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8934 posts

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  # 2054178 11-Jul-2018 10:44
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Rikkitic:

 

This gives me hope that he will eventually be impeached for senility.

 

 

 

 

Senility isn't grounds for impeachment.  It's possible that he could be removed from office temporarily or permanently under section 4 of the 25th Amendment.

 

Every single person in the WH must already know that he's an unbalanced idiot.  They clearly want it that way.  He can sound reasonably coherent when reading what they write for him from a teleprompter.  So long as he can keep that up, he's safe.

 

He's also going to be safer from impeachment the moment Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to SCOTUS.  The media is focused on the potential for him to revisit "Roe vs Wade" - but AFAIK he has no intention to do that.  He is however strongly opposed to prosecution or investigation of a president for anything during the course of the presidency (ie he'll pull the rug out from under the Mueller investigation).  Hail King Trump.  Bend a knee - he's here for another 2 1/2 years at least.


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  # 2054184 11-Jul-2018 10:56
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My impression is that he may have a tough time getting confirmed. Republicans only have a one-vote majority and some Republicans have expressed doubts.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2054186 11-Jul-2018 10:58
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Rikkitic:

 

My impression is that he may have a tough time getting confirmed. Republicans only have a one-vote majority and some Republicans have expressed doubts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm sure John McCain will be very concerned.





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These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


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  # 2054189 11-Jul-2018 11:07
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Fred99:

 

Rikkitic:

 

This gives me hope that he will eventually be impeached for senility.

 

 

 

 

Senility isn't grounds for impeachment.  It's possible that he could be removed from office temporarily or permanently under section 4 of the 25th Amendment.

 

Every single person in the WH must already know that he's an unbalanced idiot.  They clearly want it that way.  He can sound reasonably coherent when reading what they write for him from a teleprompter.  So long as he can keep that up, he's safe.

 

He's also going to be safer from impeachment the moment Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to SCOTUS.  The media is focused on the potential for him to revisit "Roe vs Wade" - but AFAIK he has no intention to do that.  He is however strongly opposed to prosecution or investigation of a president for anything during the course of the presidency (ie he'll pull the rug out from under the Mueller investigation).  Hail King Trump.  Bend a knee - he's here for another 2 1/2 years at least.

 

 

 

 

If Kavanaugh is consistent and honest then he is actually a danger to Trump. He wrote some very hard opinions against Bill Clinton in the 90s. If the same standard were applied to Trump today he would be long gone. Also the Supreme Court won't revisit Roe Vs Wade as such. But more likely ignore it when it rules in the next case challenging a state law which explicitly attempts to legislate against abortion. Then that case becomes part of case law opening the floodgates for more anti-abortion laws citing the ruling in that case as precedent.


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  # 2054190 11-Jul-2018 11:09
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Rikkitic:

 

My impression is that he may have a tough time getting confirmed. Republicans only have a one-vote majority and some Republicans have expressed doubts.

 

 

Some Democrats may have doubts too - the ones who still believe in taking "the high road" on upholding the constitution etc, regardless of practical consequence and/or those who are there after being elected with slim majorities in deeply republican states and may vote entirely out of self-interest and against party lines - so I wouldn't be holding your breath.

 

 


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  # 2054198 11-Jul-2018 11:35
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South Park once elected a sh!t-spewing duck as president. Who would have thought they were prescient?

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2054381 11-Jul-2018 15:04
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The Nazi-in-Chief using the same strategy Hitler used to declare "questions" regarding Poland, Sudetenland, Austria and other places: create an imaginary crisis, lie to his people and break with norms.

 

Trump is training his base to hate NATO and like Putin:

 

 

Last week, Trump’s national security advisers, who have traditional Republican views toward NATO (good) and Russia (bad), and the allies both expressed their hope that Trump would use the NATO summit to declare victory. Trump has been calling for the allies to increase their defense spending, and indeed they have. The increase has been ongoing since 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea, but the allies signaled they would be happy to let Trump claim credit. “The European officials we’ve spoken to would love nothing more than for Trump to take a victory lap and claim credit for them boosting their defense spending,” reported Jonathan Swan last week.

