Trump presidency

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elasto
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:10 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Ultimately though, the idea's that if everyone can freely express ideas, and the good ideas beat out the bad ones in the long run. If you don't believe that will happen, you might as well give up on democracy as a principle.

I don't think it's quite that black and white.

One can believe in free markets but also believe that unfettered capitalism is destructive to society. One can believe in the private sector but also believe some functions are better (or at least more safely) carried out with public management.

Likewise, one can believe in free speech but also believe that some public intervention or oversight is warranted to ensure a level playing field of ideas. It doesn't have to be the slippery slope you seem to imply.

(Personally I likewise believe that unfettered democracy is a dangerous idea - the cliche of two wolves and one sheep voting on what to eat for dinner.

Representative democracy - where voters vote for their representatives but the representatives enact policies in the best interests of all even if the voters don't see it yet - is the sweet spot imo. That's why populism is so irresponsible: it's fundamentally an abdication of leadership.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:24 am UTC

elasto wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Ultimately though, the idea's that if everyone can freely express ideas, and the good ideas beat out the bad ones in the long run. If you don't believe that will happen, you might as well give up on democracy as a principle.

I don't think it's quite that black and white.

One can believe in free markets but also believe that unfettered capitalism is destructive to society. One can believe in the private sector but also believe some functions are better (or at least more safely) carried out with public management.

Likewise, one can believe in free speech but also believe that some public intervention or oversight is warranted to ensure a level playing field of ideas. It doesn't have to be the slippery slope you seem to imply.

(Personally I likewise believe that unfettered democracy is a dangerous idea - the cliche of two wolves and one sheep voting on what to eat for dinner.

Representative democracy - where voters vote for their representatives but the representatives enact policies in the best interests of all even if the voters don't see it yet - is the sweet spot imo. That's why populism is so irresponsible: it's fundamentally an abdication of leadership.)


Ultimately, though, whatever the system is, if there's a fair shake between Nazism and...just about anything else, Nazism ought to lose, right? I mean, the number of flaws, and historical failings are...large. One need not be an expert debater or the like to see the problems.

The attitude that it cannot be permitted a platform to be heard seems to indicate doubt in this(much as Nazism itself would, if adopted as a system, similarly treat many ideologies in a fearful manner, and seek to pre-empt them). If, with all of our education, freedoms, and so forth, we can't even get the public to realize that Nazism is a bad idea once they've heard it, then....something has gone horribly awry. With any system, no matter what flavor of democracy.

It's a bit black and white, sure...but "literal nazis" is the sort of opposition a politician ought to dream of. Making a mockery of them in public ought to be a walk in the park.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:47 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If, with all of our education, freedoms, and so forth, we can't even get the public to realize that Nazism is a bad idea once they've heard it, then....something has gone horribly awry. With any system, no matter what flavor of democracy.


You don't understand Nazism then. The appeal of Nazism (and other ultra-nationalist ideas) isn't that it "makes sense". People are attracted to it because it gives them a shortcut to a sense of pride and superiority without requiring any natural talent, time or effort, just like people believe in moon landing conspiracies in spite of all the available proof you could shove down their throat because not believing in the conspiracy means they aren't smarter than you. Nazism promises you that simply due to accident of birth, you are good and awesome and special, whereas anyone not similar to you is automatically bad and terrible, and if anything proves this wrong such as the "other" being provably better than you it's because the system has been rigged in their favor through deceit and treachery. No amount of explaining why it's wrong, of education, or anything else, is going to remove this appeal. So yeah, there's a reason to make Nazis the butt of all jokes, to prevent them from appearing as anything other than bumbling idiots, to prevent them from speaking and being normalized.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:38 am UTC

Perhaps the best antiNazi strategy would then be to treat them as just laughable moron and not legitimize their image by treating them as a credible opposition? Schedule comedy rebuttals after their talks and opposite their marches. Make being a Nazi look like not some kind of “cool counterculture” bucking “the system”, but something only an inept idiot would contemplate. We’re not afraid of you, because you’re just idiots, and if some of you idiots get the bright idea to do something stupid, well then we’ll show you how stupid that was. Until then, have fun running your mouth off and showing the world what a clown you are.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:57 am UTC

Yes, basically. I've always advocated marching behind them playing circus music or yakety sax. That or everyone in the audience, instead of yelling or being angry, just pointing and laughing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:10 am UTC

Perhaps the best antiNazi strategy would then be to treat them as just laughable moron and not legitimize their image by treating them as a credible opposition?

