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

#13721 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-23, 12:38

From Citizens for Responsibility for Ethics in Washington aka CREW:

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Mike Pence’s controversial visit to President Trump’s resort in Doonbeg is slated to cost taxpayers $599,454.36 in limousine service alone, according to State Department contracts reviewed by CREW.

The choice to stay at Trump’s Irish resort in Doonbeg was both highly inconvenient, and extremely expensive. Located 181 miles away on the opposite side of the country from Pence’s meetings in Dublin, Doonbeg was far from a convenient location.

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#13722 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-23, 14:15

Noah Smith at Bloomberg makes the case that national health insurance is good for capitalism:

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The employer-based insurance system tilts the playing field against entrepreneurs in two ways. First, someone starting a new business will have to search for and select a plan filled with arcane and technical language that can be almost impossible for an untrained person to grasp. But even more importantly, the employer-based system absorbs many of the costs and risks of coverage, which then tend to shift to the entrepreneur who strikes out on their own.

Starting a business is a risky proposition, and half fail within five years. There’s also a huge commitment of time, and usually a major commitment of personal wealth. If a business fails, an entrepreneur will suddenly be without an income, and most or all of the capital invested will vanish. No income and no employer means no health insurance.

Adding the risk of losing health insurance to the inherent risk of starting a business makes entrepreneurship all the more daunting. For someone who’s on the fence about staying in at a corporate job or leaving to start a business, the comfort of the employer-sponsored health plan can tip the scales in favor of the low-risk path.

There is a growing body of evidence to support the idea that national health insurance would boost entrepreneurship. Researchers at the Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy found that people who get health coverage through their spouses are much more likely to strike out on their own, as are people who qualify for Medicare. Meanwhile, a reform in New Jersey that made it easier to purchase insurance independently has boosted self-employment. A nationwide program to provide insurance to low-income families with children also appears to have increased entrepreneurship.

National health insurance would act like these programs, but on a grand scale. Aspiring entrepreneurs would no longer have to worry about getting their health insurance from their spouse, or buying a costly plan on their own in the private market; it would just be there, in the background, providing a safety net that makes the prospect of starting a business less frightening.

Similarly, national health insurance would also make it easier to switch jobs. Quitting your job to look for a better one can mean losing your health insurance -- a scary prospect, particularly for those with chronic medical conditions. Economists have found evidence that the employer-based health system locks people into their jobs. This not only gives employers more power to hold down wages, but it contributes to the nationwide trend of declining job mobility. Worker who are reluctant to move to the best jobs make the economy less productive.

Our current health insurance system is holding back capitalism. That system could be eliminated simply by ending policies that subsidize employer-based insurance, of course. But without a good replacement, the health insurance market will be plagued by the old problems of overpricing, market breakdown and inequality. Entrepreneurship and job-switching would still be out of reach for many without personal wealth or family support.

Instead, national health insurance -- of the kind that has been successful in many other developed countries -- would remove health risk from the decision to start a business or switch jobs. It would free Americans to pursue their capitalistic dreams. A dose of national health insurance might therefore be just what the free market needs.

This is probably obvious even to many Republicans.
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#13723 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-23, 16:24

View Posty66, on 2019-September-23, 14:15, said:

Noah Smith at Bloomberg makes the case that national health insurance is good for capitalism:


This is probably obvious even to many Republicans.


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#13724 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 04:55

From The Growing Threat to Journalism Around the World by A. G. Sulzberger at NYT:

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The hard work of journalism has long carried risks, especially in countries without democratic safeguards. But what’s different today is that these brutal crackdowns are being passively accepted and perhaps even tacitly encouraged by the president of the United States.

This country’s leaders have long understood that the free press is one of America’s greatest exports. Sure, they’d complain about our coverage and bristle at the secrets we brought to light. But even as domestic politics and foreign policy would change, a baseline commitment to protecting journalists and their rights would remain.

When four of our journalists were beaten and held hostage by the Libyan military, the State Department played a critical role in securing their release. Interventions like this were often accompanied by a stern reminder to the offending government that the United States defends its journalists.

