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  • JRT
    commented on 's reply
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    The cleanest and legally bulletproof way for Trump to escape any further federal investigation post-presidency would be for him to resign...and have a newly sworn-in President Mike Pence grant him a full and complete pardon.
    Regardless (im-)probability, that is a possibility, and I don't see it as being very farfetched.

    From Trump's perspective, he would have no means of forcing POTUS-46 Pence to pardon him after his resignation, regardless handshake deals, written agreements, etc., and that alone might be enough to prevent that deal from happening. But he might trust Pence enough to do that, especially if he sees it as a good means of avoiding federal prosecution for felony crimes.

    From Pence's perspective, he is never going to be elected POTUS, so his only chance to join that exclusive club is for Trump to resign in trade for a pardon. Pence would also gain some perquisites such as a Presidential library and a private office with personal secretary, and associated budget, for life. Pence could gain political cover by following President Ford's footpath, closing the books on Trump, moving forward, healing the political divide, etc.

    Pence would belly crawl on hot coals for a chance to put a major reduction in the number of abortions performed within US jurisdiction, which have well exceeded 500k per year for many years.

    Any POTUS could sign an executive order stating a demarcation of when in the prenatal development process a separate individual human life initiates.

    Any POTUS could sign an executive order stating that all human life inside of US jurisdiction, including prenatal human life, is deserving of 14th amendment rights of equal protection under the law, and is deserving of 5th amendment protections that no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."
    Last edited by JRT; 05 Nov 20,, 14:03.

  • TopHatter
    replied
    Over the course of 48 hours, most of Trump’s favorite conspiracy theories get hammered

    For the past few months, President Trump has been teasing — or, perhaps, hoping to will into existence — some earthshaking revelation demonstrating how unfairly he has been treated or how suspect his general election opponent happens to be. He has repeatedly promised that perhaps there would be an indictment of those he claims unfairly targeted him for investigation during and after the 2016 election. He has insisted that information about former vice president Joe Biden obtained by his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani is shocking, if not proof of illegality. Yet, despite his urgent claims, the Earth remains unshaken.

    The reason for that is fairly simple. Trump’s presentation of his own suffering and of his opponent’s malfeasance were always detached from reality. They were useful for filling hours of airtime on Fox News, but, outside of the conservative media greenhouse where Trump himself gets heated up, there simply wasn’t evidence that Trump’s charges were accurate.

    Eventually he ran out of time. There would be no October surprise reshaping the presidential contest. But there was a late surprise, as it turned out, one that unfolded independently in a few places over the past few days.

    And we have an array of new evidence showing just how hollow Trump’s claims were.

    Trump’s defining complaint since taking office has been that the investigation into Russian interference in the election four years ago and questions about possible overlap with his campaign was dirty, prejudiced and unwarranted. Attorney General William P. Barr, whose tenure has been defined by acquiescing to Trump’s whims, assigned a U.S. attorney named John Durham to dig into the origins of the Russia probe and suss out any suspect behavior or motivations.

    It’s clear that the president and his allies hoped that there would be a line drawn back to Biden himself. Trump has publicly insinuated that there was one. Yet, as the months passed, there was not only no line drawn to Biden but very few hints of what the investigation was actually uncovering.

    On Monday, New York magazine reported on the likely reason: There wasn’t anything nefarious afoot.

    “According to two sources familiar with the probe, there has been no evidence found, after 18 months of investigation, to support Barr’s claims that Trump was targeted by politically biased Obama officials to prevent his election,” the magazine’s Murray Wass writes. “In fact, the sources said, the Durham investigation has so far uncovered no evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden or Barack Obama, or that they were even involved with the Russia investigation.”

    This wasn’t the first probe into the investigation’s origins. When two FBI officials were found to have exchanged text messages disparaging Trump in 2016 (leading to both leaving the investigatory team cobbled together by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III), the Justice Department’s inspector general looked into the possibility of bias as an underpinning of the Russia probe. None was found.

    Part of Trump's rationale for arguing that he was the victim of bias was his insistence that the Russia investigation found nothing wrong. Thanks to Barr's early framing of the final report produced by Mueller's team as exonerating, Trump was able to pivot from “see, I did nothing wrong” to “this whole probe was an effort to take me down” more easily.

