Trump presidency

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trpmb6
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby trpmb6 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:25 am UTC

Trump to be the first US President to meet with a North Korean Dictator since the Korean War started. Kim Jung Un said to be interested in discussing denuclearazing the peninsula.

Honestly, if this really happens. With proof. I don't see how trump loses in 2020.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:33 am UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Trump to be the first US President to meet with a North Korean Dictator since the Korean War started. Kim Jung Un said to be interested in discussing denuclearazing the peninsula.

Honestly, if this really happens. With proof. I don't see how trump loses in 2020.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... -with-him/
Economy is more likely to keep him in power. Though the data shows the reluctant Trumpers are more likely to be richer suburbanites.
Who are reluctant Trump voters? They make up about a fifth of the president’s 2016 coalition, and they are predominantly white — as are most of his supporters. But compared with other Trump voters, this reluctant group is slightly more likely to have a college education, call themselves politically moderate and identify as independent.

This is correlates well with where Democrats are doing better in special elections.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/th ... elections/
special election results suggest that the white-working-class-heavy Midwest — which broke heavily for Trump in 2016 — may not be lost for Democrats after all. Democrats’ 26.2-point overperformance in Iowa, for instance, may help Democrats pick off two House seats they would probably need for the House majority.

A possible, and very ironic, 2018 coalition would be Democrats + deplorable blue collar conservative Democrat/Trump voters vs the GOP suburban + religious right. If it broke that way, then it would be a repudiation of the strategy Democrats did (going after business and suburbanites).

Of course it's too early to tell which strategy is more viable. Luckily midterms don't require the Democrats have a consistent strategy besides oppose the President.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:40 am UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Trump to be the first US President to meet with a North Korean Dictator since the Korean War started. Kim Jung Un said to be interested in discussing denuclearazing the peninsula.

Honestly, if this really happens. With proof. I don't see how trump loses in 2020.


If this really happens, with proof, I will forgive around 40% of what he's done up until this point. If he manages to go a step further and end the Korean war (with South Korea intact of course, or on some sort of reconciliatory path toward reunification), I will forgive the rest as well.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:18 am UTC

Things don't cancel out like that to me. If you punch a bunch of random people in the street and then, on an totally unrelated note, rescue a baby from a burning building... yeah, totally props on the baby rescue regardless, but that doesn't excuse the punching, because it's not like you needed to punch them to accomplish the rescue. We can praise some actions and condemn others even if the same person committed them. I find it best to focus on the actions, not try to tally them up into some kind of unitary moral score for the person.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:30 am UTC

People aren't binary "good" vs "bad", but in the terms of "should we have elected this dirtbag", it very much is a binary yes or no.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:54 pm UTC

Yablo wrote:
emceng wrote:I'd like to see an unbiased list of Trump admin people along with the laws and ethical standards they have broken(or suspected of breaking).

I'd like to see that list alongside a similar list of Obama admin people.

I agree. Seeing how Trump's list is easily 3 times Obama's would help hammer home how horrible he is, especially when you consider Trump has been in office for about a year and Obama was in for 8.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:49 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Yablo wrote:
emceng wrote:I'd like to see an unbiased list of Trump admin people along with the laws and ethical standards they have broken(or suspected of breaking).

I'd like to see that list alongside a similar list of Obama admin people.

I agree. Seeing how Trump's list is easily 3 times Obama's would help hammer home how horrible he is, especially when you consider Trump has been in office for about a year and Obama was in for 8.


One could compare the number of felony indictments per administration:

Carter - 1 in 4 years
Reagan - 26 in 8 years
Bush Sr - 1 in 4 years
Clinton - 2 in 8 years
GWB - 16 in 8 years
Obama - 0 in 8 years
Trump - 5 in less than a year (and investigations ongoing).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:54 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Trump to be the first US President to meet with a North Korean Dictator since the Korean War started. Kim Jung Un said to be interested in discussing denuclearazing the peninsula.

Honestly, if this really happens. With proof. I don't see how trump loses in 2020.


Democrats will care as little about Trump's success as Republicans cared for Obama's. Zero.
Killing Osama won Obama (and Hilary) exactly zero conservative votes.

Kim is a Western-educated, kill-an-uncle wicked, nuke-wielding crafty despot who believes Trump is a dotard. Who do you bet on?
Trump may well succeed in deescalating North Korean nuclear programs, but the root of the sanctions and embargos may never be addressed.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:59 pm UTC

It's weird how no one mentions Reagon's whole selling-weapons-to-Iran-in-order-to-fund-Nicaraguan-rebels thing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:12 pm UTC

Lets say the meeting actually happens. Trump and Kim sit down at a table, face to face. Can anyone genuinely see that going well?

He seems to be a lot friendlier with people when he's actually face to face with them, but with Kim? I just can't see the meeting lasting more than five minutes. Minus the time for the security guys to break up the fight of course.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:17 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Lets say the meeting actually happens. Trump and Kim sit down at a table, face to face. Can anyone genuinely see that going well?

