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The US Presidency 2019

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tomahawk6

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The Dem's control the House which is where an impeachment vote must originate with a majority vote. The Dem's tried this 3 times and failed to get enough votes. This time they might pull it off but probably dont have the votes in the Senate. Clinton was impeached in the House but fell short of conviction in the Democrat controlled Senate. This will probably see Trump re-elected and hopefully the Republicans will retake the House.
 

Journeyman

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Regardless of whether or not Trump is impeached, there is a growing knock-on effect of Trump's behaviours. 
I've posted an article from the current issue of Foreign Affairs  in the Articles and Large Posts board, here.

Some highlights:
Last week’s revelation that Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden was explosive even by the standards of this scandal-prone administration. Had the president of the United States conditioned the restoration of military aid to Ukraine on his counterpart’s willingness to investigate a political rival—a quid pro quo that is all but explicit in the record of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House? Much has been made since of Trump’s demand as an abuse of presidential power. But it was also an abuse of American power—and that, in the long run, may do more lasting damage.


Being in this position is a privilege—one that allows Washington to shape a world favorable to American interests—but it is neither an entitlement nor a simple function of military and economic might. Because the United States has generally used its coercive power in a disciplined fashion (with a few notable exceptions), it has experienced less international resistance than one might expect. But partners and rivals alike will continue such cooperation with Washington only as long as it wields its authority with subtlety and quickly corrects its excesses. Trump, in his phone call with Zelensky, blatantly tossed that principle aside and used the United States’ power to advance his own political interests—a usurpation of foreign policy that has lasting consequences for the United States.

It is difficult to overstate the extent to which the Trump administration contorted U.S. foreign policy to pressure Ukraine. A set of studious national security processes was subverted for personal gain, with the resources of the State Department, including the secretary of state himself, engaged to execute extortion and subsequently bury it. A veteran career ambassador was undermined, recalled, and threatened. Intelligence capacities tasked with protecting the nation’s closest-held national security secrets were used to execute multiple cover-ups. Inspired though they were, the founders failed to envision a world in which the president himself was the national security threat.
 

Good2Golf

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Thanks JM!  An insightful piece that hopefully doesn't represent the portent of American hegemonic withering.

Regards
G2G
 

Brad Sallows

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"a quid pro quo that is all but explicit in the record of the Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House? Much has been made since of Trump’s demand as an abuse of presidential power."

What quid pro quo?  Endless repeated assertion isn't proof.  I've read the telcon memo.  The part that is supposed to be "proof" is a vague ink blot.

"Trump, in his phone call with Zelensky, blatantly tossed that principle aside and used the United States’ power to advance his own political interests"

Another ink blot.  The file on everything that happened in 2016 is closed just because Democrats didn't get the results they wanted from Mueller's investigation?  Anything that happens to align with an advantage for Trump or a disadvantage for a Democrat is off limits?  Won't wash.  There are questions to be answered and improprieties to be investigated.  Any custom that an opposition candidate for president is somehow exempt from burrowing by the incumbent administration was already extinguished.

Another memorable ink blot (Snopes's take):

As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul, Obama was overheard asking for time — “particularly with missile defense” — until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.

“I understand your message about space,” replied Medvedev, who will hand over the presidency to Putin in May.

“This is my last election … After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.

“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” said Medvedev, Putin’s protégé and long considered number two in Moscow’s power structure.

Trump might be in the wrong here; more detail will certainly emerge to prove/disprove whatever people think they are seeing.  But, this is all hardball politics, so the principle of "you go first" applies.  The Democratic machine must show good faith and do the right thing when it is the one which will lose political advantage.  (At this point it will have to do several right things.)  This endless "heads we win, tails you lose" circus is part of what put Trump in office.
 

Cloud Cover

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https://mobile.twitter.com/DarthPutinKGB/status/1180053956535427074
 

The Bread Guy

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Cloud Cover said:
https://mobile.twitter.com/DarthPutinKGB/status/1180053956535427074
I'm a big fan of @DarthPutinKGB - well played!
 

observor 69

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A really well written column from the New York Times.

Why Trump Voters Stick With Him
An imagined conversation with Flyover Man.
Urban Guy: I hope you read the rough transcript of that Trump phone call with the Ukrainian president. Trump clearly used public power to ask a foreign leader to dig up dirt on his political opponent. This is impeachable. I don’t see how you can deny the facts in front of your face.

