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

#9901 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-16, 12:08

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-April-16, 11:41, said:

I notice you didn't have anything to say about this quote from the NYT King article:

Apparently that quote wasn't large enough to remind Comey to be quiet about the email server scandal a week before the federal election.

Also, it wasn't large enough for Comey to make sure his staff didn't stonewall Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the clandestine Phoenix Tarmac meeting between Clinton/Lynch where FBI agents were present and even outlined the rules of engagement.

http://insider.foxne...n-lynch-meeting

Quote

"The FBI there on the tarmac instructed everybody: no photos, no pictures, no cell phones," Sign explained.

There the non-political FBI goes again helping to determine the rules of engagement on a late-night "ex parte rendez-vous" that should have never occurred under Department of Justice ethical guidelines. I don't believe Comey recognized the gaping holes in his own glass house since he was too busy throwing stones at Lynch's and Trump's.
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#9902 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-16, 14:11

View PostRedSpawn, on 2018-April-16, 10:49, said:

I see Newsweek is now a $hitty source?
Source: http://www.newsweek....in-email-885140


It's high time you check YOUR reality of facts. . . which is built on a very specious bubble.

You're misinterpreting those facts.

He's not saying he revealed the investigation to derail her campaign, he's saying he did it to prevent the FBI from being embarassed if it comes out later that the investigation had been reopened. It says: "But he said he also believed Clinton would still prove victorious." So he didn't think the revelation would have such a devastating effect.

#9903 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-16, 14:48

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-16, 14:11, said:

You're misinterpreting those facts.

He's not saying he revealed the investigation to derail her campaign, he's saying he did it to prevent the FBI from being embarassed if it comes out later that the investigation had been reopened. It says: "But he said he also believed Clinton would still prove victorious." So he didn't think the revelation would have such a devastating effect.


This is accurate, and Comey reiterated that point last night on his ACB interview. Also, what is the point in describing what the Hoover FBI did as a reason to mistrust the FBI today?

I guess if your goal is to paint a particular picture - create a certain narrative - then intellectual honesty does not matter.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9904 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-16, 14:53

A new twist: the Cohen/Hannity connection.
Yahoo reports:


Quote

NEW YORK — Michael Cohen’s mysterious third client, whose identity he tried to keep secret, was Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Hannity’s name was disclosed in federal court in Manhattan on Monday afternoon on orders from U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood, eliciting gasps in the courtroom. Cohen’s legal work for President Trump and for a prominent Republican fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, involved payments to women to keep them quiet about sexual relationships.

It was not immediately clear what legal work Cohen did for Hannity, who tweeted:

“Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter. I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees. I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.

I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party.”


Hannity is an idiot. You can't have it both ways. If Cohen did not represent you, then there was no lawyer/client relationship and thus no attorney/client privilege.

And for those who don't know, just having an attorney doesn't mean that all conversations with that attorney are privileged.
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#9905 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-16, 17:21

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-April-16, 14:48, said:

This is accurate, and Comey reiterated that point last night on his ACB interview. Also, what is the point in describing what the Hoover FBI did as a reason to mistrust the FBI today?

I guess if your goal is to paint a particular picture - create a certain narrative - then intellectual honesty does not matter.

You are absolutely right, today's government or FBI could never be as corrupt as the FBI or government of years past (Hoover) because it has evolved since then.

Hoover was Director of the FBI for 37 years and it's not coincidence! He had consolidated power and obtained tabs and/or damaging intelligence on a lot of Senators and Congressmen and politicians so much so that they feared the political fallout of crossing him and/or removing him from office after year 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30. It was "less dangerous" to let Hoover remain in power until his death and run amok with the FBI than to take him down or oust him. So much for that naturally occurring checks and balances in our political system, eh?
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#9906 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 04:32

From Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency by Adam Davidson at The New Yorker:

Quote

This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump Presidency. This doesn’t feel like a prophecy; it feels like a simple statement of the apparent truth. I know dozens of reporters and other investigators who have studied Donald Trump and his business and political ties. Some have been skeptical of the idea that President Trump himself knowingly colluded with Russian officials. It seems not at all Trumpian to participate in a complex plan with a long-term, uncertain payoff. Collusion is an imprecise word, but it does seem close to certain that his son Donald, Jr., and several people who worked for him colluded with people close to the Kremlin; it is up to prosecutors and then the courts to figure out if this was illegal or merely deceitful. We may have a hard time finding out what President Trump himself knew and approved.

