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

#14061 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-19, 18:05

The WaPo:

Quote

While under siege from opponents as treasury secretary, Hamilton sketched out the type of charlatan who would most threaten the republic: “When a man unprincipled in private life[,] desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper . . . despotic in his ordinary demeanour — known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty — when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity — to join in the cry of danger to liberty — to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion — to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day — It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.’ ” Given the way Trump has broadcast suspicions about the CIA, the FBI, the diplomatic corps, senior civil servants and the “deep state,” Hamilton’s warning about those who would seek to discredit the government as prelude to a possible autocracy seems prophetic.


Alexander Hamilton was obviously an "enemy of the people" who was trying to invalidate the 2016 election. What else would you expect from an immigrant from a sh$%hole country in the West Indies. ;)

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#14062 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-20, 12:12

From Josh Kraushaar at the National Journal:

Quote

Buried in the Washington drama of impeachment, corruption, and foreign policy chaos this past week was a ground-shaking bit of news: New polling and fundraising figures show that Mitch McConnell’s hold on the Senate majority is looking awfully precarious. Indeed, the pathway for a narrow Democratic takeover of the upper chamber is looking clearer than ever.

Four Republican senators were outraised by their Democratic challengers in the third fundraising quarter, with three of them representing battleground states (Iowa, Maine, and Arizona) that Republicans will need to win to maintain power. And in North Carolina, Sen. Thom Tillis raised only $1.2 million, an underwhelming sum for a senator facing a credible primary threat and an expensive general election ahead. All four swing-state senators also are viewed unfavorably by their constituents according to new quarterly Morning Consult polling, underscoring the sudden shift in support away from Republicans.

In Iowa, Sen. Joni Ernst failed even to hit the million-dollar mark in fundraising, a financial baseline of sorts for senators running for reelection. She was outraised by a Democratic outsider, businesswoman Theresa Greenfield, who raised $1.1 million despite facing a contested Democratic primary and refusing donations from corporate PACs.

As her fundraising has slowed, Ernst’s support back home has also declined. The Morning Consult tracking poll found Ernst with an underwater job-approval rating of 39/43, with more independents viewing her unfavorably than favorably. That’s a shift from her net-positive job approval over the spring, which stood at 42/38.

Donald Trump comfortably carried her state in 2016, but since then, Iowa farmers have taken a serious hit from the president’s trade war. Both Gallup and Morning Consult have found his support sinking in the state, with a March Des Moines Register poll showing even 28 percent of Iowa Republicans believing the tariffs have hurt the state’s agribusiness.

These are all major red flags suggesting Iowa is a much bigger battleground than Republicans anticipated at the beginning of the year.

The GOP’s outlook in Arizona and North Carolina is also looking gloomier. Both Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina are facing nuisance primary challengers, which makes it harder for the incumbents to consolidate their base. But the more they try to protect their right flank, the tougher it becomes to win over the suburban moderates who decide races in these swing states.

McSally, who lost last year’s election before being appointed to her seat, trailed Democratic challenger Mark Kelly by 5 points, 46 to 41 percent, in a poll taken in August. She’s been outraised in all three of the fundraising quarters by significant margins—an unusual disadvantage for a sitting senator. She already lags Kelly in campaign cash by nearly $4 million.

Tillis holds the lowest approval rating (33 percent) of any sitting senator, according to the Morning Consult survey. A Democratic poll conducted in September found him trailing his little-known Democratic opponent Cal Cunningham, 45 to 43 percent. But before he even faces Cunningham, he’ll have to get past self-funded businessman Garland Tucker in the primary. Tucker has poured $1.2 million of his own money into the campaign—around the same amount Tillis raised in the last three months. Tucker has already been using that money on anti-Tillis campaign ads, forcing the senator to respond in kind.

Cunningham wasn’t the Democrats’ top recruit, but this race is turning more into a referendum on Tillis. If Cunningham wins the nomination and runs a competent race, Tillis will face major hurdles in winning a second term.

