Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-11-04 04:04pm

Gandalf wrote:
2017-11-04 11:01am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-03 02:02pm
You don't think a candidate coordinating with the government of a hostile foreign nation to tip the scales of an election in his favour, then actively working to impede the investigation and cover it up, is significant?
Would you be less fussed (or fussed at all) if this had been with people from Canada or the UK as opposed to Russia?
Canada or the UK do not represent the threat to both world stability and individual rights and to America specifically that Putin's Russia does, but yes, of course I would have been concerned about any illegal acts used to obtain the Presidency.
Are you referring to countries to where American media organisations are surprisingly powerful? Or are you referring to when the CIA installs a guy to replace the democratically elected one and blood flows in the streets? Because that response will vary.
I am asking:

If America did the same sort of interference in another country that Russia is accused of doing in the US, would you give a shit?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2017-11-05 02:30am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-04 04:04pm
Canada or the UK do not represent the threat to both world stability and individual rights and to America specifically that Putin's Russia does, but yes, of course I would have been concerned about any illegal acts used to obtain the Presidency.
So the transfer of information isn't the issue, so much as the origin of it? How fascinating. Are the BBC allowed to broadcast content to the American voting populace?
I am asking:

If America did the same sort of interference in another country that Russia is accused of doing in the US, would you give a shit?
So politically connected Americans working with Australian political figures for their mutual benefit? I think that's Newscorp and their local affiliates. Is that what you mean?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-05 03:31am

Gandalf wrote:
2017-11-05 02:30am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-04 04:04pm
Canada or the UK do not represent the threat to both world stability and individual rights and to America specifically that Putin's Russia does, but yes, of course I would have been concerned about any illegal acts used to obtain the Presidency.
So the transfer of information isn't the issue, so much as the origin of it? How fascinating. Are the BBC allowed to broadcast content to the American voting populace?
Speaking for myself, not TRR:

Both the transfer of information and the origin matter, and so does the nature of the transfer.

The BBC broadcasting its news reports in the US? That's fine. American citizens have a right to listen to the opinions of foreign news agencies. But the content's origin should be clearly identified as being that of the BBC, and the BBC has an obligation to observe some measure of political neutrality (i.e. not becoming a willing propaganda arm for any single American political faction). US media being watched in foreign countries should be respecting the same rules.

Russia Today acting along these lines, for instance, would be fine. But that isn't the issue that is causing alarm and anger here.

...

The problem isn't just "foreigners talk to us about our elections." The problem is criminality, illegal processes being used to obtain information without accountability. And the involvement of foreign agents in the criminality makes things even more problematic.

See, if a BBC team of reporters illegally broke into the files of the Republican National Committee and released them, I would consider that extremely harmful interference in an American election. If MI6 did the same, even worse.

Remember the Watergate break-in and how that brought down President Nixon? Yeah, it is super illegal for presidential candidates to take advantage of illegally obtained information on their opponents, or to suborn the actions of criminals attempting to obtain such information.

Now imagine if Nixon had conspired with a foreign intelligence agency to obtain the same information, but without the amateurish incompetence that got the Watergate burglars caught. The spies' skills and training (and the backing of a whole national government) would have made the break-in more likely to succeed.

Nixon would have his information, and be far better equipped to escape accountability. The spies responsible could easily be whisked out of US jurisdiction entirely, and we'd have fewer leads to investigate the break-in and the spies involved. The end result would be "Watergate but worse," a president with dirty access to information, highly skilled agents willing to break national laws available, and ties to the foreign country supporting him that will forever render him vulnerable to blackmail.

...

This is not a prospect anyone who wants clean-ish government in their country should take lightly... but there are considerable reasons to think it's exactly what we have with Trump.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2017-11-05 06:06am

Broomstick wrote:
2017-11-04 12:15pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-04 11:37am
Even if this hasn't already happened with Trump (which is neither proven nor disproven), if we say "oh, what Trump's people did in 2016 was okay because it didn't change anything," sooner or later it will happen. If not with Russia, then with China, or Britain, or some other country that has an incentive to meddle in our elections.
Given the disproportionate influence America has in the world, every country has some incentive to meddle in US elections or other aspects of the US political process and government.
Given not just the US' influence, but the willingness to use it, one could argue that other countries are justified in interfering in US elections as a means of self defence.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2017-11-05 06:07am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-05 03:31am
Gandalf wrote:
2017-11-05 02:30am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-04 04:04pm
Canada or the UK do not represent the threat to both world stability and individual rights and to America specifically that Putin's Russia does, but yes, of course I would have been concerned about any illegal acts used to obtain the Presidency.
So the transfer of information isn't the issue, so much as the origin of it? How fascinating. Are the BBC allowed to broadcast content to the American voting populace?
Speaking for myself, not TRR:

Both the transfer of information and the origin matter, and so does the nature of the transfer.