The problem with that, is that it only works well if the group you're ridiculing has very little power or support. Lack of power is easy to ridicule, whether it's Nazis or a more worthwhile group. Basically, it's hard to laugh at torch marches when stuff actually gets torched at night (let alone in the day time).

It makes ridicule perhaps useful as an early strategy, to keep a small movement small, but you need a backup plan.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Grop » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:47 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:The problem with that, is that it only works well if the group you're ridiculing has very little power or support. Lack of power is easy to ridicule, whether it's Nazis or a more worthwhile group. Basically, it's hard to laugh at torch marches when stuff actually gets torched at night (let alone in the day time).


I can't help but notice that makes the whole "punch a nazi" thing quite impractical.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:01 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:The problem with that, is that it only works well if the group you're ridiculing has very little power or support. Lack of power is easy to ridicule, whether it's Nazis or a more worthwhile group. Basically, it's hard to laugh at torch marches when stuff actually gets torched at night (let alone in the day time).

It makes ridicule perhaps useful as an early strategy, to keep a small movement small, but you need a backup plan.
This is partly why I no longer perceive freedom of expression as such an ironclad principle; the dawning realization that, in a democracy, freedom of expression is not a sufficient defense against fascist ideology. You can be the most democratic government in the world; you can have more freedom of expression than anyone on the planet -- and you can still elect a dictator who tears it all down.

Defense against fascist ideology requires effort. If this effort fails, you can be left with a fascist regime. You should definitely have a backup plan, something with a little more bite than "make fun of those murder-hungry fascists".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:21 am UTC

This is partly why I no longer perceive freedom of expression as such an ironclad principle; the dawning realization that, in a democracy, freedom of expression is not a sufficient defense against fascist ideology. You can be the most democratic government in the world; you can have more freedom of expression than anyone on the planet -- and you can still elect a dictator who tears it all down.

Yeah, though if there is truly enough support to vote a dictator in (or some democratic version of nazism!), it's not that obvious what other approach is going to work either.

In that sense, I am all for focusing on freedom of expression and democracy and keeping public opinion on the good side. If you're losing that battle, the remaining options get rather unattractive.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:05 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Perhaps the best antiNazi strategy would then be to treat them as just laughable moron and not legitimize their image by treating them as a credible opposition? Schedule comedy rebuttals after their talks and opposite their marches. Make being a Nazi look like not some kind of “cool counterculture” bucking “the system”, but something only an inept idiot would contemplate. We’re not afraid of you, because you’re just idiots, and if some of you idiots get the bright idea to do something stupid, well then we’ll show you how stupid that was. Until then, have fun running your mouth off and showing the world what a clown you are.


This seems like a viable tactic. I don't feel a need to debate every creationist I see(because holy god it's repetitive and tedious), but creationism isn't considered credible in mainstream anything.

Zamfir wrote:It makes ridicule perhaps useful as an early strategy, to keep a small movement small, but you need a backup plan.


Also fair. Ridicule only makes sense for things that are not yet popular. Once an ideology is popular, you need to address it as such. Ridicule then only makes you appear out of touch.

The Great Hippo wrote:This is partly why I no longer perceive freedom of expression as such an ironclad principle; the dawning realization that, in a democracy, freedom of expression is not a sufficient defense against fascist ideology. You can be the most democratic government in the world; you can have more freedom of expression than anyone on the planet -- and you can still elect a dictator who tears it all down.


In fairness, Hitler never actually had a majority. Yeah, he got elected in, and popularity is responsible for a great deal of that, and is rightfully concerning...but causes of that go well beyond democracy, and into deal-making and the like.

