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Thread: 2019 American Political Scene

  1. #91
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    So yet another chunk has been ripped out of the mythology of Trump as a "deal-maker". He blinked and blinked HARD and the right-wing pundit/idiots out there shredded him for it.

    I've always enjoyed watching the Left eat their own, now it's the Neanderthals that once supported Trump going after him like a pack of dogs on a one-legged cat that makes me laugh and yell "What In The Actual F--K Were You Expecting?!"

    Oh this year is going to be such sweetness...
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  2. #92
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    Next comes the "state of emergency."

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Next comes the "state of emergency."
    The Courts are going to quash that. Roberts at the very least would side with the left leaning Justices, if nothing else, so that President Cortez in 2034 can't declare an emergency to declare a single payer healthcare system.

  4. #94
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    Lol.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  5. #95
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    Mueller Investigation 'Close To Being Completed,' Acting Attorney General Says

    Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is "close to being completed," Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Monday.

    Whitaker said he has been fully briefed about Mueller's work and that he is looking forward to reviewing a final report.

    The acting attorney general's comments were a rare official indication of any kind from within the Justice Department about Mueller's work.

    The special counsel's investigation is often the subject of theorizing and analysis by outsiders but seldom characterized in any detail by people connected with it formally, even as broadly as Whitaker did on Monday.

    The man who commissioned Mueller and who has been supervising him closest, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, has defended the conduct and propriety of Mueller's office without detailing it or giving any sense about how far along its work might be.

    Mueller is charged with investigating the Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone on the Trump campaign was involved with it. President Trump and the White House deny there was any collusion.

    Whitaker was among the outside voices who faulted Mueller after Rosenstein appointed him in the spring of 2017. The acting attorney general was asked about that skepticism on Monday and said he wouldn't talk about Mueller's work now but said his earlier comments were "made as a private citizen."

    Whitaker later joined the Justice Department as chief of staff to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom President Trump forced out soon after Election Day last year. The president then appointed Whitaker as acting attorney general over the head of Rosenstein, the Senate-confirmed deputy attorney general.

    Trump has since nominated former Attorney General William Barr to return to run the Justice Department; he appeared at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing earlier this month.

    Barr submitted a number of written answers as part of that confirmation process that were released publicly on Monday. They included another commitment to make public whatever report Mueller completes, although all along Barr has been careful to say he would observe the law and Justice Department regulations as appropriate — stopping short of a blanket promise.

    The Justice Department's regulations call for the special counsel to give the attorney general a "confidential" report when he completes his work, but nothing compels whoever is acting as attorney general for the purposes of the regulation — whether Rosenstein, Whitaker or Barr — to release it to anyone. (Another regulation requires the attorney general to provide certain notifications and reports to the leadership of the judiciary committees in both the House and the Senate but this regulation does not specifically provide that Mueller's confidential report to the AG must be turned over to Congress.)

    Although Barr appears on track to be confirmed, Democrats want a guarantee that whatever Mueller writes will be public. They've also been joined by a few Republicans, including the Judiciary Committee's former chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

    He and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., announced on Monday they've introduced legislation that would mandate explicitly that Mueller issue a report to Congress and establish for certain that his work would see the light of day.

    "This bipartisan legislation ensures that Congress and the American people have oversight of and insight into activities and findings of special counsel investigations under any administration," Grassley said. Link
    ___________

    Despite what so many of us would love to see, I doubt we'll get a Nixonian smoking gun out this investigation.
    What we will get is what we've known all along: The Trump Campaign was up to its eyeballs in bed with the Kremlin, just as the Trump Organization was.

    Here's the body count so far: All The Criminal Charges To Emerge So Far From Robert Mueller's Investigation

    I wonder how many of Trump's blood family will join the rolls of his crime family in the dock. There's plenty of room for more.

    And this is just Mueller's investigation. God only knows what the House will pry open from this nest of degenerates and criminals.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  6. #96
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    Given all the baggage that he had pre 2015, I'd like to know why 45 thought it wouldn't come out sooner or later.

    I know he's not the most reality bound person, but even the most narcissistic money launderer could figure out that running for President is going to have all sorts of people rooting through one's garbage and receipts.

