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Thread: Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

  1. #631
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Evidence of something going on between Russians and BYU:

    BYU Basketball Recruiting: Meet Agasiy Tonoyan, the Russian forward who has been turning heads in Europe

    Did Heath Schroyer have anything to do with the Trump campaign? We should find out.

    "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. #632
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Don’t be fooled by the headline. This is an interesting piece by a very smart man.

    *****

    The Only Good Thing About Donald Trump Is All His Policies

    A U.S. president who is a boor presents a problem. The presidency, after all, has a symbolic aspect.

    My son Mark, whose mind is more capacious, objective and generous than mine, nicely formulated the Donald Trump problem for thoughtful conservatives. “I approve of almost everything he has done,” my son remarked, “and I disapprove of almost everything he has said.”

    Second the motion. I approve of the Neil Gorsuch appointment, the moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the removal of often-strangling regulations from much commerce, the opening of the Keystone pipeline, the tax-reform law, and more.

    I disapprove of the bragging tweets, the touchiness, the crude put-downs of anyone who disagrees with him (“Little Marco, ” “insecure Oprah, ” “Sloppy Steve, ” and the rest), the unrestrained vulgarity. America has had ignorant, corrupt, vain, lazy presidents before, but in Donald Trump we have the first president who is a genuine boor.

    In many realms of life, a boor’s rude, unmannerly nature can be forgivable. A wise stockbroker, who makes his clients lots of money, might get away with being a boor. A boorish winning football coach— Mike Ditka, take a bow—is livable if not likable. Showbiz has never been without its boors, from George Jessel to Whoopi Goldberg. Even a boorish friend is possible, if he is also loyal, generous and honorable. But a boorish president of the United States presents a problem.

    The presidency, like the monarchy in England, has a symbolic along with a practical aspect. The president is meant to represent the nation at its best. What precisely that means can vary greatly in a country as wide and differentiated as ours. Dwight David Eisenhower was a different model of our best than was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Harry S. Truman was different again, and yet in his own way he represented the country, in its Middle Western, small-business, common-sensical strain.

    No one expects the president to be perfect. Nonetheless, it is disappointing when his imperfections are glaringly on display. Hence Bill Cinton’s fraternity-boy high jinks in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky was not a mere misdemeanor, a contretemps, but a disgrace, which left a permanent blot on what was in many ways a successful presidency.

    The obverse of Donald Trump’s presidency for me was that of Barack Obama. To flip my son’s formulation, I approved of almost everything Mr. Obama said, and I disapproved of almost everything he did. He made a wretched nuclear deal with Iran, initiated a hopelessly cumbersome health-care law, deserted Israel at the United Nations, and did more to exacerbate than to alleviate race relations. Yet no hint of corruption, no sexual scandal of any sort, clings to Mr. Obama, a man who seems a loving husband and a good father.

    I can easily imagine myself at lunch with Barack Obama, talking baseball, basketball, the University of Chicago, the intricacies of Chicago-style machine politics, whereas I cannot think of a single topic I might take up at a similar meal with Donald Trump.

    The presidency, I can hear critics claiming, is not a charm contest. If President Trump is a boor, that may be regrettable, but better a boor with sound policies than a gentleman with unsound ones. True enough, yet this does not, as the philosophers say, exhaust all cases. A man likes to think that one day we may again have a president with both sound policies and dignified behavior.

    Such a combination is of course possible, but at present more than merely unlikely. Boors in their 70s do not change. Donald Trump is incorrigible. Not even John Kelly, a tough retired Marine Corps general, has been able to whip him into anything resembling presidential shape. With Mr. Trump, what we see is what we get, and what we get distinctly isn’t Cary Grant. And we have three more years, possibly seven, to live it.

    What is to be done? I wonder if we might start with journalism. What if American reporters began by ignoring Mr. Trump’s tweets, treating them as no more than the belches and embarrassing flatulence of an incurably dyspeptic man? Heavy media coverage of his tweets only encourages the old boy. What if journalists also ceased searching out the rest homes for aging hookers, porn queens, Mmes. America and Universe who, many moons ago, may or may not have lain with the current leader of the free world? With these two steps alone, the nature of current-day political life would be radically improved.

