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GreyhoundFan
5 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

What are the chances that we will get to see these tapes? I bet a lot of nasty things were said that will be hard for the GOP to explain away. 

Sadly, I'm sure the Repugs will move heaven and earth to ensure we never see or hear them. If they get released, I'm sure they'll go with their usual defense:

20180518_butter1.PNG

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fraurosena

Poor Rudy. It must be so hard when you're words are refuted by... your own words. So unfair!

 

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fraurosena

As soon as Aunt Crabby called him out, he quickly removed the tweet and replaced it. Maybe she should have kept quiet, eh?

 

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fraurosena

Oh dear, it looks like the NYT article hit a presiduncial nerve. Which lends even more credit to their story.

 

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Howl

I'm feeling a bit warm and fuzzy knowing that the most boorish man on the planet wasn't invited to The Wedding. 

  • Upvote 3
  • Haha 2
  • I Agree 5

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fraurosena

Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare fame has a mini thread about the presidunce's latest threat. A showdown may be a-coming. Dangerous times.

 

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GreyhoundFan

 

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GreyhoundFan

This is an excellent New Rules segment. "...have you MET Paul Ryan?" made me laugh so hard.

 

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Howl
5 hours ago, fraurosena said:

Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare fame has a mini thread about the presidunce's latest threat. A showdown may be a-coming. Dangerous times.

 

Unfortunately, they WILL NOT believe the truth, because anything that does not align with their existing narrative will be called out as fake/witch hunt/lies/OBAMA!/Butter emails!

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fraurosena

You guys, I’m worried. I’m genuinely more worried about America right now than I have ever been in the passed year and a half. Why is nobody up in arms about the overt corruption going on in DC? Why is everybody moaning and groaning about the latest scandal, pointing to the need for a blue tsunami, instead of taking to the streets to protest the destruction of your country and democracy? Why do you think it’s enough to wait until November, and attempt to use a system that is known to be rigged against you? Wait until November, more than five months from now? Five months during which Rufus knows what kind of harm can be done to democracy, your country, and the world? Why wait? Open your eyes, see what’s happening on a daily basis, and get out there and DO something. 

Before it’s too late.

I’m on my phone and can’t quote, but you should read this whole article in it’s entirety anyway.

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/will_bunch/trump-tower-kushner-saudis-uae-qatar-nader-20180520.html

It’s mind-boggling to me that the reaction to this seems to be nothing more than indignant pearl-clutching.

Americans, if you love your country, if you love democracy, don’t wait for November. Don’t wait for Mueller, even.

The time to act is NOW.

 

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Howl

The overt, blatant corruption is jawdropping, mindboggling.  Jared Kushner is a man whose father spent hard time in prison over corruption, which doesn't seemed to have improved his son's grasp of ethics.  However, the desperate need to ditch the 666 building and comfort in knowing his FIL has absolute pardon power seems to have emboldened our young Jared. Once the Trump regime has passed, I expect to hear the Qataris dish on exactly what went down and I think it will be exactly as it appears on the surface.  Rachel Maddow had a very good piece on this in the last few days. 

I've also been thinking in a more general way about how the general insanity in the House and to a less extent, the Senate, and I don't use that word lightly.  The Republicans let the crazy loose and now have no way to rein it back in and maybe don't want to.  Ryan has not bothered to control Nunes IN ANY WAY, which is the root of the problem. 

Hoping that Rosenstein/Sessions will give the country a basic civics lesson today: the President does not control the Judiciary and can't make unilateral demands on it. 

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GreyhoundFan

"Trump is proving to be the most predictable of presidents"

Spoiler

With North Korea and other challenges, President Trump can succeed where others have failed, we are told, because he is so unpredictable.

In fact, he is proving to be the most predictable of presidents.

He is predictable because he makes decisions based on instincts and biases, many acquired decades ago. Advisers can delay but not dislodge him from his ruts. He is proving impervious to fact, argument or new learning of any kind.

Since his prejudices are well-known, his decisions should not surprise.

What are these predispositions? Allied nations, and especially Japan, play the United States for a chump. Dictators are strong and decisive and therefore to be admired. Immigrants and people of color are suspect. Wealthy people usually know best, while intellectuals are not to be trusted. Trade deficits are the ultimate sign of national weakness, and manufacturing is the linchpin of any economy. Anything Barack Obama did should be undone.

