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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:37 pm 
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So, did Trump back off threatening China with tariffs because they agreed to buy up to $200 billion dollars worth of goods and services that the US doesn't actually have to sell them (and can't produce for years even if we tried)? Or is this another pro quo for the half billion dollars the Chinese government is fronting his new properties in East Asia? Mindbogglingly stupid or completely corrupt? Ah, heck; both.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:43 am 
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My guess, the political equivalent of telling a small child that if he's a good boy and stops shouting you'll take him to Disney World for his birthday. Donnie banged his fist on the table and demanded a trade war; his hapless advisers had to put on a show of giving him one. Now that China has granted this "concession", they can go and tell their boss they have won. Of course, the bribe helps.

Meanwhile, also in the real world:
- Betsy DeVos has shut down investigations into fraudulent practices by for-profit colleges,
- Jeff Sessions is still digging around for new people to deport - having run out of migrants with temporary protected status to revoke, he's just reopened deportation proceedings on some 300,000 people whose cases had previously been dismissed by judges.
- HUD doesn't care about housing discrimination anymore
- Congress has gutted Dodd-Frank; Trump just needs to sign it
- The sabotage of Obamacare continues apace; it's getting to death spiral proportions
- John Bolton may be actively sabotaging the North Korea talks because he's itching to bomb them

Happy Wednesday!

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 11:50 pm 
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For what it's worth, I called it. Giulaini and Trump aren't even trying to defend Trump legally, they just accused the Deep State of spying on them. This gives Republicans the excuse to flip out about Mueller's Anachronistic Hillary Masterminded Conspiracy and will never lift a finger against Trump.

And somehow the Democrats are declining in the polls the closer November comes. It seems that as soon as they field specific candidates, people go "ugh".

And the trade war is back on. Fun fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 3:45 am 
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Kea wrote:
For what it's worth, I called it. Giulaini and Trump aren't even trying to defend Trump legally, they just accused the Deep State of spying on them.


If they're following the Zuma script, then the next step is to pull all the stops to stay out of a courtroom for as long as possible and then turn around and tell the media that they should be presumed innocent by the media until found guilty in a court of law.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Now for three points, what does the oversized Hallmark card from NK say? Aside from some culturally specific euphemism for 'sucker'?

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:28 am 
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Going entirely by the Zuma script, I'm thinking they'll leave 'sucker' out entirely in favour of:

Quote:
"You'll find our payment in the usual place. Pleasure doing business with you."

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:17 am 
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If they're following the Zuma script, then the next step is to pull all the stops to stay out of a courtroom for as long as possible and then turn around and tell the media that they should be presumed innocent by the media until found guilty in a court of law.

Eh, close. Now they're claiming that it's impossible for the president to break the law because he is the law. Nixon reprise: "It's not a crime when the president does it".

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:01 am 
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So old Don attended the G7 meeting. In order to avoid talks which would have gone much worse for him than the ones he did bother to sit through, he showed up very late and left very early. Still, while there he seized his chance to BS and bloviate in order to try to distract everyone from how badly screwed up his policies are; calling for the G7 to readmit Russia on the basis that their annexation of Crimea was Obama's fault, and for everyone to eliminate all of their tariffs. This from a man who doesn't and won't understand what a Value Added Tax is and why it's trade neutral (which isn't exactly rocket science).

In other news, four Republican Senators called him on the way he is kissing Putin's butt while openly infuriating the nations who until recently were supposed to be our friends. Four out of fifty two. It's obviously nice to be a professional member of a party which believes in nothing but psychopathic oligarchism and institutional racism; you can go along with almost anything, no matter how strongly it violates supposed bedrock party values, without even blinking.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Let me guess. All four of those senators are retiring, yes? Trump already has the base blaming Canada for the G7 debacle, who are mere senators to challenge Fox News talking points? Not when the midterms are at stake.

Trump's in my hemisphere now. Let's hope Korea is still here on Wednesday.