    As things stand, with television punditi awaiting each morning’s fresh batch of presidential tweets, and with journalists sniffing out possible sex scandals like so many truffle dogs, the coverage of our politics seems rarely to rise above the intellectual level of the New York Post’s gossip-filled Page Six. Gossip is amusing in its place, but when that place is the White House it tends to lose its allure. In fact, it makes politics in the United States dreary beyond reckoning.

    Mr. Epstein is author of the forthcoming “The Ideal of Culture and Other Essays” (Axios Press) and “Charm: The Elusive Enchantment” ( Taylor Trade), both to be published in 2018.

    "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

  3. #633
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    How people who are serious about intellectual honesty in their politics see Trump and his followers.

    *****

    A CPAC Revolt the Left Couldn’t See Coming

    Noah Rothman

    The Washington Examiner’s Philip Wegmann ignited a furor when he reported that liberal radio host Rick Ungar endured a volley of jeers at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) when he talked about “the beauty of naturalization ceremonies.” That wasn’t entirely accurate. In fact, Ungar was booed when he said his impression of Mexican citizens, after living among them for seven years, was that their values are generally conservative and that Republicans should be courting newly minted citizens, as Democrats do. When those on the right stops celebrating their successful outing of more “fake news,” they can explain why they find the truth of this episode in any way redeeming.

    In simpler times, this kerfuffle would have been written off as a product of CPAC’s hothouse environment. Republicans no longer have that luxury. Not after the President of the United States’ CPAC address on Friday. Retreating into his comfort zone, Donald Trump exhumed some noxious themes from his campaign. He said the recipients of the immigration “diversity lottery” program are “horrendous,” and he performed a reading of “The Snake,” a poem by the civil-rights activist Oscar Brown Jr. retrofitted onto Trump’s anti-immigration activism.

    Trump’s 2018 insistence that foreign countries are “giving us” their refuse is only a slightly more refined articulation of his 2015 claim that Mexico exiles their drug dealers and rapists to the United States. Trump’s conduct regularly destigmatizes behavior polite society declines to dignify. The president sets a tone for his party. It’s only reasonable to expect conservatives to mimic his crowd-pleasing nativist hostility.

    This episode would appear to validate a liberal hobby that I discussed last week: the intellectual left’s self-validating habit of insisting that Donald Trump did not, in fact, commandeer the conservative movement after mounting a campaign that was largely critical of it. Rather, to this cohort, the president is the ultimate fulfillment of conservatism’s evolutionary trajectory.

    Trump is the “apotheosis” of conservatism, wrote MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. According to Jonathan Chait, the GOP’s capacity to recommit to “democratic governing norms” means “freeing it from conservatism’s grip.” It is, therefore, a shame that “Conservatism has infected Trump,” and not the other way around. Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind, declared Trump to be the realization of decades—even centuries—of conservative tradition. Trump’s embrace of “violence” and “apocalyptic rhetoric,” “hostility to existing institutions, conventions, customs, traditions, established elites and the law,” and “appeals to the force of the multitude” are all supposedly indicative of conservatism’s intellectual heritage.

    This genre of liberal commentary amounts to a self-affirmation. No conservative intellectual of the last 40 years would recognize Robin’s description of his or her ethos. It is the ego-fueled assertion that we, the enlightened observers, know you better than you know yourselves. The vanity required to render such a verdict on a movement as vast and varied as the modern right is enough to cast the observer out of the conservative intellectual tradition. Not that the observer would know that; “humility” didn’t appear on Robin’s list of conservative virtues.

    Though it is a verdict rendered in error, it is still common to hear the refrain—sometimes melancholy, sometimes triumphant—that Trump and conservatism are, today, one and the same. The inconvenient revolt led by Mona Charen at CPAC demonstrated that the resistance endures.

    Charen, a conservative intellectual in every sense, is a two-time author. She’s a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She worked in the Reagan White House and served as a speechwriter for Jack Kemp in 1988, and she has written for conservative publications like National Review and COMMENTARY for decades. According to the right’s morphologists, she should have been assimilated by now. And yet, when asked to weigh in with some jabs at the hypocrisy of the feminist left—standard fodder for a conservative gathering—Charen declined. The hypocrisy she felt was more deserving of scorn had been displayed on her side of the aisle.

