Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas, Edi, K. A. Pital

Post Reply
User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14578
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-22 08:18pm

Vympel wrote:
2018-03-22 07:06pm
That's a terrible analogy, obviously. If one were to use science as an analogy, then TrumpRussia Insanity isn't 'science', it's a hypothesis.
My point, as you ought to be aware, is that disproving one specific claim does not automatically disprove all claims.

Perhaps a more precise analogy would be "Disproving one line of The Origin of Species" would not disprove the Theory of Evolution (although I dare say that to a lot of the Trumper crowd, it would).
Yeah, so in other words, the moment it became useful to TrumpRussia Bullshit Artists, Tillerson went from Putin's Stooge (in a way that no one ever actually explained or proved, ever) to Man Who Reached the Line.
No, it happened the moment he was fired right after publicly criticizing a terrorist chemical weapons attack on an American ally by the Russia government, you unbelievably repellent apologist for fascism.
Yeah dude, the Ship Is Sinking. Any day now, Trump will be led away in handcuffs!
Your sarcastic jeering at the idea of Trump being held accountable, and at those who want to see it happen, is suggestive as to your true motives and sympathies.

If you just said "I defend Putin and Trump because I hate the US and want to see it fail", I'd probably respect you more for your honesty.
Since when did the entire US intelligence community conclude that Trump colluded with Russia? Because I'm pretty sure that's never. Or are you aping their "17 intelligence agencies" propaganda canard about "Russian interference" and turning that into "Trump Russia collusion!"
The entire US intelligence community confirmed that Russian interference occurred (which you have denied).

The emails from members of the Trump campaign demonstrate that at least an attempt at collusion occurred.
LOL, what about their emails? If their emails proved what you think they proved, how come no one's been charged over what you think they say?
Because massive organized crime cases take time, and Mueller is not a sloppy fuck, but a professional who is methodical in building the strongest possible case. Which is fortunate and necessary, given the efforts of apologist scum like you to undermine any attempt to uphold the rule of law in America.
So Trump is a Russian Stooge but because of Multiple Agendas (?!), he'll decide to hire a notorious anti-Russian ultra-hawk who wants to do stuff that Russia hates - because he's a yes man. It all makes sense!
Are you denying that Trump is frequently self-contradictory?[/quote]
Pointing out that the person Trump is replacing Russian Stooge Tillerson with is a notorious ultra-hawk is somehow "cherry picking", lol.
Pretending that this one example proves collusion allegations are Fake News while ignoring or hand-waving all far the more substantial evidence that collusion occurred is cherry-picking.

Of course, this is almost certainly why Trump constantly contradicts himself, at least in part- so that people like you can cherry-pick what they want to see in his actions.
So in service of the conspiracy, Trump Is Playing 3D Chess Now. He's not a TV game show host whose brain is turning into jello, he's a Master Deceiver.
He is a man who is very stupid about a great many things, but has one undeniable talent- playing the media.

I've been very consistent, incidentally, in arguing this interpretation of Trump.
Yes because that's what we're discussing, how bad Trump's judgment is.
Among other things.

My point is that whatever the reason for firing Tillerson, Trump did it in a way that made it appear to be an act supporting Russia against Britain. Why?
I never said it did. What I did was point out how Tillerson illustrates how nicely this conspiracy theory works. Like any conspiracy theory, its totally unfalsifiable because any contrary evidence is to the conspiracy theorist - just further proof of the conspiracy.
The problem with that argument is that you haven't disproved the theory, either about Tillerson specifically or in the bigger picture. So my rejecting that notion does not prove that I will dismiss any evidence as "part of the conspiracy".

And FYI, if Mueller says that he cannot prove collusion by Trump personally, I will accept that he is acting in good faith unless I have a very good reason not.
"But he did that to throw everyone off the trail! It's ALL CONNECTED"
You are twisting my words to fit your caricature, so that you can substitute ridicule and personal attacks for reasoned, evidence-based argument.
Literally no evidence whatsoever on planet Earth that Russia played a role in it. Not incumbent on anyone to prove a negative.
Besides the fact that a President who repeatedly acts overtly friendly towards Russia's dictator, who is under investigation for possible collusion with the Russian government to become President and for trying to obstruct said investigation, with deep business ties to Russia oligarchs close to Putin, fired Tillerson almost immediately after Tillerson sided with Britain (the victim of a Russian chemical weapons attack) against Russia, while Trump was still dragging his feet on doing so.

Sure, that could all be coincidence. But I would hardly say that there is no cause to be suspicious.

By the way, I'm not saying "Russia ordered the firing." I doubt it was that direct. Nor do I think that it was the only reason for Tillerson's firing. But his taking such an overtly anti-Russian stance, while the President was dragging his feet on the issue, may well have been the last straw for Trump.
Your attempts to distract from the actual point (Tillerson and conspiracy theory logic) couldn't get any more obvious.
I'm not trying to "distract" from anything. I'm calling out your attempts to do so. And your "actual point" is nothing but ad hominem and shallow ridicule in an attempt to discredit my argument by discrediting the people making it.
On your fun little neo-McCarthyite red-baiter merry-go-round once again, aren't we? Go back to the 1950s, for fuck's sake. It's embarassing.
Oh, here we go. Anyone who doesn't suck Dear Leader Putin's cock is a McCarthist. Get a new line, troll.

Also, "red-baiter", even more explicitly than "McCarthyite", implies that I am attacking Russia out of a fear.hatred of Communism. This is illogical, as Russia is no longer communist (hint: its fascist) and hasn't been for decades- a fact of which I am well-aware. So by calling me a "red-baiter" for criticizing the Russian government, you are either revealing your own utter historical illiteracy, or being dishonest (hint: its the latter).
But I thought you said Putin had Trump wrapped around his finger? It's funny how your claim morphs to much weaker variants the moment you're challenged on it.
I think there are certain points on which Trump is unwilling to challenge Putin. That does not mean that they must agree completely on every single point, or else no collusion occurred.

It is typical of a dishonest shill like yourself to equate any attempt at nuance or recognizing the complexities of the situation as dishonesty on my part.
Oh ho. So the Big Fucking Idiot Russia Conspiracy Plot goes a little something like this:

1. Trump colluded with Russia to steal American Democracy
2. In exchange, Trump agreed to do with Putin Wants
3. Trump is a 'double-dealing turncoat' though, which explains everytime he does something that the Russians plainly don't want him to do, like expand NATO, build up forces along Russia's border, undermine the Syrian government, or sell lethal arms to Ukraine.
4. Trump is still a Russian Stooge despite 3, so he got so concerned at Tillerson following the British line for the nerve agent attack he immediately fired him.

It all makes sense!
No, it goes (in very abbreviated form) like this:

1. Trump has long-standing business ties with Russian organized crime and Russian oligarchs close to Putin, and a fetish for dictators. This is public knowledge, and has been for a long time.

2. Russia wants to undermine the governments of rival nations, discredit democracy, and keep the anti-Putin Clinton out of the White House. Again, this is common knowledge.

3. Russia tries to cultivate a relationship with Trump and his campaign, has meetings with campaign officials, offers dirt on Clinton, as confirmed by Trump campaign members' released emails. At around the same time, it hacks the DNC and gives the dirt it steals to Wikileaks, as confirmed by various intelligence agencies. Trump associates subsequently admit connections to Wikileaks. Trump "jokingly" asks Putin to release any Clinton emails on television.

4. The Republicans, at Manafort's prompting, add a pro-Russia bit on the Ukraine to the Republican platform at the convention.

5. Russia wages a systematic propaganda campaign which is suspiciously similar in its methods, rhetoric, and targets to the social media campaign of the Trump campaign. This was a subject of the last round of indictments from Mueller. Trump frequently acts more friendly toward Russia and its leader than towards NATO and other close US allies (continuing during his Presidency). We've seen this in his own statements again and again.

6. Trump becomes President in a narrow win in certain key states (including places heavily targeted by the aforementioned propaganda campaign). It is subsequently revealed that Russian gained access to voter databases in a number of states.

7. An investigation, begun during the election and based on the Steel dossier, concerns raised by foreign intelligence services, and others, continues. Trump does everything in his power to obstruct it, waging a full-scale PR campaign against the Justice Department and the Free Press, aided and abetted by fan whores like you.

8. In that context, Trump drags his feet on condemning Russia after it carries out a chemical terrorist attack on civilians in Britain, a close US ally, then fires Tillerson right after he sides with Britain over Russia.
I love it how you use "liar" in contexts where it makes no sense at all.
You are making false and misleading claims, and intellectually irrational arguments. You are doing so either out of stupidity, or dishonesty. Take your pick.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14578
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-22 08:29pm

Part of why this shit pisses me off so much is that these same sorts of arguments, that the allegations of a collusion are a fraudulent conspiracy theory to get Trump, are being advanced right now by powerful people in a deliberate effort to undermine the Justice Department and Free Press, and possibly to provide a casus belli for political violence in the event of an impeachment or indictment of Trump. And I consider those who recklessly parrot such claims morally culpable in any such consequences that follow.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Vympel
Spetsnaz
Spetsnaz
Posts: 28877
Joined: 2002-07-19 01:08am
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vympel » 2018-03-22 11:40pm

I'm so fucking tired of this schtick:
The Romulan Republic wrote: No, it happened the moment he was fired right after publicly criticizing a terrorist chemical weapons attack on an American ally by the Russia government, you unbelievably repellent apologist for fascism.
Go fuck yourself, you gross, ugly-minded McCarthyite shill. Just because someone says your fuckhead conspiracy theory is a fuckhead conspiracy theory doesn't mean they're an 'apologist for fascism'. There is zero connection between these two concepts. Talking to you really is a gigantic waste of time. The moment anyone calls bullshit on your conspiratorial prattle you immediately leap to calling your opponent some variant of an immoral traitor. It's fucking disgusting, and you do it all the fucking time.

You're conceptually no different from the fuckheads from 15 years ago who called everyone saying that the Bush administration was lying about Iraq's WMD as a "Saddam apologist".
Oh, here we go. Anyone who doesn't suck Dear Leader Putin's cock is a McCarthist. Get a new line, troll.
You're an ugly-minded dumbshit. I love it how this goes: you smear your opponent in the most obviously McCarthyist way possible ("Putin apologist") because they think your conspiracy theory is fucking bullshit, and when called on it, you have the audacity to pretend that they're objecting to "not sucking Dear Leader Putin's cock".

