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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#9661 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-16, 10:30

View Posty66, on 2018-March-16, 09:08, said:

Lamb won because he was a formidable candidate who took kenberg's advice seriously and because Saccone's Trump wingman wannabe strategy and the Republican strategy of doubling down on their "we did it for you tax reform message" did not go over well. The margin in PA was razor thin relative to 50% but hardly razor thin compared to November 2016. IMO, the message is that even disaffected voters are fed up with the dysfunction in Congress and are ready to listen to politicians who are ready to listen to them and move away from the fringes toward the middle which, ironically, is where Trump stands politically. Politically moderate is one thing. But it's not enough to offset being a pig, a racist, an oligarch, a petty tyrant and an effing moron. The idea that McConnell, Ryan and their ilk or anyone can lead Trump is mind boggling.

Perhaps "make use of" would have been a better phrasing?
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#9662 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-16, 20:37

This came out Monday night. On Tuesday morning, Tillerson was fired.

Quote

The United States was in touch with our Allies in the United Kingdom ahead of today’s announcement, including in a call between Secretary Tillerson and Foreign Secretary Johnson this morning. We have full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury last week.


Then this happened.

Quote

Two U.S. officials told the Associated Press that Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was dismissed after he penned a statement that contradicted the official account of why the secretary of state was fired..


All of that becomes really interesting when paired with this from Vanity Fair.

Quote

The special counsel is expected to indict the Russians who hacked the D.N.C., and the Americans who may have aided them. But some see the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain as a chilling message to witnesses and possible cooperators
.

Either the WH is lying or the State Department is lying.
It's hard to tell if this is Watergate or Goodfellows - maybe both times 10.
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#9663 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 08:37

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-16, 20:37, said:

This came out Monday night. On Tuesday morning, Tillerson was fired.


Then this happened.


All of that becomes really interesting when paired with this from Vanity Fair.
.

Either the WH is lying or the State Department is lying.
It's hard to tell if this is Watergate or Goodfellows - maybe both times 10.

Mmmm hmmm.

http://foreignpolicy...ions-by-poison/

Potentially nothing new under the sun. . .
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#9664 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 09:08

View PostRedSpawn, on 2018-March-17, 08:37, said:

Mmmm hmmm.

http://foreignpolicy...ions-by-poison/

Potentially nothing new under the sun. . .


Nothing new concerning Putin's blatant aggression. The issue is whether or not Tillerson's firing was connected to his strong criticism of Putin and Russia and Goldstein's firing was related to exposing the WH lies.
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#9665 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 09:11

Would it be possible that Mueller is slow-playing his hand until after the November elections play out?
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#9666 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 11:39

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-17, 09:11, said:

Would it be possible that Mueller is slow-playing his hand until after the November elections play out?

Wouldn't he be going as fast as possible B4 he gets shut down?
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#9667 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 14:04

View PostAl_U_Card, on 2018-March-17, 11:39, said:

Wouldn't he be going as fast as possible B4 he gets shut down?


He won't get shut down.
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#9668 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 14:36

Good article about the McCabe firing

https://lawfareblog....g-andrew-mccabe
Alderaan delenda est
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#9669 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 18:20

I bet this guy knows more than we do:

Congressman Eric Swalwell

Quote

“Gloat now, but you will be fired soon. And it’s not going to be done cowardly, as you’ve done to so many who’ve served you. There’s a storm gathering, Mr. President, and it’s going to wipe out you and your corrupt organization all the way down to the studs.”


...wipe out you and your corrupt organization. https://www.youtube....h?v=vYabrQrXt4A
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#9670 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-17, 21:07

Curiouser and curiouser

NYT: https://www.nytimes....ica-russia.html

Quote

We’ve never worked in Russia,” said Mr. Nix, head of a data consulting firm that advised the Trump campaign on targeting voters.

“As far as I’m aware, we’ve never worked for a Russian company,” Mr. Nix added. “We’ve never worked with a Russian organization in Russia or any other country, and we don’t have any relationship with Russia or Russian individuals.”

But Mr. Nix’s business did have some dealings with Russian interests, according to company documents and interviews.

