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Thread: The Trump Presidency - Life In Interesting Times

  1. #1591
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    The number of tentacles this thing is sprouting is amazing.

    Senate committee targets FBI No. 2 in Trump dossier probe

    Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding the story behind the FBI’s reported plan to pay the author of a lurid and unsubstantiated dossier on candidate Donald Trump. In particular, Grassley appears to be zeroing in on the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, indicating Senate investigators want to learn more about McCabe’s role in a key aspect of the Trump-Russia affair.

    Grassley began his investigation after the Washington Post reported on February 28 that the FBI, “a few weeks before the election,” agreed to pay former British spy Christopher Steele to investigate Trump. Prior to that, supporters of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign had paid Steele to gather intelligence on Clinton’s Republican rival. In the end, the FBI did not pay Steele, the Post reported, after the dossier “became the subject of news stories, congressional inquiries and presidential denials.” It is not clear whether Steele worked under agreement with the FBI for any period of time before the payment deal fell through.

    “The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Comey dated March 28.
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/se...form=hootsuite

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  2. #1592
    Motorboatin' SOB Devildog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    Keep at it. Maybe eventually, luckily, you will find something you can hang your hat on. Don't give up. Beat on, boats against the current.
    Ok, We will see.
    "We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school."
    -Thucydides


    "Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men."
    -Miyamoto Musashi

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  3. #1593
    Motorboatin' SOB Devildog's Avatar
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    Watch this entire thing backfire on the Democrats. There is simply not going to be any proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and the "Russians" . But, Obama did conduct illegal surveillance of his Republican successor.
    Last edited by Devildog; 04-03-2017 at 08:44 PM.
    "We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school."
    -Thucydides


    "Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men."
    -Miyamoto Musashi

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  4. #1594
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devildog View Post
    Watch this entire thing backfire on the Democrats. There is simply not going to be any proof of collision between the Trump campaign and the "Russians" . But, Obama did conduct illegal surveillance of his Republican successor.

    I don't think anyone is going to come out of this looking good. I don't think Trump colluded with Russia, but there's enough smoke to wonder what the heck is going on. Trump's behavior lately has been odd too.

    1) During the photo op with Merkel, I've never seen a President look like a whipped puppy as much as Trump did. I don't know what she said to him, but he was beaten.

    2) When Trump walked out of the door without signing the EO at the press conference that he called to sign the EO was strange. The fact that it was a reporter shouting questions about Flynn may have just been a coincidence, but he was a man trying to escape.

    So Trump is far from innocent in all of this. On the scale of "colluding with Russians" to "Being a Russian patsy", I'm leaning towards the latter. Neither of which are enviable labels to have though.

    But, to your point, I think the Democrats are beating this horse a bit too much for what I think amounts to a pretty small charge.

  5. #1595
    Motorboatin' SOB Devildog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    I don't think anyone is going to come out of this looking good. I don't think Trump colluded with Russia, but there's enough smoke to wonder what the heck is going on. Trump's behavior lately has been odd too.

    1) During the photo op with Merkel, I've never seen a President look like a whipped puppy as much as Trump did. I don't know what she said to him, but he was beaten.

    2) When Trump walked out of the door without signing the EO at the press conference that he called to sign the EO was strange. The fact that it was a reporter shouting questions about Flynn may have just been a coincidence, but he was a man trying to escape.

    So Trump is far from innocent in all of this. On the scale of "colluding with Russians" to "Being a Russian patsy", I'm leaning towards the latter. Neither of which are enviable labels to have though.

    But, to your point, I think the Democrats are beating this horse a bit too much for what I think amounts to a pretty small charge.
    Your whipped puppy assertion is stupid and of your particular viewpoint. Personally I think Merkel is a moron and a fucktard. The smoke is created by the media and will turn out to be not substantive. The spying by Obama on the other hand... is going to be big.
    Last edited by Devildog; 04-03-2017 at 11:49 AM.
    "We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school."
    -Thucydides


    "Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men."
    -Miyamoto Musashi

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  6. #1596
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Forget American workers. American robots can't even get hired anymore.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/ameri...nd-work-2017-4

  7. #1597
    Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.76cc76ef1e50

  8. #1598
    Motorboatin' SOB Devildog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.76cc76ef1e50
    Hahahahaha! Now they are even pulling in Blackwater founder Eric Prince? This shit couldn't be scripted any better by Hollywood.

    Here you go conspiracy theorists...

