Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • I don't follow news about Giuliani closely, but he often seems like he's spewing his marbles out in all directions. Has he just lost them? Or perhaps he's like this ancient Chinese earthquake detector (ThoughtCo).
  • Hedgehog wrote: »
    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.

    No no no no NO. I haven't heard him imitate the Joker. But I've known his voice since the '70s, and I really don't want it to be tainted by imitating T!
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Mark Hamill's Joker voice doesn't sound like his regular voice. It's truly awesome, but it won't color your experience of what you're used to hearing from him.
  • No, but having him read the SOTU address as T *would*.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    Ruth, that was fantastic, thank you. (And is it bad that I didn't know that besides doing the voice of the Joker he also played some Luke guy.)
  • Don't let him talk to President Duerte of the Philippines again or he might try to croon the State of the Union.


    OK I'm stretching it now...
  • Instructing Cohen to lie? Must be worth something mustn't it?
  • Hmmm...maybe "suborning perjury"? And Congress really, really doesn't like it when people lie to them in a hearing.

    Something I've been wondering about: IF there were an order to take T into custody, how would/could it be done? What if the Secret Service refused to let it happen? What if T refused?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Instructing Cohen to lie? Must be worth something mustn't it?
    Obstructing the course of justice? Not sure what the US equivalent might be.

    But surely it will be Cohen's word against Trump's? Unless there is a telephone recording, of course.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    edited January 18
    Golden Key wrote: »
    IF there were an order to take T into custody, how would/could it be done? What if the Secret Service refused to let it happen? What if T refused?

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Secret Service, forced to work without pay, would turn on him. As for resisting, what's one fat old fart against a phalanx of beefy stud cops?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 18
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Instructing Cohen to lie? Must be worth something mustn't it?
    Obstructing the course of justice? Not sure what the US equivalent might be.

    This exact behavior fell under the "Obstruction of Justice" section of Nixon's Articles of Impeachment.
    3. approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States and false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings;

    It should be noted that in terms of criminal law this also counts as conspiracy.
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    But surely it will be Cohen's word against Trump's? Unless there is a telephone recording, of course.

    The Buzzfeed article claims its sources are "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter". We don't know if their basis for claiming this is only Cohen's testimony or if some other form of evidence also exists.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    It's possible no one in the Trump Organization or on the Trump Campaign had ever watched The Wire.
    Stringer: Yo. Motherfucker, what is that?

    Shamrock: Robert Rules say we got to have minutes for the meeting, right? These the minutes.

    Stringer: Nigga, is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy? [ Grabs notepad from Shamrock ] What the fuck is you thinking? [ Tears out minutes and crumples them ]

    On the other hand, maybe these are not very bright guys and things got out of hand.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    At a certain point you have to wonder if the Trump administration* is deliberately trying to get Pelosi (and anyone near her) killed:
    After President Trump revoked the use of military aircraft to travel to Afghanistan, the delegation was prepared to fly commercially to proceed with this vital trip to meet with our commanders and troops on the front lines.

    In the middle of the night, State Dept's Diplomatic Security Service provided an updated threat assessment detailing that the President announcing this sensitive travel had significantly increased danger to the delegation & to troops, security, & other officials supporting trip.

    This morning, we learned that the Administration had leaked the commercial travel plans as well.

    In light of the grave threats caused by the President’s action, the delegation has decided to postpone the trip so as not to further endanger our troops and security personnel, or the other travelers on the flights.

    Drew Hammill, as I mentioned previously, is Nancy Pelosi's chief of staff. According to the New York Times the Trump administration "denies" this, but since their "denial" consists of essentially saying there was no way a commercially-booked trip could be kept secret and no one can prove it was them, I'm not sure "denial" is the right term.