In Maine, a race that Republicans consider the nation’s biggest bellwether, Sen. Susan Collins is suddenly facing a real fight. State House Speaker Sara Gideon raised a whopping $3.2 million in the third quarter, outpacing Collins by more than $1 million. More significantly, Collins’ once-golden image back home has continued to slip, according to the Morning Consult numbers. Her popularity has hit an all-time low in the tracking survey, down to 43/49 job approval.

Collins has already gone up with an early advertisement, a sign that her team recognizes this race will be the toughest campaign that the senator has faced.

Here’s the big picture: If Trump doesn’t win a second term, Democrats need to net only three seats to win back the majority. Assuming they can’t hang onto Sen. Doug Jones’ seat in ruby-red Alabama (but hold Sen. Gary Peters’ seat in traditionally blue Michigan), the magic number is four. And when you add Sen. Cory Gardner’s tough race in Colorado to the toss-up list, they’ve got five promising opportunities to defeat Republican senators.

In a normal political environment, Republicans would have good reason to be confident they could win some of these hotly contested races. But given the trajectory of Trump’s presidency and the trend lines in the battlegrounds, Republicans don’t have much room for error. Right now, control of the Senate past 2020 looks awfully close to a toss-up with over a year until the election.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#14063 User is online   barmar 

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Posted 2019-October-20, 14:01

View Posthrothgar, on 2019-October-17, 09:12, said:

No. It is another example of an idiot Russian playing what-about-ism games...

1. I am not aware of any US laws that ban American citizens from interfering in foreign elections. So, even if this were tre, this wouldn't be an issue under American law

Just because it's legal, that doesn't mean it's right.

There's a general principle of national sovereignty. If we expect other countries to respect our election processes, we should respect theirs, even if they don't pass laws requiring it.

However, merely expressing an opinion about a candidate is hardly comparable to the kinds of interference the Russians did in 2016 and what Trump asked the Ukrainians to do this year.

#14064 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-20, 15:38

View Postbarmar, on 2019-October-20, 14:01, said:

Just because it's legal, that doesn't mean it's right.

There's a general principle of national sovereignty. If we expect other countries to respect our election processes, we should respect theirs, even if they don't pass laws requiring it.

However, merely expressing an opinion about a candidate is hardly comparable to the kinds of interference the Russians did in 2016 and what Trump asked the Ukrainians to do this year.


A citizen expressing an opinion about a foreign election is a first amendment right of freedom of speech.

The head of the executive branch of the United States actively withholding aid while offering a White House meeting in exchange for a formal and loud bogus investigation into a political rival paid for in part by a Ukrainian oligarch who is fighting extradition to the U.S. to face criminal charges is not even in the same universes 1-11.

In fact, it could well be bribery, a clear-cut impeachable offense.
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#14065 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-20, 20:19

This could be an interesting and critical turn as the judge has ruled that the DOJ cannot redact the reasons they did not compel testimony from Don Jr. and Senior Turmp in front of the Grand Jury, especially note this tweet form Ms Wheeler:


Quote

emptywheel
@emptywheel
·
7h
One important point abt Don Jr refusing to testify, even to the GJ, is that he invoked the Fifth when the people asking the questions had been able to subpoena for records.

He did NOT invoke the Fifth when Congress asked him questions.


It says a lot about Jr. when Dad is in the White House and is refusing to comply with any Congressional subpoenas but when the law calls on Jr. he pleads the fifth. The issue he seems to be queasy about is document production. Wonder what those could be?

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#14066 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-21, 13:14

Quote

Meanwhile, Trump estimated it has cost him $2 billion to $5 billion “between what I lose and what I could’ve made” to be president.

“I don’t care,” he said. “If you’re rich it doesn’t matter.”


Yes, if you're rich it doesn't matter. But what if you are Donald Trump?

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#14067 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-October-21, 15:05



Quote


Meanwhile, Trump estimated it has cost him $2 billion to $5 billion “between what I lose and what I could’ve made” to be president.
“I don’t care,” he said. “If you’re rich it doesn’t matter.”