    Mueller’s report, though, made clear that there were multiple nexuses at which members of Trump’s team had unusual or suspicious links to Russian actors. There was the odd meeting at Trump Tower, of course. Less well known was that Trump’s campaign chairman for much of 2016, Paul Manafort, passed internal campaign polling material to a man named Konstantin Kilimnik — a person who a bipartisan Senate committee determined had ties to Russian intelligence.

    Newly released documents obtained by BuzzFeed News offer additional information about another such connection: the murky path from WikiLeaks, which was in possession of material stolen by Russian hackers, to Trump adviser Roger Stone.

    We've known since 2016 that Stone claimed to have a connection to WikiLeaks. Over the course of the Mueller investigation and thanks to public testimony from Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney, we understand that Stone allegedly informed Trump about what WikiLeaks was planning before it launched two dumps of stolen material in July and October of that year.

    What we didn't know was how much evidence there was that Stone was doing more than just making educated guesses about what was coming.

    “In July 2016, political consultant Roger Stone told Trump as well as several campaign advisers that he had spoken with [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange and that WikiLeaks would be publishing the documents in a matter of days,” the BuzzFeed report indicates. “Stone told the then-candidate via speakerphone that he 'did not know what the content of the materials was,' according to the newly unveiled portions of the report, and Trump responded 'oh good, all right' upon hearing the news."

    “The newly unredacted portions of the Mueller report also show that after the initial email dump by WikiLeaks, Trump personally asked Manafort to keep in touch with Stone, who in turn told the then-campaign chair to keep him ‘apprised of any developments with WikiLeaks,’ " BuzzFeed’s report later adds. “Investigators were also told by Gates that Trump had multiple phone conversations with Stone during the campaign and that, following one call held en route to LaGuardia airport, ‘Trump told Gates that more releases of damaging information would be coming.’ "

    None of this is particularly earth-shattering, though it does offer new insight into the Mueller team’s internal debates over what charges might be filed. (Stone was eventually charged with obstruction and lying to prosecutors. After Stone was found guilty, Trump commuted his sentence.) It does, however, amplify questions about Trump’s claim to Mueller’s team that he didn’t recall whether he was aware in advance of what WikiLeaks was doing.

    Then there are Trump’s Biden accusations. Since last year, when he leveraged his office to pressure Ukraine, the president has focused on the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden as potential sources of scandal that could reshape the presidential race. That effort seemed to get a boost in October when oddly sourced documents obtained by Giuliani were used to argue that Joe Biden was somehow involved in his son’s business. Trump and Giuliani leveled a series of dramatic allegations, the most significant of which was that Biden himself had profited handsomely (and illicitly) from his son’s work.

    During the second presidential debate, for example Trump directly accused Biden of having received millions of dollars through Hunter, a claim Biden shrugged off.

    Apparently with good reason. The conservative website Daily Caller pored over what it said were text messages sent between Joe and Hunter Biden, finding that on multiple occasions in late 2018 and early 2019, the former vice president offered financial assistance to his son — undercutting the idea that Hunter was a secret source of dough. Those text messages have not been confirmed by The Washington Post.

    “An incomplete review of the alleged Hunter Biden hard drive has uncovered no direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited financially from his son’s business dealings,” the Daily Caller’s Andrew Kerr and Chuck Ross report. “Text messages on the laptop indicate that Joe Biden offered to help his son financially on numerous occasions between November 2018 and March 2019. … Emails on the computer suggest that Hunter Biden was under significant financial duress when he asked his father for financial assistance.”

    This isn’t by itself exculpatory, but given the burden of proof Trump and his allies face in proving their unsubstantiated claims about Biden’s relationship with his son, it’s the equivalent of dumping buckets of water on a campfire that stopped smoldering a week ago.

    None of this matters for the election, of course. It’s too late for that. But it is important as context for claims Trump has made dozens of times about his own innocence and the culpability of his political opponents. It was never likely, given what we knew, that there would be a smoking gun found in Joe Biden’s hand. The revelations of the past 48 hours, though, suggest that it was Trump, not Biden, whom investigators believed might have been close to a crime scene.
    ______________

    *chuckling to myself* Poor Trump. Poor stupid bastard.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    commented on 's reply
    Exclusive: Tired of Trump, Deutsche Bank games ways to sever ties with the president - sources

    NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG is looking for ways to end its relationship with President Donald Trump after the U.S. elections, as it tires of the negative publicity stemming from the ties, according to three senior bank officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

    Deutsche Bank has about $340 million in loans outstanding to the Trump Organization, the president's umbrella group that is currently overseen by his two sons, according to filings made by Trump to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in July and a senior source within the bank. The three loans, which are against Trump properties and start coming due in two years, are current on payments and personally guaranteed by the president, according to two bank officials.