He seems to be a lot friendlier with people when he's actually face to face with them, but with Kim? I just can't see the meeting lasting more than five minutes. Minus the time for the security guys to break up the fight of course.


The meeting will last as long as Kim needs it to. Kim will smile and tell Trump he's Great and making America Great. Then he will ask for too much and settle for exactly what he wants. Trump will proclaim himself the Great Negotiator and demand his face on Mount Rushmore.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:58 pm UTC

bantler wrote:
Mutex wrote:Lets say the meeting actually happens. Trump and Kim sit down at a table, face to face. Can anyone genuinely see that going well?

He seems to be a lot friendlier with people when he's actually face to face with them, but with Kim? I just can't see the meeting lasting more than five minutes. Minus the time for the security guys to break up the fight of course.


The meeting will last as long as Kim needs it to. Kim will smile and tell Trump he's Great and making America Great. Then he will ask for too much and settle for exactly what he wants. Trump will proclaim himself the Great Negotiator and demand his face on Mount Rushmore.


I'm guessing this is about what will happen, except that it will fall apart because Trump will get bored with the details, and/or the other branches of government won't go along with the demands (fearing the midterm elections). Trump will blame the failing on everyone else, we'll be right back to status quo.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:41 am UTC

So... why haven't we ever signed a peace treaty with NK? We should really just admit that it's a separate country at this point.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:48 am UTC

Because South Korea wouldn’t like that and we want to be friendly with them, keep a bunch of military bases there, and buy cheap stuff from them.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:18 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Yeah, blaming games for violence is a really obnoxious tendency. It's nigh universal among teens, not really useful as a predictive factor. Maybe if they all played the same game or something, that'd be creepy, but we have no real interesting trends at all.

Anyone blaming video games is probably misusing statistics.

Trump tends to throw things out there, and just see what works for the popular mind. It's effective, but annoying at times. Hopefully the public doesn't latch onto this.

Anyone see the latest Florida gun control law? It's...a mixed bag, though it does show a way to pass gun control.


Personally, as someone who isn't a fan of gun control, I don't think the tradeoff is ultimately worth it. Ima do a quick, spoilered bullet point for those interested.
Spoiler:
*Must be 21 to purchase a rifle. Their law is actually all guns, but given that handguns are already 21 by federal law, that's redundant. This isn't a big deal in school shootings in general. Most acquire their guns from parents or otherwise grab them with no regard for legality. In this particular case, he did buy his own rifle, but the law doesn't impact private sales, building one or buying one over the border, all of which are plenty legal. Keep in mind, a complete assault weapon ban didn't do much of anything to help, a far more restricted law is not reasonably going to have any statistical effect on school shootings. It's of course seen by pro-gun folks as a strike at gun culture. Anything that makes it more difficult for young shooters to get into the sport aspect of it is seen as a potential death by inches.

*Creating a waiting period. 3 days or till check clears, whichever is longer. Okay, the shooter bought his gun a year beforehand. Clearly would not have stopped him. A three day waiting period isn't really significant for keeping school shooters disarmed. In addition to the former things, none of which are affected in any way, those who do buy guns for school shootings often do so long in advance. This only has any logic at all for impulse events, and are irrelevant to planned killings. Why do gun folks dislike it? Well, coupla reasons. First off, waiting periods are annoying. Having to go to the gun store repeatedly for a single purchase makes shopping more awkward. It also adds costs to the gun stores, who must track and hold a lot more, who then charge us fees in turn. Generally speaking, we'd rather not shell out more money. The real kicker though is the "until the check clears". Three days is annoying. What happens when the government is inefficient, and has no upper limit on when the background check gets done? The federal check(which, by the way, is already mandated everywhere, including florida) has an upper limit of a week for them to complete it, or it gets approved as a way of forcing the government to, yknow, actually do it. Sad that this is needed, but some government agencies are not terribly good at doing things.

*Ban bump stocks. Bump stocks were not used in this shooting, and are irrelevant to it. This is presumably a reference to the Las Vegas shooting. Anyways, a bump stock is just a bouncy stock. It doesn't do anything otherwise, it's still a finger making each trigger pull, but the bounciness makes it so your finger has to move less. You can replicate this by holding the firearm loosely so it bounces against your shoulder with a normal stock. The downside is that'll make your shoulder sore after a day at the range. Long story short, a bump stock-equipped firearm does not shoot more rapidly, more lethally, or more accurately than a standard stock. Gun owners don't care about this as much because...ultimately, it's a range toy. It's not really essential to anything functional. They still don't particularly like bannings on principle, mind, but if you think this is going to save any lives at all, you don't really understand what these are, or how easy rapid fire is. You can make a gun shoot full auto with a shoelace, if you wished. You shouldn't, because honestly, it's a waste of ammo and kind of stupid, but it's not in any way difficult to waste ammo.