Just the other day I was telling Becky that sure I could have been a couple of billion richer but really it doesn't matter. I also could have been a tennis champion and one of history's great lovers, que sera sera. Fortunately I did become a stable genius. I am very skilled at cleaning out stables.
Ken
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#14068 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2019-October-21, 18:28

View Postkenberg, on 2019-October-21, 15:05, said:






Just the other day I was telling Becky that sure I could have been a couple of billion richer but really it doesn't matter. I also could have been a tennis champion and one of history's great lovers, que sera sera. Fortunately I did become a stable genius. I am very skilled at cleaning out stables.


You are also very witty, level-headed, and a pleasure to encounter in cyberspace. Please carry on.

#14069 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 03:43

View PostChas_P, on 2019-October-21, 18:28, said:

You are also very witty, level-headed, and a pleasure to encounter in cyberspace. Please carry on.

One might almost describe him as a stable genius perhaps...

When giving Dodgy Donald's 2-5 billion comment I think it is useful to point out that 5 billion dollars is not only more than his total wealth now but more than he has ever been worth at any time in his life. As always, one should treat the words of the American president in much the same way as an online troll and double-check every little detail before accepting something as true.
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#14070 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 14:49

View Postcherdano, on 2018-April-05, 17:14, said:

Quite a few posters here wrote a lot of words about their concern that Clinton did not comply with State department email protocols.
https://www.axios.co...ampaign=organic

I am sure that adds a LOT of worry about the current White House for all of you.
Oh, it doesn't? Then, perhaps, just maybe, your attention to Clinton's email management decisions was a tiny bit overblown? Just a tiny bit?

Overblown? Case closed.
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#14071 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 14:58

This speaks to most men living lives of quiet desperation.

Quote

But the U.S. is also the only rich country in the world where the mortality rate has been going up, not down. Much of that trend is driven by men without college degrees in America’s heartland, according to Brookings.

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#14072 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 15:03

Yeah. I am still wondering whether anyone here who wrote loads and loads of posts about Clinton's emails - why she did it, what it showed about her judgement, what should have led her not to follow the advice to set up a private server, etc. etc. - whether they may have given the issue just a little bit too much weight.

In retrospect, is Clinton's decision to follow the advice by one of her staff to set up a private server so she could more easily access her emails while travelling, and thereby violating state department IT guidelines, indeed the most important information about her character and suitability to become president?
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#14073 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 15:05

I believe this exchange is directly attributable to AG Bill Barr and his influence on the President's beliefs:

Quote

Donald Trump reportedly told a room of his top aides that he is in charge of the Hatch Act, when warned by his chief of staff that bringing his cabinet members to a campaign rally could violate ethics rules.

The comment, reported in a new Wall Street Journal article, illustrates the degree to which Mr Trump believes his administration does not have to worry about the rule, which was passed a century ago with the intention of warding off political activity by government employees.


This falls in with Barr's belief that as the head of the executive branch the president is also the top federal law enforcement officer so he alone is the final arbiter of federal criminal violations, i.e., above all federal laws and only by impeachment can he be held accountable.

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#14074 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 15:15

ALERT! I believe there is a valid claim. Down 13, redoubled. And Vulnerable.

Testimony of Acting Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor

Quote

Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelenskyy was dependent on a public announcement of investigations,” Taylor said. “In fact, Ambassador Sondland said, ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance.”

“He said that President Trump wanted President Zelenskyy ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations,” Taylor continued.

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#14075 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 16:06

So, recall a couple weeks back when Andrei was complaining about "unnamed sources?"

View Postandrei, on 2019-September-26, 10:14, said:

It is out and it sounds like a Maggie Haberman piece.

I have never seen/heard anything, but unnamed sources have told me that ....


Wonder whether he'll change his tune now that the following happened

https://cdn.vox-cdn....r_testimony.pdf

Quote

According to Mr. Morrison, President
Trump told Ambassador Sondland that he was not asking for a “quid pro quo.” But
President Trump did insist that President Zelenskyy go to a microphone and say he is
opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference, and that President
Zelenskyy should want to do this himself. Mr. Morrison said that he told Ambassador
Bolton and the NSC lawyers of this phone call between President Trump and
Ambassador Sondland.

