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2020 American Political Scene

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  • Exactly which parts of the Constitution of the United States of America don't work?

    This part, designed to prevent corruption by foreign powers?
    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
    –Article I, Section 9, Clause 8

    According to the DOJ, “[t]he language of the Emoluments Clause is both sweeping and unqualified. See 49 Comp. Gen. 819, 821 (1970) (the "drafters [of the Clause] intended the prohibition to have the broadest possible scope and applicability"). It prohibits those holding offices of profit or trust under the United States from accepting "any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever" from "any . . . foreign State" unless Congress consents. U.S. Const, art. I, § 9, cl. 8 (emphasis added). . . . The decision whether to permit exceptions that qualify the Clause's absolute prohibition or that temper any harshness it may cause is textually committed to Congress, which may give consent to the acceptance of offices or emoluments otherwise barred by the Clause.”

    a “present, … of any kind whatever, from any … foreign State.”
    Say, 38 Chinese trademarks? Or, Saudis paying through the nose for Trumpet hotel rooms?

    Question: If the orange baboon wasn't personally involved, who here would still have no objection to foreign governments bribing the POTUS?

    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!


    • Judge orders Eric Trump to testify before election in New York attorney general probe of President Trump’s company

      Eric Trump must testify in response to a subpoena from the New York Attorney General’s office before the presidential election as part of an investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s company improperly valued real estate assets in official statements, a judge ordered Wednesday.

      Eric Trump, who is the president’s middle son and a top executive in the Trump Organization, must testify no later than Oct. 7, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled after a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court, where Trump’s lawyers had asked to delay his deposition until after the election.

      Engoron noted that, “Mr. Trump cites no authority in support of his request, and at any event, neither petitioner nor this court is bound by timelines of the national election.”

      Attorney General Letitia James’s office called the ruling a “major victory.”

      “The court’s order today makes clear that no one is above the law, not even an organization or an individual with the name Trump,” James said in a prepared statement.

      The attorney general is investigating whether the New York-based Trump Organization improperly inflated the values of several real estate assets on annual financial statements that were used to obtain loans, as well as to get economic and tax benefits related to those properties.

      James last month had filed an action with the court seeking Eric Trump’s compliance with the subpoena after she said that he had reneged on an agreement to testify this summer.

      James also sought to force compliance with subpoenas seeking documentation and testimony related to several Trump properties. Her office noted Wednesday that the judge’s order will give her access to documents that have been “withheld by the Trump Organization.”

      Lawyers for Eric Trump later said that he was willing to be deposed as part of James’s probe of the Trump Organization, but only after the Nov. 3 contest between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

      Attorneys for the AG’s office argued to the judge earlier Wednesday that Eric Trump has no right to delay a subpoena for his testimony as part of an ongoing investigation.

      “We simply can’t delay compliance for another two months,” one of those attorneys, Matthew Colangelo, said during a video conference before Engoron.

      “Mr. [Eric] Trump is asking for a further two-month delay ... to the middle of November in response to a subpoena that was served in may and where the parties agreed in early june on a date for his attendance,” Colangelo said.

      “Mr. Trump shouldn’t be able to profit from his own dilatory conduct here.”

      Engoron later noted, “Mr. Trump now waives any objection to his deposition, but seeks to delay his deposition until after Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.″

      “This court finds that application unpersuasive,” Engoron said. “Accordingly, this court hereby orders Eric Trump to appear for his deposition no later than Oct. 7, 2020.”

      James, in her statement after the ruling, said, “Justice and the rule of law prevailed today.”

      “We will immediately move to ensure that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization comply with the court’s order and submit financial records related to our investigation.”

      ’Further, Eric Trump will no longer be able to delay his interview and will be sitting down with investigators in my office no later than October 7. To be clear, no entity or individual is allowed to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or set the parameters of a lawful investigation.”

      The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the judge’s order.

      James launched the investigation into the Trump Organization last year after President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, during testimony to Congress the the president’s annual financial statements inflated the values of Trump’s assets to obtain favorable terms for loans and insurance coverage.

      The assets that James is eyeing include Seven Springs Estate, a 212-acre property in Westchester County, New York.

