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Thread: Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

  1. #271
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This is fun, short and worth reading:

    Is Trump Crazy, or Just a Jerk?


    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #272
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This is fun, short and worth reading:

    Is Trump Crazy, or Just a Jerk?
    This guys frames it as Trump vs the Media, a knife-fight. Looking past the limelight, insightful neurologists describe cognitive impairment.

    My hunch is Michael Wolff has tapes, and Team Trump is desperate to move to the next news cycle... on any topic, even another one that is unflattering.

  3. #273
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Nothing to see here, folks. Move along!

    FBI agents' text messages spur congressional probe into possible news leaks

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/36...ble-news-leaks

    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  4. #274
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    David Brooks, non-conservative and anti-Trumper, wrote this today. This is an excerpt; the whole thing is worth reading:

    Let me start with three inconvenient observations, based on dozens of conversations around Washington over the past year:

    First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by.

    Second, people who work in the Trump administration have wildly divergent views about their boss. Some think he is a deranged child, as Michael Wolff reported. But some think he is merely a distraction they can work around. Some think he is strange, but not impossible. Some genuinely admire Trump. Many filter out his crazy stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist.

    My impression is that the Trump administration is an unhappy place to work, because there is a lot of infighting and often no direction from the top. But this is not an administration full of people itching to invoke the 25th Amendment.


    Third, the White House is getting more professional. Imagine if Trump didn’t tweet. The craziness of the past weeks would be out of the way, and we’d see a White House that is briskly pursuing its goals: the shift in our Pakistan policy, the shift in our offshore drilling policy, the fruition of our ISIS policy, the nomination for judgeships and the formation of policies on infrastructure, DACA, North Korea and trade.


    It’s almost as if there are two White Houses. There’s the Potemkin White House, which we tend to focus on: Trump berserk in front of the TV, the lawyers working the Russian investigation and the press operation. Then there is the Invisible White House that you never hear about, which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss.


    I sometimes wonder if the Invisible White House has learned to use the Potemkin White House to deke us while it changes the country.


    I mention these inconvenient observations because the anti-Trump movement, of which I’m a proud member, seems to be getting dumber. It seems to be settling into a smug, fairy tale version of reality that filters out discordant information. More anti-Trumpers seem to be telling themselves a “Madness of King George” narrative: Trump is a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us.


    I’d like to think it’s possible to be fervently anti-Trump while also not reducing everything to a fairy tale....
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/o...ol-left-region

    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  5. #275
    Now we know why Charles and Diane aren't going to be BFFs:

    http://thehill.com/policy/national-s...ims-in-dossier

    The reason Grassley didn't want to release the full transcript of the Senate Intel testimony of the Fusion GPS guys is because they said the FBI told them a lot of the Steele Dossier was confirmed by somebody inside the Trump campaign.

    "Oooppps !"

  6. #276
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Now we know why Charles and Diane aren't going to be BFFs:

    http://thehill.com/policy/national-s...ims-in-dossier

    The reason Grassley didn't want to release the full transcript of the Senate Intel testimony of the Fusion GPS guys is because they said the FBI told them a lot of the Steele Dossier was confirmed by somebody inside the Trump campaign.

    "Oooppps !"
    I read that article pretty quickly, so I might have missed something. But isn’t it Glenn Simpson who makes that claim? Simpson is in the business of spinning (when he’s not destroying reputations), and right now is trying to save his own skin. I don’t give him high marks for credibility.

    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  7. #277
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I read that article pretty quickly, so I might have missed something. But isn’t it Glenn Simpson who makes that claim? Simpson is in the business of spinning (when he’s not destroying reputations), and right now is trying to save his own skin. I don’t give him high marks for credibility.
    He was under oath when he testified
    , so Simpson was unable to repeat what he testified & defend himself from Grassley's selective releases of testimony to attack Simpson, Fusion GPS, Steele, etc. Simpson has responded by asking for all his testimony to be released. Grassley refused, for presumably political tactical reasons. Feinstein, as the ranking minority member, released the 312 pages, undermining Grassley.

    On the House side, the GOP / Democrat divide in the Intel Committee has become so acute that the Democrats are talking about issuing a minority report where they list the sources they wanted to talk to who Devin Nunes shot down.

