Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    From the same wikipedia article about alleged corruption: Glenn and McCain: cleared of impropriety but criticized for poor judgment

    You just might want to read through the whole story before you make the allegation about McCain

    I grant American politics lean conservative. I am only making comparisons relative to American politics not to European standards.
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »
    ... I bet Trump and Putin only use one interpreter and it will be Putin's ...
    I've seen several articles suggesting that the staff are trying very hard to make sure they don't get the chance to meet without a Responsible Adult™ present.

    Whether they succeed, however, may be another matter ...

    There will be at least two intelligent adults present.

    The interpreter, and Mr. Putin.

    :grimace:

    IJ

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2018
    I like the Garrison quote and I'm also equivocal about it!

    It may be to do with a conception of open and close seasons of accommodation. There are two Jesus quotes - "whoever is not against us is for us" and "he who is not for us is against us". Sometimes it's possible to see the possibility of a good consensus - at least leading to something better, Sometimes that isn't on and then I think you have to know where you stand and be prepared to stand up and be counted.

    But I think Eirenist and Piglet are right to point to the way that the whole process of consensus building can lead later to extremist reactions and a new political polarisation. Sometimes good will seems very hard to find, but I still feel it is right to try to foster it.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I like the Garrison quote and I'm also equivocal about it!

    It may be to do with a conception of open and close seasons of accommodation. ..

    But I think Eirenist and Piglet are right to point to the way that the whole process of consensus building can lead later to extremist reactions and a new political polarisation. Sometimes good will seems very hard to find, but I still feel it is right to try to foster it.

    I'd suggest part of the issue is when compromise becomes merely a means of ameliorating a terrible set of policies, in the US recent compromises have generally heralded an ever more extreme set of policies being floated by the right.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I find your posts quite sane. It's just that American political discourse has almost no relation to global discourse.

    In fairness to Americans, it was a British Prime Minister, not a US president, whose name became appropriated as the shorthand for neo-liberal economics. At least where I come from, slash-and-burn ecomomics were labelled as "Thatcherite" more often than "Reaganite". (Though the surnames "Thatcher/Reagan" together were often used to symbolize the whole era.)

    And if Thatcher ever expressed discomfort about being so closely identified with Ronald Reagan's ideological brand, I have yet to hear about it. I'm kind of doubting she was rooting for Mondale in '84.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Sorry, that didn't format correctly. Everything after "In fairness..." was written by me.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    And the quote I'm replying to is by Pangolin, not Gramps.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Well, BBC News refers to the 'closed-door talks' here:
    https://bbc.co.uk/news

    The photo appears to show Mr. Putin counting his fingers before offering his hand to POTUS.

    POTUS, meanwhile, appears to be wondering if his tiny fingers will be swallowed up by the Hand Of His Master.
    :flushed:

    ....make of that what you will.

    IJ

  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Trump looked absoutely shattered in the photo - and physically unfit compared to Putin. And that was before the start of talks.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    Has anybody noticed or commented on how he always sits -- forward in his chair, crouched? As if his hemorrhoids were killing him!
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Eutychus wrote: »
    This is a long article alleging that Trump could have been a Russian asset since... 1987.

    A lot of it is speculation, but it's informed speculation, and it's a good summary of events to date.
    It is a good link but in fairness Croesos provided it on July 5 (p27 of the thread).

    An excerpt from Chait's much shorter article about the Helsinki summit:
    My recent story argues that we have underestimated the possibility that the Russia scandal is much worse than it looks, that the depth and extent of the president’s covert ties to Russia might run deeper and longer than many people expect. Even for those of us harboring serious suspicions about this, Trump’s performance in Helsinki was stunning. I expected some artifice, some superficial gestures of Trumpian independence, perhaps some finger-wagging for show at Russia’s naughty behavior, and assurances it would not recur. What transpired instead was far worse, and far more blatant. Trump is engaged in an act of open betrayal against his own country.

    Even the reliably pro-Trump propagandists over at Fox News don't seem to know how to spin this. (Don't worry, I'm sure they'll think of something.)
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Eirenist wrote: »
    Trump looked absoutely shattered in the photo - and physically unfit compared to Putin. And that was before the start of talks.

