Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 12
    Putin is never going to be able to rebuild the Soviet Union. What he can do is show that Russia is a reliable ally. Since the 70’s at the latest the Soviets earned a reputation as over-cautious and unreliable friends. After living through the Stalin years Soviet leaders were generally content to be able to die of natural causes rather than rock any boats. Then after the Soviet Union fell, among many other degradations, there was Russia’s inability to defend Serbia from NATO which many Russians look The back on as one of the most humiliating moments of the 90’s. After Putin came to power there is a conscious effort to commit Russia to limited, achievable goals. The wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the annexation of Crimea, and the Syria intervention are all part of this. Syria has also been a great advertising ground for Russian arms manufacturers, which is very important. Russia can’t create a global movement like the Soviet Union did but at least they can attract clients. But they’re not aspiring for, and they’re not capable of, the kind of “full spectrum dominance” American policy makers are obsessed with and which, thank God, is slipping away.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    The Pentagon is now saying they had no choice but to pull back. Turkey was going to attack regardless. The Pentagon says the US tried to talk Turkey out of the incursion, but they had their minds made up. Sounds like an excuse post facto.
  • Yeah Turkey was not going to plow through American soldiers. They may be evil but not stupid.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited October 12
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The Pentagon is now saying they had no choice but to pull back. Turkey was going to attack regardless. The Pentagon says the US tried to talk Turkey out of the incursion, but they had their minds made up. Sounds like an excuse post facto.

    Am I the only one who hears that as “we kept our soldiers there until it became clear they would have to fight, at which point we bailed?”
  • And/or "we're sure as heck not going to die for the sake of that hot-mess commander in chief".

    Only problem is that it sacrifices the Kurds.
    (:votive:)
  • Thing is, he didn't send them there in the first place, did he? (pardon, I've not been following it closely.) So my assumption is that there was some actual thinking behind the decision for them to be there, unlike the decision to take them out. If he DID originally send them there, on the other hand, it's a double fuckup, I suppose...
  • I was thinking in terms of T stirring things up, which AIUI sparked Turkey to be on the move. But I may be wrong.
  • The next good move for the Kurds would be to capture some Americans.
  • What, so T would nuke them?
  • Thing is, I'm very sure this is an attempt at distraction -- don't look at the impeachment, don't look, don't look!--and so many lives are being destroyed for it. Immoral and ineffective bullshit.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Thing is, I'm very sure this is an attempt at distraction -- don't look at the impeachment, don't look, don't look!--and so many lives are being destroyed for it. Immoral and ineffective bullshit.

    This!
  • Thing is, he didn't send them there in the first place, did he? (pardon, I've not been following it closely.) So my assumption is that there was some actual thinking behind the decision for them to be there, unlike the decision to take them out. If he DID originally send them there, on the other hand, it's a double fuckup, I suppose...

    I think Trump sent ground troops, while Obama supplied the SDF and conducted air operations.
  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited October 13
    No, the ground troops were there since Obama starting embedding special forces with YPG units, officially starting early 2016. There was a rather dramatic moment in summer 2016 when Turkey threatened to attack SDF in their Manbij operation and the US deployed a handful of troops to deter them. Of course, before the US committed to the Kurds and allies, they were hellbent on arming “moderate” jihadists first, many of whom are now in the ranks of Turkey’s “Syrian National Army” currently terrorizing Rojava. It was only after these groups were proven again and again to be a disaster that the US decided, “maybe we should help the people who aren’t brutal sectarian headchoppers.”

    Another dramatic moment was, of course, when the US didn’t lift a finger when Turkey invaded Afrin in early 2018. But that seems to have gone down the memory hole for Americans, as did the fact that the US armed and trained many of the jihadists fighting the Kurds, as does everything else eventually.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Under the Doctrine of Justified War, we should be defending those who are defenseless. Yesterday CBS News showed a video of Turkish irregulars killing unarmed Kurdish irregulars. We are witnessing ethnic cleansing thanks to 45.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    @Gramps49 in your post on the Climate Change thread just over 16 hours ago, and now here you’ve posted links which are simply to the latest post on the Climate Change thread. You may need to refresh your link posting skills on the practice thread in Styx. At the very least you could try, before posting your comments, using Save Draft and then Preview, and clicking the link in Preview to see if it works.

