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The Trump Presidency

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24 minutes ago, YABO713 said:

 

Like I've been shouting from the rooftops for a while now, Rudy Giuliani has made things profoundly worse for the President. 

 

Trump's own "savvy" tweets and statements aren't helping him either.  It's like nobody told him that the right to remain silent exists for a reason. 

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2 hours ago, Ram23 said:

 

The theory is that he makes purposeful errors so that more people discuss his Tweets than otherwise would. For example, I don't think you would have cared to discuss that tweet unless it had that error. But, the typo was there, and here we are, discussing it. For someone who doesn't ever use nor go to Twitter unless someone else links to me something noteworthy, I would have never seen the last 10 Trump Tweets had you not brought up the typo. Now I have, and I enjoyed them thoroughly. Trump makes some good points. After perusing a bit, IMO, the Cohen payment nothingburger was seemingly an attempt by Trump to keep his wife and family from finding out about a potential affair. At least, that's what I gather from reading between the lines.

Does it on purpose??? How in the world do you know that? Trump is right though. If he killed someone on 5th avanue. His supporters will still like him.

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1 hour ago, freefourur said:

Maria Butina will be changing her plea to guilty.  Another cooperating witness in the with hunt. 

 

 

I had to google who this woman was.  The charges against Butina were brought by federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., and her case is unrelated to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/accused-russian-agent-maria-butina-has-likely-taken-plea-deal-2018-12-10

Edited by gottaplan

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12 minutes ago, gottaplan said:

 

I had to google who this woman was.  The charges against Butina were brought by federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., and her case is unrelated to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/accused-russian-agent-maria-butina-has-likely-taken-plea-deal-2018-12-10

 

In the same way Cohen's SDNY case is unrelated to the Special Counsel.

 

Her narrative is at the very least relative to the Special Counsel's investigation 

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I dunno.  Schiff is talking about possible jail time for Trump based on campaign finance violations for hush money payouts to mistresses.  Didn't work for John Edwards either.

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I honestly haven't followed it much, but my understanding from a while back is that the Mueller investigation has produced more spinoff/referral indictments than direct ones, because they keep finding financial crimes while the core team's mandate is ostensibly investigating espionage/sabotage/election fraud.

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7 minutes ago, Gramarye said:

I honestly haven't followed it much, but my understanding from a while back is that the Mueller investigation has produced more spinoff/referral indictments than direct ones, because they keep finding financial crimes while the core team's mandate is ostensibly investigating espionage/sabotage/election fraud.

 

I've been following it closely and I think your understanding is correct.  Manafort had dirt on him going back a decade or more, he's been a target of federal investigators.  Cohen was a simple influence peddler/low level fixer/mistress payoff man.  Mueller wrapped these two up to get dirt on Trump. 

 

We'll see where it all goes but I'm not sure they've uncovered a smoking gun yet, or if they have, it's unclear what it may look like.  I'm guessing Mueller needs something like sworn testimony that Trump ordered/agreed to meetings with Russian agents to discuss & plan to subvert the election, either with direct influence or with indirect influence by hacking DNC emails, etc.

 

Short of that, I don't know how Mueller's investigation doesn't come up empty handed.

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That could be the heart of a separate matter.  I'm fully able to believe that he's friendly to Russia because a lot of his businesses' big customers are Russians, and perhaps some of his businesses' creditors, too.  Everything is personal for him.  L'Etat, c'est moi.  But there is a difference between the question of (i) whether Trump knowingly conspired with a foreign power to commit crimes in furtherance of electoral victory, and (ii) whether the financial ties simply are evidence of why Russia on its own directed such operations independently of any Trump campaign collusion.

 

Among all countries on Earth, the 2016 general election candidates' position on Russia were the farthest apart (Trump openly even in primary debates saying he would "get along" with Putin, Clinton saying he was a rogue imperialist because of his actions in Ukraine and Crimea and should be further sanctioned and isolated--on which point, I should add, I fully agree with Clinton).  That itself does not make Trump guilty of anything criminal, though, in particular because his friendliness with Russia was no secret even in the Republican primary, to say nothing of the general election.  Voters had ample opportunity to assess the fact that they were voting for a Russophile president even if the financial reasons for his friendliness remained hidden (and quite honestly, they could have been fairly assumed even with the information available as of November 2016).