    Putin is known to look after himself physically, isn't he? Whereas Trump is vain but equally too self-indulgent and lacking in self-discipline to apply the necessary restraint to deny himself what he wants. I suppose it's not surprising that an ex-KGB officer presents a better physical impression, than a man who's never rarely had the phrase 'no, you can't have that' applied to him.

    It was interesting seeing the two together. Trump, all bumptious charm, stupidity and aggressive bonhomie; Putin, utterly in control, visibly more intelligent. One could imagine the words: This'll be a piece of piss, this! going through his head as he smiles at his new chum.

    In a world with these two in charge one might indeed cry out for the mountains to fall on us and for the earth to swallow us up!
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    The Justice Department has announced the arrest of Mariia Butina, a Russian national living in Washington, DC who was long suspected of being the go-between for Alexnder Torshin (on behalf of the Putin government) and the National Rifle Association. The official charge is "conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General".

    So the same day Trump stands at a podium and says he believes Putin more than he believes his own intelligence agencies an alleged Russia spy is arrested in Washington.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Hasn't trump come close to committing treason yet? I can understand a person of low intelligence who has no understanding of the findings of the Justice Department believing Putin...I take that back. Even an unintelligent person, a citizen of the USA, would surely believe our own justice experts over the smarmy lies of a long-time adversary, wouldn't they?

    I was so angry listening to trump on the TV, that I had to turn it off. There are just no words to describe his evil nastiness.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    He looked like a puppet, he talked like a puppet, so he is a puppet.

    Thanks for the second link, Croesos. Says it all, really.

    Fox News access has been taken away from the Sky News portfolio in the UK. But maybe I'll try one of the online links, just to watch them rationalise and squirm.

    But the faithful are very faithful.. And the mid terms are a long way away, given that a week is a long time in politics.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Did not watch the news conference, but all I am seeing on social media today is TRAITOR.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    jedijudy wrote: »
    Hasn't trump come close to committing treason yet?

    Depends on whether Russia counts as an "enemy" of the United States in the Constitutional sense of the term.
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    A plausible case could be made that any country that attacks the American electoral system is, by definition, an "enemy" but that's not a slam dunk. A potentially more interesting question is whether or not Trump has committed conspiracy.
    jedijudy wrote: »
    I can understand a person of low intelligence who has no understanding of the findings of the Justice Department believing Putin...I take that back. Even an unintelligent person, a citizen of the USA, would surely believe our own justice experts over the smarmy lies of a long-time adversary, wouldn't they?

    I suspect we'll find out soon enough, when Fox News recovers enough to figure out the right spin to put on Donald Trump (metaphorically) publicly fellating Vladimir Putin. The whole Republican party at the moment seems premised on the idea that their voters are essentially reprogrammable meat puppets who will not only do what they're told but will also believe whatever they're told.
  • Has anybody noticed or commented on how he always sits -- forward in his chair, crouched? As if his hemorrhoids were killing him!

    Let's hope they are.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    And that they are the BIGLIEST piles ever....
    :grimace:

    But what has the wretched POTUS achieved by his world-wide wanderings? Apart from attracting yet more opprobrium from people of sense.

    IJ
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I suspect we'll find out soon enough, when Fox News recovers enough to figure out the right spin to put on Donald Trump (metaphorically) publicly fellating Vladimir Putin. The whole Republican party at the moment seems premised on the idea that their voters are essentially reprogrammable meat puppets who will not only do what they're told but will also believe whatever they're told.
    Yes indeed. And there is some evidence that the premise is far from stupid.

    But Newt Gingrich, of all people, has just tweeted this today.
    President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.

    A regular Fox News contributor, no less. It's going to have to be a very clever spin.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    A regular Fox News contributor, no less. It's going to have to be a very clever spin.
    I doubt it though. An even half-hearted spin will be pounced on by the True Believers and made to paper over the whole thing.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2018
    It might just be different. This was a naked emperor event. When it comes to GOP criticism of this President, I don't think Gingrich and Santorum have been counted very much with 'the usual suspects'.

    But words aren't enough. What will the GOP do?

  • I just skimmed the homepage of the National Review, the conservative magazine founded by William F. Buckley III.

    Even some of its writers aren't happy campers.

    And this is a magazine that forced its founder's son off the staff for writing elsewhere "Sorry, Pops, But I Voted For Obama".