  7. #97
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    he didn't -really- think he was going to win.

    narcissism, lots of money, and ignorance goes a long way. for a different variation on this, look at Howard Schultz.
    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

  8. #98
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    i'm also curious as to how the wall-shutdown thing is going to play out.

    i don't think Trump will put his hand to the shutdown flame again...but if he wanted to retreat from this altogether he wouldn't have set another deadline for him to get embarrassed over.

    so...national emergency declaration as leverage?
    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

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    But it's not the ballot box that put him in office nor will keep him out for another 4 years. It's the Electoral College. The people of this country Do Not Matter when it comes to who sits in the Oval Office. They Never Have.
    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Overhauling the system so that very large and very small state populations aren't skewing the results would be a good place to start.
    The flaws of the Electoral College and the unrepresentativeness of the Senate aren't the only problems with the system, in my opinion.

    85-90% of the congressional districts in this country are non-competitive, whether due to gerrymandering or for other reasons. Basically what we have is a system in which each party has monopolized power within the respective spheres they've carved out for themselves. Your vote doesn't matter, the party that has that district locked down is guaranteed to win.

    In the 10-15% of congressional districts that are actually competitive... you have two choices, a Republican or a Democrat, or throwing your vote away. People in these districts are essentially the only ones whose votes matter as far as elections to the House of Representatives is concerned. And you still only get two choices, a Republican or a Democrat, neither of which might represent one's political views.

    To me, it's no wonder that voter turnout is around 50%, that the approval rate for Congress is below 20%, and that people are skeptical and have so little faith in the system.

    I've personally come to the conclusion that we essentially live in a two-party state in which there's an illusion of choice and an illusion of democracy, in which we have some constitutionally protected rights and freedoms.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 29 Jan 19, at 15:04.
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  10. #100
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    To me, it's no wonder that voter turnout is around 50%, that the approval rate for Congress is below 20%, and that people are skeptical and have so little faith in the system.
    gerrymandering and other electoral evils contribute to this, but i don't think "lack of choice" is really the driver for trust and dissatisfaction issues.

    after all, these issues have been with us since the creation of the partisan system, and was actually significantly worse in the era of machine politics.

    the main problem with electoral politics today is the utter paralysis. our system is designed for compromise solutions. however, current political incentives do not encourage compromise. this means the only way things get done at all is if there's an overwhelming amount of political power and unity on one side, which are relative flukes in our system. absent the elimination of the filibuster, that means 60 Senate votes + control of the House + the Presidency.

    and this in turn causes even more extreme solutions, because if you actually have that amount of power, you might as well go big. which causes even more angry reaction from the other side, so forth, so forth. same thing when certain actions are abused as an end-run around this, such as re-conciliation.

    you're correct in that there's "illusion of choice", but that's not because the parties are similar-- they're actually more dissimilar now than they ever have been. the illusion is that the proposals mean anything when they all die in Congress.

    there's some potential solutions to this. cut down on gerrymandering. bring back earmarks, the legislative grease. -less- transparency in Congress during the sausage-making process.
    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

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
    Given all the baggage that he had pre 2015, I'd like to know why 45 thought it wouldn't come out sooner or later.

    I know he's not the most reality bound person, but even the most narcissistic money launderer could figure out that running for President is going to have all sorts of people rooting through one's garbage and receipts.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    he didn't -really- think he was going to win.

    narcissism, lots of money, and ignorance goes a long way. for a different variation on this, look at Howard Schultz.
    What Astralis said. He never expected to win and I don't believe he even wanted to win. (check out his and Melania's expressions on Election Night when it became clear he was leading in the EC)

    He was told a great way to make a crap-ton of money was to run for President.
    He'd likely blown through much of his The Apprentice earnings and was right back where he was when Mark Burnett came calling...in deep financial trouble.

    As I've said many times, he was "safe" in New York. Sure, everyone there knew he was fraud and a criminal, but he was used to it and could manipulate the system with his lawyers etc. just as he always had done.

    And, as he wasn't expecting to win, he never dreamed of the microscope he'd be jammed under as President.

