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Thread: Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

  1. #1081
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Life in the Trump Era, Part 2

    Annnnd...here’s another point of view that I don’t buy, but I must cop to a slight feeling of nervousness. Then again, Trump always makes me nervous. It’s who he is, it’s what he does. There is something real about Trump Derangement Syndrome, but he seems to feed on that. Obama and Bush simply ignored their critics’ respective derangement syndromes. Not Trump. He loves it.

    Why I’m No Longer a Russiagate Skeptic

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...skeptic-219022

    "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. #1082
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I'm not a democrat, but I'm an independent who wants a fresh face. I would also say that Chelsea Clinton or any Bush progeny doesn't count as a fresh face.

    Of course, I wanted a fresh face in 2016, and I got one. So be careful what you wish for.
    I am enjoying Joe Kennedy.

  3. #1083
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Annnnd...here’s another point of view that I don’t buy, but I must cop to a slight feeling of nervousness. Then again, Trump always makes me nervous. It’s who he is, it’s what he does. There is something real about Trump Derangement Syndrome, but he seems to feed on that. Obama and Bush simply ignored their critics’ respective derangement syndromes. Not Trump. He loves it.

    Why I’m No Longer a Russiagate Skeptic

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...skeptic-219022
    I don't know anything about Trump Derangement Syndrome, but I am no longer a skeptic about your Trump Rationalization Syndrome. I just hope Romney as Senator is something close to the Romney who delivered the speech in March 2016 and made the statement about Helsinki, and not the one who ate frog legs.

    P.S. do you think McCain, Sasse, Flake, Max Boot, George Will, David French, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson, etc., etc., etc., have that derangement syndrome?
    Last edited by concerned; 07-20-2018 at 03:32 PM.

  4. #1084
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Good take on what happened. A lot of angry voters comprised (and still comprise) Trump's base. "Drain the swamp", "lock her up!", etc.

    Similarly, many young folks - eg, 10,000 showing up to see Bernie at This is the Place State Park - manifesting a similar uprising on the left.

    I could list 20 factors I think were ingredients to these separate but similar uprisings, but I think those are what we need to understand and address, or at least try to ameliorate.
    Yes, I think this a very good point.

    The world is fundamentally changing. There are a lot of people who are really looking at the coming revolution and wondering what's going to happen when 30-40% of jobs are no longer needed. We may be feeling the labor pains of the birthing of this new world. A lot of people feel like they are loosing control, and some of them want to scream and shout and break things.

    Sam Harris interviewed Ian Bremmer recently and they discussed some of these issues. It seems that experts aren't convinced if this new revolution can or cannot provide jobs for everyone. This is not the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Not all buggy whip makers can easily be retrained to work in factories. What happens when 80% of truck drivers, who on average have no college training, are in their late 40's get replaced by self-driving trucks. Not to mention all the people who live along the interstates that make their living serving the transportation industry. Rinse and repeat for many sectors of the economy.

    Ian guesses that the US will weather this storm much easier than third world countries who are heavily into manufacturing. When those jobs evaporate, the countries don't have the wealth to deal with the massive unemployment. Then people will really start breaking things.

    And back to your point (I think). Impeaching Trump wont deal with the 30% of the US who thinks Trump is the answer to their problems. Their problems are only going to get worse.
    Last edited by Brian; 07-20-2018 at 01:12 PM.

  5. #1085
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Yes, I think this a very good point.

    The world is fundamentally changing. There are a lot of people who are really looking at the coming revolution and wondering what's going to happen when 30-40% of jobs are no longer needed. We may be feeling the labor pains of the birthing of this new world. A lot of people feel like they are loosing control, and some of them want to scream and shout and break things.

    Sam Harris interviewed Ian Bremmer recently and they discussed some of these issues. It seems that experts aren't convinced if this new revolution can or cannot provide jobs for everyone. This is not the Industrial Revolution 2.0. Not all buggy whip makers can easily be retrained to work in factories. What happens when 80% of truck drivers, who on average have no college training, are in their late 40's get replaced by self-driving trucks. Not to mention all the people who live along the interstates that make their living serving the transportation industry. Rinse and repeat for many sectors of the economy.