 

Note that even now, the accusation that is coming closest to landing is a wholly domestic campaign finance crime: paying hush money to cover up an affair for campaign purposes.  If true, that crime is completely Russia-independent.  Trump could be completely free of Russian influence and still have paid that money, just because that's the kind of person he is, and/or (in an alternate universe) Trump could be an elite Russian agent straight out of The Americans and still have run a campaign meticulously compliant with federal campaign finance laws.

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^ I agree. 

 

^^ The talk of finding a smoking gun is really just goal post moving.  Criminal cases do not require "smoking guns."  The requirement is that guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  We might not be there on Russian related matters based on publicly available information.  But there is enough information to at least indict on felony campaign finance laws.  

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^ The goal posts don't need moved. There's absolutely zero evidence of any sort of collusion, and certainly no evidence that Trump did anything wrong in this context. The "Russia!" investigation continues to serve up nothingburgers. Trump's entire campaign - and likely entire life for the past few decades - has been put under the strongest microscope available and nothing but trivialities among his acquaintances have turned up. These issues have zero impact on the country, and no real legal consequences for Trump. All they ultimately do is consume his detractors and strengthen their vitriol, while the average American scratches their head and asks "that's it?"

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Just now, Ram23 said:

^ The goal posts don't need moved. There's absolutely zero evidence of any sort of collusion, and certainly no evidence that Trump did anything wrong in this context. 

 

I won't go that far.  I follow politics closely enough to know Trump has lied over & over about this meeting, whether it happened, who knew about it, etc.

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7 minutes ago, Ram23 said:

^ The goal posts don't need moved. There's absolutely zero evidence of any sort of collusion, and certainly no evidence that Trump did anything wrong in this context. The "Russia!" investigation continues to serve up nothingburgers. Trump's entire campaign - and likely entire life for the past few decades - has been put under the strongest microscope available and nothing but trivialities among his acquaintances have turned up. These issues have zero impact on the country, and no real legal consequences for Trump. All they ultimately do is consume his detractors and strengthen their vitriol, while the average American scratches their head and asks "that's it?"

So the goal posts haven't been from "no meetings with Russia with any of my campaign."  Keep drinking the kool aid son. 

 

Since you are around - What are your thoughts on GOP actions in NC, WI and MI?

Edited by freefourur
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6 minutes ago, freefourur said:

So the goal posts haven't been from "no meetings with Russia with any of my campaign."  Keep drinking the kool aid son. 

 

Since you are around - What are your thoughts on GOP actions in NC, WI and MI?

 

Probably willing to look the other way. After all, it's ok to break a few eggs in furtherance of the masterplan.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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13 minutes ago, Ram23 said:

^ The goal posts don't need moved. There's absolutely zero evidence of any sort of collusion, and certainly no evidence that Trump did anything wrong in this context. 

 

In what "context?"

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40 minutes ago, Ram23 said:

^ The goal posts don't need moved. There's absolutely zero evidence of any sort of collusion, and certainly no evidence that Trump did anything wrong in this context. The "Russia!" investigation continues to serve up nothingburgers. Trump's entire campaign - and likely entire life for the past few decades - has been put under the strongest microscope available and nothing but trivialities among his acquaintances have turned up. These issues have zero impact on the country, and no real legal consequences for Trump. All they ultimately do is consume his detractors and strengthen their vitriol, while the average American scratches their head and asks "that's it?"

 

Nothing the Mueller Report shows will make you believe anything other than that. 

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1 hour ago, Ram23 said:

 The "Russia!" investigation continues to serve up nothingburgers. 

 

...except dozens of indictments and several guilty pleas.  Law and order, amirite??

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Very Stable Genius

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1 hour ago, Gramarye said:

 Voters had ample opportunity to assess the fact that they were voting for a Russophile president even if the financial reasons for his friendliness remained hidden (and quite honestly, they could have been fairly assumed even with the information available as of November 2016).

 

Fair enough.  But why does Trump continue to lie about the dealings?   Why not just say "I was working on this project", and release his tax returns to prove detractors wrong at the same time?

 

 

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Cleburger, my hypothesis on that: Because if he spills, certain people might be less willing to do gray-market or darker-than-gray-market real estate deals with him in the future, and his business (which he did not put into a blind trust) means considerably more to him than the country or even the presidency (which, for the moment, is himself, in his own mind ... but he knows that won't last).  This could occur even if he personally avoids any kind of criminal prosecution for those deals.  For one thing, it will not be lost on them that others in Trump's orbit have not escaped criminal prosecution, even if he himself has and may continue to do so.  For another, even if these past and hypothetical future deals are somehow all just on the right side of the law, secrecy is itself part of the bargain inherent in these deals.  Confidential buyers that are themselves dummy corporations just in case the first layer of confidentiality is pierced.  (Panama Papers stuff.)  So on and so forth.