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...=russian-farce
    Last edited by Devildog; 04-03-2017 at 09:26 PM.
    "We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school."
    -Thucydides


    "Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men."
    -Miyamoto Musashi

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  9. #1599
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    “What if?” The Evelyn Farkas Fracas

    Roger Kimball:

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that conservatives and Republicans (no, they are not necessarily the same) enjoy playing the counter-factual game of “What if?”

    What if a Republican had presided over Benghazi instead of Ms. “At-this-point-What-Difference-Does-It-Make” Clinton?
    What if a Republican administration had intervened to prevent Arizona from enforcing federal immigration laws?
    What if a Republican had decided to enforce provisions of the Affordable Care Act selectively, omitting, for the time being, those that were politically inexpedient?
    What if a Republican had made a deal with Iran that all-but guaranteed their acquisition of nuclear weapons within a few years?
    What if a Republican administration had spied on a rival presidential candidate, who then, to the surprise of wise men everywhere, became the disfavored president-elect?

    What if a Republican administration had illegally leaked, from classified intelligence reports, the names of private citizens to the media?

    What if, what if, what if?

    You know the answer: The well-oiled outrage machine of the media-industrial complex would have been wheeled into action. Oh my God, Mitt Romney once carried his pet dog on the roof of his car! Can you believe it? There are reports that he was mean to a kid in his high school! Obviously the heartless bastard is not qualified to be president. When asked in 2012 what was the most serious national security America faced, he said Russia. Russia! What a rube. And there was Barack Hussein Obama, really letting him have it: Now the 1980s are calling and asking for their foreign policy back! Yuk, yuk, yuk.
    https://amgreatness.com/2017/04/03/e...farkas-fracas/

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  10. #1600
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Just to spice things up a bit:

    Nunes' Disclosures May Signal a Watergate-Level Scandal

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...al_133515.html

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  11. #1601
    The Russian subway terror attack counters the idea that America just needs a old fashioned, brutal strongman.

    Five bucks says Trump's tweets about Russia's attack will be an outpouring of sympathy, and how we need to work together with Russia to counter this global menace, and how the sanctions are hurting the Russian people so badly, and they've already suffered so much.

    But that attack in Sweden - that was completely self-inflicted, because the stupid Swedes think they can moderate Muslims immigrants.

    SAD!

  12. #1602
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Maybe the 1980s don't really want their foreign policy back after all.

    In addition to the hacking and leaking campaign during the election, Russian intelligence agencies engaged in covert influence operations that falsely reported terrorist attacks in the United States and against the key U.S. military base in Incirlik, Turkey.
    The Russian government also backed the Occupy Wall Street protest movement and trumpeted racially charged news to sow social unrest.

    The federal government has been unable to stop Moscow's propaganda and influence operations.

    Likewise, it has failed to counter cyber attacks aimed at stealing data or sabotaging critical networks.


    "Americans should be concerned because right now a foreign country, whether they realize it or not, is pitting them against their neighbor, other political parties, ramping up divisions based on things that aren't true," said Clint Watts, a cyber security expert and former FBI special agent.

    Russian information warfare operations seek to erode Americans' trust in the government.

    "If they can do that, if Americans don't believe that their vote counts, they're not going to show up to participate in democracy," said Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

    Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said the United States lacks a strategy for dealing with information warfare and adequate defenses for protecting private sector infrastructure from attacks.

    "The consequence is if there were a massive attack, we'd have to go back and get authority to act," Alexander said. "Where, if it were missiles coming in, we already have rules of engagement. So, I think we need to step that up as well."

    Alexander, who once led the military's Cyber Command, lamented that the military "wouldn't have the right people set up to react" to a major cyber attack.

    "The American public, indeed all democratic societies, need to understand that malign actors are using old techniques with new platforms to undermine our democratic institutions," said Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.), the committee chairman.

    "We're all targets of a sophisticated and capable adversary and we must engage in a whole of government approach to combat Russian active measures," Burr added.


    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/u-s-ill-prepared-stop-widespread-russian-information-warfare
    Last edited by LA Ute; 04-05-2017 at 11:28 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  13. #1603
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Pretty even-handed analysis from Commentary:

    A Step Toward a Rational National Security Council

    Even supporters of President Trump would have to admit that his first few months in office have been chaotic, what with the ill-advised executive order on immigration that the courts blocked, the failure of a White House-backed plan to repeal ObamaCare, and the departure of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn after just 24 days in office. The replacement of the mercurial Flynn, with his troubling ties to Russia and Turkey, by the distinguished soldier-scholar Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster was a major step in the right direction.