    BroJames Purgatory Host
  • I’ve seen the video too. Sickening. Keep in mind that these “Turkish irregulars” are likely ex-ISIS or other creeps. They did the same things in Afrin. This time though the SDF seems to be mounting a stiffer defense, at least to buy time for diplomacy or a deal with Assad: https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/131020191
  • Unconfirmed reports that the Syrian Arab Army will enter Kobane today, which would indicate the beginning of some kind of deal. Overall probably the best that can be hoped for.
  • Just to highlight the stupidity of (bipartisan) American policy in Syria, one of the jihadist leaders we supported is now leading the attack on Rojava. Note “hero” John McCain posing with the guy. https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/former-us-backed-rebel-leader-now-leading-invasion-against-us-backed-syrian-kurds
  • Elijah Magnier reports that the Syrian army is in Manbij now and other units are heading toward the Turkish advance with SDF support.
  • Gen Mazloum Abdi, head of SDF, told U.S. Amb. Roebuck, "You are not willing to protect us, but you do not want another force to come and protect us." He asked how the U.S. could insist the Kurds not turn to others, like the Russians. "This is immoral."
    From:
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/12/politics/syrian-kurds-us-turkey-military-operation/index.html
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    @Gramps49 in your post on the Climate Change thread just over 16 hours ago, and now here you’ve posted links which are simply to the latest post on the Climate Change thread. You may need to refresh your link posting skills on the practice thread in Styx. At the very least you could try, before posting your comments, using Save Draft and then Preview, and clicking the link in Preview to see if it works.

    BroJames Purgatory Host

    Why is this on the Trump thread? Often times I will write something and then save it for later publication because I want to have a little time to rethink what I am saying.

    And, no, I do not need to refresh my understanding on how to post a comment.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    It’s on the Trump thread because you made the same mistake in the Trump thread in the post which immediately preceded mine above - as my post clearly states. It was the same error twice on two different threads which suggested to me that you need to practise posting links.

    BroJames Purgatory Host
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    For that matter, why has the Trump thread now become the Syrian thread? (Yes, I realize Trump started this, but it seems worth its own discussion at the point. Should this perhaps become a thread in its own right?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    File this under "Karma Can Be A Bitch." Turns out that Trump has appealed his subpoena by Congress for his tax records to the Washington DC Appeals Court, en blanc. Previously three justices from that court had ruled 2-1 that he had to produce his records to Congress--and even the one judge that dissented said if it was part of an impeachment inquiry, Congress can get the records. Now, now he wants the full court to hear the case. And the Cheif Justice of that court? Merrick Garland whose nomination to SCOTUS got held up by Mitch O'Whatever so Trump could nominate Kavanaugh.

    Do you think Garland will recuse himself?


    I hope not.
  • The imputation of apparent bias is kind of offensive I think. At least it strikes me as strange. If Garland had said on record, "I hate that bastard Trump", that would arguably be apprehended bias, otherwise I can't see it. I find it exceedingly strange that judges cop this bias accusation at the drop of the hat, and from both sides of the fence.
  • As long as the Electoral College continues in it, general election campaigns will focus on the fewer-than-twenty states where the vote has enough mobility to change how the states will swing.
    Ohher wrote: »
    I know beans about their relative politics currently, but if Mr. KGB is indeed trying to resurrect some version of the Russian Empire (1721-1917), that august entity once included the Ottoman (aka Turkish) Empire within its borders.