That canon of gut feelings can explain most of what Trump has done — and predict what he will do.

He is most predictable when his biases push in the same direction, as with the Paris climate accord. It was a multilateral agreement, so probably other nations were taking advantage of the United States. Scientists believed it was important. Obama considered it a signal achievement. In Trump’s world, the treaty did not have a chance.

The fact that it did not actually bind the United States to take any actions that Trump would not have wanted to take was not in dispute. The argument that pulling out would leave the United States isolated, dealing a major blow to U.S. leadership, was irrefutable. But the facts and arguments ran counter to Trump’s preconceived notions, and so were irrelevant.

The reality-based arguments against withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord were, if anything, even stronger. For a time, the president’s senior advisers and his counterparts in Europe, wielding those arguments, managed to postpone the inevitable. After all, Iran was honoring the deal; it was working.

But staying in only made Trump grumpy, because again his preconceptions pushed the opposite way: It was a multilateral treaty; Obama took pride in it. Now the advisers who pushed against the inevitable are mostly gone, and Trump has pulled the United States out of the accord.

His prejudices in various combinations also can explain: A travel ban aimed at Muslims, though data showed no connection between terrorism in the United States and the countries targeted by the ban. A tax bill primarily benefiting businesses and the very rich, though Trump had campaigned on a promise to help the left-behind. A determination to destroy Obamacare, though it was helping many of those same left-behind voters. Abandonment of the mostly Hispanic “dreamers,” despite grand promises to help them, while pining for more immigrants from Norway.

Many people were surprised that Trump pivoted toward talks with North Korea after months of insulting “little rocket man” Kim Jong Un.

In fact, though, in keeping with his predilection for strongmen, he seems to admire Kim — that “pretty smart cookie” — more than he does South Korea’s elected leader. Since Obama largely ignored North Korea, under the label of “strategic patience,” striking a deal would fit Trump’s inclination to be Obama’s opposite in all things. Brushing aside the interests of our Japanese allies, if that’s what a deal requires, also would mesh with his predilections.

Admittedly, this framework can’t predict every decision. Because Trump refuses to release his tax returns or much information about his still-active enterprises, we can’t know whether or how much business interests may motivate his official decisions and override his prejudices.

In addition, his gut feelings sometimes work at cross-purposes. He hates the North American Free Trade Agreement because it’s a treaty, because he thinks it hurts U.S. manufacturers, because he has always hated NAFTA; on the other hand, a lot of wealthy American business and agricultural executives would be hurt if NAFTA blew up.

And even if Trump’s thinking is not much influenced by evidence or experience, he is fenced in by reality in other ways; the courts and Congress and the states get a say, and like most politicians, he wants to be popular, admired and, presumably, reelected. So, for example, his gut instincts (and maybe his business interests, too) push him to be friends with Vladi­mir Putin, but that has yet to happen.

Still, for a man who ran for office saying, “We have to be unpredictable,” Trump is proving not so hard to read. Look at whatever he has believed since the 1980s; ignore any evidence that has emerged since; and you can make a fairly educated guess where he will end up.

 

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AmazonGrace

From the Dept of Dehumanisation

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fraurosena
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, AmazonGrace said:

From the Dept of Dehumanisation

Fucking nazis! :kitty-cussing: 

This is straight from their 1930s playbook. I recommend watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s reaction to calling human beings animals. It’s from his Thursday or Friday show last week.

Also, more from Ben Wittes:

 

Edited by fraurosena
Adding YouTube link

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Waffle Time
JMarie
11 hours ago, fraurosena said:

Why is nobody up in arms about the overt corruption going on in DC?

Because this is the kind of news NOT covered by Fox News, so a considerable portion of the country doesn't know about it (and would probably dismiss it as fake news if they did learn about it).

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GreyhoundFan

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AmazonGrace

Drain the swamp

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AmazonGrace

Will there be more firings today?

 

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fraurosena
3 hours ago, JMarie said:

Because this is the kind of news NOT covered by Fox News, so a considerable portion of the country doesn't know about it (and would probably dismiss it as fake news if they did learn about it).