    So this is a big deal.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I would hope the news conference outtakes will be used against House members who still want to back 45. If we can flip enough of those seats, we can impeach and take it to the Senate where they would likely convict based on what happened today.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    @jedijudy I have some words for you about Trump over on the Hell thread (first draft looked like I called you to hell :open_mouth: .

    My guess is that the GOP won't do much unless the Republicans crash and burn in November and the Mueller Investigation comes up with the goods on Trump.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    I just skimmed the homepage of the National Review, the conservative magazine founded by William F. Buckley III.

    Even some of its writers aren't happy campers.

    It should be remembered that National Review had an issue in 2016 titled "Against Trump". They've never liked him. They've just been waiting for their chance.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    But words aren't enough. What will the GOP do?
    On the current evidence, it looks as though they would prefer to remain in government under Russia's thumb than be run by Democrats, and I'd say they've every chance of being able to achieve that.

    My money's still on Trump going to a second term, too. There have been so many "they can't possibly stand for this" moments that I've lost count. This is just one in a long series.
  • I was wondering how to fit a Fifth Avenue reference in there. This cartoon does it better than I ever could have.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Let's see if he doubles down (Trump normal) or backs down (as he did with Mrs May).
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    My money's still on Trump going to a second term, too. There have been so many "they can't possibly stand for this" moments that I've lost count. This is just one in a long series.
    It is. Frighteningly so. I woke up this morning and could scarcely believe what I was reading. I never thought I would hear what he said.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    I haven't been following this thread recently but can a President commit treason? Wouldn't that be an offence against himself?

    But on his shocking behaviour in Helsinki, isn't the core of this the POTUS's way of saying 'thank you for all your help in getting me where I am today, and please do the same for me just as much next time'?

    The only consoling thought, and it's not very consoling, is that Mr Trump hasn't shown himself much of a reliable, trustworthy or consistent friend to anyone hitherto.
  • I don't think what he said in Helsinki was treason, but I wonder what else might have happened between him and Russian bankers in the past. I have no real idea whether a President can commit treason - the issue is whether he can be impeached, and that involves various political judgments ending right now in the words: No, he cannot presently be impeached. I think the solution is always political. I think its going to be up to the American electorate to determine whether Trump will be punished for his various acts of incompetence.

    Roll on November, or not...
  • Enoch wrote: »
    The only consoling thought, and it's not very consoling, is that Mr Trump hasn't shown himself much of a reliable, trustworthy or consistent friend to anyone hitherto.
    Trump doesn't cast himself as Putin's friend. He appears happy that (in his mind) Putin sees him as a friend (consistent with his desperate need to be liked). I think he's genuinely incapable of seeing how he's been played by Putin.

    And call it tinfoil hattery, but it's difficult to find an explanation for Trump's consistent refusal to openly criticise Putin other than that Putin has some sort of hold over him.

    It doesn' t have to be salacious; I find the evidence that Trump is simply in financial debt to a bunch of Russians quite compelling and disturbing.

    I expect him to double down rather than back down, or more accurately I expect him to continue to deflect with more talk of Hillary's e-mails and how bad relations with Russia are Obama's fault, then move on to the next piece of scandal.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    The latest tweets do look more like doubling down. I suspect some challenges in private, maybe a resignation or two from key people.
    On the current evidence, it looks as though they would prefer to remain in government under Russia's thumb than be run by Democrats, and I'd say they've every chance of being able to achieve that.

    Eutychus, that has certainly been the position up to now and like you I have learned to be wary of hoped-for "dawns", all of which have so far been "false dawns". Jonathan Freedland, writing as Sam Bourne, pointed to the reasons for despair in his parallel fiction "To Kill the President". I still have hope that sufficient people in the GOP will wake up to the real dangers this President is creating. But I think that's going to be "one at a time" and may take some time yet.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    My money's still on Trump going to a second term, too. There have been so many "they can't possibly stand for this" moments that I've lost count. This is just one in a long series.

    Yes, I very much imagine a future Adam Curtis documentary of this period containing a line of the sort ".. and then something very strange happened ... nothing happened and people decided to pretend nothing had happened after all".
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    @jedijudy I have some words for you about Trump over on the Hell thread (first draft looked like I called you to hell :open_mouth: .

    Thanks for a much needed laugh this morning! I've never been called to Hell before! :D
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »

    My money's still on Trump going to a second term, too. There have been so many "they can't possibly stand for this" moments that I've lost count. This is just one in a long series.