However, I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality. In Azerbaijan, he did business with a likely money launderer for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In the Republic of Georgia, he partnered with a group that was being investigated for a possible role in the largest known bank-fraud and money-laundering case in history. In Indonesia, his development partner is “knee-deep in dirty politics”; there are criminal investigations of his deals in Brazil; the F.B.I. is reportedly looking into his daughter Ivanka’s role in the Trump hotel in Vancouver, for which she worked with a Malaysian family that has admitted to financial fraud. Back home, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka were investigated for financial crimes associated with the Trump hotel in SoHo—an investigation that was halted suspiciously. His Taj Mahal casino received what was then the largest fine in history for money-laundering violations.

Listing all the financial misconduct can be overwhelming and tedious. I have limited myself to some of the deals over the past decade, thus ignoring Trump’s long history of links to New York Mafia figures and other financial irregularities. It has become commonplace to say that enough was known about Trump’s shady business before he was elected; his followers voted for him precisely because they liked that he was someone willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, and they also believe that all rich businesspeople have to do shady things from time to time. In this way of thinking, any new information about his corrupt past has no political salience. Those who hate Trump already think he’s a crook; those who love him don’t care.

I believe this assessment is wrong. Sure, many people have a vague sense of Trump’s shadiness, but once the full details are better known and digested, a fundamentally different narrative about Trump will become commonplace. Remember: we knew a lot about problems in Iraq in May, 2003. Americans saw TV footage of looting and heard reports of U.S. forces struggling to gain control of the entire country. We had plenty of reporting, throughout 2007, about various minor financial problems. Somehow, though, these specific details failed to impress upon most Americans the over-all picture. It took a long time for the nation to accept that these were not minor aberrations but, rather, signs of fundamental crisis. Sadly, things had to get much worse before Americans came to see that our occupation of Iraq was disastrous and, a few years later, that our financial system was in tatters.

The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad global operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations.

Cohen, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka monetized their willingness to sign contracts with people rejected by all sensible partners. Even in this, the Trump Organization left money on the table, taking a million dollars here, five million there, even though the service they provided—giving branding legitimacy to blatantly sketchy projects—was worth far more. It was not a company that built value over decades, accumulating assets and leveraging wealth. It burned through whatever good will and brand value it established as quickly as possible, then moved on to the next scheme.

There are important legal questions that remain. How much did Donald Trump and his children know about the criminality of their partners? How explicit were they in agreeing to put a shiny gold brand on top of corrupt deals? The answers to these questions will play a role in determining whether they go to jail and, if so, for how long.

There is no longer one major investigation into Donald Trump, focussed solely on collusion with Russia. There are now at least two, including a thorough review of Cohen’s correspondence. The information in his office and hotel room will likely make clear precisely how much the Trump family knew. What we already know is disturbing, and it is hard to imagine that the information prosecutors will soon learn will do anything but worsen the picture.

Of course Trump is raging and furious and terrified. Prosecutors are now looking at his core. Cohen was the key intermediary between the Trump family and its partners around the world; he was chief consigliere and dealmaker throughout its period of expansion into global partnerships with sketchy oligarchs. He wasn’t a slick politico who showed up for a few months. He knows everything, he recorded much of it, and now prosecutors will know it, too. It seems inevitable that much will be made public. We don’t know when. We don’t know the precise path the next few months will take. There will be resistance and denial and counterattacks. But it seems likely that, when we look back on this week, we will see it as a turning point. We are now in the end stages of the Trump Presidency.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#9907 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 09:04

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-April-16, 14:53, said:

Hannity is an idiot. You can't have it both ways. If Cohen did not represent you, then there was no lawyer/client relationship and thus no attorney/client privilege.

And for those who don't know, just having an attorney doesn't mean that all conversations with that attorney are privileged.

You can consult with a lawyer for legal advice, even if they never actually represent you in a legal proceeding. IANAL, but I think that discussion would be privileged (unless it falls into one of the exceptions to privilege).

#9908 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 10:27

Scott Pruitt is acting like a banana republic henchman who knows that an coup is imminent.

Quote

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt upgraded his official car last year to a costlier, larger vehicle with bullet-resistant covers over bucket seats, according to federal records and interviews with current and former agency officials.