I do also agree that it's hard to simply ban a popular movement. If you've let Nazism get beyond the ridicule stage, just banning it is...probably just the start of a fight, not a solution, really. Some problems are vastly easier to address when small.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby pogrmman » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:37 pm UTC

Apparently, National Guard troops will be sent to the border to help curb border crossings. It certainly seems to be stretching the truth when the Secretary of Homeland Security is saying “the threat is real”. Sure, there’s drugs crossing the border, but doesn’t homeland security deal with stuff like terrorism and other threats to national security? I guess one could argue that heroin trafficking is a threat to national security given the opioid crisis, but that seems almost like overreach... Not to mention the fact that the article says US military forces can’t be used for policing without Congress (though, to get around that, I could see Trump getting somebody like Abbot to send the State Guard [which is entirely state, not federal]).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:01 pm UTC

I mean this is a horrible waste of resources and time, but I find it funny the the national guard can't be used to prevent people from illegally crossing your borders. I mean isn't that inherently what a military is for?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby pogrmman » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:43 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I mean this is a horrible waste of resources and time, but I find it funny the the national guard can't be used to prevent people from illegally crossing your borders. I mean isn't that inherently what a military is for?

The place where the question comes from is is catching people who’ve come across the border policing or not?

It’s entirely impractical to have people all along the border preventing people from crossing — I doubt that will ever happen. Thats not what the military is being sent in to do. They’re modeling it after something the bush administration did, where the National Guard basically acted like extra CBP agents (I think).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:57 pm UTC

I don't think it's the most cost effective method either, and I also am not hostile to all immigration to the US the way Trump is, but I also don't see how using the national guard in this manner is illegal.

Although my views are a bit... well... I'm not categorically opposed to expansion. In the past few years, we took in 1m Honduran immigrants/refugees out of less than 10m in Honduras itself. There's thousands more currently en route to the US, and I wouldn't say it was a stretch to say that of all Hondurans a slight majority would prefer to be in the US. So if we were to offer Honduras a vote as to whether or not to become a US territory in which every Honduran was automatically a US resident and/or citizen...

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:16 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Although my views are a bit... well... I'm not categorically opposed to expansion. In the past few years, we took in 1m Honduran immigrants/refugees out of less than 10m in Honduras itself. There's thousands more currently en route to the US, and I wouldn't say it was a stretch to say that of all Hondurans a slight majority would prefer to be in the US. So if we were to offer Honduras a vote as to whether or not to become a US territory in which every Honduran was automatically a US resident and/or citizen...


The problem is that annexing territories don't magically make them "United States". Many of the countries that people are fleeing from have deep problems with ineffectual and corrupt government as well as deeply entrenched narcotics trafficking gangs. If we did annex any of those countries it would take an enormous amount of resources to fix those problems (not to mention the difficulties with removing the people who the current system works for (ie: the corrupt officials and the organized crime that pay them off)), enough so that we'd probably be better off dealing with the refugee migrations than engaging in nation-reconstruction.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:52 am UTC

pogrmman wrote:Apparently, National Guard troops will be sent to the border to help curb border crossings. It certainly seems to be stretching the truth when the Secretary of Homeland Security is saying “the threat is real”. Sure, there’s drugs crossing the border, but doesn’t homeland security deal with stuff like terrorism and other threats to national security? I guess one could argue that heroin trafficking is a threat to national security given the opioid crisis, but that seems almost like overreach... Not to mention the fact that the article says US military forces can’t be used for policing without Congress (though, to get around that, I could see Trump getting somebody like Abbot to send the State Guard [which is entirely state, not federal]).


Anti-drug activity has actually been something the military has helped with for...quite a while. The whole war on drugs bit. And stopping people at borders is a very common military function.

Not saying it's effective to have them parked at the border when most people are after jobs, mind you....but in a legal sense, it's not very novel.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:12 am UTC

The problem there is that Purdue Pharma is based in New York. It might well be useful to send in the military against them, but patrolling the border isn't going to interfere with their operations.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:14 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:The problem there is that Purdue Pharma is based in New York. It might well be useful to send in the military against them, but patrolling the border isn't going to interfere with their operations.