    Ian guesses that the US will weather this storm much easier than third world countries who are heavily into manufacturing. When those jobs evaporate, the countries don't have the wealth to deal with the massive unemployment. Then people will really start breaking things.

    And back to your point (I think). Impeaching Trump wont deal with the 30% of the US who thinks Trump is the answer to their problems. Their problems are only going to get worse.
    I've shared these articles before, but this is what is happening and it portends of what is to come:

    McDonald's workers quitting in droves over 'complicated' technology, new menu items:
    https://business.financialpost.com/n...new-menu-items

    Robots Will Transform Fast Food; That might not be a bad thing:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...-chefs/546581/

    Why is this relevant to me? Because I teach students how to design the interfaces, animations and graphics for those automated systems, and even how to develop new systems.

    We struggle to get domestic students to enrol in our program (average yearly enrolment of 25 - 30), which boasts an 85% employment rate for it's graduates after two years of school (their skills are in high demand in the job market place).

    Why won't local students enrol? They tell us in surveys: "Coding and programming is hard. I want to enroll in a design progam with classes that I know I am going to pass. I'll worry about getting a job, or a better one when I am older."

    And who is poised to replace them? International students, primarily from India and Sri Lanka, make up 60% of our enrolment. But that's only because my College has set quotas on how many international students they will admit. This fall instead of a total enrolment of 60 - 70, we could have a total enrolment of 200 if we were willing to open the flood gates.

    The revolution is here. Middle North America is missing it. Did the dinosaurs know they were going extinct?
    Last edited by tooblue; 07-20-2018 at 02:24 PM.

  6. #1086
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    P.S. do you think McCain, Sasse, Flake, Max Boot, George Will, David French, David Frum, Jennifer Rubin, Michael Gerson, etc., etc., etc., have that derangement syndrome?
    No. As understand it the term refers to the compulsion to respond with outrage (usually over the top) to almost anything Trump says or does. But if you Google it you’ll mainly see articles ridiculing the concept. This one is my favorite. The article attacks the syndrome in a manner that, ironically, actually displays it:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily...ement-syndrome

    By the way, libs have always praised McCain’s politics only when he’s poking Republicans in the eye.

    "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. #1087
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    By the way, libs have always praised McCain’s politics only when he’s poking Republicans in the eye.
    This is historically true, unquestionably. He was an "R", he chose Sarah Palin (Schmidt did, granted)… the view from the liberal herd was the same of all Republicans, they were basically indistinguishable from that vantage point (in the same way any Democrat can be labeled a "socialist" or "progressive" or "leftist" just by being Democrat, and certainly if they proposed a public-private partnership involving tax dollars to address some issue).

    Now I think most on the left - beyond the early shock, outrage, which gave way to serious concern / fear, morphing into numbness - look at McCain, Graham, Corker, Sasse, Flake as having different values on policy matters, but let's face it, "policy" debate is a long way from where we are, as a nation.

    I think most on the left now see them as genuine patriots, especially if they can guide the "loyal opposition" of Republicans back to rationality and backbone, and not the alarming erosion of values they previously could be relied on to espouse, like free trade, fiscal responsibility, strong alliances with nations with similar values, etc.

  8. #1088
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I think most on the left now see them as genuine patriots, especially if they can guide the "loyal opposition" of Republicans back to rationality and backbone, and not the alarming erosion of values they previously could be relied on to espouse, like free trade, fiscal responsibility, strong alliances with nations with similar values, etc.
    Fair enough. But don't you think that if McCain defended any little thing Trump did or said, he'd be excoriated by the left? (This type of fickleness happens on the right too.)
    Last edited by LA Ute; 07-21-2018 at 01:42 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

  9. #1089
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I think this is a thoughtful piece. "As early as February 2016, this column described Mr. Trump as a 'democratic accident' waiting to happen: 'What began as a scheme to become more famous is in danger of running away with the country.'” Ouch.