Do you have any shame, you repulsive little gremlin?
Also, "red-baiter", even more explicitly than "McCarthyite", implies that I am attacking Russia out of a fear.hatred of Communism. This is illogical, as Russia is no longer communist (hint: its fascist) and hasn't been for decades- a fact of which I am well-aware. So by calling me a "red-baiter" for criticizing the Russian government, you are either revealing your own utter historical illiteracy, or being dishonest (hint: its the latter).
God you're fucking stupid: "I'm not red-baiting, I'm fascist-baiting!"

And you're not being called out for "criticising the Russian government", you shamelessly dishonest asshole, you're being called out for smearing your opponents as apologists for fascism and Putin and whatever else just because they disagree with you.

There's a huge fucking difference.

Going back to actual substance, I have to quote this repellent McCarthyist smear again out of necessity.
No, it happened the moment he was fired right after publicly criticizing a terrorist chemical weapons attack on an American ally by the Russia government
There has been of course no evidence at all that the Salisbury nerve agent attack was ordered or committed by the Russian government and the investigation into that attack has barely begun, but since you're consumed by Russohpobic hysteria it is totally unsurprising that you're willing to take the government's word for it in this particular case without any sort of conclusive evidence. In other news, UK intelligence says that Iraqi Super-UAVs stand ready to attack the UK within 45 minutes, so we should attack Iraq, right?
Your sarcastic jeering at the idea of Trump being held accountable, and at those who want to see it happen, is suggestive as to your true motives and sympathies.
Oh absolutely. My motive is to mock delusions that Trump is going to be jailed or some such, and my sympathies lie with the people in the US who actually oppose the Republican's poisonous national agenda in a substantive, politically enlightened way based on socialist ideals, not the gormless mass of establishment-worshipping goons praying for Mueller (the Iraq War enabling liar) to save them with fantasies of impeachment.
The entire US intelligence community confirmed that Russian interference occurred (which you have denied).
False. Analysts from 3 agencies* assert it occurred, and to date have still provided no evidence whatsoever to substantiate that assertion. I'm not in the business of trusting the word of the 'US intelligence community', because they are lying, torturing, extraordinary rendition-committing, murderous scumbags and general enemies of democracy, and have been for decades.

*This was converted into the propagandistic "17 intelligence agencies" canard, as if the fucking Coast Guard's intelligence agency has anything useful to say on the matter. Pretty sure this has already been discussed on this thread.

Also, for someone who claims to decry fascism, your apparent deference to the US Intelligence Community - comprising the most reactionary and anti-democratic elements in the US government is hilarious.
The emails from members of the Trump campaign demonstrate that at least an attempt at collusion occurred.
The emails from members of the Trump campaign don't refer to any 'attempt' to collude in what 'the Russians' are alleged to have done (i.e. hacking).
Because massive organized crime cases take time, and Mueller is not a sloppy fuck, but a professional who is methodical in building the strongest possible case. Which is fortunate and necessary, given the efforts of apologist scum like you to undermine any attempt to uphold the rule of law in America.
Why don't you put in a jpeg of a crying Eagle or some other embarassing shit there, and complete the picture of yourself you're painting? But sure, Mueller is building the 'strongest possible case', which is why no one he's actually charged has pled guilty to anything actually involving the 2016 campaign or Russia's alleged interference, and why when they are charged they're charged with ... lying.

The foundation of any strong case is branding all of your potential witnesses as liars. Brilliant strategy.
Are you denying that Trump is frequently self-contradictory?
The issue isn't whether Trump is contradictory, but whether your Unified TrumpRussia Theory is. And it totally is. It's a jumbled mess of contradictory nonsense where any inconsistency is dismissed as "oh well Trump's just inconsistent so it doesn't effect the integrity of my theory!"
Pretending that this one example proves collusion allegations are Fake News
Never said that, sorry. I'm perfectly willing to attack every example you have for the moronic nonsense it is, though.
He is a man who is very stupid about a great many things, but has one undeniable talent- playing the media.

I've been very consistent, incidentally, in arguing this interpretation of Trump.
Uh huh, so your theory is that Trump appointed Tillerson BECAUSE PUTIN, fired Tillerson BECAUSE PUTIN, but replaced him with an anti-Russian hawk to merely confuse the media. It's so inane it refutes itself.
My point is that whatever the reason for firing Tillerson, Trump did it in a way that made it appear to be an act supporting Russia against Britain. Why?
Tell me, what period of time would you allow to elapse after Tillerson made a meanginless verbal me-too for Theresa May's allegations so that you wouldn't accuse Trump of doing Putin's bidding in sacking him? Especially since the rest of Trump's administration has backed the British government in their accusations?
The problem with that argument is that you haven't disproved the theory, either about Tillerson specifically or in the bigger picture. So my rejecting that notion does not prove that I will dismiss any evidence as "part of the conspiracy".
No, for any remotely reasonable person, the evidence to the contrary is exceedingly obvious. You are not a reasonable person.
And FYI, if Mueller says that he cannot prove collusion by Trump personally, I will accept that he is acting in good faith unless I have a very good reason not.
Says the guy who repeatedly talks like its already a proven fact.
I'm not trying to "distract" from anything. I'm calling out your attempts to do so. And your "actual point" is nothing but ad hominem and shallow ridicule in an attempt to discredit my argument by discrediting the people making it.
Coming from someone whose entire modus operandi is neo-McCarthyite-smear-your-opponent-then-pretend-you-didn't, that's rich.
I think there are certain points on which Trump is unwilling to challenge Putin. That does not mean that they must agree completely on every single point, or else no collusion occurred.

It is typical of a dishonest shill like yourself to equate any attempt at nuance or recognizing the complexities of the situation as dishonesty on my part.
Nuance? More like bullshit. In post after post you decree Trump's a traitor, then slink backwards to "oh he's unwilling to challenge him" or some other milquetoast bullshit half-claim. Until the next time, when you make the same absurd treason claims all over again.
1. Trump has long-standing business ties with Russian organized crime and Russian oligarchs close to Putin, and a fetish for dictators. This is public knowledge, and has been for a long time.
A pastiche of claims which is evidence for absolutely nothing. Russian oligarchs 'close to Putin' (whatever the fuck that means) do business all over the globe. "Fetish for dictators" could describe literally any US President who has ever held the office. Imagine being over 11 years old and believing otherwise. Russian organized crime? Let me guess, what the Russian mafia does is under the control of Putin, right?
2. Russia wants to undermine the governments of rival nations, discredit democracy, and keep the anti-Putin Clinton out of the White House. Again, this is common knowledge.
Again, evidence of absolutely nothing.
3. Russia tries to cultivate a relationship with Trump and his campaign, has meetings with campaign officials, offers dirt on Clinton, as confirmed by Trump campaign members' released emails. At around the same time, it hacks the DNC and gives the dirt it steals to Wikileaks, as confirmed by various intelligence agencies. Trump associates subsequently admit connections to Wikileaks. Trump "jokingly" asks Putin to release any Clinton emails on television.
No evidence for these claims whatsoever. There's no evidence that "Russia"* tried to cultivate a relationship with Trump or his campaign. There's also literally not a shred of evidence whatsoever that wikileaks got anything from Russia.

*Random Russian lawyers communicating with the Trump campaign != Russia. What's next, if I have a meeting with Trump does that mean that "Australia" is trying to cultivate a relatsionship with him? I've already been over this earlier in the thread of course, with an exhaustive article by an actual (anti-Putin!) Russian about how ridiculous this idea was, but heaven forbid you absorb any of it.
4. The Republicans, at Manafort's prompting, add a pro-Russia bit on the Ukraine to the Republican platform at the convention.
Lie. Have you even read the Republican platform, you imbecile? The Republican platform was going to provide that Ukraine should be provided with lethal arms. The platform was changed from providing "lethal defensive weapons" to "appropriate assistance".

The idea that this is 'pro-Russian' in character, and not a refusal to enshrine wildly irresponsible foreign policy into a campaign document, is bullshit.

And again - which you've repeatedly ignored because you're a partisan hack - that change in the platform meant that the Republican platform mirrored that of .... Barack Obama. Who repeatedly refused to provide lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine because it would be pointless and destabilising.

I guess Obama was "Pro-Russia" for doing that, right?

Oh and again - Trump's done that now anyway.
5. Russia wages a systematic propaganda campaign which is suspiciously similar in its methods, rhetoric, and targets to the social media campaign of the Trump campaign. This was a subject of the last round of indictments from Mueller.
What, you mean the few hundred grand worth of lame memes on Facebook, some 50% of which were after the election? That's your 'systematic propaganda campaign?
Trump frequently acts more friendly toward Russia and its leader than towards NATO and other close US allies (continuing during his Presidency). We've seen this in his own statements again and again.
ROFLMAO. Yeah, he's acted so friendly. I'm sure the Russians appreciate that alleged friendliness while the US boosts troop numbers on its borders, bombs its allies in Syria, hurls invective at it in every international forum and arms its opponents.
6. Trump becomes President in a narrow win in certain key states (including places heavily targeted by the aforementioned propaganda campaign). It is subsequently revealed that Russian gained access to voter databases in a number of states.
Oh my god, you live in a fucking fantasy land:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/ ... 304d46faad
With $81 million spent on Facebook by the Trump and Clinton campaigns, mostly to mobilize core supporters to donate and volunteer, a low-six-figure buy is unlikely to have tipped the election. The Russian effort looks even less influential when one considers the tiny amount of Russian Facebook spending directed at key battleground states — $1,979 in Wisconsin, $823 in Michigan and $300 in Pennsylvania. From an electoral perspective, the campaign was remarkably unsophisticated.
$1,979 in Wisconsin. HEAVILY TARGETED.

Hey, you think if Hillary Clinton had shown up in Wisconsin, that $1,979 would've been less decisive?

Fuck's sake. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent in campaign dollars, and you're sitting here worried about a few grand worth of bad memes by a Russian troll farm.

