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

#14261 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-November-13, 09:21

Everyone got pizza and bier handy?

Washington Post
CBS
CNN
Fox
The Guardian
(-: Zel :-)
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#14262 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2019-November-13, 10:45

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-November-13, 09:21, said:

Everyone got ... bier handy?

Even if the result is a Senate conviction, I thought the penalty was only removal from office. Perhaps he'd need to be carried out.
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#14263 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-November-13, 11:07

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-November-11, 16:38, said:

The self-centered aspect comes with a vote for Trump and his tax policies.

Except that he was joking when he said that. He said so immediately after the comment, it's not like this was some half-hearted mea culpa when he was called on it later.

#14264 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-13, 11:21

View Postbarmar, on 2019-November-13, 11:07, said:

Except that he was joking when he said that. He said so immediately after the comment, it's not like this was some half-hearted mea culpa when he was called on it later.



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#14265 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-November-13, 11:23

View PostPeterAlan, on 2019-November-13, 10:45, said:

Even if the result is a Senate conviction, I thought the penalty was only removal from office. Perhaps he'd need to be carried out.

Sorry, that was me mixing up my English and German. Bier is the German word for beer.
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#14266 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-13, 11:26

It struck me today during one of the opening statements that I have been wrong about Trump; I had thought he was the conman but it turns out he is the sucker, and he bought the Putin's con about Ukraine and Crowdstrike.

On a similar note, it also occurred to me that the nexus between Putin and Trump is corruption; they both need it and depend on it as a means to get their way. If you can corrupt the world, everyone is tainted.

The question now is: how do you fit into that corruption scenario, Lindsey Graham?

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#14267 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-13, 21:28

From Vanessa Friedman at NYT:

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Quote

Amid all the debate and various through-the-mirror interpretations of Day 1 of the public impeachment inquiry, all the grandstanding, pundit-ing and parsing of testimony, there was one surprising point of fascination among the viewing public: the bow tie worn by George P. Kent, the State Department official in charge of Ukraine.

A lot of people noticed it. A lot of people commented on it. Hands down, the majority voted yes on it. It soon got its own Twitter hashtag: #GeorgeKentsBowTie. The Daily Beast even crowned Mr. Kent an immediate “fashion icon.”

No one was saying it was the most important detail of a historic day — of course it wasn’t. (Nor was the Nalgene bottle he brought with him, though that also got some attention.)

But it was impossible for many to ignore because, like the moment itself, it was singular; an anomaly in an anomalous time. And in that sense, it almost seemed to symbolize not just Mr. Kent himself, but also the whole experience.

The bow tie, at least onscreen, appeared to be blue and yellow (some said orange, others ocher and turquoise), in a sort of chain/paramecium pattern. It was paired with a matching pocket square and was worn with a light blue shirt and gray plaid three-piece suit, complete with neatly buttoned-up vest.

It also looked hand-tied, listing slightly as if to underscore its own authenticity — and, maybe, that of the man who wore it. It was the same bow tie that Mr. Kent wore for his portrait currently on view on the State Department website, a nod to both continuity and the fact that he was appearing in his professional capacity.

Some speculation had it that it was his good-luck bow tie. Or his power bow tie, depending. Either way, it was definitely a signature tie. Mr. Kent adopted a similar look — a paisley bow tie and matching pocket square — during his closed-door testimony on Oct. 15.

And, in its truncated shape, the opposite of the Trump tie, which is famously worn extending below the belt.

It was also a highly unusual accessory to see in Washington, where dressing like a company man is the norm, and where ties most often indicate party allegiance or flag-referential patriotism. (See the blue tie chosen by Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and the red one with white polka dots worn by Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the committee).

Washington is where the somber dark suit is the default uniform, and modernity is symbolized by rolled shirt sleeves. Where, despite famous bow-tie-wearing politicians like Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the sight of a bow tie is rarer than the sight of no tie at all.

Instead, the bow tie has all sorts of stereotypical associations outside of the political arena. It is linked to the professor, the intellectual, the Southern dandy (at least when paired with seersucker), the nerd, the waiter, the clown.