*Arm school employees. Here's the pro-gun bit. It's voluntary. Nobody is forcing teachers to do anything. That's not a requirement...anywhere. Anyone acting as if that's the goal is a bit disingenuous. Is however weakened by not being extended to teachers who only teach. Because...for some reason they're at less risk than a coach or principal? Not sure I understand the logic. Training is, of course, required to qualify for these licenses. Gun owners mostly have a problem with teachers who "just teach" being excluded as lessers. But, progress. Actual effect: well, number of shootings stopped by teachers have been low. You've got a disincentive effect, and a couple stoppages, so it does something, which is more than most of these, but it's obviously not going to stop all of them. Teachers don't react instantly, many will not choose to carry, etc. Also, it'd be nice if teachers got a stipend for going through the hassle. Some jurisdictions that allow teacher carry at present do this. If a teacher is going to extra effort to do more, it seems reasonably fair that they be paid more.

*Fund school security. There WAS school security here. Deputy on hand. Sat outside until the shooting stopped. Yeah, maybe he COULD have done something, but in practice, he didn't. Hiring more resource officers is....kinda bleh, unless you address the problem. I'm not against guards in principle, but I feel like if you're worried about militarization of schools, having literal armed guards is a bit more overt than a teacher carrying discretely. Also, static security in the form of thicker walls, etc only gets you so much. The kids that go there are going to know the overt security by default. Turning schools into bunkers does not seem to be a very effective way of buying safety, though I concede that it could offer marginal benefit. Gun owners are generally pro-defense, and while they may be wary of police(particularly feds) heavily militarizing, they are generally pro-security officer.

*State funding to provide mental health care to students. Holy shit, we finally have something that's actually super effective. Mostly not for school shooters, honestly. Suicide prevention is gonna be the statistical lifesafer here. However, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that school shooters are generally in need of mental health care, and are often in a suicidal, or at least, life/safety disregarding state of mind. So, it ought to do good things for reducing school shootings...it just happens to have an ancillary effect that's way, way better. Pretty much a win/win all round. As a side note, this does provide for gun rights to be temporarily removed from those who are mentally a danger to themselves/others, provided it's judge-approved. This is generally fine. Gun owners get twitchy when it's suggested we do this without judge approval, permanently, or worse, both. Due process is important, and not stigmatizing mental health care by treating them as lessers permanently is...super important. We usually have fucktons of warning signs, as in this case, it's just that nobody's bothering to do much when they happen. Incidentally, the shooter had a federal background check with a line for mental health. It was passed. Why? Because mental health reporting and recordkeeping is frequently hot garbage. If you're not listed in the database as a problem, it's gonna come back clean, and you'll get the gun. Gun owners would like to see much stronger enforcement on record keeping, with follow-ups on people who are rejected, and better reporting of criminal/mental health issues.

All in all, I don't like the tradeoffs overmuch, but I can see why they did it. The last in particular is pretty worthwhile, and if you, say, ditched the waiting period, it might be good trade in my book.


Anyway, on to Trump going to visit the Rocketman! I think that, like only Nixon could visit China, only Trump could visit North Korea. Now, comparing Trump to Nixon isn't...the most flattering thing ever, but there is indeed a silver lining about how certain styles of diplomacy work out when the traditional ones don't.

That said, I feel confident that Kim has no intention of giving up his nukes. He's gone to great trouble to get them, and every promise thus far to go down a different path has turned out to be a lie. I think he's gonna try to play Trump, and milk him for as much money and aid as he can, and ultimately deliver nothing. Sure, sure, if Trump somehow does that, it's a foreign policy holy grail akin to actually getting peace in the middle east. But I certainly wouldn't bet money on Trump doing it, even at extremely favorable odds.

What's more interesting is seeing how Trump reacts if he does get publicly played. That lends itself to fun speculation.

Mutex wrote:Lets say the meeting actually happens. Trump and Kim sit down at a table, face to face. Can anyone genuinely see that going well?

He seems to be a lot friendlier with people when he's actually face to face with them, but with Kim? I just can't see the meeting lasting more than five minutes. Minus the time for the security guys to break up the fight of course.


I am very happy I am not one of the secret service guys who has to worry about a meeting in freaking Pyongyang between these two. Can you imagine the logistics of that? Okay, so if Trump insults him, and that's...technically a violation of law, and they try to arrest him...I can envision a scenario in which relationships break down pretty badly, and actually end on a worse note. Not likely. Every diplomat ever is gonna try to head that off. But possible.

CorruptUser wrote:So... why haven't we ever signed a peace treaty with NK? We should really just admit that it's a separate country at this point.


Well, in the first place, it's challenging when they won't talk to you, or demand large bribes in order to talk, and then agree to pretty much nothing. The US is generally pretty cool with leaving war zones once we're done with them, the Korean situation is highly unusual, and it's largely because of how North Korea acts.