    Charen tore into the morally impaired conservatives who stood behind Roy Moore, a “credibly accused child molester,” in his bid for the U.S. Senate. She went off on conservatives for attacking Bill Clinton while a man who brags about his infidelities and is accused of abusing women occupies the Oval Office. She torched CPAC for extending a speaking invitation to Marion Le Pen, a member of a far-right nationalist party and an apologist for her grandfather, the “racist and Nazi” Jean-Marie Le Pen. This frontal assault on a room full of ostensible allies was, to put it mildly, not well-received.

    “We built and organized this party,” Charen later wrote for the New York Times, “but now we’re made to feel like interlopers.” According to a certain style of liberal commentary, Charen and her ilk are as responsible for Trump as are the MAGA hat-wearing primary voters who wanted to burn the GOP to the ground. Those on the left who are not arguing this in bad faith are indulging in a self-flattering category error.

    Conservatives who prefer sound policy to posturing have found a lot to like in the Trump administration precisely because he has abandoned his campaign trail bluster. The president has not withdrawn from the world, imposed self-injurious tariffs on foreign goods, or compelled the U.S. military to recommit to torture. For the most part, the president has surrounded himself with members of the responsible Republican governing class who matured politically in the Reagan era and speak conservatism fluently. Where Trump has resorted to his nativist or populist instincts, many members of the movement he captured criticize him freely. Amid policy failures like the several botched iterations of the travel ban or rhetorical flops—separating the “good people” out from a neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville and attacking immigrants from “s***hole” countries, for example—the fissures within the conservative movement become clear. And yet, to hear the self-appointed taxonomists of conservatism on the left tell it, those fissures don’t exist at all.

    In 2015, when he wasn’t doing a bad impression of a conservative, candidate Donald Trump was explicitly running against conservatism’s excessive hostility toward government and its preening self-righteousness. In the process, he convinced even some Trump-skeptics on the right that conservatism had failed. More often than not, though, President Donald Trump has appealed to conservative policy and personnel out of necessity. There is no practical infrastructure in America for populist governance. Yet, for a movement that was supposedly so sternly rebuked in 2016, even this validation has not rendered Trump’s conservative detractors silent. They are as willing as ever to make the case that civility is not unilateral disarmament and expertise is not corruption. They are committed to presenting an alternative vision for leadership, both stylistically and substantively, when a provocateur proves he is ill-suited to the presidency.

    What is happening on the right in the era of Trump is fascinating. It is a spectacle in its early days, and it defies classification, much less a comprehensive conclusion. Those commentators on the left forcing this political phenomenon into their preconceptions to score cheap points are doing their profession no favors.

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/p...n-revolt-cpac/

    "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. #634
    Originally Posted by LA Ute
    I can agree with those two without thinking it’s ok to call Mike Pence a Nazi. Are you willing to concede that there were really a lot of overwrought statements made about George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney?.Romney was going to “put y’all back in chains.“ Surely you haven’t forgotten? By the way, I’ve never read Breitbart in my life. If you keep accusing me of being one of those people, I’m going to say you read Mother Jones for your political guidance. That’ll fix you.

    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    There still seems to be a number of people who believe the government (Bush II) brought down the towers so it could invade Iraq.
    I was reminded the other day that quite a few people still believe that FDR knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor.
    Last edited by USS Utah; 03-02-2018 at 05:53 PM.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  5. #635
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    What is happening on the right in the era of Trump is fascinating. It is a spectacle in its early days, and it defies classification, much less a comprehensive conclusion. Those commentators on the left forcing this political phenomenon into their preconceptions to score cheap points are doing their profession no favors.

    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/p...n-revolt-cpac/
    Just as money is a common denominator that commands universal attention in the ordinary world, political power - won or potentially lost - is the strongest signaling system in the political world. If conservatives are disturbed at seeing their party hijacked (on the day Trump slapped large tariffs on steel & aluminum), I say GREAT!

