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  # 2189056 28-Feb-2019 20:07
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Analyst: Talks must have broken down

 

From CNN's Josh Berlinger in Hanoi

 

 

 

Former State Department spokesman and CNN analyst John Kirby said the “talks had to have broken down at some point,” adding it was likely “to do with the very large gap of expectations on both sides.”

 

 

 

I guess Trump asked for everything. Thats his form of compromise. More like con promise

 


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  # 2189059 28-Feb-2019 20:12
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kingdragonfly: Michael Cohen Testifies to Congress About Trump: A Closer Look

Late Night with Seth Meyers

Comedian Seth takes a closer look at President Trump's ex-personal fixer Michael Cohen's congressional testimony.

 

 

 

Oh ... that was something special. 'I didn't really know who you were until today ...'





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  # 2189172 1-Mar-2019 02:24
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Trump has had his worst day ever.

He wasted a long trip to Vietnam, where he got barbs about his draft dodging.

He called Kim a "great leader", only to have Kim walk away from negotiating desk.

He has to explain to his son that Michael was lying when commenting on his son "Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world."

MIchael gave compelling evidence that Trump is a racist.

That Trump never wanted to be president, just wanted to lose after giving "the greatest infomercial ever"

But worst of all, the democrats were given names of peoples, basically ammunition, for further investigations.

Thanks Trump for draining the swamp, by ruining anyone stupid enough to trusting you.

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  # 2189173 1-Mar-2019 02:33
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Donald Jr contemplates life :(

"My life is as desolate as daddy's hair follicles"


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  # 2189206 1-Mar-2019 08:40
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The Washington Post - Michael Cohen hearing showcased fresh faces – and the significance of divided government

 

February 28 at 9:06 AM

 

Here are the items highlighted by the authors of this long article ...

 

 

  • After cutting short his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and before beginning the long journey back to Washington, President Trump complained overnight that House Democrats scheduled Michael Cohen’s hearing for while he was in Hanoi.

  • Elections have consequences, and the seven-hour inquest never would have happened if Democrats had not won control of the House in November.

  • Hearing from Cohen was especially meaningful because Attorney General William Barr has not committed to publicly releasing the full report that will be submitted by special counsel Bob Mueller.

  • The Cohen hearing laid the groundwork and offered rationales for Democrats to issue subpoenas to a host of Trump world figures ...

  • Notably, it was freshmen Democrats on the Oversight Committee – swept into office with the blue wave of 2018 – who ferreted out some of Cohen’s most notable answers, foreshadowing future lines of inquiry.

  • Trump’s ex-lawyer suggested that federal prosecutors remain interested in other possible illegal acts regarding the president.

  • Cohen alleged that Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow was involved in editing what would turn out to be Cohen’s false congressional testimony.

  • Cohen unspooled a withering portrait of ... his longtime patron as a liar and a fraud in starkly personal terms.

  • Cohen managed to suppress the angry, righteous, thuggish personality he has shown for years to reporters, lawyers and people doing business with Trump.

  • The Republican focus on discrediting Cohen left little time for them to defend Trump.

  • Ominously, Cohen warned that Trump won’t peacefully relinquish power.



 





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  # 2189210 1-Mar-2019 08:51
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Also Trump sided with Kim Jong-un on death of Otto Warmbier.

What a President. What a strong man. What a dealmaker...




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  # 2189214 1-Mar-2019 09:00
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The New York Times - How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won the Cohen Hearing

 

Too many representatives chose to bloviate instead of interrogate - except for one.

 

Feb. 28, 2019

 


... Consider the line of questioning from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

 

She asked Mr. Cohen a series of specific questions about how Mr. Trump had handled insurance claims and whether he had provided accurate information to various companies.

 

“To your knowledge,” she asked, “did Donald Trump ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?” He had.

 

She asked whether Mr. Trump had tried to reduce his local taxes by undervaluing his assets.

 

Mr. Cohen confirmed that the president had also done that. “You deflate the value of the asset and then you put in a request to the tax department for a deduction,” Mr. Cohen said, explaining the practice.

 

These were the sort of questions, and answers, the committee was supposed to elicit. Somehow, only the newer members got the memo.

 

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez continued, asking, “Do you think we need to review financial statements and tax returns in order to compare them?”

 

She pressed Mr. Cohen for the names of others who would be able to corroborate the testimony or provide documents to support the charges.

 

In response, Mr. Cohen listed the executives Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari - names that, thanks in part to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, we will probably hear more about in the coming months.

 

These questions were not random, but, rather, well thought out. Like a good prosecutor, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was establishing the factual basis for further committee investigation.

 

She asked one question at a time, avoided long-winded speeches on why she was asking the question, and listened carefully to his answer, which gave her the basis for a follow-up inquiry.

 

As a result, Mr. Cohen gave specific answers about Mr. Trump’s shady practices, along with a road map for how to find out more.

 

Mr. Cohen began his testimony calling Mr. Trump a “con man and a cheat”; In just five minutes, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez actually helped him lay out the facts to substantiate those charges.

 

Unfortunately, too few of her colleagues followed suit. ...

 





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  # 2189220 1-Mar-2019 09:25
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freitasm: Also Trump sided with Kim Jong-un on death of Otto Warmbier.

What a President. What a strong man. What a dealmaker...


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/28/trump-i-took-kim-at-his-word-over-otto-warmbiers-torture

Trump: I took Kim at his word over Otto Warmbier's torture

President says he believes North Korean leader knew nothing about treatment of US student

Donald Trump has said he took Kim Jong-un “at his word” when he denied any responsibility in the imprisonment and torture of Otto Warmbier that led to the US student’s death in 2017.

