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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#10081 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2018-May-09, 15:30

Another example of the dangers of a free press: Here’s a Theory About That $1.6 Million Payout From a GOP Official to a Playboy Model

Quote

Let me offer an alternative explanation of the affair and the payoff. It is still just a hypothesis, but, I would argue, it fits more comfortably with what we know about the various players than the reported version of events: Donald Trump, not Elliott Broidy, had an affair with Shera Bechard. Bechard hired Keith Davidson, who had negotiated both Playboy playmate Karen McDougal’s deal with the National Enquirer and Stormy Daniels’s NDA with Trump. Davidson called Cohen, and the two of them negotiated a $1.6 million payment to Bechard.

At this point Cohen needed to find a funding source. Cohen asserts he took out a home equity loan to come up with a mere $130,000 to pay off Stormy Daniels, so it seems clear he couldn’t have fronted the $1.6 million for the Bechard deal himself. So Cohen reached out to Elliott Broidy, a very rich Republican fundraiser with several pending and highly lucrative business deals with foreign governments: deals that hinged on whether Broidy could convince the U.S. government to take various actions. By stepping up to take responsibility for the affair and to fund the seven-figure settlement, Broidy was ensuring that he could continue to peddle his influence with Trump to governments around the world.

Which is to say, it was a cover-up concealing a bribe. Indeed, it turns out that Broidy not only has a history of bribing public officials, but of bribing them in an uncannily similar fashion to the method which I hypothesize he employed in this case.

So, according to this hypothesis, when Cohen’s office was raided by federal prosecutors, they found documentation of what was actually a fabricated affair, concocted by Cohen and Davidson to create a justification for funneling Broidy’s money to Bechard, while creating a paper record designed to protect Trump from further exposure.

This account — as bizarre as it may seem at first glance — is actually more plausible than the story leaked to the Journal, the New York Times, and CNN.

What could the founding fathers have been thinking when they attached the first amendment to the constitution? No wonder Adams wanted the Alien and Sedition Acts!
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#10082 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-May-09, 17:19

View PostPassedOut, on 2018-May-09, 15:30, said:

Another example of the dangers of a free press: Here's a Theory About That $1.6 Million Payout From a GOP Official to a Playboy Model


What could the founding fathers have been thinking when they attached the first amendment to the constitution? No wonder Adams wanted the Alien and Sedition Acts!
:P



I offer a different comparison to Monica Lewinsky, different from the usual one(s). When the details came out, with cigars and all that, a conservative friend remarked that he was really glad his mother was no longer alive to hear it all. I am starting to feel the same here. I am not all that interested in other people's sex lives but if we could just get it all done with that would be very nice.

Added: A million bucks? I have just been going about life in the wrong way!
Ken
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#10083 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-May-10, 08:49

View Postkenberg, on 2018-May-09, 17:19, said:

I offer a different comparison to Monica Lewinsky, different from the usual one(s). When the details came out, with cigars and all that, a conservative friend remarked that he was really glad his mother was no longer alive to hear it all. I am starting to feel the same here. I am not all that interested in other people's sex lives but if we could just get it all done with that would be very nice.

Added: A million bucks? I have just been going about life in the wrong way!


I suggest skimming the sex part as it is relatively unimportant - or just substitute "embarassing situation" for those parts and move on - and look at the important issues of cover up, pay offs, and the selling of U.S. policy for personal reasons.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#10084 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-May-10, 14:37

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-May-10, 08:49, said:

I suggest skimming the sex part as it is relatively unimportant - or just substitute "embarassing situation" for those parts and move on - and look at the important issues of cover up, pay offs, and the selling of U.S. policy for personal reasons.