The following day, on September 8, Ambassador Sondland and I spoke on the phone.
He said he had talked to President Trump as I had suggested a week earlier, but that
President Trump was adamant that President Zelenskyy, himself, had to “clear things up
and do it in public.” President Trump said it was not a “quid pro quo.” Ambassador
Sondland said that he had talked to President Zelenskyy and Mr. Yermak and told them
that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelenskyy did not “clear things
up” in public, we would be at a “stalemate.” I understood a “stalemate” to mean that
Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance.

Alderaan delenda est
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#14076 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 17:53

Concerning Trump's continued search for "the DNC server", he needs some tech lessons:

Quote

Now ask yourself which of these servers in this or some other data center might have hosted John Podesta’s emails, or those of 300 other people linked to the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party targeted by Russia in the same March 2016 bulk phishing attack?

Not a single one of them — probably many of them.

And the data and applications may not stay in one server, one rack, one site alone. It could be spread all over depending on what’s most efficient and available at any time, and the architecture of failover redundancy.

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#14077 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 19:36

From CNN:

Quote

Our latest CNN poll conducted by SSRS shows that 50% of Americans and 51% of voters want Donald Trump to be impeached and removed from office. This is the highest level of support for impeaching and removing Trump from office ever recorded by CNN. Only 43% of Americans and 44% of voters are against impeaching and removing him.

It’s also the first time that the percentage who want to impeach and remove Trump significantly outnumbers the percentage who don’t want him impeached removed.

In the two polls taken on the subject since the House’s impeachment inquiry began, a plurality of Americans have said they wanted to impeach and remove Trump. In no poll taken before then was this the case.

Here are a few other takeaways from the poll:

Our poll is not an outlier and is fairly close to the average spread in October of 48% who want to impeach and remove Trump from office and 44% who don’t.

Mike Pence’s net favorability rating (-7 points) is 7 points higher than Trump’s (-14 points).

More Americans want to impeach and remove Trump from office now than Americans did at this point of the impeachment sagas of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.

The percentage of Americans who feel strongly about Trump not being impeached and removed has dropped from 45% in the spring of this year to 37% now, which suggests Trump has room to lose more ground going forward.

Rudy Giuliani’s favorable rating is lower than ever, while Nancy Pelosi’s is the highest in over a decade.

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#14078 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-22, 20:10

With the quid pro quo verified, will Trump fight to the end and trust the Senate to save him or will he look for a way out?
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#14079 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-October-23, 07:05

The latest Dodgy Donald defence seems to be that Ukraine were not aware of why aid + call + WH meeting were being withheld. Unfortunately this does not even pass the lightest of brushes with the evidence of Bill Taylor's testimony:

In early September, Taylor said he spoke with an NSC official who described a conversation Sondland had with a Ukrainian official at an event in Poland. Sondland told the official "the security assistance money would not come until President Zelenskiy committed to pursue the Burisma investigation" — a reference to the company Hunter Biden was working for.

"Ambassador Sondland also told me that he now recognized that he had made a mistake by earlier telling the Ukrainian officials to whom he spoke that a White House meeting with President Zelinskiy was dependent on a public announcement of investigations — in fact, Ambassador Sondland said, 'everything' was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance."

Taylor said he and Sondland spoke on the phone. According to Taylor, Sondland said he had told Zelenskiy and one of his top advisers "that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelenskiy did not 'clear things up in public,' we would be at a 'stalemate.'

"I understood a 'stalemate' to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance. Ambassador Sondland said this conversation concluded with President Zelenskiy agreeing to make a public statement in an interview with CNN," Taylor wrote.
--

The fallback line other Republicans seem to be manning is that the QPQ is wrong but does not rise to the level of an impeachable offence. And yet it seems obvious in the extreme that this is precisely the sort of abuse of power that was meant in the drafting of the Constitution, so that position is surely untenable over any length of time. Any of our resident Reds want to suggest a defence they could get behind and believe in?
(-: Zel :-)
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#14080 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-October-23, 09:08

The "fighting corruption" defense won't fly:

Quote

The Trump administration has sought repeatedly to cut foreign aid programs tasked with combating corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere overseas, White House budget documents show, despite recent claims from President Trump and his administration that they have been singularly concerned with fighting corruption in Ukraine.

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