The BBC broadcasting its news reports in the US? That's fine. American citizens have a right to listen to the opinions of foreign news agencies. But the content's origin should be clearly identified as being that of the BBC, and the BBC has an obligation to observe some measure of political neutrality (i.e. not becoming a willing propaganda arm for any single American political faction). US media being watched in foreign countries should be respecting the same rules.

Russia Today acting along these lines, for instance, would be fine. But that isn't the issue that is causing alarm and anger here.
:wtf:

How on Earth are you defining broadcast?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-05 11:42am

Um... something like:

Broadcast- v. To transmit or spread information via visual, audible, or other media, across a large population, via the technology of mass communication.

It's a broader definition than, say, "radio broadcast," because I'm using it to indicate all the means by which an organization can spread media content to foreign countries. The BBC does this, in the sense that if you want to watch BBC content in America, you can. My point is that this is totally fine, as long as the BBC keeps up a reasonable level of journalistic neutrality and restricts itself to reporting verifiable facts, and refrains from deliberately trying to engineer election outcomes in someone else's country.

This is the same standard I hold any other media organization to, and insofar as an organization fails to meet this standard, it is behaving grossly unethically.

...

What's a problem is when foreigners start allying with politicians in a given country, with intent to conspire against said politicians' rivals.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Flagg » 2017-11-05 03:43pm

The BBC isn’t a State News Agency that cannot criticize the state and just serves as their mouthpiece. That’s the difference.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Flagg » 2017-11-05 03:46pm

Gandalf wrote:
2017-11-05 06:06am
Broomstick wrote:
2017-11-04 12:15pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-04 11:37am
Even if this hasn't already happened with Trump (which is neither proven nor disproven), if we say "oh, what Trump's people did in 2016 was okay because it didn't change anything," sooner or later it will happen. If not with Russia, then with China, or Britain, or some other country that has an incentive to meddle in our elections.
Given the disproportionate influence America has in the world, every country has some incentive to meddle in US elections or other aspects of the US political process and government.
Given not just the US' influence, but the willingness to use it, one could argue that other countries are justified in interfering in US elections as a means of self defence.
If it’s government interference and you lose that’s a good way to start a war you cannot win. I’m not saying you’re wrong, we do worse, but there’s a difference between rigging elections like Putin and Trump and sponsoring information campaigns.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vympel » 2017-11-06 02:39am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-04 11:37am
So... yes, or no?
If it wasn't already apparent, I'm not in the habit of allowing my position to be neatly pigeon-holed by someone else. This isn't a courtroom. I've told you my intent.
This is far less certain than you make it out to be. The election was narrow enough that tapping the vote totals the other way by, say, 0.5% nationwide, or for that matter 0.5% in a few specific states, would have flipped the outcome. Very small amounts of help could be sufficient to turn the tide.

Furthermore, nations have laws against their politicians accepting funding and aid from foreign sources for a good reason. "Your Honor, the amount of help I accepted wasn't very important" isn't a valid defense against this. Because once you normalize "accept help from agents of a foreign government," you've rung the bell. You can't unring it. You're not going to be able to restrict future foreign help to "but only foreign help small enough that it doesn't change the outcome of an election or matter in any other way." Sooner or later you will have foreign agents and outright spies tipping your elections by covertly providing (real or fabricated) evidence or (obvious or deniable) support to the candidate of their choosing.

Even if this hasn't already happened with Trump (which is neither proven nor disproven), if we say "oh, what Trump's people did in 2016 was okay because it didn't change anything," sooner or later it will happen. If not with Russia, then with China, or Britain, or some other country that has an incentive to meddle in our elections.

...
When an election is narrow, what you focus on as the cause for the defeat comes down to your ideology. If your ideology is to push off responsibility for the loss from a cackhanded campaign run by incompetents trying to push an uninspiring candidate who was a symbol of eight years of disappointment with neoliberal policies on the American people and failing, then of course jumping up and down about a foreign interloper somehow using mind control to make the poors vote against their interests is a good idea.