    I should note at this point that as a post-9/11 security measure the Speaker of the House travels by government plane when she (or he) flies. There's no law requiring this, but it was deemed an appropriate security measure for someone who's two heartbeats away from the Presidency. I know this because the last time Pelosi assumed the Speakership the Republicans threw a fit about her getting a bigger plane than the previous Speaker, Dennis Hastert. They tried to portray this a Democratic financial profligacy when the real justification were security concerns dictating the Speaker fly on a plane that doesn't have to land to refuel when traveling to the Speaker's home Congressional District and it takes a bigger plane to fly from Washington to California without refueling than it does to get to Illinois. I'd thought that was the nadir of petty Republican tantrums undermining security, but I didn't count on Donald Trump.
  • Seems like they would have offered their confirmed itineraries and at least something in the way of proof that the administration was privy to and leaked that information.

    I doubt that commercial tickets were ever even purchased.
  • romanlion--

    How very curmudgeonly. ;) Expect 3 spirits to visit you tonight. Possibly Larry, Moe, and Curly Joe.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Instructing Cohen to lie? Must be worth something mustn't it?
    Obstructing the course of justice? Not sure what the US equivalent might be.

    But surely it will be Cohen's word against Trump's? Unless there is a telephone recording, of course.

    How many times will TDS victims fall for the same garbage?

    No one less than the special counsel is now debunking this latest "bombshell" as nonsense.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    "Specific statements . . . are not accurate" is hardly a "debunking . . . as nonsense." Buzzfeed, on the other hand, stands by its reporting.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    There are now reports, not confirmed, that the steel for Trump's Wall will likely come from a Russian owned mill.

    Just when you thought it can get worse, it does.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    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.

    Giuliani is a former prosecutor. He's never been a defense lawyer, and as my brother (a criminal defense lawyer) points out, it's a very different skill set.
  • romanlionromanlion Shipmate
    edited January 19
    "Specific statements . . . are not accurate" is hardly a "debunking . . . as nonsense." Buzzfeed, on the other hand, stands by its reporting.

    Wow, you're right. The special counsel has so much to say all the time, it never occurred to me that we should parse his words that way.

    I'm now convinced that the BuzzFeed story is true.

    IMPEACH!!
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    There are now reports, not confirmed, that the steel for Trump's Wall will likely come from a Russian owned mill.

    Seems reasonable, but then I am high as camel ass.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Just when you thought it can get worse, it does.

    At least I was expecting it.

  • Do y'all recognize that you're losing?

    Do you understand that none of the current top 5 hopefuls of the party of the KKK will beat Trump in 2020? Even with the help of the MSM?
  • Something has come into more focus for me this week.

    The main problem with Trump is that he is dumb enough not to realise he's dumb.

    Most people have reasonable insight into their own level of intelligence and sense and wisdom. There are lots of people who know they're not of particularly high intelligence but who cares. Intelligence is in no sense a measure of human worth. Moreover stupidity as an action is so often the result of choices rather than ability. A laziness of thinking.

    However there are a minority of people who are so stupid that they don't realise they're stupid.

    Mr Trump continues to demonstrate that he fits in this category. However, he has got a genius for attacking certain enemies and exciting his own base.

    The GOP are craven enablers who apparently don't realise that opposing Trump now may cost them in the short term but would save the party.

    AFZ
  • romanlion wrote: »
    Do y'all recognize that you're losing?

    Do you understand that none of the current top 5 hopefuls of the party of the KKK will beat Trump in 2020? Even with the help of the MSM?

    It's America and its friends that are losing then, which includes me.
  • I'm on Trump's mailing list because I clicked a link in a Hill story where he asked what he should do next. I told him to resign of course. Anyway, now he is asking me for money. Should I send the solicitation request to the Justice Department now, or should I donate and have him accept my foreign money first?
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited January 21
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    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.

    Giuliani is a former prosecutor. He's never been a defense lawyer, and as my brother (a criminal defense lawyer) points out, it's a very different skill set.

    The whole spectacle is extremely odd. When I started out in 1992, the rule against solicitors touting for work had recently been relaxed, and one plaintiff firm had started advertising. Now more do it but it is still unusual. People don't turn their backs on touting solicitors in city pubs on Friday nights any more. In civil litigation solicitors might use media to put pressure on defendants with a public profile, and in high-profile criminal cases you might get the lawyers saying something on the door of the court.