    *****

    Is President Trump Illegitimate?



    By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
    July 20, 2018 6:38 p.m. ET

    I think this is a thoughtful piece.

    Donald Trump never expected to be president. And, we might reasonably surmise, perhaps didn’t really want to be. Think about that as President Trump seeks to remake America’s relationship with the world as dramatically as any president in 70 years.

    The Greek witch-goddess Circe gave her son a magic weapon to protect him on his search for his father, Odysseus. When father and son finally met, Odysseus was accidentally killed by the magic weapon. Oops.

    Then-FBI Director James Comey received a magic weapon that, in his own mind, justified his usurping of the Justice Department’s decision whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton or her aides in the email case. Without Mr. Comey’s initial intervention, there never would have been his second intervention, reopening the Hillary case shortly before Election Day. Oops.

    If veteran political analyst Ronald Brownstein is right, blue-collar white women in the upper Midwest elected Mr. Trump. What better antidote for the “Access Hollywood” scandal, then tanking the Trump campaign, than the revelation that the Hillary case was not only back but entangled with the underage sexting adventures of former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner.

    If any Russian involvement helped Mr. Trump, this was it. As we know from credible reporting and from Mr. Comey’s own elliptical memoir, he was in possession of a captured Kremlin intelligence document that cited an alleged agreement between the Obama Justice Department and the Clinton campaign to bury the email case. This was Mr. Comey’s magic weapon.

    Amanda Renteria, the Clinton campaign aide named in the Russian intelligence, has stated plainly that the information was “made up by the Russians.” The Justice Department’s inspector general said the info was viewed inside the FBI as “not credible” and “objectively false.” According to CNN and the Washington Post, some considered it a deliberate Kremlin plant.

    Yet Mr. Comey, in a recent interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, described the information as “legitimate” and expressed agnosticism over whether it was “accurate.”

    He told NBC’s Chuck Todd, “I’m just not, by my silence, agreeing with your predicate that it was false documents.”

    What the heck is going on here?

    This episode represents the only possible way Russia affected the election outcome. Other claims about its decisive effect are implausible.

    Former Obama intelligence chief James Clapper flatly opines, based on his decades of experience, that Russia elected Mr. Trump, which might be more persuasive if his decades of experience were in U.S. electoral politics, not spywork and disinformation.

    The Economist magazine, in honor of last week’s U.S. indictment of Russia’s GRU hackers, says the Kremlin only had to shift 0.03% of the total vote and therefore Mr. Trump may be illegitimate.

    What these analysts ignore is net effect. Bernie voters and Catholics had reason to be offended by leaked Democratic emails, but these were one-day stories early in the race. The overall impact of Russia hacking and social media trolling not only was small on its own terms; it was swamped by the blowback on conventional media, which daily amplified accusations of Hillary supporters and Never Trump Republicans that Mr. Trump was in Vladimir Putin’s pocket.

    Replay the election in your head, in fact, and it’s hard come to any conclusion other than Mr. Trump would have been much better off if Russia wasn’t a subject. Voters don’t vote on foreign policy. They do vote on character. There can’t be 75 people in America who cared that Mr. Trump promised better relations with Russia. There must have been hundreds of thousands or millions who followed half the GOP pundit and foreign-policy establishment in opposing Mr. Trump on character grounds, including his alleged footsie with the Kremlin.

    I’ll say it again: It is overwhelmingly likely that Russian efforts, aside from their presumably unforeseen and accidental impact on Mr. Comey, cost Mr. Trump more votes than they got him.

    As early as February 2016, this column described Mr. Trump as a “democratic accident” waiting to happen: “What began as a scheme to become more famous is in danger of running away with the country.”