As for voter databases story, that's expressly bullshit, but there's no surprise advocates for a conspiracy theory cling to long debunked information:

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity ... systems-in
“NBC’s reporting tonight on the 2016 elections is not accurate and is actively undermining efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to work in close partnership with state and local governments to protect the nation’s election systems from foreign actors," DHS acting press secretary Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement.

His comments come after U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News that an analysis requested by President Obama in the last weeks of his administration showed that Russian operatives penetrated the websites or databases of Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin.

The officials said that several states were warned about the breaches before the 2016 election, but none were told that Moscow was behind it.

But DHS pushed back, saying in its statement: "We have no intelligence – new or old – that corroborates NBC’s reporting that state systems in seven states were compromised by Russian government actors. We believe tonight’s story to be factually inaccurate and misleading."

Six of the seven states that officials said were targeted deny they were breached, based on their own investigations, NBC News reported. All state and federal officials that spoke with the news outlet said that votes were not tampered with.
I'm sure you'll adjust your story now, right?
7. An investigation, begun during the election and based on the Steel dossier
Ah yes, the profoundly moronic document prepared by a guy paying Russians he never actually met for dirt on behalf of the Democrats - which proposes the Russians are so smart they figured Trump was presidential material back when he was still a TV host.
concerns raised by foreign intelligence services, and others, continues. Trump does everything in his power to obstruct it, waging a full-scale PR campaign against the Justice Department and the Free Press, aided and abetted by fan whores like you.
Oh no, not the Free Press (how impressive, capital letters!). The entirety of your media establishment has been captured by 6 corporations in service to arms dealers and energy companies, you goon. Wake the fuck up. Your press isn't "free", they're a handmaiden to the corporate oligarchy that rules you, and their conduct in this entire debacle has been an utter disgrace.

But sure, the Free Press openly moots the possibility that Trump is a Russian-compromised traitor to his country and you wonder why he vociferously attacks it. I'm sure any politician would be absolutely supine in the face of those attacks.
8. In that context, Trump drags his feet on condemning Russia after it carries out a chemical terrorist attack on civilians in Britain, a close US ally, then fires Tillerson right after he sides with Britain over Russia.
As above, the same old nonsense as before.
Like Legend of Galactic Heroes? Please contribute to http://gineipaedia.com/

User avatar
Alyrium Denryle
Minister of Sin
Posts: 22022
Joined: 2002-07-11 08:34pm
Location: The Deep Desert
Contact:

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-03-23 08:03am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-22 08:18pm
Vympel wrote:
2018-03-22 07:06pm
That's a terrible analogy, obviously. If one were to use science as an analogy, then TrumpRussia Insanity isn't 'science', it's a hypothesis.
My point, as you ought to be aware, is that disproving one specific claim does not automatically disprove all claims.

Perhaps a more precise analogy would be "Disproving one line of The Origin of Species" would not disprove the Theory of Evolution (although I dare say that to a lot of the Trumper crowd, it would).
Yeah, so in other words, the moment it became useful to TrumpRussia Bullshit Artists, Tillerson went from Putin's Stooge (in a way that no one ever actually explained or proved, ever) to Man Who Reached the Line.
No, it happened the moment he was fired right after publicly criticizing a terrorist chemical weapons attack on an American ally by the Russia government, you unbelievably repellent apologist for fascism.
TRR: While I might soft-disagree with Vympel on the TrumpRussia matter, your conduct here is unacceptable. Shape up and fucking argue rather than engaging in smears. Failure to do so will result in sanctions to be determined by staff but you can be damned certain I will start flushing posts at a minimum.
GALE Force Biological Agent/
BOTM/Great Dolphin Conspiracy/
Entomology and Evolutionary Biology Subdirector:SD.net Dept. of Biological Sciences


There is Grandeur in the View of Life; it fills me with a Deep Wonder, and Intense Cynicism.

Factio republicanum delenda est

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30092
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-23 11:36am

Vympel wrote:
2018-03-22 11:40pm
I'm so fucking tired of this schtick:
The Romulan Republic wrote: No, it happened the moment he was fired right after publicly criticizing a terrorist chemical weapons attack on an American ally by the Russia government, you unbelievably repellent apologist for fascism.
Go fuck yourself, you gross, ugly-minded McCarthyite shill. Just because someone says your fuckhead conspiracy theory is a fuckhead conspiracy theory doesn't mean they're an 'apologist for fascism'. There is zero connection between these two concepts. Talking to you really is a gigantic waste of time. The moment anyone calls bullshit on your conspiratorial prattle you immediately leap to calling your opponent some variant of an immoral traitor. It's fucking disgusting, and you do it all the fucking time.
For the record, I, too, think that there is strong evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

I, too, consider the Trump campaign and administration to be proto-fascist.

And as more investigations are opened and more charges are filed, and as it becomes increasingly clear what is and has been going on, the "hard skepticism" position on Trump campaign collusion with Russia starts to look like willful blindness at best.

It's like saying the Watergate burglary was a frame-up masterminded by the Democrats. That might have been tenable for a while in 1973, but by 1975 it had lost any semblance of credibility. At that point, "apologist for Nixon" is a fair characterization of anyone still trying to pretend Nixon was anything other than guilty of using criminal activity to benefit his re-election campaign. And if Nixon had been any more of an authoritarian goon than he was, calling that "apologism for fascism" would be far from the least accurate thing one could have said about it.

I'm going to be honest here. We have excellent reason to be seriously concerned about the US government collapsing into fascism right now. The Republican Party has shown that it is entirely willing to cast aside democratic norms to remain in power, the Trump administration is more focused on personal loyalty to a domineering oaf of a president then any other in American history, and the Big Lie is in the biggest, yugest form we've ever seen it.

Our president is under active investigation by multiple avenues for offenses that directly strike at democratic institutions, to the point where a competent investigator who didn't have solid evidence would have either given up or started closing investigations. Numerous men under him have been charged with crimes, crimes that an experienced prosecutor clearly thinks he can make stick. Is the process of investigation unfolding slowly? Yes, it is. But there is ample evidence that the investigation is proceeding, even as it proceeds at a gradual pace.
Oh absolutely. My motive is to mock delusions that Trump is going to be jailed or some such, and my sympathies lie with the people in the US who actually oppose the Republican's poisonous national agenda in a substantive, politically enlightened way based on socialist ideals, not the gormless mass of establishment-worshipping goons praying for Mueller (the Iraq War enabling liar) to save them with fantasies of impeachment.
I'd like to oppose the Republicans' national agenda AND I'd like Trump to be impeached. What does that make me?
Why don't you put in a jpeg of a crying Eagle or some other embarassing shit there, and complete the picture of yourself you're painting? But sure, Mueller is building the 'strongest possible case', which is why no one he's actually charged has pled guilty to anything actually involving the 2016 campaign or Russia's alleged interference, and why when they are charged they're charged with ... lying.

The foundation of any strong case is branding all of your potential witnesses as liars. Brilliant strategy.
This doesn't even make sense. To be able to prove charges of lying to the FBI, the prosecutors must have documentation proving the lies. How is it anything other than plausible that the purpose of all this is to construct a trail of incriminating documents, rather than incriminating witness testimony?

I mean, suppose, hypothetically, that Mueller is a competent prosecutor and investigator who actually has real crimes to investigate. How would his actions look different than they do now?
And FYI, if Mueller says that he cannot prove collusion by Trump personally, I will accept that he is acting in good faith unless I have a very good reason not.
Says the guy who repeatedly talks like its already a proven fact.
To be fair to TRR, I talk as if it is a fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It always has. I have good reasons to expect it to do so tomorrow, and good reasons to think this state of affairs cannot change.

But if the sun rose in the west, while I would certainly be surprised, I would believe what I was seeing.

1. Trump has long-standing business ties with Russian organized crime and Russian oligarchs close to Putin, and a fetish for dictators. This is public knowledge, and has been for a long time.
A pastiche of claims which is evidence for absolutely nothing. Russian oligarchs 'close to Putin' (whatever the fuck that means) do business all over the globe. "Fetish for dictators" could describe literally any US President who has ever held the office. Imagine being over 11 years old and believing otherwise. Russian organized crime? Let me guess, what the Russian mafia does is under the control of Putin, right?
This deflects the underlying purpose of point (1). The purpose is to outline something, which can be proven, but not in a single paragraph. The fact being outlined is that Trump has a large array of past contacts in Russia, more so than any past presidential candidate and more so than many American business figures as well.

This provides the means for collusion between a Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. It would be extremely straightforward for either Putin or Trump to try to "pull strings" via some of those past connections and channels. In itself this does not prove what happened, but it does form background for the issue at stake.
3. Russia tries to cultivate a relationship with Trump and his campaign, has meetings with campaign officials, offers dirt on Clinton, as confirmed by Trump campaign members' released emails. At around the same time, it hacks the DNC and gives the dirt it steals to Wikileaks, as confirmed by various intelligence agencies. Trump associates subsequently admit connections to Wikileaks. Trump "jokingly" asks Putin to release any Clinton emails on television.
No evidence for these claims whatsoever. There's no evidence that "Russia"* tried to cultivate a relationship with Trump or his campaign. There's also literally not a shred of evidence whatsoever that wikileaks got anything from Russia.

*Random Russian lawyers communicating with the Trump campaign != Russia. What's next, if I have a meeting with Trump does that mean that "Australia" is trying to cultivate a relatsionship with him? I've already been over this earlier in the thread of course, with an exhaustive article by an actual (anti-Putin!) Russian about how ridiculous this idea was, but heaven forbid you absorb any of it.
We can, if you like, go into this further...

But just out of curiosity, what level of persistent contact by Russian nationals deniably associated with the Russian government could ever add up to "influenced by the Russian government" in your eyes?

