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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #226 
That doesn't address the actual events and comments. It is quite possible that Trump is a buffoon, liar, and incompetent demagogue and yet the left-liberal media are hysterical and acting as a deceitful, hypocritical opposition. In fact this is true.

Pence is just a regular conservative Republican,.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #227 
It's true at least that these are not mutually contradictory propositions. But I fail to see what misinterpretation is possible here:
Quote:
“I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey said in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. “That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Or how the second sentence from then Director Comey could be more explicit. Pence is a proven and active homophobe and also stupid and ignorant enough to believe in ID. I don't claim to know how general these views are among regular conservative Republicans, but I do know I don't want such a man in such a position. Trump, who is neither regular nor conservative and arguably not a Republican either, is judging by the statements he has made no homophobe, and as far as I am aware the only issue where he differs from the scientific consensus is anthropogenic climate change, where as it happens I do too. Pence appears considerably more stable and rational than Trump and certainly his would be a far more normal presidency, but the two issues I cited are for me red lines. They wouldn't be for everyone, but for me they are.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #228 
Well, it is all about technical details and I should have been more clear. There is an investigation which has swept up members of the Trump campaign - the ones we mentioned above, Flynn, Manafort, and the other staffer (whose name escapes me without looking it up, and who was very remote from Trump himself). The investigation is a national security one, not the usual criminal investigation of the FBI. This means that it has much lower standards - it can be little more than a fishing expedition. So what Comey said is simply that the links between a some individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government are covered by this broad national security investigation. That is very different from investigating them criminally and says little about about Trump-Russia collusion, or at least I think it is a subtle but important difference. In fact, it is more or less a reiteration of the weak evidence both you and I posted:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446068/donald-trump-fbi-russia-investigation-counterintelligence-not-criminal

The media didn't make these distinctions. Hillary Clinton was under criminal investigation. That means there was much more clear or serious evidence against her. A national security investigation that might have swept in some Trump associates is quite a different thing.

On Pence, okay, but that - ignoring quibbling over terms - could include much of the conservative wing of the Republican party. Not that I wouldn't take similar stands against many people, but it seems to be an ideological issue. Cultural and social conservatives obviously wouldn't agree. So there's not much more we can do than state our positions, unless we wish to go off into all sorts of cultural, moral, and social discussions.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #229 
On your final paragraph, as you say. On your first, while there are undoubtedly numerous ties between the Trump camp and the Kremlin, that would not necessarily be wrong in itself. I agree that there has been no specific evidence that we have heard about indicating collusion between the two over possible attempts to influence the election result. All I wished to establish is that the question was, in fact, under investigation. I suggest we leave matters there for now, as we have more or less done this topic to death between us.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #230 
After his National Security Advisor and senior communications staff all denied the allegations by the Washington Post that the President had given the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador classified information that had been withheld even from U.S. allies, President Trump came forward to say that he had indeed done so and that he had every right to do so.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-defends-sharing-classified-intelligence-russian-officials-120922617.html

The State Department appears to have been sidelined completely, even from the Secretary of State's own statement in regards to this affair.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/15/politics/tillerson-statement-trump/index.html

All of this is raising questions about President Trump's competence.

http://www.unionleader.com/Grant-Bosse-Trump-sabotaging-Trump-05162017

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/16/politics/trump-russia-analysis/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/15/opinions/trump-incompetence-opinion-ghitis/index.html

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/nyts-david-brooks-shreds-incompetent-trump-he-is-a-7-year-old-boy-desperate-for-approval/

In a sign that the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill is becoming increasingly disturbed by the President's direction, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman (and one time runner-up in the contest to be Donald Trump's Secretary of State) has voiced his concern about the "Downward Spiral" that the administration has been in.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/333507-gop-senator-white-house-in-downward-spiral

Highly respected and recently fired ex-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara has called for an Independent Counsel to be appointed to oversee the Russia investigation.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/15/preet-bharara-washington-post-op-ed-238389



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The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #231 
U.S. Presidential politics lately has underlined for me exactly why constitutional monarchy is by far superior to this type of republic.

The classified information that the President allegedly leaked to the Russians (and had been withheld even from U.S. allies) was obtained from Israel.  It's disclosure has apparently endangered an Israeli agent embedded with ISIS.  This should make Trump's upcoming visit to Israel a bit awkward to say the least...

http://forward.com/fast-forward/372172/trumps-russia-intel-risks-israeli-spy-isis/

In rather explosive disclosures, sources close to Ex-FBI Director Comey say that he had distributed memos  to those close to him immediately following meetings with the President to memorialize them and create a paper trail showing that he had no trust in President Trump.  Among the contents of the memos is the charge that President Trump had interferred in an FBI investigation by asking Comey to drop the inquiry into his then National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's ties to Russia.  This is a possibly impeachable offence.  The problems that Trump has been wracking up for his own Presidency are becoming quite hefty.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/us/politics/james-comey-trump-flynn-russia-investigation.html

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55099/trump-comey-fbi-flynn-nixon/

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40601-an-impeachable-offense-questions-swirl-as-trump-accused-of-sharing-top-secret-intel-with-russians

http://www.newsweek.com/scholar-comey-firing-legal-trump-impeachable-609469

The President gets support from the last place he needs it from right now..