Mr. Nix is a director of SCL Group, a British political and defense contractor, and chief executive of its American offshoot, Cambridge Analytica, which advised the Trump campaign. The firms’ employees, who often overlap, had contact in 2014 and 2015 with executives from Lukoil, the Russian oil giant.

Lukoil was interested in how data was used to target American voters, according to two former company insiders who said there were at least three meetings with Lukoil executives in London and Turkey. SCL and Lukoil denied that the talks were political in nature, and SCL also said there were no meetings in London.

The contacts took place as Cambridge Analytica was building a roster of Republican political clients in the United States — and harvesting the Facebook profiles of over 50 million users to develop tools it said could analyze voters’ behavior.

Cambridge Analytica also included extensive questions about Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, in surveys it was carrying out in American focus groups in 2014. It is not clear what — or which client — prompted the line of questioning, which asked for views on topics ranging from Mr. Putin’s popularity to Russian expansionism.

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#9671 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-March-18, 06:57

From Andrew Sullivan's NYT review of IMPEACHMENT A Citizen’s Guide By Cass R. Sunstein and CAN IT HAPPEN HERE? Authoritarianism in America Edited by Cass R. Sunstein:

Quote

Yet even if that evidence were incontrovertible (and that could still emerge in Mueller’s investigation), impeachment remains a political decision. Which means that unless we experience some kind of unprecedented sea change in the pathological tribalism that now defines our politics, impeachment is a dead letter. What makes Trump immune is that he is not a president within the context of a healthy republican government. He is a cult leader of a movement that has taken over a political party — and he specifically campaigned on a platform of one-man rule. This fact permeates “Can It Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America,” a collection of essays by a number of writers that has been edited by Sunstein, which concludes, if you read between the lines, that “it” already has.

No, Trump is not about to initiate a coup, or suspend elections or become a dictator. The more likely model for American authoritarianism is that of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey or the Fidesz party in Hungary. The dismemberment of a public discourse centered on objective truth is a key first step, fomented by unceasing dissemination of outright lies from the very top, metabolized by tribal social media, ever more extreme talk radio and what is essentially a state propaganda channel, Fox News. The neutering of the courts is the second step — and Trump is well on his way to (constitutionally) establishing a federal judiciary whose most important feature will be reliable assent to executive power. Congress itself has far less approval than Trump; its inability to do anything but further bankrupt the country, enrich the oligarchy and sabotage many Americans’ health care leaves an aching void filled by … a president who repeatedly insists that “I am the only one who matters.”

I don’t think Trump has a conscious intent to vandalize liberal democracy — he doesn’t even understand what it is. Rather, his twisted, compulsive insecurity requires him to use his office to attack, delegitimize and weaken every democratic institution that may occasionally operate outside his own delusional narcissism. He cannot help this. His tweets are a function of spasms, not plots. But the wreckage after only one year is extraordinary. The F.B.I. is now widely discredited; the C.I.A. is held in contempt; judges, according to the president, are driven by prejudice and partisanship (when they disagree with him); the media produce fake news; Congress is useless (including both Republicans and Democrats); alliances are essentially rip-offs; the State Department — along with the whole idea of a neutral Civil Service — is unnecessary. And the possibility of reasoned deliberation at the heart of democratic life has been obliterated by the white-hot racial and cultural hatreds that Trump was able to exploit to get elected and that he constantly fuels.

The Democrats find themselves in opposition a little like Marco Rubio in the primaries. Take the high road and you are irrelevant; take the low road and you cannot compete with the biggest bully and liar on the block. The result is that an unimpeachable president is slowly constructing the kind of authoritarian state that America was actually founded to overthrow.

There is nothing in the Constitution’s formal operation that can prevent this. Impeachment certainly cannot. As long as one major political party endorses it, and a solid plurality of Americans support such an authoritarian slide, it is unstoppable. The founders knew that without a virtuous citizenry, the Constitution was a mere piece of paper and, in Madison’s words, “no theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure.” Franklin was blunter in forecasting the moment we are now in: He believed that the American experiment in self-government “can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.” You can impeach a president, but you can’t, alas, impeach the people. They voted for the kind of monarchy the American republic was designed, above all else, to resist; and they have gotten one.