Flyover Man: I haven’t really had time to look into it. There’s always some fight between Trump and the East Coast media. I guess I just try to stay focused on the big picture.

The big picture is this: We knew this guy was a snake when we signed up. But he was the only one who saw us. He was the only one who saw that the America we love is being transformed in front of our eyes. Good jobs for hard-working people were gone. Our communities in tatters. Our kids in trouble. I had one shot at change, so I made a deal with the devil, and you’d have made it, too.

Nothing in this impeachment mess makes me rethink this bargain. If people like you are unable to acknowledge my dignity and see my problems, I’ll stay with Trump.

More at link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/opinion/trump-voters.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage



 

mariomike

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Baden Guy said:
Why Trump Voters Stick With Him

I found this article of interest,

Being Donald Trump: Inside the World Where Conspiracies Are Reality
https://thebulwark.com/this-is-what-reality-looks-like-from-inside-trump-world/
What reality looks like from inside Trump World.

"What if everyone is wrong? What if you and I are the crazy ones and it’s Rudy and Hannity who are seeing 20 / 20 ?"



 

daftandbarmy

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Baden Guy said:
A really well written column from the New York Times.

Why Trump Voters Stick With Him
An imagined conversation with Flyover Man.
Urban Guy: I hope you read the rough transcript of that Trump phone call with the Ukrainian president. Trump clearly used public power to ask a foreign leader to dig up dirt on his political opponent. This is impeachable. I don’t see how you can deny the facts in front of your face.

Flyover Man: I haven’t really had time to look into it. There’s always some fight between Trump and the East Coast media. I guess I just try to stay focused on the big picture.

The big picture is this: We knew this guy was a snake when we signed up. But he was the only one who saw us. He was the only one who saw that the America we love is being transformed in front of our eyes. Good jobs for hard-working people were gone. Our communities in tatters. Our kids in trouble. I had one shot at change, so I made a deal with the devil, and you’d have made it, too.

Nothing in this impeachment mess makes me rethink this bargain. If people like you are unable to acknowledge my dignity and see my problems, I’ll stay with Trump.

More at link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/opinion/trump-voters.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

And it's the same in the UK where Brexit was a vote against the civilian equivalent of 'Chateau Generalship' as much as anything else:

In England's forgotten 'rust belt', voters show little sign of Brexit regret

KNOTTINGLEY, England (Reuters) - To Paul Green, a club steward in northern England’s ‘rust belt’, Britain is so broken that he would vote for Brexit again were he to get another chance.

Green, who runs a Miners’ Welfare Club in an area where there are no longer any working miners, says both of Britain’s main political parties have shown no interest in the Yorkshire town of Knottingley for generations.

“It’s desperate really - I feel that Knottingley is a forgotten community, and all the surrounding areas are forgotten communities as well, through lack of investment and red tape,” he said, standing in a youth boxing gym at the club.

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-voters/in-englands-forgotten-rust-belt-voters-show-little-sign-of-brexit-regret-idUSKBN1KS0VM
 

Cloud Cover

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Baden Guy said:
A really well written column from the New York Times.

Why Trump Voters Stick With Him
An imagined conversation with Flyover Man.
Urban Guy: I hope you read the rough transcript of that Trump phone call with the Ukrainian president. Trump clearly used public power to ask a foreign leader to dig up dirt on his political opponent. This is impeachable. I don’t see how you can deny the facts in front of your face.

Flyover Man: I haven’t really had time to look into it. There’s always some fight between Trump and the East Coast media. I guess I just try to stay focused on the big picture.

The big picture is this: We knew this guy was a snake when we signed up. But he was the only one who saw us. He was the only one who saw that the America we love is being transformed in front of our eyes. Good jobs for hard-working people were gone. Our communities in tatters. Our kids in trouble. I had one shot at change, so I made a deal with the devil, and you’d have made it, too.

Nothing in this impeachment mess makes me rethink this bargain. If people like you are unable to acknowledge my dignity and see my problems, I’ll stay with Trump.

More at link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/opinion/trump-voters.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Which makes me think of this by Victor David Hanson: 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-america-talk-turns-to-something-unspoken-for-150-years-civil-war/2019/02/28/b3733af8-3ae4-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html

He won’t go peacefully. There are people, many of them, who could and would potentially fight a bloody rebellion on either side if it came in to that.
 

mariomike

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Cloud Cover said:
He won’t go peacefully.

He also has the nuclear codes.