Agreed, sure. In this case it really does seem as if the sex is the least of it.
My plan is to let Mueller handle it. The stuff that goes beyond sex is the sort of stuff he is hired to do, and I imagine he will do it.
It was just me expressing exasperation.
I liked it when Kathleen Parker referred to Ms Daniels as Windy or Snowy or something. It provided some much needed distance.
I just get really tired of it.
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#10085 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-May-10, 16:31

View Postkenberg, on 2018-May-10, 14:37, said:

Agreed, sure. In this case it really does seem as if the sex is the least of it.
My plan is to let Mueller handle it. The stuff that goes beyond sex is the sort of stuff he is hired to do, and I imagine he will do it.
It was just me expressing exasperation.
I liked it when Kathleen Parker referred to Ms Daniels as Windy or Snowy or something. It provided some much needed distance.
I just get really tired of it.

Ken, with your perspective, would you say that US politics/foreign "policy"/socialization has improved or declined since the 1950s?
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#10086 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-May-10, 16:34

View Postkenberg, on 2018-May-10, 14:37, said:

Agreed, sure. In this case it really does seem as if the sex is the least of it.
My plan is to let Mueller handle it. The stuff that goes beyond sex is the sort of stuff he is hired to do, and I imagine he will do it.
It was just me expressing exasperation.
I liked it when Kathleen Parker referred to Ms Daniels as Windy or Snowy or something. It provided some much needed distance.
I just get really tired of it.


I certainly understand. But history tells us we cannot shun our responsibility to self-govern. If there isn't a massive change of direction in both 2018 and 2020, it may be time to find a new home country as this one will not be fit to live in.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#10087 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 07:46

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-May-10, 16:31, said:

Ken, with your perspective, would you say that US politics/foreign "policy"/socialization has improved or declined since the 1950s?


Interesting that you should ask. I am going to Minneapolis/St. Paul next week for the 80th birthday of a friend from childhood. For example we took a multi-day bicycle trip, just the two of us, when I was 13, camping along the St. Croix river. A book of memories is being assembled and I found a picture of the class of 1952, my friend and I are in it, from my elementary school. I sent it off to the organizer. So my mind has been wandering back.

The brief answer: I liked growing up in the middle of the last century. Of course I realize that I am white and I am male. Got that. Everyone in that elementary school photo is white. And fwiw, I realized that I can identify with name and some detail, several of the boys, others I can clearly recall but not remember their names. But I recognize only one girl, she lived directly across the alley from me. I can think of several other names of various girls but I cannot match any girl's names with faces. So yes, I was/am a white male. It mattered then, it matters now. But I am also an adopted child of an immigrant who came to this country when he was 10, finished eighth grade, and went to work. Both his parents were dead by the time he was 12. My life has been orders of magnitude easier than his and I think both he and this country had a lot to do with that. I have good reason to look back with gratitude and pleasure.

It is very easy to look at the past with rose colored glasses. But the fact is I remember those days with pleasure. My life was good then, but it is also good now. So maybe part of the answer to whether it was better or worse, now or then, is better or worse for whom?

I guess I have mostly responded to the "socialization" part of the question. It's the part I feel most competent to respond to. Politics? In 1952 it was Dwight Eisenhower versus Adlai Stevenson. Yeah, I think that was better than Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. That one I find easy/obvious. Foreign Affairs? There was Korea. There still is.
Ken
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#10088 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 09:43

View Postkenberg, on 2018-May-11, 07:46, said:

It is very easy to look at the past with rose colored glasses. But the fact is I remember those days with pleasure. My life was good then, but it is also good now. So maybe part of the answer to whether it was better or worse, now or then, is better or worse for whom?

And I grew up in the suburbs on Long Island in the 60's, in a middle class town. It was mostly populated by Jewish families who had moved out of Brooklyn -- there was one black kid in my grade in Junior High School, and I think I had one Christian friend. Since the town was predominantly Jewish, we never, to my knowledge, encountered any anti-Semitism -- I don't think I even knew that it existed until I was a teenager and heard about it on TV (e.g. Archie Bunker using the epithet "Hebes"). Kids went to school by themselves -- there were no parents at the school bus stop, and the only time they ever drove us to school was when we overslept and missed the bus. Kids played in the streets and playgrounds with little supervision. I'm sure my parents were concerned about what was going on at the time (Viet Nam, civil rights), but as kids we were insulated from it, and it seemed like an idyllic childhood. I do remember in elementary school that we had a mock 1968 election -- I didn't understand any of the politics (I was only 7), I just didn't like Nixon (probably mostly because he was ugly and had a gravelly voice); I shudder to think what my 7-year-old self would have thought of Trump vs. Hillary.