 

Oddly for Trump, he is not taking the opportunity to claim a win. Instead he appears to be defining the terms of the disagreement such that it cannot be resolved. NATO’s allies can always try to spend even more on defense, but asking them to pay the United States back dues that they never promised and do not owe is an impossible demand.

 

Where Trump’s intent has grown abundantly clear is the manner in which he is speaking to his supporters. At his rally in North Dakota two weeks ago, he said, “Sometimes our worst enemies are our so-called friends or allies, right?” At a subsequent rally in Montana last week, the president declared, “Our allies in many cases were worse than our enemies.” Trump understands the power of repetition, and it is notable to see this allies, they’re the worst, amirite formulation becoming a staple of his rhetoric.

 

 

"Trump understands the power of repetition"... Like Goebbels did.





 
 
 
 


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  # 2054382 11-Jul-2018 15:08
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What if Trump has been a Putin asset all along?

 

 

The first intimations that Trump might harbor a dark secret originated among America’s European allies, which, being situated closer to Russia, have had more experience fending off its nefarious encroachments. In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies began picking up evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic states shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.

 

The contents of these communications have not been disclosed, but what Brennan learned obviously unsettled him profoundly. In congressional testimony on Russian election interference last year, Brennan hinted that some Americans might have betrayed their country. “Individuals who go along a treasonous path,” he warned, “do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late.” In an interview this year, he put it more bluntly: “I think [Trump] is afraid of the president of Russia. The Russians may have something on him personally that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult.”

 

While the fact that the former CIA director has espoused this theory hardly proves it, perhaps we should give more credence to the possibility that Brennan is making these extraordinary charges of treason and blackmail at the highest levels of government because he knows something we don’t.

 

Suppose we are currently making the same mistake we made at the outset of this drama — suppose the dark crevices of the Russia scandal run not just a little deeper but a lot deeper. If that’s true, we are in the midst of a scandal unprecedented in American history, a subversion of the integrity of the presidency. It would mean the Cold War that Americans had long considered won has dissolved into the bizarre spectacle of Reagan’s party’s abetting the hijacking of American government by a former KGB agent. It would mean that when Special Counsel Robert Mueller closes in on the president and his inner circle, possibly beginning this summer, Trump may not merely rail on Twitter but provoke a constitutional crisis.

 

And it would mean the Russia scandal began far earlier than conventionally understood and ended later — indeed, is still happening. As Trump arranges to meet face-to-face and privately with Vladimir Putin later this month, the collusion between the two men metastasizing from a dark accusation into an open alliance, it would be dangerous not to consider the possibility that the summit is less a negotiation between two heads of state than a meeting between a Russian-intelligence asset and his handler.

 

It is often said that Donald Trump has had the same nationalistic, zero-sum worldview forever. But that isn’t exactly true. Yes, his racism and mendacity have been evident since his youth, but those who have traced the evolution of his hypernationalism all settle on one year in particular: 1987. Trump “came onto the political stage in 1987 with a full-page ad in the New York Times attacking the Japanese for relying on the United States to defend it militarily,” reported Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “The president has believed for 30 years that these alliance commitments are a drain on our finite national treasure,” a White House official told the Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin. Tom Wright, another scholar who has delved into Trump’s history, reached the same conclusion. “1987 is Trump’s breakout year. There are only a couple of examples of him commenting on world politics before then.”

 

What changed that year? One possible explanation is that Trump published The Art of the Deal, which sped up his transformation from an aggressive, publicity-seeking New York developer to a national symbol of capitalism. But the timing for this account does not line up perfectly — the book came out on November 1, and Trump had begun opining loudly on trade and international politics two months earlier. The other important event from that year is that Trump visited Moscow.

 

During the Soviet era, Russian intelligence cast a wide net to gain leverage over influential figures abroad. (The practice continues to this day.) The Russians would lure or entrap not only prominent politicians and cultural leaders, but also people whom they saw as having the potential for gaining prominence in the future. In 1986, Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin met Trump in New York, flattered him with praise for his building exploits, and invited him to discuss a building in Moscow. Trump visited Moscow in July 1987. He stayed at the National Hotel, in the Lenin Suite, which certainly would have been bugged. There is not much else in the public record to describe his visit, except Trump’s own recollection in The Art of the Deal that Soviet officials were eager for him to build a hotel there. (It never happened.)