Also, North Korea is a particularly bad actor on the international stage. Like, we literally just had confirmation fairly recently(was washington post or wall street journal) that they used nerve gas to pull off an assassination last year in a foreign country. Malaysia. Most countries frown on both using chemical weapons AND assassination. They're also currently selling off some of their citizens as sex slaves into china. And the whole nuke thing. Plus they've kidnapped people, occasionally murdered some. Swiped one of our navy ships. Starved a goodly number of their own people. It's difficult to imagine a bad thing that governments do, that North Korea doesn't do pretty frequently.

So, it's highly prudent to keep on edge just in case they decide to do something outside of accepted norms again.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:25 am UTC

Is diplomatic immunity just a US thing or a standard part of international law that even NK honors? Because if the latter, it doesn’t matter (for your scenario) if Trump insults Kim because as a foreign dignitary he’s above the law.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:32 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Is diplomatic immunity just a US thing or a standard part of international law that even NK honors? Because if the latter, it doesn’t matter (for your scenario) if Trump insults Kim because as a foreign dignitary he’s above the law.


Diplomatic Immunity is, in some form or another, traditional pretty much everywhere. Lots of legal safeguards, and significant tradition beyond that.

It does usually have limits if a particular diplomat gets TOO obnoxious, but usually they are just thrown out of the country if they're a problem.

It sucks a lot in DC, because diplomatic cars drive like assholes.

Unfortunately, North Korea gives relatively few fucks about diplomatic conventions, save when it can manipulate them to it's advantage.

However, the particular combination of Trump and North Korea might be sort of flammable. Both individuals have a significant ego, are not overly fond of being dismissed, yet like to put down others...I could easily see it getting to at least a pretty messy shouting match if the two of them are at a table, and not sufficiently distracted by underlings. I'm sure the various State Dept, etc folks will be putting in long hours beforehand to ensure things go as smooth as possible, though. So, who knows?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:28 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The real kicker though is the "until the check clears".
Just a note that I translated this into the UK spelling of "cheque", automatically, before realising that I probably shouldn't in this case. ;)

I blame Noah.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:31 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Is diplomatic immunity just a US thing or a standard part of international law that even NK honors? Because if the latter, it doesn’t matter (for your scenario) if Trump insults Kim because as a foreign dignitary he’s above the law.


Diplomatic immunity is basically a form of customary law... that is, it's a commonly agreed upon standard. It's technically part of international law, but the reality of international law is that there is no real "authority" that can enforce it. However, most countries adhere to some form of diplomatic immunity simply on the basis that, if they do it, they can expect others to do it. In other words, if I treat your diplomats a certain way, I can expect you to treat my diplomats the same way.

North Korea is a special case. They already have seriously limited diplomacy with the rest of the world, so there is frankly a much lesser incentive on their part to adhere to standards. They've routinely flouted international customary law, because why not? They don't have good relations with most of the world anyway. In the world of diplomacy, someone who already hates you has limited leverage.

That being said... doing something to Trump would be *extremely* dangerous on their part. It would be considered an act of war, and would be treated as such... and for all their saber rattling, the last thing the Kim regime wants is an actual confrontation with the US.

Make no mistake... this meeting is an ENORMOUS diplomatic win for Kim. Kim will use it to say that his nuclear program put him on equal footing with the US president, and got him a face to face meeting after decades of US administrations refusing to do so. He will make promises he has no intention of keeping, in order to leverage money, resources, and - if nothing else - time to complete the next round of development for his weapons program.

I suppose it's possible that Trump manages to make some actual progress - I for one am not counting on it - but unless he gets something "yuge" out of this, it's going to go down as one of the bigger diplomatic blunders of his presidency - and that's a pretty high bar.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:55 am UTC

That does seem the most likely outcome, yeah.

On a side note, while Trump is meeting with video game heads to discuss if their games cause school shootings...a reasearcher says that 80% of 'em don't have an interest in games. Which seems oddly high. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/80-percent ... cher-says/

CBS, so seems reasonably reliable, but I plan to dig for the primary source later.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:39 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That does seem the most likely outcome, yeah.

On a side note, while Trump is meeting with video game heads to discuss if their games cause school shootings...a reasearcher says that 80% of 'em don't have an interest in games. Which seems oddly high. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/80-percent ... cher-says/

CBS, so seems reasonably reliable, but I plan to dig for the primary source later.

Didn't his team get the jitters, and immediately put preconditions back on the table?

PS https://twitter.com/NateSilver538/statu ... 2935502850
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:11 pm UTC

I rode Nate Silver's 538 train every day in 2016 until the fatal catastrophe of November 8th. After that gruesome pileup I'm too scarred to ever again put my faith in polls, math, and possibly humanity.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:05 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Is diplomatic immunity just a US thing or a standard part of international law that even NK honors? Because if the latter, it doesn’t matter (for your scenario) if Trump insults Kim because as a foreign dignitary he’s above the law.

