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Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:33 pm
by Clams
whatwouldcooleydo? wrote:WTF is Devin Nunes up to???
Interesting (not to mention rational and reasonable) perspective from Michael Smerconish:
So today Congressman Devin Nunes, who is the chair of the House Intel Committee, suggested that Trump transition members may have been picked up in surveilled communications with foreign intelligence officials. The White House quickly seized this as substantiation of the President’s tweets on March 4, which I think it is not. There is nothing in what Congressman Nunes said that justifies or substantiates President Trump tweeting that President Obama was a bad/sick guy who had “tapped" him at Trump Tower. Remember, the critical tweet said: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
Only someone not paying close attention will see this as affording President Trump a defense of what he said about President Obama.
And - this is exactly what General Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and head of the NSA predicted on my program last Saturday on CNN. Watch this interview. And here is a partial transcript of the critical sequence. When I asked General Hayden where this story was going and what concerned him most, he said:
General Michael Hayden: I think where this is going, Michael, and I think is the lifeline that I think the administration is hoping they can grab onto is something that we call incidental collection. And it may take a minute but I can explain to you and your viewers how this might work if you like.
Michael Smerconish: Do it.
GMH: Yeah, if we’re up against a legitimate foreign intelligence target, and let me just for purposes of explanation say, we’re up against, we’re targeting, and you’d want us to do this, a Russian oligarch who is involved in money laundering or how about sanctions busting, all right. And so we’re on that target. And this is, by the way – Michael, this happens fairly routinely. If that target now gets involved in a communication to, from, or even about a U.S. person we’re still allowed to continue to cover the target. We just have to protect the U.S. person privacy. We do what’s called minimize the information. So we might say this Russian oligarch in an extended conversation with a named U.S. person so on and so forth said this. And we keep the U.S. identity minimized, unavailable, to our customers unless of course, Michael, the name U.S. identity is critical to the intelligence. Let’s say, for example, that the oligarch was actually arranging an illegal transfer of funds in which case we would unmask the identity so that we’d have a full picture of the intelligence. Now keep in mind, we’re just targeting the foreigner. This is called incidental collection and the unmasking of the U.S. identity isn’t Trump, isn’t Bush. It goes back 40 years these procedures to the reforms in the American intelligence community in the 1970’s. So I suspect if there is any example of a U.S. identity being unmasked that has any relationship to the Trump Campaign or Trump Tower – and again, Michael, very normal, very correct, very legal – I think at that point the White House goes, ah-ha, I told you so. I think this is where it’s going.
MS: Do I understand General Hayden to be predicting that perhaps the next step of this is that the Trump White House seeks to criminalize the incidental collection of U.S. intelligence? Is that what you’re saying?
GMH: Yeah, mischaracterize and criminalize, and Michael very tellingly, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff share in ranking of the House Intelligence Committee within the last 36 hours has actually asked the American intelligence community was there any incidental collection, were any identities unmasked, and who requested the unmasking? So I do think that we are going to that point, again, which I think at the end of the day will be mischaracterized and there will be an attempt to claim that that’s some sort of violation.
http://cnn.it/2mj3BgF
More here: https://www.facebook.com/smerconish/pos ... 6847180071

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:48 pm
by LBRod
beantownbubba wrote: However, it must be said that he clearly approaches things from a progressive direction which impacts the text in multiple ways which I’m sure will annoy conservatives. How much so, I don’t know but would love to hear about if anyone is so inclined.
I thought that was what I was doing. I guess the political thread is no longer the place for snark. Duly noted.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:05 pm
by Flea
LBRod wrote:
beantownbubba wrote: However, it must be said that he clearly approaches things from a progressive direction which impacts the text in multiple ways which I’m sure will annoy conservatives. How much so, I don’t know but would love to hear about if anyone is so inclined.
I thought that was what I was doing. I guess the political thread is no longer the place for snark. Duly noted.
Snark must be indicated by pink font. Like this.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:33 am
by whatwouldcooleydo?
Flea wrote:
LBRod wrote:
beantownbubba wrote: However, it must be said that he clearly approaches things from a progressive direction which impacts the text in multiple ways which I’m sure will annoy conservatives. How much so, I don’t know but would love to hear about if anyone is so inclined.
I thought that was what I was doing. I guess the political thread is no longer the place for snark. Duly noted.
Snark must be indicated by pink font. Like this.
Pink font jumps the snark