That may be true, but I distinctly remember reading that Rachel Maddow is often beating Hannity lately and is the best watched show for that time slot, and that overall MSNBC is often doing just as good if not better than Faux. So yes, there is a section of the public that avidly follows Faux News, but there is also a portion of the public that is at least as large that does not. And it is these people, (MSNBC'ers and those watching CNN, NBC, ABC and other local 'real' news networks) that I'm appealing to in my post. Because combined, these viewers are certainly the majority of the public.

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GreyhoundFan

"The three biggest surprises in the Trump Organization’s financial filings"

Spoiler

Last week, President Trump released his personal financial disclosures, giving the public its once-a-year glimpse inside the business he still owns from the Oval Office.

On the day of the release, most of the attention focused on a single footnote on page 45 of the 92-page document — and a single, relatively small debt revealed in that footnote.

In that note, President Trump admitted reimbursing his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $100,000-plus expense. That expense, it appears, was the $130,000 payment Cohen made to ensure the silence of adult-film star Stormy Daniels, shortly before Election Day 2016.

The other 91 pages — which detailed the debts, assets and revenue streams during 2017 — also provided new details about how the Trump presidency has reshaped the Trump Organization.

Below, the three revelations from those findings that were most surprising:

1.) Presidential visits do not always boost business.

President Trump has visited his own properties dozens of times while in office — but his visits have been concentrated among just a few of his clubs and hotels. It had seemed a good bet these few might have seen a boost in business during Trump’s first year. They offered an implicit deal to customers: Spend money here (for a $200 meal or a $200,000 membership), and you might meet the president!

But, at those clubs, the financial results for 2017 were surprisingly mixed.

Trump’s luxury hotel in Washington, D.C. — where the president often eats dinner — did very well. In 2017, its first full year of operation, it attracted business from foreign embassies, Republican congressmen, and conservative Christian groups. The forms show it took in more than $40 million in revenue.

But Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club — the “Winter White House,” which doubles as a for-profit beach club and banquet hall — reported a 10 percent decline in revenue. One reason: at least 19 charities canceled plans to rent Mar-a-Lago for fundraisers, after Trump said there were “very fine people” among violent crowds that included white supremacists in Charlottesville

Among the golf clubs the president frequents, there were mixed results in 2017. The golf clubs in West Palm Beach, Fla., Jupiter, Fla., and northern Virginia all reported declines in revenue. Trump’s club in Bedminster, N.J., where he spends long stretches in the summer, reported only a 2 percent increase.

2.) Trump’s money-losing courses in Scotland and Ireland reported big gains in revenue

Trump’s golf courses in Turnberry and Aberdeen, Scotland, and his course in Doonbeg, Ireland, have been losing money steadily in recent years. They looked like the boldest — and riskiest — purchases Trump made in his recent spate of all-cash deals. Trump also sank more than $210 million in the properties to keep them running. Trump styles himself “the King of Debt,” but in these three courses he was — uncharacteristically — spending his own money.

In 2017, the disclosure forms show, all three courses took a turn for the better.

At Aberdeen, revenue increased from about $3.2 million in 2016 to $3.4 million in 2017. At Turnberry, revenue nearly doubled, going from $11 million to $20 million. And at Doonbeg, revenue more than doubled, from about $6.6 million to $14.1 million. Possible reasons for the jumps: Both Doonbeg and Turnberry recently finished big renovation projects that had depressed revenue by closing off some facilities.

The question now: Did these courses actually turn a profit for the first time?

The financial forms do not show that. They do not show expenses going out, only revenue coming in. We will not know the full picture for these courses until later this year, when Trump’s company files 2017 profit-and-loss reports with the British and Irish governments.

3.) The Trump Organization is not expanding like it once did — but its old deals are still paying well.

Before Trump took office, the Trump Organization had been expanding its reach rapidly, by signing “licensed” real estate deals in foreign countries. These deals allowed other developers to put Trump’s name on their new hotels or condo buildings. In return, Trump got royalty payments, and often a contract to run the hotel.

After Trump took office, his son Eric took over day-to-day management of the business, and the Trump Organization said it would make no new foreign deals.

What happened next?

