Author Topic: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...  (Read 312319 times)

nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1651 on: May 08, 2018, 08:03:28 PM »
I don't see how we wind up in a true world war from where we are now. The US (particularly under this administration) has no appetite for boots-on-the-ground occupation of new countries

Do you think the US was eager to get involved in either of the last two world wars?  We fought internally for years to resist the need to step up.  We always joined last.

I think it's a pretty easy path to envision, because it would follow the same path as before.  A minor regional skirmish, probably a proxy for a larger conflict between larger nations, would cause one nation to invade another's territory under guise of "liberation" or "emancipation" or "reunification", and the invaded country would call upon the treaty obligations of their allies for defense.  The cascade of treaty alliances eventually sucks everyone one.  For example, as soon as the first NATO state suffers casualties, every NATO state is suddenly involved.

East Asia and the Middle East are both ripe for this sort of thing.  They have long simmering regional conflicts with superpower backing, racial tensions, resource disparities, disputed land ownership, and abundant cannon fodder populations.  I'll be shocked if we make it another 20 years without one or both of these areas turning into a hot war that could potentially go global.
you make some good and interesting points as always, Sol. 
I hope for everyone's sake you are wrong on this account.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1652 on: May 08, 2018, 08:20:46 PM »
you make some good and interesting points as always, Sol. 
I hope for everyone's sake you are wrong on this account.

Thanks, but I'm small potatoes.  They have guys at the Pentagon who do this sort of thing for a living.  They've wargamed out every possible scenario they can think of, both in terms of narrative development but also what troop and equipment levels they would need in what places in each eventuality.  What battlegroups operating in what theaters with support from what bases, and what to do if those bases are lost or those battlegroups disabled, all the way down to the nitty gritty stuff like how long it would take them to reinstitute the draft or build more F-22s or snip some undersea cables.  It starts with potential diplomatic maneuvers that might unfold, and ends with body bags.

These narrative decision trees and the resulting response matrices are always being updated as new events unfold and change the probabilities.  I'm guessing that working there got REAL interesting when Trump got elected and everything went to hell.  Suddenly crazy shit like "maybe he'll surprise nuke North Korea" was back on the table, and they had to plan for all of it.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1653 on: May 08, 2018, 10:35:37 PM »
2024?
Yes. If he doesn't choke on a bottle of fake tan or something, we can take for granted he'll be back in 2020. The only question is whether his supporters can, by 2024, get the Constitution amended so he can have a third or more terms.

sol

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1654 on: May 08, 2018, 11:13:06 PM »
The only question is whether his supporters can, by 2024, get the Constitution amended so he can have a third or more terms.

I'm preserving this quote for the sake posterity's hilarity.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1655 on: May 08, 2018, 11:19:06 PM »
you make some good and interesting points as always, Sol. 
I hope for everyone's sake you are wrong on this account.

Thanks, but I'm small potatoes.  They have guys at the Pentagon who do this sort of thing for a living.  They've wargamed out every possible scenario they can think of, both in terms of narrative development but also what troop and equipment levels they would need in what places in each eventuality.  What battlegroups operating in what theaters with support from what bases, and what to do if those bases are lost or those battlegroups disabled, all the way down to the nitty gritty stuff like how long it would take them to reinstitute the draft or build more F-22s or snip some undersea cables.  It starts with potential diplomatic maneuvers that might unfold, and ends with body bags.

These narrative decision trees and the resulting response matrices are always being updated as new events unfold and change the probabilities.  I'm guessing that working there got REAL interesting when Trump got elected and everything went to hell.  Suddenly crazy shit like "maybe he'll surprise nuke North Korea" was back on the table, and they had to plan for all of it.

Just going to ignore Kyle, since Trump in 2020 is already seriously in doubt.

But I also seriously doubt we will head to world war over the course of one flawed administration.  In fact, China and Russia are probably quite satisfied with ascending in the world while the US is busy fighting itself (quite possibly with more domestic shootings and natural disasters).  Even North Korea will soon have it's day in the sun, by possibly playing Trump publicly in the weeks ahead.

More likely is two more years of America burning long established, hard-won bridges and losing face.  Eventually our economy, our real super-power, will begin to falter as defects and fiscal irresponsibility pile up, inflation will become a problem as a result of trade wars and sanctions, the best and brightest global students will stop coming and/or leave...  It'll be the accretion of a million little cuts that brings us to our knees, not war.  Although we get apoplectic over the headlines and Trump's latest provocative Tweet, Trump's tenure will leave America whimpering, but no bang.

Maybe it will spur us to be better, since how can the next administration not look like anything but heroes just by doing the simple, obvious steps of rejoining our long term allies in the Paris Accord and normalizing?  But America will have  lost it's mandate and integrity.  Although allies may breathe a sigh of relief when the insanity has halted, there will never be the level of admiration that Americans (probably unjustifiably) enjoyed pre-Trump.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1656 on: May 09, 2018, 12:53:37 AM »
I'm preserving this quote for the sake posterity's hilarity.
What's hilarious, that he'll be re-elected in 2020, or that his supporters would try to amend the Constitution? I didn't say they'd succeed in the latter, just that they'd try.