    Between House Intel, Senate Judiciary and to a lesser extent, Senate Intel, these bipartisan committees have become deeply partisan, and to many, a pointless waste of time.

  8. #278
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I read that article pretty quickly, so I might have missed something. But isn’t it Glenn Simpson who makes that claim? Simpson is in the business of spinning (when he’s not destroying reputations), and right now is trying to save his own skin. I don’t give him high marks for credibility.
    He was a highly respected journalist at Wall Street Journal, specializing in Russia in general and financial crimes in particular.

    This whole thing will likely end with you burning your Republican Party membership card.

  9. #279
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    He was a highly respected journalist at Wall Street Journal, specializing in Russia in general and financial crimes in particular.
    I've highlighted the operative word for you.

    Here's a down-the-middle summary of what Fusion GPS is all about right now. To me what matters is that they are in business to make money. They do opposition research and make it available to their contacts in the news media. That's what they do. They're not journalists or paragons of truth any more than a typical Washington lobbying or PR shop is. They should be viewed just as any other such research and advocacy operation is viewed. So information they provide should be viewed in that light. Maybe the information is true, maybe it's not. But it's not inherently reliable.

    Five things to know about Fusion GPS

    Last edited by LA Ute; 01-10-2018 at 09:14 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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #280
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I've highlighted the operative word for you.

    Here's a down-the-middle summary of what Fusion GPS is all about right now. To me what matters is that they are in business to make money. The do opposition research and make it available to their contacts in the news media. That's what they do. They're not journalists or paragons of truth any more than a typical Washington lobbying or PR shop is. They should be viewed just as any other such research and advocacy operation is viewed. So information they provide should be viewed in that light. Maybe the information is true, maybe it's not. But it's not inherently reliable.

    Five things to know about Fusion GPS
    It is much like journalism in that their ability to do one is directly related to their ability to do the other.

  11. #281
    With Grassley's agenda to selectively leak testimony to twist and distort things toward Trump revealed/negated by Feinstein, and Devin Nunes facing a minority report to slow down his role in dismantling of the Russian investigation, does the plot turn back to running Jeff Sessions out?

    Meanwhile, Trump's performance yesterday in agreeing to signing both a clean-bill DACA and then telling Kevin McCarthy that Feinstein agreed to the wall - based on her asking if he's sign a clean bill DACA - and then saying he would sign comprehensive immigration reform... it all supports the (rehashed) accounts in Wolff's book that Trump is a dope, a moron, etc.

    The Trump 25th Amendment defense didn't exactly get the big boost yesterday's show intended to accomplish. He was calm, he was stable... not much on the genius part. He won't be happy when told he undermined his & the Republican position on immigration, letting all these illegals have a path to citizenship.

  12. #282
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    With Grassley's agenda to selectively leak testimony to twist and distort things toward Trump revealed/negated by Feinstein, and Devin Nunes facing a minority report to slow down his role in dismantling of the Russian investigation, does the plot turn back to running Jeff Sessions out?

    Meanwhile, Trump's performance yesterday in agreeing to signing both a clean-bill DACA and then telling Kevin McCarthy that Feinstein agreed to the wall - based on her asking if he's sign a clean bill DACA - and then saying he would sign comprehensive immigration reform... it all supports the (rehashed) accounts in Wolff's book that Trump is a dope, a moron, etc.

    The Trump 25th Amendment defense didn't exactly get the big boost yesterday's show intended to accomplish. He was calm, he was stable... not much on the genius part. He won't be happy when told he undermined his & the Republican position on immigration, letting all these illegals have a path to citizenship.
    Ma’ake, I urge you to read the David Brooks op-ed in my post from yesterday.


    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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  13. #283
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Ma’ake, I urge you to read the David Brooks op-ed in my post from yesterday.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Ezra Klein, fWIW


    Brooks, in May: Trump "lacks all impulse control, his thoughts are "just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar."

    In December: "He is defined by shamelessness, and so there is no bottom."

    Brooks, today: "He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by."

    12:53 PM - 9 Jan 2018




      • I don't begrudge people their evolutions but this one is particularly sharp, and doesn't coincide with radically different presidential behavior. I'd like to hear Brooks make the case for it in more detail, rather than just assert it.