Diplomatic immunity is international law. Arresting a visiting head of state would be like storming an embassy, in that under the letter of the law the offended can legally declaring war on the offending country. Now, does North Korea honor that law? Yes.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:39 am UTC

bantler wrote:I rode Nate Silver's 538 train every day in 2016 until the fatal catastrophe of November 8th. After that gruesome pileup I'm too scarred to ever again put my faith in polls, math, and possibly humanity.

If you were riding the 538 train, you'd have been aware they were giving Trump much higher chances - one-in-three or better - in the final days of the campaign. One-in-three happening is not exactly "gruesome". Your shaken faith in humanity, however, I won't argue with.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby emceng » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:07 pm UTC

So Tillerson is out. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, he seemed to be competent at the job, worked to clean up his boss' messes, and could talk the talk with world leaders. On the other, he's a fucking tool. Super best friends with Russia. Destroying the State Dept. from within.

I just don't understand anyone supporting trump at this point. The only two reasons I can possibly see are that they are financially benefiting directly, or that they are so incredibly ignorant they don't know anything about politics.

We're about 60 weeks into his presidency, and every week someone in his administration has committed a huge ethical, moral, or legal blunder. Every freaking week! There's outrage fatigue, and the worst part is the Rs are completely unwilling to do a damned thing about it. They've made it party over country, and ingrained that so deeply within their members that even mild dissension is cause of attack and ostracism.

I seriously worry about the future of our country. The GOP has decided oligarchy or plutocracy is the preferred form of government, and have convinced voters to support them. Or perhaps not the GOP directly - the Kochs and Fox News.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:51 pm UTC

emceng wrote:I just don't understand anyone supporting trump at this point. The only two reasons I can possibly see are that they are financially benefiting directly, or that they are so incredibly ignorant they don't know anything about politics.


For this scenario, pretend you are a brilliant school university administrator or similar. You get a call from Trump, who offers you the Department of Education. Do you take the job and do the best you can, at the cost of being part of Team Trump? Or do you turn it down, knowing that it may go to someone less competent and have dire consequences for decades to come?

emceng wrote:I seriously worry about the future of our country. The GOP has decided oligarchy or plutocracy is the preferred form of government, and have convinced voters to support them. Or perhaps not the GOP directly - the Kochs and Fox News.


And the Dems haven't? Ever hear of the welfare trap? Welfare works in such a way that earning money makes you poorer as you lose benefits. Reps talk about how "high" taxes of over 30% disincentivize work, but never seem to say much about how the poor get taxed at 90% or worse. A person making 25k has a disincentive to take the job paying 30k, but you don't get to the job paying 70k without taking the lesser jobs first. This is not an accident, the system is designed this way to keep entire cohorts poor, and other systems in place to keep minorities disadvantaged, because if racism and poverty ceased to exist in this country, do you think anyone would ever vote Democrat?

By this token, well, the Republicans are currently worse, but not irredeemably so. THEIR plan is to sabotage welfare and sex education in order to keep millions utterly dependent upon charity provided by the various churches. Really, whenever you see a Republican plan, ask yourself "does this policy make more people dependent upon the churches", and you'd be astounded at how many times the answer is yes. But the Republicans still have an option to change, to that of the Mom and Pops and other small businesses. This was the idea behind the Rockafeller Republicans, but they are a critically endangered species at this point. The Repubs just need to give up the devils deal with the religious right, so... actually fuck it, Reps irredeemable.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:10 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zohar » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:56 pm UTC

That kind of excuses anyone from their choice to support this embarrassment of a presidency, as if most of these department heads weren't chosen specifically so they could dismantle and break down as much of those departments as possible.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:07 pm UTC

They were asking how anyone COULD support him, not how they DO support him.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Leovan » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:32 pm UTC

emceng wrote:I just don't understand anyone supporting trump at this point. The only two reasons I can possibly see are that they are financially benefiting directly, or that they are so incredibly ignorant they don't know anything about politics.


I dislike Trump but there is one thing he does and he does well and that's break things. And some things need to be broken, shook up, and/or rattled. There are some barrels that just never seemed to overflow that are now overflowing, and things that never seemed to change that are changing. Or at least there's a chance they will. Not all of these have reached this point because Trump wants them to, but the blame/credit does go back to him.
Some examples:

[*]Just a general effect but a lot of upset people are joining politics or speaking up because they see this as a now-or-never moment. Trump upsets people and upset people have a higher probability to change things than content people. 99% of people just get upset and leave it at that but the more you upset the more are in the 1% that get up and do something.
[*]#meToo movement: This is one of the overflowing barrels that just never seemed to quite get full. It's a combination of a lot of things but having an unapologetic president combined with the above effect I feel like really got this moving. And as much as I'm not a fan of mob justice and social media effects, I think it's been cathartic for women and brought the issue closer to men. And there have even been some structural changes that are positive, although we'll see what sticks.
[*]North Korea: I give Trump credit for making Kim have an "Oh S*it, this guy is crazy" moment and reevaluate his strategy. Whether the new strategy is the old strategy of 'pretend to cooperate + do what you wish = profit' that they used during the Clinton era or if it's actually something new remains to be seen, but the belligerent strategy seems to be on temporary hold.
[*]States asserting their rights: I prefer local government to federal and a number of state governments have taken matters into their own hands either because they oppose Trump or because they don't want to wait for a federal solution. The legalizing pot movement has been going for a while, but states evaluating establishing their own healthcare options, fighting the federal government on immigration, etc I think are positive effects.
[*]International affairs: Frankly, much of the world has been relying on the US way too much. While it hurts US standing, I think it's not so bad if allies reevaluate if standing on their own two feet may not be such a bad thing to invest in after all. From NATO/UN that the US pays a disproportionate amount to, to Europeans whining cause the US isn't taking care of Syria and similar episodes (as if they themselves didn't have militaries or diplomats). It seems as if half the world mostly EXPECTS the US to be world police and let them focus on their economies and other internal battles. And then they complain when the US didn't handle it perfectly.
[*]Trade negotiations: Trump's tariffs are not the right way, but they do draw attention to some things the US has been tolerating so far. EU import tariffs on Aluminum are 10%. Why would it be wrong for the US to match them? Import tariffs on US cars to Germany are 29%, to China 18%, from either to the US 2.5%. The US has had very low tariffs so far across the board because previous governments believed in free trade. And people have been taking advantage of this.

This list is far from complete. Much of these breakages hurt the US in some way, but there is a chance they will be resolved in a way that will be positive in the long run, like re-breaking a broken bone that healed wrong.
On one hand I'm curious what else he breaks that should be broken, and I'm also worried how they turn out and whether he breaks more stuff that shouldn't be touched. The next president NEEDS to be a healer and a builder. Whether you'll find such a one is hard to say. If you do then he might have done more good than harm. If you don't...
Not sure if that's a good reason to support him (I don't) but there are some people that say it's good enough.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:44 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:That kind of excuses anyone from their choice to support this embarrassment of a presidency, as if most of these department heads weren't chosen specifically so they could dismantle and break down as much of those departments as possible.

For most people, the heuristic is did the economyt go up? He's not that bad.
Did the economy tank? Burn him, he's a witch.
It's surprising what you can get away with so long as there cash keeps flowing, because people don't realize what they are missing. *

* Their wealth or pay grows 3% instead of%5, and the extra 2% goes into a slush fund/corruption.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:18 pm UTC

US President Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, naming CIA Director Mike Pompeo as his replacement.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal "chemistry".

"We got along actually quite well, but we disagreed on things," said the president. "When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's terrible. I guess he thought it was OK. I wanted to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same.
The Department of State said Mr Tillerson had not spoken to the president and was "unaware of the reason" for his firing.

Under Secretary Steve Goldstein said: "The Secretary had every intention of staying because of the critical progress made in national security."

According to the Associated Press, White House chief of staff John Kelly called Mr Tillerson on Friday and advised him to watch out for a presidential tweet about him.

Mr Kelly did not tell Mr Tillerson when the tweet would be posted or what it might say, reports the news agency.

The secretary of state was on an official tour of Africa last week when he was caught unawares by Mr Trump's agreement to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea.

In December, the secretary of state departed from administration talking points when he offered to begin direct talks with Pyongyang without preconditions.

The White House - which insisted North Korea must first accept any negotiations would be about giving up its nuclear arsenal - distanced itself from his remarks.

Mr Tillerson was reported to be astonished at how little Mr Trump grasped the basics of foreign policy.

The Republican president, meanwhile, was irritated by Mr Tillerson's body language during meetings, the New York Times reported. The secretary of state was said to roll his eyes or slouch when he disagreed with Mr Trump's decisions.


It's one of Trump's worst traits that he cannot tolerate anyone but a yes-man. Even the smartest person in the world needs trusted counsel willing to speak truth to power. And Trump isn't the smartest person in the world.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:10 pm UTC

Rex was an awful secretary of state. Too bad his replacement is like the difference between a shit sandwich and a douchebag. Mike is just another Trump clone, (Islamaphobe, climate denial)
Too bad none of it matters until the economy crashes or GOP starts losing hard in November. *

*Alternative theory, economy stays strong and Democrats reforge themselves as something darker.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:27 pm UTC

Someone Trump has found whom he thinks he can tolerate for a while:
Donald Trump's new CIA director Gina Haspel ran torture site in Thailand

The first female director of the CIA is a career spymaster who once ran a secret prison in Thailand and was involved in destroying videos of terror suspects being waterboarded.

She helped carry out an order to destroy videos which led to a long investigation by the US Justice Department which ended with no charges being brought.

John Brennan, the former CIA Director, said: "She was involved in a very, very controversial programme and I know that the Senate confirmation process will look at that very closely, but Gina Haspel has a lot of integrity.

"She has tried to carry out her duties at the CIA to the best of her ability even when the CIA was asked to do some very difficult things in very challenging times."