 

Trump returned from Moscow fired up with political ambition. He began the first of a long series of presidential flirtations, which included a flashy trip to New Hampshire. Two months after his Moscow visit, Trump spent almost $100,000 on a series of full-page newspaper ads that published a political manifesto. “An open letter from Donald J. Trump on why America should stop paying to defend countries that can afford to defend themselves,” as Trump labeled it, launched angry populist charges against the allies that benefited from the umbrella of American military protection. “Why are these nations not paying the United States for the human lives and billions of dollars we are losing to protect their interests?”

 

Trump’s letter avoided the question of whom the U.S. was protecting those countries from. The primary answer, of course, was the Soviet Union. After World War II, the U.S. had created a liberal international order and underwritten its safety by maintaining the world’s strongest military. A central goal of Soviet, and later Russian, foreign policy was to split the U.S. from its allies.

 

Russian intelligence gains influence in foreign countries by operating subtly and patiently. It exerts different gradations of leverage over different kinds of people, and uses a basic tool kit of blackmail that involves the exploitation of greed, stupidity, ego, and sexual appetite. All of which are traits Trump has in abundance.

 

Throughout his career, Trump has always felt comfortable operating at or beyond the ethical boundaries that constrain typical businesses. In the 1980s, he workedwith La Cosa Nostra, which controlled the New York cement trade, and later employed Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, both of whom have links to the Russian Mafia. Trump habitually refused to pay his counterparties, and if the people he burned (or any journalists) got in his way, he bullied them with threats. Trump also reportedly circulated at parties for wealthy men featuring cocaine and underage girls.

 

One might think this notoriety immunizes Trump from blackmail. Curiously, however, Trump’s tolerance for risk has always been matched by careful control over information. He maintains a fanatical secrecy about his finances and has paid out numerous settlements to silence women. The combination of a penchant for compromising behavior, a willingness to work closely with criminals, and a desire to protect aspects of his privacy makes him the ideal blackmail target.

 

It is not difficult to imagine that Russia quickly had something on Trump, from either exploits during his 1987 visit or any subsequent embarrassing behavior KGB assets might have uncovered. But the other leverage Russia enjoyed over Trump for at least 15 years is indisputable — in fact, his family has admitted to it multiple times. After a series of financial reversals and his brazen abuse of bankruptcy laws, Trump found it impossible to borrow from American banks and grew heavily reliant on unconventional sources of capital. Russian cash proved his salvation. From 2003 to 2017, people from the former USSR made 86 all-cash purchases — a red flag of potential money laundering — of Trump properties, totaling $109 million. In 2010, the private-wealth division of Deutsche Bank also loaned him hundreds of millions of dollars during the same period it was laundering billions in Russian money. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” said Donald Jr. in 2008. “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia,” boasted Eric Trump in 2014.

 

Since Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, rose to power in 1999, money has become a key source of Russian political leverage. The Russian state (and hence Putin) controls the most lucrative sectors of its economy, and Russian investment is not designed solely to maximize return. Shady business transactions offer the perfect cover for covert payments, since just about the entire Russian economy is shady. Trump’s adamant refusal to disclose his tax returns has many possible explanations, but none is more obvious than the prospect that he is hiding what are effectively bribes.

 

During the Obama administration, Russia grew more estranged from the United States as its aggressive behavior toward its neighbors triggered hostile responses from NATO. Putin grew increasingly enamored of reactionary social theories portraying traditional, conservative, Christian Europe as pitted in a civilizational struggle against both decadent liberalism and radical Islam. Also during this time, Trump carved out a brand as a populist hero of the right by publicly questioning Obama’s birthplace and legitimacy.

 

In July 2013, Trump visited Moscow again. If the Russians did not have a back-channel relationship or compromising file on Trump 30 years ago, they very likely obtained one then. Former FBI director James Comey recounts in his book that Trump was obsessed with reports that he had been recorded in a hotel room watching prostitutes urinate on a bed that Barack Obama had once slept in. Trump, Comey wrote, “argued that it could not be true because he had not stayed overnight in Moscow but had only used the hotel room to change his clothes.” The journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn have reconstructed Trump’s trip to Moscow and established that he did in fact stay overnight.