  14. #284
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Ma’ake, I urge you to read the David Brooks op-ed in my post from yesterday.
    I did. I like Brooks. He makes good points, as usual. I no longer expect impeachment, nor the 25th amendment.

    Ezra Klein (via concerned - nice catch) also makes a good point. Brooks is following Graham in falling into line behind the new Republican savior, the normalization of what was previously considered horrific. (I would expect a Senator Romney to similarly exclaim how fantastic the Emperor's wardrobe is.)

    My IT background tells me the states need to seriously beef up the security on their electoral hardware, but I think GOP state leaders in swing states might be a little lazy, this year. "Russian hackers? I thought they caught the Prince from Nigeria... right? We're good."

    Most of the electorate is tuned out on the details, but on edge. Between Trump's extreme clumsiness, what will be an underwhelming initial Keynesian boost from tax reform, and lingering #MeToo energy, it will be a tough November for the GOP.

    Most of the action in the early part of this year is whether Trump & his devotees can extract Mueller.

    (I'm not a big fan of the prospect of a President Winfrey, but... the bar has been set so low. I do like the proposed "Stable Genius Act".)

  15. #285
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Ezra Klein (via concerned - nice catch) also makes a good point. Brooks is following Graham in falling into line behind the new Republican savior, the normalization of what was previously considered horrific. (I would expect a Senator Romney to similarly exclaim how fantastic the Emperor's wardrobe is.)
    I didn't read Brooks that way. I think he is simply saying that we need to separate substance -- the policy items that really matter and are subjects of serious concern -- from mere noise -- the general antipathy and near-hysteria about Trump, the belief that he is evil, mentally deficient or ill, and so forth:

    More anti-Trumpers seem to be telling themselves a “Madness of King George” narrative: Trump is a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us.
    He also says:

    I sometimes wonder if the Invisible White House has learned to use the Potemkin White House to deke us while it changes the country.
    There does seem to be an awful lot that's going on, policy-wise, that is being obscured by the near-hysteria surrounding Trump in many left-of-center quarters. Judicial appointments and regulatory rollback, for example. More and more I suspect that Trump's tweet may be a diversionary tactic, at least in part.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 01-10-2018 at 12:37 PM.

    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  16. #286
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    (I would expect a Senator Romney to similarly exclaim how fantastic the Emperor's wardrobe is.)
    As mentioned in my post of dealing with my own workplace narcissist, if I were forced to work with Trump I'd be telling him how wonderful he was too. We can all be disgusted with Orrin Hatch's slobbering over Trump (and it was disgusting) but I think Orrin knew that by ingratiating himself in such a way to Trump he'd be able to get his stuff done. Do I really think Hatch thinks Trump is the greatest president in American history? No. Do I believe Orrin Hatch is a politician who will say and do anything despite what he really believes to get what he wants? 40 years of doing it would indicate that is a strong 'yes'.

  17. #287
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I didn't read Brooks that way. I think he is simply saying that we need to separate substance -- the policy items that really matter and are subjects of serious concern -- from mere noise -- the general antipathy and near-hysteria about Trump, the belief that he is evil, mentally deficient or ill, and so forth
    I agree with a lot of Brooks' column - there are two operations underway. The flames and grandiosity of the Wizard of Oz we all see, and the folks who are running the executive branch in the background. My hunch is John Kelly has brought a lot of discipline and the POTUS operations are settling in for governing, and the strategy is to let Trump tweet whatever because it's the mother of all distractions while everything Obama did is undone as fast as possible.

    I was reassured to see the Air Force General saying he would "resist" an "illegal" nuke launch order. Good to know there are adults in the operation, like Mattis, McMaster, Kelly, Tillerson, Haley, etc.

    So, Brooks simultaneously provides some reassurance and points out all the Exec Branch policy shifts underway, the actual brains behind the Wizard of Oz production and things that make Oz run.

    And Ezra Klein notes how far Brooks has moved, regarding his previous alarm / outrage about Trump, to sort of joining the tacit chorus "this is the new normal folks, accept it".