    In meetings in recent months, a Deutsche Bank management committee that oversees reputational and other risks for the lender in the Americas region has discussed ways in which it could rid the bank of these last vestiges of the relationship, two of the three bank officials said. The bank has over the years lent Trump more than $2 billion, one of the officials said.

    One idea that has come up in the meetings: sell the loans in the secondary market, two of the bank officials said. But one of the officials said that idea has not gained traction, in part because it is not clear who would want to buy the loans and the attendant problems that come with it.

    While it was known that Deutsche Bank has been closely examining its relationship with Trump, including by setting up a working group in 2016 to review the bank's relationship with him, its recent eagerness to end all ties and the contours of discussions in light of the election have not been previously reported.

    Deutsche Bank declined to comment. The Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment. The White House declined to comment.

    WARREN'S WARNING

    The German bank, which first started lending to Trump in the late 1990s, has been dragged into congressional and other investigations into the real estate mogul-turned-politician's finances and alleged Russia connections.

    The probes and the bad press, seen by one senior executive as "serious collateral damage" from the relationship, are an unwelcome distraction for the bank, the three officials said. It comes at a time when Chief Executive Christian Sewing is trying to turn Deutsche Bank around after its decades-long run at becoming a major Wall Street bank left it nursing huge losses.

    Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat member of the Senate banking committee, has previously called for an investigation into Deutsche Bank over its money laundering controls and has demanded answers from the lender about its relationship with Trump and his family. She told Reuters that she intended to keep pushing for a probe in the next administration.

    "You bet I'm going to continue to fight for accountability and strong enforcement of our banking laws, especially for giant institutions like Deutsche Bank," she said.

    What happens next for the bank rests on the outcome of Tuesday's elections, according to the three bank officials.

    If the Republican president loses, and Democrats take control of the White House and Congress, senior Deutsche Bank executives believe congressional investigations that have stalled amid a court battle over access to Trump's financial records could be rejuvenated, the three bank officials said.

    In this scenario, however, Deutsche Bank executives believe they will also have more freedom to deal with the loans and end their relationship with Trump, the officials said. They hope doing so might help reduce some of the scrutiny, they said.

    DIFFERENT SCENARIOS

    The loans, which are against Trump's golf course in Miami, and hotels in Washington and Chicago, are such that the Trump Organization has only had to pay interest on them so far, and the entire principal is outstanding, two of the three bank officials said. They come due in 2023 and 2024, the filings show.

    The businesses backing the loans face challenges. The coronavirus-driven economic slowdown has hit the travel industry, including hotels. Moreover, last month Reuters reported that Trump's plan to make money by developing houses and hotels on his golf courses, including the one involving the Deutsche Bank loan, had not panned out so far.

    The Deutsche Bank executives are not unduly concerned about Trump's ability to repay the loans, given the president's personal guarantees and the time left before they come due, the three bank officials said.

    If Trump is not in office, Deutsche Bank executives feel that it would be easier for them to demand repayment, foreclose if he is not able to pay it off or refinance, or try to sell the loans, according to two of the three bank officials.

    Since Trump has personally guaranteed all the loans, Deutsche Bank could also seize the president's assets if he is unable to repay, two of the three bank officials said.


    If Trump wins a second term, Deutsche Bank executives feel their options would be fewer, the three bank officials said. The bank wouldn't want the negative publicity inherent with seizing assets from a sitting president and would likely extend the loans until he is out of office, two of the bank officials said.

    The bottom line, the three bank officials said, is that the matter won’t be resolved until well after the election.
    ____________

    The Trump Train is heading for a cliff and nobody wants to bail them out. Anybody NOT see that coming?

    Oh right, all those TDS-sufferers that used to brag on Trump as a "great businessman".