    It is all the more welcome to see that McMaster is being allowed to make some significant personnel changes at the NSC. He hired as his deputy Dina Powell, a veteran of the Bush White House, and has offered K.T. McFarland, Flynn’s choice for the number two spot on the Council, an honorable way out via the ambassadorship to Singapore. He failed to remove the NSC’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a young protégé of Flynn’s who has rubbed the CIA the wrong way and is now apparently leaking information designed to buttress Trump’s (unproven) charge that the Obama administration wiretapped him. Cohen-Watnick managed to stay on the job with the support of Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. But now Bannon himself has been ousted from the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, a position that he should never have occupied in the first place.

    It is a sign of just how byzantine the Trump White House is that, according to the New York Times, “a senior White House official presented the move as a logical evolution, not a setback for Mr. Bannon. He had originally been put on the principals committee to keep an eye on Mr. Flynn and to ‘de-operationalize’ the National Security Council after the Obama administration, this official said on condition of anonymity to discuss internal dynamics. This official said that process had been completed.” Why on earth would Trump appoint one senior official to watch over another? And how exactly is it that Bannon has “de-operationalized” the NSC, whatever that means?

    The most obvious way to read the latest news is that McMaster has scored a small victory in his battle to make the policy process more rational. Just how significant this development is remains, however, open to question. There are other shadow policy chiefs lurking in the wings. Former Trump lawyer Jason Greenblatt is acting as Middle East envoy. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, another former real estate developer, has an even broader portfolio that includes China, Mexico, the Middle East, Canada and reinventing the federal government. There has seldom if ever been a presidential adviser with such a broad remit—or such thin qualifications for the post. Kushner isn’t even a formal member of the NSC Principals Committee but probably exercises more influence than anyone who is, other than the president himself.

    Thus, while Bannon’s removal from the NSC is certainly a positive step forward, it does not ultimately end the problem of indiscipline in White House decision-making. That problem ultimately traces back to President Trump’s preferred style of management, which is unlikely to change significantly at age 70. But the latest move is at least a welcome win for McMaster, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and other grownups who want to steer the administration in a responsible direction.
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/p...urity-council/

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  14. #1604
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post

    I read that the Nunes middle of the night shennanigans were the last straw for McMaster, so far as the professionalism of the NSC is concerned.

  15. #1605
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    I read that the Nunes middle of the night shennanigans were the last straw for McMaster, so far as the professionalism of the NSC is concerned.
    Ezra Cohen-Watnick at work.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  16. #1606
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Eli Lake is a fine national security reporter, and respected by left and right, a rare thing.

    The Real Political Scandal? Actually, There Are Two

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...-there-are-two

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  17. #1607
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Nick Kristof:

    My Most Unpopular Idea: Be Nice to Trump Voters

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/0...m/instapundit/

    (I'm not a Trump voter so you all have no excuse not to be nice to me.)

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  18. #1608
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    As someone who has been extremely critical of Trump and how he has run things, I think this is as probably close to the truth as anything we've seen.

    It makes he hope McMaster can keep exterting his influence, especially when it comes to Kushner. He has his hands in way too many things right now. It seems unlikely he'll be able to focus on any one of them enough to be effective.

  19. #1609
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Nick Kristof:

    My Most Unpopular Idea: Be Nice to Trump Voters

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/0...m/instapundit/

    (I'm not a Trump voter so you all have no excuse not to be nice to me.)
    Oh good. I wasn't going to be anyway.

  20. #1610
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Nick Kristof:

    My Most Unpopular Idea: Be Nice to Trump Voters

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/0...m/instapundit/

    (I'm not a Trump voter so you all have no excuse not to be nice to me.)
    Oh I have lots of reasons...don't need excuses.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  21. #1611
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    The story of how Trump hears what he wants to hear.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.ef2f859244d9

    The most logical explanation is the one offered by Cummings, a Congressional Black Caucus member from Maryland.

    He explained in a statement to The Fix: “During my meeting with the president and on several occasions since then, I have said repeatedly that he could be a great president if … if … he takes steps to truly represent all Americans rather than continuing on the divisive and harmful path he is currently on.”

    This is Trump's fabulism in action. He hears a comment like that, lops off the all-important “if” part, and takes it as a compliment. And then he takes that perceived compliment and amplifies it by a factor of about four; “great president” becomes “one of the great presidents in the history of the country.”

  22. #1612
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Oh I have lots of reasons...don't need excuses.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I just wanted to free you up. Now you can be mean to me without me responding that you have no excuse.

    https://youtu.be/zANvYB93u2g

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  23. #1613
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Eli Lake is a fine national security reporter, and respected by left and right, a rare thing.