When he nominated himself, I said he'd win the nomination and the election. Some friends said they'd remember that and mock me later. They went quiet after a while...

Trump's a disaster for the US, but great for the rest of the world - provided he doesn't spit the dummy one day and just randomly nuke someone. If he can be restrained from that, all should be good. Well, not for Americans, but that's your fault for electing him. Keep doing it!

As others have said, the real concern for the US is not so much Trump, who is malicious but incompetent, but that he'll lay the ground for someone else who is malicious and competent. If Trump is the USA's Yeltsin, who will be the Putin?
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 12:58:55 AM by Kyle Schuant »

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1657 on: May 09, 2018, 02:29:49 AM »
The timing of this likely has the most to do with adding John Bolton to the team. He is a rabid hardliner who has never seen a regime change in the middle east that he did not like the idea of. He has been on the record wanting regime change resulting in the ouster of the mullahs in Iran for years. Promoting a deal that lends to a normalization of relations with the current leadership in Iran is anathema to Bolton's desires. He has Trump's ear, and Trump is easily swayed. The presence of John Bolton dramatically increases our risk of war in the middle east. Expect it to start with a "targeted strike" against something that someone says is nuke facility.

Possibly.  On the other hand DJT's been railing on the Iran deal since he was candidate Trump.  Another interpretation is that Trump has wanted to break the deal since he took office (because, Obama!!), but up until this point he's had people like McMaster who has kept these desires in check. Now Bolton enthusiastically eggs him on.
Either way the result is the same, so we're just waxing poetic on the mechanisms.

One point I just can't wrap my head around is how Trump's biggest criticism of the deal is that he did not like the sunset provisions which kicked in around 2030. But hte irony here is that by breaking the deal he's effectively changed the expiration date from 2030 to 2018.

I'm struck by the terminology being used here... the us is 'withdrawing' and we will 're-negotiate' while applying 'the highest level of sanctions'.
To be clear this is for a situation where Iran complied with every condition in the deal.
Imagine if it had gone another way, and Iran announced they were leaving the deal.  I imagine the words used would include 'violate' and 'break' and 'defiant' and some in this cabinet would declare this a prelude to war. The subtext here is the US can break deals without consequences, presumably because we have a superior military.
The USA already applies "the highest level of sanctions" against Iran.  The USA doesn't do business with Iran, and hasn't for decades.

When Trump and Bolton talk about applying sanctions, they mean that they will try to force Uk and French and German and Russian and Chinese and Japanese and South Korean companies not to do business with Iran.

Good luck with that, with no ambassadors in most of those places, burned leader to leader relationships with most of those places, and a hollowed out State Department that's lost all the experts who could have helped.

All of which means "applying the highest level of sanctions" is highly unlikely to have much effect.  Which leaves war, right?

Fuck Trump and fuck all his enablers and supporters. 

nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1658 on: May 09, 2018, 03:47:59 AM »
I'm preserving this quote for the sake posterity's hilarity.
What's hilarious, that he'll be re-elected in 2020, or that his supporters would try to amend the Constitution? I didn't say they'd succeed in the latter, just that they'd try.

If you think he and his supporters could amend the constitution you either do not understand how incredibly difficult this would be or you see a level of support that, frankly, is bonkers in today's day and age. It requires a level of support (2/3) in both houses that no party has held in several generations, AND the support of 38 states. It's such an objectionable idea that even most members of the GOP would say they are against it, even at a time when they hold majorities.

oh, and then you are of coure assuming that DJT will still be alive and healthy enough and popular enough for voters to elect him in 2024.

Bokners.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1659 on: May 09, 2018, 07:16:52 AM »
I'm preserving this quote for the sake posterity's hilarity.
What's hilarious, that he'll be re-elected in 2020, or that his supporters would try to amend the Constitution? I didn't say they'd succeed in the latter, just that they'd try.

If you think he and his supporters could amend the constitution you either do not understand how incredibly difficult this would be or you see a level of support that, frankly, is bonkers in today's day and age. It requires a level of support (2/3) in both houses that no party has held in several generations, AND the support of 38 states. It's such an objectionable idea that even most members of the GOP would say they are against it, even at a time when they hold majorities.

oh, and then you are of coure assuming that DJT will still be alive and healthy enough and popular enough for voters to elect him in 2024.

Bokners.
Do you put it past Trump to think he can engineer such destruction in the world that a sizeable number of the population can be induced to think of him as the only saviour?  When his alternative could be the rest of his life in Federal Prison, and significant numbers of his children with him?

nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1660 on: May 09, 2018, 07:47:44 AM »

Do you put it past Trump to think he can engineer such destruction in the world that a sizeable number of the population can be induced to think of him as the only saviour?  When his alternative could be the rest of his life in Federal Prison, and significant numbers of his children with him?
No, I don't.
There's a few reasons why - to start he wouldn't need a majority, he'd need a super-majority of elected representatives from both houses. That would be incredibly hard to pull off. The GOP would need to have gains in both houses that are far and away beyond what even the most optimistic republican pollsters are predicting. Then there's whether those elected indiivduals would even support such an amendment; much of the GOP is staunchly conservative, and resistant to changing the constitution in general, particularly in a way which could bite them in the ass down the road.

but that's just the first major obstacle; the second is getting 38 states to go along with an amendment. 21 states voted for Clinton in 2016. Nine of those states would need to 'flip'.  Given that DJT's unapproval rating  has been at or above 50% for virtually his entire presidency (save a ~2 week "honeymoon" period) its hard to fathom he'd suddenly get the landslide of support necessary to evoke such changes.