I mean, if the president of a Latin American country meets with 100 fruit company executives and a few 'retired' CIA personnel, do we start to wonder whether US influence may be affecting that nation's policy? Or do we laugh it off because 'no evidence' of US government influence?
5. Russia wages a systematic propaganda campaign which is suspiciously similar in its methods, rhetoric, and targets to the social media campaign of the Trump campaign. This was a subject of the last round of indictments from Mueller.
What, you mean the few hundred grand worth of lame memes on Facebook, some 50% of which were after the election? That's your 'systematic propaganda campaign?
Exactly why were those hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, hypothetically? Is there an alternate explanation besides "foreigners trying to influence US politics to Trump's benefit?" Is it somehow surprising that hundreds of thousands of dollars of such spending would be investigated?
Oh no, not the Free Press (how impressive, capital letters!). The entirety of your media establishment has been captured by 6 corporations in service to arms dealers and energy companies, you goon. Wake the fuck up. Your press isn't "free", they're a handmaiden to the corporate oligarchy that rules you, and their conduct in this entire debacle has been an utter disgrace.
Exactly why would a bunch of corporate oligarchs be trying so hard to discredit President Trump?
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 14578
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-23 03:58pm

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-03-23 08:03am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-22 08:18pm
Vympel wrote:
2018-03-22 07:06pm
That's a terrible analogy, obviously. If one were to use science as an analogy, then TrumpRussia Insanity isn't 'science', it's a hypothesis.
My point, as you ought to be aware, is that disproving one specific claim does not automatically disprove all claims.

Perhaps a more precise analogy would be "Disproving one line of The Origin of Species" would not disprove the Theory of Evolution (although I dare say that to a lot of the Trumper crowd, it would).
Yeah, so in other words, the moment it became useful to TrumpRussia Bullshit Artists, Tillerson went from Putin's Stooge (in a way that no one ever actually explained or proved, ever) to Man Who Reached the Line.
No, it happened the moment he was fired right after publicly criticizing a terrorist chemical weapons attack on an American ally by the Russia government, you unbelievably repellent apologist for fascism.
TRR: While I might soft-disagree with Vympel on the TrumpRussia matter, your conduct here is unacceptable. Shape up and fucking argue rather than engaging in smears. Failure to do so will result in sanctions to be determined by staff but you can be damned certain I will start flushing posts at a minimum.
Is it now board policy that one may not insult their opponent under any circumstances? Because otherwise, I'm not sure what I am supposed to do differently. You make it sound as though I have posted no substantive argument, but only insulted Vympel. That is simply not the case (see my last post in which I provided a summary of the evidence for Russian collusion, and the context in which Tillerson's firing appears suspicious).

I would also like to ask you as a moderator weather Vympel calling me a "red-baiter", McCarthyist, a conspiracy theorist, and posting "Go fuck yourself, you gross, ugly-minded McCarthyite shill." while accusing me of posting a "fuckhead conspiracy theory" is likewise considered an unacceptable level of insult. If not, why?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

User avatar
Vympel
Spetsnaz
Spetsnaz
Posts: 28877
Joined: 2002-07-19 01:08am
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vympel » 2018-03-23 11:33pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-23 11:36am
For the record, I, too, think that there is strong evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

I, too, consider the Trump campaign and administration to be proto-fascist.

And as more investigations are opened and more charges are filed, and as it becomes increasingly clear what is and has been going on, the "hard skepticism" position on Trump campaign collusion with Russia starts to look like willful blindness at best.

It's like saying the Watergate burglary was a frame-up masterminded by the Democrats. That might have been tenable for a while in 1973, but by 1975 it had lost any semblance of credibility. At that point, "apologist for Nixon" is a fair characterization of anyone still trying to pretend Nixon was anything other than guilty of using criminal activity to benefit his re-election campaign. And if Nixon had been any more of an authoritarian goon than he was, calling that "apologism for fascism" would be far from the least accurate thing one could have said about it.

I'm going to be honest here. We have excellent reason to be seriously concerned about the US government collapsing into fascism right now. The Republican Party has shown that it is entirely willing to cast aside democratic norms to remain in power, the Trump administration is more focused on personal loyalty to a domineering oaf of a president then any other in American history, and the Big Lie is in the biggest, yugest form we've ever seen it.

Our president is under active investigation by multiple avenues for offenses that directly strike at democratic institutions, to the point where a competent investigator who didn't have solid evidence would have either given up or started closing investigations. Numerous men under him have been charged with crimes, crimes that an experienced prosecutor clearly thinks he can make stick. Is the process of investigation unfolding slowly? Yes, it is. But there is ample evidence that the investigation is proceeding, even as it proceeds at a gradual pace.
The investigation into Nixon was based on concrete crimes and there were mountains of evidence of his complicity. To pretend that there's any evidence at all that Trump is somehow involved in criminal activity relating specifically to 'collusion' with alleged Russian election interference is a fantasy. There remains no evidence for this at all. Precisely zero percent of crimes that men under him have been charged with have anything to do with the election campaign.

The assertion that a 'competent investigator' would at this stage have given up or started closing investigations is baseless. His investigation has such a wide-ranging brief that it's impossible for an outsider to make a meaningful statement in that regard.
I'd like to oppose the Republicans' national agenda AND I'd like Trump to be impeached. What does that make me?
The point is that Trump isn't going to be impeached. Impeachment is a political project, not a legal one. If you think the Republicans would ever allow him to be impeached, you're fooling yourself.
This doesn't even make sense. To be able to prove charges of lying to the FBI, the prosecutors must have documentation proving the lies. How is it anything other than plausible that the purpose of all this is to construct a trail of incriminating documents, rather than incriminating witness testimony?

I mean, suppose, hypothetically, that Mueller is a competent prosecutor and investigator who actually has real crimes to investigate. How would his actions look different than they do now?
What 'incriminating documents' you think Mueller would get from these people? You're talking hypothetical allegations of collusion with a foreign government to commit crimes aimed at influencing the election. Testimony from insiders is essential to make those charges stick. There's zero evidence such testimony is going to be forthcoming, and if it is, it has been undermined by painting them as convicted liars.
To be fair to TRR, I talk as if it is a fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It always has. I have good reasons to expect it to do so tomorrow, and good reasons to think this state of affairs cannot change.

But if the sun rose in the west, while I would certainly be surprised, I would believe what I was seeing.
That's a very nice analogy, it also has no basis in any sort of observable reality.
This deflects the underlying purpose of point (1). The purpose is to outline something, which can be proven, but not in a single paragraph. The fact being outlined is that Trump has a large array of past contacts in Russia, more so than any past presidential candidate and more so than many American business figures as well.

This provides the means for collusion between a Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. It would be extremely straightforward for either Putin or Trump to try to "pull strings" via some of those past connections and channels. In itself this does not prove what happened, but it does form background for the issue at stake.
You actually think that if you haven't had business dealings with someone in Russia there's no 'means' for collusion? Its meaningless.
We can, if you like, go into this further...

But just out of curiosity, what level of persistent contact by Russian nationals deniably associated with the Russian government could ever add up to "influenced by the Russian government" in your eyes?
Absolutely zero, because I don't actually believe in flagrantly unjust guilt-by-association arguments like the one you just made. Tell me, do you apply this standard equally? Is every foreign national who has persistent contact with someone acting as an agent of influence for their government, or is it just those spooky Russians who are commanded by Lord Sauron up on Mordor?
I mean, if the president of a Latin American country meets with 100 fruit company executives and a few 'retired' CIA personnel, do we start to wonder whether US influence may be affecting that nation's policy? Or do we laugh it off because 'no evidence' of US government influence?
Are you suggesting that President Trump regularly meets with Russian corporate executives and 'retired' SVR pesonnel?
Exactly why were those hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, hypothetically? Is there an alternate explanation besides "foreigners trying to influence US politics to Trump's benefit?" Is it somehow surprising that hundreds of thousands of dollars of such spending would be investigated?
Firstly, TRR's assertion was that the Internet Research Agency's amateurish, small-time, el-cheapo troll operation - conducted by people who barely understood English and who according to the indictment didn't even know what a 'purple state' was until June 2016 (Cambridge Analytica eat your heart out) was some sort of masterful systematic propaganda campaign with vast resources directed at 'heavily targeting' vulnerable states. Not a word of that is true. It's false from beginning to end.

As to why that pittance of money was thrown, Adrian Chen of the New Yorker, who first broke the story (in the English speaking world, it was Russian outlet RBC who first did the reporting) called it nothing more than a social media marketing campaign, whose impact was being wildly overblown. Nowhere in Mueller's indictment does he assert that this was done on the orders of the Russian government. Chen notes that when first reporting on the story, it was suggested as an independent project by the boss of the IRA to curry favour with the government. Noting that much of this lame meme posting came after the election, Masha Gessen calls the notion that this was designed to elect Trump as opposed to troll the United States ridiculous:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-colu ... ndictments
Trump’s tweet about Moscow laughing its ass off was unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate. Loyal Putinites and dissident intellectuals alike are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous. The intellectuals are amused to see Americans so struck by an indictment that adds virtually nothing to a piece published in the Russian media outlet RBC, back in October; I wrote at the time that the article showed the Russian effort to be more of a cacophony than a conspiracy. The Kremlin and its media are, as Joshua Yaffa writes, tickled to be taken so seriously. Their sub-grammatical imitations of American political rhetoric, their overtures to the most marginal of political players, are suddenly at the very heart of American political life. This is the sort of thing Russians have done for decades, dating back at least to the early days of the Cold War, but those efforts were always relegated to the dustbin of history before they even began.

Goldman, the Facebook V.P., has seen more of the Russian ads and posts than most Americans, and his imagination clearly strains to accommodate the push to take them seriously. It’s hard to square words like “sophisticated” (frequently used by the Times to describe the Russian campaign) with posts like one from an apparently fake L.G.B.T. group promoting something called “Buff Bernie: A Coloring Book for Berniacs” with catchy English-language copy: “The coloring is something that suits for all people.” It’s hard to apply the description “bold covert effort” (used by Politico) to the enormous amount of social-network static that Russian trolls produced. To Goldman, it may all look like a giant gray mass in which only a few colorful ads and posts have any meaning—and that meaning is hard to discern.