The current administration, however, has retreated from our country’s historical role as a defender of the free press. Seeing that, other countries are targeting journalists with a growing sense of impunity.

This isn’t just a problem for reporters; it’s a problem for everyone, because this is how authoritarian leaders bury critical information, hide corruption, even justify genocide. As Senator John McCain once warned, “When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press.”

To give you a sense of what this retreat looks like on the ground, let me tell you a story I’ve never shared publicly before. Two years ago, we got a call from a United States government official warning us of the imminent arrest of a New York Times reporter based in Egypt named Declan Walsh. Though the news was alarming, the call was actually fairly standard. Over the years, we’ve received countless such warnings from American diplomats, military leaders and national security officials.

But this particular call took a surprising and distressing turn. We learned the official was passing along this warning without the knowledge or permission of the Trump administration. Rather than trying to stop the Egyptian government or assist the reporter, the official believed, the Trump administration intended to sit on the information and let the arrest be carried out. The official feared being punished for even alerting us to the danger.

Unable to count on our own government to prevent the arrest or help free Declan if he were imprisoned, we turned to his native country, Ireland, for help. Within an hour, Irish diplomats traveled to his house and safely escorted him to the airport before Egyptian forces could detain him.

We hate to imagine what would have happened had that brave official not risked their career to alert us to the threat.

Eighteen months later, another of our reporters, David Kirkpatrick, arrived in Egypt and was detained and deported in apparent retaliation for exposing information that was embarrassing to the Egyptian government. When we protested the move, a senior official at the United States Embassy in Cairo openly voiced the cynical worldview behind the Trump administration’s tolerance for such crackdowns. “What did you expect would happen to him?” he said. “His reporting made the government look bad.”

Since assuming office, President Trump has tweeted about “fake news” nearly 600 times. His most frequent targets are independent news organizations with a deep commitment to reporting fairly and accurately. To be absolutely clear, The Times and other news organizations are fair game for criticism. Journalism is a human enterprise, and we sometimes make mistakes. But we also try to own our mistakes, to correct them and to rededicate ourselves every day to the highest standards of journalism.

But when the president decries “fake news,” he’s not interested in actual mistakes. He’s trying to delegitimize real news, dismissing factual and fair reporting as politically motivated fabrications.

So when The Times reveals his family’s fraudulent financial practices, when The Wall Street Journal reveals hush money paid to a porn star, when The Washington Post reveals his personal foundation’s self-dealing, he can sidestep accountability by simply dismissing the reports as “fake news.”

Even though all those stories — and countless more that he’s labeled fake — have been confirmed as accurate, there is evidence that his attacks are achieving their intended effect: One recent poll found that 82 percent of Republicans now trust President Trump more than they trust the media. One of the president’s supporters was recently convicted of sending explosives to CNN, one of the most frequent targets of the “fake news” charge.

But in attacking American media, President Trump has done more than undermine his own citizens’ faith in the news organizations attempting to hold him accountable. He has effectively given foreign leaders permission to do the same with their countries’ journalists, and even given them the vocabulary with which to do it.

They’ve eagerly embraced the approach. My colleagues and I recently researched the spread of the phrase “fake news,” and what we found is deeply alarming: In the past few years, more than 50 prime ministers, presidents and other government leaders across five continents have used the term “fake news” to justify varying levels of anti-press activity.

The phrase has been used by Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Hungary and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, who have levied massive fines to force independent news organizations to sell to government loyalists. It’s been used by President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, who have attacked the press as they’ve led bloody crackdowns.

In Myanmar, the phrase is used to deny the existence of an entire people who are systematically targeted with violence to force them out of their country. “There is no such thing as Rohingya,” a leader in Myanmar told The Times. “It is fake news.”

The phrase has been used to jail journalists in Cameroon, to suppress stories about corruption in Malawi, to justify a social media blackout in Chad, to prevent overseas news organizations from operating in Burundi. It has been used by the leaders of our longtime allies, like Mexico and Israel. It has been used by longtime rivals, like Iran, Russia and China.