Time to switch the MAGA baseball hats for these?  :)

See also,

Threat of possible US Civil War 
https://army.ca/forums/threads/124515.25
3 pages.

 

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Jarnhamar

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mariomike said:
He also has the nuclear codes.

Are you suggesting Trump is going to, or is capable, of launching nuclear missiles against the United States?
 

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
Are you suggesting Trump is going to, or is capable, of launching nuclear missiles against the United States?

Oh... you're good  :Tin-Foil-Hat:  :nod:
 

mariomike

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Jarnhamar said:
Are you suggesting Trump is going to, or is capable, of launching nuclear missiles against the United States?

That's not what I said. I don't know what goes on inside his head.

Says he is "a very stable genius". Just have to take his word for it.

For those of us old enough to remember when President Nixon was forced out of office,

The nuclear launch process once haunted Nixon’s aides.
https://www.politico.eu/article/madman-nuclear-bomb-donald-trump-kim-jong-un-north-korea/
feared that the president, who seemed depressed and was drinking heavily, might order Armageddon.

Yes, I understand the Republican senators of today will never allow him to be kicked out.

milnews.ca said:
I'm a big fan of @DarthPutinKGB - well played!

Kellyanne's husband, Mr. Conway, has an amusing Twitter feed.  :)
https://twitter.com/gtconway3d

( It's not a fake / parody account. He really is her husband. That's what makes it so funny. )

He posted this as his Favorite Quote,

Favorite quote: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

He posted this yesterday,

'This Is Insane. Trump's Gotta Go.' George Conway Ramps Up Call To Oust President.

Kellyanne Conway's husband lays out long argument for Trump's removal

“You don’t need to be a mental health professional to see something’s seriously off with Trump,” Conway wrote. And it’s only getting worse under the stress of a stumbling economy and an impeachment investigation, he warned.

I mean that as in, ‘This is not normal for a functioning adult.’”

“Simply put, Trump’s ingrained and extreme behavioral characteristics make it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the presidency in the way the Constitution requires,” Conway argued.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/george-conway-trump-unfit-office/599128/


 

Brad Sallows

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"Favorite quote: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”"

But they were tasked to find evidence that the president clearly did commit a crime.  You can't find what you're not looking for, unless you stumble across it by accident.  It's also one of my favourite quotes, but probably not for the same reasons.

I'm enjoying this whole shitshow, especially the lamentations of the (ex-?)neocons.  "I have safety concerns" is the tell of a person who has nothing substantive to argue and has resorted to hypothetical fearmongering.  What might actually happen after a close election - resistance, social unrest - will most likely not be any worse than what has already happened.

An easier way to understand what is going on is to interpret "we want to impeach Trump" as "we want to campaign against Trump".  They want to ask for documents they aren't entitled to have in order to bluster about being stonewalled, while a couple of simple procedural moves would give them the clout to issue subpoenas that real courts would uphold.  "Impeachment" without impeachment will go on until House Democrats believe they have enough political cover to not lose the House or hinder chances of taking the presidency and, maybe, the Senate.  Justice isn't on the radar.
 

mariomike

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Brad Sallows said:
"Favorite quote: “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”"

Yes. What made it funny, to me at least, was who posted it: Kellyanne Conway's husband.  :)

Brad Sallows said:
I'm enjoying this whole shitshow, especially the lamentations of the (ex-?)neocons. 

Saw these two suggestions on Twitter ( intended as gentle good humour only ),

Would have been even more hilarious to see President Obama stand on the White House lawn before the 2012 election and say, "China should start an investigation into the Romneys."

Or the future Democratic nominee say, "China, if you're listening, find us his tax returns!"  :)
 

FJAG

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What Top Military Officers Really Think About Trump
It’s even worse than you think.
Mark Bowden The Atlantic

For most of the past two decades, American troops have been deployed all over the world—to about 150 countries. During that time, hundreds of thousands of young men and women have experienced combat, and a generation of officers have come of age dealing with the practical realities of war. They possess a deep well of knowledge and experience. For the past three years, these highly trained professionals have been commanded by Donald Trump.

To get a sense of what serving Trump has been like, I interviewed officers up and down the ranks, as well as several present and former civilian Pentagon employees. Among the officers I spoke with were four of the highest ranks—three or four stars—all recently retired. All but one served Trump directly; the other left the service shortly before Trump was inaugurated. They come from different branches of the military, but I’ll simply refer to them as “the generals.” Some spoke only off the record, some allowed what they said to be quoted without attribution, and some talked on the record.