The need to see the Russian effort as somehow meaningful and masterly has produced its own experts in the field. Molly McKew, who identifies as an “information warfare expert,” has said that, back in the day, Soviet intelligence designed a “ninety/ten” approach in order to “embed” its agents in political communities: ninety per cent of what they produced mirrored what they saw, so that they could blend in before starting to sow discord. This idea makes so much sense that it doesn’t seem to matter that McKew offers no source for it or, indeed, any credentials for her own expertise. She is the C.E.O. of a company called Fianna Strategies, which seems to be a tiny Washington-based lobbying operation that has worked for the opposition parties in Georgia and Moldova. McKew’s “information warfare expertise” appears entirely self-styled, yet so great is our need for a rational interpretation of incomprehensible events that recently she has published extensively in Politico and appeared on Slate’s Trumpcast. Russians, meanwhile, have laughed parts of their anatomy off over her coverage of the Gerasimov Doctrine, which is a thing that, well, doesn’t exist.
Exactly why would a bunch of corporate oligarchs be trying so hard to discredit President Trump?
Is that a joke? Because their ratings and circulation has never been better. Because it benefits their bottom line to keep this front and center. And while the press obsessively covers the TrumpRussia story, they ignore everything else and make it easy for Trump's administration to commit outrage after outrage with virtually no pushback. What should be given a full-court-press from the media is completely silenced. His outrageous tax cuts (which, of course, all the major owners of the establish media agreed with) coasted on through. The Saudi destruction of Yemen, aided and abetted by US arms, continues unabated. Teacher's strikes? Who gives a shit, right? It's all TrumpRussia, all the time. It's exhausting and mind-numbing and its killing by inches.

https://fair.org/home/russia-or-corpora ... nbc-cover/
At the beginning of December, liberal TV hosts Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow—the anchors of MSNBC‘s primetime schedule—were confronted with ever-escalating breaking news. In the span of a week, from December 1 through December 7, President Donald Trump shrank two national monuments, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saw his travel ban upheld by the Supreme Court and possibly began to create his own spy network. Meanwhile, the Senate passed a tax “reform” bill that would radically restructure the US economy at the expense of poor and middle-class Americans, and climate change-fueled wildfires devastated Southern California.

Yet on the days their shows aired during those seven days—the weekdays, December 1 and 4–7—both Hayes and Maddow bypassed all these stories to lead with minutiae from the ongoing Russia investigation that has consumed MSNBC‘s coverage like no other news event since the beginning of the Trump presidency. Topical news of the day, whether on legislation or natural disasters, took a backseat. The Comcast-owned network’s two most popular personalities used their position to focus endlessly on speculative coverage of Russia’s role in the 2016 election—devoting the bulk of each show’s 15-minutes opening segment to the story, at a minimum.
https://fair.org/home/msnbc-yemen-russia-coverage-2017/
For the popular US cable news network MSNBC, the largest humanitarian catastrophe in the world is apparently not worth much attention—even as the US government has played a key role in creating and maintaining that unparalleled crisis.

An analysis by FAIR has found that the leading liberal cable network did not run a single segment devoted specifically to Yemen in the second half of 2017.

And in these latter roughly six months of the year, MSNBC ran nearly 5,000 percent more segments that mentioned Russia than segments that mentioned Yemen.
https://fair.org/home/msnbcs-big-names- ... rs-strike/
Eight days into the first wildcat strike by West Virginia teachers in 27 years—organized by rank-and-file union members in all 55 West Virginia counties—America’s largest liberal cable network, MSNBC, is a virtual no-show in reporting on the momentous labor unrest.

Save for one two-minute throwaway report from daytime show Velshi and Ruhle (2/27/18), MSNBC hasn’t dedicated a single segment to the strike—despite the strike’s unprecedented size and scope, which garnered major coverage from major outlets like CNN (3/1/18), the New York Times (3/1/18), Washington Post (3/2/18), Vox (2/24/18) and dozens of others.

The most glaring omission is from the three highly paid primetime hosts: Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and former In These Times and Nation writer Chris Hayes. None of the three big hosts have tweeted about it, much less mentioned the subject on air.
Like Legend of Galactic Heroes? Please contribute to http://gineipaedia.com/

User avatar
Alyrium Denryle
Minister of Sin
Posts: 22022
Joined: 2002-07-11 08:34pm
Location: The Deep Desert
Contact:

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-03-23 11:41pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-23 03:58pm
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
2018-03-23 08:03am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-22 08:18pm


My point, as you ought to be aware, is that disproving one specific claim does not automatically disprove all claims.

Perhaps a more precise analogy would be "Disproving one line of The Origin of Species" would not disprove the Theory of Evolution (although I dare say that to a lot of the Trumper crowd, it would).



No, it happened the moment he was fired right after publicly criticizing a terrorist chemical weapons attack on an American ally by the Russia government, you unbelievably repellent apologist for fascism.
TRR: While I might soft-disagree with Vympel on the TrumpRussia matter, your conduct here is unacceptable. Shape up and fucking argue rather than engaging in smears. Failure to do so will result in sanctions to be determined by staff but you can be damned certain I will start flushing posts at a minimum.
Is it now board policy that one may not insult their opponent under any circumstances? Because otherwise, I'm not sure what I am supposed to do differently. You make it sound as though I have posted no substantive argument, but only insulted Vympel. That is simply not the case (see my last post in which I provided a summary of the evidence for Russian collusion, and the context in which Tillerson's firing appears suspicious).

I would also like to ask you as a moderator weather Vympel calling me a "red-baiter", McCarthyist, a conspiracy theorist, and posting "Go fuck yourself, you gross, ugly-minded McCarthyite shill." while accusing me of posting a "fuckhead conspiracy theory" is likewise considered an unacceptable level of insult. If not, why?
Stop clutching your pearls and playing the victim. He started insulting you after you went off on him. Responding in kind has never been unacceptable here. You've been warned numerous times regarding your general behavior. We don't let getting reports about you.
We don't WANT to dust off the ban hammer, but...
GALE Force Biological Agent/
BOTM/Great Dolphin Conspiracy/
Entomology and Evolutionary Biology Subdirector:SD.net Dept. of Biological Sciences


There is Grandeur in the View of Life; it fills me with a Deep Wonder, and Intense Cynicism.

Factio republicanum delenda est

User avatar
Ziggy Stardust
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2754
Joined: 2006-09-10 10:16pm
Location: Research Triangle, NC

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-03-24 08:38pm

Vympel wrote:
2018-03-22 07:54pm
That Russia may have attempted to meddle in the 2016 election for any number of reasons - without the active participation / connivance of the Trump campaign is of course far more believable than "Trump is Putin's puppet". But when someone talks about Tillerson getting sacked as part of some TrumpRussia! paradigm, you're well out of the realm of that formulation.
If the argument is that the ONLY reason Tillerson was sacked was because Putin personally wanted him gone and told Trump to do it, then I would agree with you. But that doesn't quite seem to be the argument being made. Even TRR, who I think is a little unreasonably over-reactive about these sorts of things, admitted rather explicitly that there were likely multiple reasons that Tillerson was sacked but that the timing vis-a-vis Russia was suspicious. I don't even particularly agree with TRR about Tillerson specifically (I agree with you that his sacking was predominantly the result of his personal tensions with Trump and the Gulf emirates), but I still think he is making a more nuanced argument than you are giving him credit for.

(By the way, Vympel, since I know you have a lot of point-by-point posts coming at you from both TRR and Simon right now, I won't begrudge you for not responding to this; I have no wish to dogpile or overwhelm you.)

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30092
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-26 02:30am

Vympel wrote:
2018-03-23 11:33pm
The investigation into Nixon was based on concrete crimes and there were mountains of evidence of his complicity. To pretend that there's any evidence at all that Trump is somehow involved in criminal activity relating specifically to 'collusion' with alleged Russian election interference is a fantasy. There remains no evidence for this at all. Precisely zero percent of crimes that men under him have been charged with have anything to do with the election campaign.
I can think of a number of reasons why Mueller might not robotically charge everyone with every crime he has evidence for, at the first moment when he has sufficient evidence to consider pressing charges.
The assertion that a 'competent investigator' would at this stage have given up or started closing investigations is baseless. His investigation has such a wide-ranging brief that it's impossible for an outsider to make a meaningful statement in that regard.]
If he has zero evidence of significant crimes, it doesn't matter how wide-ranging his brief is. A competent investigator would have stopped barking up an unproductive tree.
I'd like to oppose the Republicans' national agenda AND I'd like Trump to be impeached. What does that make me?
The point is that Trump isn't going to be impeached. Impeachment is a political project, not a legal one. If you think the Republicans would ever allow him to be impeached, you're fooling yourself.
Firstly, that doesn't stop me from wanting it to happen. Secondly, it is well within the realm of the possible that after November 2018, it will be out of the Republicans' hands- that a Democratic majority in the House will be in a good position to pass impeachment proceedings. And that IF Mueller has in fact collected evidence of major crimes on Trump's part, the Republicans in the Senate will be forced to choose between turning on Trump (a total lame duck by this point) or losing so massively in the Senate come 2020 that they won't have even a scrap of power as a minority party afterwards.

This combination of pressures may not arise. But hoping for it to happen in no way prevents me from "opposing the Republicans' agenda."
This doesn't even make sense. To be able to prove charges of lying to the FBI, the prosecutors must have documentation proving the lies. How is it anything other than plausible that the purpose of all this is to construct a trail of incriminating documents, rather than incriminating witness testimony?

I mean, suppose, hypothetically, that Mueller is a competent prosecutor and investigator who actually has real crimes to investigate. How would his actions look different than they do now?
What 'incriminating documents' you think Mueller would get from these people? You're talking hypothetical allegations of collusion with a foreign government to commit crimes aimed at influencing the election. Testimony from insiders is essential to make those charges stick. There's zero evidence such testimony is going to be forthcoming, and if it is, it has been undermined by painting them as convicted liars.
Given how heavily everyone involved is relying on emails, I can think of a LOT of ways Mueller might have, or expect to be able to build, a purely document-based trail of evidence that would give him grounds to make all sorts of charges.

If he's going around proving that people he's interviewing lied, there are a variety of means by which he can profit from that. One, it discredits them as witnesses for the defense at a later date. Two, it allows him to highlight documents he's collected that confirm certain information that the interviewees are now denying. Three, it gives them a strong incentive to help him find other, non-verbal evidence that does not rely purely on the validity of their testimony- for example, to hand over their correspondence.