    That argument applies to people who would vote Republican no matter what, but I'm not sure it applies to the swing voters who were the deciding factor in handing him victory in 2016. Especially the Rust Belt Democrats who went over to the GOP because Trump promised to keep their economies afloat. If they're not seeing that the factories are staying open, or that Trump's trade-wars are making things worse, they might not stick with him next time.

  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    I haven't been following this thread recently but can a President commit treason?
    Yes. Article 2, section 4 of the US Constitution:
    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
    Wouldn't that be an offence against himself?
    Treason is an offense against the state, not the president. He’s not a king.
  • Jane RJane R Shipmate
    Dave W wrote: »
    Treason is an offense against the state, not the president. He’s not a king.

    If you look at the powers he has, rather than the name of the office, he looks remarkably like an eighteenth-century English king. The principle that the office of King of England was separate from the person currently holding that office was established when Charles I was tried and convicted of treason in 1649.

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Jane R wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    Treason is an offense against the state, not the president. He’s not a king.

    If you look at the powers he has, rather than the name of the office, he looks remarkably like an eighteenth-century English king.

    Yes, mad king George 🙄🙄

  • Eutychus wrote: »
    I was wondering how to fit a Fifth Avenue reference in there. This cartoon does it better than I ever could have.

    Perfect!

  • Actually, the comment about George III is unfair. He does not bear sole responsibility for the American Revolution. Had it not been for porphyria (or something else), he could have been a good king.

    As others have pointed out, the President must be loyal to the Constitution and the institutions of government, so, yes, as a matter of legal doctrine, a President can be treasonous. It would be unprecedented, and seismic, to level such charges. The health of the republic might be in Mueller's hands. And the health of NATO, and the EU. (Though, the EU and Japan, having just concluded a pretty big trade deal, are looking in good shape while Trump runs amok destroying NAFTA.)

    Question: Have any in the GOP the stones to stand up for their republic? To put their political future on the line? O tempore! O mores!
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    Eutychus wrote: »
    I was wondering how to fit a Fifth Avenue reference in there. This cartoon does it better than I ever could have.

    Great caricature of the Russian president and his ass-kisser.
  • A non-trumpy tweet channelled this:
    "Many dumb Republicans & even some @FoxNews reporters are being CRITICAL of ME just because I betrayed America by giving in to the demands of Strong & Powerful Putin! Dont these Republicans KNOW that saying bad things about ME is #Treason? There stupididy is amazing!

    Covfefe on!!
  • I'm actually pretty bloody comfortable with the health of the Republic being in Mueller's hands. By all accounts he is highly competent, moderate, and deliberate. He holds a purple heart and a gaggle of other medals from his time as a marine in Vietnam. By all accounts he hauled an injured soldier off a battlefield under fire. He has a long and distinguished career in public service.

    The contrast with Trump the Traitor is stark. That's the nickname Trump would give himself if he were Trump's opponent.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I don't think what he said in Helsinki was treason, but I wonder what else might have happened between him and Russian bankers in the past.

    It's not so much that anything he said was, in itself, treasonous, just that it seems like a tacit confession of treason already committed.
    Jane R wrote: »
    Dave W wrote: »
    Treason is an offense against the state, not the president. He’s not a king.

    If you look at the powers he has, rather than the name of the office, he looks remarkably like an eighteenth-century English king.

    Not really. Alexander Hamilton wrote a whole essay on the differences between the proposed office of President of the United States and the British monarchy. There is some overlap but the differences are critical.
    As others have pointed out, the President must be loyal to the Constitution and the institutions of government, so, yes, as a matter of legal doctrine, a President can be treasonous. It would be unprecedented, and seismic, to level such charges.

    Possibly, but as Dave W noted the possibility of a treasonous president was explicitly anticipated by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. That clause was put there for a reason.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    I haven't been following this thread recently but can a President commit treason? Wouldn't that be an offence against himself?
    He only thinks "l'etat c'est moi." He is the servant of the state, not its embodiment.
  • "I am the state" -- literally "the state, that's me."
  • StephenStephen Shipmate Posts: 39
    Should we now be calling him Comrade Trump?
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Stephen wrote: »
    Should we now be calling him Comrade Trump?
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of you!
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