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:38 am
by pearlbeer
whatwouldcooleydo? wrote:
Pink font jumps the snark
I see what you did there. Nice job, Fonz.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:04 am
by beantownbubba
I've already said that there's plenty I don't understand about the process leading to the vote on the Trump/Ryan healthcare bill, but one more thing I don't understand: For this whole week, all the coverage has been about the changes all being to satisfy the far right of the Republican Party. When this process started, there were plenty of wavering "moderate" Republicans as well. Are they on board and are they staying on board as the bill gets more draconian? Will they really stay on board if coverage for pre-existing conditions gets axed? None of this makes any sense to me but nothing new there.

And what about the Koch brothers starting a fund to support the re-election of reps who vote against (for far right reasons, needless to say)? Thinking about how this is supposed to play out in real primaries and elections in real districts makes my head hurt and very quickly gets downright absurd.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:06 pm
by Tequila Cowboy
beantownbubba wrote:I've already said that there's plenty I don't understand about the process leading to the vote on the Trump/Ryan healthcare bill, but one more thing I don't understand: For this whole week, all the coverage has been about the changes all being to satisfy the far right of the Republican Party. When this process started, there were plenty of wavering "moderate" Republicans as well. Are they on board and are they staying on board as the bill gets more draconian? Will they really stay on board if coverage for pre-existing conditions gets axed? None of this makes any sense to me but nothing new there.

And what about the Koch brothers starting a fund to support the re-election of reps who vote against (for far right reasons, needless to say)? Thinking about how this is supposed to play out in real primaries and elections in real districts makes my head hurt and very quickly gets downright absurd.
I just read this, which talks about exactly the moderates issue you're talking about.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/23/politics/ ... index.html

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:51 pm
by whatwouldcooleydo?
pearlbeer wrote:
whatwouldcooleydo? wrote:
Pink font jumps the snark
I see what you did there. Nice job, Fonz.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:17 pm
by pearlbeer
beantownbubba wrote:I've already said that there's plenty I don't understand about the process leading to the vote on the Trump/Ryan healthcare bill, but one more thing I don't understand: For this whole week, all the coverage has been about the changes all being to satisfy the far right of the Republican Party. When this process started, there were plenty of wavering "moderate" Republicans as well. Are they on board and are they staying on board as the bill gets more draconian? Will they really stay on board if coverage for pre-existing conditions gets axed? None of this makes any sense to me but nothing new there.

And what about the Koch brothers starting a fund to support the re-election of reps who vote against (for far right reasons, needless to say)? Thinking about how this is supposed to play out in real primaries and elections in real districts makes my head hurt and very quickly gets downright absurd.

It is insane. I don't mean to be hyperbolic here, but at this point, they are considering the vote, just to say they did it. If actually implemented as written, people will die. The self-proclaimed pragmatists and financial wonks are willing to vote without an updated CBO estimate. Most of this goes against the core principles of the Republican party. To even HAVE a vote on the bill as written, with recent amendments is morally and fiscally irresponsible. I know "morals" and "ethics" aren't at the top of the Republican's priorities, but they can at least maintain their fiscal responsibilities. It is just reckless, insane, and to me, fundamentally dishearting. The willingness to burn it all down to prove a point terrifies me.

On a lighter, (or maybe much, much heavier) note, if you have not read Trump's interview in Time, you should. Literally, he ended the interview by saying "Hey, look, in the meantime, I guess I can't be doing so badly, because I'm president, and you're not." (Having trouble deciding if I should put that in snark pink for him.)