Do you really think a prosecutor must be foolish or self-sabotaging, for trying to catch the people he suspects of participating in a crime in a lie? Are you asking me to speculate on the contents of incriminating documents that might reveal the secrets of a criminal conspiracy that hasn't yet gone to trial? What do you think is happening here, how do you think all this works? It doesn't hang together. You're not making any sense.
To be fair to TRR, I talk as if it is a fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It always has. I have good reasons to expect it to do so tomorrow, and good reasons to think this state of affairs cannot change.

But if the sun rose in the west, while I would certainly be surprised, I would believe what I was seeing.
That's a very nice analogy, it also has no basis in any sort of observable reality.
Did you take obtuseness pills?

The point is simple and the meaning is obvious. It is entirely reasonable for TRR to believe a thing, be confident that a thing is true, and still be willing to accept that if against all expectations evidence arises disproving the thing... he will stop believing the thing. Your sneer at him for doing so is quite unjustified.
This deflects the underlying purpose of point (1). The purpose is to outline something, which can be proven, but not in a single paragraph. The fact being outlined is that Trump has a large array of past contacts in Russia, more so than any past presidential candidate and more so than many American business figures as well.

This provides the means for collusion between a Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government. It would be extremely straightforward for either Putin or Trump to try to "pull strings" via some of those past connections and channels. In itself this does not prove what happened, but it does form background for the issue at stake.
You actually think that if you haven't had business dealings with someone in Russia there's no 'means' for collusion? Its meaningless.
We can, if you like, go into this further...

But just out of curiosity, what level of persistent contact by Russian nationals deniably associated with the Russian government could ever add up to "influenced by the Russian government" in your eyes?
Absolutely zero, because I don't actually believe in flagrantly unjust guilt-by-association arguments like the one you just made. Tell me, do you apply this standard equally? Is every foreign national who has persistent contact with someone acting as an agent of influence for their government, or is it just those spooky Russians who are commanded by Lord Sauron up on Mordor?
I mean, if the president of a Latin American country meets with 100 fruit company executives and a few 'retired' CIA personnel, do we start to wonder whether US influence may be affecting that nation's policy? Or do we laugh it off because 'no evidence' of US government influence?
Are you suggesting that President Trump regularly meets with Russian corporate executives and 'retired' SVR pesonnel?
I'm asking you, where do you draw the line? How much evidence would it take? How many records would there have to be of communications between people in Trump's campaign and foreigners trying to hand that campaign information that would benefit it, for you to believe that foreigners were conspiring to assist the campaign? At what point do you say "yes, on balance, there is enough evidence to justify accusing this government of being foreign-influenced if not foreign-puppeted to an undue extent?"

At this point, I frankly don't care if it was done at Putin's behest or by some cabal of Russian private citizens with weird ideas about who they want running the US who did it without his knowledge. For purposes of whether or not the current president of the United States willfully violated fundamental laws and principles in his attempt to win election, it's largely beside the point.
Exactly why would a bunch of corporate oligarchs be trying so hard to discredit President Trump?
Is that a joke? Because their ratings and circulation has never been better. Because it benefits their bottom line to keep this front and center. And while the press obsessively covers the TrumpRussia story, they ignore everything else and make it easy for Trump's administration to commit outrage after outrage with virtually no pushback. What should be given a full-court-press from the media is completely silenced. His outrageous tax cuts (which, of course, all the major owners of the establish media agreed with) coasted on through. The Saudi destruction of Yemen, aided and abetted by US arms, continues unabated. Teacher's strikes? Who gives a shit, right? It's all TrumpRussia, all the time. It's exhausting and mind-numbing and its killing by inches.
Well yes, when the president of the United States is suspected of horrible shit that could get him impeached, it's big news. Impeachment dominated the news cycle in 1998 too, and Watergate was big news in 1974. This isn't new.

MSNBC and other news networks regularly cover other stories about Trump doing horrible shit. Frankly, there are so many such stories that you could literally fill the airwaves with them 24/7. Take your pick about what to cover; there's more than enough. Not surprisingly, the media picks the stories that Trump might conceivably get in trouble for, since it's not like them reporting on what a shithead he's got running the EPA is going to change anything.

To me this is entirely unremarkable and does not represent a calculated decision by corporate oligarchs to create a false scandal to attack Trump, especially when there are so many real ones that could be used instead. After all, these same corporations were covering him extensively when nobody thought he had a chance of winning the Republican nomination... because he's dramatic. None of this is a surprise.

I mean, this is essentially the plot of a James Bond movie- a cabal of evil media executives manipulating world events purely to produce headlines. As conspiracy theories go, I'm frankly having an easier time believing "Russian intelligence agents aided Trump to win an election after he called in and/or offered some favors" than "a literally substance-free conspiracy theory has survived in the mainstream media for roughly two years, with the only Americans who call the media out on it being the ones who also think global warming is a conspiracy and that the Clintons secretly murdered dozens of people."
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Vympel
Spetsnaz
Spetsnaz
Posts: 28877
Joined: 2002-07-19 01:08am
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vympel » 2018-03-26 11:27pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-26 02:30am
I can think of a number of reasons why Mueller might not robotically charge everyone with every crime he has evidence for, at the first moment when he has sufficient evidence to consider pressing charges.
The charges he's actually made stick - mere process crimes - speak directly to the liklihood of some grand conspiracy case.
If he has zero evidence of significant crimes, it doesn't matter how wide-ranging his brief is. A competent investigator would have stopped barking up an unproductive tree.
His wide-ranging brief is relevant, since he'd stop barking up that tree and go to some other matter (like say, financial crimes) and you wouldn't really know.
Firstly, that doesn't stop me from wanting it to happen. Secondly, it is well within the realm of the possible that after November 2018, it will be out of the Republicans' hands- that a Democratic majority in the House will be in a good position to pass impeachment proceedings. And that IF Mueller has in fact collected evidence of major crimes on Trump's part, the Republicans in the Senate will be forced to choose between turning on Trump (a total lame duck by this point) or losing so massively in the Senate come 2020 that they won't have even a scrap of power as a minority party afterwards.

This combination of pressures may not arise. But hoping for it to happen in no way prevents me from "opposing the Republicans' agenda."
On a national level, it does. By and large, the American people don't give two fucks about the Russia investigation. Its a distraction. They're wallowing in poverty, record inequality and a broken health care system. A cut-rate spy novel story is not their concern. But the Democrats love it, because it allows them to 'oppose' Trump while not having a single victorious argument with him about actual policy. Gotta have that sweet donor money, after all.

http://news.gallup.com/poll/231533/conc ... t-low.aspx
Given how heavily everyone involved is relying on emails, I can think of a LOT of ways Mueller might have, or expect to be able to build, a purely document-based trail of evidence that would give him grounds to make all sorts of charges.

If he's going around proving that people he's interviewing lied, there are a variety of means by which he can profit from that. One, it discredits them as witnesses for the defense at a later date.
No, it discredits them as witnesses period. "Were you lying then, or are you lying now?" This is basic stuff.
Two, it allows him to highlight documents he's collected that confirm certain information that the interviewees are now denying. Three, it gives them a strong incentive to help him find other, non-verbal evidence that does not rely purely on the validity of their testimony- for example, to hand over their correspondence.
Mueller has subpoena power, he doesn't need their consent to hand over correspondence.
Do you really think a prosecutor must be foolish or self-sabotaging, for trying to catch the people he suspects of participating in a crime in a lie? Are you asking me to speculate on the contents of incriminating documents that might reveal the secrets of a criminal conspiracy that hasn't yet gone to trial? What do you think is happening here, how do you think all this works? It doesn't hang together. You're not making any sense.
As indicated above, what I'm saying 'doesn't make sense' only to the extent you've convinced yourself in the face of exactly zero evidence to support it (and again - it is literally zero) that Mueller is on the verge of uncovering an international conspiracy as opposed to using his brief for more concrete things (like financial crimes).
Did you take obtuseness pills?

The point is simple and the meaning is obvious. It is entirely reasonable for TRR to believe a thing, be confident that a thing is true, and still be willing to accept that if against all expectations evidence arises disproving the thing... he will stop believing the thing. Your sneer at him for doing so is quite unjustified.
Nonsense. His feverish beliefs (which again, he always walks back when called on, only to bring them back when he thinks no one is looking) aren't entitled to protection from mockery.
I'm asking you, where do you draw the line? How much evidence would it take? How many records would there have to be of communications between people in Trump's campaign and foreigners trying to hand that campaign information that would benefit it, for you to believe that foreigners were conspiring to assist the campaign? At what point do you say "yes, on balance, there is enough evidence to justify accusing this government of being foreign-influenced if not foreign-puppeted to an undue extent?"

At this point, I frankly don't care if it was done at Putin's behest or by some cabal of Russian private citizens with weird ideas about who they want running the US who did it without his knowledge. For purposes of whether or not the current president of the United States willfully violated fundamental laws and principles in his attempt to win election, it's largely beside the point.
First of all, there's no actual evidence that the Trump campaign benefited from any such thing, nor that this supposed assistance constituted criminal conduct (i.e. so as to establish that the Trump campaign conspired in the commission of crimes). So I don't actually care whether there were mere "communications" between random figures and Trump's campaign. It doesn't get you to where you think it will.
Well yes, when the president of the United States is suspected of horrible shit that could get him impeached, it's big news. Impeachment dominated the news cycle in 1998 too, and Watergate was big news in 1974. This isn't new.

MSNBC and other news networks regularly cover other stories about Trump doing horrible shit. Frankly, there are so many such stories that you could literally fill the airwaves with them 24/7. Take your pick about what to cover; there's more than enough. Not surprisingly, the media picks the stories that Trump might conceivably get in trouble for, since it's not like them reporting on what a shithead he's got running the EPA is going to change anything.

To me this is entirely unremarkable and does not represent a calculated decision by corporate oligarchs to create a false scandal to attack Trump, especially when there are so many real ones that could be used instead. After all, these same corporations were covering him extensively when nobody thought he had a chance of winning the Republican nomination... because he's dramatic. None of this is a surprise.