It has been used by liberal leaders, like Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar. It’s been used by right-wing leaders, like Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro. Standing next to President Bolsanaro in the Rose Garden, President Trump said, “I’m very proud to hear the president use the term ‘fake news.’”

Our foreign correspondents have experienced the weaponization of the “fake news” charge firsthand. Last year, Hannah Beech, who covers Southeast Asia, was at a speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia. In the middle of his remarks, Mr. Hun Sen uttered a single phrase in English: “The New York Times.” He said that The Times was so biased that it had been given a ‘fake news’ award by President Trump, and he threatened that if our story didn’t support his version of the truth, there would be consequences.

Hannah felt a growing hostility in the crowd of thousands as the prime minister searched her out and warned, “The Cambodian people will remember your faces.”

I have raised these concerns with President Trump. I’ve told him that these efforts to attack and suppress independent journalism is what the United States is now inspiring abroad. Though he listened politely and expressed concern, he has continued to escalate his anti-press rhetoric, which has reached new heights as he campaigns for re-election.

President Trump is no longer content to delegitimize accurate reporting as “fake news.” Now, he has taken to demonizing reporters themselves, calling them “the true enemy of the people” and even accusing them of treason. With these phrases, he has not just inspired autocratic rulers around the world, he has also borrowed from them.

The phrase “enemy of the people” has a particularly brutal history. It was used to justify mass executions during the French Revolution and the Third Reich. And it was used by Lenin and Stalin to justify the systematic murder of Soviet dissidents.

The treason charge is perhaps the most serious a commander in chief can make. By threatening to prosecute journalists for invented crimes against their country, President Trump gives repressive leaders implicit license to do the same.

In the United States, the Constitution, the rule of law and a still-robust news media act as a constraint. But abroad, foreign leaders can silence journalists with alarming effectiveness.

Nick Casey, a Times reporter who was repeatedly threatened and ultimately barred from Venezuela for aggressive reporting on the brutal Maduro regime, stressed how much more serious consequences can be for local journalists. “If this is what countries are capable of doing to me, as a Times reporter, what are they capable of doing to their own citizens?” he asked. “Far worse. And I’ve seen it.”

Even as we worry about the dangers our own reporters face, those dangers usually pale in comparison to what courageous local journalists confront around the world. They search for truth and report what they find, knowing that they and their loved ones are vulnerable to fines, arrests, beatings, torture, rape and murder. These reporters are the front-line soldiers in the battle for press freedom, and they’re the ones who pay the greatest price for President Trump’s anti-press rhetoric.

The cases of intimidation and violence I’ve discussed today are just a few of the ones we know about. On any given day, similar stories are unfolding around the world, many of which will never surface or be recorded. In many places, fear of reprisal is great enough that it has a chilling effect — stories go unpublished, secrets remain buried, wrongdoing remains covered up.

This is a perilous moment for journalism, for free expression and for an informed public. But the moments and places where it is most difficult and dangerous to be a journalist are the moments and places where journalism is needed most.

A tour of our nation’s history reminds that the role of the free press has been one of the few areas of enduring consensus, transcending party and ideology for generations. Thomas Jefferson wrote that “the only security of all is in a free press.” John F. Kennedy called the free press “invaluable” because “without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive.” Ronald Reagan went even further, saying, “There is no more essential ingredient than a free, strong and independent press to our continued success in what the founding fathers called our ‘noble experiment’ in self-government.”

Despite this tradition of American presidents defending the free press, I do not believe President Trump has any intention of changing course or muting his attacks on journalists. If recent history is any guide, he may point to my comments today and claim that The Times has a political vendetta against him. To be clear, I’m not challenging the president’s recklessness because of his party, his ideology or his criticism of The Times.

I’m sounding the alarm because his words are dangerous and having real-world consequences around the globe. But even if the president ignores this alarm and continues on this path, there are important steps the rest of us can take to protect the free press and support those who dedicate their lives to seeking truth around the world.