There's actually a much more plausable scenario where DJT wins election in 2024; he loses the race (either in the primary or to a Dem challenger) in 2020 but that individual is seen as particularly disasterous. Then he could run a resurgent campaign in 2024. However, Trump has complained so much publicly about how much worse off his life is now that he's president that I tend to think he'd just sit back and make daily calls to Fox complaining about how much of an idiot his successor is, without actually having to step back into the ring.

FWIW, I also think there's a sizable chance that the next president (whenever and whomever that is) will blanket pardon DJT, the way that Nixon was pardoned. Otherwise this distraction will continue indefinitely and the populace will remain highly fragmented. He still may be in a heap of trouble in civil court, and could lose much of his supposed wealth to fines and settlements - but I tend to think that's as far as it goes.  Of course much of this depends on what more is to be discovered and revealed by Mueller et al.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1661 on: May 09, 2018, 07:51:38 AM »
I don't see how we wind up in a true world war from where we are now. The US (particularly under this administration) has no appetite for boots-on-the-ground occupation of new countries

Do you think the US was eager to get involved in either of the last two world wars?  We fought internally for years to resist the need to step up.  We always joined last.

I think it's a pretty easy path to envision, because it would follow the same path as before.  A minor regional skirmish, probably a proxy for a larger conflict between larger nations, would cause one nation to invade another's territory under guise of "liberation" or "emancipation" or "reunification", and the invaded country would call upon the treaty obligations of their allies for defense.  The cascade of treaty alliances eventually sucks everyone in.  For example, as soon as the first NATO state suffers casualties, every NATO state is suddenly involved.

East Asia and the Middle East are both ripe for this sort of thing.  They have long simmering regional conflicts with superpower backing, racial tensions, resource disparities, disputed land ownership, and abundant cannon fodder populations.  I'll be shocked if we make it another 20 years without one or both of these areas turning into a hot war that could potentially go global.

Since 2000, the three countries who have most often invaded sovereign territory are:

United States:
2015 - Syria
2003 - Iraq
2001 - Afghanistan

Israel:
2014 - Gaza
2008 - Gaza
2006 - Lebanon

Russia:
2014 - Ukraine
2008 - Georgia


My bet is that if it happens, one of those three countries is most likely to lead the invasion that kicks off the next world war.

nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1662 on: May 09, 2018, 08:09:30 AM »
Russia didn't invade Ukraine, they just sent soldiers there on vacation!  With their weapons!   And they were invited!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/28/russians-troops-fighting-in-ukraine-naw-just-on-vacation/?utm_term=.a926cfcbbae8

:-P


GuitarStv

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1663 on: May 09, 2018, 08:19:36 AM »
Russia didn't invade Ukraine, they just sent soldiers there on vacation!  With their weapons!   And they were invited!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/28/russians-troops-fighting-in-ukraine-naw-just-on-vacation/?utm_term=.a926cfcbbae8

:-P

You see why Trump loves Russians so much . . . he respects the bald faced lying in the face of overwhelming evidence.

cliffhanger

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1664 on: May 09, 2018, 11:08:51 AM »
Fuck Trump and fuck all his enablers and supporters.

Your insightful words have truly moved me and shown me the error of my ways....

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1665 on: May 09, 2018, 11:26:11 AM »
Fuck Trump and fuck all his enablers and supporters.

Your insightful words have truly moved me and shown me the error of my ways....
Glad to bring even just a little more light into the world.  For as long as it's still here.

nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1666 on: May 09, 2018, 01:02:00 PM »
Lots of news today regarding Michael Cohen.  First it was revealed that he had been paid by Columbus Nova, a company controlled by Russian Oligarch and Putin ally Victor Vekselberg.

Then we learn that Mueller has been investigating these payments since at least November 2017 (more about that in a second)

Finally, the US Treasury Inspector General is launching an investigation to determine exactly how Cohen's private bankking records were leaked.

The clouds just keep getting darker around Michael Cohen. Not only is he in jeopardy of campaign finance laws from the payment to Stormy Daniels, but now there are multiple large payments from several businesses controlled by foreign entities (including Russia). It's notable that Cohen has been mostly silent as of late rather than out declaring his innocence and trying to get ahead of these stories.  This suggests he's in talks for a plea bargain.  Meanwhile, the IG is probing how exactly those records were leaked, and Daniel's lawyer Avenatti is taking the exact opposite approach of Cohen, going on every talk show and loudly driving the narrative.  Will he wind up in legal peril as well? Also, what other payments were made to Cohen's shell company (currently much of hte money is unaccounted for), from what organizations and for what purpose(s)?