    If the prospect of monumental losses in the midterm help Republicans wake up and shed their Stockholm Syndrome, and reject the relentless gas-lighting, I say "welcome back!"

    Stand up for yourselves! Be heard! Make sure everyone knows you're not going along with Trump's attempt to turn America into Trumpistan, and you'll have a fighting chance in November.

  6. #636
    I know it can't be this simple, but between Trump's call to "seize guns now, due process later", and the big tariffs on imported steel & aluminum, it seems like he's desperately trying to get support among women (on guns) and blue collar workers (on the tariffs).

    The tariffs have provoked counter threats from Canada (our biggest trading partner) and the EU. Need some support? Start a (trade) war.

    Tweaking the NRA and its members is chasing the high poll numbers that want *something* done about guns. ("Hey NRA members, how do the bus tires taste?")

  7. #637
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I know it can't be this simple, but between Trump's call to "seize guns now, due process later", and the big tariffs on imported steel & aluminum, it seems like he's desperately trying to get support among women (on guns) and blue collar workers (on the tariffs).

    The tariffs have provoked counter threats from Canada (our biggest trading partner) and the EU. Need some support? Start a (trade) war.

    Tweaking the NRA and its members is chasing the high poll numbers that want *something* done about guns. ("Hey NRA members, how do the bus tires taste?")
    My hunch is that Trump is so poorly read and incurious about policy that he probably meant something else when he was taking about guns and due process. I get so sick of the constant drama he generates.

    "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

  8. #638
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    My hunch is that Trump is so poorly read and incurious about policy that he probably meant something else when he was taking about guns and due process. I get so sick of the constant drama he generates.
    Yeah, I agree. Everyone on here that thinks Trump is clever, using Twitter etc. to distract while implementing policy is up in the job night. Twitter Trump is real Trump: impulsive, short attention span, and petty.

  9. #639
    This morning's gift from the head of the Republican Party:

    "Trade wars are good, and easy to win"

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKCN1GE1PM

    If Republicans are tired of getting clumped together with this kind of idiocy, they should speak up down-ticket and offer more forceful repudiations of Trump's reckless rhetoric. The media will definitely cover the divisions among Republicans, but rational Republicans' voices will get heard over the top of the Presidential Twitter account.

    A couple of weeks ago, US defense and national security leaders told their international counterparts to ignore what Trump says, in an effort to keep some cohesion with historic allies.

    Stateside, more & more Republicans need to stand up and say the same thing, even if it jeopardizes support among the Trump loyalists.

    Sure, the MSM will amplify Trump's idiotic remarks, and the coverage benefits Democrats, but obscure disagreements from a few Republicans here or there just don't match Trump's bully pulpit. More need to speak up and loudly.

    It's your Party. Do you care enough to fight for it?

  10. #640
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Both parties have their troubles.

    ****

    Civil War in the Democratic Party

    Bernie Sanders was a portent of the populist left’s rise. Now even Dianne Feinstein looks vulnerable.

    By Ted Rall
    Feb. 28, 2018 7:00 p.m. ET

    The rise of Donald Trump has prompted endless analysis about the populist right, what it is and what it wants. Now it’s time to consider a neglected segment of the electorate—the populist left.

    Progressive populists scored an upset this past weekend, when California Democrats at their annual convention declined to endorse liberal stalwart Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is seeking a fifth full term. “The outcome of today’s endorsement vote is an astounding rejection of politics as usual, and it boosts our campaign’s momentum as we all stand shoulder to shoulder against a complacent status quo,” crowed her progressive opponent, state Senate leader Kevin de León, who along with Ms. Feinstein will face voters in June.

    A civil war rages among Democrats in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

    Mainstreamers are coming under attack from their left flank, with the sharpest broadsides emanating from the postindustrial Midwest. “We need to unite the agenda and unite the Democrats right now around a strong economic agenda,” Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who tried in 2016 to depose Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader, said in February. The left has growing numbers, enthusiasm and a potent small-contribution fundraising model. As they pull the party away from the center, the perpetually lamented polarization of America will continue.

