelosi's chief of staff:
    The CODEL to Afghanistan included a required stop in Brussels for pilot rest. In Brussels, the delegation was scheduled to meet with top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies – to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance. This weekend visit to Afghanistan did not include a stop in Egypt. The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines. The President traveled to Iraq during the Trump Shutdown as did a Republican CODEL led by Rep. Zeldin.

    For those who aren't fluent in GovSpeak, "CODEL" means "Congressional delegation".

    That response seems about right for making Trump look like a petty dick . . . tator. In other news, according to NBC's David Gura Steve Mnuchin will still be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos despite the alleged halt to official government travel. Despite the fancy name the WEF is seen by many as a big party for billionaires and the government officials they hope to influence.
    The Rogue wrote: »
    Should that be Madam Speaker?

    Yes, but that's how it's misspelled in an official communication from the President* of the United States to the Speaker of the House. "Only the best people" will never not be funny, even if it's in a darkly humorous way.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Good grief. The current occupant of the Oval Office can't tell "smoking" from "smocking," and those are words from his native tongue. You can hardly expect him to manage vocabulary items derived from a language he doesn't even pretend to speak.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I can't have my speech so you can't have your trip?!?!

    Why do I get the impression Trump didn't share his toys as a kid?
  • What does she need to go over there for anyway? To frighten the children?

    She should stay here. She has a job to not do.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    @ Croesos

    Rudi Giuliani showed the hand. In the last resort, Don Jr is expendable. Collusion stops with him. The duff draft was just a father helping out a son without being fully aware of what he was doing.

    Plausible denial? Implausible denial? Who can prove what kind of denial it really is? Would Jr rat on his dad? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ...

    It's always tough to predict who will go which way when faced with the prisoner's dilemma. At the moment two of the key potential witnesses are Trump Jr., whose only motivation in life seems to be a desperate need for his father's approval, and Roger Stone, a Republican true believer so fanatical he has a tattoo of Richard Nixon in a very private place. The optimal situation is not to have anyone know anything that could incriminate you. The next best would be for the info to be in the heads of people like Junior and Stone. (Possible name for a pop music duo.)

    As for Giuliani's behavior, possible explanations are:
    • Giuliani is terrible lawyer, yet still the best Trump could find to work for him
    • Giuliani's style of aggressive bluster let his mouth get ahead of his brain
    • Giuliani is trying to manage expectations, with the next step being something along the lines of "collusion isn't so bad anyway"
    • Giuliani is trying to get out ahead of something he knows is going to be revealed relatively soon

    Note that this is not a comprehensive list, nor are any of the explanations mutually exclusive.

    Giuliani is not dumb, and is not a terrible lawyer, although he is destroying his reputation on TV and is presumably in need of cash, even Trump cash. I think the last two points are the most likely.
  • Climacus wrote: »
    I can't have my speech so you can't have your trip?!?!

    Why do I get the impression Trump didn't share his toys as a kid?

    He reportedly kicked down other kids' block structures.

    Plus his dad seriously taught all the kids that only winners deserve to be loved. Note to readers: do not try that at home!
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