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1667 on: May 09, 2018, 01:49:52 PM »
Also, what other payments were made to Cohen's shell company (currently much of hte money is unaccounted for), from what organizations and for what purpose(s)?

Probably more embarrassing for the companies than Cohen and Trump, but we now know AT&T, Novartis, and a Korean defense company all paid Essential Consultants, the LLC established by Cohen right before the election in October 2016 (and EC, LLC's first apparent action as a company was to pay off one or more of Trump's mistresses).

And lest anyone forget, Cohen is not just some Trump lawyer, he's mentioned many times in the Steel dossier, including having traveled to Prague to meet with Russian agents, a story that he seems to have difficulty providing any legitimate alibi for.

nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1668 on: May 09, 2018, 01:56:30 PM »

And lest anyone forget, Cohen is not just some Trump lawyer, he's mentioned many times in the Steel dossier, including having traveled to Prague to meet with Russian agents, a story that he seems to have difficulty providing any legitimate alibi for.
Personal prediction*: Charges will be filed against Cohen by the end of the month.  I'm betting he'll plead guilty to at least a few things as part of a plea deal currently in the works.

Bonus - Cohen won't be the only one charged. 'Follow the money' is almost always a prosecutor's best strategy, and in this case it's less of a chain and more of an enormous spiderweb. Who else gets entangled in it?

*let's revisit this on/before June 1, shall we?

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1669 on: May 09, 2018, 02:31:30 PM »
nero, how will they weave together Cohen and Donny with this money Cohen received. Donny always 'knows nothing'.

Do they know how the money was spent? Stormy?

nereo

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1670 on: May 09, 2018, 04:25:56 PM »
nereo, how will they weave together Cohen and Donny with this money Cohen received. Donny always 'knows nothing'.

Do they know how the money was spent? Stormy?

That's an open question. First there has to be a definitive connection to find.  The most straightforward way would be if Cohen agreed to assist the investigators as part of his plea bargain.  While Cohen has gone on record saying "I will always protect Mr Trump!!" just a few months ago.  I have reasons to doubt those claims. He's a man who really, really likes luxury and I don't see him accepting a long prison sentence lightly. He also could have made that proclamation as a savvy way of providing himself some much-needed cover. We now know that Mueller was investigating Cohen's shell company months earlier, and it seems reasonable that Cohen knew the special investigators were turning over his garden. An over-the-top declaration like that seems like the perfect way to buy yourself more time in Trump's orbit.

We now know that Cohen pulled money out of his shell company "Essential Consultants" to pay the $130k to Daniels, but Essential Consultants also directly routed money to a third company to pay lawyer Keith Davidson to keep quiet the affair and impregnation of Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard by GOP donor Elliott Broidy. Those payments reportedly were for a total of $387,500.  We do know that Broidy paid Cohen $250,000 for legal fees a few months earlier, and that Broidy made several payments to Esstential Consultants.

The more that comes out, the more I think about how Cohen's records are being vetted by the 'taint team'; as such, we may not ever find out many of hte juiciest-yet-legal things Cohen and Essential Consultants have been up to.  But, if a crime of significant severity was committed it seems quite a few powerful people could be in a heap of trouble. Cohen doesn't seem to be the guy you turn to when you want to skirt the law; he seems to be the guy who will plow right over that line for a substantial fee.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1671 on: May 09, 2018, 04:41:09 PM »
nereo, how will they weave together Cohen and Donny with this money Cohen received. Donny always 'knows nothing'.

Do they know how the money was spent? Stormy?

That's an open question. First there has to be a definitive connection to find.  The most straightforward way would be if Cohen agreed to assist the investigators as part of his plea bargain.  While Cohen has gone on record saying "I will always protect Mr Trump!!" just a few months ago.  I have reasons to doubt those claims. He's a man who really, really likes luxury and I don't see him accepting a long prison sentence lightly. He also could have made that proclamation as a savvy way of providing himself some much-needed cover. We now know that Mueller was investigating Cohen's shell company months earlier, and it seems reasonable that Cohen knew the special investigators were turning over his garden. An over-the-top declaration like that seems like the perfect way to buy yourself more time in Trump's orbit.

We now know that Cohen pulled money out of his shell company "Essential Consultants" to pay the $130k to Daniels, but Essential Consultants also directly routed money to a third company to pay lawyer Keith Davidson to keep quiet the affair and impregnation of Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard by GOP donor Elliott Broidy. Those payments reportedly were for a total of $387,500.  We do know that Broidy paid Cohen $250,000 for legal fees a few months earlier, and that Broidy made several payments to Esstential Consultants.

The more that comes out, the more I think about how Cohen's records are being vetted by the 'taint team'; as such, we may not ever find out many of hte juiciest-yet-legal things Cohen and Essential Consultants have been up to.  But, if a crime of significant severity was committed it seems quite a few powerful people could be in a heap of trouble. Cohen doesn't seem to be the guy you turn to when you want to skirt the law; he seems to be the guy who will plow right over that line for a substantial fee.