But its not an honest accounting.
Now, none of this is about the object-level, down-in-the-weeds discussion of who had what help or anything like that. My point is simply that the level of Trump campaign involvement with Russia in this election cycle is already enough to matter. And that's purely on the strength of the allegations we know to have been made by a government prosecutor with a reputation for honesty and competence.
Mueller played a key role in selling the US public on the necessity of going to war in Iraq during the bush administration, so his reputation is thoroughly unearned. Not that any of the allegations made by him thus far support in any way the notion that "Trump campaign involvement with Russia" has anything to do with anything.

Mueller's conclusions should rise and fall on their merits, not his reputation. He has nothing to be proud of.
I'm not (in this specific reply to this part of your quote) commenting on the truth or falsehood of any accusation.

I'm pointing out that the accusations are a serious matter that merit not being laughed at. Charges have been filed. Against people who can easily afford good lawyers that would rip apart a weak charge. If you won't take that seriously, where the hell do you ever draw the line?
The charges that have been filed thus far don't support the claims in any way. Glenn Greenwald, one of the most promiment skeptics in this regard, predicted months ago that investigations could turn up shitty criminality and result in charges that do not support the 'Russian meddling' narrative. And that's precisely what has happened so far.

This is a good commentary on the current position by M Tracey:

Image

Note in this regard, Tony Podesta's resignation.
Twitter is a private corporation, not a government. If people are offended that Twitter is being oppressive... well honestly, my reply is this:
"Oh, it's a private corporation therefore the negative consequences of being smeared are irrelevant!"
If Howard Dean is getting the same level of power and standing in America that McCarthy did through making insinuations or false allegations, this is the first I've heard of it. Honestly, going from "accusations of being in bed with the Russians are big enough to power McCarthy" to "only big enough to power Howard Dean" would be a huge improvement.

While we're at it, who's being blacklisted? Where are the anti-Russian organizations methodically winnowing through everyone in Hollywood, the media, and industry to fire everyone involved with Russia?

This is to McCarthyism what an ant farting is to a hurricane.
Oh ok, so as long as we're not having literal McCarthyism, US political culture is fine and we don't need to worry. Because accusing people who disagree with you of being paid Russian stooges is totally the mark of a healthy political culture and not at all the mark of a thoroughly debased one.

Meanwhile, Donna Brazile of all people is being denounced as a dupe of Russian propaganda. Good times.
The thing is, Birtherism and Benghazi obsession never resulted in federal charges being filed.
As above. The existence of charges that have nothing at all to do with the subject matter are irrelevant.
Birtherism was a complete and utter fabrication. Benghazi obsession is as close to a complete fabrication as makes no difference. There is nothing there to investigate.

Here, there is in fact something to investigate. There were in fact important members of the Trump campaign who took considerable amounts of money from Russia. Trump himself has extensive business and social ties in Russia. These things actually happened. Obviously, no crime can be proven without an investigation, because no crime can ever be proven without an investigation. But there is, at a minimum, something there.
This is vague hyperbole and inneuendo and thoroughly typical of rhetoric around this issue. Who, exactly, took 'considerable amounts' of money from Russia? Michael Flynn? You mean his paltry five figure speaking fee from RT, which he got through a reputable Washington speaking firm that RT negotiated down? That's a joke. What 'ties' does Trump have? You mean the time his lawyer emailed Dmitry Peskov at his office's public email address for help on a real estate deal and never even got a response - i.e. Trump's influence in Russia was so poor they didn't even have his personal contact details? That real estate deal failed, by the way.

That's like saying my client has 'Mexican ties' because I send an email to info_at_mexicangovernment.com.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-06 12:56pm

Flagg wrote:
2017-11-05 03:43pm
The BBC isn’t a State News Agency that cannot criticize the state and just serves as their mouthpiece. That’s the difference.
As far as I can tell, this is unrelated to my point. The BBC can criticize the British government, but should be restrained in commenting on American politics. American media corporations can criticize the American government, but should be restrained in commenting on British politics. There is, or ought to be, symmetry here.

Fundamentally, my point is that foreign journalist comments on elections are not the problem, regardless of where the journalists are from, so long as a bit of basic self-restraint is followed. What's problematic is when agents of foreign countries are able to directly access and support politicians and political candidates within a target country.
Vympel wrote:
2017-11-06 02:39am
Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-04 11:37am
So... yes, or no?
If it wasn't already apparent, I'm not in the habit of allowing my position to be neatly pigeon-holed by someone else. This isn't a courtroom. I've told you my intent.
Are you or are you not prepared to answer basic questions of fact about your own opinions? I'm not trying to ignore any of the nuances of your position. But this is a basic factual question , and what people think about your other opinions is inevitably going to be strongly colored by your stance on this particular issue.