Im not following, how does Purdue Pharma connect to Trump's dislike of immigrants?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby emceng » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:15 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
pogrmman wrote:Apparently, National Guard troops will be sent to the border to help curb border crossings. It certainly seems to be stretching the truth when the Secretary of Homeland Security is saying “the threat is real”. Sure, there’s drugs crossing the border, but doesn’t homeland security deal with stuff like terrorism and other threats to national security? I guess one could argue that heroin trafficking is a threat to national security given the opioid crisis, but that seems almost like overreach... Not to mention the fact that the article says US military forces can’t be used for policing without Congress (though, to get around that, I could see Trump getting somebody like Abbot to send the State Guard [which is entirely state, not federal]).


Anti-drug activity has actually been something the military has helped with for...quite a while. The whole war on drugs bit. And stopping people at borders is a very common military function.

Not saying it's effective to have them parked at the border when most people are after jobs, mind you....but in a legal sense, it's not very novel.



But the problem comes from foreign versus domestic action. The military is intended to fight wars or do things in other countries. Theoretically sure, stopping people at the border makes sense. But the border isn't some magical line that we are going to line people up against. What will happen is the first 20, 50, or 100 miles north of the border is now being policed by the military. So you have heavily armed guys, trained specifically to kill people being pressed into service to instead detain brown people. What about all the full, legal citizens that are also brown people? Instead of police or border patrol agents who are theoretically fully trained in the legalities of policing, you have 18 year olds who were handed a gun and told to 'do something'.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:16 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Zamfir wrote:The problem there is that Purdue Pharma is based in New York. It might well be useful to send in the military against them, but patrolling the border isn't going to interfere with their operations.


Im not following, how does Purdue Pharma connect to Trump's dislike of immigrants?


Purdue makes Oxycontin and Fentanyl, and is in large part responsible for the opioid crisis, arguably more responsible for the heroin overdoses than the cartels are.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:25 am UTC

Ah, that makes sense.

I concur that it will do pretty much nothing about the opiod issue, but then, I don't think it's intended to.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:34 am UTC

He wondered could you eat the mushrooms, would you die, do you care.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby pogrmman » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:36 am UTC

That article was a really good read.

emceng wrote:Theoretically sure, stopping people at the border makes sense. But the border isn't some magical line that we are going to line people up against. What will happen is the first 20, 50, or 100 miles north of the border is now being policed by the military. So you have heavily armed guys, trained specifically to kill people being pressed into service to instead detain brown people. What about all the full, legal citizens that are also brown people? Instead of police or border patrol agents who are theoretically fully trained in the legalities of policing, you have 18 year olds who were handed a gun and told to 'do something'.


What you mention about full, legal citizens who happen to be brown people is important. In lots of border areas, they’re the majority. For instance, some of the least diverse metros in the US are actually ones right near the border. Why? Because everybody is Hispanic. Even pretty far from the border it’s also true too. I doubt they’ll be able to just use appearance to stop people — they probably need other signs (like drug dogs finding something or a car that is basically dragging its rear bumper on the ground.)

I imagine it’s not even really going to be patrolling — more like giving support so that CBP can set up more of the temporary, mobile checkpoints on roads leaving the border area. Even that isn’t gonna be super effective. I mean, there are these huge expanses of land out there, and plenty of landowners have land on both sides of a checkpoint. It’s not like there’s anything stopping people from just going around CBP stops through those huge ranches. I, frankly, wouldn’t be surprised if some landowners near the permenant checkpoints are paid to let people use their land to go around them.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:13 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Ah, that makes sense.

I concur that it will do pretty much nothing about the opiod issue, but then, I don't think it's intended to.

"Opioid Crisis! Build The Wall Because Of The Opioid Crisis Due To The Opioid Caravans!"

(Part of the "<Foo> Crisis! Build The Wall Because Of The <Foo> Crisis Due To The <Foo> Caravans!" set of random blatherings. Collect all forty-five and swap them for 50% off the annual that you can stick them in. Once you've collected another full set.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sableagle » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:36 pm UTC

That's heading this way too, just as soon as the Tories sell the relevant parts of the NHS to US-based private healthcare companies.