I mean, this is essentially the plot of a James Bond movie- a cabal of evil media executives manipulating world events purely to produce headlines. As conspiracy theories go, I'm frankly having an easier time believing "Russian intelligence agents aided Trump to win an election after he called in and/or offered some favors" than "a literally substance-free conspiracy theory has survived in the mainstream media for roughly two years, with the only Americans who call the media out on it being the ones who also think global warming is a conspiracy and that the Clintons secretly murdered dozens of people."
I never said anything about corporate oligarchs creating a false narrative, that's a strawman. The point is that the media's coverage is grossly excessive, being largely speculative cater-wauling about every single piece of minutae about the investigation while far more newsworthy stories of immediate consequence are ignored. The claim that "MSNBC and other news networks regularly cover other stories about Trump doing horrible shit" is a naked assertion. I linked those articles from FAIR for a reason, because they actually analyse this stuff. Their coverage is widely lopsided, and that is beyond dispute.
Like Legend of Galactic Heroes? Please contribute to http://gineipaedia.com/

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30092
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-27 11:37am

Vympel wrote:
2018-03-26 11:27pm
His wide-ranging brief is relevant, since he'd stop barking up that tree and go to some other matter (like say, financial crimes) and you wouldn't really know.
Suffice to say that I am firmly convinced that we do not know the structure of the case Mueller is building, or what he will and will not be accusing people of when he's done. Nothing Mueller has done or not done should be interpreted as evidence that anyone is not guilty of any particular offense, in my opinion.
On a national level, it does. By and large, the American people don't give two fucks about the Russia investigation. Its a distraction. They're wallowing in poverty, record inequality and a broken health care system. A cut-rate spy novel story is not their concern. But the Democrats love it, because it allows them to 'oppose' Trump while not having a single victorious argument with him about actual policy. Gotta have that sweet donor money, after all.
You can't "have a victorious argument" against an administration made up of Captain Planet villains and a congressional majority. What would that even mean? The best you can hope for is a stalemate.

The energy and resources that go into the Russian influence investigations could not be diverted to provide America with a better health care system or to solve poverty and inequality. Not as long as Trump and the congressional Republicans are still in office. All that can be done is to make it as clear as possible that the current government is cynically exploiting and actively harming the public while breaking laws left and right, and in general is a terrible thing that should be removed.

Continuing to investigate allegations of election fraud and foreign influence is not incompatible with that goal.
Given how heavily everyone involved is relying on emails, I can think of a LOT of ways Mueller might have, or expect to be able to build, a purely document-based trail of evidence that would give him grounds to make all sorts of charges.

If he's going around proving that people he's interviewing lied, there are a variety of means by which he can profit from that. One, it discredits them as witnesses for the defense at a later date.
No, it discredits them as witnesses period. "Were you lying then, or are you lying now?" This is basic stuff.
It discredits witnesses; it doesn't discredit "Exhibit A, memorandum, Exhibit B, chain of emails, Exhibit C, incriminating photograph. You are not obtuse enough for this to be a problem.
Two, it allows him to highlight documents he's collected that confirm certain information that the interviewees are now denying. Three, it gives them a strong incentive to help him find other, non-verbal evidence that does not rely purely on the validity of their testimony- for example, to hand over their correspondence.
Mueller has subpoena power, he doesn't need their consent to hand over correspondence.
He can't subpoena documents he doesn't know about, and since his resources are finite he can't subpoena literally everything and sort it out in a timely manner. Information given to him by informants can be critical, without the testimony of those informants on the witness stand being critical.

This is not hard, Vympel. It's a straightforward example of how to run a large criminal investigation: use informants to get documents, use documents to turn bigger informants, use bigger informants to find bigger documents. The documents make better evidence than the informants do.
As indicated above, what I'm saying 'doesn't make sense' only to the extent you've convinced yourself in the face of exactly zero evidence to support it (and again - it is literally zero) that Mueller is on the verge of uncovering an international conspiracy as opposed to using his brief for more concrete things (like financial crimes).
The reason I think Mueller is likely to uncover international support of Trump (conspiracy or not, I don't care what you call it) is because I think Trump's own actions strongly indicate to me that such support existed. I think it's there, and if it's there, Mueller is likely to find it. Mueller may well find other things, too. [shrugs]
Did you take obtuseness pills?

The point is simple and the meaning is obvious. It is entirely reasonable for TRR to believe a thing, be confident that a thing is true, and still be willing to accept that if against all expectations evidence arises disproving the thing... he will stop believing the thing. Your sneer at him for doing so is quite unjustified.
Nonsense. His feverish beliefs (which again, he always walks back when called on, only to bring them back when he thinks no one is looking) aren't entitled to protection from mockery.
When the belief in question is "I am sure X is true, but if convincing evidence that X is untrue comes to light, I will change my mind and believe not-X?"

Some fever.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
FaxModem1
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-03-28 12:10pm

Vice News
Get the best of VICE News delivered to your inbox.

Email Address
VICE News
Donald Trump
RICK GATES
BOMBSHELL MUELLER COURT FILING SHOWS RICK GATES WAS KNOWINGLY IN CONTACT WITH A KREMLIN SPY
Bombshell Mueller court filing shows Rick Gates was knowingly in contact with a Kremlin spy
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email
By David Gilbert Mar 28, 2018
Donald Trump’s Deputy Campaign Chairman Rick Gates was in direct communication with a person he knew was a Russian spy in the weeks ahead of the 2016 election, according to court documents filed by special counsel Robert Mueller Tuesday.

The documents reveal Gates was in contact with a former officer in Russian military intelligence in the months leading up to Trump’s win.

Gates was “directly communicating in September and October 2016” with an unidentified person who “has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016,” the filing says.

ADVERTISEMENT

Crucially, Gates was aware of this person's ties to Russian intelligence, the filing adds, calling the 2016 conversations “pertinent to the investigation.”

Gates last month struck a plea deal with Mueller, likely avoiding decades behind bars. Yet it remains unclear what information the former Trump official offered in return.

Gates is likely helping Mueller probe his former business partner and Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, who has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and tax and bank fraud charges.

The unnamed intelligence officer, referred to as “Person A” in the documents, worked for one of Manafort’s companies. The Washington Post claims the description matches that of Konstantin Kilimnik, the manager of Manafort’s lobbying office in Kiev.

Though Manafort left the campaign in August 2016, Gates remained at Trump’s side throughout the election, helping with the transition period, inauguration and the early days in the White House.


“He saw everything,” a Republican consultant who worked with Gates on the campaign told Politico. Another defense attorney in the Mueller case noted that Gates’ plea had triggered a palpable alarm inside the West Wing.

Gates’ co-operation has increased pressure on Manafort to likewise flip and provide Mueller with information on Trump and other senior campaign aides. Manafort faces the rest of his life behind bars if he’s found guilty of the charges.

The revelations were part of a court filing relating to the upcoming sentencing hearing of Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, who has pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller's investigators. He is seeking to avoid jail time as his wife is about to give birth to their first child.

Cover Image: Rick Gates looks on as GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump checks the podium early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
So, this just dropped.
Image

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30092
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-28 04:39pm

But of course, there is no evidence of significant connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, it's all a hollow game of signaling and propaganda, and Mueller has no evidence whatsoever of this or he'd have filed charges.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 5982
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Galvatron » 2018-03-31 07:53am

So...when collusion gets firmly established, can we expect the goalposts to officially slither over to the "but collusion isn't even a crime" defense? If so, Trump should hire Dersh (if he hasn't already tried) since that's exactly what he's been saying for months now.


User avatar
U.P. Cinnabar
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2937
Joined: 2016-02-05 08:11pm
Location: Aboard the RCS Princess Cecile

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-31 10:05am

Nah. He'll just blame Hillary for that too.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law

"The Constitution's a piece of paper. A kick in the head is a jolt."
—Stanley "Ray" Kowalski
"Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty."
---NRA motto

User avatar
FaxModem1
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-04-03 09:16pm

CNN Money
US proposes tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods
By Patrick Gillespie and Julia Horowitz April 3, 2018: 7:18 PM ET
Fears of a trade war between the United States and China just escalated again.

The Trump administration on Tuesday published a list of about 1,300 Chinese exports that could be targeted for tariffs.

The United States plans to apply the tariffs to about $50 billion worth of goods to punish China for its theft of trade secrets, including software, patents and other technology. A 25% tariff would be applied to all the products, according to the US Trade Representative, a wing of the White House.

Many of the tariffs would target the Chinese aerospace, tech and machinery industries. Others would target medical equipment, medicine and educational material, such as bookbinding equipment.

In a statement, the Chinese embassy in the United States said that China "strongly condemns and firmly opposes" the proposed list.

"As the Chinese saying goes, it is only polite to reciprocate," the embassy said, adding that China intends to pursue the matter with the World Trade Organization and enact "corresponding measures of equal scale and strength against U.S. products."

The tariffs won't go into effect immediately. The administration will hold a public hearing for US businesses on May 15. Even after that, it's not clear when the tariffs would be applied.

China tariffs: Artificial teeth, flamethrowers and other things on the list

US business advocates said the administration diagnosed the problem with China correctly, but had the wrong remedy.

"The administration is rightly focused on restoring equity and fairness in our trade relationship with China. However, imposing taxes on products used daily by American consumers and job creators is not the way to achieve those ends," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce, an advocacy group that has long been opposed to Trump's trade policy.

Read the full list of proposed tariffs

A lobbying group for US farmers pleaded with the administration not to go forward with the tariffs, fearing retaliation by China, one of the largest buyers of US crops.

"We continue to urge the administration to listen to farmers across rural America who can't afford new taxes on their exports," Max Baucus, a former Democratic senator from Montana and co-chairman of Farmers for Free Trade, said in a statement.

Related: China to US: We'll match your tariffs in 'scale' and 'intensity'

The list came hours after China's Foreign Ministry insisted it would respond with equal measure to any US tariffs. China said it has its own list of American exports that it will target if the United States goes through with its plan.

"We have been saying that China wouldn't start a trade war," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in Beijing. "But we are not afraid of it, and we will resolutely fight to the end if someone insists on a war."

Leaders from both countries have been in talks for more than a week to try to make compromises and provide US companies more rights in China.

After a months-long investigation, the USTR concluded that China forces US tech companies that want to operate there to enter joint ventures with Chinese businesses and share their technology. Chinese firms often steal patents and software from the American firms, the investigation found.

Related: How much has the US lost from China's IP theft?