      Court filings note that valuations of Seven Springs were used to claim an apparent tax deduction of more than $21 million, based on the donation of a conservation easement on the property.

      The Financial Times last year noted that Trump purchased Seven Springs for $7.5 million in 1996, but valued it at more than $290 million in 2012. Forbes magazine in 2014 said that the entire property was worth less than $19.5 million, citing recent property sales and local realtors and assessors.

      James’ office also says it is investigating a Trump building at 40 Wall St. in Manhattan, the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, and theTrump National Golf Club – Los Angeles.

      The civil investigation by James is separate from a criminal investigation being conducted by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

      President Trump is fighting a last-ditch legal effort to block a grand jury subpoena issued as part of Vance’s probe, which seeks eight years of Trump’s income tax returns and other financial records from the president’s accountants.

      Vance’s office earlier this week said in a federal appeals court filing that the subpoena is more than justified by news reports that have raised the prospect that Trump and his company misstated the values of their business properties at different times.

      The filings said that if that is the case, a number of crimes, including ones related to taxes, could have been committed.

      Tick-tock, tick-tock....

      "To be clear, no entity or individual is allowed to dictate how or when our investigation will proceed or set the parameters of a lawful investigation.”

      You know, Law and order and all that hokum.

      A Trump being deposed lol "I don't recall"...."I'm not sure"...."I can't remember"..."That wasn't me"....

      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


      • Originally posted by DOR View Post
        Question: If the orange baboon wasn't personally involved, who here would still have no objection to foreign governments bribing the POTUS?
        Well, Donald Trump feels that US companies should be able to bribe foreign governments/companies in order to secure contracts....and we all know how he loves being bribed himself, so......
        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


        • Things going on over at my side means i don't have the mental bandwidth to play here. First i heard Bannon got arrested


          • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

            Well, Donald Trump feels that US companies should be able to bribe foreign governments/companies in order to secure contracts....and we all know how he loves being bribed himself, so......
            He's got the experience having dealt with the Mafia in New York construction in the 70s.


            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

              Well, Donald Trump feels that US companies should be able to bribe foreign governments/companies in order to secure contracts....and we all know how he loves being bribed himself, so......
              Hold on.
              One minute.
              Just a second.

              ... someone actually tried to bribe The Trumpet, before he was president?

              Why? What could he possibly do that would be worth a bribe?
              Trust me?
              I'm an economist!


              • John Michael Goulart Jr., an officer in Pineville, Louisiana, is accused of having "altered the facts" after shooting himself, the police department said.
                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                Mark Twain


                • Lindsey Graham Begs For Campaign Donations on Fox News: ‘I’m Being KILLED Financially’

                  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) repeatedly begged for campaign donations during an appearance on Fox & Friends, claiming he’s “being killed financially” and needs “some help.”

                  While discussing the Supreme Court on Thursday, Graham said, “They are going to try to destroy the nominee. The liberal media with the Democratic radical left tried to destroy Kavanaugh. This is going to be the Super Bowl of politics.”

                  “Act Blue raised $150 million right after the death of Justice Ginsburg within 3 days. My opponent raised $6 million. I’m being outspent four-to-one. Outraised five-to-one,” he continued, adding, “ if you want to help me close the gap. I need some help.”

                  Upon being asked further by Ainsley Earhardtabout his opponent raising more money, Graham explained, “It’s ActBlue money. Forty-eight percent of the people who gave money to ActBlue were unemployed in 2019.”

                  “This is a vehicle to get low-dollar donations. My opponent will raise almost $100 million, Ainsley, in the state of South Carolina. The most money ever spent in the history of the state on a Senate race was by me in 2014 when I spent 13 million,” he declared. “He raised $6 million from the time Justice Ginsburg passed away, within 72 hours.”

                  “And God bless Justice Ginsburg, we are celebrating her life — I appreciate waiting Saturday to announce the replacement — but I’m being killed financially. This money is ’cause they hate my guts,” Graham went on, claiming, “I stood up for Kavanaugh at a time when they wanted to destroy his life, and I dared to help President Trump, the unpardonable sin of a Republican, so the wrath of the left is coming down on me, but it’s all of us. All of us are getting outraised.”

                  The senator concluded by saying, “To those who are listening who want to help Republicans fight back, get on our website, it’s Five or ten bucks goes a long way if enough people do it.”