It starts with understanding the stakes. The First Amendment has served as the world’s gold standard for free speech and the free press for two centuries. It has been one of the keys to an unprecedented flourishing of freedom and prosperity in this country and, through its example, around the world. We cannot allow a new global framework, like the repressive model embraced by China, Russia and others, to take hold.

This means, in the face of mounting pressure, news organizations must hold fast to the values of great journalism — fairness, accuracy, independence — while opening ourselves so the public can better understand our work and its role in society. We need to keep chasing the stories that matter, regardless of whether they’re trending on Twitter. We cannot allow ourselves to be baited or applauded into becoming anyone’s opposition or cheerleader. Our loyalty must be to facts, not to any party or any leader, and we must continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, without fear or favor.

But the responsibility to stand up for the free press extends beyond news organizations. Business, nonprofit and academic communities, all of which rely on the free and reliable flow of news and information, have a responsibility to push back on this campaign, too. That is particularly true of tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple. Their track record of standing up to governments abroad is spotty at best; they’ve too often turned a blind eye to disinformation and, at times, permitted the suppression of real journalism.

But as they move even deeper into making, commissioning and distributing journalism, they also have a responsibility to start defending journalism.

Our political leaders need to step up, too. Those elected to uphold our Constitution betray its ideals when they undermine the free press for short-term political gain. Leaders from both parties should support independent journalism and fight anti-press efforts at home and abroad.

Here in the United States, that means rejecting efforts like frivolous lawsuits and investigations targeting government leaks that aim to chill aggressive reporting. And around the world, it means opposing the countless efforts underway to attack, intimidate and delegitimize journalists.

Finally, none of these efforts will make a difference unless you raise your voice. Care about where your news comes from and how it’s made. Find news organizations you trust and enable the expensive, arduous work of original reporting by buying a subscription. Support organizations like the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders that defend journalists at risk around the world. Most of all, carve out a place for journalism in your everyday life and use what you learn to make a difference.

The true power of a free press is an informed, engaged citizenry. I believe in independent journalism and want it to thrive. I believe in this country and its values, and I want us to live up to them and offer them as a model for a freer and more just world.

The United States has done more than any other country to popularize the idea of free expression and to champion the rights of the free press. The time has come for us to fight for those ideals again.

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#13725 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 05:06

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

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Folks, I think the president of the United States is going to be impeached.

The signals are clear. First, seven new members of the House, all with national-security backgrounds, published an op-ed Monday demanding that the administration hand over a whistle-blower complaint that reportedly alleges misconduct by President Donald Trump – and saying that impeachment would be the proper response if the reports about the complaint are true. Then two allies of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said much the same.

Impeachment still isn’t certain. The immediate flash point is a Thursday deadline the House has set for the whistle-blower complaint to be delivered. If the administration complies, it’s possible that the added details in the complaint could defuse the situation somewhat (although what Trump has already admitted to should be sufficient for an impeachment). And so far, only the Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash seems likely to join the House Democrats, while conviction would require a lot more Republican defections than seem likely at the moment.

Time for a Watergate story. Very early on, when the original cover-up was still intact and President Richard Nixon was cruising to a landslide re-election, House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, as Fred Emery tells the story, “reckoned that so many bad things had been done by the Nixon men that they simply could not be kept secret indefinitely. Privately, he urged his surprised colleagues in the House leadership to ‘get ready for impeachment.’”

But O’Neill was patient. The House didn’t move after the cover-up collapsed in spring 1973, or after dramatic Senate hearings that summer revealed that Nixon was personally involved. Only after the Saturday Night Massacre in October, when Nixon ordered Justice Department officials to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the probe, did they start moving toward impeachment. And then for months, the judiciary committee slowly gathered evidence to make its case. This strategy eventually worked, as the story gradually came out and moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats began defecting from Nixon – followed by the rest of the Republican Party in August 1974.

