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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #1621
    Senior Contributor antimony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    If Bezos can keep Trump under attack via the WaPo he can claim its retaliation if the DoJ goes after Amazon with an Anti-Trust case. Nothing the WaPo publishes should be regarded as anything but a legal move by Bezo to try and ward off DoJ action against him.
    Bezos and Amazon? Is this a joke or what?

    Pending anything in the courts, Bezos will use WaPo to pressurize the DoJ off his back? That sort of thinking would have downgraded Amazon from an online book retailer to a cornerstore, not what it has become today
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  2. #1622
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    wow, your evidence of "what we're reading outside of Washington" is...a bunch of random googled op-ed articles, two of which are written by Americans. lol.

    look, i can google too:

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/...mportant-ever/

    https://www.csis.org/analysis/pacnet...mas-pivot-asia

    You can google, but you can't read.

    Thank you for reinforcing my point.
    Beijing believes that the rebalance is meant to maintain U.S. hegemony in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and largely characterizes the U.S. security policy vis-a-vis China as “containment.” Chinese leaders have concluded that the rebalance is a reaction to China’s arrival as a regional (and global) power; a product of U.S. “strategic anxiety” over China’s challenge to U.S. regional pre-eminence; and a strategic tool to hinder China’s rise and hold China back from its rightful place on the world stage.

    While Washington argues that the rebalance enhances regional security and economic prosperity for all, practically everything about the rebalance runs counter to Beijing’s national security, economic, and foreign policy goals and desired strategic end state of regional pre-eminence (and possibly global primacy). Therefore, the sustainability of U.S. pre-eminence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region can only come at China’s expense in the long term.

    Beijing views the rebalance as shoring up the current regional security architecture in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, constructed by the U.S. following World War II. This U.S.-dominated architecture impedes China’s efforts to establish a favorable peripheral environment conducive to its development of comprehensive national power and achievement of its strategic vision of the ocean as “blue economic space and blue territory,” crucial for China’s development, security and status.

    Chinese leaders view the rebalance as primarily driven by security concerns and initiatives. However, they also are very wary of the potential economic impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, potentially a key enduring component of the rebalance. Beijing sees the TPP as part of the U.S. containment strategy directed at Beijing, trying to exclude China from the global trade network and hurt its growing economy.

    For now, China is keeping its options open in order not to be shut out in the future. But from a long view, Beijing realizes that the rebalance’s economic gains lag behind those in the security sphere, and the TPP combined with the slowdown in the Chinese economy could further tilt the economic balance in favor of the U.S.
    Last edited by Parihaka; 18 May 17, at 07:01.
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  3. #1623
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    troung,

    Trump allegedly tells Russia of ISIS laptop terror threat, deep state leaks it to Wapo including the source of the info, Trump is now at fault for the entire world being told by Wapo/NYT through secret sources the info may have come from Israel. The heavily politicized "intelligence" apparatus need to be streamlined and cleaned out.
    Unless I miss my guess, the people in the room at the time were (a) Russian, (b) Trump’s hand-picked White House staff, or (c) the background stewards, secret service and so forth.

    Please identify for me the “deep state” actors who leaked this information to WaPo, because unless I missed someone, it could only be the (c) background staff … and they’re not “deep state.”

    = = = = =

    Parihaka
    ,

    When I opined that Obama's 'pivot to Asia' meant increased hostilities and that NZ should assume a more neutral stance you were outraged. How is the Pivot to Asia going?

    When should we expect those “increased hostilities” to come about?


    So you're happy with a policy that has made China far more aggressive. Thanks.

    US policy “made China far more aggressive.” …
    If you believe that you clearly don’t know much about China.
    If you believe that, you clearly weren’t paying much attention to what has been happening around Asia since the pivot was first announced.
    If you believe that, you missed the economic, diplomatic, military and financial build-up that’s been going on for at least 15 years.

  4. #1624
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    well DOR, you're just a globalist and i pop blue pills, so what do we know, right?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  5. #1625
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post

    yes, and doctors misdiagnose hundreds of patients a year, but i don't think you'll be doing yourself any favors if you try to self-medicate for your cancer at home, either.
    Hehehehe, see, I find this funny because I don't trust doctors at all. They don't know what they don't know, don't want to admit what they don't know, and present their opinions as medical certainties. The only doctor I usually trust is my GP, and I still double-check everything he tells me. I include my wife and other family members in the category "doctors I don't trust."

    This refers more to individual doctors. I have no problems referencing WHO or the NHS or major insurer websites or Kaiser to see the consensus of the field and the current gold standard of care. That's actually how I judge the quality of individual doctors.

    Within context of the thread, I've never found particularly good, unbiased, nuanced, free foreign policy coverage, and I've been looking for it for years. Part of the reason I hang out here more than I should!