There is little dispute in the United States that China does not play by the rules when it comes to tech trade. The debate in Washington is about the best way to punish China without hurting American consumers.

The United States had promised that the proposed tariffs would hit Chinese tech, aerospace, communications and machinery. But the list released Tuesday includes some unexpected items, such as malaria test kits, hearing aids, defibrillators, flame throwers, syringes, artificial teeth and X-ray machine equipment.

The USTR also proposed tariffs on Chinese-made military rifles, shotguns and grenade launchers. Turbo jet engines and certain helicopters are among those slated in Chinese aerospace to be hit with a duty. Several drilling machines are on the list as well.

The Trump administration has already imposed a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum. Those tariffs apply to most countries, including China, though some have been exempted.

China responded to the metal tariffs with its own tariffs on $3 billion of US exports to China, including fruits, wine, nuts and pork.
So, China puts tariffs on the US, China proposes tariffs back. Time for the trade war.
Image

User avatar
Batman
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 15221
Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Location: 'Very' mildly hopeful now DC recognized taking Clark's red trunks away was a bad idea
Contact:

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Batman » 2018-04-03 10:29pm

No worries. Trade wars are good for the economy and easy to win, right?
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

User avatar
mr friendly guy
The Doctor
Posts: 10017
Joined: 2004-12-12 10:55pm
Location: In a 1960s police telephone box somewhere in Australia

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-04-07 08:06pm

Essentially a trade war is supposed to be defined as when the average price across all goods rise by at least 5%. What the US did with steel and aluminium, what China did back,(3 billion worth) what the US now propose to do with $50 billion tariffs, and what China plans to do back in response to those are so far a drop in the ocean of total trade. Not quite trade war material just yet.
Never apologise for being a geek, because they won't apologise to you for being an arsehole. John Barrowman - 22 June 2014 Perth Supernova.

Countries I have been to.
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
Always on the lookout for more nice places to visit.

User avatar
aerius
Charismatic Cult Leader
Posts: 14229
Joined: 2002-08-18 07:27pm
Location: YHM

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by aerius » 2018-04-07 09:09pm

Batman wrote:
2018-04-03 10:29pm
No worries. Trade wars are good for the economy and easy to win, right?
You'd be surprised. Essential agricultural commodities vs. consumer good and other non-essential stuff is not a trade war you want to get into if you're the side that needs food to live.
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

User avatar
FaxModem1
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6497
Joined: 2002-10-30 06:40pm
Location: In a dark reflection of a better world

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-04-08 08:09am

aerius wrote:
2018-04-07 09:09pm
Batman wrote:
2018-04-03 10:29pm
No worries. Trade wars are good for the economy and easy to win, right?
You'd be surprised. Essential agricultural commodities vs. consumer good and other non-essential stuff is not a trade war you want to get into if you're the side that needs food to live.
Doesn't China now control a bunch of farmland in Africa, for this very purpose?
Image

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30092
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-04-09 08:07am

Food is to a large extent fungible; you can buy it from more than one place and the US isn't the only country in the world that runs an agricultural surplus.

It could well be harder for us to find new suppliers within the US of goods Trump is raising tariffs on across the board, than it will be for China to find new suppliers on the planet for food.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
mr friendly guy
The Doctor
Posts: 10017
Joined: 2004-12-12 10:55pm
Location: In a 1960s police telephone box somewhere in Australia

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-04-09 10:54am

China already has a potential replacement for US soybeans. Brazil.

According to Reuters in Feb this year (which I can't link since I am on a smart phone ), Brazil sold more soybeans to China in January than the united states. It's exports to China increase by a whopping 720%, and it'd expected to grow bigger because Brazil soybeans have s higher nutritional content vs US soy. Coupled with competitive prices its share is going to go up.

Oh did I mention this was happening before China announced possible tariffs on US soybeans making the problem worse.
Never apologise for being a geek, because they won't apologise to you for being an arsehole. John Barrowman - 22 June 2014 Perth Supernova.

Countries I have been to.
Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
Always on the lookout for more nice places to visit.

User avatar
Vympel
Spetsnaz
Spetsnaz
Posts: 28877
Joined: 2002-07-19 01:08am
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Vympel » 2018-04-11 10:59am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-27 11:37am
Suffice to say that I am firmly convinced that we do not know the structure of the case Mueller is building, or what he will and will not be accusing people of when he's done. Nothing Mueller has done or not done should be interpreted as evidence that anyone is not guilty of any particular offense, in my opinion.
Everyone is not guilty of anything innocent until proven otherwise, of course.
You can't "have a victorious argument" against an administration made up of Captain Planet villains and a congressional majority. What would that even mean? The best you can hope for is a stalemate.
That's really easy, its called actually fighting the Republicans on matters of policy in the court of public opinion. While everyone's been feverishly obsessing about their cut-rate spy novel for over a year now, the Democrats have rolled over, stayed silent, or otherwise capitulated to Republican policy initiatives again and again and again and again. There's a reason for that - their donors want them to. Like the humiliating government shutdown climbdown earlier this year where they capitulated for what Debbie Wasserman-Schultz called "the potential for momentum".

https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/democ ... vp-AAv2tJR
The energy and resources that go into the Russian influence investigations could not be diverted to provide America with a better health care system or to solve poverty and inequality. Not as long as Trump and the congressional Republicans are still in office. All that can be done is to make it as clear as possible that the current government is cynically exploiting and actively harming the public while breaking laws left and right, and in general is a terrible thing that should be removed.

Continuing to investigate allegations of election fraud and foreign influence is not incompatible with that goal.
The energy and resources that go into 'Russian influence investigations' by investigators are irrelevant. The point is that the Democrats are using it to pretend they're 'resisting' Trump while doing nothing to fight harmful Republican policies in anyway.
It discredits witnesses; it doesn't discredit "Exhibit A, memorandum, Exhibit B, chain of emails, Exhibit C, incriminating photograph. You are not obtuse enough for this to be a problem

He can't subpoena documents he doesn't know about and since his resources are finite he can't subpoena literally everything and sort it out in a timely manner. Information given to him by informants can be critical, without the testimony of those informants on the witness stand being critical.
Of course he can, you subpoena entire classes of documents, not specific ones. You also execute wide-ranging search warrants. The idea that you run a criminal investigation by discrediting potential witnesses as liars and never having them plead to any actual conspiracy (or 'collusion') charge is batshit.

What you actually do if someone is giving you evidence of such a thing in which they were involved is make them plead guilty to that charge. Their credibility as a witness is greatly enhanced because the defence has a tougher time discrediting them as liars who got a sweetheart deal, and you make recommendations as to sentencing in consideration for that cooperation.
The reason I think Mueller is likely to uncover international support of Trump (conspiracy or not, I don't care what you call it) is because I think Trump's own actions strongly indicate to me that such support existed. I think it's there, and if it's there, Mueller is likely to find it. Mueller may well find other things, too. [shrugs]
'International support of Trump' is a meaningless standard that does nothing to implicate Trump. As I said, and which you ignored, if you don't have him conniving in the commission of a crime directly related to this supposed 'international support', you've got jack shit.
When the belief in question is "I am sure X is true, but if convincing evidence that X is untrue comes to light, I will change my mind and believe not-X?"

Some fever.
Yes, being sure X is true in the absence of any actual evidence that it is true is feverish.

In any event, the "TRUMP IS A PUTIN PUPPET" insanity continues to get ever more ridiculous, now that we have Trump tweeting to Russia that he's going to fire missiles at them. But of course, TrumpRussia obsessives will say it's all part of their nefarious plan:

https://twitter.com/EdKrassen/status/984031596280995840

"I’m calling it now. After Russia’s threats and Trump’s counter-threats, Russia will agree to stop backing Syria and Trump will use it as a reason why he needs to be so friendly with Putin, trying to diffuse the collusion story. This is all an act between two frauds."

(4,000 likes!)

But sure. America is a totally normal country with a normal discourse. And Trump is totally in league with Putin for ... releasing emails or Stormy Daniels or some shit while being more aggressive against Russia and Russian interests than Obama ever was:

https://theintercept.com/2018/04/11/the ... obama-was/

This has gone on to the extent we are now closer, in terms of rhetoric, to military confrontation between nuclear great powers now than we have been at any point in the last almost-30 years. And no one is in a position to stop this madness because Democrats have been attacking Trump from the right (left wing party, supposedly!) and chiding him for being insufficiently aggressive for over a year. What credibility do they have to act as a moderating influence now?

Hah, who am I kidding - they've probably got the same raging boner for imperial warfare in Syria as they had last year.
Like Legend of Galactic Heroes? Please contribute to http://gineipaedia.com/

User avatar
Khaat
Jedi Knight
Posts: 878
Joined: 2008-11-04 11:42am

Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Khaat » 2018-04-11 12:16pm

Vympel wrote:
2018-04-11 10:59am
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-27 11:37am
Suffice to say that I am firmly convinced that we do not know the structure of the case Mueller is building, or what he will and will not be accusing people of when he's done. Nothing Mueller has done or not done should be interpreted as evidence that anyone is not guilty of any particular offense, in my opinion.
Everyone is not guilty of anything innocent until proven otherwise, of course.
The point being: absence of present indictments IS NOT "clearance of all possible charges" in the future, as oft proposed by Fox News Entertainment and Trump supporters. (See the next bit about Simon's language choice.)

Law is one of the areas where precise language makes a world of difference, so playing fast-and-loose doesn't benefit anyone, even if it is just a quick news cycle thing. Blatant misinformation (i.e., "Trump not indicted this time, this means he's totally vindicated!") is spin for morons who don't understand this isn't a high school "popular kids vs nerds" feud.

What this has been shown to be is an organized-crime-type roll-up: small corrupt members (found) pressed and flipped for bigger corrupt members (pending). And in such a case, a prosecutor doesn't start by indicting the top of the pyramid, he works his way up. Question is: is DJT the top, or just the balloon tied to the top to draw attention?

At this point (IMO), Trump himself is going to slip any "conspiracy to manipulate the election" charges (due to his "I hire the best people, I don't do it myself" management style) , but will have to face obstruction of justice charges, and perjury (if he ever has to say anything under oath, because, well, Trump).
Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.

Post Reply