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Thread: The Trump Presidency

  1. #2041
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Today is the Memorial Day holiday in the US, to remember those who died, as distinct from Remembrance Day 11/11 which remembers those who served........
    It's interesting that people never remember to mourn the people those wonderful patriots killed before they died.

    It's all about the blood spilled for the country ... i guess in these days of Trump I grow sarcastic by the day.

  2. #2042
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by random new yorker View Post
    It's interesting that people never remember to mourn the people those wonderful patriots killed before they died.

    It's all about the blood spilled for the country ... i guess in these days of Trump I grow sarcastic by the day.
    I imagine their tribes mourn for them......
    I posted that piece, because I was reminded of a conversation last year with a nephew on vacation from Ireland that in turn reminded me how different US/EU views can be.

    We were doing the DC sights including Arlington, and he an enthusiastic US hating idealist,, was annoyed by what he perceived as too much overt nationalism, a not unreasonable assessment given the location. I had a hard time getting him to buy into the idea that the various memorials were to comemorate the lives of the individuals who gave their lives in service, rather than the politicians who took the decisions.......
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  3. #2043
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    BIG DEAL ALERT ... SACRAMENTO BEE: "Independent voters now outnumber Republicans in California," by Alexei Koseff: "Political Data Inc. on Tuesday released its latest count showing that voters registered with no party preference now outnumber Republicans by about 73,000 in California. The company regularly collects raw voter files from county registrars to maintain an updated database of the state's 19 million voters." http://bit.ly/2H0l8je


    -- CALIFORNIA REPUBLICANS have been sliding into obscurity for some time. But this seems particularly ominous in the long term for House Republicans, who have 14 seats in California.


    THE INVESTIGATIONS ... BIG SCOOP ... NYT'S MIKE SCHMIDT and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS: "Trump Asked Sessions to Retain Control of Russia Inquiry After His Recusal": "By the time Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrived at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort for dinner one Saturday evening in March 2017, he had been receiving the presidential silent treatment for two days. Mr. Sessions had flown to Florida because Mr. Trump was refusing to take his calls about a pressing decision on his travel ban. When they met, Mr. Trump was ready to talk -- but not about the travel ban. His grievance was with Mr. Sessions: The president objected to his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.


    "Mr. Trump, who had told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr. Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision, an unusual and potentially inappropriate request. Mr. Sessions refused. The confrontation, which has not been previously reported, is being investigated by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as are the president's public and private attacks on Mr. Sessions and efforts to get him to resign. Mr. Trump dwelled on the recusal for months, according to confidants and current and former administration officials who described his behavior toward the attorney general." https://nyti.ms/2xpNdkr


    -- ET TU, TREY GOWDY? "FBI was right to deploy informant, senior GOP lawmaker says,"by Kyle Cheney: "A senior House Republican who was part of a highly classified Justice Department briefing last week said on Tuesday that the FBI acted properly when it deployed an informant to gather information from advisers to President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016.


    "Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said last week's briefing, convened by the Justice Department under pressure from Trump, convinced him even further that the FBI's information-gathering steps were appropriate. 'I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,' he said in an interview on Fox News. He added that the information also suggested that the effort had 'nothing to do with Donald Trump.'" https://politi.co/2soOFyL
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  4. #2044
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    By any historical measure, it’s highly unusual for President Trump to repeatedly pressure his attorney general to intervene in an investigation of the White House, as Jonathan Swan scooped late yesterday. (Trump urged Jeff Sessions "to reclaim control of the Russia investigation on at least four separate occasions, three times in person and once over the phone.")

    • By any historical measure, it’s highly unusual to have a special prosecutor probing whether a president obstructed justice during his first days in office, like Robert Mueller is doing.
    • By any historical measure, it’s highly unusual for a president this early in his term to pardon a controversial political donor (conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza) — and to signal he might pardon other celebrity criminals, like Trump did yesterday with Martha Stewart and more.

    Be smart: Maybe these three events are mere coincidence. But almost no one around Trump, even his closest allies, thinks this is the case.