Has Pelosi been emulating O’Neill? She’s been taking plenty of heat from pro-impeachment Democrats. She’s certainly been unwilling to get ahead of her caucus. Perhaps that’s because she thinks impeachment could be avoided. Or perhaps she’s been betting that Trump’s past and current lawlessness would keep supplying new evidence pushing ambivalent Democrats toward action – and that a measured, patient process would be far stronger than a rushed one.

After all, whatever the merits of a party-line impeachment, an effort that could barely get the necessary 218 votes out of the 239 Democrats (plus Amash) would be much weaker, and we still don’t know whether House Democrats would vote unanimously. In fact, there’s plenty we don’t know. The Washington Post reports that the House leadership is considering using a select committee to pursue impeachment. (Odd, isn’t it, that the famously anti-impeachment leadership seems to have advanced plans for how to do the deed?) Nor is it clear what the scope of such proceedings would be: Just the whistle-blower story? That plus the obstruction of justice identified by special counsel Robert Mueller? Plus emoluments and conflicts of interest? Plus other abuses of power? The one thing this situation isn’t lacking is legitimate material to investigate.

Even so, Democrats haven’t yet committed to go ahead with impeachment. Most of their public statements have only called for an impeachment inquiry, which of course has been taking place with or without formal authorization for months now. But it does seem likely that the more advanced their process gets, the harder it will be to apply the brakes. Especially given that Trump is extremely unlikely to (say) cooperate with normal oversight procedures, and thus will make the substantive case for impeachment stronger. There may also be a lot of shoes left to drop.

No one knows yet whether Republicans will take all this seriously, let alone vote to impeach or remove the president. And the Senate majority can set the rules for an impeachment trial any way they like, so long as they have the votes; a trial about the whistle-blower accusations could well wind up mired in unsubstantiated rumors and accusations about former Vice President Joe Biden. But yes, add all of it up, and it certainly seems likely we’re headed for impeachment.

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#13726 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 05:22

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-September-20, 23:55, said:

Simple question Andrei: If these accusations are true, should Trump be removed from office?

Your repeated use of bold face suggests that you are disputing the accuracy of these claims, not the magnitude of the supposed offense.

Still waiting for andrei's response (or any of the other Trump supporting posters here).
If it helps, by "these accusations" you can take the claim that the Trump administration blocked congressionally authorised financial support for Ukraine, and that Trump made clear in a phone call that they'd wish to see investigations into Hunter Biden in exchange for lifting the block.
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#13727 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 05:34

It's really something to see Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, two Virginia members of Congress who defeated Republican incumbents in hard fought races in 2018, plus five other freshmen Democrats calling all colleagues to "consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of inherent contempt and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security".  
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13728 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 08:39

NYT has finally spilled the beans; why did this take so long to report?

Quote

The publisher of The New York Times said Monday that the Trump administration would not help one of its reporters who was about to be arrested in Egypt two years ago, saying the episode was just one of many instances of the U.S. retreating from its “historical role as a defender of the free press.”


Quote

Over the last few years, however, something has dramatically changed. Around the globe, a relentless campaign is targeting journalists because of the fundamental role they play in ensuring a free and informed society. To stop journalists from exposing uncomfortable truths and holding power to account, a growing number of governments have engaged in overt, sometimes violent, efforts to discredit their work and intimidate them into silence.

This is a worldwide assault on journalists and journalism. But even more important, it’s an assault on the public’s right to know, on core democratic values, on the concept of truth itself. And perhaps most troubling, the seeds of this campaign were planted right here, in a country that has long prided itself on being the fiercest defender of free expression and a free press.

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#13729 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 09:03

Prior to my switch of careers, I worked for many years in Las Vegas. This whole incident about the new Ukraine president smacks of a classic Mob-style influence attempt.

1. Send your personal attorney to "investigate".
2. Withhold something of value.
3. Express a "concern".
4. "Suggest" a "favor" as "the friendly and right thing to do".

The entire operation is about creating deniability while ensuring a totally different message gets through.
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#13730 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 10:02

Quote of the day from Ragnar Weilandt:

Quote

Oh look: A 16-year old girl with Asperger speaking in her 2nd language makes more sense and is more eloquent than the President of the United States, who, in turn, reacts like a spoiled 10-year-old.