    It was entirely possible for Mr. Trump to be the last man standing in a crowded GOP primary field full of candidates who might have bested him one on one. He clearly lucked out with Hillary as his Democratic opponent. Of course, the totality of effects decides even a close election. But if you’re looking for a single, conscious, deliberate action by any human being that influenced the outcome, you’re left with Mr. Comey and his Russia-supplied magic weapon.

    By the way, this doesn’t make Mr. Trump an illegitimate president. He’s a natural-born U.S. citizen of the requisite age and won a majority of the Electoral College.

    Appeared in the July 21, 2018, print edition.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-pres...d=hp_opin_pos2

    "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. #1090
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I think this is a thoughtful piece. "As early as February 2016, this column described Mr. Trump as a 'democratic accident' waiting to happen: 'What began as a scheme to become more famous is in danger of running away with the country.'” Ouch.

    *****

    Is President Trump Illegitimate?



    By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
    July 20, 2018 6:38 p.m. ET
    I re-read the piece twice - did he mention the social media activities and Wikileaks revelations? Anyway, the election was the election - two pretty unappealing candidates.

    What I'm interested to see is how things go forward from here. Forget about reactions from Democrats... look instead at the reactions from Republicans - both the more aggressive camp of Sasse, Corker, McCain, et al, and the to-this-point reluctant to criticize the President camp (which is sizable - Ryan, Hatch, et al) - and from members of his own cabinet, at what happened in Helsinki.

    Trump made an extraordinarily rare backpedal, along the lines of Charlottesville, but since has announced Putin will be visiting this fall, maybe right before the elections.

    Relegated to about Page 8 are new threats to apply tariffs on *all* Chinese imports, which is certain to drive up inflation and negate the modest tax relief most Americans got from tax reform.

    As a coworker sometimes quips "why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going so fast?"

  11. #1091
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    I re-read the piece twice - did he mention the social media activities and Wikileaks revelations? Anyway, the election was the election - two pretty unappealing candidates.

    What I'm interested to see is how things go forward from here. Forget about reactions from Democrats... look instead at the reactions from Republicans - both the more aggressive camp of Sasse, Corker, McCain, et al, and the to-this-point reluctant to criticize the President camp (which is sizable - Ryan, Hatch, et al) - and from members of his own cabinet, at what happened in Helsinki.

    Trump made an extraordinarily rare backpedal, along the lines of Charlottesville, but since has announced Putin will be visiting this fall, maybe right before the elections.

    Relegated to about Page 8 are new threats to apply tariffs on *all* Chinese imports, which is certain to drive up inflation and negate the modest tax relief most Americans got from tax reform.

    As a coworker sometimes quips "why are we in this handbasket, and where are we going so fast?"
    There's a lot about Trump that I can't stand, but his unwillingness to criticize Putin or Russia does make me nervous. There are not many good possible explanations for that.

    "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. #1092
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    There's a lot about Trump that I can't stand, but his unwillingness to criticize Putin or Russia does make me nervous. There are not many good possible explanations for that.
    Agree.

    Here's an "evolved" theory involving Kompromat that doesn't necessarily involve any kind of "pee tape": https://www.newyorker.com/news-desk/...rump-kompromat

    I'm sure I'll never fully understand Russian culture, but the description of a loose "sistema" where authority and power are sort of silently, informally exercised makes some sense. For example, when you go to some event where there are a lot of high rollers, everyone is looking for cues on where they fit in, how high they rank, "who's who", etc. We just don't use that part of a natural ranking system as a means of coercion, as is exercised in the world of organized crime (for example).

    If there were financial "favors" given to the Trump organization by Russian oligarchs when they hit tough times, this seems like it would be the kind of (perhaps even silent) leverage that would explain Trump deferring to Putin so explicitly.

    By the same token, it seems Michael Cohen is kind of between orbits, in transition from the authoritarian "Sistema" culture toward the US judicial system, hoping/betting he won't have to look over his shoulder his entire life.

    (Crap, I don't know - I'm looking forward to football season as a good distraction.)
    Last edited by Ma'ake; 07-21-2018 at 06:12 PM.