Do you, or do you not, believe that there were Russian agents involved with the Trump campaign?

What do you have to lose by answering this question directly?
This is far less certain than you make it out to be. The election was narrow enough that tapping the vote totals the other way by, say, 0.5% nationwide, or for that matter 0.5% in a few specific states, would have flipped the outcome. Very small amounts of help could be sufficient to turn the tide.

Furthermore, nations have laws against their politicians accepting funding and aid from foreign sources for a good reason. "Your Honor, the amount of help I accepted wasn't very important" isn't a valid defense against this. Because once you normalize "accept help from agents of a foreign government," you've rung the bell. You can't unring it. You're not going to be able to restrict future foreign help to "but only foreign help small enough that it doesn't change the outcome of an election or matter in any other way." Sooner or later you will have foreign agents and outright spies tipping your elections by covertly providing (real or fabricated) evidence or (obvious or deniable) support to the candidate of their choosing.

Even if this hasn't already happened with Trump (which is neither proven nor disproven), if we say "oh, what Trump's people did in 2016 was okay because it didn't change anything," sooner or later it will happen. If not with Russia, then with China, or Britain, or some other country that has an incentive to meddle in our elections.

...
When an election is narrow, what you focus on as the cause for the defeat comes down to your ideology. If your ideology is to push off responsibility for the loss from a cackhanded campaign run by incompetents trying to push an uninspiring candidate who was a symbol of eight years of disappointment with neoliberal policies on the American people and failing, then of course jumping up and down about a foreign interloper somehow using mind control to make the poors vote against their interests is a good idea.

But its not an honest accounting.
Personally, I focus on half a dozen entirely separate issues, blaming all of them for the defeat. TRR has done so quite openly as well. As I recall it, he's talked about voter suppression and Hillary's campaign being uninspired and assorted other things. Oh, yeah, and the Russians too.

The thing is, running a shitty campaign or picking a bad candidate aren't outright illegal. They are mistakes that should be corrected, but are not crimes to be prosecuted. Believing people should be prosecuted for committing crimes is not a way of avoiding talking about those other mistakes. It is perfectly natural to want criminals to be prosecuted for their crimes.

If a horse thief walks into your unguarded, unlocked barn and steals your horse, demanding that the courts punish the thief is NOT a tactic to avoid dealing with the need to add a lock and some guards to your barn to prevent the next theft.
Now, none of this is about the object-level, down-in-the-weeds discussion of who had what help or anything like that. My point is simply that the level of Trump campaign involvement with Russia in this election cycle is already enough to matter. And that's purely on the strength of the allegations we know to have been made by a government prosecutor with a reputation for honesty and competence.
Mueller played a key role in selling the US public on the necessity of going to war in Iraq during the bush administration, so his reputation is thoroughly unearned. Not that any of the allegations made by him thus far support in any way the notion that "Trump campaign involvement with Russia" has anything to do with anything.
Okay, to be fair, Mueller's reputation for honesty may be iffy. Reputation for competence? Dunno. Would you mind expanding a bit on his role in the runup to Iraq?

Furthermore, Mueller has made his first round of formal charges. If you're waiting to see if his conclusions rise or fall on their own merits, the correct course of action is to remain silent for several months, watch things unfold, and take stock at the end of that time, when more information has come to light. Not to jeer at the investigation while it's ongoing just because they haven't dumped their full report on your desk at a time when said report hasn't been written yet.
The charges that have been filed thus far don't support the claims in any way. Glenn Greenwald, one of the most promiment skeptics in this regard, predicted months ago that investigations could turn up shitty criminality and result in charges that do not support the 'Russian meddling' narrative. And that's precisely what has happened so far.

This is a good commentary on the current position by M Tracey:

Image

Note in this regard, Tony Podesta's resignation.
Tracey leads by saying "Insofar as the Russia 'scandal' is a scandal, it's a political corruption scandal masquerading as a global espionage scandal."

Tracey goes on to claim that this is a routine structural feature of American politics and that Trump's involvement with foreign agents is at a level that is, more or less, routine.

I would say that the first part is untrue simply because TO ME this has always been a political corruption scandal masquerading as exactly what it is- a political corruption scandal. However, it is a political corruption scandal of the first order and worthy of our attention.