The financial disclosures show just three significant business lines were newly listed in 2018. One was a deal to build a Trump-operated hotel in small-town Cleveland, Miss. — the only outpost, so far, of a new “Scion” hotel line that was predicted to appear in 17 cities. The Mississippi hotel has not yet opened. The second is an online site, www.trumpstore.com that sells coffee mugs, golf balls, and other golf-themed tchotchkes with the president’s name. The third is a deal to operate a hotel in suburban Livingston, N.J., that is owned by the family business of presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. That hotel does not carry the Trump brand, as first reported by the New York Times.

At the same time, the Trump brand has come down from hotels in Toronto, New York City and Panama, depriving the business of future management revenue.

Even with the Trump Organization running in place, those old licensing deals continue to pay off. The financial disclosures forms show 11 different royalty payments last year from the owners of Trump-branded buildings, from India to Stamford, Conn. In all, they total at least $3,815,000.

 

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Cartmann99
5 hours ago, JMarie said:

Because this is the kind of news NOT covered by Fox News, so a considerable portion of the country doesn't know about it (and would probably dismiss it as fake news if they did learn about it).

Just out of curiosity, I went over to my internet provider's website to see what television offerings are available in the various packages. Much to their continual dismay, we only get internet service from them, so I'm not that knowledgeable about the television side of their business.

I found out that if I signed up for the basic digital cable package, the only national "news" channel I would receive would be C-Span: Original Recipe. I would have a handful of religious stations available to me, though.

From Jim Bakker's program

The Jesus networks and syndicated programs are another potential route to madness for those who don't have access to Fox. :doh:

 

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GreyhoundFan

"The constitutional crisis is here"

Spoiler

Stop waiting for the constitutional crisis that President Trump is sure to provoke. It’s here.

On Sunday, via Twitter, Trump demanded that the Justice Department concoct a transparently political investigation, with the aim of smearing veteran professionals at Justice and the FBI and also throwing mud at the previous administration. Trump’s only rational goal is casting doubt on the probe by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, which appears to be closing in.

Trump’s power play is a gross misuse of his presidential authority and a dangerous departure from long-standing norms. Strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin use their justice systems to punish enemies and deflect attention from their own crimes. Presidents of the United States do not — or did not, until Sunday’s tweet:

“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

Rather than push back and defend the rule of law, Justice tried to mollify the president by at least appearing to give him what he wants. The Republican leadership in Congress has been silent as a mouse. This is how uncrossable lines are crossed.

The pretext Trump seized on is the revelation that a longtime FBI and CIA informant, described as a retired college professor , made contact with three Trump campaign associates before the election as part of the FBI’s initial investigation into Russian meddling.

With the full-throated backing of right-wing media, Trump has described this person as a “spy” who was “implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president.” This claim is completely unsupported by the facts as we know them. Trump wants you to believe a lie.

The informant was not embedded or implanted or otherwise inserted into the campaign. He was asked to contact several campaign figures whose names had already surfaced in the FBI’s counterintelligence probe. It would have been an appalling dereliction of duty not to take a look at Trump advisers with Russia ties, such as Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, when the outlines of a Russian campaign to influence the election were emerging.

Trump claims this is the nation’s “all time biggest political scandal” because, he alleges, Justice Department officials and the FBI used a “spy” to try to “frame” him and his campaign, in an effort to boost his opponent Hillary Clinton’s chance of winning the election. This conspiracy theory has so many holes in it that it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with the glaringly obvious: If the aim was to make Trump lose, why wasn’t all the known information about the Trump campaign’s Russia connections leaked before the election, when it might have had some impact?

The truth appears to be precisely the opposite of what Trump says, which is not uncommon. The record suggests that Justice and the FBI were so uncomfortable investigating a presidential campaign in the weeks and months before an election that they tiptoed around promising lines of inquiry rather than appear to be taking a side. The FBI director at the time was James B. Comey, and while we heard plenty about Clinton’s emails before the vote, we had no idea that such a mature investigation of the Trump campaign was underway.

Now that the Mueller probe has bored into Trump’s inner circle — and federal authorities have raided the homes and office of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen — the president appears to be in a panic. The question is whether he sees this “spy” nonsense as a way to discredit Mueller’s eventual findings, or as a pretext for trying to end the investigation with a bloody purge akin to Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.”