    The Real Political Scandal? Actually, There Are Two

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...-there-are-two
    From the article:
    Even if Rice did not break the law (and it appears she did not), the scandal is that what she did was most likely legal. It is not outrageous that a national security adviser can discover the names of Americans caught up in legal surveillance of others when there is a threat of a terrorist or cyber attack. It is outrageous that it's so easy to do this in the absence of such a rationale.
    So, Rice reads a masked intercept, knowing at least part of the breadth of Russian cyber attacks on the election at the time. She instructs the NSA (?) to unmask the names. She discovers it isn't some crackpot like Jones or Breitbart or Fox, but a member of Trump's campaign team. The author is not suggesting her directing the agency to unmask was beyond her authority. The author is not alleging she leaked the info. The author does not suggest the Russian's actions do not constitute a 'cyber attack' - which he deems a valid criteria for unmasking.

    He writes, "the scandal is that what she did was most likely legal." Huh?

    Yet the author suggests Rice's instruction to unmask, i.e. perform her job, is an equivalent scandal to the Trump-Russia connections and the Russian interference in the election?

    I don't think so.
    Last edited by pangloss; 04-06-2017 at 11:39 AM.

    "It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so"
    - Will Rogers

    "Cyberspace is - or can be - a good, friendly and egalitarian place to meet. "

    - Douglas Adams

  24. #1614
    Quote Originally Posted by pangloss View Post
    From the article:


    So, Rice reads a masked intercept, knowing at least part of the breadth of Russian cyber attacks on the election at the time. She instructs the NSA (?) to unmask the names. She discovers it isn't some crackpot like Jones or Breitbart or Fox, but a member of Trump's campaign team. The author is not suggesting her directing the agency to unmask was beyond her authority. The author is not alleging she leaked the info. The author does not suggest the Russian's actions do not constitute a 'cyber attack' - which he deems a valid criteria for unmasking.

    He writes, "the scandal is that what she did was most likely legal." Huh?

    Yet the author suggests Rice's instruction to unmask, i.e. perform her job, is an equivalent scandal to the Trump-Russia connections and the Russian interference in the election?

    I don't think so.

    Jennifer Rubin's (a noted conservative, defender and supporter of Mitt and enemy of Trump) take this morning on the Susan Rice "spin unraveling":

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...=.0032d91670a9

  25. #1615
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Drama!

    Bannon ready for White House ‘gunfight’: report

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...n-fight-report


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  26. #1616
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangloss View Post
    From the article:


    So, Rice reads a masked intercept, knowing at least part of the breadth of Russian cyber attacks on the election at the time. She instructs the NSA (?) to unmask the names. She discovers it isn't some crackpot like Jones or Breitbart or Fox, but a member of Trump's campaign team. The author is not suggesting her directing the agency to unmask was beyond her authority. The author is not alleging she leaked the info. The author does not suggest the Russian's actions do not constitute a 'cyber attack' - which he deems a valid criteria for unmasking.

    He writes, "the scandal is that what she did was most likely legal." Huh?

    Yet the author suggests Rice's instruction to unmask, i.e. perform her job, is an equivalent scandal to the Trump-Russia connections and the Russian interference in the election?

    I don't think so.
    I think the beef against Rice is that what she did was an abuse of power, not illegal. If she did what is alleged, I tend to agree.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  27. #1617
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Read this article and tell me whether you think this professor is following the first rule of holes, which is: once you are in one, stop digging.

    Professor's anti-Trump tweets stir controversy

    http://www.wtsp.com/mb/news/professo...ersy/429960104

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    "Nine tenths of wisdom consists of being wise in time."
    --Theodore Roosevelt


  28. #1618
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Read this article and tell me whether you think this professor is following the first rule of holes, which is: once you are in one, stop digging.

    Professor's anti-Trump tweets stir controversy

    http://www.wtsp.com/mb/news/professo...ersy/429960104
    Unfortunately, his attitude is an extreme form of what I see on social media every day. Because of the nature of what I teach and who I have worked with in the past (very liberal, artists) my feed is full of so much over the top, irrational hate for Trump it's disheartening. Witnessing their bubble burst has been a very uncomfortable thing. I'm afraid many of them would agree with this professor. It's reprehensible.

  29. #1619
    No basis to the Obama wiretapping and surveillance claims news organizations are reporting:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/trump...an-rice-2017-4

    So the question remains why were apparently multiple members of Trump's campaign talking with Russians currently under surveillance?




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  30. #1620
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Ironically it was probably a push by Republicans at some point that made it not be illegal.


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