    Excluded from both parties, left populists are a significant slice of the 37% of Americans who prefer socialism or even communism over capitalism, according to a 2017 YouGov survey. Like their counterparts on the right, left populists resent political, cultural and economic elites. They distrust big business, academia, the major political parties and corporate media outlets that prop up a self-interested establishment. They believe the system exploits hardworking Americans to fatten corporations and wealthy individuals.

    Left populism is distinguished from the left centrism that currently dominates the Democratic Party. Left centrists seek reform, not revolution. President Obama wanted to regulate Wall Street, not replace it. The Clintons cashed checks from Goldman Sachs ; last year Mr. Obama accepted one from Cantor Fitzgerald.

    Left populists focus on class-based perspectives. What matters to them most is the struggle between the 1% and the 99%, especially over globalization. Working-class lives matter; banks are evil. Identity politics—race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.—don’t excite left populists much.

    These were the voters who supported Bernie Sanders. Team Hillary never understood them. “What happened” was that the history-making potential of the first female president left almost half the party, not only white males, unmoved.

    One point of disagreement is a question that also divides Republicans: immigration. During this year’s budget talks, Democratic leaders were determined to prevent deportations of “Dreamers,” whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally when they were children. Populists sympathize with Dreamers, but they don’t see a hill worth dying on. Budgetary brinkmanship on behalf of illegal aliens risks alienating a growing left-populist base, whose members worry more about their own long-suffering bank balances.

    As Mrs. Pelosi garnered liberal accolades for her eight-hour pseudo-filibuster over Dreamers—when did she showboat over, say, distressed homeowners during the housing crisis?— Mr. Ryan fumed that the stunt’s identity-politics-oriented optics, featuring female congressmen standing behind her, could alienate left populists. “If you’re going into a budget battle like this, you can’t go in with just a million Dreamers,” Mr. Ryan said. “You need the retired coal miners, the retired Teamsters.”

    Until a few years ago, the potential of the populist left manifested itself primarily in spasmodic street demonstrations such as the antiglobalization “Battle of Seattle” in 1999 and the ragtag Occupy encampments in 2011. Mr. Sanders capitalized on it, transforming from a rumpled fringe candidate into the most popular politician in America. He rocketed from around 6% in the polls among Democrats in 2015 to a 53% favorability rating among all voters last year.

    And left-populist voters were decisive in November 2016. Some 12% of those who supported Mr. Sanders in the primaries cast their votes for Mr. Trump, according to political scientist Brian Schaffner. “I’m with her,” Mrs. Clinton’s bumper stickers proclaimed. But populists wanted a candidate who was with them. From her decision not to consider Mr. Sanders for the ticket to her failure to pick up his call for a $15 minimum wage, from her focus on identity politics over pocketbook issues to her campaign’s outreach to anti- Trump Republicans in the suburbs, Bernie voters got the Big Snub.

    They snubbed back. Many Sanders supporters stayed home on Election Day. “Donald Trump probably would have lost to Hillary Clinton had Republican- and Democratic-leaning registered voters cast ballots at equal rates,” wrote Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight.

    Mr. Trump owes his presidency to the populist left. But he’s not respecting them either. He brags about stripping away regulations and a $1.5 trillion tax cut whose benefits mostly go to the wealthy and big corporations, not to mention a stock market whose gains are leaving many Americans behind. It all tells Bernie America that Hillary America was right about the Republicans and Mr. Trump.

    Fortunately for the GOP, the national Democrats are as clueless about the populist left as they were in 2016. The choice of Clintonite Tom Perez to run the Democratic National Committee broadcasts the Democrats’ determination to nominate another identitarian left-centrist standard-bearer— Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, maybe even Oprah Winfrey. Anyone but Bernie!

    DNC-approved “mainstream” presidential prospects have adopted left-leaning positions on a variety of issues. Yet the populist left doesn’t trust them, and for good reason. Ms. Harris was caught fundraising in the Hamptons; Mr. Booker is too close to bankers; Ms. Gillibrand may have vested too much in #MeToo; Ms. Winfrey is a billionaire arriviste. They’re all silent on the working class.

    The populist left won’t flip to the GOP again in 2020. But they won’t turn out for another regular Democrat either. This November? They’ll probably stay home with Netflix .

