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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:33 pm 
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Er, what does 'astroturf' mean in this context?

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:01 pm 
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A phony grassroots movement. It's supposed to look like some common folk have banded together for whatever cause, but they're just the shills of the folks paying for it all.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:08 pm 
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Basically, rich GOP donors pouring lots of money into funding a pro-repeal "grassroots" movement to make it look like there's a lot of public support for it. The goal in this case would be to make partisan ideology override real life damage of lots of people losing their health care. Expect lots of "Republicans support hardworking, responsible Americans to save for their own health care!" and "Democrats want to give your tax dollars to fat lazy moochers who deserve to have heart attacks because they're so fat and lazy".

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:56 pm 
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It doesn't need to be Republican, not by definition - people have described Hillary's 'Correct the Record' organization's activities as astroturfing.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:59 pm 
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If you know who's behind it, it's not really astroturf. Granted anyone who paid enough attention would know that the Tea Party mooks were basically Koch heads, but most folks don't pay that much attention.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:12 pm 
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I just read that the Tinklegate dossier has been enough to spook the Israelis, who are now independently investigating the claims that the Russians have been actively colluding with Trump. They're worried that it's no longer safe to share their intelligence with United States spy agencies if there's a bona-fide Kremlin puppet sitting right in the White House.

Just. Holy. Feces.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:35 pm 
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Yeah, the Israelis have just admitted what half the flipping world has probably been doing for weeks now. Roll on President Philby.

Though it's been interesting to watch his cabinet appointees telling the Senate that they have no intention of going along with what he wants done on a policy level. I wonder if he's going to be investing the time and effort needed to make them do it, or if he'll see that as too compromising of the time he wants to spend violating the emoluments clause. Decisions, decisions...

Speaking of 44, I see he's getting a $20 million advance on his next book. I can't help but wonder if he's going to retire, try to do a Jimmy Carter, or try to do a John Quincy Adams.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:53 am 
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Might I ask what the emoluments clause is?

...and, furthermore, what it is that Jimmy Carter and John Quincy Adams did?

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:45 am 
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The emoluments clause is the anti-bribery bit of the Constitution that says that a sitting president may not receive gifts from foreign countries without Congress's permission. Trump's business empire makes him a walking bribery magnet.

Jimmy Carter was known as an ineffective president who went on to do admirable humanitarian work afterwards, in effect being a better post-president than he was a president. John Quincy Adams served in Congress after being president, but I don't know if that's what Weremensh is referring to. If he does that, it would certainly break with recent tradition where ex-presidents go off and be quiet for a few years before attempting to weigh in on politics.

I suspect that Trump's nominees were simply saying whatever they had to say to get approved by Congress. They were so uniformly willing to disavow Trump's positions without any intemperate Twitter eruptions from Trump that I'm sure they all met in advance and planned out the strategy. After they get approved, who knows what they'll do?

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Kea's pretty much right about where I was going, though I was being a bit more general. Carter and Adams both remained very politically active after their one term; Carter outside the sphere of domestic politics, Adams within it at the national level. I wasn't looking at the specific office so much as the choice to stay engaged and with what.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:25 am 
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I wonder if Obama feels sick to his stomach now. He must have seen all the classified stuff on Trump.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:18 am 
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Kea wrote:
The emoluments clause is the anti-bribery bit of the Constitution that says that a sitting president may not receive gifts from foreign countries without Congress's permission. Trump's business empire makes him a walking bribery magnet.


Ah... yes. I can see how that would be a problem.

Weremensh wrote:
Carter and Adams both remained very politically active after their one term; Carter outside the sphere of domestic politics, Adams within it at the national level. I wasn't looking at the specific office so much as the choice to stay engaged and with what.


Here's my prediction: he'll push for laws and concessions that help his business interests above (almost) all else. He won't much care for those below the poverty line, probably firmly convinced that if they put their shoulder to it and worked hard, they'd work their way out (despite evidence that most people below said poverty line can't and don't). He'll be accused of bribery in office at least once in his term, possibly several times, and evade said accusations often enough for the press to start tossing around the word 'teflon'; after his term's up (or he's thrown out), he'll remain active in his party, taking a controlling role and (assuming the same party is voted in again) every now and then calling up the new President to tell him exactly how such-and-such a policy is hurting Big Business (i.e. his businesses). Assuming the other party is voted in (I can't remember which is which), he'll leave official government but take out scathing, mud-slinging TV ads or interviews on a regular basis, during which he tells the population at large how the new President's policies are hurting Big Business (still i.e. his businesses).

...I don't actually know all that much about Trump in particular. I'm just imagining a generic self-absorbed Big Business CEO and assuming that's close enough.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:08 am 
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Trump's beyond a generic CEO. He's a balls-to-the-wall, narcissistic, petty, vicious, casually bigoted CEO with the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old playground bully. His own ghost writer is convinced he is a sociopath. I don't know, maybe imagine a corporate billionaire version of Jacob Zuma?

And uh, i wasn't clear but Weremensh and I were talking about what Obama might do after leaving office. Obama is the 44th president, Trump will be the 45th.

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:24 am 
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Kea wrote:
Trump's beyond a generic CEO. He's a balls-to-the-wall, narcissistic, petty, vicious, casually bigoted CEO with the emotional maturity of a 12 year-old playground bully. His own ghost writer is convinced he is a sociopath. I don't know, maybe imagine a corporate billionaire version of Jacob Zuma?


...right. Now I have a mental picture, and my prediction isn't changing too much. How many wives does Trump have?

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 Post subject: Re: 44
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:08 am 
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He's on his third.

And I think your mental picture is pretty good. Just modify it a bit to add "faux populism" and "popularity-obsessed". He says he's for the common person and occasionally criticizes big business to get the crowds to cheer for him, but his policies (insofar as he has anything written down) are standard issue pro-corporate stuff.

Did you see this Trevor Noah video comparing Trump to a stereotypical African president?

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