“Some really bad things happened to Otto,” Trump said. “But Kim tells me that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word.”

Although Kim wields tremendous power in one of the world’s last totalitarian regimes, Trump said he believed the North Korean leader was not aware of Warmbier’s imprisonment in January 2016 and torture in jail until it was too late.

“I don’t believe he knew about it. He felt very badly about it, I did speak to him. He knew about it, but he knew about it after,” Trump said. North Korea, he went on, was a “big country” with “a lot of people in those prisons and the camps – there are some bad people”.

Trump’s remarks exculpating the North Korean dictator are likely to draw sharp criticism from both sides of the aisle in Congress, where there is persistent outrage over Warmbier’s treatment.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student, who visited North Korea on a study trip, was arrested as he was returning to the US for allegedly trying to take home a propaganda poster. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labour but was returned in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness’ in June 2017, after suffering torture in prison and died six days after arriving back in the US. A coroner said that the cause of his brain damage was unclear.

Any criticism of Trump’s comments is likely to be heightened by the fact that he invited Warmbier’s family to his State of the Union address in January, and looked up at them in the first lady’s box during his speech.

“You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all,” Trump said, drawing a standing ovation from Congress. “Tonight, we pledge to honour Otto’s memory with total American resolve.”

“After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labour, before returning him to America last June – horribly injured and on the verge of death,” Trump continued.

But on Thursday in Hanoi he struck a markedly different tone, saying he did not think Kim “would have allowed that to happen” and arguing it was not to his advantage. He suggested instead that the death was because of generally bad jail conditions, insisting: “Those prisons are rough – they’re rough places, and bad things happen.”

It could be argued that Trump’s protectiveness of Kim is part of a pattern of giving dictators the benefit of the doubt on abuses. Otherwise loyal congressional Republicans have broken with him over his willingness to believe figures such as Mohammed bin Salman and Vladimir Putin, rather than his own advisers and intelligence services.

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  # 2189228 1-Mar-2019 09:34
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a phenomenon - and based on the hysterical reaction about her from GOP and on right-wing websites, they're extremely worried. She's already widely known by the acronym "AOC". Note that she can't run for POTUS in 2020 because of the age limit (she won't be 35).  She (and Bernie) can however hopefully shift the debate.

 

This is the GOP / RNC on Sanders:

 

 

The replies to that tweet seem to indicate that many people would be happy to see universal healthcare, better environmental protection, and more equitable access to education.

 

OMG - that makes them damned communists?

 

OTOH, the Democrats have a tough choice, and the GOP will work hard to drive a wedge between conservative and socialist democrat factions - that (plus some other "help") worked to defeat Clinton in 2016.  It can happen again.  Trump's "approval rating" isn't sinking - he's still as popular as he's ever been.


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  # 2189264 1-Mar-2019 10:22
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Praised For Questioning Michael Cohen

from conservative right-leaning media outlet Business Insider, so an unusual source for praise

5 minute video

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat-New York) gave a rapid-fire line of questioning at Michael Cohen's testimony led by the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday


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  # 2189268 1-Mar-2019 10:49
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kingdragonfly: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Praised For Questioning Michael Cohen

from conservative right-leaning media outlet Business Insider, so an unusual source for praise

 

Business insider is actually rated to have a slight to moderate liberal/left bias.

 

(of course that's not to say that the media in general doesn't have bias - better educated people tend to have a left bias, which has irritated the crap out of conservatives for decades, as they're dependant on morons acting against their own self-interest for popular support. Fact-checkers / bias checkers might claim to be objective, but they probably aren't)

 

Some problems have no solution.

 

 


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  # 2189277 1-Mar-2019 11:03
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kingdragonfly: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Praised For Questioning Michael Cohen



The Tweet sequel ...

 

AOC:  "Bartending + waitressing ... hones a razor-sharp BS detector."

 

 





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  # 2189290 1-Mar-2019 11:35
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The New York Times - Michael Cohen Depicts a Life More Like ‘The Sopranos’ Than ‘The Apprentice’

 

Feb. 27, 2019

 


For 14 seasons, on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Donald J. Trump presented a gilded image of the Trump Organization, which the reality show depicted as a hard-charging, happy, successful business.

 

On Wednesday, before the House oversight committee and a nationwide TV audience, Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, told America that it had been watching a different story all along: less “The Apprentice” and more “The Sopranos.”

 

Mr. Cohen described a business, and a campaign, in which lies and threats were routine and embarrassing stories were bought and buried, all in service of a boss who dropped Tony Sopranoesque hints about how best to make his problems go away. ...

 


...   It is easy, in this overwhelming news age, to get jaded.

 

Did you hear, I’ll ask you, that the president was accused of illegal activity by his jail-bound former lawyer, who had just been threatened by a congressman on Twitter? Oh, you’ll say, so it’s Wednesday.

 

But even by today’s standards, this was stunning television - dramatic and draining and personal.

 

Mr. Cummings closed the hearing plaintively: “We have got to get back to normal.” The fixer had come to Congress, but the day ended with the country feeling just as broken.

 



 

 

 





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  # 2189346 1-Mar-2019 12:19
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After Cohen's public appearance yesterday, Trump immediately crowed that even Cohen said there was no collusion with Russia, as if that proves something.

 

Yet today, in a closed hearing, Cohen is apparently being asked about just that, as well as other things. I have a feeling this line of investigation is by no means finished.

 

Just because Cohen says he is not aware of something on one level, does not mean he has no information on another one. Trump may not have said to him 'we are colluding' but he very likely said and did other things that investigators with a view of the big picture can piece together in ways Cohen might not be able to. 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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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