Alcohol, drownings, fires, HIV, poisonings, RTAs, suicide and violence combined, national average: 13.72 per 100,000 per year. Yay for austerity, I guess?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:43 pm UTC

Since I wrote that last message, Trump bleated that the Opioid Caravans were not happening1, because of Mexico doing such a good job because of Trump doing such a good job.

Nothing to see here, people, move along. Certainly not a person who seems to take daily advice from a Markov Chaining meme generator.


1 Had not been happening! Oceana has always been at war with Eastasia!


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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:58 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Do you have a citation for that?

You mean of my last post? It's my take on: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 380462081i

(Had to go hunting for it. It had fallen off the 'headlines', from my lurk-without-login glance at twitter, but still glad I'm not adding to all that weird stuff on there.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:17 pm UTC

Twitter says that page does not exist anymore.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Sizik » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:29 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:Do you have a citation for that?

You mean of my last post? It's my take on: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... 4380462081

(Had to go hunting for it. It had fallen off the 'headlines', from my lurk-without-login glance at twitter, but still glad I'm not adding to all that weird stuff on there.)


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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:40 pm UTC

Thought I might have mispasted, but works fine for me.

Copypasta wrote:Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
·
5 Apr
The Caravan is largely broken up thanks to the strong immigration laws of Mexico and their willingness to use them so as not to cause a giant scene at our Border. Because of the Trump Administrations actions, Border crossings are at a still UNACCEPTABLE 46 year low. Stop drugs!



Maybe try the address "de-'mobile'ed"? ((Ah, ninja got there first.))

There's so many things wrong with that, though, that I wouldn't rule out me hallucinating things. (~20K each of quote/retweets, if that's what those symbols mean, 85Kish likes (the heart). People saw it. But maybe only people that I imagined.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:42 pm UTC

Sentient Orange via Twitter wrote:The Caravan is largely broken up thanks to the strong immigration laws of Mexico and their willingness to use them so as not to cause a giant scene at our Border. Because of the Trump Administrations actions, Border crossings are at a still UNACCEPTABLE 46 year low. Stop drugs!

My favorite part of that is where he brags about how border crossings are at a "46 year low" [citation needed] and are also unacceptable high.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:45 pm UTC

That's if you don't read it as "Unacceptably low! It should be higher than this temporary slump!"… ;)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:42 pm UTC

I guess everyone's too busy watching this unfold live to post here, but:

F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen

The F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress.


Trump attorney Cohen is being investigated for possible bank fraud, campaign finance violations, according to a person familiar with the case

Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney of President Trump, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to a person with knowledge of the case.

FBI agents on Monday raided Cohen’s Manhattan office, home and hotel room as part of the investigation, seizing records about Cohen’s clients and personal finances. Among the records seized were those related to a 2016 payment Cohen made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Trump, according to another person familiar with the investigators’ work.

Investigators took Cohen’s computer, phone and personal financial records as part of the search of his office at Rockefeller Center, the second person said.


All this came out of a referral by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who seems to have stumbled upon criminal activity unrelated to the Russia investigation:

Under Justice Department regulations governing the special counsel’s work, Mueller is required to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein if his team finds information worth investigating that does not fall under his mandate.

Rosenstein, as the acting attorney general supervising Mueller’s work, has the responsibility of deciding whether to expand Mueller’s mandate to include the new topic or to refer it to a U.S. attorney’s office.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yablo » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:24 am UTC

Granted, I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me the Deputy Attorney General should only have the responsibility of deciding whether to expand Mueller's mandate within the parameters of the Attorney General's recusal. Since Sessions only recused himself as specifically pertains to the Russia investigation, shouldn't he be the one to decide whether to expand the special counsel's scope further? The Deputy Attorney General is only acting as the Attorney General in the capacity specified in the recusal.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:40 am UTC

Sessions didn't appoint the special counsel, Rosenstein did. Sessions recused himself because of inappropriate contacts with Russians, but the investigation itself had a much wider purview (see: the whole obstruction of justice aspect, which is wholly separate from the question of whether the Trump campaign actually coordinated with foreign actors or not).