Bill Nye the Science Guy is a famous bow tie wearer. So is Pee-wee Herman. So were George Plimpton and Fred Astaire. How those traditions color the perception of Mr. Kent depends on your cultural shorthand. In any case, he is now part of that motley assortment.

None of those things could have escaped him, since, as his testimony indicated, he is a student of history as well as a career diplomat.

The decision to go the bow tie route at a time when the eyes of the country would be on him, when the image of him in that tie was assured of becoming a part of history, was not a decision Mr. Kent could have made by accident. Which makes it hard to avoid the assumption that it was also a declaration of independence, of a sort.

Sharp tie, sharp mind and a sharp tongue. I like this guy.
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#14268 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-14, 09:42

From James Poniewozik, chief television critic at NYT:

Quote

In the middle of the testimony of William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, that opened the House impeachment hearings Wednesday, a guessing game broke out on social media.

He sounded like someone, didn’t he? His deep, assuring, steady voice reminded some people of Tom Brokaw. No, maybe it was Walter Cronkite? Edward R. Murrow?

It’s telling that all those comparisons were to old-school news anchors. Because I think what people were hearing in Mr. Taylor’s gravelly composure was the voice, not so much of another person, but another time — a time of authoritative voices that a wide audience found credible.

It was like a science-fiction story in which someone turns on an old radio and hears a staticky broadcast from the past. Even the text of Mr. Taylor’s introduction had a Cronkitian ring: “I am not here to take one side or the other,” he said. “My sole purpose is to provide facts as I know them.” And that’s the way it is.

But this was in fact 2019, where there’s no unified audience willing to accept a single way that anything is.

The Democrats running the House Intelligence Committee investigation, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff, used the testimony of Mr. Taylor and his colleague George P. Kent, a senior State Department official, like the opening scene of an international-intrigue drama: two diplomats becoming aware of disturbing news in a foreign land.

Mr. Taylor’s testimony was a tale of two channels. There was the regular channel of diplomacy, he said, aimed at supporting Ukraine’s newly elected government. And there was an “irregular channel” — one of several terms the day’s proceedings added to the lexicon of scandal — working,

But there were competing channels in the committee room as well. The Democrats, in charge of the proceedings and witness list, were starting to craft a story arc of presidential threats and self-dealing. The Republicans seemed less interested in offering a unified counternarrative than in pre-empting it with a series of program interruptions.

In his opening statement, ranking Republican Devin Nunes decried the investigation as a “theatrical” performance. But it was his party’s performance that was belted most stridently — and maybe pitched toward one particular viewer on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Mr. Nunes reached presidential-tweet levels of rancor in denouncing the investigation as a “carefully orchestrated media smear campaign.” Representative Jim Jordan, riffing like an angry auctioneer, closed the hearings dismissing them as a “darn sham.”

This is not the first impeachment proceeding to play out in the era of 24-hour electronic news. But there’s a difference between today and the Bill Clinton impeachment of the late 1990s. Back then, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC all covered the damaging and salacious details with similar fervor.

Wednesday, both broadcast and cable news carried the hearings live — but depending where you watched, the onscreen graphics could tell a very different story. During Mr. Taylor’s testimony, an MSNBC caption identified him as “Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine since June.” A label on Fox read, “President Trump dismissed Taylor as a ‘Never Trumper.’”

The awareness of Fox’s influence on the conservative base never seemed far from mind. Indeed, some of the Republicans’ lines of questioning seemed unintelligible — like a story line from a larger cinematic universe — unless you were familiar with the counter-theories about Ukraine and the 2016 election favored by that channel’s opinion hosts and elsewhere in the conservative mediasphere.

As for Fox’s viewer-in-chief, the president insisted that “I haven’t watched for one minute” (though he did retweet several supportive tweets during the hearings, some including video). But his presence was felt, and not just among Republicans: Representative Eric Swalwell asked Mr. Kent and Mr. Taylor if they were “Never Trumpers,” an accusation the president had tweeted again that morning. (Both men denied it.)

Wednesday’s testimony was the first installment in a series of unknown length, and it showed the hearings’ potential to tell an involving story and to enable grandstanding. The afternoon segment, in which committee members took turns questioning, was heavy on the posturing.