Military officers are sworn to serve whomever voters send to the White House. Cognizant of the special authority they hold, high-level officers epitomize respect for the chain of command, and are extremely reticent about criticizing their civilian overseers. That those I spoke with made an exception in Trump’s case is telling, and much of what they told me is deeply disturbing. In 20 years of writing about the military, I have never heard officers in high positions express such alarm about a president. Trump’s pronouncements and orders have already risked catastrophic and unnecessary wars in the Middle East and Asia, and have created severe problems for field commanders engaged in combat operations. Frequently caught unawares by Trump’s statements, senior military officers have scrambled, in their aftermath, to steer the country away from tragedy. How many times can they successfully do that before faltering?

Amid threats spanning the globe, from nuclear proliferation to mined tankers in the Persian Gulf to terrorist attacks and cyberwarfare, those in command positions monitor the president’s Twitter feed like field officers scanning the horizon for enemy troop movements. A new front line in national defense has become the White House Situation Room, where the military struggles to accommodate a commander in chief who is both ignorant and capricious. In May, after months of threatening Iran, Trump ordered the carrier group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln to shift from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. On June 20, after an American drone was downed there, he ordered a retaliatory attack—and then called it off minutes before it was to be launched. The next day he said he was “not looking for war” and wanted to talk with Iran’s leaders, while also promising them “obliteration like you’ve never seen before” if they crossed him. He threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and dispatched a three-aircraft-carrier flotilla to waters off the Korean peninsula—then he pivoted to friendly summits with Kim Jong Un, with whom he announced he was “in love”; canceled long-standing U.S. military exercises with South Korea; and dangled the possibility of withdrawing American forces from the country altogether. While the lovefest continues for the cameras, the U.S. has quietly uncanceled the canceled military exercises, and dropped any mention of a troop withdrawal.

Such rudderless captaincy creates the headlines Trump craves. He revels when his tweets take off. (“Boom!” he says. “Like a rocket!”) Out in the field, where combat is more than wordplay, his tweets have consequences. He is not a president who thinks through consequences—and this, the generals stressed, is not the way serious nations behave.

The generals I spoke with didn’t agree on everything, but they shared the following five characterizations of Trump’s military leadership.

I. HE DISDAINS EXPERTISE
Trump has little interest in the details of policy. He makes up his mind about a thing, and those who disagree with him—even those with manifestly more knowledge and experience—are stupid, or slow, or crazy.

As a personal quality, this can be trying; in a president, it is dangerous. Trump rejects the careful process of decision making that has long guided commanders in chief. Disdain for process might be the defining trait of his leadership. Of course, no process can guarantee good decisions—history makes that clear—but eschewing the tools available to a president is choosing ignorance. What Trump’s supporters call “the deep state” is, in the world of national security—hardly a bastion of progressive politics—a vast reservoir of knowledge and global experience that presidents ignore at their peril. The generals spoke nostalgically of the process followed by previous presidents, who solicited advice from field commanders, foreign-service and intelligence officers, and in some cases key allies before reaching decisions about military action. As different as George W. Bush and Barack Obama were in temperament and policy preferences, one general told me, they were remarkably alike in the Situation Room: Both presidents asked hard questions, wanted prevailing views challenged, insisted on a variety of options to consider, and weighed potential outcomes against broader goals. Trump doesn’t do any of that. Despite commanding the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering apparatus in the world, this president prefers to be briefed by Fox News, and then arrives at decisions without input from others.

...

See rest of article here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/11/military-officers-trump/598360/

:cheers:
 

tomahawk6

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The Atlantic is hardly a bastion of conservative thought more like fake news. The money Trump has poured into the military puts the lie to the article.
 

Remius

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tomahawk6 said:
The Atlantic is hardly a bastion of conservative thought more like fake news. The money Trump has poured into the military puts the lie to the article.

Here we go... ::)

Your first part is correct about it being left of center.  Fake news though?  Come on.  Just because something don't jive with one's own beliefs or isn't a bastion of conservative thought does not make it fake news.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-atlantic/

They note that the Atlantic has never failed a fact check.
 

mariomike

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tomahawk6 said:
The money Trump has poured into the military puts the lie to the article.

Trump Administration Diverts $3.6 Billion From Military Projects To Border Wall
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/757262799/trump-administration-diverts-3-6-billion-from-military-projects-to-border-wall


Willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding for a wall he promised Mexico would pay to build.

Edit spelling.
 
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