  13. #1093
    It is remarkable to me how similar Trump's words and actions around the Mueller investigation are similar to the daily criminal investigations that go on with my younger children in the home.

    It always starts as a denial and a look of bewilderment as if nobody has any idea how something happened and how this or that got broken. Then they get a little helpful offering implausible suggestions like, "Well maybe it just fell on its own...". Then as evidence starts to come out they enter into denials, lashing out at siblings, "She distracted me and so it is her fault..." and just attacks in general. "Last week he and his friends broke x which is much worse!" They are very good at hopping back and forth between these strategies in the same sentences even.

    I don't believe Trump to be a complicated man. Everything in his life demonstrates he is only interested in getting from point A to point B and is not worried about what is in his way or what the long-term ramifications are.

    His lashing out on Twitter this weekend is so similar to the little narcissists that live in my home it is astounding. The difference of course is my little narcissists are still developing mentally, emotionally and societally and all indications is they'll turn out fine.

    The pool of plausible positive reasons why Trump refuses to accept Russian interference is becoming a wet spot on the pavement at this point. It has become entirely befuddling how any person can support this man.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #1094
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    The Other Russian Meddling

    Democrats howl about Putin’s offenses, but not in Latin America.
    ByMary Anastasia O’Grady



    July 22, 2018 4:09 p.m. ET


    Americans are rightly upset over President Trump’s obsequiousness toward Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. The former KGB agent heads a gangster government, and Mr. Trump should have stood up to him.

    On the other hand, Democrats’ moralizing Helsinki hysteria is phony. They’re upset with Mr. Putin’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election because Hillary Clinton lost. When it comes to Russian expansionism in the Western Hemisphere and the Kremlin’s abysmal human-rights record, the American left mostly looks the other way.

    Democratic ballyhooing over Mr. Putin’s habit of jailing and sometimes killing his political and media opponents is especially rich. Russia’s longstanding ally Cuba has an even worse civil-liberties record. Yet when President Obama unconditionally reshaped U.S. policy to please Cuban dictator Raúl Castro, his party cheered. Mr. Obama even trotted off to a baseball game in Havana with the Cuban mob boss. Democrats cheered some more.


    Advocates of the Obama Cuba policy argue that Havana poses no threat to U.S. interests. But if regional security, stability and economic growth matter, that is demonstrably false. Sixty years after Castro came to power, Cuba, with strong backing from the Kremlin, still underwrites tyranny in Central and South America.


    Venezuela is Exhibit A. And now there is blood-soaked Nicaragua, where Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez arrived on Thursday to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the Sandinista rebel victory over dictator Anastasio Somoza.

    Daniel Ortega, legendary leader of the Marxist Sandinistas—longtime heroes of Democratic politicians such as former Secretary of State John Kerry, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, to name a few—is at war with his own people. Since April, when university students began peacefully protesting Mr. Ortega’s decade-plus consolidation of power, national police and pro-government militias have cut down some 350 Nicaraguans. Many have been murdered by sniper fire. Others have been shot at close range.


    This state terrorism is copied from Venezuela’s military dictatorship, which has flattened its student-led opposition. In both cases a youth movement believed that its commitment to truth and freedom gave it the undisputed moral high ground. In both cases the dictatorship unleashed paramilitary forces to crush them. In both cases students met with jackboots, nighttime raids on their homes, torture and prison.


    Both authoritarian regimes are born of the same ideology, and have the same progenitors: Havana and Moscow. Cuba has been instrumental in suffocating dissent in Venezuela by infiltrating the military, academic institutions and media. Now Castro’s regime, together with Caracas, is aiding Mr. Ortega. Students arrested and tortured in Nicaragua have reported hearing Venezuelan and Cuban accents in clandestine jails.


    Outside help for intelligence-gathering, paramilitary training and weaponry also comes from beyond Latin America. Clearly, some of it comes directly or indirectly from Moscow. Around 2005, Mr. Putin began rekindling Russia’s warm economic and military relations with Cuba. He also has re-engaged with Nicaragua.