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4 hours ago, Gramarye said:

 

In what "context?"

 

In the context of what the investigation is purportedly focused on - illegal, coordinated actions by Trump and the Russian government to interfere with the sanctity of the election.

 

It's becoming more clear that Russia was simply attempting to cause chaos and fuel distrust and unrest among the American population. They've achieved that, and every day that Mueller spends digging through the dirty deeds of Trump's acquaintances' pasts only adds to their political victory.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Ram23 said:

 

In the context of what the investigation is purportedly focused on - illegal, coordinated actions by Trump and the Russian government to interfere with the sanctity of the election.

 

It's becoming more clear that Russia was simply attempting to cause chaos and fuel distrust and unrest among the American population. They've achieved that, and every day that Mueller spends digging through the dirty deeds of Trump's acquaintances' pasts only adds to their political victory.

 

 

 

Please explain to me why the Trump campaign had so many contacts with Russians and why  they all lied about it? 

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POTUS directed someone working for him to commit multiple felonies, committed multiple felonies himself by doing so, and has lied about it repeatedly to the public.  That alone really should be enough.  The Russia stuff - that's going to come out and will be overwhelming to the current skeptics, but really, it shouldn't be necessary to remove the man from office based on what we've seen just through the hush money payments.

 

As far as an analogy to Edwards - he was taken to trial and found not guilty on 1 charge and the others were a mistrial.  If Trump gets taken to trial, then maybe we can talk about an equivalence.  

Edited by ck
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1 hour ago, ck said:

POTUS directed someone working for him to commit multiple felonies, committed multiple felonies himself by doing so, and has lied about it repeatedly to the public.  That alone really should be enough.  The Russia stuff - that's going to come out and will be overwhelming to the current skeptics, but really, it shouldn't be necessary to remove the man from office based on what we've seen just through the hush money payments.

 

As far as an analogy to Edwards - he was taken to trial and found not guilty on 1 charge and the others were a mistrial.  If Trump gets taken to trial, then maybe we can talk about an equivalence.  

 

I honestly can't say for sure if the Russia stuff is all true, but let's be real here- Trump is dirty.  Everyone around him is a criminal.  His businesses all seem to be either methods of grifting or other shady dealings.  Combine that with what we know of his character- pathological liar, fragile, yet enormous ego, zero personal accountability, sexist, racist, zero morals...  The fact that everything so far has turned out to be true, why wouldn't the Russia stuff?  My money is definitely that he did everything and probably even more.  Any other president, there is enough now that we'd already be in impeachment, but because his supporters are as characterless and morally bankrupt as he is, we're having to watch the damage continue waiting for a few politicians to grow some balls and do the right thing. 

Edited by jonoh81
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How can trump not be under Putin’s thumb?  He’s got dozens if not hundreds of Russians who have paid cash in full for his condos in Florida and in NY.   Felix Sater is a Russian and has links to the mob and has been a senior executive in the trump organization. Trump has laundered hundreds of millions for Russians with his casinos. No American banks will loan him money with all his bankruptcies.  Don Junior said during the height of the last recession that they get all the money they need from Russia. Someone that thinks he will build the biggest tower in Moscow and put his own name on it cannot say even an ambivalent word about Putin. The Russian news programs openly mock how trump is putins boy. 

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12 hours ago, audidave said:

How can trump not be under Putin’s thumb?  He’s got dozens if not hundreds of Russians who have paid cash in full for his condos in Florida and in NY.   Felix Sater is a Russian and has links to the mob and has been a senior executive in the trump organization. Trump has laundered hundreds of millions for Russians with his casinos. No American banks will loan him money with all his bankruptcies.  Don Junior said during the height of the last recession that they get all the money they need from Russia. Someone that thinks he will build the biggest tower in Moscow and put his own name on it cannot say even an ambivalent word about Putin. The Russian news programs openly mock how trump is putins boy. 

 

I think it's important for both sides to remain level-headed re: these points. 

 

From the Left: People often look at association with Russian oligarchs in his business dealings as a "dead to rights" sign that he's under their thumb.

 

From the Right: People assume every real estate developer in major markets has to cross paths with Russian oligarchs. 