But Mr. Taylor’s lengthy statement was absorbing, not just because of that 20th-century-anchor voice. “Mr. Chairman, there are two Ukraine stories today,” he said. One was the notorious story of arm-twisting and election interference. The other was a “positive, bipartisan one,” about a country developing an inclusive identity, “not unlike what we in America, in our best moments, feel about our diverse country.”

There are going to be at least two competing stories as this narrative unfolds. And in this programming era, the positive, uplifting ones don’t always adapt well to American TV.

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#14269 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-November-14, 15:40

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-November-13, 11:26, said:

It struck me today during one of the opening statements that I have been wrong about Trump; I had thought he was the conman but it turns out he is the sucker, and he bought the Putin's con about Ukraine and Crowdstrike.

On a similar note, it also occurred to me that the nexus between Putin and Trump is corruption; they both need it and depend on it as a means to get their way. If you can corrupt the world, everyone is tainted.

The question now is: how do you fit into that corruption scenario, Lindsey Graham?


And it's particularly ironic that the GOP party line is that Trump was trying to get Ukraine to root out corruption, with Hunter Biden's board membership simply being one instance.

#14270 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-November-14, 15:41

View Posty66, on 2019-November-13, 21:28, said:

Sharp tie, sharp mind and a sharp tongue. I like this guy.

"Every girl's crazy for the sharp-dressed man" -- ZZ Top.

#14271 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-14, 18:35

From Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg:

Quote

House Democrats have finally figured out how to hold a hearing.

The first public congressional session of the impeachment inquiry aimed at President Donald Trump probably wasn’t compelling television for most voters. Most people just aren’t very interested in fine details. Nor did Democrats bring a lot of drama or theatrics.

And yet I suspect that for those who are interested in government and public affairs — including the news media — there was plenty of substance in the testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday of two State Department officials responsible for U.S. policy in Ukraine. Competently guided by Democratic members and staff, Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent skillfully laid out facts that are clearly damning to Trump, and to the rogue Ukraine policy run by presidential counselor Rudy Giuliani, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and others on behalf of Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.

With few exceptions, Democrats followed a just-the-facts, this-is-serious-business strategy, showing their intention to speak to those beyond their strongest supporters. There’s no way to predict whether they will succeed in weakening Trump’s support and building sentiment for his removal from office among people who are undecided or weakly opposed, but that’s the way to do it.

The Republican responses were unconvincing. Ranking committee member Devin Nunes of California and the Republican counsel used a lot of their time to sketch out debunked claims and conspiracy theories that Trump, Giuliani and others have been trying to spread.

Most of it was incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t regularly tune in to the attacks on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that dominate Fox News and Republican-aligned talk radio. Republicans also made much of the early contact between committee staff and the anonymous whistle-blower who alerted intelligence agencies to the July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden. They also alleged that Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff met with the whistle-blower and influenced his or her testimony. Schiff has credibly denied any such coordination, and it’s hard to see why it would matter given that the whistle-blower’s complaint has been almost entirely verified, including by the two witnesses on Wednesday.

The other Republican line of defense was somewhat less outlandish, though it still doesn’t add up. Their story goes like this: Trump had been more supportive of Ukraine than President Barack Obama had been; it was reasonable for Trump to temporarily hold up military aid even under circumstances that strongly suggested a pressure tactic to force the Biden probe; the aid was eventually delivered even though no investigation was publicly promised or undertaken; therefore there’s no harm, no foul, and nothing abusive.

It's healthy in general for members of a president's party to ask tough questions and to poke for holes in the opposition’s case. Nevertheless, in this case it won't wash.

It’s true that Ukraine military aid was initiated by people in the Trump administration. But that doesn’t absolve Trump himself from responsibility for trying to wield it for personal political gain.

Because Trump is such a weak president, different officials take hold of different pieces of policy, sometimes in direct conflict with others. Today’s witnesses explained this as a two-track of policy for Ukraine, one through regular officials and the other through irregular channels. The regular group was advancing a normal U.S. policy of supporting a nation under attack from Russia. The irregular one wasn’t interested in any of that, but was advancing Trump’s personal campaign interests by trying to extort election assistance from the new Ukrainian government.