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/putin-rushes-trumps-defense-laments-us-infighting-47462586

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Peter

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Reply with quote  #232 
And the bad news just keeps on coming for the ridiculous clown in the Oval Office, with the appointment of a special counsel to lead the Russia investigation. As an aside, it would be nice if the Guardian had the faintest idea of the workings of an elected monarchy, but that's more than could be expected of them I suppose; the maxim 'the king reigns but does not rule' actually arose in perhaps the best-known historical example of the system, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Returning to Trump, the only way I can see his Presidency lasting four years is the way it already has; four months that seem like four years, packed with enough controversy, chaos and scandal for a full term and more.
jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #233 
Peter-I think, if he's lucky, he might last two years, until the mid-term elections. Then in January 2019, with a hefty Democratic majority in both Houses, I think impeachment and probable conviction are inevitable.
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'Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.' C.S. Lewis God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.! Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
Peter

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Reply with quote  #234 
Two years seems optimistic to me, Jovan. Or pessimistic, depending on how you look at it. Trump does though have an opportunity right now to improve his odds. As his isolation at home becomes ever greater and the flow of new revelations and scandals continues unabated, might he make new friends abroad, and start for the first time to look like an actual, living, breathing President?

The draft speech reported in the second link looks promisingly pragmatic and realistic, even constructive; while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is in my opinion a cancer on the planet and Trump's 2016 tweet quoted in the link is true enough so far as it is concerned, the Kingdom is a necessary ally who must be kept on board, an unfortunate fact that must be lived with and cannot be wished away by rhetoric. The rest of the trip too offers plenty of opportunities for statesmanlike behaviour. But can someone who thus far has appeared as a babbling, blabbermouthed lying idiot actually take any of these opportunities? We shall have to see, beginning with what he actually says in Riyadh, as opposed to what is planned for him to say.
jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #235 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
We shall have to see, beginning with what he actually says in Riyadh, as opposed to what is planned for him to say.


Herein lies the problem! In an article concerning the revelation of sensitive intel to the Russians recently, I read an analyst's opinion that Trump's problem seems to be that he's incapable of sticking to the script. His advisers give him 'talking points' to be discussed, questions to be addressed, etc. Ignoring all of that, he then just runs off at the mouth with anything that comes into his head.  

__________________
'Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.' C.S. Lewis God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.! Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #236 
The Trump Administration sells its policies in the Middle East:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/20/in-saudi-arabia-tillerson-argues-iran-is-trumps-top-gulf-region-concern.html

While Erdogan thuggery ran amok in Washington:
http://www.bostonherald.com/opinion/editorials/2017/05/editorial_turkish_thuggery_unleashed
Peter

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Reply with quote  #237 
The tour's been over for a few days now, and it seems to me that it was overall a success, the odd posture malfunction aside. No major gaffes, and the idiot-in-chief's removal from the centre of affairs at least reduced the heat under the simmering scandals enveloping his administration, though they by no means went cold entirely. Sure, NATO allies didn't like being told that they don't contribute enough to their own defence, but most of them don't. And everyone was horrified by the curt rejection of climate change consensus, but I don't see why as a) nothing else could be expected and b) for once Trump's right. So, not bad, though only by the dreadful standards to which we've so swiftly become accustomed.

But now, normal service has been covfefed. A delightful Trumpian addition to the lexicon, and one I believe will endure, once everyone decides what the heck it means. Instead of telling lies, or rather relaying Trump's, about fake news and then storming out when the people he's calling liars don't lie down and take it, Sean Spicer really should be getting together with other staffers to enforce a new set of rules on their boss. They would read, one to ten, NO TWEETING!!!
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #238 
Well if we measure success by a lack of public gaffes and humiliating public mistakes, then the tour went ok (other perhaps than the weird statement by the President while in Israel, that he had just come from the Middle East, and a couple of times that Mrs. Trump avoided holding hands with him).  However, President Trump seems to have firmed up his relationships with Saudi Arabia and Egypt while alienating NATO and America's traditional European allies.  Is it an accident that the Saudis and the Russians are also greatly improving ties at the same time?  

Here is an analysis that sees Mr. Trump and his foreign relations through a very different lens.  Covfefe!

https://www.yahoo.com/news/forget-trumps-bluster-world-walking-090001198.html

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
Peter

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Reply with quote  #239 
Well, I did say it was a success only by this administration's dismal standards. I disagree with that analysis; I could circle Montenegro on a map. The CEP would be quite high, but were I a nuclear weapon Cetinje would know it had been kissed. I do though unfortunately have to agree with everything else. I thought the best incident from the tour was the hilarious inadvertent curtsy to the Saudi Arabian monarch. The First Lady's coldness to her husband was no particular surprise. After all, a marriage where the husband moves to Washington and the wife stays in New York is evidently not in good order.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #240 
President Obama heard no end to the criticism for his bows to the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Norway, and his very deep bow to the Emperor and Empress of Japan.  I will allow though that he did indeed actually bow, while President Trump's obeisance to King Salman was more of an attempt at making it easier for the shorter king to put the order around his neck.  I will always approve of Presidents who bow to Kings and Queens.

My favorite moment from the Trump tour was his hilarious sword dance with the Saudi royals and royal guards.

__________________
The Lion of Judah hath prevailed.

Ethiopia stretches her hands unto God (Quote from Psalm 68 which served as the Imperial Motto of the Ethiopian Empire)

"God and history shall remember your judgment." (Quote from Emperor Haile Selassie I's speech to the League of Nations to plead for assistance against the Italian Invasion, 1936.)
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