    I can't think of a matter where a politician accused of wrongdoing has used lawyers to defend him on TV. In recent times however, any politician accused of wrongdoing is usually dealt with by their own party. The idea of someone accused of crimes like Trump or that Democrat Senator from NJ surviving is preposterous. They would be, to use butch and colorful political terms, murdered, knifed, executed or presented with a rubber necklace a-la the ANC.

    There is an exception in Australia which possibly (but not really) explains Trump's position. One Labor MP in a minority Government was charged with defrauding Union members by misusing his Union credit card while State Secretary (I think). The ALP refused to get rid of him in the face of serious pressure because they felt they needed his vote to stay in power. The only time you saw that bloke on television, he was running away from the cameras with his suit jacket billowing behind him. You never heard from his lawyer. He was a prick, and part of a cabal of corrupt officials in my bloody union!!! I say that this doesn't really explain the Republicans' reluctance to give Trump a Glasgow Kiss. Pence is there and is possibly a better option than Trump. The Party still has the office.

    My first boss told me that when drafting an affidavit, you never trap your client. Try to use language that gives the client wiggle-room if they screw up in the box. Now being on TV, engaging in a spirited debate with a lawyer on the other side, like especially Avenatti did early on, how is that not utter madness? It seems to me like a perfectly good way to commit an act of negligence on national television.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    There is now a move to have Guliani disbarred because he is obviously violating the confidences of his client and he is not giving his client sound advice.
  • That can't be coming from Democrats :)
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    There is now a move to have Guliani disbarred because he is obviously violating the confidences of his client and he is not giving his client sound advice.
    He does seem to be saying some strange things. There was something on my news-feed today that he'd said about the alleged talks with Russians at Trump Tower, and it made me wonder whose side he was on.

    Not that I'd mind if he dropped T. right in it, you understand ... :naughty:
  • It seems to be a case of "Whom gods destroy..."
  • In Woodward's book Fear, he notes that Trump likes to pay out on Guliani, among others. Guliani says nothing when Trump does that.
  • "Pay out on..."? Pay him off? Publicly compliment him?
  • pay out on = abuse
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 22
    Would it surprise you to learn that the immigration "compromise" Trump and McConnell are offering in exchange for reopening the federal government has been described by them in very dishonest terms and is horrendously cruel? For example, very few nations charge a fee to refugees seeking asylum, but apparently Trump and McConnell want the U.S. to join that club. I guess I can see why they don't feel they could make these changes if they were to try to make them using regular order in the Senate.
  • The #2 in command, Mike Pence, says that the USA considers the Venezuelan National Assembly to be the government, ignoring the president, or recognizing another guy. Interesting. Meet mirror perhaps? Could that occur re trumpy?
  • Frankly, I wish the UN could take T to task for the shutdown, in addition to the immigration situation. Or maybe the International Criminal Court...except the US isn't signatory to it.

    The shutdown is doing soooo much damage: food stamps, TSA, I think the FBI is affected. National parks. The IRS (tax folks)! Dubya took food to his own Secret Service detail (unpaid) and gave them moral support.

    I heard a Federal corrections (prison) officer on NPR over the weekend. In West Virginia, I think. The staffing is very low, because of the shutdown. He's still working, without pay--but they're making him work double shifts frequently. They tell him he can't go home. I don't know what his particular duty is there, or that of the folks who aren't working. But ISTM that's an extremely dangerous situation, both for the staff and prisoners.

    I wonder if the Supremes are affected? Or maybe their pay takes a different route.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    The #2 in command, Mike Pence, says that the USA considers the Venezuelan National Assembly to be the government, ignoring the president, or recognizing another guy. Interesting. Meet mirror perhaps? Could that occur re trumpy?

    The president is formally the head of state and the outward face of the U.S. when negotiating with foreign countries. Domestically power has shifted between the presidency and Congress over the years, with the post-WWII trend being in favor of the former over the latter. Still, it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. From a short biography of Warren Harding:
    Republicans were sick of strong presidents. They wanted someone who reminded them more of Benjamin Harrison than Theodore Roosevelt so that Congress could rule the roost. Warren Harding was perfect.