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#9672 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-18, 08:27

View Posty66, on 2018-March-18, 06:57, said:

From Andrew Sullivan's NYT review of IMPEACHMENT A Citizen’s Guide By Cass R. Sunstein and CAN IT HAPPEN HERE? Authoritarianism in America Edited by Cass R. Sunstein:


How is the "talking points" avalanche stopped or controlled? I was watching a little George Stephanopoulos this morning and a Republican spokesman of some sort was repeating the right-wing talking points about the McCabe firing. When that point was challenged by the host, instead of answering or defending his claims, the guest started talking about Comey.

The difficulty is that unless you keep yourself well-informed, these misleading sound-bytes are all you hear. It is like what Sullivan's article quoted about Franklin's ideas: "....when the people become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other."

We have met the enemy....
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#9673 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-18, 12:13

I rather like this NBC News analysis about the McCabe firing as it takes a larger view and speaks to the motivations:

Quote

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump had to cheer the firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to sell the narrative that he is the victim of a bipartisan conspiracy, carried out over two administrations, to deny him the presidency and then discredit him once he won it.

For the president's version of events to hold up, the FBI and Justice Department have to be infested with his political enemies, with those so bent on destroying him that they will violate the public trust to do it. It's a case Trump and his allies have been making for so long and with such conviction that condemning the FBI, the Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller has become conservative liturgy by now.

And it's the predicate to push the case that the Russia probe should end, as Trump's lawyer did Saturday.


Oh, look! It's another gigantic conspiracy - most likely Obama's fault - (who isn't, btw, a real American). And yet, there are still those who believe. Reminds me of a song.

If I listen long enough to you
I'd find the way to believe that it's all true
Knowing that you lied straight face
While I cried
And still I look
To find a reason to believe

Whatever is so necessary to hide from the past that the creation of all this faux ruckus becomes priority...could it be hiding something of a criminal nature...?
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#9674 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2018-March-18, 13:55

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-18, 08:27, said:

How is the "talking points" avalanche stopped or controlled?

There's a 12 step program for this. When a guest goes into talking point mode you turn away and walk 12 steps in the other direction. It works for FOX news too.
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#9675 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-18, 15:32

Looks like the AP has Kushner nailed on this.

Quote

NEW YORK (AP) — When the Kushner Cos. bought three apartment buildings in a gentrifying neighborhood of Queens in 2015, most of the tenants were protected by special rules that prevent developers from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a tidy profit.

But that’s exactly what the company then run by Jared Kushner did, and with remarkable speed. Two years later, it sold all three buildings for $60 million, nearly 50 percent more than it paid.


Now a clue has emerged as to how President Donald Trump’s son-in-law’s firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.


It is shocking to find out that Kushner Cos could have lied or failed to accurately report, isn't it?
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#9676 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-18, 15:54

Oops! Jeff Sessions seems to have a problem.

Quote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony that he opposed a proposal for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign team to meet with Russians has been contradicted by three people who told Reuters they have spoken about the matter to investigators with Special Counsel Robert Mueller or congressional committees.

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#9677 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-19, 09:54

A report from the BBC shows an investigation by the Attorney General of Massachusetts into Cambridge Analytica. This could turn out to be important as state crimes cannot be pardoned by the president, and Cambridge Analytica involves the Mercers and Steve Bannon.
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#9678 User is offline   RedSpawn 

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Posted 2018-March-19, 13:06

View PostWinstonm, on 2018-March-18, 12:13, said:

I rather like this NBC News analysis about the McCabe firing as it takes a larger view and speaks to the motivations:

Quote

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump had to cheer the firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to sell the narrative that he is the victim of a bipartisan conspiracy, carried out over two administrations, to deny him the presidency and then discredit him once he won it.

For the president's version of events to hold up, the FBI and Justice Department have to be infested with his political enemies, with those so bent on destroying him that they will violate the public trust to do it. It's a case Trump and his allies have been making for so long and with such conviction that condemning the FBI, the Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller has become conservative liturgy by now.