That plot failed because it was exposed, and Congress pressured the administration to follow the official policy. But the plot was real nonetheless, as detailed by today’s witnesses, by depositions taken recently, and by documentary evidence such as the written record of the July 25 call.

I suspect that the witness-bullying style of Republicans Jim Jordan of Ohio and and John Ratcliffe of Texas won’t play well outside of the president’s strongest circle of supporters, either.

The one big revelation in today’s hearing came at the beginning, when Taylor described in his opening statement a phone call between Trump and Ambassador Gordon Sondland that a State Department official overheard in a restaurant. Not only may that call tie Trump even more directly to the rogue policy, but it also provides new drama as the hearings continue.

The official, David Holmes, is being asked to give a private deposition to the committee on Friday, and may then be added to a public hearing. Sondland is scheduled to testify next week. He’s already changed his testimony once since his deposition; now he’ll either have to remember more things that he previously forgot to mention, or else there will be directly contradictory testimony. Either way, and regardless of substance, it brings the kind of suspense to the hearings that keeps live coverage going and gets people to talk about it.

Given the facts of the case, that’s bad news for Trump.

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#14272 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-November-14, 20:11

bribery, n.

Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: bribe v., bribe n., -ery suffix; briber n., -y suffix3.

3. The demanding of a sum of money or other inducement by a powerful person, esp. a judge or other official, in return for a certain action or a favourable judgement; an instance of this. Obsolete.
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between this sense and sense 4, esp. in later use; see note at bribe n. 2a.

1538 T. Elyot Dict. Emissarius, sommetyme..signifieth suche a persone, whyche is ordeyned of him that is in any great office or authoritie, to aduaunce his bribery.
1549 H. Latimer 2nd Serm. before Kynges Maiestie 3rd Serm. sig. G.v Brybery is a pryncely kind of theauing. They wyl be waged by ye riche eyther to geue sentence against the pore, or to putte of the pore mans causes.
1621 H. Elsynge Notes Deb. House of Lords (1870) 23 His estate raysed by theis briberyes.
1769 W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. IV. 139 Bribery is..when a judge, or other person concerned in the administration of justice, takes any undue reward to influence his behaviour in his office.
1836 Penny Cycl. V. 407/1 Since the Revolution, in 1688, judicial bribery has been altogether unknown in England.

4. The giving, offering, or promising of a sum of money, gift, or other inducement (see bribe n. 2a) to someone in order to influence his or her behaviour, esp. to persuade him or her to act in one's favour; the taking or acceptance of such a sum of money or other inducement. Also: an instance of this.
The giving of bribes instigated by the recipient is often taken to fall within the scope of the term bribery, including in many legal definitions (cf. note at bribe n. 2a); in such use there is some overlap with older use in sense 3 (where the term is used more narrowly to refer only to inducements instigated by the recipient). Sometimes spec. with reference to the giving of bribes in exchange for votes at a parliamentary or other election; cf. bribery oath n. at Compounds 2.

1560 J. Daus tr. J. Sleidane Commentaries f. xix The Frenche king..intended by the same counsell to depose him from his bishopprike which he had got by briberye.
a1639 W. Whately Prototypes (1640) xxvi. 57 Bribery is naught, that is to seeke to turne a Governour from justice by gifts, and hire him to do wrong.
1661 Eliana vi. 247 Those that opposed her, were many of them suspected of bribery, having been too much acquainted with that Prince, others spake out of a spirit of fear and pusillanimity.
1701 A. Boyer tr. E. Le Noble Art Prudent Behaviour i. 39 When a Judge is immoderately severe, is that a sign of his being Subject to Bribery?
1755 T. Carew Hist. Acct. Rights Elections Great Brit. i. 7/2 The agents of Simon Mayne are not guilty of bribery in corruptly procuring votes at the late election of a burgess.
1827 H. Hallam Constit. Hist. Eng. I. v. 288 This [sc. 1571] is the earliest precedent on record for the punishment of bribery in elections.
1879 Evening Bull. (San Francisco) 22 Jan. Rival book houses have resorted to the bribery and corruption of the School Department.
1935 Slavonic & East European Rev. 14 61 He became an unscrupulous business man..yet his grafts or briberies are now justified because he will destroy and undermine the rotten ‘capitalistic civilisation’.
1969 R. Salerno & J. S. Tompkins Crime Confederation 172 The attempted bribery of police to overlook specific acts is common at all levels of law-breaking—some criminals carry $5000 or so in large bills at all times as ‘fall’ money.
1982 R. Carr Spain (ed. 2) ix. 367 Illicit practices—the oversetting of voting urns, the resurrection of the dead for voting lists, bribery and intimidation.
2012 Guardian 28 Aug. 25/5 The act outlaws bribery by UK companies and their local partners. Facilitation payments..are banned, as are favours to protect existing contracts or win business.
2019 Nancy Pelosi The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry, and that the president abused his power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival — a clear attempt by the president to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election.