    Mr. Rall is co-author, with Harmon Leon, of “Meet the Deplorables: Infiltrating Trump America,” and author of “Francis: The People’s Pope,” forthcoming in March.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/civil-w...s&page=1&pos=1
    Last edited by LA Ute; 03-04-2018 at 09:15 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

  11. #641
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Don’t be misled by the headline. Good insights, not Trump-friendly.

    Trump's week was not so crazy after all

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/opini...zer/index.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

    “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

  12. #642
    Here's an interesting article - a long read - on Christopher Steele, the ex M.I.6 spy who with another retired UK spy formed Orbis, International to work their network of contacts for private investigations, mostly corporate inquiries into various governments they were getting involved in. The article is focused on Steele, his frustrations with working with the Obama Administration, etc.

    (The UK spies were very adept at getting human intel from broad networks of sources, where the US Intel agencies were stronger at "signal" intelligence, electronic surveillance, eaves dropping, etc. Over the years, the US & UK had collaborated extensively, as part of the "Five Eyes" consortium of nations that were very open with each other in sharing Intel, which rubbed other allies like Germany the wrong way.)

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...-trump-dossier

    - Steele assumed the collaboration with Glenn Simpson's group was another corporate inquiry, didn't know who was paying for it - an attorney representing a Republican activist during the primaries looking for information about Trump.... which became Hillary & the DNC later.

    - the basic question being investigated was why did Trump go to Russia so many times and come back empty handed on business deals. What Steele discovered shook him, and led to the "the Dossier", which he felt had to be handed over to the FBI, even before he knew who Orbis & Fusion GPS' client was. Steel's partner felt they should leave out the "golden shower" part, but Steele felt they should be comprehensive.

    A few interesting pieces:

    - Steele became very agitated at the anemic response from the Obama Administration, and even after the elections, felt compelled to notify the American people (hence the inclusion of a 2nd dossier that revealed the Kremlin vetoed the idea of Mitt Romney as Sec of State, why it looked like a done deal, then fell through, and Tillerson's experience with dealing with Russia via his role at Exxon made him a better candidate.)

    Through the article, you can see that while Steele was expert in Russia and how they operated, he was a neophyte about American politics, believing Chuck Grassley had become compromised by the Russians when they referred Simpson and Steele for criminal investigations, part of the Devin Nunes counter-narrative.

    Definitely a long read, and if you're looking for a robust defense of the Obama Administration's handling of Steele's information, this ain't the article for you. (This article would be more inline with the general criticism of Obama as being naïve/weak on foreign policy, Syria, etc.)

  13. #643
    The telling thing for me from that New Yorker article on Steele was the amount of Russian crime syndicates running out of Trump Tower. How could that be merely coincidence?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #644
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    The telling thing for me from that New Yorker article on Steele was the amount of Russian crime syndicates running out of Trump Tower. How could that be merely coincidence?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Obviously Trump is just very, very unlucky in choosing his tenants.

  15. #645
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Ok. This is funny.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/06/polit...ah1249PMVODtop

    Republicans in Utah are working their way toward naming a highway after President Donald Trump in thanks of his decision to dramatically scale down national monuments in the state.

    State Democrats, however, have another idea: naming a rampway after Stormy Daniels, the porn star who has alleged a decade-old sexual encounter with the President (Trump's personal attorney has denied the affair).

  16. #646
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    The telling thing for me from that New Yorker article on Steele was the amount of Russian crime syndicates running out of Trump Tower. How could that be merely coincidence?


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    Massive money laundering operations?

  17. #647
    This is an interesting twist: bull investors in red states disregarding the advice of their brokers to pour more money into the stock market, based on the unshakable faith that Trump is leading us back to economic hegemony:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-their-brokers

    How this collides with the brewing trade war(s) remains to be seen...