    Elevating another 20,000 feet or so, up where the U2 loiters, where we can see the curvature of the Earth, the parties tend to mimic each other, if not in policy, in tactics and strategy. Reagan proved you don't need a brainiac at POTUS, Clinton was the political Michael Jordan who defied attempts to box him in, "W" showed how the public opinion polls matter and hubris about war can be exceptionally toxic, and Obama survived some serious adversity (Great Recession), etc.

    Trump's precedent is do whatever you have to do stylistically - the bar is now so low that even Oprah will look great, with zero actual experience with the law, governing, etc. Knowledge and intelligence are completely irrelevant. Just get elected get people to the polls by whatever means necessary.

  18. #288
    Trump is a lifelong narcissist with previously compensated dementia which is on the verge of becoming uncompensated due to the stress of the job. His narcissism is so predictable that it makes him easy to work around and easy to manipulate. That’s not so terrible because our government can function with a pretty limited POTUS.

    the bigger issue at play is the Russian interference. Trump was too clumsy regardless of whether or not it crossed into criminality. There is going to be greater scrutiny going forward, and that’s bad for Russia-enabled nationalist political factions throughout the West- including the GOP. The GOP had a good thing going with Russia, and Trump is on the brink of screwing it all up with his own clumsy relationship with a less-desireable and more criminal face of Russian influence.

  19. #289
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This is a thoughtful piece that I guess my my liberal friends here will find persuasive on many points.

    The Tragedy of Bannonism

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...R5PM%20Actives

    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #290
    Wait, I'm confused. I thought David Brooks wasn't a real conservative, la? Now all of the sudden you are approvingly posting his articles once he jumps aboard the Trump train?

    Very interesting...

  21. #291
    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    Wait, I'm confused. I thought David Brooks wasn't a real conservative, la? Now all of the sudden you are approvingly posting his articles once he jumps aboard the Trump train?

    Very interesting...
    There are 2 true conservatives in the world. LA Ute and Hugh Hewitt. And anybody who agrees with them on a particular issue in a particular instant.

  22. #292
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    Wait, I'm confused. I thought David Brooks wasn't a real conservative, la? Now all of the sudden you are approvingly posting his articles once he jumps aboard the Trump train?

    Very interesting...
    Okay now, pay attention. I think Brooks has credibility on this issue because he’s an anti-Trumper who’s calling for a less emotional response to everything Trump does. When I’ve said Brooks is no conservative, that’s in response to people here (cough-cough concerned cough-cough) who claim, essentially, “Look, here’s a conservative who challenges conservative orthodoxy.” Even Brooks would not describe himself as a conservative.

    I can barely stand Trump. I try to separate my intense dislike of his style and of many of his policy positions from what his administration actually does, much of which is sound policy, IMO. (This isn’t easy for me.) When people go over the top in their criticisms of everything about him (an undeniably frequent occurrence) I try to restore some of what I see as reason to the discussion. That’s not a endorsement of Trump, who I think is a foolish man of low character. I am sad that he is President. He brings out the worst in millions of people, and we see that splashed across the Internet daily. Still, that doesn’t mean that everything emanating from his administration must be opposed, or that anyone who approves of any of it also approves of Trump or is a collaborator in evil.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 01-11-2018 at 09:16 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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #293
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    There are 2 true conservatives in the world. LA Ute and Hugh Hewitt. And anybody who agrees with them on a particular issue in a particular instant.
    Pretty close, although I’ve got my doubts about Hewitt.

    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  24. #294
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    Trump is a lifelong narcissist with previously compensated dementia which is on the verge of becoming uncompensated due to the stress of the job. His narcissism is so predictable that it makes him easy to work around and easy to manipulate. That’s not so terrible because our government can function with a pretty limited POTUS.

    the bigger issue at play is the Russian interference. Trump was too clumsy regardless of whether or not it crossed into criminality. There is going to be greater scrutiny going forward, and that’s bad for Russia-enabled nationalist political factions throughout the West- including the GOP. The GOP had a good thing going with Russia, and Trump is on the brink of screwing it all up with his own clumsy relationship with a less-desireable and more criminal face of Russian influence.