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:21 pm
by whatwouldcooleydo?
pearlbeer wrote:On a lighter, (or maybe much, much heavier) note, if you have not read Trump's interview in Time, you should. Literally, he ended the interview by saying "Hey, look, in the meantime, I guess I can't be doing so badly, because I'm president, and you're not." (Having trouble deciding if I should put that in snark pink for him.)
was coming to post this, you beat me to it. Reading that interview, Trump makes Dubya sound like the greatest orator of all time :lol:

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:29 pm
by beantownbubba
If the article TC linked to says anything it's that the merits of the bill (whatever they may be and from whomever's perspective) are secondary to the practical realpolitik. Which I assume means for the moderate wing a calculation something less: Will my constituents, who are pretty rabid about repealing Obamacare and see it as a litmus test of delivering on promises/no more business as usual understand that not repealing is better for THEM than this particular version of repeal? Alternatively, betting on the Senate to either kill the bill or remove the worst aspects of it seems like a reasonably safe bet. If that's the analysis, why would any moderate Republican vote against the bill? There aren't a lot of winning scenarios for them if they do vote against the bill other than doing the right thing being its own reward and trusting that it will be proven to be right to the satisfaction of enough people by November 2018. Sad as it may be that seems like too much to expect from any politician.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:32 pm
by Tequila Cowboy
"I'm the President, you're not" is a far cry from "Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country" ain't it?

Plus the irony of doing an interview to address and supposedly clear up many of his famous falsehoods by doubling down on those falsehoods and making up new ones for good measure is not a good look.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:36 pm
by Tequila Cowboy
beantownbubba wrote:If the article TC linked to says anything it's that the merits of the bill (whatever they may be and from whomever's perspective) are secondary to the practical realpolitik. Which I assume means for the moderate wing a calculation something less: Will my constituents, who are pretty rabid about repealing Obamacare and see it as a litmus test of delivering on promises/no more business as usual understand that not repealing is better for THEM than this particular version of repeal? Alternatively, betting on the Senate to either kill the bill or remove the worst aspects of it seems like a reasonably safe bet. If that's the analysis, why would any moderate Republican vote against the bill? There aren't a lot of winning scenarios for them if they do vote against the bill other than doing the right thing being its own reward and trusting that it will be proven to be right to the satisfaction of enough people by November 2018. Sad as it may be that seems like too much to expect from any politician.
I'm just hoping they all fuck themselves three ways to sideways and some good candidates emerge on the grass root level (which is happening if anyone cares to look). The House Majority is very winnable all of a sudden despite all the gerrymandering, particularly if the GOP keeps eating their young and they primary those that fall out of line.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:00 pm
by pearlbeer
Tequila Cowboy wrote:
I'm just hoping they all fuck themselves three ways to sideways and some good candidates emerge on the grass root level (which is happening if anyone cares to look). The House Majority is very winnable all of a sudden despite all the gerrymandering, particularly if the GOP keeps eating their young and they primary those that fall out of line.
Protect the unborn, then eat the young!!!!

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:09 pm
by whatwouldcooleydo?
pearlbeer wrote:
Tequila Cowboy wrote:
I'm just hoping they all fuck themselves three ways to sideways and some good candidates emerge on the grass root level (which is happening if anyone cares to look). The House Majority is very winnable all of a sudden despite all the gerrymandering, particularly if the GOP keeps eating their young and they primary those that fall out of line.
Protect the unborn, then eat the young!!!!
even better......



out of the palace and into the ditch!

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:14 pm
by whatwouldcooleydo?
Tequila Cowboy wrote:Plus the irony of doing an interview to address and supposedly clear up many of his famous falsehoods by doubling down on those falsehoods and making up new ones for good measure is not a good look.
We Redacted Everything That's Not a Verifiably True Statement From Trump's Time Interview About Truth


plus, WTF???

Brussels, I said, Brussels is not Brussels.”

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:20 pm
by whatwouldcooleydo?
Tequila Cowboy wrote:Plus the irony of doing an interview to address and supposedly clear up many of his famous falsehoods by doubling down on those falsehoods and making up new ones for good measure is not a good look.
"What have I said that is wrong?"

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:58 pm
by Clams
whatwouldcooleydo? wrote:
pearlbeer wrote:On a lighter, (or maybe much, much heavier) note, if you have not read Trump's interview in Time, you should. Literally, he ended the interview by saying "Hey, look, in the meantime, I guess I can't be doing so badly, because I'm president, and you're not." (Having trouble deciding if I should put that in snark pink for him.)
was coming to post this, you beat me to it. Reading that interview, Trump makes Dubya sound like the greatest orator of all time :lol:
Re the interview in Time:

http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/our-pe ... 1793557770

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:06 pm
by tinnitus photography
tinnitus photography wrote:i bet that the vote's not gonna happen on Thursday.

winner winner cornish game hen dinner!