The second part is the sort of allegation that would benefit greatly from detailed proof.

I would also like to repeat that while Mueller has filed his first charges we have no reason to expect them to be his only charges. If they are, then you are likely vindicated. If they are not and stronger charges get filed, then your position looks very stupid in hindsight.

Since you are well aware that arguments based on what Mueller has done to date are by definition supported by incomplete evidence, from here on out my only reply to you saying "Mueller has nothing" or "Mueller's work isn't important" or "he only files petty charges" is going to be laughter.
Twitter is a private corporation, not a government. If people are offended that Twitter is being oppressive... well honestly, my reply is this:
"Oh, it's a private corporation therefore the negative consequences of being smeared are irrelevant!"
This is to McCarthyism what an ant farting is to a hurricane.
Oh ok, so as long as we're not having literal McCarthyism, US political culture is fine and we don't need to worry. Because accusing people who disagree with you of being paid Russian stooges is totally the mark of a healthy political culture and not at all the mark of a thoroughly debased one.

Meanwhile, Donna Brazile of all people is being denounced as a dupe of Russian propaganda. Good times.
There is a great deal of ill-health in American politics at the moment. The "ties to Russia" allegations being spammed could very easily be a part of it. However, it is far from the largest or the most toxic mass of problems we have at the moment. Until people start actually being concretely harmed on a significant scale, we have bigger problems. We likewise have bigger problems than Twitter being sporadically nasty and overreacting.
The thing is, Birtherism and Benghazi obsession never resulted in federal charges being filed.
As above. The existence of charges that have nothing at all to do with the subject matter are irrelevant.
And if you move the goalposts far enough, you can retroactively declare as many winners and losers as you want.

There is some concrete evidence of Trump's campaign having undisclosed ties to Russia and interactions with individuals from Russia they believed to be agents of the government during the campaign. Enough to support at least a first round of criminal charges. Somebody, who knows roughly how federal law worked, expected those charges to stand up in court. All by itself, that is enough to make the Trump Russia accusations far more serious than anything related to birtherism or Benghazi.
This is vague hyperbole and inneuendo and thoroughly typical of rhetoric around this issue. Who, exactly, took 'considerable amounts' of money from Russia? Michael Flynn? You mean his paltry five figure speaking fee from RT, which he got through a reputable Washington speaking firm that RT negotiated down? That's a joke. What 'ties' does Trump have? You mean the time his lawyer emailed Dmitry Peskov at his office's public email address for help on a real estate deal and never even got a response - i.e. Trump's influence in Russia was so poor they didn't even have his personal contact details? That real estate deal failed, by the way.

That's like saying my client has 'Mexican ties' because I send an email to info_at_mexicangovernment.com.
I sincerely apologize for not digging in and providing specifics at this time, but I am on break from work. If you want a more detailed response to this question of yours, please say so and I will do the digging at home when I can.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Flagg » 2017-11-06 02:20pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-06 12:56pm
Flagg wrote:
2017-11-05 03:43pm
The BBC isn’t a State News Agency that cannot criticize the state and just serves as their mouthpiece. That’s the difference.
As far as I can tell, this is unrelated to my point. The BBC can criticize the British government, but should be restrained in commenting on American politics. American media corporations can criticize the American government, but should be restrained in commenting on British politics. There is, or ought to be, symmetry here.

Fundamentally, my point is that foreign journalist comments on elections are not the problem, regardless of where the journalists are from, so long as a bit of basic self-restraint is followed. What's problematic is when agents of foreign countries are able to directly access and support politicians and political candidates within a target country.
I think what my point was that if you have IRANIAN STATE NEWS producing stories about American political activity, then using some intermediary to present them as objective US journalism, that's the line. At least for me. I don't have a problem with the CBC doing a story on Democratic opposition to the oil pipeline and it airing in the US as a CBC produced news segment because it's not just a veil for the Canadian government pushing their agenda.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-06 03:10pm

Sorry about the confusion.

Any organization taking steps to misrepresent the origin of its work is doing something unethical, yes, of course.