I really hope the use of the phrase 'taint team' was a double entendre.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1672 on: May 09, 2018, 05:03:35 PM »
Donnie: "Cohen who? I never met the guy."


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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1673 on: May 09, 2018, 05:11:40 PM »
Donnie: "Cohen who? I never met the guy."

That's the problem with a guy who won't stop tweeting or running his mouth. His own words will be used against any of his currently claims that he 'played a very small part.'  The supreme court already showed a willingness to use his own tweets and utterances at rallies to say his travel ban was a ban targeting Muslims.
D'oh!

First rule of all defense attorneys; get your client to stop talking.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1674 on: May 10, 2018, 05:06:48 PM »
The investigations keep turning up fascinating and shocking information, but in parallel (and equally shockingly), Republicans are believing less and less in the legitimacy of the investigation: 

Quote
Only 13 percent of Republicans say that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is a “legitimate investigation.” Fully three-quarters of Republicans agree with President Donald Trump that it’s a “witch hunt.” . . . What’s more, 61 percent of Republicans believe the FBI is framing Trump
-https://www.vox.com/2018/5/10/17340200/poll-republicans-trump-fbi-mueller-witch-hunt

If both ends of this keep escalating, we really will get video evidence of Trump murdering a guy on 5th Avenue and yet the numbers for "witch hunt" and "framing" will be close to 100%.  The Republicans/Fox News & Co. have done a great job making sure no matter what the findings are, they won't matter.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1675 on: May 10, 2018, 05:30:21 PM »
The investigations keep turning up fascinating and shocking information, but in parallel (and equally shockingly), Republicans are believing less and less in the legitimacy of the investigation: 

Quote
Only 13 percent of Republicans say that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is a “legitimate investigation.” Fully three-quarters of Republicans agree with President Donald Trump that it’s a “witch hunt.” . . . What’s more, 61 percent of Republicans believe the FBI is framing Trump


One might hope that history will be a fairer judge about this investigation and those seeking to derail it. As it stands, it's monumental what's already occurred; the US National Security Advisor sacked and found guilt of perjury. Chief campaign officer facing a long list of indictments. His right-hand man has entered a plea deal and is facing over a dozen years.  Verification of a coordinated effort by a hostile nation to influence and disrupt our election.
And every day more bad news is piling up on Trump's long-time personal attorney Cohen. It now seems AT&T paid him specifically to help push their merger through, which sounds an awful-lot like lobbying. Too bad for him, he was not a registered lobbyist, so I'm expecting that to be added onto a rather lengthy list of charges, including wire fraud and campaign finance violations.

If we make a huge assumption that nothing further is forthcoming (though I expect at the very least Cohen will be charged and, likely, enter a plea-deal), this will already be one of the more significant FBI cases in the last decade. The fact that so many of these people had daily access to and made important decisions on behalf of our current president is deeply troubling, regardless of his level of involvement. Those deriding this as an illegitimate investigation are willfully ignoring its output.  And this investigation is not yet 1 year old (for comparison, most investigations by special prosecutors last 2-3 years).

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1676 on: May 10, 2018, 10:12:23 PM »
The investigations keep turning up fascinating and shocking information, but in parallel (and equally shockingly), Republicans are believing less and less in the legitimacy of the investigation: 

Quote
Only 13 percent of Republicans say that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is a “legitimate investigation.” Fully three-quarters of Republicans agree with President Donald Trump that it’s a “witch hunt.” . . . What’s more, 61 percent of Republicans believe the FBI is framing Trump


One might hope that history will be a fairer judge about this investigation and those seeking to derail it. As it stands, it's monumental what's already occurred; the US National Security Advisor sacked and found guilt of perjury. Chief campaign officer facing a long list of indictments. His right-hand man has entered a plea deal and is facing over a dozen years.  Verification of a coordinated effort by a hostile nation to influence and disrupt our election.
And every day more bad news is piling up on Trump's long-time personal attorney Cohen. It now seems AT&T paid him specifically to help push their merger through, which sounds an awful-lot like lobbying. Too bad for him, he was not a registered lobbyist, so I'm expecting that to be added onto a rather lengthy list of charges, including wire fraud and campaign finance violations.

If we make a huge assumption that nothing further is forthcoming (though I expect at the very least Cohen will be charged and, likely, enter a plea-deal), this will already be one of the more significant FBI cases in the last decade. The fact that so many of these people had daily access to and made important decisions on behalf of our current president is deeply troubling, regardless of his level of involvement. Those deriding this as an illegitimate investigation are willfully ignoring its output.  And this investigation is not yet 1 year old (for comparison, most investigations by special prosecutors last 2-3 years).