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#13731 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 11:36

View Posty66, on 2019-September-24, 05:06, said:

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:




Apparently there has been something of a shift in Pelosi:

https://www.washingt...340f_story.html

A couple of thoughts.

For impeachment it is best if there is one act that stands out. For Nixon, it was the Watergate break-in. Everyone could understand that sending burglars to break in to the DNC has to have consequences. And so it is here. And there needs to be proof people can understand. So let's look.

$400 million gets put on hold (not denied) and then the president talks to the head of Ukraine and they talk about Joe Biden and corruption, this conversation also acknowledged. No quid pro quo being put forth? Nobody over the age of 12 believes that.

This is important. It is not necessary that he said "You get the 400 mil when you dig up dirt on Biden and son". The message was clearly sent. I am not a lawyer, I don't get involved in complicated schemes, so legalistically I am out of my depth. Most people are not lawyers, most people want to have as little to do with lawyers as is possible. But those same people can understand what message was being sent here.

Impeachment will be effective when the guy with a job, a family and bills to pay can understand the reason for it in less time than it takes him to read the sports page. I am thinking that point has arrived.

Ken
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#13732 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 12:05

Good timeline of events from Greg Sargent at the WaPo:

Quote

So here’s what we know: As the timeline shows, Trump was thinking hard about Biden and Ukraine well in advance of ordering the aid frozen. At the same time, many officials in Trump’s own administration were deliberately kept in the dark about Trump’s rationale for freezing the aid.

Does that prove a connection? No, and we still don’t know whether Trump explicitly threatened to withhold the aid while making his demand of Zelensky, but this sequence makes a connection seem very plausible.

Regardless, the timeline shows that this constitutes extraordinarily serious misconduct even if Trump didn’t offer any explicit quid pro quo. Ukraine badly wanted the aid, and Zelensky told Murphy that Trump made him feel like there was a connection.

Both Trump and Giuliani have openly flaunted their own efforts to get Ukraine to dig dirt on Biden. Trump did this literally the day after the special counsel’s testimony persuaded him he can operate with impunity.

Trump’s top officials then corruptly concealed the “urgent” and “credible” whistleblower complaint from Congress — and we then only learned that Trump’s pressure on Zelensky appeared to be at the center of that complaint through dogged reporting.

No matter how you cut this, Trump used the power of the presidency to try to leverage a foreign power into interfering in the election on his behalf. And his top officials appear to be breaking the law to prevent Congress from getting to the bottom of it.
My ehphasis:

I think that last bolded paragraph fills the bill for simplicity.

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#13733 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 13:14

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-September-24, 09:03, said:

Prior to my switch of careers, I worked for many years in Las Vegas. This whole incident about the new Ukraine president smacks of a classic Mob-style influence attempt.

1. Send your personal attorney to "investigate".
2. Withhold something of value.
3. Express a "concern".
4. "Suggest" a "favor" as "the friendly and right thing to do".

The entire operation is about creating deniability while ensuring a totally different message gets through.

The Criminal in Chief also said he was going to release transcripts of "a"??? call, but didn't say any thing about all the calls that were made. I have no reason to doubt the Liar in Chief and sincerely believe he will release transcripts of "a" call, right after he voluntarily releases his tax returns and loan documents from foreign banks. :rolleyes:
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#13734 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 13:33

View Postjohnu, on 2019-September-24, 13:14, said:

The Criminal in Chief also said he was going to release transcripts of "a"??? call, but didn't say any thing about all the calls that were made. I have no reason to doubt the Liar in Chief and sincerely believe he will release transcripts of "a" call, right after he voluntarily releases his tax returns and loan documents from foreign banks. :rolleyes:


The exact words of the transcript are unimportant - it is the entirety of events that leads to the conclusion.

1) Guiliani sent to the Ukraine to encourage an investigation into Biden.
2) Trump withholds military funding for Ukraine
3) Trump calls the president of Ukraine while still withholding military funding
4) Trump mentions Biden during the call.