    *tangent alert* The Ottoman Empire was never part of the Russian Empire, but they had a long and quarrelsome history, with a long push south through Ottoman possessions to the Black Sea, and including Crimea. Potemkin got his principality through such efforts (as well as a long-standing ....friendship... with Catherine the Great). The Russians also funded and militarily supported the end of Ottoman rule in most of the Balkans, and also claimed a right of protection of Christian subjects of the Sultan (so did France).

    But you're quite right that he's trying to resurrect a version of the Empire, with lots of symbolic references (the double-headed eagle and the restoration of tsarist orders) but with him on top.

    Did anyone publicly correct Mr Trump's comments about the Kurds not being on the Allied side in WWII? Clearly he did not go to school in Ontario where the histories of both great wars were available in the library, and where he could have read about the RAF's Iraq Levies with their Kurdish, Assyrian, and Yezidi companies, many of whom parachuted into Greece and Italy where their fighting skills earned them plaudits and decorations (and graves, for many of them). The Turks, however, did sit the war out...
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Ohher wrote: »
    For that matter, why has the Trump thread now become the Syrian thread?

    Tying the two together, here's an article from Haaretz going in to some depth explaining why evangelicals are raising objections to Trump's actions in this case when they've been so accepting of his actions in other things you'd think evangelicals would object to. This may be a short-lived phenomenon, but given his razor-thin electoral college victory in 2016 Trump isn't in a position to lose any voters.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Ohher wrote: »
    For that matter, why has the Trump thread now become the Syrian thread?

    Tying the two together, here's an article from Haaretz going in to some depth explaining why evangelicals are raising objections to Trump's actions in this case when they've been so accepting of his actions in other things you'd think evangelicals would object to. This may be a short-lived phenomenon, but given his razor-thin electoral college victory in 2016 Trump isn't in a position to lose any voters.

    I don't think elite opinion in the evangelical community will have much effect on the people in the pews. My guess would be that, unlike with abortion or gay rights, your average bible-thumper doesn't have much knowledge of or interest in the relevant issues in Syria, and in any case probably considers Trump a higher authority than the leaders of their own relatively decentralized churches.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    This paragraph from the New York Times* brought back some memories.
    Mr. Trump’s error, some aides concede in off-the-record conversations, was entering the Oct. 6 call underprepared, and then failing to spell out for Mr. Erdogan the potential consequences — from economic sanctions to a diminution of Turkey’s alliance with the United States and its standing in NATO. He has since threatened both, retroactively. But it is not clear Mr. Erdogan believes either is a real risk.

    Remember when Hillary Clinton was criticized for being "overprepared" during a debate? Yeah, that was apparently considered a bad thing back in the Before Time.


    *The New York Times has a paywall that limits non-subscribers to a certain number of articles per calendar month. Only click through if you're a Times subscriber or want to use one of your monthly NYT clicks on this specific article.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Over at New York magazine Jonathan Chait has laid out what he sees as the full list of impeachable offenses Donald Trump has committed so far. There are 82 counts, though some are repetitive like 25 separate counts of reversing security clearance denials. Chait classifies these offenses into seven broad categories:
    1. Abusing Power for Political Gain: The single most dangerous threat to any democratic system is that the ruling party will use its governing powers to entrench itself illegitimately.
    2. Mishandling Classified Information: As he does with many other laws, the president enjoys broad immunity from regulations on the proper handling of classified information, allowing him to take action that would result in felony convictions for other federal employees. President Trump’s mishandling of classified information is not merely careless but a danger to national security.
    3. Undermining Duly Enacted Federal Law: President Trump has abused his authority either by distorting the intent of laws passed by Congress or by flouting them. He has directly ordered subordinates to violate the law and has promised pardons in advance, enabling him and his staff to operate with impunity. In these actions, he has undermined Congress’s constitutional authority to make laws.
    4. Obstruction of Congress: The executive branch and Congress are co-equal, each intended to guard against usurpation of authority by the other. Trump has refused to acknowledge any legitimate oversight function of Congress, insisting that because Congress has political motivations, it is disqualified from it. His actions and rationale strike at the Constitution’s design of using the political ambitions of the elected branches to check one another.
    5. Obstruction of Justice: By virtue of his control over the federal government’s investigative apparatus, the president (along with the attorney general) is uniquely well positioned to cover up his own misconduct. Impeachment is the sole available remedy for a president who uses his powers of office to hold himself immune from legal accountability. In particular, the pardon power gives the president almost unlimited authority to obstruct investigations by providing him with a means to induce the silence of co-conspirators.
    6. Profiting From Office: Federal employees must follow strict rules to prevent them from being influenced by any financial conflict. Conflict-of-interest rules are less clear for a sitting president because all presidential misconduct will be resolved by either reelection or impeachment. If Trump held any position in the federal government below the presidency, he would have been fired for his obvious conflicts. His violations are so gross and blatant they merit impeachment.
    7. Fomenting Violence: One of the unspoken roles of the president is to serve as a symbolic head of state. Presidents have very wide latitude for their political rhetoric, but Trump has violated its bounds, exceeding in his viciousness the rhetoric of Andrew Johnson (who was impeached in part for the same offense).