Too true, I hope history is a fairer judge.  I'm worried about surviving (mentally, hopefully don't have to worry about physically) the intervening years, though.  I mean, what is it going to do to our country when this whole puzzle comes together and 1/3 of us are ready to riot in the streets, 1/3 rally to Trump even more because he's a great guy (THEIR great guy no less) who has been framed and the other 1/3 are even more sick of the idea of politics, elections and voting altogether (i.e. fuck democracy).  I mean, with Watergate at least Nixon got less popular as the investigation developed more and more, even if he still had a 25% approval rating at the end.  I think the next 6 months to a year will be really key, depending of course on how the final puzzle does get put together and, by the way, whether we ever get to see it or not!, to seeing which fork in the road we are going to take here.  I mean, that the Watergate fork seems like the optimistic one is...disheartening.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1677 on: May 11, 2018, 11:24:56 AM »
1.   Korea Aerospace Industries are mired in a corruption scandal that have seen the CEO arrested and the Vice President commit suicide.  They are also looking for a contract with Lockheed to supply aircraft to the USA military.

2.  Trump visited South Korea 7 November 2017.  (Michael Cohen is not known to have visited South Korea.)

3.  Also in November 2017 Korea Aerospace Industries paid $150,000 to the bank account of Essential Consultants/Michael Cohen which had been used the previous month to pay off Stormy Daniels.  The money was said by KAI to have been paid at the request of a third party and they had no contact with Michael Cohen.  It was ostensibly paid for accounting advice.

Does anyone doubt that Trump or someone in Trump's entourage on that trip arranged for this payment in return for working on getting Trump to approve the deal with Lockheed?

Sources: the Michael Avenatti document, White House website, Rachael Maddow show.




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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1678 on: May 11, 2018, 11:42:21 AM »

Does anyone doubt that Trump or someone in Trump's entourage on that trip arranged for this payment in return for working on getting Trump to approve the deal with Lockheed?

IDK.  I see two possibilities here. 
The first is that Michael Cohen, denied a formal position in the Trump WH, decided to leverage his long relationship with DJT to make as much money as quickly as he could from anyone that would pay him.  DJT might not have known or might not have cared what Cohen did.
Backing this up is that none of the companies who hired Cohen got what they wnated (ATT did not get the merger, KAI did not get the contract...)

The more sinister scenario is that DJT did know and agreed to to let Cohen pedal his 'inflence' with Trump in exchange for his 'protection' against pesky charges of adultery and whatever else the media might see as unfavorable.
Backing this up is the $4MM slush fund (much of it still unaccounted for), and payments to Daniels.

Hopefully we'll find out soon enough (and by soon enough I mean in a few months or so)

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1679 on: May 11, 2018, 12:04:45 PM »

Does anyone doubt that Trump or someone in Trump's entourage on that trip arranged for this payment in return for working on getting Trump to approve the deal with Lockheed?

IDK.  I see two possibilities here. 
The first is that Michael Cohen, denied a formal position in the Trump WH, decided to leverage his long relationship with DJT to make as much money as quickly as he could from anyone that would pay him.  DJT might not have known or might not have cared what Cohen did.
Backing this up is that none of the companies who hired Cohen got what they wnated (ATT did not get the merger, KAI did not get the contract...)

The more sinister scenario is that DJT did know and agreed to to let Cohen pedal his 'inflence' with Trump in exchange for his 'protection' against pesky charges of adultery and whatever else the media might see as unfavorable.
Backing this up is the $4MM slush fund (much of it still unaccounted for), and payments to Daniels.

Hopefully we'll find out soon enough (and by soon enough I mean in a few months or so)
The problem with putting the initiative on Cohen is that I can't believe that he chose a Korean Aerospace company as one of his targets or could have possibly known who to contact there if he had.  I agree that with ATT and Novatis he could have made the first move.  But with KAI?  Coincidentally at the same time as Trump was in Korea and the people around Trump would have been in a position to make that contact?  And KAI themselves say that it wasn't Michael Cohen that set it up and (I think I remember this right) that they didn't even know the Essential Consulting account was associated with him?

I would not be at all surprised to find out that a cut (or more) from the Essential Consulting account went to some offshoot of the Trump organisation or the Trump kids.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1680 on: May 11, 2018, 12:22:53 PM »
Remember last year week when the President's doctor said his office was raided by Trump associates, then the White House CONFIRMED IT, and the doctor also said Trump dictated the "healthiest individual ever" letter during the campaign?

And remember how zero Trump supporters gave any ****s about it?

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1681 on: May 11, 2018, 12:26:20 PM »
Remember last year week when the President's doctor said his office was raided by Trump associates, then the White House CONFIRMED IT, and the doctor also said Trump dictated the "healthiest individual ever" letter during the campaign?

And remember how zero Trump supporters gave any ****s about it?
OMG, I honestly forgot about this!  I mean, I'm no longer surprised, so even at the time I knew there would be not a ripple in the calm ocean of Trump supporters unwavering support...but no one in even the super liberal media is writing a thing about it.  It was in the news for maybe 36 hours?  It hasn't been in any of my political podcasts this week.  Like not even a mention in passing!  This is a frog boiling moment.

Dabnasty

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1682 on: May 11, 2018, 12:45:19 PM »
Remember last year week when the President's doctor said his office was raided by Trump associates, then the White House CONFIRMED IT, and the doctor also said Trump dictated the "healthiest individual ever" letter during the campaign?