                  So, Graham is getting "killed" financially by people who didn't have a job in 2019? Not sure how he knows that, or how it's even relevant except to show just how much people do indeed hate his guts.

                  Who woulda thought that a South Carolina Republican would be crying and begging like a little bitch just a month before the election

                  I mean, c'mon, South Carolina has gone red every election except one since 1972 and Graham is still favored to win this year, even after proving (again) what a spineless whore he is.

                  Quit your whining and be a man for once.
                  My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                  • Ex-Trump administration officials all seem to agree on one thing: Their former boss is a walking disaster.

                    A common theme has emerged from comments made by ex-Trump administration officials. Whether they were four star generals, energy company CEOs, or career civil servants, they all say their former boss is dangerously ignorant, inexcusably incompetent, and frighteningly unstable.

                    In the face of this consistent and specific criticism from a slew of highly qualified people he hired, Trump's response has been to call them liars, cowards, bitter or "dumb as a rock."

                    The president would have the American people believe that all of these former subordinates — most of them loyal, lifelong Republicans — have got it all wrong. Only he has it right.

                    The question that Trump supporters or Trump-sympathetic voters need to ask themselves is: Who are you going to believe?
                    A brief list of ex-Trump administration officials' testimonials for the president

                    There's far too many to recount, so let's recall just a few of the more high-profile veterans of the Trump White House:
                    • Trump's former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, a former president and chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs, reportedly called Trump a "professional liar."
                    • Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who prior to joining the Trump administration was the CEO of ExxonMobil, in a meeting at the Pentagon reportedly called Trump a "f**king moron."
                    • Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who previously served as an ambassador to the UN and has worked in three Republican presidential administrations, in his memoir called Trump "erratic" and "stunningly uninformed."
                    • Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a four star US Marine Corps general who commanded troops in three wars, in a statement in June said Trump "tries to divide us," that he makes "a mockery of the Constitution" and that "we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership." He also told veteran journalist Bob Woodward: "The president has no moral compass."
                    • Former White House Chief of Staff and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, also a four star US Marine Corps general, has been the tightest-lipped about his time working for Trump. But he did say he agrees with Mattis' assessment of Trump, and he publicly disputed Trump's claim that he fired Mattis. That means Kelly effectively called Trump a liar.
                    Every ex-Trump administration official can't be a secret Democrat

                    Nobody circles the wagons, moves the goalposts or changes the subject quite like hardcore Trump supporters.

                    When audio recordings of Trump bragging that he grabs women he just by their genitals, Trumpists whatabouted their way into Bill Clinton's sordid past.

                    When White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump — the president's son-in-law and daughter — were revealed to have used private email accounts to conduct government business, the same people screaming at Trump rallies to lock Hillary Clinton up simply yawned.

                    When reports emerged of Trump disparaging fallen members of the military as "suckers," they dismissed the anonymous sourcing out of hand. Never mind the fact that disparaging military personnel is nothing new for Trump, who has himself been an anonymous source in the media for decades.

                    It will never matter to Trump's base that the people who have worked intimately with the president at the highest levels of the administration think he's a dangerous, dishonest buffoon.

                    Theirs is a cult of personality.

                    As long as Trump continues to "trigger the libs," they'll abide every easily disprovable lie, every deranged conspiracy theory, and every just plain stupid thing that dribbles out of his mouth.

                    But the reluctant 2016 Trump voters and Never Democrat voters ought to consider the words of the Trump former administration officials. They're not secret Democratic activists. They're staunch conservatives, or in the case of the generals, devout patriots who felt it their national duty to accept the president's offers.

                    They've all seen Trump's leadership in action. And they've told us it is a horrifying thing to behold. Trump says they're all liars.

                    Who are you going to believe?

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                    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                    • Originally posted by Washington_Post

                      George W. Bush's ardent speech on democracy, in 3 minutes

                      Published on Oct 19, 2017
                      Former president George W. Bush spoke about the perils facing U.S. democracy on Oct. 19, and appeared to weigh in on President Trump's tenure.


                      • Appeals Court runs out of patience with fight over Trump's taxes, calling his claims 'highly contrived'

                        NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s relentless fight to keep his taxes from Manhattan District Cy Vance may soon reach an end.