I typed that quickly, so maybe there's some fine-tuning needed, but I think that's accurate enough.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:52 am UTC

Mueller probably didn't WANT his mandate to include the new topic. He seems pretty focused on the Russia investigation.

An added bonus was pointed out by Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York--an Obama appointee who was among 46 Obama appointees whose resignations were asked for by Trump in March 2017. (Bharara refused, so Trump fired him.) Bharara, who now works for CNN, said that if his successor as U.S. Attorney is really in charge of this new thing, the investigation of said new thing will presumably continue even if Mueller is fired.

I thought Bharara's comments on CNN were pretty interesting:

Preet Bharara: Cohen raid approved by people 'handpicked by Donald Trump'

Former US Attorney Preet Bharara said Monday that the FBI raids of Michael Cohen's office and hotel room were done by officials who were all "handpicked" by President Donald Trump.

"If the reporting is true, particularly the part about this being approved by the Southern District of New York Attorney's Office which I used to lead, are all people who are Republican, and all people who have basically been handpicked by Donald Trump," Bharara, now a senior CNN legal analyst, said on "The Situation Room."

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney fired by Trump, said on CNN that his replacement-- the U.S. attorney who sought the warrants -- was a Trump appointee. As was the judge who signed those warrants.


I haven't seen that confirmed anywhere else. If true, that pretty much puts paid to Trump's argument that this is a politically-motivated witch hunt. Trump appointed these people.

Preet Bharara has since Tweeted a bit of a caution about his assumption that Mueller is completely done with anything relating with this new thing, here:

I need to see more specific reporting before I'm 100% convinced this is a full-on "referral" to SDNY. I could be completely wrong but such a referral seems peculiar. Of course much is peculiar these days.


If you don't remember why Preet Bharara was fired in March 2017, Bharara's account of that from last September makes it smell pretty bad, in the current context.

Spoiler:
Preet Bharara, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York who President Donald Trump fired just three months into his presidency, says he believes that if he had stayed Trump would have asked him "to do something inappropriate."

"I will tell you one thing, now that it's been some months. I believe based on the information that we have on the president talking to Jim Comey relating to Michael Flynn, the information about the president talking to Jeff Sessions about the case of Joe Arpaio, and how he wanted both of those cases to go away -- that had I not been fired, and had Donald Trump continued to cultivate a direct personal relationship with me, it's my strong belief that at some point, given the history, the President of the United States would have asked me to do something inappropriate," Preet said on the first episode of his new podcast "Stay Tuned with Preet."

On Wednesday, it was announced that Bharara had been hired as a senior legal analyst at CNN.

During the podcast, Bharara gave what he called "the most detailed account" yet about the events leading up to his firing by Trump in March, which he hinges on a series of unannounced and highly unusual phone calls he received from Trump after Election Day.

Bharara added that he still doesn't know why he was fired by Trump in March. He was known as one of Wall Street's fiercest watchdogs and a widely respected prosecutor.

The interactions Bharara said he had with Trump started with a call from Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, his old boss, who called Bharara shortly after the election to tell him Trump wanted to keep him around.

Bharara said that the call came as a surprise to him but was "flattered at the time." It led to an in-person meet-and-greet on November 30 with the President-elect along with his right-hand campaign aides -- and later White House advisers -- Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, he said.

During the meeting, Bharara said nothing "inappropriate" or "untoward" came up, including discussing the details of any ongoing cases. But something peculiar did happen: Trump requested Bharara's personal cell phone and office numbers.

"It was odd, because as a general matter, Presidents don't speak directly to United States attorneys. It's unheard of in my experience," he said. "You know the number of times President (Barack) Obama called me? Zero."

The first call from Trump came less than a month later, on December 12, Bharara said.

"I wondered what it was about and I also wondered why the President-elect would not have foremost in his mind the awkwardness that was the tarmac incident where there was a private conversation between Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. And the most notable critic of that meeting was Donald Trump himself," Bharara said. "But he was not yet the President. He couldn't direct me to do anything."