As to the CBC thing, that's an issue that affects both countries, and one of direct interest to the CBC. The existence of the CBC-created content is totally fine. American citizens have every right to watch it if they want- as long as it isn't a deliberate propaganda vehicle on the CBC's part. That's the line where my ethical issues start firing up.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Thanas » 2017-11-06 05:44pm

So Trump's commcerce chief (you know the guy in charge of sanction enforcement) has multiple ties to Putin and Russian oligarchs.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41876939
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-11-06 07:55pm

Gandalf wrote:
2017-11-05 02:30am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-04 04:04pm
Canada or the UK do not represent the threat to both world stability and individual rights and to America specifically that Putin's Russia does, but yes, of course I would have been concerned about any illegal acts used to obtain the Presidency.
So the transfer of information isn't the issue, so much as the origin of it? How fascinating. Are the BBC allowed to broadcast content to the American voting populace?
That is an oversimplification of what I said, and I think that you know it.

But I also know that you can't criticize the Russian government on the internet without being painted as just a hypocritical supporter of America/the West. Its the default response of Putin apologists- regardless of weather its true, and regardless of the fact that its an ad hominem.

The worst thing is, the label works.

You also know that there is a difference between BBC journalists (or any journalists) broadcasting a report, and a government using fraudulent ads and groups, concealing their true identities, origins, and motives, to sway the elections of another country. So please don't try to push false equivalencies which serve to obfuscate the discussion.

And you'll note that, even though I'd rate their credibility far below the BBC's, I never said that RT (which I guess would be the closest counterpart in Russia?) should be barred from broadcasting reports in the US. Nor would I say that. Because journalists reporting the news, with or without a slant, is not remotely what we're talking about here.
So politically connected Americans working with Australian political figures for their mutual benefit? I think that's Newscorp and their local affiliates. Is that what you mean?
Another false equivalency, unless Newscorp is involved in broadcasting stolen data and/or posting fake news under false identities.

Which... I honestly wouldn't put it past them.

Just one more thing: I'll admit that I'm capable of bias. I'm not a machine based on pure rationality. But if you think that I just give a pass to western governments and media, while attacking Russia...

Please pause and remember every single thing I have ever posted on this forum about the current American "Presidency" and its media enablers.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-11-08 05:56pm

One year ago today, Donald Trump officially (debate continues on weather he did so legitimately) won the 2016 Presidential election.

It kind of feels like we should be holding a minute of silence, or flying the flags at half-mast, or something.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2017-11-09 12:23am

The flags ARE flying half-mast in my neighborhood. I forget what it's for exactly... Vegas? New York City? Texas? Something else? They seem more often at half mast than not these days. Which saddens me greatly.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2017-11-10 10:36am

2 new allegations of collusion and obstruction of justice today:

https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/11/10/t ... ra-firing/
THE FLYNN-TURKEY DEAL RAISES THE OBSTRUCTION STAKES FOR THE PREET BHARARA FIRING

Twitter is abuzz this morning with the WSJ story (this is the NBC version of it; here’s a paywall free link) that Mike Flynn and his spawn hoped to make up to $15 million for kidnapping Fethullah Gulen and delivering him to Turkey.

Investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s interference with the U.S. presidential election recently questioned witnesses about the alleged December 2016 meeting between Flynn and senior Turkish officials, two people knowledgeable with the interviews said. The questions were part of a line of inquiry regarding Flynn’s lobbying efforts on behalf of Turkey.

Mueller’s investigation into Flynn’s potential deal with Turkey was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Four people familiar with the investigation said Mueller is looking into whether Flynn discussed in the late December meeting orchestrating the return to Turkey of a chief rival of Turkish President Recep Erdogan who lives in the U.S. Additionally, three people familiar with the probe said investigators are examining whether Flynn and other participants discussed a way to free a Turkish-Iranian gold trader, Reza Zarrab, who is jailed in the U.S. Zarrab is facing federal charges that he helped Iran skirt U.S. sanctions.

The story has already been told; what’s new about this iteration of it is the eye-popping pay-off, as well as more details about the timing and location of a second meeting.

The meeting allegedly took place at the upscale 21 Club restaurant in New York, just blocks always from Trump Tower where Flynn was serving on the presidential transition team. Flynn was offered upwards of $15 million, to be paid directly or indirectly, if he could complete the deal, according to two sources familiar with the meeting.

And mostly, the focus has been on the kidnapping part of the story (perhaps, in part, because Republicans tried to attack James Woolsey for his involvement in it a few weeks back).

But I think the far more interesting side of it is the inclusion of a deal on the Reza Zarrab prosecution — because that implicates Trump’s decision to fire Preet Bharara, substantiating a parallel case to his firing of Jim Comey.