                        The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ran out of patience Friday with Trump’s legal challenges to Vance’s subpoenas on his longtime accounting firm.

                        All three judges on the panel appeared deeply skeptical of arguments by Trump attorney William Consovoy.

                        Judge Raymond Lohier wondered if there was any subpoena Trump would consider justified.

                        “Is there a request for documents … that would not, in your view, be overbroad?” Lohier asked.

                        No, Consovoy replied.

                        “That’s a problem. You see why that’s a problem,” Lohier said.

                        Judge Pierre Leval called Trump’s allegations against Vance “deeply contrived.”

                        Judge Robert Katzmann scoffed at Trump’s claim that the grand jury Vance is using to investigate the Trump Organization should be limited in scope. The grand jury is probing the company’s accounting practices, among other issues.

                        “Grand juries, as you know, are given broad authority to do their work. Are you asking us to change the way grand juries have done their work for time immemorial just because someone is President of the United States?” Katzmann asked.

                        Perhaps most significantly for Trump, Leval indicated that the only thing stopping Vance from enforcing his subpoena on Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, was Vance himself. The DA has agreed with Trump to delay enforcement of the demand while Trump pursued appeals. The judge requested further briefing on the issue.

                        Trump sued to block the subpoenas over a year ago, arguing that he was entitled to broad immunity from criminal investigation while in the White House. The Supreme Court rejected that claim in July.

                        “No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in an historic decision.

                        The case returned to the lower court, where Trump pursued arguments that Vance was on an improper fishing expedition and that the subpoena was overbroad.

                        Judge Victor Marrero then ruled in August that it was time for Trump to comply with Vance’s demand, just as any other citizen would.

                        “Justice requires an end to this controversy,” he wrote.

                        Trump then appealed that decision, bringing the case before the 2nd Circuit yet again.

                        Court filings have hinted that Vance’s probe may go beyond hush money to women in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election and include a probe of possible insurance and bank fraud, among other financial crimes.

                        Trump and his lawyers are still playing the "I'm above all law" card. Apparently the concept of "law and order" is merely so much hokum to them.
                        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                        • Court allows House Democrats to challenge Trump’s use of military funding to build the border wall

                          (Reuters) - A federal appeals court handed a win to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, saying the Democratic-led chamber could proceed with a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's diversion of funds to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

                          Reversing a lower court judge, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said in a 3-0 decision that the House had legal standing to sue Trump for using money to build the wall that was appropriated by Congress for other purposes.

                          The case now returns to a lower court, where House Democrats will argue that diverting the funds violated the separation of powers doctrine laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

                          A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, which argued for the administration in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

                          The wall was Trump's signature 2016 campaign promise, and at the time he insisted that Mexico would pay for it. Mexico never agreed to that and has not done so.

                          The three-judge panel cited an Aug. 7 ruling by the same court that a House panel could sue to enforce a subpoena issued to former White House Counsel Don McGahn. That case was later dismissed on other grounds.

                          In February 2019, after a protracted political battle and a government shutdown, Congress approved $1.38 billion for construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas, well short of Trump’s demands.

                          To obtain additional funds for the wall, Trump declared a national emergency and his administration said it planned to divert $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion earmarked for Department of Defense counterparties programs and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.

                          "Trump's a businessman and he'll run this country like a business!"

                          Um, yeah, he's going to run it like one of HIS businesses.
                          My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                          • Trump’s Tax Returns Leaked

                            The New York Times obtained President Trump’s tax information “extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.”

                            Key takeaway: “He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

                            “As the president wages a re-election campaign that polls say he is in danger of losing, his finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.”

                            “The tax returns that Mr. Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public. His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.”

                            Hey look at that, right on cue!


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                            My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                            • and just in case that wasn't slimy enough: back in 1990, he sent a lawyer and and an accountant to pressure his old man, suffering from dementia, into changing his will.

                              I can't even begin to describe the scorn and contempt I have for his supporters.


                              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


                              • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                                I can't even begin to describe the scorn and contempt I have for his supporters.
                                Hey c'mon man, don't be so harsh. Trump is the anti-lefty! Isn't that worth selling your soul for?
                                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.