Bharara chose to return Trump's call. But he said he noted at the time that it "wasn't the greatest thing in the world to have a direct and casual line of communication between a sitting United States attorney and a future President of the United States. Particularly given the kinds of jurisdiction I have in Manhattan."

Which, Bharara added, included "interests close to the President of the United States."

However, the call ended up being pretty unmemorable, Bharara said. He described Trump as "genial" and said he sounded like he wanted to "cultivate a relationship."

"I hoped that was a one time thing, and I wasn't going to hear from him again," Bharara said.

But it was not. The next call from Trump came the day before inauguration. It went to Bharara's voicemail and he once again said he had to weigh the option on whether to call the almost-President back. Because Trump was not yet in office, and still did not technically have authority over Bharara, he said he decided to return the call.

"This time again the President-elect seemed to simply be calling to shoot the breeze," Bharara said, adding that he thought it was "odd that (Trump) had time for a five-minute chit-chat to the local US attorney in Manhattan" especially considering that it was the day before he took office.

Bharara added: "To my knowledge, Donald Trump did not reach out to any other US attorney, and none has come forward to say they got a phone call -- it seemed like it was just me."

Bharara went about his job for a month and a half before he got another direct call from Trump on March 9. But this time was different. Trump was now the President. Bharara said what was especially notable about the date of the call was that at the time there had been much many cries from multiple corners to investigate aspects of Trump's business dealings and other ethics issues.

"I have reason to believe later that nobody knew that Donald Trump was calling me from the Oval Office," Bharara said. "I'm not saying he was going to tell me to do something I shouldn't do, but I thought even the phone call was a problem."

Bharara said he mulled over how to react to the call. He considered having someone listen in to the call but said it didn't seem proper. He even considered recording the phone conversation but said he ultimately decided it was "a bridge too far."

So instead, he decided to decline the call completely, and called back the President's office to let them know.

Less than 20 hours later, Bharara said, he was asked to resign.

Today, Bharara says he is still unsure why he was ultimately let go, along with 46 other US attorneys appointed under President Barack Obama -- especially since Trump had gone out of his way to let Bharara know he wanted to keep him.

"People ask me why do you think you were fired, and I say 'I dunno.' I'm prepared to believe lots of things are possible, It could be because someone got angry that I didn't return the phone call. It could be that people thought that all of these US attorneys were part of this nonsensical notion of the deep state. It could be a combination of reasons. It could have been an accident and they decided to stick with it. It could be that they didn't want independent people around," he said. "I'm not here to speculate. I just laid out the facts."


TL;DR--Trump knew that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York would be the one prosecuting any crimes involving Trump's and Kushner's business interests in Manhattan. Trump tried repeatedly to cosy up to Bharara. Bharara wouldn't be cosied, and got asked for his resignation within 24 hours of Trump's last attempt to cultivate a relationship. (Along with 46 other Obama appointees, but still.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:49 pm UTC

Aren't attorney's usually replaced at the start of a Presidential term?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:30 pm UTC

[url=https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/us/politics/fbi-raids-office-of-trumps-longtime-lawyer-michael-cohen.html]The F.B.I. also seized emails, tax documents and business records, the person said.

Maybe we will finally get a look at those tax returns now.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:40 am UTC

In half an hour of furious tweeting:
The Failing New York Times wrote another phony story. It was political pundit Doug Schoen, not a Ukrainian businessman, who asked me to do a short speech by phone (Skype), hosted by Doug, in Ukraine. I was very positive about Ukraine-another negative to the Fake Russia C story!

So much Fake News about what is going on in the White House. Very calm and calculated with a big focus on open and fair trade with China, the coming North Korea meeting and, of course, the vicious gas attack in Syria. Feels great to have Bolton & Larry K on board. I (we) are

....doing things that nobody thought possible, despite the never ending and corrupt Russia Investigation, which takes tremendous time and focus. No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!

Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

:roll:

(However right or wrong he is about who else is acting rightly or wrongly, the Leader Of The Tweet World rightfully ought to have his phone confiscated until he calms down.)


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