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:00 pm
by whatwouldcooleydo?

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:34 pm
by beantownbubba
So the postponement came, right on schedule. But now what? Obviously if they get the votes they bring it to the floor for a vote, but how do they get there. At this point it's hard to see what they can give the hardliners that won't force the "moderates" out. And if they don't get the votes? Do they bring it to the floor anyway? That seems crazy. But if they don't, that's just an insane and pretty much unacceptable outcome. I assume they feel that they can't w/draw the bill and go write a better one, but I'm not sure why not. To this outsider that clearly seems better than failure which will have brutal consequences for Ryan and Trump in particular. The great closer can't close? OMG Alec's gonna have a field day if he gets that chance. I see the Glengarry Glen Ross parody already. Maybe they can get Pacino to play Ryan.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:44 pm
by whatwouldcooleydo?
beantownbubba wrote:So the postponement came, right on schedule. But now what? Obviously if they get the votes they bring it to the floor for a vote, but how do they get there. At this point it's hard to see what they can give the hardliners that won't force the "moderates" out. And if they don't get the votes? Do they bring it to the floor anyway? That seems crazy. But if they don't, that's just an insane and pretty much unacceptable outcome. I assume they feel that they can't w/draw the bill and go write a better one, but I'm not sure why not. To this outsider that clearly seems better than failure which will have brutal consequences for Ryan and Trump in particular. The great closer can't close? OMG Alec's gonna have a field day if he gets that chance. I see the Glengarry Glen Ross parody already. Maybe they can get Pacino to play Ryan.
though he's obviously not in Pacino's league when it comes to acting, have Aaron Rodgers play Paul Ryan