By the way, there is this demented story making the rounds, where civil servants report being forced to sellotape Trump's documents back together because they are legally required to keep every presidential record but he won't stop ripping his papers up with his tiny hands. Another entry in the annals of You Can't Make This %&# Up.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:14 pm 
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New York State is suing Trump and several of his children for abusing his charity for personal gain. What makes this fun is that it's happening in a New York court under New York law. Remember, boys and girls; there's no freude like schadenfreude.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:06 pm 
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Can Trump decide to settle and pay a bunch of money to make it go away? Like what he did with the Trump University case?

Anyway, with Trump selling out allies left and right, I think we might be looking at the decline of America as a superpower. China's got 2.5 years to grab as much power as it can. Claiming the entire South China Sea, increasing its neighbours' economic dependence on it, stifling criticism of it abroad (they think they can censor foreigners now), doubling down on oppression at home. They're doing it to shore up domestic economic, political and environmental weaknesses, but sclerotic paranoia has never made a dictatorship cuddlier in the short run.

Whoever the next president is will have to play catch-up.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:40 pm 
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Kea wrote:
Can Trump decide to settle and pay a bunch of money to make it go away? Like what he did with the Trump University case?

Not unless the New York AG decides to let him off the hook; and if she has little to no possible incentive to do that. She's looking to obliterate the charity and ban Trump and several of his children from serving on any charities for years. To add to the fun, she also fed everything she's got to the IRS (who throw people in prison for what he's being sued for). The whole affair, on the Federal level, will be in the hands of people who don't really need to give a damn what the political masters on high say. If they're determined enough. Should be interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:13 am 
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To that I say, good luck with that, New York.

It seems like America will never run out of new lows to hit, what with child cruelty becoming official policy. Might be again soon, depending on which way the courts swing. This is probably going to go the way of the Muslim Ban. The initial public outrage only softened its worst excesses but left it largely in place. It just got reworded slightly, it's currently being enforced, the waiver process is a sham, and the courts keep punting it down the road. The public has either got used to it, busy getting angry about other things, or thinks it's been solved.

Meanwhile the Republican base seems happy to let Trump play Donald the Wise and Merciful by (temporarily?) ending the crisis he himself created. And we know he did this himself. He's the one who's been screaming at his border officials for not summarily and illegally deporting asylum seekers and this was the next "best" thing. The whole dynamic has become one of making remonstrances to the Emperor. It's like how people in China who've been abused by the government will travel to the capital to prostate themselves before a higher branch of that very same government to humbly beg for relief.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:49 am 
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Looks like the Dems are screwed again. Justice Kennedy fired off a bunch of conservative decisions (notably, on gerrymandering) before retiring just in time for the midterms. Trump is for sure going to nominate a judge who'll make Scalia look like Martin Luther King; bonus points if he has minimal legal experience and a racist blog.

The prospect of that will boost turnout on both sides, and given that the Democrats are defending a lot more Senate seats than the Republicans, they'll at best fight to a draw.

The only way the Democrats were going to sweep this election was if the Republicans get so discouraged by Trump's shenanigans that they stay home. Kennedy has just ensured that this will not happen. The Supreme Court is too big of a prize.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:12 am 
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I don't know the timing of US supreme court nominations, but if things go smooth, wouldn't be the replacement already in, by the time of the elction. Which means it is a past thing by then and thus no longer motivating.

And if things don't go smooth, there likely is a reason for that, that might be demotivating for a portion of the republican electorate.

Though the democrats likely mess up any chances to capitalze on that.

Now my own prediction would be that things don't go smooth this time. Given that a very important position is at stake, the various factions within the republican party and the trump camp will attempt to pull him in all sorts of directions.

Trump will pick someone, from the factions that does the best grovelling towards him, and that will not be a faction of "adults". And then the loosing factions will try to throw monkeies wrenches, without being obvious at it.

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