    Click through to read the particulars, if you're so interested. It's certainly a more expansive approach than the limited Ukraine-and-obstruction approach the House of Representatives seems to currently be taking.
  • I can not help thinking this thread should be in the one marked Circus.
  • Croesos, I am always inclined to examine politics from a strategic perspective: What strategy is more likely to result in the ending of the Trump Presidency is always my first question.

    The commentary, especially in the wake of Pelosi's impeachment announcement, is that the process is more likely to get the support of a super majority of Americans if its scope is limited. I wonder what your opinion is. Is it better, from the broader perspective of the health of American democracy, or indeed for other reasons, to throw the book at Trump?
  • I figure we can always throw the book at him once he's out of office, however that happens. Impeachment is a trial to decide whether to yank him out--not what to do with him afterward, really--and so you ought to go with the strategy that is most likely to get him out of the Oval Office, and deal with the totality of his crimes later at leisure.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    I can't help noting that I've seen & especially heard more from Vice President Pence on news casts in the last three days than I've seen in the preceding three years. Is this a sign that the WH is resigned to their boss being toast, and they're trotting out the understudy to prepare us for the transition? Or is it merely that Current Occupation is too, er, busy "distracted" to be let loose in front of cameras?
  • I suspect "distracted" (in the old sense of the word) is a very good description of him.
  • I also think from the Administration's perspective it is a good idea for someone else to be the front man on Syria for the moment, given that it has gone so very very badly so very very quickly.
  • I suspect "distracted" (in the old sense of the word) is a very good description of him.

    The Irish say 'touched' as in touched by God.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    One would hope God might exercise better judgment.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Unfortunately God loves everyone, even POTUS. It is really annoying.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Croesos, I am always inclined to examine politics from a strategic perspective: What strategy is more likely to result in the ending of the Trump Presidency is always my first question.

    The commentary, especially in the wake of Pelosi's impeachment announcement, is that the process is more likely to get the support of a super majority of Americans if its scope is limited. I wonder what your opinion is. Is it better, from the broader perspective of the health of American democracy, or indeed for other reasons, to throw the book at Trump?

    One of the things I suspect we'll find if we dig deep enough is that a lot of apparently separate Trump scandals are all part of the same big scandal; that the Ukraine thing and the Russia thing and the emoluments thing are all just one big, interconnected thing. Leaving those land mines around unexploded seems like inviting trouble later. I'm not sure that article of impeachment as broad as Chait details are practical (the American public has a limited attention span for such things) but it seems very important to re-establish norms like "no, the president cannot take money from foreign governments, there's a clause in the Constitution about that".

    One of the things that's gone under-reported is that the same guys Giuliani was allegedly using to try to dig up/manufacture political dirt on Biden were also allegedly involved in funneling money from "Foreign National-1", a "Russian businessman" according to the indictment, to not just Trump's super-PAC but also to a bunch of other Republican candidates. That's what I mean when I say that it all seems to be different parts of the same scandal. How far does the foreign money scheme go? My guess is that the "tell" will be if Senate Republicans approach Congressional Democrats and offer enough votes to remove Trump in exchange for shelving any further/wider investigation.