And it's the predicate to push the case that the Russia probe should end, as Trump's lawyer did Saturday.

Oh, look! It's another gigantic conspiracy - most likely Obama's fault - (who isn't, btw, a real American). And yet, there are still those who believe. Reminds me of a song.


If I listen long enough to you
I'd find the way to believe that it's all true
Knowing that you lied straight face
While I cried
And still I look
To find a reason to believe


Whatever is so necessary to hide from the past that the creation of all this faux ruckus becomes priority...could it be hiding something of a criminal nature...?


Winston,

In all fairness, it is quite plausible that the U.S. government will knowingly and willfully violate the public trust to achieve its own objectives (even under President Obama's Administration).

Let us not forget that Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and CIA (along with complicity of the White House) violated the 4th amendment by masterminding a PRISM program that would vacuum e-mail data without federal warrants and maintain copies for future reference in case of terrorist activities. These agencies did not use the judicial system to make the case for their search and seizure of electronic e-mails of certain individuals who could potentially be terrorists. In fact, they saw the judicial system and the process of "proving" the need for a federal warrant burdensome and time consuming, so as per usual they took shortcuts by knowingly violating federal law and even keeping certain high-level Congressional officials in the dark about these electronic surveillance programs.

The CIA and NSA also knowingly violated privacy laws to achieve its own ends.
Source: http://america.aljaz...ernalaudit.html

Source on NSA and CIA violations: http://www.businessi...timeline-2016-9

These agencies violate the public trust because "all's fair in love and war and espionage". . . even the war on TERROR.

The NSA and the CIA use the United States Constitution as toilet paper and we, the citizens of the United States, accept these violations without significant protest because we are willing to surrender our liberty and freedom for the illusion of temporary safety.

Are we to believe that the FBI and Justice Department are immune to the human frailty of becoming corrupted by absolute power and are thus, beyond reproach for "dirty politics"?

Source for Justice Department violations: https://www.washingt...m=.d7a24f35ec6a
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#9679 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-19, 13:11

An expose' on Cambridge Analytica, the firm used by the president's election campaign.

Quote

The company at the centre of the Facebook data breach boasted of using honey traps, fake news campaigns and operations with ex-spies to swing election campaigns around the world, a new investigation reveals.

Executives from Cambridge Analytica spoke to undercover reporters from Channel 4 News about the dark arts used by the company to help clients, which included entrapping rival candidates in fake bribery stings and hiring prostitutes to seduce them.

In one exchange, the company chief executive, Alexander Nix, is recorded telling reporters: “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to be true as long as they’re believed.

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#9680 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2018-March-19, 13:12

View PostRedSpawn, on 2018-March-19, 13:06, said:

Winston,

In all fairness, it is NOT implausible to believe that the U.S. government will knowingly and willfully violate the public trust to achieve its own objectives (even under President Obama's Administration).

Let us not forget that Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and CIA (along with complicity of the White House) violated the 4th amendment by masterminding a PRISM program that would vacuum e-mail data without federal warrants and maintain copies for future reference in case of terrorist activities. These agencies did not use the judicial system to make the case for their search and seizure of electronic e-mails of certain individuals who could potentially be terrorists. In fact, they saw the judicial system and the process of "proving" the need for a federal warrant burdensome and time consuming, so as per usual they took shortcuts by knowingly violating federal law and even keeping certain high-level Congressional officials in the dark about these electronic surveillance programs.

The CIA and NSA also knowingly violated privacy laws to achieve its own ends.
Source: http://america.aljaz...ernalaudit.html

Source on NSA and CIA violations: http://www.businessi...timeline-2016-9

These agencies violate the public trust because "all's fair in love and war and espionage". . . even the war on TERROR.

The NSA and the CIA use the United States Constitution as toilet paper and we, the citizens of the United States, accept these violations without significant protest.

Are we to believe that the FBI and Justice Department are immune to the human frailty of becoming corrupted by absolute power and are thus, beyond reproach for "dirty politics"? Source: https://www.washingt...m=.d7a24f35ec6a

False equivalency - has nothing to do with this president's motives for attacking the FBI and others.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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