#10089 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 10:02

Quoting Yahoo News:

Tic

Quote

The president has already abandoned ideas to lower drug prices that he supported during the 2016 election campaign, including allowing the government’s Medicare plan for older Americans to negotiate prices directly with drugmakers.


Tac

Quote

Critics say the Trump administration has been swayed by the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, which increased its reported spending in Washington by 30 percent last year. Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is a former Eli Lilly & Co executive.


Toe

Quote

Earlier this week, Swiss drugmaker Novartis admitted it paid $1.2 million to a consulting firm created by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who is under investigation over a payment made to a porn star who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Trump more than a decade ago. Trump denies having sex with the actress


Quoting from Vox:

Quote

One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, as he delivered his first State of the Union address, he has more or less abandoned his outspoken pledges to bring down the cost of America’s medicines, the highest in the world.

“Despite continuing rhetoric that the pharmaceutical companies are getting away with murder,” said Rachel Sachs, a Washington University in St. Louis professor who follows drug pricing, “he has done absolutely nothing on this issue, and that has actually surprised me.”

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#10090 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 10:38

View Postbarmar, on 2018-May-11, 09:43, said:

And I grew up in the suburbs on Long Island in the 60's, in a middle class town. It was mostly populated by Jewish families who had moved out of Brooklyn -- there was one black kid in my grade in Junior High School, and I think I had one Christian friend. Since the town was predominantly Jewish, we never, to my knowledge, encountered any anti-Semitism -- I don't think I even knew that it existed until I was a teenager and heard about it on TV (e.g. Archie Bunker using the epithet "Hebes"). Kids went to school by themselves -- there were no parents at the school bus stop, and the only time they ever drove us to school was when we overslept and missed the bus. Kids played in the streets and playgrounds with little supervision. I'm sure my parents were concerned about what was going on at the time (Viet Nam, civil rights), but as kids we were insulated from it, and it seemed like an idyllic childhood. I do remember in elementary school that we had a mock 1968 election -- I didn't understand any of the politics (I was only 7), I just didn't like Nixon (probably mostly because he was ugly and had a gravelly voice); I shudder to think what my 7-year-old self would have thought of Trump vs. Hillary.


My neighborhood was a mixture of religious backgrounds, meaning Jewish, Catholic, Protestant. And mixture means "A lot of each". Stan Robbins had to go to Hebrew School, I think at least for a year or maybe two, before Bar Mitzvah. As near as I can recall, that is the only reason his religion ever came up. It interfered with other things we wished to do. With Denny Bloom I once said something about "dirty germs", because he was about to drink something from a pop (aka soda) can that wasn't his. He thought I said "dirty Jews", I was stunned, we quickly cleared up that little misunderstanding. My parent's closest friends were the Catholic family across the street. At one time Mae, the mother, was telling my mother that she should take me out of my elementary school and send me to the Catholic school that her kids went to since it was so much better. "We aren't Catholic" was my mother's obvious response and that brought that discussion to an end.

I very much think that people of varying religions getting to know one another on a daily basis is the cure for a lot. We did not know any Muslims but surely it would apply there as well. In the neighborhood that I live now, few people much know each other at all. I suppose the kids do.

This is a Trump thread, but I think all of this is relevant. We need to see fewer people as enemies. Fewer as the other.
Ken
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#10091 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 12:33

Quoting Kenberg:

Quote

This is a Trump thread, but I think all of this is relevant. We need to see fewer people as enemies. Fewer as the other.