And remember how zero Trump supporters gave any ****s about it?
OMG, I honestly forgot about this!  I mean, I'm no longer surprised, so even at the time I knew there would be not a ripple in the calm ocean of Trump supporters unwavering support...but no one in even the super liberal media is writing a thing about it.  It was in the news for maybe 36 hours?  It hasn't been in any of my political podcasts this week.  Like not even a mention in passing!  This is a frog boiling moment.

Based on the wording I think this was a given from the beginning, but it is a little disappointing that proof of yet another lie is almost irrelevant.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1683 on: May 11, 2018, 12:46:09 PM »
Remember last year week when the President's doctor said his office was raided by Trump associates, then the White House CONFIRMED IT, and the doctor also said Trump dictated the "healthiest individual ever" letter during the campaign?

And remember how zero Trump supporters gave any ****s about it?
OMG, I honestly forgot about this!  I mean, I'm no longer surprised, so even at the time I knew there would be not a ripple in the calm ocean of Trump supporters unwavering support...but no one in even the super liberal media is writing a thing about it.  It was in the news for maybe 36 hours?  It hasn't been in any of my political podcasts this week.  Like not even a mention in passing!  This is a frog boiling moment.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/officially-calling-it-trump-has-been-normalized/msg1968678/

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1684 on: May 11, 2018, 12:47:00 PM »
Remember last year week when the President's doctor said his office was raided by Trump associates, then the White House CONFIRMED IT, and the doctor also said Trump dictated the "healthiest individual ever" letter during the campaign?

And remember how zero Trump supporters gave any ****s about it?
OMG, I honestly forgot about this!  I mean, I'm no longer surprised, so even at the time I knew there would be not a ripple in the calm ocean of Trump supporters unwavering support...but no one in even the super liberal media is writing a thing about it.  It was in the news for maybe 36 hours?  It hasn't been in any of my political podcasts this week.  Like not even a mention in passing!  This is a frog boiling moment.

Based on the wording I think this was a given from the beginning, but it is a little disappointing that proof of yet another lie is almost irrelevant.

You mean #cult45 doesn't care about the truth?

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1685 on: May 14, 2018, 02:13:30 PM »
The U.S. Embassy has opened in Jerusalem today. Looks like that went well. Without a hitch. No problems here.

Glenstache

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1686 on: May 14, 2018, 02:16:30 PM »
The U.S. Embassy has opened in Jerusalem today. Looks like that went well. Without a hitch. No problems here.
Best opening ever. Just look at the crowds!

But seriously, it is very disheartening. Real people died and it was foreseeable. *sigh*

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1687 on: May 15, 2018, 04:12:28 AM »
The U.S. Embassy has opened in Jerusalem today. Looks like that went well. Without a hitch. No problems here.
Best opening ever. Just look at the crowds!

But seriously, it is very disheartening. Real people died and it was foreseeable. *sigh*

It also happens to be the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment...

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1688 on: May 15, 2018, 05:19:07 AM »
There's a funny thing just happened - a few hours after Trump tweets his concern for Chinese jobs at a firm that's been committing industrial espionage and selling USA tech to North Korea and Iran, the Chinese government announces a half a billion dollar investment in a Trump Organisation project in Indonesia.

Weird coincidence, huh?.  It's just a small world, I guess.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1689 on: May 15, 2018, 05:41:03 AM »
There's a funny thing just happened - a few hours after Trump tweets his concern for Chinese jobs at a firm that's been committing industrial espionage and selling USA tech to North Korea and Iran, the Chinese government announces a half a billion dollar investment in a Trump Organisation project in Indonesia.

Weird coincidence, huh?.  It's just a small world, I guess.
Read about it here: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/china-contributing-500-million-trump-linked-project-indonesia/
Even the conservative (non-Fox/Brietbart) sources are labeling this worrisome.

It could be coincidence, it could be quid-pro-quo.  But here's a third possibility - China just figured out how to put DJT over a barrel in a single move.  If/when DJT doesn't capitulate to their demands they'll say: oh, remember that deal in Indonesia? The press has been inquiring if there was a quid-pro-quo and we are trying so hard to convince them it was just a coincidence, but now we must deal with this new issue, I hope we can continue to say it was not done to benefit you"

It's not hard to manipulate people driven by greed and vanity, as long as you have praise and money to offer.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1690 on: May 15, 2018, 07:26:22 AM »
There's a funny thing just happened - a few hours after Trump tweets his concern for Chinese jobs at a firm that's been committing industrial espionage and selling USA tech to North Korea and Iran, the Chinese government announces a half a billion dollar investment in a Trump Organisation project in Indonesia.

Weird coincidence, huh?.  It's just a small world, I guess.
Read about it here: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/china-contributing-500-million-trump-linked-project-indonesia/
Even the conservative (non-Fox/Brietbart) sources are labeling this worrisome.