    • WashPost front pager, "With pardon, president sends a signal": "Trump ... delivered an indirect but unmistakable message to personal attorney Michael Cohen, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and others ensnared in Trump-related investigations that they, too, could be spared punishment."

    Why Trump loves pardons, per Jonathan Swan:

    • Remember how on the campaign trail Trump would paint a picture of a click-your-fingers presidency?
    • As soon as he took office, he’d fix the healthcare system, remove the national debt by cutting waste, fraud and abuse — the list goes on.
    • The clemency power is one where Trump can click his fingers and get instant gratification. Better even than those executive orders, which have to face those pesky and inconvenient circuit court judges.

    Pardon flurry ahead, per WashPost: "A senior White House official said that as many as a dozen other pardons are under consideration by Trump, adding that most are likely to happen."
    Haphazard process .... "Trump’s pardon of D’Souza was his sixth act of clemency as president. Each was issued unilaterally, subverting the traditional Justice Department process of reviewing thousands of pardon requests," per WashPost.

    • "Most of the pardons are impulsive, according to a person familiar with the process, and are driven by his 'seeing something on TV, reading something in a newspaper, hearing from a friend or someone lobbying him personally.'"







    ABOUT THOSE PARDONS ... NYT's PETER BAKER and EILEEN SULLIVAN: "All three have connections, if sometimes distant, to Mr. Trump, either through political allies or his time in the private sector. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who greeted Mr. Trump as he arrived for a visit to Houston on Thursday, pushed for the pardon for [Dinesh] D'Souza. [Rod] Blagojevich appeared on 'Celebrity Apprentice,' Mr. Trump's reality show, and [Martha] Stewart hosted an 'Apprentice' spinoff show. Moreover, all three of the cases were tied to prosecutors who have become nemeses of the president.


    "Mr. D'Souza was prosecuted by Preet Bharara,
    the United States attorney in New York who was fired by Mr. Trump last year and has been one of his fiercest critics. Ms. Stewart was prosecuted by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director who was fired by Mr. Trump last year and has engaged in a running war of words ever since. As for Mr. Blagojevich, he was prosecuted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, a close friend and colleague of Mr. Comey. Mr. Trump previously pardoned I. Lewis Libby Jr., a top aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was also prosecuted by Mr. Fitzgerald." https://nyti.ms/2J9J8Cw



    -- NATASHA KORECKI
    in Chicago: "Ex-FBI honcho blasts Trump over Blagojevich": "Robert Grant, a longtime colleague and friend of special counsel Robert Mueller who headed the FBI's Chicago office at the time of the Blagojevich investigation, told POLITICO in an interview that Trump is working to upend the FBI's work as personal revenge for the special counsel probe he's facing. 'It's so disheartening to think that the president of the United States would overturn the evidence heard by a judge and jury, all out of an animus toward Bob Mueller, James Comey and [former U.S. Attorney] Pat Fitzgerald,' said Grant, who is now retired from the FBI.



    "'Blagojevich got caught by wiretaps and microphones
    and he was engaging in a practice that we believed he was taking part in for quite awhile ... I don't think anybody who listened to those tapes would think anything but it was an incredibly corrupt governor who was dealing with corrupt associates.'" https://politi.co/2swTOnx



    -- @charlie_savage:
    "What's the pattern w/ pardoning Libby & D'Souza, floating Stewart & Blagojevich? Celebrity + white collar + undoing big wins by enemies (prosecutors were Comey, his lawyer Pat Fitzgerald, & fired SDNY US atty @PreetBharara). Who else fits? Maybe Conrad Black, another Fitz case..."



    -- N.Y. POST COVER:
    "THE APPRENTICE: 'YOU'RE PARDONED!' EDITION" Cover, with photos of Dinesh D'Souza, Martha Stewart, Rod Blagojevich and an empty pane, that says "Who's next?" https://nyp.st/2LQE33t



    NBC NEWS SCOOP ... CAROL LEE and JULIA AINSLEY: "Jared Kushner close friend Rick Gerson now under scrutiny from Mueller": "Richard Gerson, a hedge-fund manager in New York, was in the Seychelles in January 2017, less than two weeks before President Donald Trump's inauguration and around the time Trump associate Erik Prince secretly met with Russian and United Arab Emirates officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, four of the people said.