  18. #648
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    A blast from the past. The "fascist" attack has been in use by the Democrats for some time.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1948/10/26/a...en-bigots.html

    CHICAGO, Oct. 25 -- A Republican victory on election day will bring a Fascistic threat to American freedom that is even more dangerous than the perils from communism and extreme right "crackpots," President Truman asserted here tonight.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 03-08-2018 at 12:06 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

  19. #649
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    This is an interesting twist: bull investors in red states disregarding the advice of their brokers to pour more money into the stock market, based on the unshakable faith that Trump is leading us back to economic hegemony:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-their-brokers

    How this collides with the brewing trade war(s) remains to be seen...
    A significant market correction is far more likely than is a continuation of the upward trend (e.g. DJIA at 12,000 is much more likely than 30,000). The FED is going to start quantitative tightening in a few months by shrinking their bond portfolio and increasing interest rates. Central banks around the world are going to do the same.

  20. #650
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    A guy named Barton Swaim reviews 3 books in the Wall Street Journal. All 3 are about the state of our democracy. It’s a very interesting read. It’s probably behind the paywall, so here’s one excerpt:

    Yascha Mounk in “The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It” (Harvard, 393 pages, $29.95) answers Mr. Sunstein’s question with a hearty “Yes.” “Donald Trump’s election to the White House has been the most striking manifestation of democracy’s crisis,” Mr. Mounk writes. “It is difficult to overstate the significance of his rise.” It may be difficult, but Mr. Mounk has a go: “For the first time in its history, the oldest and most powerful democracy in the world has elected a president who openly disdains basic constitutional norms—somebody who left his supporters ‘in suspense’ whether he would accept the outcome of the election; who called for his main political opponent to be jailed; and who has consistently favored the country’s authoritarian adversaries over its democratic allies.”

    Mr. Trump is guilty of some appalling demagoguery, true enough (though note again the heavy emphasis on rhetoric and attitudinizing rather than action: “disdains,” “called for,” “consistently favored”). But versions of all these accusations might have been, and indeed were, leveled against previous presidents—both Roosevelts and Nixon, for sure—and constitutional norms held up just fine.

    It’s true, though, that Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to care all that much about the Constitution or American democratic institutions. Is that a reflection of the American electorate’s own attitude? Mr. Mounk amasses a great deal of evidence indicating that Americans are losing faith in those democratic institutions. We’re told, for instance, that in the U.S. “close to one in four millennials now think that democracy is a bad way of running the country—an increase of over 100 percent compared to the oldest cohorts in the sample.” But surely this is only evidence that people change opinions over time. That the youth develop greater regard for a nation’s institutions as they grow older is hardly unusual. And, in any case, weren’t the democracy-loving older Americans more likely to vote for Trump, not less?

    Mr. Mounk suggests one way liberals can counter Mr. Trump’s right-wing “ethnocentric” nationalism with a nationalism of their own. The trouble, as he puts it, is that American liberals are “increasingly directed toward a radical rejection of the nation and all its trappings.” If I may put the point in my own words: It’s going to be pretty hard for progressives to offer a patriotic alternative to right-wing nationalism when they’ve spent the past half-century placing their hopes in transnational bodies and arguing that national borders are arbitrary constructs. Mr. Mounk proposes what he calls “inclusive patriotism,” which after many pages of description sounds like ordinary left-liberalism but with an admission that securing a nation’s borders isn’t a terrible idea.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rig...acy-1520630381

    "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

  21. #651
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Today’s unsigned editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

    The shock of losing the Presidency to Donald Trump has to be mind-blowing, but Hillary Clinton keeps offering evidence for why she may have been the only Democrat in 2016 who could have managed the feat.

    Mrs. Clinton provided the latest demonstration on a visit to India in which she was asked to explain her loss. She blamed the “backwards” parts of America where “you didn’t like black people getting rights; you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs; you don’t want to, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are.”

    This a reprise of her famous “deplorables” crack from the campaign trail, but she didn’t stop there. She also complained about “married white women” who supported Mr. Trump because they were too weak to stand up to “a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.”

    Mrs. Clinton was supposed to be the first female President who rose as the feminist champion for the aspirations of all American women. Yet it turns out she really believes that any woman who voted against her must have been a mental or emotional prisoner of some man, trapped in a kind of political purdah.

    Democrats may think Mr. Trump is unfit to be President, but maybe they should take responsibility for nominating a candidate who had such contempt for so many Americans.