 

Steele’s dossier burst into public view in January 2017, introducing so many astonishing claims into the public domain that it read like politicized fiction, a modern-day Protocols of the Elders of Zion. “There has been no public corroboration of the salacious allegations against Mr. Trump, nor of the specific claims about coordination between his associates and the Russians,” the Timesstated authoritatively last fall. “In fact, some of those claims have been challenged with supporting evidence. For instance, Mr. Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, produced his passport to rebut the dossier’s claim that he had secret meetings in Prague with a Russian official last year.”

 

The truth is that much of the reporting of the Russia scandal over the past 18 months has followed the contours of what Steele’s sources told him. Steele reported that “the Kremlin had been feeding Trump and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,” in June 2016, days after the Trump Tower meeting occurred but a year before it would be publicly confirmed. Steele obtained early news of the Kremlin’s strategy to exploit divides within the Democratic Party through social media; the role of Carter Page, a member of Trump’s foreign-policy team whom Russia had been trying to cultivate as a spy since at least 2013; and other now-familiar elements of the story.

 

Even the accusations in the dossier that have purportedly been refuted have gained support from law enforcement. Mueller has reportedly obtained evidence that Cohen actually did visit Prague during the 2016 campaign, contrary to his denials. The FBI has learned that Cohen “was in frequent contact with foreign individuals” who “had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meddling,” according to BuzzFeed News.

 

 

Go read the full article.





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  # 2054407 11-Jul-2018 16:08
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Add in to the above the book by the influential Russian fascist political analyst and strategist Aleksandr Dugin - published in 1997:

 

Some extracts:

 

 

The textbook believes in a sophisticated program of subversion, destabilization, and disinformation spearheaded by the Russian special services.

 

The United Kingdom should be cut off from Europe

 

France should be encouraged to form a "Franco–German bloc" with Germany. Both countries have a "firm anti-Atlanticist tradition"

 

Poland should be granted a "special status" in the Eurasian sphere

 

Ukraine should be annexed by Russia

 

Russia should use its special services within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism, for instance, provoke "Afro-American racists". Russia should "introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics".

 

 

Some of the rest of the strategies are kind of redundant - after the huge success disrupting America - Trump's doing their work for them - he's just ramped up the trade war with China again - it is an economic war America can "win" - but only by sustaining massive damage themselves (and to the rest of the world - except not much to you know who).

 

 

China, which represents a danger to Russia, "must, to the maximum degree possible, be dismantled". 

 


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  # 2054469 11-Jul-2018 17:13
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Strewth, Fred, I was scared enough reading the previous article, but after reading your one............

 

What on earth will the end game turn out to be????


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  # 2054475 11-Jul-2018 17:35
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The end game is a pan-Western anti-liberal alliance of fascists - with Russia as a powerful, influential, wealthy nation.

 

There are all kinds of problems and issues for Putin with Trump - Iran for example, the US tariffs and sanctions on Russia, but overall and on balance they must be very happy with their investment, those things can be worked on.  

 

Of course it's "conspiracy theory", but as time goes on...


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  # 2054579 11-Jul-2018 20:50
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in second half of video, the even more disgraceful Trump balloon
Late Show with Stephen Colbert


short video.safe for work


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  # 2054680 11-Jul-2018 23:10
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"American Idiot" is now #1 on Google Play as well as Amazon, #3 on iTunes UK.

 

 


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  # 2054697 12-Jul-2018 06:33
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So he is rarking up Germany, and EU. Says Germany are captive to Russia who the US needs to protect Germany from, but looking forward to meeting Putin, the leader of the country continually criticised by Trump. 

 

Re the defence threshold of 2%, well if the US is the leader of the world, they should pay more

 

Friends with his enemies and enemies of his friends. 


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  # 2054737 12-Jul-2018 08:59
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He's demanding that NATO members increase military expenditure to 4% of GDP.

 

Quick number count on that is over $500 billion per year increase - and that would amount to an approximate 25% increase in overall global military expenditure.

 

Combined, NATO/US would be spending about 2/3 of global military expenditure.

 

That's a terrible idea.  

 

 


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