    You can see it in every desperate tweet and rally speech: "NO COLLUSION!" "WITCH HUNT!" The louder he screams, the bigger the Guilty sign around his neck gets.

    This is a man who is badly out of his element and he's absolutely scared out of his mind. He has no concept of what a determined Congress can do it him and his crime family...but I suspect it's been dawning on him the last couple of weeks and months.

    Now that all the adults have fled his Cabinet, he's well and truly screwed.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  12. #102
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    Stone’s indictment is not for a ‘mere process’ crime

    The immediate reaction from the camp of President Trump to the news of Friday’s arrest of longtime associate and political trickster Roger Stone was to minimize the charges as “mere process” crimes.

    “Another false statement case? God Almighty,” Rudy Giuliani said, dismissing the seven-count indictment as just “a lot about ‘I don’t remember this.’ ”

    Good luck holding that line in the coming days.

    First, there is the possibility that special counsel Robert Mueller has, or is in the process of developing, more substantive charges against Stone. Stone is the closest associate of the president that Mueller has charged, and we can expect the special counsel to exert maximum leverage to secure Stone’s cooperation in his continuing probe. Mueller’s strategy may be to hold back on some charges and let Stone know what misery he can still avoid by coming clean.

    In general, the new indictment pairs Stone’s alleged activities in this country during the 2016 campaign with the conspiracy charges Mueller brought in July against a dozen Russian military intelligence officers and a Russian organization now accused of hacking the Hillary Clinton campaign’s computer networks and coordinating the release of the hacked emails to influence the election in Trump’s favor.

    The Stone indictment suggests a clear link between Stone and the actions of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who once more stands revealed as a scurrilous and strange political operative rather than the crusading journalist some imagine.

    The indictment alleges conduct on Stone’s part that essentially suggests a role in the hacking conspiracy. One of the several tangible examples from indictment: Far from being a passive recipient of the hacked emails, Stone sent a message through radio personality Randy Credico to Assange asking for damaging emails relating to Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

    These allegations carry the potential for charging Stone with substantive crimes related to the Russian hacking conspiracy, either under 18 U.S.C. §371 for attempting to influence the election or as accessory after the fact to the hacking under 18 U.S.C.§ 3.

    It is also possible that future searches of Stone’s New York City residence will turn up other inculpatory emails, such as the one in which Stone tells Credico to”do a ‘Frank Pentangeli’ ” - i.e., lie and dissemble under oath like the mob underling in “The Godfather Part II” - when Credico was testifying to Congress about what Stone may have done. The unsealed indictment also includes a subsequent email by Stone calling Credico a “rat” and a “stoolie,” for ignoring his suggestion and then threatening to take Credico’s service dog away from him, and telling him to “prepare to die.”

    All this leads to the more important refutation of the “mere process” canard that Giuliani and others assert. The most serious charge in the indictment is obstruction of justice, an accusation that usually results in the physical arrest of the defendant, contrary to the suggestions of Stone’s defenders that his arrest was heavy-handed. The indictment alleges that Stone obstructed investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election by the (Republican-controlled) House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    What Stone allegedly has done is throw sand in the gears of efforts by Congress to learn the extent of Russian interference in a U.S. election. The possibility that a foreign government conspired with a U.S. presidential campaign to sway an American election has been staring us in the face for two years. Congress has no greater public responsibility than fully investigating this nightmarish prospect and taking all steps to prevent its recurrence.

    Efforts to undermine that imperative are sinister and serious, and anything but a “mere process” crime. Link
    ____________

    Because "process crimes" seem to be dismissed as irrelevant and analogous to a citation for jaywalking, I thought we might want to get another opinion...
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  13. #103
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    What is a "process crime" as opposed to a "substantive crime"?

  14. #104
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    From Wiki:

    In United States criminal procedure terminology, a process crime is an offense against the judicial process

    There is a broad range of process crimes, covered in the U.S. by a variety of federal and state laws. The five "archetypal" process charges are failure to appear, false statements, obstruction of justice, contempt of court and perjury.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  15. #105
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    Trump is the antichrist who's hell bent on bringing down the wall on all of us. Please get rid of him.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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