The Thai prison was the agency's first overseas detention facility and she oversaw interrogations which included Abu Zubaydah being waterboarded 83 times.

Video tapes of the interrogations were destroyed in 2005 under an order with her name on it.
To the CIA, loyalty >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> lawfulness >>>>> morality >> honesty.

Breaking glass ceiling doesn't give Gina Haspel a pass
{autoplaying video}


While the announcement comes amid the chaos of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing and the move of present CIA Director Mike Pompeo to run the State Department, it's important to note that in a nation focused on women's equality, payments to porn stars and a Trump administration that is far behind its predecessors in the promotion of women to top posts, Haspel has broken a glass ceiling.
But it's also worth remembering that the purpose of elevating women is so they would be judged on their own merits, and not some antiquated notions of what a woman can and cannot do. Haspel spent most of her career in clandestine services, and she has succeeded in a scary, violent world. But her gender shouldn't give her a pass on two major issues that will now be hers to explain and defend.
First, Haspel has a history, one that violates the core tenets of American values. As widely reported, she oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects in 2002 and took part in 2005 in efforts to destroy videotapes of those interrogations that occurred in Thailand. These events took place with the backing of the Department of Justice, and there is no reason to believe Haspel still holds the same positions about extraordinary rendition and torture. But she must forcefully condemn her past conduct to ensure that the CIA focuses its efforts on professional, effective and legal interrogation tactics, regardless of what Trump may say he wants.
Second, Haspel must be firm about the Russian threat. Early news reports suggest Tillerson doesn't know why he was fired, today of all days, and it comes a day after he directly called out Russia for its suspected involvement, announced as "highly likely" by British Prime Minister Theresa May, in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent. The White House refused to support May in directly naming Russia (although Trump suggested otherwise in his comments Tuesday on the South Lawn); Tillerson had no such apprehensions.
Disregarding what Trump says he wants isn't the easy way to keep a top job in the US Gov't this year, is it? She seems the kind to keep her job.

Gina Haspel - Trump's pick as CIA director

Ms Haspel, 61, has extensive overseas experience and has served as chief of station on several postings.

Her leadership positions in Washington include deputy director of the National Clandestine Service and chief of staff for the director of the National Clandestine Service.

Rising through the ranks, she was picked last year to be deputy to CIA director Mike Pompeo, despite criticism of her history in "black sites".

At the time, Mr Pompeo described her as an "exemplary intelligence officer" with an "uncanny ability to get things done and to inspire those around her".

She was picked as nominee for the top CIA job when President Trump named Mr Pompeo as Secretary of State to replace Rex Tillerson.

In a statement, she said: "I am grateful to President Trump for the opportunity, and humbled by his confidence in me, to be nominated to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. If confirmed, I look forward to providing President Trump the outstanding intelligence support he has grown to expect during his first year in office."
That's a promise to keep her nose brown, isn't it?

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said her background made her unsuitable, adding: "If Ms Haspel seeks to serve at the highest levels of US intelligence, the government can no longer cover up disturbing facts from her past."
:|

Ms Haspel was later cleared of any wrongdoing and officials said she had been following orders in destroying the tapes.
:roll: At least they didn't say she was "only following orders" in destroying the tapes.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:29 pm UTC

emceng wrote:I just don't understand anyone supporting trump at this point. The only two reasons I can possibly see are that they are financially benefiting directly, or that they are so incredibly ignorant they don't know anything about politics.

We're about 60 weeks into his presidency, and every week someone in his administration has committed a huge ethical, moral, or legal blunder. Every freaking week!


Republican support is all about feelings; namely Guns and Babies and Bibles.

I assure you if you'd been watching Fox News for the last 10 years you would've seen how every week Obama, Hilary and the Gang were committing huge ethical, moral, or legal blunders. Every freaking weak!

Leovan wrote:I dislike Trump but there is one thing he does and he does well and that's break things. And some things need to be broken, shook up, and/or rattled. There are some barrels that just never seemed to overflow that are now overflowing, and things that never seemed to change that are changing. Or at least there's a chance they will. Not all of these have reached this point because Trump wants them to, but the blame/credit does go back to him.


Trump's breakages are never a dismantling or reimagined out-of-the-box reconstruction. It's pure wild-ape.
He quite literally has a list of Obama-era legislation that he is systematically overturning. His goal is to assure Obama's only historical legacy is Blackness.

CorruptUser wrote:And the Dems haven't? Ever hear of the welfare trap? Welfare works in such a way that earning money makes you poorer as you lose benefits. Reps talk about how "high" taxes of over 30% disincentivize work, but never seem to say much about how the poor get taxed at 90% or worse. A person making 25k has a disincentive to take the job paying 30k, but you don't get to the job paying 70k without taking the lesser jobs first. This is not an accident, the system is designed this way to keep entire cohorts poor, and other systems in place to keep minorities disadvantaged, because if racism and poverty ceased to exist in this country, do you think anyone would ever vote Democrat?