What is his deal with total secrecy of phone calls and bulletproof obsessions? Why doesn't he just go outside and cover his mouth with his hand when he talks like the other mobsters do? Capisci?
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#9909 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 10:39

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-17, 09:04, said:

You can consult with a lawyer for legal advice, even if they never actually represent you in a legal proceeding. IANAL, but I think that discussion would be privileged (unless it falls into one of the exceptions to privilege).


You many find this discussion pertinent.

Quote

One federal judge opined that “[t]he privilege applies only if (1) the asserted holder of the privilege is or sought to become a client; (2) the person to whom the communication was made (a) is a member of the bar of a court, or his subordinate and (b) in connection with this communication is acting as a lawyer; (3) the communication relates to a fact of which the attorney was informed (a) by his client (b) without the presence of strangers © for the purpose of securing primarily either (i) an opinion on law or (ii) legal services or (iii) assistance in some legal proceeding, and not (d) for the purpose of committing a crime or tort; and (4) the privilege has been (a) claimed and (b) not waived by the client.”9

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#9910 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 14:18

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-April-17, 10:39, said:

You many find this discussion pertinent.

It seems to confirm what I said informally, if I read it correctly. Although the clause "privilege has been (a) claimed and (b) not waived by the client" surprises me. I always thought it was implicit, you didn't have to remind the lawyer that you want a particular conversation to be private. Does this refer to a specific conversation, or is it a blanket relationship (e.g. when you become a client you sign something that claims privilege, unless explicitly waived)?

However, Hannity says he was never actually a client of Cohen, it seems like he's describing their legal conversations as informal. But if that's so, why did the raid reveal that Hannity was the third client?

And does Cohen really only have 3 clients? I guess working for Trump can keep you really busy.

#9911 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 14:35

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-17, 14:18, said:

It seems to confirm what I said informally, if I read it correctly. Although the clause "privilege has been (a) claimed and (b) not waived by the client" surprises me. I always thought it was implicit, you didn't have to remind the lawyer that you want a particular conversation to be private. Does this refer to a specific conversation, or is it a blanket relationship (e.g. when you become a client you sign something that claims privilege, unless explicitly waived)?

However, Hannity says he was never actually a client of Cohen, it seems like he's describing their legal conversations as informal. But if that's so, why did the raid reveal that Hannity was the third client?

And does Cohen really only have 3 clients? I guess working for Trump can keep you really busy.


Hannity claimed he wasn't a client but wanted privilege for his activities with Cohen. It cannot be both. To get privilege, he must be a client. And there is no such thing as "blanket" privilege, even if you are wealthy enough to have an attorney on retainer. To get privilege, you must be seeking advice from your attorney on a legal matter. Even this privilege has exceptions. If you are talking to your attorney about how you can blackmail a third party into keeping quiet, it is not privileged.
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#9912 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 15:51

View Posty66, on 2018-April-17, 04:32, said:

From Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency by Adam Davidson at The New Yorker:

If the Trump presidency ends because of money laundering/racketeering practices then our vetting process for the President of the United States needs a serious overhaul. It doesn't take electing a candidate as President of the United States to do the necessary background checking to obtain a solid and comprehensive understanding of his financial background and profile--especially with someone who has been in the PUBLIC EYE as long as Trump has (since early 80's).

To act as if all of this intelligence on his shady financial dealings is brand-spanking new is just asinine.
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#9913 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-17, 19:57

Even Fox'x own Judge Andrew Napolitano agrees with me:

Quote

“I love him. I’ve worked with him for 20 years. He can’t have it both ways,” Napolitano said. “If he was a client, then his confidential communications to Mr. Cohen are privileged. If Mr. Cohen was never his lawyer, then nothing that he said to Mr. Cohen is privileged.”


Quote

Hannity had also claimed he “may have” paid Cohen $10 to get that privilege, a strategy that is often used as a plot device on shows such as “Breaking Bad.”

But Napolitano said it doesn’t work that way in the real world.

“I must tell you that that is a myth,” Napolitano said. “The attorney-client privilege requires a formal relationship reduced to writing for a specific legal purpose,”

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#9914 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-18, 07:58

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Quote

The Senate died a little more on Tuesday. This time it was Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said of the Robert Mueller protection legislation, "I'm the one who decides what we take to the floor, that's my responsibility as the majority leader, we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate."