    I'm certainly skeptical of claims that Russia launched an agit-prop in the US specifically to get Trump elected, even if I generally trust the opinion that Russia hacked the DNC and launched an agit-prop campaign in general. Ain't no one reading Putin's mind. Always possible the intel agencies have access to more intel than what they are letting on, including some high level sources, but I don't know that myself.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  6. #1626
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    A sober assessment. Finally...
    The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributor
    Forget Watergate. Think Iran-Contra.

    By JOHN YOOMAY 18, 2017

    The reported effort by President Trump to pressure the F.B.I. director to drop the investigation into Russian influence over his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has provoked cries of “obstruction of justice.” Trump critics are demanding an independent prosecutor, à la Watergate, or at least the appointment of a nonpartisan, neutral F.B.I. director to continue the investigation.

    Those critics may hope to get a combination of both in one, with the Justice Department’s appointment on Wednesday of Robert Mueller, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel to continue the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Both Democrats and Republicans, however, will find it near impossible to turn Mr. Trump’s core executive powers against him. Instead, Congress should turn to the powers designed by the framers for exactly such circumstances: the tools of funding, oversight and, as a last resort, impeachment.

    As described in notes that the F.B.I. director at the time, James Comey, made about his meeting with the president, Mr. Trump’s comments come close to obstruction of justice but don’t clearly cross the line. According to those notes, Mr. Trump said of the investigation into Mr. Flynn, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go.”
    Continue reading the main story

    Both Republicans and Democrats have declared a desire to get to the bottom of the conversation. Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, promised to subpoena the Comey memos, and the Democratic minority leader, Nancy Pelosi of California, said that such a “brazen attempt to shut down the F.B.I.’s investigation of Michael Flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy.” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, commented, “I think it’s reaching the point where it’s of Watergate size and scale.”
    Photo
    Members of President Trump’s staff leaving Air Force One on Wednesday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

    But standing alone, Mr. Trump’s comments do not unambiguously show an intent to obstruct justice. While he set out his favorable opinion of Mr. Flynn, he stopped short of ordering Mr. Comey to drop the investigation. Mr. Trump’s words carried an implicit recognition that Mr. Comey would make the final call.

    Unlike in the Watergate case, there is no evidence that the president ordered witnesses to lie, destroyed evidence or tried to block F.B.I. agents from doing their job. At least, no evidence yet. Career F.B.I. and Department of Justice officials will not only continue to pursue their investigation into Mr. Flynn but are also likely to redouble their efforts, as Mr. Mueller’s appointment suggests.

    But pursuing the president for obstruction of justice is likely to fail, not just for lack of facts, but on constitutional grounds as well.

    Article II of the Constitution gives the president the duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” With this clause, the framers vested in the president the authority to oversee all federal law enforcement. As Alexander Hamilton observed in Federalist 70, “good government” requires “energy in the executive,” and a vigorous president must ensure “the steady administration of the laws.” According to this original constitutional design, President Trump may order the end of any investigation, even one into his own White House.

    Until 1999, the modern solution to the problem of policing the White House was to create an independent counsel. But the cure was worse than the disease, diverting executive power outside constitutional controls and sapped the presidency of energy. Frequently, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, an effort to undermine the Constitution’s separation of powers “will come before the court clad, so to speak, in sheep’s clothing.” But in the case of the independent prosecutor, he wrote, “this wolf comes as a wolf.” After presidents from both parties had suffered at the hands of independent counsels in the 1980s and ’90s, Congress allowed the statute to expire.

    The type of special prosecutor just appointed by the acting attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, differs from the independent counsels created under the expired act and is significantly weaker. Mr. Mueller’s role will be governed by Justice Department rules, which can always be overridden by the president.

    The larger defect of independent counsels, of either type, is that they had the convenient effect of relieving Congress of its constitutional duty to constrain an abusive president. If Mr. Trump has truly impeded a valid investigation, Congress’s initial action should be refusal to enact his legislative agenda or fund White House priorities. If these measures fail, Congress can turn to impeachment, which allows for the removal of a president for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

    Contrary to common wisdom, impeachment does not require the president to commit a crime but instead refers to significant political mistakes or even incompetence. This was the framers’ intent — as Hamilton explained in Federalist 65, impeachment was to tackle “the misconduct of public men” or “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Such offenses, he wrote, “are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.” After the Civil War, for instance, the Senate came within one vote of removing President Andrew Johnson for undermining Reconstruction.

    The first step would be for Congress to form a special committee to investigate the Russia controversy and the Trump-Comey affair. To forestall this, Mr. Trump should look to the example of his predecessor Ronald Reagan. The Iran-contra scandal nearly destroyed Reagan’s presidency and could have led to his impeachment. After the revelations that his national security staff had traded arms for hostages held by Iran and transferred funds to the Nicaraguan contras, Reagan cleaned house and agreed to reforms of government oversight of covert action. After that, his presidency not only survived but also thrived.