    Appeared in the March 14, 2018, print edition.
    “Hillary Clinton Leans Out,”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary...out-1520983364

    "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

  22. #652
    It definitely looks like Americans were in a catch-22 on Election Day. Let’s hope both parties put up better candidates for 2020.


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  23. #653
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Today’s unsigned editorial in the Wall Street Journal:



    “Hillary Clinton Leans Out,”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary...out-1520983364
    Wow that is just straight up offensive. We voted for HRC but only because Trump is such a truly horrible person and candidate, not because we were excited about her or her platform. I’ve spoken to lots of people who felt the same way. An interesting poll would be to see how many people plugged their nose and voted for her, I bet it was significant.

    Further, while I don’t agree with or understand this I know of a lot of people who felt like me in the opposite direction, that they couldn’t vote for HRC in good conscience. It had nothing to do with being weak-minded or wanting to oppress minorities.

    There are plenty of things that are deplorable about HRC, and interestingly the #metoo movement has shined light on her actions to destroy Bill’s accusers. Bottom line is she is no champion of women and her past actions in that regard set back women being believed when they said they were being harassed a few decades.

    I still remain very opposed to Trump but HRC’s post election nonsense makes me wish I would have simply abstained from voting.

    What has happened to our country?


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    Last edited by Rocker Ute; 03-14-2018 at 12:32 PM.

  24. #654
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Wow that is just straight up offensive. We voted for HRC but only because Trump is such a truly horrible person and candidate, not because we were excited about her or her platform. I’ve spoken to lots of people who felt the same way. An interesting poll would be to see how many people plugged their nose and voted for her, I bet it was significant.

    Further, while I don’t agree with or understand this I know of a lot of people who felt like me in the opposite direction, that they couldn’t vote for HRC in good conscience. It had nothing to do with being weak-minded or wanting to oppress minorities.

    There is plenty of things that are deplorable about HRC, and interestingly the #metoo movement has shined light on her actions to destroy Bill’s accusers. Bottom line is she is no champion of women and her past actions set back women being believed when they were being harassed a few decades.

    I still remain very opposed to Trump but HRC’s post election nonsense makes me wish I would have simply abstained from voting.

    What has happened to our country?
    I didn't vote for either of them. First time ever for 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

    “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

  25. #655
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I agree with this.

    The entire Russia affair—whether it’s allegations that Team Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin’s criminal police state, or revelations that federal law enforcement abused their surveillance powers—has enormously damaged public trust in government and faith in its institutions. A contested House Intelligence Committee report wrapping up its investigation is sure to be yet another corrosive. What’s needed is the trust that comes from transparency. And nothing would be as transparent as to simply release the entirety of the testimony and other evidence that is in the committee’s possession.
    Some redactions would be required for national Security reasons, but the more transparency the better, IMO.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/we-don...rticle/2011920

    "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

  26. #656
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I agree with this.



    Some redactions would be required for national Security reasons, but the more transparency the better, IMO.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/we-don...rticle/2011920
    Letting politicians ‘investigate’ is stupid. We all know that. They’re never going to be neutral or impartial, and they’re not even good amateur detectives, let alone professional ones.




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  27. #657
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Letting politicians ‘investigate’ is stupid. We all know that. They’re never going to be neutral or impartial, and they’re not even good amateur detectives, let alone professional ones.
    Completely agree. That's why I like the idea of just releasing the transcripts of all their closed-door interviews, with appropriate redactions for classified stuff.

    "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

  28. #658
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I didn't vote for either of them. First time ever for me.
    Me either. She was as uniquely horrible as him, plus she was on the wrong side of most policies. Unless the Dems can push Joe Manchin or some other blue dog, I suspect I’ll either write-in or vote third party again.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  29. #659
    We may have a pretty serious problem:

    First, the Trump Administration announces a set of sanctions on Russia - which I think is LONG overdue. Pompeo seems to understand the Russian threat, also good. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/15/u...sanctions.html


    This morning I got the following email from the US Cert - (part of Homeland Security, watches & warns about Cyber Security issues):

    https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-074A


    We might be entering / escalating a Cyber War...

  30. #660
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I didn't vote for either of them. First time ever for me.
    For the second time in three election cycles I wrote in a candidate.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

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