    I suspect that if Trump is forced out there will be a lot of pressure to "look forward, not backward" and rapidly close down any further investigation. In other words, if there's value in accountability (and I think there is) then the impeachment investigation is quite possibly the only shot there will be at getting it so it should be as thorough as politically possible.
  • I have vague memories of the Watergate Hearings. They were excruciating--not only for what was found out, but because they were sooo drawn out and tedious.

    But we might have to go through them again. (With constant social media commentary...)

    Honestly, I'm not really concerned about trying people and sending them to prison. I just want T & co. out of office--non-violently & legally, but OUT.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    I have vague memories of the Watergate Hearings. They were excruciating--not only for what was found out, but because they were sooo drawn out and tedious.

    But we might have to go through them again. (With constant social media commentary...)

    Honestly, I'm not really concerned about trying people and sending them to prison. I just want T & co. out of office--non-violently & legally, but OUT.

    The culture of elite impunity is what has guaranteed that Trump or someone like him would become president some day. Nixon wasn't held accountable, getting off scot free while his cronies did time. This established the precedent/norm that presidents are legally untouchable. In Iran-Contra not just the president but his cronies escaped any kind of accountability, establishing that if you're a cabinet secretary you're above the law too. During the George W. Bush administration no one even bothered charging anyone with their many crimes. I mean, a secret network of torture camps? How much of a supervillain does someone have to be before someone says "hang on a minute . . . "? So eventually you end up with someone like Trump, who looks at the forty years of impunity and assumes, rightly so far, that he's not accountable to anyone.

    tl;dr - Not punishing corrupt officials gives sanction to future corruption.

    And on another note, remember those two Ukrainians who were arrested at the airport while trying to flee the country? The indictment listed four alleged conspirators. Wonder what's going on with those other guys these days?
    JUST IN: David Correia, 1 of the 4 people indicted in an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money and violate FEC laws was taken into custody at New York's JFK airport this morning; the case includes Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman

    "Arrested at the airport" seems to be the new "spending more time with his family".
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Trump's actions for / against Erdogan seem to me to be like those of a gatekeeper of a manor house who repeatedly tells the person knocking at the gate that he can't come in, then abandons his gate (perhaps for a gig on "reality television"? )leaving a sign behind " feel free to come in and trash the manor". And then when his invitation is taken up, turns to his TV host and says " I'm going to get very tough with that party-crasher because he didn't do what I told him".
  • The stable genius announced today that "The United States and Italy are bound together by a shared cultural and political heritage dating back thousands of years to Ancient Rome."
    (Maybe that was in his first Incarnation as the Messiah.)
    SMH!
  • SMH???
  • Where were the Kurds at the Battle of Carrhae?
  • SMH???

    "Shaking My Head"

    Sorry -- I thought it was well-known.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    The Washington Post has this:
    Trump has awarded G-7 summit to his Miami-area resort, the White House says. - That decision will bring hundreds of diplomats, media and security personnel to President Trump’s financially struggling resort — where profits fell 70 percent after he entered politics.

    I thought it was illegal to support your own personal business interests as POTUS? Just saying... again.
  • Maybe he thinks that if he keeps breaching norms and committing crimes, the Dims will have to keep re-drafting his articles of impeachment and they won't be able to actually get it done before the next election.
  • Wesley J wrote: »
    The Washington Post has this:
    Trump has awarded G-7 summit to his Miami-area resort, the White House says. - That decision will bring hundreds of diplomats, media and security personnel to President Trump’s financially struggling resort — where profits fell 70 percent after he entered politics.

    I thought it was illegal to support your own personal business interests as POTUS? Just saying... again.

    Of course it is. But Trump exempt from all laws. He brags about being able to do whatever he wants.
    :rage:
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