  • DOR
    replied
    What's at Stake




    13 Governors: 4 Democrats, 7 Republicans

    35 Senators: 12 Democrats, 22 Republicans, 1 independent

    435 House Representatives: 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, 5 Vacant, 1 Libertarian





    Open Seats

    Governor (10; 20%): Arizona, Arkansas, Hawai'i, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah

    5 Democrats, 5 Republicans



    Senate (6; 6%): Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wyoming

    1 Democrat, 5 Republicans



    House (50, 11.5%): Alabama (2), California (3), Colorado, Florida (3), Georgia (4), Hawai'i, Illinois (2), Indiana (2), Iowa (2), Kansas (2), Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan (2), Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York (4), North Carolina (3), Oregon, Tennessee, Texas (7), Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

    13 Democrats, 36 Republicans, 1 Libertarian





    Essentially Uncontested (i.e., only one major party)

    House (19, 4.4%): Alabama (3), Arkansas, Florida (2), Illinois, Massachusetts (4), Mississippi, New York (2), North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia

    10 Democrats, 9 Republicans




    Senate: Arkansas (Republican)



    thegreenpapers.com

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

    When you support Donald Trump, you burn all 4 of those critical characteristics at the alter of his ego.

    Isn't that right surfgun
    As a former military officer there is absolutely no excuse for her. She has taken an oath several times and spit in the face of those oaths.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Lindsey Graham Says U.S. Has A 'Place' For Women Who 'Follow Traditional Family Structure'

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) assured “young women” on Sunday that there’s a “place” for them in America if they “follow traditional family structure,” embrace religion and oppose abortion.

    Graham laid down his rules for women while praising new right-wing Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who would never have attained her position by adhering to a traditional family structure that would typically include a stay-at-home mom.

    Graham did not issue any comparable guidelines for men. Graham has no wife or children, which seems to exclude him from the “traditional family structure” he mentioned. Presumably, Graham’s requirements would eliminate places in America for members of the LGBTQ community.

    A person close to the senator told The New York Times Sunday that Graham was suggesting that a woman who held Barrett’s conservative views could succeed, and he wasn’t setting preconditions for all women.

    Graham last month said something similar about African Americans. He deemed they could “go anywhere” in his state — provided they’re “conservative, not liberal.” That would eliminate a place in the state for Jaime Harrison, Graham’s Black Democratic rival for his Senate seat.

    “I care about everybody,” Graham claimed in remarks that were part of a televised interview of both candidates. “If you are a young African American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state. You just need to be conservative, not liberal,” he pointed out.

    Graham’s latest jaw-dropping statement on women triggered a wall of shocked criticism.

    Harrison was one of the first to snap back. He reviewed Graham’s dictates concerning Blacks and women, and asked: “Any other requirements we should know about, Lindsey?”

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
    She lost more than her dignity. Everything always boils down to your ethics, principals and honor.
    When you support Donald Trump, you burn all 4 of those critical characteristics at the alter of his ego.

    Isn't that right surfgun

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    She lost more than her dignity. Everything always boils down to your ethics, principals and honor. They should be non-negotiable. Once compromised there is almost no going back and no gaining them back. She should know that from having been a Colonel and the service loses confidence in you. She just negotiated her honor. Been nice knowing you Martha...

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Martha McSally’s Humiliation, and the Republican Party’s

    If the degradation of the Republican Party were cast as a morality tale, the lead character might be Senator Martha McSally of Arizona. To say that McSally was once impressive undersells her biography. To say she is now humiliated undersells her shame.

    In the highly likely event that McSally is defeated tomorrow by her Democratic opponent, former astronaut Mark Kelly, her electoral defeat will be an anticlimax. McSally had been sinking since the toxic dawn of Donald Trump’s presidency, but she hit bottom last week when she publicly debased herself before a man who could never equal her own service and accomplishments.

    McSally served in the Air Force for two decades, leaving the service in 2010 as a colonel, and was the first woman to fly combat missions and command a fighter squadron. She was gutsy on the ground as well, at one point suing the Department of Defense over a policy that required servicewomen stationed in Saudi Arabia to cover themselves in an abaya outside military bases.

    In addition to her degree in biology from the Air Force Academy, McSally has a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014, serving two terms before losing a Senate race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. In 2018, Governor Doug Ducey appointed her to fill the seat of John McCain after his death. On Tuesday, she faces voters in a special election to fill the two years remaining in her term.