It's true that the majority leader has the ability to call up bills. But while I hate to sound like an old fogy, once upon a time -- fairly recently, really -- any senator could get a vote on almost anything he or she really cared about. They might do that by filibustering other bills or nominations until the majority agreed to bring up an item. Or a senator could just offer his or her pet bill as an amendment to something else.

One of the big differences between the House and the Senate used to be that individual senators had far more ability to force things onto the agenda than individual members of the House. Even raw partisan measures pushed by the minority could get some sort of vote (usually to table them).

Who is responsible for the change? Harry Reid played a major part in it; he took to using procedural trickery to prevent anyone from offering amendments in order to keep his caucus from having to cast tough votes. Republicans who ramped up the use of the routine filibuster in the first years of the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama presidencies were also responsible. McConnell has taken Reid's practice and made it even more routine.

Don't forget to put a good share of the blame on Democratic senators while Reid was majority leader and Republican senators now. Reid and McConnell couldn't have made it hard to offer amendments if their caucuses had told simply refused to go along. I'm not sure whether those senators are genuinely afraid of casting tough votes, or if they aren't policy-oriented enough to have a backlog of amendments they desperately want to offer, or some combination of both.

The brutal truth is the Senate is dying as an aggressive policy shop because very few senators seem to care very much about it. As much as I'd like to blame McConnell and Reid, at the end of the day, they're probably doing exactly what senators want them to do.

It sure seems to me that the less the Senate really works its will and respects the rights of individual senators, the less the massive malapportionment of the Senate is even remotely justified. I used to say, and still believe, that something important would be lost if the Senate grew to a size that could accommodate representing the population difference of California and Wyoming. But if they're eventually just going to wind up taking party-line votes on an agenda determined exclusively by the majority leader, they might as well have a few thousand senators.

At any rate, we're not there yet. If a majority of the Senate really wants to force a vote on something, they can still do so no matter what the majority leader says.

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#9915 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-April-18, 08:11

View Posty66, on 2018-April-18, 07:58, said:

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Senators don't have the courage or moral resolve to take a calculated risk before they take a poll. That's not leadership . . .that's reactive management. This nation doesn't need conformist automatons parading as political leaders. We need leaders who care enough to put the will of the people above moneyed interests. God help us all!
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#9916 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-April-18, 08:54

From A Brief History of How America Came to Love Small Wars by Max Fisher and Amanda Taub at NYT:

Quote

The 1990s and the “American omnipotence problem”: For a period of about 10 to 15 years, it seemed like all the United States could do was win.

The Cold War ended. The world seemed to be converging on American-style democracy and capitalism, as had been predestined under American exceptionalism. Rogue states collapsed or gave in. Every adversary or threat seemed easily overcome, with little risk or cost.

This string of American victories — Panama, the Persian Gulf war, Bosnia, Kosovo — created what Jeremy Shapiro, the research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, calls “the American omnipotence problem.”
Talking to us in 2016, he defined it as the assumption “that any problem in the world is basically solvable by American power if there is sufficient political will.”

It was intoxicating, and convinced many Americans who came of age at this time — and now hold positions of power in every major institution — that any problem remains only because of a lack of presidential will. Meaning the solution will come by pressuring that president to action.

That expectation, again built on ideals of American exceptionalism, created domestic political demands to bomb any adversary and intervene in any crisis. As Emma Ashford, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute, wrote in a recent New York Times Op-Ed:

“Political pressure and criticism from opponents, combined with the news media’s habit of disparaging inaction, can render even the most cautious leaders vulnerable to pressure. America’s overwhelming military strength and the low cost of airstrikes only add to the notion that action is less costly than inaction.”

This expectation, focused on military force, shows up still in survey data. Research by Sarah Kreps and Sarah Maxey, political scientists at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania, found that Americans feel a moral obligation to help humanitarian victims — and to provide that help in the form of military action.

Quote

Joe Galloway, a journalist who covered the Vietnam War, describes what it feels like to be under an American airstrike, which mistakenly targeted the American troops he’d embedded with at the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965:

“I looked up and there were two jets aiming directly at our command post. He’s dropped two cans of napalm and it’s coming toward us, loblolling, end over end. These kids, two or three of them plus a sergeant, had dug a hole or two over on the edge.”