 

The truth is, it is regular for developers in New York to cross paths with some sketchy Russians. However, the determinative factors in all of this are going to be: a) Did Trump International seek out these relationships or at least pursue them after introductions, and b) did the Trump camp attempt to use DJT's new found political capital as consideration in these dealings. 

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^Add in all the back channels that various people like Flynn, Kush, and papadopoulos were trying to create with the Kremlin and then the denials about said back channels and its clearly a thing.  When has any administration tried to create back channels?!?  That is guilty right there as far as I’m concerned.  We should see that in the next day or so when Flynn’s sentencing comes out. 

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8 minutes ago, audidave said:

^Add in all the back channels that various people like Flynn, Kush, and papadopoulos were trying to create with the Kremlin and then the denials about said back channels and its clearly a thing.  When has any administration tried to create back channels?!?  That is guilty right there as far as I’m concerned.  We should see that in the next day or so when Flynn’s sentencing comes out. 

 

Back channeling isn't unusual within administrations. Leveraging your own country's institutions as a result of that back channeling is, however. 

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Also, We have to remember that the campaign was warned by the FBI that Russia would try to infiltrate the campaign and at least 14 different people associated with said campaign didn't think to report their contacts to the FBI.

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1 hour ago, YABO713 said:

 

I think it's important for both sides to remain level-headed re: these points. 

 

From the Left: People often look at association with Russian oligarchs in his business dealings as a "dead to rights" sign that he's under their thumb.

 

From the Right: People assume every real estate developer in major markets has to cross paths with Russian oligarchs. 

 

The truth is, it is regular for developers in New York to cross paths with some sketchy Russians. However, the determinative factors in all of this are going to be: a) Did Trump International seek out these relationships or at least pursue them after introductions, and b) did the Trump camp attempt to use DJT's new found political capital as consideration in these dealings. 

 

What is unusual for Trump, which is not always the case for other developers, is no US banks would touch him due to his many bankruptcies.  Even in recent years of cheap credit he had to get creative with financing overseas.  This, plus Russian oligarchs paying inflated sums for his properties adds up to a fair bit of suspicion.  

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Takeaway from this election -- Never elect a NY real estate developer to federal office.

 

Better yet, prohibit all private sector contributions to political campaigns and shorten all election campaign activities to two months prior to an election.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Hoooo boy.  Interesting afternoon in Washington when Pelosi and Schumer visit Trump and Pence in the Oval office.   It's clear that Trump has NO IDEA how to get things done on the hill from watching this.  It's like a 5th grader spewing what he thought his teacher told him. 

 

Have a watch:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-meets-with-schumer-pelosi-amid-wall-deadlock

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15 minutes ago, Cleburger said:

Hoooo boy.  Interesting afternoon in Washington when Pelosi and Schumer visit Trump and Pence in the Oval office.   It's clear that Trump has NO IDEA how to get things done on the hill from watching this.  It's like a 5th grader spewing what he thought his teacher told him. 

 

Have a watch:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-meets-with-schumer-pelosi-amid-wall-deadlock

 

Man, Democrats have been disappointing in recent years always trying to compromise anything and everything to try to reach some elusive bipartisan agreement, and they've been handed their butts every time because Republicans always play dirty.  Pelosi and Schumer openly mocked Trump and gave him pretty much no respect whatsoever.  They called him on his lies, on his calls for shutdown, over the fact that Republicans control government and can't get anything done, etc.  Loved it.  I hope this new spine lasts.  I want them to be effective leadership in getting things passed that really matter to most Americans. 

 

Also, Pence sitting there not saying a word was hilarious.

Edited by jonoh81
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U.S. Prepares to Unveil a Vast Reworking of Clean Water Protections

The Trump administration’s plan would weaken federal protections for millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of miles of streams from pesticide runoff and other pollutants.

The proposed rule would chip away at safeguards put in place a quarter century ago, during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

 

So conservatives/Republicans, what is the benefit of poisoning your fellow countrymen?  And what an FU to H.W.  It shows how far the GOP has really fallen in 25

years.

 

This should also really help the Lake Erie algae explosions.

Edited by jonoh81

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23 minutes ago, Cleburger said:

Hoooo boy.  Interesting afternoon in Washington when Pelosi and Schumer visit Trump and Pence in the Oval office.   It's clear that Trump has NO IDEA how to get things done on the hill from watching this.  It's like a 5th grader spewing what he thought his teacher told him. 

 

Have a watch:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-meets-with-schumer-pelosi-amid-wall-deadlock

 

Here is a brief synopsis:

 

 

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