    As I noted in a July 8 column, the Interior Ministry of Russia recently completed a multistory “Police Training” center in Managua. Mr. Ortega says it is for counternarcotics work. That’s laughable given Russia’s closeness with narco-states such as Venezuela. A more likely purpose is repressing dissidents so Mr. Ortega can retain power.


    In a June 2016 essay for a Central Intelligence Agency peer-reviewed quarterly, Robert Vickers examined Nicaragua’s Cold War history and its current relationship with Russia. Mr. Vickers reminded readers of an airfield 60 kilometers north of Managua called Punta Huete. “It was constructed in the early 1980s—soon after the leftist Sandinista regime took power—with Soviet funds and Cuban technical assistance,” Mr. Vickers wrote. Its exceedingly long runway was designed to accommodate heavy bombers.


    The airfield wasn’t finished during the Cold War, and the project sat idle after the Soviet collapse and during the eclipse of Mr. Ortega in the 1990s. But when he returned to power in 2007, the Moscow-Managua axis was restored. Punta Huete was completed in 2010 with, according to Mr. Vickers, “Russian financial assistance.” Russia recently donated two Antonov military transport planes to Nicaragua. It sold Mr. Ortega 50 T-72 tanks in 2016. To what end? One wonders.


    Geopolitical and defense analyst W. Alejandro Sánchez discussed the Nicaragua-Russia relationship in the Sept. 25, 2017, issue of National Interest, observing that today “Russia’s most stable and closest friend in the region is arguably Nicaragua.”
    Mr. Trump should call Mr. Putin on all this. Meanwhile, if Democrats want their outrage over Russian meddling to be credible, a little concern about the mounting body count in Nicaragua is a good place to start.

    Write to O’Grady@wsj.com.


    "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

  15. #1095
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I think this is a thoughtful piece. "As early as February 2016, this column described Mr. Trump as a 'democratic accident' waiting to happen: 'What began as a scheme to become more famous is in danger of running away with the country.'” Ouch.
    I view Trump as the Lane Kiffin of politics: Everyone around him bumbled his way to the top.

  16. #1096
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    There's a lot about Trump that I can't stand, but his unwillingness to criticize Putin or Russia does make me nervous. There are not many any good possible explanations for that.
    He is either:

    • Someone who refuses to listen people whose jobs it is to understand Russia
    • Under influence through some level of Kompromat
    • An idiot


    None of those are particularly appealing.

    My personal belief is that it has something to do with his financial ties.
    Last edited by U-Ute; 07-24-2018 at 10:52 AM.

  17. #1097
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    This isn't about Trump but I hope we are doing something about it. If he's so big on infrastructure we should be spending money on redundancy, backup systems, etc.

    Russian hackers infiltrated US power networks and had the ability to trigger massive blackouts

    https://www.businessinsider.com/russ...etworks-2018-7

    "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

  18. #1098
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    He got elected. Just for purposes of discussion, assume he was elected legitimately. (We can all be dismayed at that fact; I certainly am.)

    1) Also assume that despite his irritating admiration of Putin, Trump did nothing wrong. 2) Assume the Steele dossier really is, as all the evidence shows, just opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign, and is full of false information.
    3) Assume that a FEW fools in the FBI thought there was no real chance Trump would win, so they violated FBI rules to tip the scales in Clinton’s favor to make sure. 4) Assume the left-leaning and Trump-hating news media took that narrative and ran with it relentlessly for many months.
    5) Finally, assume that Mueller comes up with nothing implicating Trump or his team in any collusion in Russian meddling in the election. (That’s what Mueller is investigating. The indictments and guilty pleas so far have nothing to do with that.)

    That’s what I mean by cynical. Painting a guy who won the election, whom you hate, as a Russian tool, when you know the evidence is flimsy. And you’re doing this to invalidate a legitimate presidential election. It’s right out of an Alan Drury novel from the 1950s. Maybe that’s not what happened, we’ll see. If it is, I can’t think of anything more cynical.
    I think it’s more likely that actual voter rolls and votes were changed than that even 3 of your 5 assumptions of Trump’s innocence are true.