    "While in the remote Indian Ocean island nation, Gerson met
    with Prince Mohammed — also known by his initials as MBZ — and communicated with a Lebanese-American businessman with close ties to the UAE, George Nader, who had organized the Erik Prince meeting, according to text messages Gerson sent at the time and a person familiar with the meeting.



    "Gerson had met Nader just weeks earlier
    when Trump officials, including Kushner, gathered for a secret meeting with MBZ at a Four Seasons hotel in New York, four people familiar with the meeting said. Trump's incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn and chief political adviser Steve Bannon, as well as the UAE's ambassador to the U.S., Yousef Otaiba, also attended the meeting." https://nbcnews.to/2LQ6BKA



    -- WAPO'S MATT ZAPOTOSKY: "Prosecutors interview Comey as they investigate whether McCabe should be charged":
    "Investigators from the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office recently interviewed former FBI director James B. Comey as part of a probe into whether his deputy, Andrew McCabe, broke the law by lying to federal agents — an indication the office is seriously considering whether McCabe should be charged with a crime, a person familiar with the matter said.



    "Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz
    accused McCabe in April of misleading investigators and Comey four times — three of them under oath — about authorizing a disclosure to the media. Horowitz referred the findings to the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.



    "Lying to federal investigators can carry a five-year prison sentence,
    though McCabe disputes that he intentionally misled anyone. Comey's interview, while significant, does not indicate prosecutors have reached any conclusions, and people familiar with the process said it is not surprising given the allegations McCabe faces. A referral from the inspector general does not guarantee charges will be filed." https://wapo.st/2JkPqCA



    CLICKER -- "LISTEN: How Michael Cohen Protects Trump By Making Legal Threats," by NPR's Tim Mak: https://n.pr/2JoVYQI
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  5. #2045
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Eamonn Dunphy has a (quite good)podcast called 'The Stand'.

    https://soundcloud.com/thestandwitheamondunphy

    Aside from the recent amusing implosion of John Waters, Dunphy regularly has Nial Stanage, whitehouse correspondent of 'The Hill' on regularly to discuss all things Trump. Those episodes are always enlightening and I would recommend checking them out.

  6. #2046
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    a picture paints a thousand words they say


    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

  7. #2047
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Varoufakis (whistling past the graveyard?):

    Whatever one thinks of this president, he is giving money away not only to the richest, who of course get the most, but also to many poor people. With demonstrably strong employment, especially among African American workers, inflation under control and the stock market still buoyant, Donald Trump has his home front covered as he travels to foreign lands to confront friends and foes. . . .

    Can the EU create a “Europe First” anti-Trump alliance, perhaps involving China? The answer has been given already, following Trump’s annulment of the Iran nuclear deal. Within minutes of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that European companies would stay in Iran, every single German corporation announced it was pulling out, prioritising the fat tax cuts Trump was offering them within the United States.

    In conclusion, we have good reason to be appalled by Trump: he is winning against a European establishment that wallows in perfect ignorance of the forces undermining it and paving the ground for appalling developments. The onus falls on progressives in continental Europe, in the UK, and in the United States, to put on the agenda an Internationalist New Deal – and to win elections campaigning on it.

    In my rare optimistic moments, I imagine an alliance of Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and our Democracy in Europe Movement, DiEM25, giving the Nationalist International led by Trump a run for its money.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-will-stop-him

  8. #2048
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Hapax View Post
    Varoufakis (whistling past the graveyard?):



    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-will-stop-him
    Varoufakis is quite wrong about the coverage on the homefront. Employment strong? Yes, but for declining wages as health and housing costs (usually left out of cost of living estimates) skyrocket. The American working class is capable less and less every day of thinking of themselves as part of the "middle class" like they used to. Working class discontent is steadily rising in America-but not particularly at Trump.