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:19 am
by beantownbubba
Will they really bring the bill to a vote w/out having the votes lined up? Does that make any sense at all? Obviously Trump is gambling big time, but why? I just don't get it. Presumably he thinks that when the president threatens to make you an enemy, you fall in line. But if that was ever true (and it probably was) I don't think it's true right now. There are so many assumed conditions behind that threat that just don't line up for Trump, like the prestige and respect of the office, the confidence that the president is a stand up guy and will be there when you need him, a sense that the president actually stands for something more than "pass a bill, any bill, i don't care what it says," etc. It takes years of work and a certain amount of national popularity to play that power game and Trump hasn't done the work and doesn't command the public. Note that much of that could also be said about Obama (except about caring about the substance) and guess what, Obama generally couldn't play the straight power card either.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:26 am
by Clams
beantownbubba wrote:Will they really bring the bill to a vote w/out having the votes lined up? Does that make any sense at all? Obviously Trump is gambling big time, but why? I just don't get it. Presumably he thinks that when the president threatens to make you an enemy, you fall in line. But if that was ever true (and it probably was) I don't think it's true right now. There are so many assumed conditions behind that threat that just don't line up for Trump, like the prestige and respect of the office, the confidence that the president is a stand up guy and will be there when you need him, a sense that the president actually stands for something more than "pass a bill, any bill, i don't care what it says," etc. It takes years of work and a certain amount of national popularity to play that power game and Trump hasn't done the work and doesn't command the public. Note that much of that could also be said about Obama (except about caring about the substance) and guess what, Obama generally couldn't play the straight power card either.
Because it will forever give him an out. "I was all set to repeal and replace obamacare just like I said I would, and they didn't get it done. It was their fault, not mine." And if it winds up getting passed down the road, he takes credit for it.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:25 am
by tinnitus photography
yep.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:36 am
by Tequila Cowboy
Clams wrote:
beantownbubba wrote:Will they really bring the bill to a vote w/out having the votes lined up? Does that make any sense at all? Obviously Trump is gambling big time, but why? I just don't get it. Presumably he thinks that when the president threatens to make you an enemy, you fall in line. But if that was ever true (and it probably was) I don't think it's true right now. There are so many assumed conditions behind that threat that just don't line up for Trump, like the prestige and respect of the office, the confidence that the president is a stand up guy and will be there when you need him, a sense that the president actually stands for something more than "pass a bill, any bill, i don't care what it says," etc. It takes years of work and a certain amount of national popularity to play that power game and Trump hasn't done the work and doesn't command the public. Note that much of that could also be said about Obama (except about caring about the substance) and guess what, Obama generally couldn't play the straight power card either.
Because it will forever give him an out. "I was all set to repeal and replace obamacare just like I said I would, and they didn't get it done. It was their fault, not mine." And if it winds up getting passed down the road, he takes credit for it.
You nailed it Clams. This is what Trump always does. Every single thing he's done in his career follows the same pattern, make huge promises, say contradictory things to provide cover and then blame someone else if it goes wrong or take all the credit if goes right. Believe it or not it's this motherfucker's management style.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:27 am
by beantownbubba
Tequila Cowboy wrote:
Clams wrote:
beantownbubba wrote:Will they really bring the bill to a vote w/out having the votes lined up? Does that make any sense at all? Obviously Trump is gambling big time, but why? I just don't get it. Presumably he thinks that when the president threatens to make you an enemy, you fall in line. But if that was ever true (and it probably was) I don't think it's true right now. There are so many assumed conditions behind that threat that just don't line up for Trump, like the prestige and respect of the office, the confidence that the president is a stand up guy and will be there when you need him, a sense that the president actually stands for something more than "pass a bill, any bill, i don't care what it says," etc. It takes years of work and a certain amount of national popularity to play that power game and Trump hasn't done the work and doesn't command the public. Note that much of that could also be said about Obama (except about caring about the substance) and guess what, Obama generally couldn't play the straight power card either.
Because it will forever give him an out. "I was all set to repeal and replace obamacare just like I said I would, and they didn't get it done. It was their fault, not mine." And if it winds up getting passed down the road, he takes credit for it.
You nailed it Clams. This is what Trump always does. Every single thing he's done in his career follows the same pattern, make huge promises, say contradictory things to provide cover and then blame someone else if it goes wrong or take all the credit if goes right. Believe it or not it's this motherfucker's management style.
I'm not buying. It is indeed his MO. But he's the president of the United States now and HE promised to do certain things and in doing so he bragged about (a) his dealmaking ability and (b) his intent to shake things up and get things done. Blaming Congress is what everyone does. It's specifically what he was elected not to do. I don't see his people giving him a pass on this and I think the ceiling on his ability to get things done going forward will collapse from whatever low level it was already at. The world has changed but I still think political capital counts for a lot in the capital and he will have squandered a huge amount of it. But hey, in case you haven't noticed, I've been wrong before.

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:55 am
by beantownbubba
This is a very helpful insight/explanation, not about the proposed law itself but about the crazy schedule:

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/03/24 ... Y.facebook

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:20 am
by Zip City
It's almost like the "Art of the Deal" guy doesn't actually know how to negotiate when he can't bully people around. WEIRD

Re: The Neverending Thread for Political Shit

Posted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:30 am
by Tequila Cowboy
beantownbubba wrote:I'm not buying. It is indeed his MO. But he's the president of the United States now and HE promised to do certain things and in doing so he bragged about (a) his dealmaking ability and (b) his intent to shake things up and get things done. Blaming Congress is what everyone does. It's specifically what he was elected not to do. I don't see his people giving him a pass on this and I think the ceiling on his ability to get things done going forward will collapse from whatever low level it was already at. The world has changed but I still think political capital counts for a lot in the capital and he will have squandered a huge amount of it. But hey, in case you haven't noticed, I've been wrong before.
In response to the bolded text I'm not sure how anyone could have ever thought this guy would change even with the gravity of the position he now holds. That position doesn't hold any particular awe or abiding respect to him, it's just another trophy, another win. Not unlike his wives, golf courses or businesses. The other thing is that he fails at least as often as he wins and he never admits failure. Dan Rather wrote a great piece yesterday about how the guy who fears being called a loser above all else is heading toward exactly that and his fragile psyche can't take it.

Meanwhile you're right in that the political wheels keep spinning and whatever political capital Trump had, and I don't think it was every very much, is dwindling fast. The GOP is becoming gravely concerned about their majorities in both Houses of Congress and when those concerns reach a fever pitch they aren't going to be listening to the President with the 35% approval rating.