    President Trump should emulate Reagan. He should fire his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and all the others who brought the chaos of the presidential campaign into the White House. He can replace them with more experienced government hands, much as he replaced Mr. Flynn with H. R. McMaster. He can appoint an independent presidential commission to get to the bottom of the Russia affair, copying the Bush inquiry into Iraq’s W.M.D. program.

    Most important, Mr. Trump should begin deferring to Congress on domestic policy and instead focus on national security and foreign affairs, where the framers wanted the presidency’s structural advantages of unity, speed and energy to shine. The alternative is to spend his term in office floundering from one self-inflicted controversy to the next, exhausting himself amid a rising flood of investigations.

    John Yoo, a deputy assistant attorney general from 2001 to 2003, is a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/o...ft-region&_r=0
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  7. #1627
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    well DOR, you're just a globalist and i pop blue pills, so what do we know, right?
    Make popcorn?

  8. #1628
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    well DOR, you're just a globalist and i pop blue pills, so what do we know, right?
    Don't do pills unless unavoidable but happy to sign on the 'globalist' list which I do not think is an insult but the rational extension of free trade. We fight.

  9. #1629
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    oh, and now WaPo is reporting that a "WH adviser close to Trump" is now a person of interest in the Russia probe.

    time to buy some popcorn stock.

    ====

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/u...sia-comey.html

    WASHINGTON — President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

    “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

    Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

    The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Mr. Comey — reinforces the notion that Mr. Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.

    The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

    Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.

    In a statement, he said that Mr. Comey had put unnecessary pressure on the president’s ability to conduct diplomacy with Russia on matters such as Syria, Ukraine and the Islamic State.

    “By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” Mr. Spicer said. “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”

    The day after firing Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump hosted Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, in the Oval Office, along with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak. The meeting ignited controversy this week when it was revealed that Mr. Trump had disclosed intelligence from an Israeli counterterrorism operation.

    A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

    The president has been adamant that the meddling did not alter the outcome of the race, but it has become a political cudgel for his opponents.

    Many Democrats and some Republicans have raised alarms that the president may have tried to obstruct justice by firing Mr. Comey. The Justice Department’s newly appointed special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was given the authority to investigate not only potential collusion, but also related allegations, which would include obstruction of justice.

    The F.B.I.’s investigation has bedeviled the Trump administration, and the president personally. Mr. Comey publicly confirmed the existence of the investigation in March, telling Congress that his agents were investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the presidential election and whether anyone in the Trump campaign had been involved. Mr. Trump has denied any collusion and called the case a waste of money and time.

    At first, the White House said Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey based on the recommendation of the Justice Department, and because of Mr. Comey’s handling of the F.B.I. investigation into Hillary Clinton last year. Officials said it had nothing to do with the Russia investigation.

    But the president undercut that argument a day later, telling NBC News, “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  10. #1630
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post




    “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
    For a great business man he obviously didn't read, nor never heard of, Dale Carnegie...

  11. #1631
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
    Comey was the one who had great pressure taken off.

    Still looking forward to Jimbo Unchained™.

  12. #1632
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Don't do pills unless unavoidable but happy to sign on the 'globalist' list which I do not think is an insult but the rational extension of free trade. We fight.
    Damn straight.

  13. #1633
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Ten years ago …


    Constitutional smackdown


    WHEN someone like Tim Russert asks someone like Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), as he did Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," whether a conflict between Congress and the Bush White House will lead to a constitutional crisis, I get the sense that the news industry has a rooting interest in the answer being "yes." I do too, but for different reasons...

    http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-kaplan3jul03-story.html

    Thirty years ago …

    Reagan Ignites a Constitutional Crisis

    After President's Reagan's former national security adviser, Robert C. McFarlane, testified that he had briefed the President ''dozens'' of times about the steps that he and various aides were taking to raise funds for the contras' military operations, the White House defense began edging away from the increasingly implausible ''factual'' claim of no Presidential involvement and toward an even more troubling legal claim of Presidential immunity.


    When Ronald Reagan was elected on an antigovernment platform, pundits smiled. When incumbent President Reagan was re-elected on such a platform, political scientists were puzzled. But when the President's status as a perpetually bemused and patriotic outsider is transformed from a political stance into a shield against the rule of law, a constitutional crisis is at hand.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/20/op...al-crisis.html

  14. #1634
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  15. #1635
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    You do realize that Trump was just using that as a stick to club Hilary over the head? Nothing more.

    Don't forget that Trump is amoral. He doesn't care about right and wrong and never has. He only cares about winning and losing. So, yes, he will gladly be the hypocrite to use it against Clinton as long as he wins. Winning is all that matters and how he gets there can be summed up as "all's fair in love and war even to selling someone out"

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