  19. #1099
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    I think it’s more likely that actual voter rolls and votes were changed than that even 3 of your 5 assumptions of Trump’s innocence are true.
    2, 3 and 4 are all plausible to me. It is entirely rational to believe so, on the one hand; and, at the same time, to believe that Trump is a man of little character, a fool in many respects, and that we would be better off if someone else had been elected president.
    I am sure you disagree. That’s what makes America a great country.

    "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. #1100
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    2, 3 and 4 are all plausible to me. It is entirely rational to believe so, on the one hand; and, at the same time, to believe that Trump is a man of little character, a fool in many respects, and that we would be better off if someone else had been elected president.
    I am sure you disagree. That’s what makes America a great country.
    The Mueller investigation will have one of three outcomes: 1) He categorically states there is no evidence of collusion and that will pacify all but a few of the Trump haters. I can't stand Trump, but would respect that conclusion. 2) Evidence of collusion is identified and the players circle the wagons and spin the evidence the way they want to spin it causing the saga to continue for the the next 6 years. 3) Unimpeachable evidence consisting of a video with audio taken both by Trump Jr. and Ivanka showing Trump on bended knee pleading with Putin to make him King of America is presented and Trump and all of his base will claim "fake news."

  21. #1101
    A couple of thoughts...

    Regarding the FBI tipping the scales, I think the problem I have is how exactly did they do that in favor of HRC. Comey made some critical mistakes as FBI Director, of that there is little debate, even from him. But it is hard to argue that they helped HRC, and reasonable to say they truly harmed her. He announced reopening her investigation weeks before the election, yet stayed mum on the Russian investigation. Strzok and co texted a copious amount about their dismay and disgust with Trump which is troubling but what evidence is there that they did anything to harm his campaign or election and if so, how? Or is it the belief that they are playing the long game and using the Mueller investigation as an undermining of Trump now?

    It seems at this point all things are plausible, but to me it seems pretty extraordinary that a man who is so bereft of moral character suddenly found clarity when it came to the temptations presented by the Russians.

    His own son through the emails we have certainly showed no instance of pause when given opportunity.

    (A side note, but given that it appears the Russians also infiltrated Sanders campaign I think if the light of day ever shines on this completely we'll discover that they had some involvement in HRCs too. I think this is 100% about sowing discord and undermining our democracy for them more than an interest in one candidate over the other. Boy has it worked.)


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  22. #1102
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    A couple of thoughts...

    Regarding the FBI tipping the scales, I think the problem I have is how exactly did they do that in favor of HRC. Comey made some critical mistakes as FBI Director, of that there is little debate, even from him. But it is hard to argue that they helped HRC, and reasonable to say they truly harmed her. He announced reopening her investigation weeks before the election, yet stayed mum on the Russian investigation. Strzok and co texted a copious amount about their dismay and disgust with Trump which is troubling but what evidence is there that they did anything to harm his campaign or election and if so, how? Or is it the belief that they are playing the long game and using the Mueller investigation as an undermining of Trump now?

    It seems at this point all things are plausible, but to me it seems pretty extraordinary that a man who is so bereft of moral character suddenly found clarity when it came to the temptations presented by the Russians.

    His own son through the emails we have certainly showed no instance of pause when given opportunity.

    (A side note, but given that it appears the Russians also infiltrated Sanders campaign I think if the light of day ever shines on this completely we'll discover that they had some involvement in HRCs too. I think this is 100% about sowing discord and undermining our democracy for them more than an interest in one candidate over the other. Boy has it worked.)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Trump's the "FBI helped Hillary" assertion is Orwellian. If they had intended to help Hillary, all they had to do is leak the details of the Russia investigation or the Steele dossier. They didn't.