There does not have to be any single incident of a quid pro quo. The pattern shows the nature of the actions.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
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#13735 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 13:52

It is disheartening, disturbing, and sad that this country elected a person who would say this in front of the United Nations:

Quote

The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations, who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors and honor the differences that make each country special and unique. It must not attempt to erase them or replace them. Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders causing them to ignore their own national interests. Those days are over.

But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
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#13736 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 14:20

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-September-24, 13:33, said:

There does not have to be any single incident of a quid pro quo. The pattern shows the nature of the actions.

Unfortunately, if it's all just implied and reading between the lines, the Republican Senate might be willing to let it go.

Like if a mobster says "I wouldn't like to see something bad happen to your family." We all know that this is a veiled threat, but it provides plausible deniability to a jury that's in your favor and chooses to interpret it literally ("he's expressing concern for your family's well-being").

Haven't we seen it before in Congressional and Senate hearings? If the Senate is not inclined to convict, and Trump hasn't been caught holding a smoking gun, they'll find a way to let him off.

I don't think we can compare now to the Nixon era. The mood in Congress is vastly different.

#13737 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 14:26

View Postbarmar, on 2019-September-24, 14:20, said:

Haven't we seen it before in Congressional and Senate hearings? If the Senate is not inclined to convict, and Trump hasn't been caught holding a smoking gun, they'll find a way to let him off.

For some Republicans in Congress, a smoking gun, video and audio of the crime, and a public admission of guilt are not enough for them to criticize, let along vote to impeach or convict the Criminal in Chief.
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#13738 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 14:28

View Postbarmar, on 2019-September-24, 14:20, said:

Unfortunately, if it's all just implied and reading between the lines, the Republican Senate might be willing to let it go.

Like if a mobster says "I wouldn't like to see something bad happen to your family." We all know that this is a veiled threat, but it provides plausible deniability to a jury that's in your favor and chooses to interpret it literally ("he's expressing concern for your family's well-being").

Haven't we seen it before in Congressional and Senate hearings? If the Senate is not inclined to convict, and Trump hasn't been caught holding a smoking gun, they'll find a way to let him off.

I don't think we can compare now to the Nixon era. The mood in Congress is vastly different.


It doesn't matter about the Senate. The House has a duty to impeach. That forces the Senate to vote on approving corruption.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
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#13739 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 15:12

All I can say is that it's about time.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
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#13740 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-September-24, 15:58

View Postbarmar, on 2019-September-24, 14:20, said:


Unfortunately, if it's all just implied and reading between the lines, the Republican Senate might be willing to let it go.

Like if a mobster says "I wouldn't like to see something bad happen to your family." We all know that this is a veiled threat, but it provides plausible deniability to a jury that's in your favor and chooses to interpret it literally ("he's expressing concern for your family's well-being").

Haven't we seen it before in Congressional and Senate hearings? If the Senate is not inclined to convict, and Trump hasn't been caught holding a smoking gun, they'll find a way to let him off.

I don't think we can compare now to the Nixon era. The mood in Congress is vastly different.


Comparisons are tricky, I emphatically agree. I mentioned the butterfly effect earlier when I brought up Watergate, with the idea that even without vast differences in the beginning, the endings can be different. But there can still be useful thoughts from history, and I think that a very useful point here is that, like your Mafia example, everyone can understand what is being said when someone puts a hold on 40mil and then calls to talk about corruption and Joe Biden and how it's really important to get at corruption. Confession time: I have not read all of the Mueller report. And I'm retired. And I have been at least somewhat following politics since 1952, when Pogo Possum was my first choice, Adlai Stevenson my second. It's important to present the case so that I and others see that it is right.


I would much prefer that we never need to impeach a president. It's not an opportunity, it's a tragedy. So if it happens, the ordinary guy has to be able to look at it as necessary. Democrats, some of them, have been far too gleeful. Or self-righteous. So it needs to be seen as right and necessary. Not seen as such by everyone, that never happens with anything. But broadly, I think it can.
Ken
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