From my point of view, this sentiment seems so sane and incontrovertible as to be axiomatic; alas, it is not. And it is in perfect keeping with the Trump thread.

Trump is divisive, a conman whose faux leadership obfuscates the goal of his base of supporters for a Moral Majority Jihad to establish an American Right-wing Caliphate. From that viewpoint, you must be either with them or against them.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#10092 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 12:36

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-May-11, 12:33, said:

Quoting Kenberg:



From my point of view, this sentiment seems so sane and incontrovertible as to be axiomatic; alas, it is not. And it is in perfect keeping with the Trump thread.

Trump is divisive, a conman whose faux leadership obfuscates the goal of his base of supporters for a Moral Majority Jihad to establish an American Right-wing Caliphate. From that viewpoint, you must be either with them or against them.


So you see Trump as "other" or "enemy". Exactly what Kenberg is talking about.
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#10093 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 15:25

View Postldrews, on 2018-May-11, 12:36, said:

So you see Trump as "other" or "enemy". Exactly what Kenberg is talking about.


No, he is merely saying that Trump and his base of supporters, just like Jihadists, see the rest of us as either with them or against them.(at least that is how I read it) This is a true statement IMO, both for Jihadists and far right wing in USA.
As I wrote before many times, had Jihadists and far right wing people in USA was born in same country by coincidence, they would be arm to arm. Having lived on both sides, I know that as a fact.

Having said this, I for one, who hates Trump, do not see his supporters as an enemy or "other". Yes I have my opinions about the way and ability how they see, believe or think about things and these are not positive as you can guess, however that is also exactly the same reason why I do not get into any political or religious exchange with them in forum, at the bar or anywhere, knowing that my life and time is way too precious for me to waste it by trying to change the way these people think. I disagree with them, but I do not try to change them. Perhaps because my life experience taught me that trying to change these people, try to teach them something, try to communicate with them in political and religious matters, especially the way WinstonM or Richard trying to do in this very topic, is actually like spraying fuel to the fire. I mean seriously, the way they debate in this topic, they almost made ME wanna vote for TRUMP!
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"Well to be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion, of course without offending anyone who thinks differently from my point of view, but also by looking into this matter in a different perspective and without being condemning of one's view's and by trying to make it objectified, and by considering each and every one's valid opinion, I honestly believe that I completely forgot what I was going to say."





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#10094 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 16:48

Childhood in an anglo enclave (having learned to read, I asked my mom why the truck delivered late (lait) milk to us...) the neighbourhood was 49/49 protestant/catholic (divided by school boards) with 2 jewish families. I noted this because a girl in my elementary school class had "special" holidays and I would take her homework to her after class. Only a move to a rural area for high school exposed me to a 50:50 french/english demographic. At university I heared a slur ("Paki") for the first time. My exposure to the French-Canadian society came through my kids' mother. My first trip to the US, at that time, was a golf junket with my Dad to N.C.(1976). I noticed the clear divide between whites and blacks (kind of like my experience with French/English and Protestant/Catholic from my childhood) but when we phoned for a tee-time and were told to just show-up, my Dad informed me that it was a way to see our skin colour before allowing us access to the golf course. That really woke me up to the ease with which our society divides along tribal lines. Some things dont, wont or cant change I guess. Democrat/Republican are just a variation on that particular meme.
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#10095 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 16:54

View PostMrAce, on 2018-May-11, 15:25, said:


Having said this, I for one, who hates Trump, do not see his supporters as an enemy or "other". Yes I have my opinions about the way and ability how they see, believe or think about things and these are not positive as you can guess, however that is also exactly the same reason why I do not get into any political or religious exchange with them in forum, at the bar or anywhere, knowing that my life and time is way too precious for me to waste it by trying to change the way these people think. I disagree with them, but I do not try to change them. Perhaps because my life experience taught me that trying to change these people, try to teach them something, try to communicate with them in political and religious matters, especially the way WinstonM or Richard trying to do in this very topic, is actually like spraying fuel to the fire. I mean seriously, the way they debate in this topic, they almost made ME wanna vote for TRUMP!