    The reason this all isn't hurting him is that the Democrats, who are an equally corporate party to Trump's Republicans despite different rhetoric, want to focus their "resistance" to Trump on the one aspect of Trump's policies that the average American couldn't give a damn about, namely the whole Russian giant red herring, a Democratic attempt to appeal to conservative anti-communist Republicans in Congress and the suburbs who can't tell the difference between Russia and the Soviet Union, instead of the lower classes. And, it's a miserable failure, with the "moderate" Republicans, not wanting to lose their congressional seats, almost all turning into Trump worshippers.

    Trump's protectionism and dislike of nonwhite foreigners can appeal to backward white workers, who given a choice between hating Russians and hating Muslims & Mexicans will naturally prefer the latter. The Democrats only appeal to the workers is defense of Obamacare, useful for the poorest but raising medical costs for the middle and upper working classes.

    That nonetheless Trump is still fairly unpopular among most Americans, despite the utter worthlessness of the Democratic alternative, indicates that Americans really aren't so backward after all.

    As for Varoufakis's absurd notion that a "European New Deal" is a possibility under capitalism, all I can say is he should talk to an actual economist to set him straight. First one would have to teach pigs how to fly.

    -AMH

  9. #2049
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    EPA Administrator Scott resigned yesterday. Since his appointment in Jan 2017, he has been accumulating "scandals" as if scandals were about to go extinct. He is an ethics catastrophe. For someone whose previous job was a state Attorney General, (dem what's supposed to know the law an all that), that's notable.

    Trump didn't fire him because he was a good Trump hatchet man, and seemed to have mastered the art of buttering up Trump. At times, it seemed like he was daring Trump to fire him. Now that he has the "measure" of Trump I wouldn't be surprised if he challenged him in 2020.

    Here's a partial list of what he got away with.............



    1. Rental of a $50-a-night condo
    2. Questionable raises to staff
    3. Questionable firing of staff
    4. Expensive security detail
    5. $5,700 biometric locks on his office doors
    6. $43,000 private phone booth
    7. Expensive first-class flights
    8. Affinity for a flashing-lights motorcade
    9. Lobbyist help on expensive Moroccan trip
    10. Baseball tickets sold by coal exec
    11. $1,500 pens, $1,600 journals
    12. Tasking an aide with personal tasks, including requesting a Trump hotel mattress
    13. Criticizing that aide
    14. Trying to get his wife a job as a Chick-Fil-A franchisee
    15. Questionable requests of his security detail, like finding lotion
    16. Questionable requests of his employees, like getting yogurt
    17. Asking conservative donors for help getting his wife a for $200,000/year job
    18. Former political aide running FOIA requests

    Go deeper with more details of each
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  10. #2050
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    Default Maidir Le: The Trump Presidency

    One day after senior FBI official Peter Strzok got grilled on camera at a Congressional hearing, Mueller announced the indictment of 12 named Russian intelligence officers for election mischief. Good summary here.



    Mueller’s map: What 35 indictments tell us




    Wait! A Russian military intelligence agency leased server space in Arizona and a computer in Illinois?

    • Wait! The Russian military used bitcoin to buy servers, register domains and pay for other election-hacking activity?
    • Wait! The Russian military used screenshots and keystroke-capture to monitor dozens of DCCC and DNC employees as they typed?
    • Wait! The Russian military tried to trick more than 30 Hillary Clinton campaign employees into clicking on a document titled "hillary-clinton-favorable-rating.xlsx" (that actually went to a Russian website)?
    • Wait! The Russian military extracted opposition research on Republican candidates in bulk from the DNC, as part of a multi-gigabyte haul?
    • Wait! A lieutenant captain in the Russian military named Nikolay Yuryevich Kozachek (Козачек Николай Юрьевич) disguised himself online as “blablabla1234565"?