Source: OED
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#14273 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 10:02

Devin Nunes continues to spread the Russian conspiracrap.
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#14274 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 11:05

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-November-15, 10:02, said:

Devin Nunes continues to spread the Russian conspiracrap.

It might be time to re-visit some of the Russian stuff in the wake of what has come out during the Stone trial. It sure does look like Trump lied during at least one of his written answers. Those are under oath and that is precisely the charge that Reps brought in the Clinton impeachment. The inability of Müller's team to prove that link between DJT and Wikileaks via Stone is precisely one of the main reasons why it was not possible to prove the conspiracy charge so if that impediment falls away there ought to be some follow-up.
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#14275 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 11:06

Quote

And yet I suspect that for those who are interested in government and public affairs — including the news media — there was plenty of substance in the testimony

That explains why Fox News didn't find it compelling -- they're not interested in any of those things, and barely count as "news media".

#14276 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 12:02

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-November-15, 11:05, said:

It might be time to re-visit some of the Russian stuff in the wake of what has come out during the Stone trial. It sure does look like Trump lied during at least one of his written answers. Those are under oath and that is precisely the charge that Reps brought in the Clinton impeachment. The inability of Müller's team to prove that link between DJT and Wikileaks via Stone is precisely one of the main reasons why it was not possible to prove the conspiracy charge so if that impediment falls away there ought to be some follow-up.


Well, Roger (I don't know Wikileaks and I've never heard of Russia) Stone was today found guilty of all 7 counts, 6 of lying to Congress and 1 of witness intimidation. If Trump pardons him, Stone can no longer use the 5th Amendment and could be compelled to testify or face contempt charges that would again jail him.

The only thing Trump can do is commute his sentence.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
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#14277 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 12:04

View Postbarmar, on 2019-November-15, 11:06, said:

That explains why Fox News didn't find it compelling -- they're not interested in any of those things, and barely count as "news media".



And then there is this from the WaPo:

Quote

November 29, 2017 at 3:10 p.m. CST
When a Boston Globe columnist criticized Sean Hannity's work last year, the Fox News star defended himself with name-calling and a key distinction.

This is Hannity's go-to rebuttal when media colleagues say his commentary is unfair.

“I'm not a journalist,” he told listeners
on his syndicated radio show in April 2016. “I'm a talk-radio host.”

my emphasis

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#14278 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 16:07

I'm not a president, I am a talk show host.

Maybe that would work. It' be better than explaining that Trump can't be found guilty because he is too incompetent to trade a quid for a quo.

I am pretty sure that in the last thirty days I have heard the phrase quid pro quo more times than in the previous thirty years.
Ken
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#14279 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 16:44

"Only the best people."

Quote

Over 80 members of the House of Representatives have now called on White House senior adviser Stephen Miller to resign after leaked emails published this week showed his affinity for white nationalism

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#14280 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-November-15, 16:47

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-November-15, 12:02, said:

Well, Roger (I don't know Wikileaks and I've never heard of Russia) Stone was today found guilty of all 7 counts, 6 of lying to Congress and 1 of witness intimidation.

Well done Roger Stone. A "perfect" outcome. 7 for 7, you can't do better than that unless it is 8 for 8, etc.
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