    In 2016, McSally, like many in her party, could still read a moral compass. She made it clear that she would not endorse Trump. She regarded his Russia-friendly attacks on NATO with skepticism. She expressed concern about the contempt with which Trump spoke of “veterans and Hispanics and women and others. That’s just not how leaders carry themselves.” When the “Access Hollywood” tape was made public in October, McSally responded on Twitter: “Trump’s comments are disgusting. Joking about sexual assault is unacceptable. I’m appalled.”

    That was then. By 2020, McSally was supporting Trump’s position 90% of the time. She voted to exclude witnesses and evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial. She highlighted, for cheap applause from the MAGA crowd, her Trumpy assault on a respected journalist with a long track record of level-headed integrity.

    Then, last Wednesday, the woman who fought her way to respect as a leader of men in the Air Force, who demanded respect for women in Saudi Arabia, and who respected herself too much in 2016 to endorse Donald Trump, appeared at a rally with the president in Goodyear, Arizona. Trump, having concluded that McSally is insufficiently popular to boost him in the state, didn’t even bother feigning respect; he treated McSally like, well, a dog.

    “Martha, just come up fast. Fast. Fast,” Trump called, deploying his hand in rapid motion to emphasize just how quickly she should heel. “Come on. Quick. You got one minute! One minute, Martha! They don’t want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let’s go. Quick, quick, quick. Come on. Let’s go.”


    It was a grotesque performance, even by Trump’s standards. McSally made it worse. “I’m coming!” she said. “Thank you, President Trump!”

    McSally has spoken publicly of being sexually abused by a high school coach. Her suit in Saudi Arabia specifically objected to women being subservient to men. Yet with her political career on the line, she proved no different than most of her fellow Republicans in her willingness to accept personal and public humiliation from the president of the United States.

    It may be too late for the colonel and senator to reclaim her lost dignity. The rest of the country still has one last shot.
    __________

    The Republican Party: We Know What's Good For You Sweetie. Now Get Back In the Kitchen Where You Belong.


    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Was offline for several days so circling back about the new party discussion...

    So are the Lincoln Project et al like the Dixiecrats? They stayed within the party after Truman won but almost all bolted to the GOP after Johnson's Great Society hit Congress.

    Are these folks going to be the new right wing of the Democratic Party?

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Trump adviser Scott Atlas apologizes for appearing on RT

    President Trump's favorite coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas apologized on Twitter for appearing Saturday on Russia’s state-controlled RT network, where he insisted that the U.S. is turning the corner on the pandemic and that lockdowns are actually “killing people.”

    Why it matters: RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is a Russian state-owned media outlet registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. This means that all of its content is labeled as propaganda attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy and laws.
    • Atlas appeared on RT just hours after the Washington Post released an interview with Anthony Fauci, who criticized Atlas for his controversial views on the pandemic.
    • “I have real problems with that guy,” Fauci told the Post. “He’s a smart guy who’s talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn’t make any sense.”
    The big picture: Atlas, a radiologist, has drawn criticism for reportedly promoting "herd immunity" as a COVID-19 strategy and for casting doubt on the effectiveness of masks, which studies show can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
    • “The public health leadership … they’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies,” Atlas said on RT.
    • He also described lockdowns as an “epic failure of public policy by people who refuse to accept they were wrong.”
    Driving the news: "I recently did an interview with RT and was unaware they are a registered foreign agent," Atlas tweeted. "I regret doing the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I especially apologize to the national security community who is working hard to defend us."
    __________

    So, an important advisor to the President didn't know that Russia Today is a registered foreign agent....Dumber than a box of rocks or willfully "ignorant"? Hey, why not both?

    Reminds me of Kelly Loeffler claiming that she's "not familiar" with the Access Hollywood audio recording of Donald Trump bragging about being a serial sex predator. You know the one, it goes something like this:

    I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything. ~ Donald John Trump


    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by surfgun View Post
    Somehow according to some here, Trump must be responsible for the 47k Covid deaths in the UK!?
    Now you're just flailing around, punching at mirages.

    Have you been sleeping well lately?

    Leave a comment:


  • surfgun
    replied
    Somehow according to some here, Trump must be responsible for the 47k Covid deaths in the UK!?

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by surfgun View Post
    Damn that Wuhan Flu! China will pay for their Biological warfare.
    Try to be a least a little bit subtle about your trolling eh?

    Leave a comment:


  • surfgun
    replied
    Damn that Wuhan Flu! China will pay for their Biological warfare.

    Leave a comment:

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