It could be coincidence, it could be quid-pro-quo.  But here's a third possibility - China just figured out how to put DJT over a barrel in a single move.  If/when DJT doesn't capitulate to their demands they'll say: oh, remember that deal in Indonesia? The press has been inquiring if there was a quid-pro-quo and we are trying so hard to convince them it was just a coincidence, but now we must deal with this new issue, I hope we can continue to say it was not done to benefit you"

It's not hard to manipulate people driven by greed and vanity, as long as you have praise and money to offer.
Yes, it's getting hard to quantify the number of foreign governments to which Trump feels obligated in one way or another.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1691 on: May 15, 2018, 07:27:32 AM »
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/would-this-violate-trumps-no-new-foreign-deals-pledge/?h_sid=5de310fd93-5a9dae7cb23c8497d8ac74a3

Quote
“No new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump’s presidency,” Trump lawyer Sheri Dillon of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius said last month at a news conference.

Another Trump lawyer who peddled a blatant lie?  I'm shocked!

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1692 on: May 15, 2018, 07:28:58 AM »
The China thing is funny/sad because 1) what happened to "AMERICA FIRST?"  Trump cares more about some Chinese company?  and 2) it feels very emolumenty but no one gives a **** apparently.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1693 on: May 15, 2018, 07:30:16 AM »
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/would-this-violate-trumps-no-new-foreign-deals-pledge/?h_sid=5de310fd93-5a9dae7cb23c8497d8ac74a3

Quote
“No new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump’s presidency,” Trump lawyer Sheri Dillon of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius said last month at a news conference.

Another Trump lawyer who peddled a blatant lie?  I'm shocked!
But it's not a new deal because the Trump Organisation started talking about it before the election!

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1694 on: May 15, 2018, 08:42:06 AM »
I'm preserving this quote for the sake posterity's hilarity.
What's hilarious, that he'll be re-elected in 2020, or that his supporters would try to amend the Constitution? I didn't say they'd succeed in the latter, just that they'd try.

If you think he and his supporters could amend the constitution you either do not understand how incredibly difficult this would be or you see a level of support that, frankly, is bonkers in today's day and age. It requires a level of support (2/3) in both houses that no party has held in several generations, AND the support of 38 states. It's such an objectionable idea that even most members of the GOP would say they are against it, even at a time when they hold majorities.

oh, and then you are of coure assuming that DJT will still be alive and healthy enough and popular enough for voters to elect him in 2024.

Bokners.

It's also worth remembering that people on the other side of the ideological debate leveled the same accusations against Obama. Who left office as peacefully as every other president. It's pretty close to a 100% chance that Trump will do the same.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1695 on: May 15, 2018, 08:46:34 AM »
Imagine for a minute that Obama announces he wants to let a Chinese company off the hook for violating sanctions on Iran *in order to save Chinese jobs* the same week an Indonesian business venture of his gets a $500 million loan from the Chinese government.

The outrage on Faux News would be never ending.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1696 on: May 15, 2018, 08:47:05 AM »
It's also worth remembering that people on the other side of the ideological debate leveled the same accusations against Obama. Who left office as peacefully as every other president. It's pretty close to a 100% chance that Trump will do the same.

LOL this both sides bullshit is...well, bullshit.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1697 on: May 15, 2018, 09:09:20 AM »
It's also worth remembering that people on the other side of the ideological debate leveled the same accusations against Obama. Who left office as peacefully as every other president. It's pretty close to a 100% chance that Trump will do the same.

LOL this both sides bullshit is...well, bullshit.

What do you mean?  That there's a false equivelence at work, or something else?

DarkandStormy

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1698 on: May 15, 2018, 10:17:35 AM »
It's also worth remembering that people on the other side of the ideological debate leveled the same accusations against Obama. Who left office as peacefully as every other president. It's pretty close to a 100% chance that Trump will do the same.

LOL this both sides bullshit is...well, bullshit.

What do you mean?  That there's a false equivelence at work, or something else?

Equating Trump to Obama.  Let's be real and not pretend that Obama is even remotely close to Trump in terms of corruption, narcissism, etc.

Quote
It's also worth remembering that people on the other side of the ideological debate leveled the same accusations against Obama

One is destroying democratic norms left and right, attacking a free and fair press.  The other one...did none of those things.  So I would say accusations against a President who observed democratic and Presidential norms are unfounded.  Against the other one?  A little more dicey, especially considering he congratulates dictators on sham victories and said OUT LOUD:
Quote
“He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great,” Trump said, according to audio of excerpts of Trump’s remarks at a closed-door fundraiser in Florida aired by CNN. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” Trump said to cheers and applause from supporters.

One openly hoped for "President for life."  One did not.

Find me anything similar Obama did or said and I will reverse my position.

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Re: So Let's Speculate about the Future of a Full Trump Presidency...
« Reply #1699 on: May 15, 2018, 10:31:56 AM »
It's also worth remembering that people on the other side of the ideological debate leveled the same accusations against Obama. Who left office as peacefully as every other president. It's pretty close to a 100% chance that Trump will do the same.

LOL this both sides bullshit is...well, bullshit.

What do you mean?  That there's a false equivelence at work, or something else?

It certainly seems like a false equivalence used to give legitimacy to a goofy opinion.  Although he certainly wasn't perfect, comparing Obama's presidency to Trump's is nonsensical.  It's like giving denialists the same amount of air time and consideration as scientists when discussing climate change.