The Justice Department answered Trump’s tweeted demand by announcing that an existing investigation by its inspector general will now “include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation” by the FBI. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein may hope that is enough to avoid a showdown. I fear he is wrong.

None of this is normal or acceptable. One of the bedrock principles of our system of government is that no one is above the law, not even the president. But a gutless Congress has refused, so far, to protect this sacred inheritance.

Trump is determined to use the Justice Department and the FBI to punish those he sees as political enemies. This is a crisis, and it will get worse.

 

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AmazonGrace

But her emails: 

Your taxes pay for the salary of people who try to make Trump look dumber on purpose: 

 

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GreyhoundFan

Because "big boys" like things that go fast and make vroom vroom noises: "Trump eyes race car: I want to 'just drive it right away'"

Spoiler

President Donald Trump on Monday flirted with the idea of trying his hand at professional race car driving.

During an event honoring 2017 NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr., the president joked that he wouldn’t mind taking a ride in the driver’s nearby stock car.

“I have to say your car looks truly amazing,” Trump said as he gestured toward Truex Jr.’s car parked on the White House’s south lawn. “In fact, I want to get in that thing and just drive it right away. Do you mind? But it is — it’s beautiful. It's incredible.”

Trump has often relished some of the perks of the White House, giving the cameras a thumbs-up from behind the wheel of a firetruck and donning a cowboy hat at a "Made in America" event.

Trump spent a large chunk of his Monday afternoon remarks calling out lawmakers in the audience as well as members of Truex Jr.’s team and NASCAR executives. The president thanked NASCAR CEO Brian France, who endorsed Trump during the 2016 Republican primary at a rally in Georgia.

The president also made a point of noting that NASCAR, whose fan base tends to lean conservative, has not had the types of protests during the national anthem that other leagues, in particular the NFL, have faced. Multiple team owners in NASCAR have said they require drivers and team members to stand for the anthem.

“And I will tell you one thing I know about NASCAR, they do indeed, Brian, stand for the playing of the national anthem. Right? They do indeed,” Trump said. “Somebody said maybe you shouldn't say that. That’ll be controversial. I said that's OK. NASCAR’s not going to mind it at all, right, fellas? They don't mind it at all.”

 

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Nervous
Audrey2
1 hour ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Because "big boys" like things that go fast and make vroom vroom noises: "Trump eyes race car: I want to 'just drive it right away'"

  Reveal hidden contents

President Donald Trump on Monday flirted with the idea of trying his hand at professional race car driving.

During an event honoring 2017 NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr., the president joked that he wouldn’t mind taking a ride in the driver’s nearby stock car.

“I have to say your car looks truly amazing,” Trump said as he gestured toward Truex Jr.’s car parked on the White House’s south lawn. “In fact, I want to get in that thing and just drive it right away. Do you mind? But it is — it’s beautiful. It's incredible.”

Trump has often relished some of the perks of the White House, giving the cameras a thumbs-up from behind the wheel of a firetruck and donning a cowboy hat at a "Made in America" event.

Trump spent a large chunk of his Monday afternoon remarks calling out lawmakers in the audience as well as members of Truex Jr.’s team and NASCAR executives. The president thanked NASCAR CEO Brian France, who endorsed Trump during the 2016 Republican primary at a rally in Georgia.

The president also made a point of noting that NASCAR, whose fan base tends to lean conservative, has not had the types of protests during the national anthem that other leagues, in particular the NFL, have faced. Multiple team owners in NASCAR have said they require drivers and team members to stand for the anthem.

“And I will tell you one thing I know about NASCAR, they do indeed, Brian, stand for the playing of the national anthem. Right? They do indeed,” Trump said. “Somebody said maybe you shouldn't say that. That’ll be controversial. I said that's OK. NASCAR’s not going to mind it at all, right, fellas? They don't mind it at all.”

 

Neh, I'm thinking Indy car, around 225 mph. It's an open cockpit, not closed like a stock car. And, you know, Trump is the bestest driver, better than four time Indy winners A.J. Foyt, Al Under, and Rick Mears, so he wouldn't really need a helmet (plus, wearing a helmet is a stifling regulation)...

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