As noted, SDNY is prosecuting Zarrab for laundering Turkish gold into Iranian coffers. Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey are representing Zarrab, with Giuliani going so far as brokering a deal that would trade foreign policy cooperation for Zarrab’s release even while defying pressure from DOJ about explaining his role in it. Because the case implicates Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally, the impending trial has led to increasing diplomatic tensions with Turkey.

By November 30, Trump assured Preet, as he did Comey, that he would stay on in the Trump Administration. But that changed when, in March, Trump unexpectedly asked for the resignation of almost all US Attorneys. Preet forced the issue and made Trump fire him; early reports suggested Marc Mukasey might replace Preet. Since then, Jeff Sessions has struggled to explain his own role in the firing, which could be an important element to proving the reasons behind it. In the same hearing, it came out that Trump has personally interviewed potential successors for Preet.

In the wake of the Preet firing, those watching closely honed in on the connection between increasing scrutiny on Flynn’s ties with Turkey and the firing.

There’s another reason we should all be alarmed by the unceremonious firing of Preet Bharara, outgoing U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Bharara is presently involved in a case against Reza Zarrab, a dual Iranian-Turkish national accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. Investigators initially focused on Zarrab’s sanctions evasion. They then discovered that Zarrab was in close contact with Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, who used Illicit funds to provide weapons, financing and logistics for jihadi groups in Syria including ISIS.

Bharara has a reputation as a non-partisan professional. He is known for independence and resisting direction, which led to tensions with the Justice Department and the U.S. Department of State.

As it happens, Bharara’s dismissal occurred the same day [actually Flynn filed his FARA registration on March 7] former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn admitted to obscuring ties with Turkish interests in violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Bharara’s dismissal also occurred in the wake of recent contact between Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, and Jared Kushner.

What this story provides is — like the Comey firing and not coincidentally also tied to Mike Flynn’s actions — important timing. In November, Trump promised to keep Preet. In December, Flynn continued his discussions with the Turks. In March, just after DOJ started forcing Flynn to reveal details about his work for Turkey, Trump reneged on his promise to Preet and — in the guise of firing everyone — fired Preet.

Given Sessions’ confusion about whether he was really involved in that decision, I would bet there’s a paper trail showing he provided, as he did for the Comey firing, cover for a decision that had already been made.

The one other important detail of this story, which follows on stories from yesterday, is that Mueller has implicated Flynn Jr in this deal. That reportedly is already making Flynn Sr consider pleading, to protect his son.

But if he does that, he may be forced to disclose how closely Trump was involved in these discussions to sell US policy to Turkey to enrich a staffer.
So Flynn and Jr were offered $15 million to deliver one of the El Presidente Erdogan's political enemies to turkey, and were probably involved in Trump's firing of Preet Bharara, the US attorney prosecuting a case against Erdogan's chief money launderer.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-11-10 04:01pm

I look forward to the next round of indictments. :D
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by aerius » 2017-11-10 04:09pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-08 05:56pm
One year ago today, Donald Trump officially (debate continues on weather he did so legitimately) won the 2016 Presidential election.

It kind of feels like we should be holding a minute of silence, or flying the flags at half-mast, or something.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-0 ... s-election

Excerpt:
On Wednesday night, thousands of Americans across the nation gathered to “Scream helplessly at the Sky on the Anniversary of the Election” to mark one year since President Trump's victory.

Thousands attended events planned in New York City, Philadelphia, Dallas and other major cities. The idea came from Boston, where people will gather in America's oldest park, the Boston Common, to scream. The premise behind the event was self-explanatory as people came to public gathering places, looked to the sky and, well, screamed.

This is how one Facebook event page described tonight's event:

Let's have a primal scream for the current state of our democracy! Gather together after work at Philadelphia's City Hall, or just scream in solidarity from your own backyard.
Image
aerius: I'll vote for you if you sleep with me. :)
Lusankya: Deal!
Say, do you want it to be a threesome with your wife? Or a foursome with your wife and sister-in-law? I'm up for either. :P

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2017-11-11 10:47am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-05 11:42am
Um... something like:

Broadcast- v. To transmit or spread information via visual, audible, or other media, across a large population, via the technology of mass communication.

It's a broader definition than, say, "radio broadcast," because I'm using it to indicate all the means by which an organization can spread media content to foreign countries. The BBC does this, in the sense that if you want to watch BBC content in America, you can. My point is that this is totally fine, as long as the BBC keeps up a reasonable level of journalistic neutrality and restricts itself to reporting verifiable facts, and refrains from deliberately trying to engineer election outcomes in someone else's country.