    The reverse is more true--agents in the NY field office wanted to help Trump and leaked info to Giuliani and others. Those leaks were one of the reasons Comey sent the Oct. 27 letter to Chaffetz. I wonder whatever happened to the IG's investigation into those leaks?
    Last edited by concerned; 07-27-2018 at 07:51 PM.

  23. #1103
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    2, 3 and 4 are all plausible to me. It is entirely rational to believe so, on the one hand; and, at the same time, to believe that Trump is a man of little character, a fool in many respects, and that we would be better off if someone else had been elected president.
    I am sure you disagree. That’s what makes America a great country.
    I think those 3 are plausible but improbable- just cumulatively slightly more improbable than changing votes.

    I actually don’t think any real vote tampering was done, but the probability went up when Georgia destroyed its records after the special election.

    I think that Russia’s goal was to show they could alter elections thereby casting doubt on the electoral process. The left is too apathetic and pacifist to get up in arms about anything so there was no point in changing votes to the GOP. If/when Russia wants to cause real unrest, they’ll change votes to the Dems and let the extreme right respond. The far right has been primed to believe in voter fraud for years, and now the left will accept the possibility as well- especially if Russian hackers decide to leave some bigger bread crumbs next time.

    If they can hack a couple of the podunk heavy red districts that are refusing to enact appropriate security measures and turn them into democratic wins, that paired with a blue wave of any magnitude is going to send some people with more guns than sense into hysteria.
    Last edited by jrj84105; 07-27-2018 at 06:37 PM.

  24. #1104
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    I think those 3 are plausible but improbable- just cumulatively slightly more improbable than changing votes.

    I actually don’t think any real vote tampering was done, but the probability went up when Georgia destroyed its records after the special election.

    I think that Russia’s goal was to show they could alter elections thereby casting doubt on the electoral process. The left is too apathetic and pacifist to get up in arms about anything so there was no point in changing votes to the GOP. If/when Russia wants to cause real unrest, they’ll change votes to the Dems and let the extreme right respond. The far right has been primed to believe in voter fraud for years, and now the left will accept the possibility as well- especially if Russian hackers decide to leave some bigger bread crumbs next time.

    If they can hack a couple of the podunk heavy red districts that are refusing to enact appropriate security measures and turn them into democratic wins, that paired with a blue wave of any magnitude is going to send some people with more guns than sense into hysteria.
    How President Trump's Defense Went From 'No Collusion' With Russia to 'Collusion Is Not a Crime'

    http://time.com/5352628/donald-trump...llusion-crime/

  25. #1105
    Another Jon Mcnaughton classic:




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  26. #1106
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Another Jon Mcnaughton classic:




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    The most recognition Ben Carson has had in a year.


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  27. #1107
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Trump Fired After Critics Dig Up Current Tweets

    https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-fi...ign=benshapiro

    (Satire.)

    "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. #1108
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Trump Fired After Critics Dig Up Current Tweets

    https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-fi...ign=benshapiro

    (Satire.)
    A reference to the firing of James Gunn, which bummed me out. He did the writing, producing, and directing of Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the better movies of the past decade. He was fired after Trump fans dug up a bunch of awful things he tweeted a long time ago. Obvious irony. The arbitrary nature of it all drives me crazy. Some people lose jobs over #metoo stuff, some are villainized. Others get a pass. Some are forgiven. Some aren't even noticed. And one gets to be president of the United States.

  29. #1109
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    A reference to the firing of James Gunn, which bummed me out. He did the writing, producing, and directing of Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the better movies of the past decade. He was fired after Trump fans dug up a bunch of awful things he tweeted a long time ago. Obvious irony. The arbitrary nature of it all drives me crazy. Some people lose jobs over #metoo stuff, some are villainized. Others get a pass. Some are forgiven. Some aren't even noticed. And one gets to be president of the United States.
    And the guy who dug the stuff up has very similar stuff in his last, but constantly yells loudest.


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  30. #1110
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Another Jon Mcnaughton classic:




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I’m just embarrassed for that guy.

    "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

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