“I looked as the thing exploded and two of them were dancing in that fire. There was a rush, a roar, from the air that’s being consumed and drawn in as this hell come-to-earth is burning there. As that dies back a little then you can hear the screams.”

“Someone yells, ‘Get this man’s feet.’ I reach down and the burns crumble and the flesh is cooked off his ankles and I feel those bones in the palms of my hands. I can feel it now.”

“He died two days later. Kid named Jim Nakayama out of Rigby, Idaho.”

Mr. Galloway had this to say elsewhere in the documentary:

“You can’t just be a neutral witness to something like war. It crawls down your throat. It eats you alive from the inside and the out. It’s not something that you can stand back and be neutral and objective and all of those things we try to be as reporters, journalists, photographers. It doesn’t work that way.”

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#9917 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2018-April-18, 09:44

View PostRedSpawn, on 2018-April-17, 15:51, said:

If the Trump presidency ends because of money laundering/racketeering practices then our vetting process for the President of the United States needs a serious overhaul. It doesn't take electing a candidate as President of the United States to do the necessary background checking to obtain a solid and comprehensive understanding of his financial background and profile--especially with someone who has been in the PUBLIC EYE as long as Trump has (since early 80's).

To act as if all of this intelligence on his shady financial dealings is brand-spanking new is just asinine.

There was plenty of press about Trump being a shady businessman during the campaign, although most of it seemed to be just about his strong-arm tactics, not blatantly illegal activity. But it's also well known that corruption is rampant in many third-world countries, and the only way to do business there is to participate.

There's no "vetting process", it's all up to the voters. And as far as Trump's supporters were concerned, none of this was really a problem. They might even have considered it a feature, it means he knows how to play the games. This is what made him a "great dealmaker".

So far, he hasn't demonstrated his dealmaking expertise in office, though. Passing a tax cut with a majority Republican Congress doesn't require much negotiation; on the other hand, he couldn't repeal Obamacare, even though the Republicans have been promising to do this for years. He's gone back and forth on NAFTA and TPP -- NAFTA is a failure, and TPP is the worst, but he's hinted recently that he might be willing to get back into TPP. His opinion on gun control depends on who he happens to be speaking with at the moment. He declared the opioid epidemic a crisis, but hasn't made any funds available to combat it.

#9918 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-April-18, 10:54

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-18, 09:44, said:

There was plenty of press about Trump being a shady businessman during the campaign, although most of it seemed to be just about his strong-arm tactics, not blatantly illegal activity. But it's also well known that corruption is rampant in many third-world countries, and the only way to do business there is to participate.

There's no "vetting process", it's all up to the voters. And as far as Trump's supporters were concerned, none of this was really a problem. They might even have considered it a feature, it means he knows how to play the games. This is what made him a "great dealmaker".

So far, he hasn't demonstrated his dealmaking expertise in office, though. Passing a tax cut with a majority Republican Congress doesn't require much negotiation; on the other hand, he couldn't repeal Obamacare, even though the Republicans have been promising to do this for years. He's gone back and forth on NAFTA and TPP -- NAFTA is a failure, and TPP is the worst, but he's hinted recently that he might be willing to get back into TPP. His opinion on gun control depends on who he happens to be speaking with at the moment. He declared the opioid epidemic a crisis, but hasn't made any funds available to combat it.


I was reading an op-ed piece yesterday, and the author made a revealing point as to why Trump is so freaked out about the Cohen situation - and he suggested it was due to the nearness of law enforcement to his business practices, that after the failures of his casinos and airlines, Trump began to sell his brand - but what he was really doing was offering a legitimate front to illegal owners and builders, and because he was so desperate for money he sold his services for a fraction of what legitimacy was worth to the criminals who bought his services and brand.
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#9919 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2018-April-18, 13:15

View Postbarmar, on 2018-April-18, 09:44, said:

There's no "vetting process", it's all up to the voters. And as far as Trump's supporters were concerned, none of this was really a problem. They might even have considered it a feature, it means he knows how to play the games.


Even today, President Dennison has 85-90% approval ratings among Republicans.
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Posted 2018-April-19, 07:23

View Postjohnu, on 2018-April-18, 13:15, said:

Even today, President Dennison has 85-90% approval ratings among Republicans.

Could have been President Carlos Danger......imagine the possibilities. :(
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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