    "that’s bad for Russia-enabled nationalist political factions throughout the West- including the GOP. The GOP had a good thing going with Russia, and Trump is on the brink of screwing it all up with his own clumsy relationship with a less-desireable and more criminal face of Russian influence."

    Wait, so, the Democrats are the "good guys" and the Republicans are the "bad guys" who Russia supports because they Republicans are bad for America and if the Democrats won that would be really bad for Russia?

    Do you honestly beleivie this?

  25. #295
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Pretty close, although I’ve got my doubts about Hewitt.
    I'd throw George Will in with you & Hugh as being conservatives who aren't a) Nuts, b) are intellectually coherent, c) aren't sell outs.
    Last edited by Ma'ake; 01-11-2018 at 12:54 PM.

  26. #296
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    "that’s bad for Russia-enabled nationalist political factions throughout the West- including the GOP. The GOP had a good thing going with Russia, and Trump is on the brink of screwing it all up with his own clumsy relationship with a less-desireable and more criminal face of Russian influence."

    Wait, so, the Democrats are the "good guys" and the Republicans are the "bad guys" who Russia supports because they Republicans are bad for America and if the Democrats won that would be really bad for Russia?

    Do you honestly beleivie this?
    I saw an interesting TV segment about some Senator from the Russian Senate who has taken on the cause of cultivating support in America, so he goes to NRA conventions and interacts with evangelicals, and it has paid some dividends. There are businessmen in Texas who believe we should have much closer relations with Russia, who think Putin would make a good evangelical (but is currently misguided, or whatever).

    There are definitely authoritarian tendencies shared by Putin and some Americans. I don't think (hope) it's not widespread, but the views of the Texan entrepreneur interviewed were striking, along the lines of Trump responding to criticism about Putin by saying "our government has killed a lot of people, too!"

  27. #297
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...d94_story.html

    Trump would get his post censored on this board


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  28. #298
    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...d94_story.html

    Trump would get his post censored on this board.
    It's both funny and sad that he had a long, televised meeting with both parties to talk about DACA - making sure to have Democrats directly on either side of him for the cameras - and was agreeing to everything anyone proposed, quite composed, the "stable genius"... and then today, frustrated, he brings forth this rhetorical masterpiece. (This certainly bolsters the month old reports of his comments about all Haitians having AIDS and Nigerians not wanting to 'go back to their huts'.)

    Similar to the response about criticisms about religious scripture - inconsistencies, anachronisms, etc - that "you need to look past the details toward broader truths", the Fire & Fury book certainly has typos and errors... but the main recurring theme gets reinforcement from the POTUS, on almost a daily basis.

  29. #299
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...d94_story.html

    Trump would get his post censored on this board
    calvin_facepalm.jpg

    "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

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  30. #300
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    "that’s bad for Russia-enabled nationalist political factions throughout the West- including the GOP. The GOP had a good thing going with Russia, and Trump is on the brink of screwing it all up with his own clumsy relationship with a less-desireable and more criminal face of Russian influence."

    Wait, so, the Democrats are the "good guys" and the Republicans are the "bad guys" who Russia supports because they Republicans are bad for America and if the Democrats won that would be really bad for Russia?

    Do you honestly beleivie this?
    I didn't make any value judgments in that post.

    none.

    zero.

    putin's primary goal is to re-establish Russia's sphere of influence in the former Soviet block. He sees NATO as the primary impediment to that end. His strategy for weakened NATO is two-fold

    1) support isolationatist nationalist parties throughout the NATO footprint. In the US that's the GOP and Putin has worked hard to support and promote the GOP especially its more nationalist and isolationist elements. I don't think anyone would argue any of those points.

    Now if you think that expansion of Russia's sphere of influence is bad and that parties who further that expansion are by extension "bad guys" then that's you applying your own value judgment, because I said nothing of the sort.

    2) the other arm of the strategy is to attack Western ideals of multiculturalism, pluralism, and equality. Putin does this by supporting racist, xenophobic, and homophobic political factions in the NATO footprint, and in the US those elements are the core of the modern GOP. I'm not saying that makes the GOP "bad guys"; everyone is free to make his/her own value judgment.
    Last edited by jrj84105; 01-12-2018 at 01:47 AM.

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