This is the same standard I hold any other media organization to, and insofar as an organization fails to meet this standard, it is behaving grossly unethically.
Fascinating. So do any other foreign organisations broadcasting to their domestic audiences have to adhere to any other US broadcasting standards? This is one of the huge problems with the nature of broadcast and law, in that it doesn't follow borders on a map. Historically this created some wonderfully complex issues in places like Europe, especially when televisions became common on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and people near the border could see each other's television programmes. Now with the internet, I can see the news from just about any country from my couch. My TV subscription brings news from a half dozen countries, including the weird shouting tournaments that appear to dominate CNN.
What's a problem is when foreigners start allying with politicians in a given country, with intent to conspire against said politicians' rivals.
Like old US government broadcasts into the Soviet Bloc?
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2017-11-11 10:59am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-06 07:55pm
But I also know that you can't criticize the Russian government on the internet without being painted as just a hypocritical supporter of America/the West. Its the default response of Putin apologists- regardless of weather its true, and regardless of the fact that its an ad hominem.
Before we proceed, are you calling me an apologist for Putin?
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-12 04:36am

Gandalf wrote:
2017-11-11 10:47am
Fascinating. So do any other foreign organisations broadcasting to their domestic audiences have to adhere to any other US broadcasting standards?
[sighs]

Did you actually read my post? I said "My point is that this is totally fine, as long as the BBC keeps up a reasonable level of journalistic neutrality and restricts itself to reporting verifiable facts, and refrains from deliberately trying to engineer election outcomes in someone else's country."

This isn't about following US broadcasting standards. It's a basic minimum of ethical journalism, and abstaining from "yellow journalism" crap of the William Randolph Hearst "you supply the photos, and I'll supply the war" level.

Journalism is supposed to report things that happen, not make shit up or try to engineer a coup attempt. Journalism is not the same as propaganda. This has absolutely nothing to do with whether the journalists talking about Country A are in Country A itself, or in Country B, or anything else.

...

The difference is that propagandists promoting political causes within a given country can be a part of that country's own internal political process. When foreign propagandists who are not citizens of the country get involved, that's not appropriate.
What's a problem is when foreigners start allying with politicians in a given country, with intent to conspire against said politicians' rivals.
Like old US government broadcasts into the Soviet Bloc?
And the Soviets were within their rights to try and jam the Voice of America, insofar as it was broadcasting subversive content.

What, are you shocked to hear me say this?

Because the thing is, the Soviet government was (in my book) within its rights to block foreign attempts to influence their internal politics, but was NOT within their rights to do the much larger amount of silencing of internal dissent and political discussion they got up to.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-11-12 04:43pm

Gandalf wrote:
2017-11-11 10:59am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-11-06 07:55pm
But I also know that you can't criticize the Russian government on the internet without being painted as just a hypocritical supporter of America/the West. Its the default response of Putin apologists- regardless of weather its true, and regardless of the fact that its an ad hominem.
Before we proceed, are you calling me an apologist for Putin?
I... don't think that was my intent. Certainly that has not been my perception of you in general. Sorry if it came off that way.

But the kind of argument to which I refer is their primary default argument, and when used excessively plays into their narrative whatever the intent behind it.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2017-11-16 07:36am

Cards against humanity vs Trump

http://www.khq.com/story/36844143/cards ... order-wall
Cards Against Humanity buys plot of land on U.S./Mexico border to block border wall
Posted: Nov 15, 2017 6:39 AM
Updated: Nov 15, 2017 6:39 AM

Cards Against Humanity/YouTube
Cards Against Humanity/YouTube
KHQ.com -
Cards Against Humanity is known for unique stunts around this time of year.

In years past, in an effort to combat Black Friday, they've had people send them $5 and literally sent nothing in return. Just like they said they would.

They've also mailed people poop in a box. 30,000 bought it.

They've even raised $100,000 to dig a giant hole in the ground.

This year, they're taking on The President.

The company says they've bought a plot of vacant land on the border of the United States and Mexico in an effort to make it difficult for President Trump to build his border wall.

"We’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built," the company said on their website.

They are also asking people to donate to their campaign.

"You give us $15, and we’ll send six America-saving surprises right to your doorstep," the company said. "It will be fun, it will be weird, and if you voted for Trump, you might want to sit this one out."

The company did not disclose where the piece of land is located, but said everyone who pitches in on day one will receive an illustrated map of the land.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-11-16 01:51pm

Good for them. That's certainly a creative way to oppose Donald-related fuckery.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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