    That's what I kept thinking as I read special counsel Robert Mueller's 29-page indictment yesterday of a dozen Russian intelligence officers (from Boris and Ivan to Sergey and Viktor).
    And none of that is even the most alarming, damning news in the filing in U.S. District Court in D.C. Mueller, who personally signed the document, saved that for page 25:

    • Two of the officers conspired "to hack into the computers of U.S. persons and entities responsible for the administration of 2016 U.S. elections, such as state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of U.S. elections."
    • And they actually pulled it off: "In or around July 2016, [Russian military officer Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev] and his co-conspirators hacked the website of [an unnamed] state board of elections ... and stole information related to approximately 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers."

    Mueller has now indicted or secured guilty pleas from 32 people and three Russian companies.

    • Vox's tally: "four former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Five of these people (including three former Trump aides) have already pleaded guilty."

    All of the documents are on one page on Mueller's official Justice Department website. I curled up and read them all. What I learned:
    Known knowns about Mueller:

    • He has keystroke-by-keystroke reconstructions of online activities by the Russian "Conspirators," as the indictment calls them — down to their web searches.
    • He's going broader, deeper, wider than people realize — following the money, following the keystrokes, following the concentric circles of characters.
    • His indictments and plea agreements are providing a serial narrative of what Sen. John McCain has called an "act of war" perpetrated during one of the closest elections in American history.

    Known knowns about Russia:

    • Yesterday's indictment was so significant because its scope went far beyond propaganda efforts and into a physical attack on America's state-by-state machinery of democracy.
    • This wasn't an attempt — the Russians actually succeeded in some of their incursions.
    • The attack was more sophisticated and involved vastly more resources than most U.S. politicians realized.

    Be smart: David Kris, founder of Culper Partners consulting firm and head of the Justice Department's National Security Division under President Obama, told me that Mueller is following traditional prosecutorial practice by starting at the outer ring.

    • "His next steps may include moving in closer to the center of things."
    • One possible shot to drop ... Russian blackmail or threats targeting Americans who took things of value: "That's a traditional element of Russian tradecraft."

    Go deeper ... "Mueller's web: Everyone caught up in the Russia investigation."
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  11. #2051
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    Default Maidir Le: The Trump Presidency

    Get to know QAnon now. They'll be showing up at Trump rallies in the run up to the mid-terms, and watch out for references to 17, Q's place in the alphabet. There has already been an attempted coup by RAnon, but the counter revolutionaries appear to be prevailing.



    What is QAnon?: Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory showed up at a Trump rally this week. As NPR’s Brandon Carter explains, the fringe theory hinges on a vast criminal conspiracy supposedly headed by top Democrats -- with Trump leading the charge in taking them down. Originating in the recesses of the Internet, the theory — which has been totally debunked — has exploded in popularity in recent months and even counts some celebrities as believers and fans.



    #QAnon, the scarily popular pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  12. #2052
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    EPA Administrator Scott resigned yesterday. Since his appointment in Jan 2017, he has been accumulating "scandals" as if scandals were about to go extinct. He is an ethics catastrophe. For someone whose previous job was a state Attorney General, (dem what's supposed to know the law an all that), that's notable.

    Trump didn't fire him because he was a good Trump hatchet man, and seemed to have mastered the art of buttering up Trump. At times, it seemed like he was daring Trump to fire him. Now that he has the "measure" of Trump I wouldn't be surprised if he challenged him in 2020.

    Here's a partial list of what he got away with.............



    1. Rental of a $50-a-night condo
    2. Questionable raises to staff
    3. Questionable firing of staff
    4. Expensive security detail
    5. $5,700 biometric locks on his office doors
    6. $43,000 private phone booth
    7. Expensive first-class flights
    8. Affinity for a flashing-lights motorcade
    9. Lobbyist help on expensive Moroccan trip
    10. Baseball tickets sold by coal exec
    11. $1,500 pens, $1,600 journals
    12. Tasking an aide with personal tasks, including requesting a Trump hotel mattress
    13. Criticizing that aide
    14. Trying to get his wife a job as a Chick-Fil-A franchisee
    15. Questionable requests of his security detail, like finding lotion
    16. Questionable requests of his employees, like getting yogurt
    17. Asking conservative donors for help getting his wife a for $200,000/year job
    18. Former political aide running FOIA requests

    Go deeper with more details of each
    Asking employees to get yoghurt ? Heck.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  13. #2053
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Asking employees to get yoghurt ? Heck.
    Yogurt is important...............