I share many of your attitudes about trying to change other people's minds. I am happy to accept that other's opinions and ideas do not match mine. Where I have a problem is when anyone, me or others, attempts to use the force of government to impose certain views, opinions, or ideas as laws on the rest of society. You believe in single-payer health care; that is fine, just don't pass laws implementing same and assessing penalties for not participating. You believe that the US should be the world's policeman; find, just don't pass laws implementing same and don't start wars or "police actions" without the declaration of war from Congress. Etc., etc. etc.
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#10096 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 17:32

View Postldrews, on 2018-May-11, 16:54, said:

I share many of your attitudes about trying to change other people's minds. I am happy to accept that other's opinions and ideas do not match mine. Where I have a problem is when anyone, me or others, attempts to use the force of government to impose certain views, opinions, or ideas as laws on the rest of society. You believe in single-payer health care; that is fine, just don't pass laws implementing same and assessing penalties for not participating. You believe that the US should be the world's policeman; find, just don't pass laws implementing same and don't start wars or "police actions" without the declaration of war from Congress. Etc., etc. etc.


This is fine, except that many Trump supporters pick and choose where they want to feel like this.

They believe that exceptions should be made for the causes that they think are self evidently right in the face of all the available evidence and use false equivalences.

Creation as valid as evolution, and separation of state and religion - except for christianity of course.

Everybody is equal - unless you're gay or black ...
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#10097 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 18:46

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-May-11, 17:32, said:

This is fine, except that many Trump supporters pick and choose where they want to feel like this.

They believe that exceptions should be made for the causes that they think are self evidently right in the face of all the available evidence and use false equivalences.

Creation as valid as evolution, and separation of state and religion - except for christianity of course.

Everybody is equal - unless you're gay or black ...


I can only speak for myself. The behavior that you are noting I see on all sides of me, Trumpers, anti-Trumpers, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, etc. It seems to be easier to reach for the weapons of government to try to enforce our ideas than to persuade via dialog or negotiate to a mutually beneficial solution.
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#10098 User is offline   ldrews 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 18:55

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-May-11, 17:32, said:

verybody is equal - unless you're gay or black ...


I disagree with your statement. Nobody is equal. We are all born into different circumstances with different innate abilities and environments. The best we can do is to provide equality before the law. And even there it is uneven due to differing financial circumstances.
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#10099 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2018-May-11, 23:59

View Postldrews, on 2018-May-11, 16:54, said:

I share many of your attitudes about trying to change other people's minds. I am happy to accept that other's opinions and ideas do not match mine. Where I have a problem is when anyone, me or others, attempts to use the force of government to impose certain views, opinions, or ideas as laws on the rest of society. You believe in single-payer health care; that is fine, just don't pass laws implementing same and assessing penalties for not participating. You believe that the US should be the world's policeman; find, just don't pass laws implementing same and don't start wars or "police actions" without the declaration of war from Congress. Etc., etc. etc.


Governments exist to coerce individuals into obeying the laws of society. This is one of their basic functions.

The Supreme Court decided that the Obamacare mandates are valid. You might not like this decision, but it is the law of the land.
If you want to ignore this, please, go ahead. Just understand that there will be repercussions.

Personally, I think that it is right and proper for the government to impose fines and lock you up in jail for failure to pay your taxes.
And if you decide to use force to defend yourself, I won't cry a tear if the government guns you down like a wild dog.
Alderaan delenda est
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#10100 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-May-12, 03:06

View Postldrews, on 2018-May-11, 18:55, said:

I disagree with your statement. Nobody is equal. We are all born into different circumstances with different innate abilities and environments. The best we can do is to provide equality before the law. And even there it is uneven due to differing financial circumstances.


My comment was meant in the context of "before the law". Unfortunately in the US and the UK there is more truth to "A man is considered innocent until proven broke" than I'd like.
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