By this token, well, the Republicans are currently worse, but not irredeemably so. THEIR plan is to sabotage welfare and sex education in order to keep millions utterly dependent upon charity provided by the various churches. Really, whenever you see a Republican plan, ask yourself "does this policy make more people dependent upon the churches", and you'd be astounded at how many times the answer is yes. But the Republicans still have an option to change, to that of the Mom and Pops and other small businesses. This was the idea behind the Rockafeller Republicans, but they are a critically endangered species at this point. The Repubs just need to give up the devils deal with the religious right, so... actually fuck it, Reps irredeemable.


The Democrats do not have some deep conspiracy to keep folks poor and dependent to ensure their political future. That's Fox-spin.
The Republicans are not trying to buoy up the churches out of Christian charity; they just don't want to pay taxes. If you subscribe to a literal "God Will Provide" ethos then you can sleep well at night.

Americans unilaterally loves cheap stuff.
Poor folks are cheap labor. Cheaper than slavery is most instances because you don't actually have to supply room and board.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:41 pm UTC

bantler wrote:The Democrats do not have some deep conspiracy to keep folks poor and dependent to ensure their political future. That's Fox-spin.
The Republicans are not trying to buoy up the churches out of Christian charity; they just don't want to pay taxes.


You mean to tell me that neither party engages in various forms of social engineering in order to create an electorate more favorable to their party? Whatever helps you sleep at night.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:43 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
bantler wrote:The Democrats do not have some deep conspiracy to keep folks poor and dependent to ensure their political future. That's Fox-spin.
The Republicans are not trying to buoy up the churches out of Christian charity; they just don't want to pay taxes.


You mean to tell me that neither party engages in various forms of social engineering in order to create an electorate more favorable to their party? Whatever helps you sleep at night.


Of course parties attempt to manipulate the electorate; but not in the cynical conspiracy-theory examples you've given.

I've heard the Church excuse from self-defined Christian-Republicans. They picked it up from biased-media to salve their tender consciences.
They've made poor-folks "God's Problem" and of course God is all knowing and perfect so he'll take care of his lost-sheep.
Republican get to keep their taxes without guilt because they gave their problem up to a Higher Power.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby arbiteroftruth » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:30 pm UTC

bantler wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:
bantler wrote:The Democrats do not have some deep conspiracy to keep folks poor and dependent to ensure their political future. That's Fox-spin.
The Republicans are not trying to buoy up the churches out of Christian charity; they just don't want to pay taxes.


You mean to tell me that neither party engages in various forms of social engineering in order to create an electorate more favorable to their party? Whatever helps you sleep at night.


Of course parties attempt to manipulate the electorate; but not in the cynical conspiracy-theory examples you've given.

I've heard the Church excuse from self-defined Christian-Republicans. They picked it up from biased-media to salve their tender consciences.
They've made poor-folks "God's Problem" and of course God is all knowing and perfect so he'll take care of his lost-sheep.
Republican get to keep their taxes without guilt because they gave their problem up to a Higher Power.


Many of those same Republicans would say you're getting that backward. That churches are just one of the more obvious institutions by which individuals can actually contribute toward helping the poor with their own money, time, and effort, while Democrats get to forego all of that without guilt because they gave the problem up to a "higher power" (the government).

I don't doubt you can easily find Republicans who don't do any appreciable amount of charitable giving, and you might fairly accuse them of using that argument as just an excuse. But I also don't doubt you can easily find many who do give quite a bit, and who are being genuinely consistent with their stated views on the matter.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby bantler » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:10 pm UTC

arbiteroftruth wrote:Many of those same Republicans would say you're getting that backward. That churches are just one of the more obvious institutions by which individuals can actually contribute toward helping the poor with their own money, time, and effort, while Democrats get to forego all of that without guilt because they gave the problem up to a "higher power" (the government).

I don't doubt you can easily find Republicans who don't do any appreciable amount of charitable giving, and you might fairly accuse them of using that argument as just an excuse. But I also don't doubt you can easily find many who do give quite a bit, and who are being genuinely consistent with their stated views on the matter.


As a group Republicans give more to charity, as long as we define charity to include Church. They give at the office.
And it's a twofer because they also get to go to heaven.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:00 am UTC

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/ ... one-460464
Democrats shake GOP confidence by striking deep into Trump territory. PA18 was won by Trump by 18-20 points, and the race is currently at a tie (with absentee ballots + recount fights to be had).
I think Democrats might get somewhere with their line of moderate military vets. Too bad they're mostly making headway in rural areas, and underperforming in suburbs. I was really hoping for the Democratic 2018 coalition to be Suburbs + cities vs rural america, not this urban + rural blue collar vs suburbs + rural. Update: Maybe not.
Last edited by sardia on Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:14 pm UTC

Drew Miller, the Libertarian received 0.6% of the vote. I predict angry Rep voters blaming him for splitting the vote (as presumably a large enough proportion of libertarian voters would otherwise vote GOP).


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