    Annabelle Timsit on how yogurt fueled the rise of civilization. “Some historians believe that the Book of Job’s description of the land of Israel as ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ refers to yogurt, and the book’s author links yogurt consumption to Abraham’s longevity and fecundity. Genghis Khan fed his army yogurt, based on the belief that it instilled bravery in his warriors—or so the legend goes.” Read more here.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  14. #2054
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    Default Re: Maidir Le: The Trump Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Get to know QAnon now. They'll be showing up at Trump rallies in the run up to the mid-terms, and watch out for references to 17, Q's place in the alphabet. There has already been an attempted coup by RAnon, but the counter revolutionaries appear to be prevailing.



    What is QAnon?: Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory showed up at a Trump rally this week. As NPR’s Brandon Carter explains, the fringe theory hinges on a vast criminal conspiracy supposedly headed by top Democrats -- with Trump leading the charge in taking them down. Originating in the recesses of the Internet, the theory — which has been totally debunked — has exploded in popularity in recent months and even counts some celebrities as believers and fans.



    #QAnon, the scarily popular pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained

    Annalisa Merelli on the Italian novel at the center of the meta-conspiracy theory behind QAnon. Q, a 1999 novel, [was] conceived by the author as ‘a handbook of survival skills’ for people wanting to push against the status quo. Strangely enough, although the book was created by a left-leaning collective in Europe, two decades later, it is being linked to a right-wing US conspiracy theory.” Read more here.


    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  15. #2055
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    Default Re: The Trump Presidency

    With his constant commentating and public negotiating, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is setting up unmeetable expectations for special counsel Robert Mueller — a kind of insurance policy with the president's base.

    • The former New York mayor said in an interview last nightwith Fox News' Sean Hannity that the investigation should be "over by September," and that Mueller's case "isn’t going to fizzle. It's going to blow up on them."
    • "[T]here's a lot more to what they did that nobody knows about yet ... a lot more to the obstruction of justice, to the collusion, to the fake dossier."

    Giuliani told Axios' Jonathan Swan that there are two topics the president's lawyers want to rule out in order to agree to a Trump sit-down with Mueller:

    1. Why Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
    2. What Trump said to Comey about the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    Giuliani mentioned those as if they were minor details — totally reasonable areas for Mueller to agree to avoid.

    • In fact, they’re central to the question of whether Trump obstructed justice.

    So here's how to read between the lines of Giuliani's frequent media appearances:

    1. Rudy is pushing and pulling Mueller, and every day throws more mud over the investigation.
    2. The mayor is exploiting Mueller’s silence. Because Mueller can’t and won’t discuss the investigation, Rudy gets to monopolize the airwaves and frame the debate on his terms.
    3. Giuliani is publicly rushing Mueller to wrap up his investigation by September, and at the same time trying to rule out some of the key questions Mueller wants to explore with Trump before wrapping up the probe.

    Giuliani is also personalizing it, framing everything as Mueller trying to entrap Trump.

    • The theater of going back and forth with Mueller is designed to create a public impression — or at least an impression in the eyes of Republican voters — that Mueller has personal animus towards Trump, and is trying to use legal trickery to steal the election from Trump voters. This is pure P.R.

    Why it matters ... Giuliani is publicly setting up Mueller with expectations he must know Mueller can’t meet:

    • There's no way Mueller is wrapping this thing up by Sept. 1.
    • And there's no way Mueller will agree to an interview with Trump on the condition that he won’t ask him two of the critical questions about obstruction of justice.
    • By claiming them as totally reasonable asks, when Mueller ultimately doesn’t deliver by Labor Day, Rudy helps fuel the base’s rage all the way through to midterms.

    Be smart ... The strategy is working:

    • You see in polls that Trump has made the investigation a red-blue issue.
    • You see it in footage of Republican voters at town halls, echoing the anti-Mueller line.


    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

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