    That's from the American Grave series over at Lawyers, Guns & Money. One obviously advantage of a biographical series based on visits to various grave sites is you don't (usually) have to revise for later accomplishments.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 22
    Golden Key wrote: »
    I wonder if the Supremes are affected? Or maybe their pay takes a different route.

    The federal judiciary is not one of the parts of the federal government that's currently funded. You can consult a couple of my previous posts specifying which bits of the federal government are and aren't funded right now. The last I heard the federal judiciary (i.e. the Supreme Court and all inferior federal courts) was getting by on already appropriated funds and temporary austerity, which was estimated to be able to last them until late March or early April.

    It should be noted that the salaries of federal Judges are mandated by the Constitution.
    The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

    Of course, just because something is Constitutionally mandated doesn't make it automatic, since "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law".
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 22
    .
  • Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show that putting law enforcement personnel e.g. the FBI into dire financial straits makes them vulnerable to corruption.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited January 22
    Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show that putting law enforcement personnel e.g. the FBI into dire financial straits makes them vulnerable to corruption.

    Given the circumstances, it's possible that some in this administration* regard this as a feature, not a bug. Having the FBI fully funded and doing its job may be regarded as a net negative from Trump's point of view.

    It would be nice to live in a world where such thoughts aren't the first thing to spring to mind.
  • Trump just asked Pelosi to let him give the State of the Union address in Congress next week despite her request for a delay. It's absurd to hold it during a shutdown, and the atmosphere in there if it happens will be abysmal. He wants to make the Democrats look like they are the uncooperative ones, which might help shore support for Republicans in Congress among elements of his base who are wavering over the shutdown, if the Democrats refuse to let him come (the House has to vote to hold a Joint Session of Congress in order for him to be able to speak), or if he comes but Democrats stage a stunt by walking out or something.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    I believe the House sergeant-at-arms can block trespassers from entering the floor, and call upon the Capitol police to assist if necessary. I don't think the role of the current occupant of the White House as commander-in-chief extends to the Capitol police. It would be interesting to see what would happen if he is declared a trespasser and appropriate action taken.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    I don't think the role of the current occupant of the White House as commander-in-chief extends to the Capitol police.

    It does not. As the name implies, the Capitol Police are answerable to Congress and are controlled by the Capitol Police Board, a three person body which consists of the Architect of the Capitol, the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate, and the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives. None of those people are answerable to the executive branch, though the AoC is appointed by the president.
  • Aaaand now it looks like the US may be supporting an attempt at an overthrow of President Maduro (really not a good guy) in Venezuela, if my Washington Post alerts are to be trusted. US Latin American foreign policy is back in the good old days! Ugh.

    We have recognized the opposition leader as interim President, even though he didn't run in the recent (fraudulent) elections, in which many opposition figures were disqualified. I don't think the current opposition leader even tried to run in the last election, though. He wasn't opposition leader back at election time, either.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    For those who are interested here is Trump's letter to Pelosi (via Twitter, because of course it is). It seems to be predicated on the ancient rule of "no backsies", that once an invitation has been issued it can't be withdrawn.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Well, that didn't take long.
    I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until the government has opened.

    Again, I look forward to welcoming you to the House on a mutually agreeable date for this address when government has been opened.
  • There are going to be votes on Trump's plan and on the Democrats' plan to reopen the government in the Senate. The reports say both are likely to fail to get the 60 votes needed overcome a filibuster and get an up-down majority vote. Considering that the Democrats' plan is something that passed the Republican Senate in December - a vote that doesn't apply anymore in the new legislative session - who would filibuster the bill so that it can't have a simple up-down majority vote? Mitch McConnell? But he was saying before he wouldn't even allow a vote on the Democrats' plan - although he must have allowed a vote on the same plan in December - if Trump wouldn't sign it? I don't get how the Senate works sometimes.
  • Mitch McConnell has been an utter and complete obstructionist anti-American racist asshole since the day Barack Obama was elected. His main goal has been to make the Senate not do any actual work, but just oppose everything Obama did/support everything Trump does. This is all about breaking government, not making it work.
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