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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19461 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-February-19, 08:02

View Postbarmar, on 2022-February-18, 09:48, said:

Does anyone really think that being "under oath" means anything to Trump? He's so narcisistic might even believe some of his own BS.

And he's lied under oath in the past, about things that were easy for others to check. https://www.washingt...ion/trump-lies/


I read part of the cited article. Here is the first part (I got further):

Quote

The lawyer gave Donald Trump a note, written in Trump's own handwriting. He asked Trump to read it aloud.

Trump may not have realized it yet, but he had walked into a trap.

"Peter, you're a real loser," Trump began reading.

The mogul had sent the note to a reporter, objecting to a story that said Trump owned a "small minority stake" in a Manhattan real estate project. Trump insisted that the word "small" was incorrect. Trump continued reading: "I wrote, 'Is 50 percent small?' "

"This [note] was intended to indicate that you had a 50 percent stake in the project, correct?" said the lawyer.

"That's correct," Trump said.




Notice that Trump did not lie! He agreed that this was intended to suggest he had more than a 50% stake. On the stand, he agreed as to what he had written and he agreed as to his intention in writing it. I suppose that he didn't actually own more than 50% Well, he did not, strictly speaking, say that he did. He asked if Peter, whoever Peter is, thought 50% was small.

My plan is to go through life dealing with lawyers only if truly necessary, and then with great caution. I do not ever want to explain "I didn't say I had more than 50%, I just asked if he thought 50% was small, I am not responsible for what someone infers from that". I prefer to be with people who, when they say something, I don't need to submit it to analysis to see what it actually means. I mentioned before that when I was young I testified for a friend in a divorce case. His lawyer explained "You have to tell the truth but there are many ways to tell the truth'" Yuk. He was correct I suppose but I prefer to think otherwise.
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#19462 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-February-19, 10:10

View Postkenberg, on 2022-February-19, 08:02, said:

I read part of the cited article. Here is the first part (I got further):


Notice that Trump did not lie! He agreed that this was intended to suggest he had more than a 50% stake. On the stand, he agreed as to what he had written and he agreed as to his intention in writing it. I suppose that he didn't actually own more than 50% Well, he did not, strictly speaking, say that he did. He asked if Peter, whoever Peter is, thought 50% was small.

My plan is to go through life dealing with lawyers only if truly necessary, and then with great caution. I do not ever want to explain "I didn't say I had more than 50%, I just asked if he thought 50% was small, I am not responsible for what someone infers from that". I prefer to be with people who, when they say something, I don't need to submit it to analysis to see what it actually means. I mentioned before that when I was young I testified for a friend in a divorce case. His lawyer explained "You have to tell the truth but there are many ways to tell the truth'" Yuk. He was correct I suppose but I prefer to think otherwise.


If you keep reading you find the actual stake was 30%, which is not 50%, even if suggested that it is or should be considered as such.

Somewhere else in his deposition Trump stated he earned over a million dollars for a talk he did but when pressed admitted the cash he received was $400,000, the rest of the earning were in his mind from intangibles, the benefit of the advertising done by the company that hire him to speak.

That raises my question: how much of that $600.,000 of intangible value did you claim as income on your tax returns?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19463 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-19, 11:44

View Postkenberg, on 2022-February-19, 08:02, said:

I mentioned before that when I was young I testified for a friend in a divorce case. His lawyer explained "You have to tell the truth but there are many ways to tell the truth'" Yuk. He was correct I suppose but I prefer to think otherwise.

Are there really many ways to "tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth"?
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#19464 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-February-19, 12:35

View Posty66, on 2022-February-19, 11:44, said:

Are there really many ways to "tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth"?


That's right, there aren't. Actually I think they decided against calling me as a witness, maybe they just worked out an agreement, I don't remember it all that well. But I do recall the lawyer's advice about telling the truth.

Bottom line: Truth can be distorted without anyone going to jail for perjury.
Ken
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#19465 User is online   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-February-19, 15:49

"It depends on what the meaning of the word is is. If the...if he...if is means is and never has been, that is not - that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement"

#19466 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-February-19, 15:52

As usual Trump replied with words to the effect of "Would you say 50% was a lot?" not exactly 50%.
His phrasing is so anodyne it's like wrestling with a column of smoke (Keating P.).
In the debate with Biden when challenged about his assertion that he had done more for ... since Lincoln he quickly replied "since".
Still a debatable point but this left Biden rolling his eyes.

To me this shows that far from babbling he knows exactly what he is saying, he isn't mad and should be held to account.

This approach ought to be very familiar to Bridge players that have to deal with alerts like "could be strong" etc.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#19467 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-20, 13:13

From Fringe Scheme to Reverse 2020 Election Splits Wisconsin G.O.P. at NYT:

Timothy Ramthun said:

We don’t wear tinfoil hats. We’re not fringe.

You know you're in the twilight zone when someone suggests that only fringe R's wear tinfoil hats.
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#19468 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-21, 20:29

Ingrida Šimonytė, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania said:

Putin just put Kafka & Orwell to shame: no limits to dictator's imagination, no lows too low, no lies too blatant, no red lines too red to cross.

What we witnessed tonight might seem surreal for democratic world. But the way we respond will define us for the generations to come.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19469 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-22, 08:21

David Leonhardt at NYT said:

https://messaging-cu...896ed87b2d9c72a

Early in the Reagan administration, several Christian conservative leaders founded a group called the Council for National Policy. It soon turned into what my colleague David Kirkpatrick has described as “a little-known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country.” One of its main functions was introducing political activists to wealthy donors who could finance their work.

After Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, the group’s political arm, known as C.N.P. Action, sprang into action. It encouraged its members to spread stories about “election irregularities and issues” in five swing states that Joe Biden had won narrowly. The goal was to persuade Republican state legislators to adopt Trump’s false claims about election fraud — and then award their states’ electoral votes to him, overturning Biden’s victory.

One vocal proponent of the effort was a C.N.P. board member who had spent decades in conservative politics. In the lead-up to the Jan. 6 rally at the Capitol, she reportedly mediated between feuding factions so that they would work together to plan it. On the day of the rally, she posted a message on Facebook: “GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU STANDING UP or PRAYING!”

This board member’s name is Ginni Thomas, and she is married to Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court. Today, The Times Magazine has published an investigation of Ginni Thomas’s work and its connections to her husband, written by Danny Hakim and Jo Becker.

I recognize that conflict-of-interest questions involving the work of spouses can be difficult to resolve. On the one hand, people generally deserve the right to have their own careers, separate from their spouses’. On the other hand, the privilege of being a top government official seems to call for a higher standard of neutrality than most jobs would.

But I don’t think you need to resolve that debate to be concerned about the Thomases’ recent actions. You simply need to acknowledge this: The spouse of a sitting Supreme Court justice played an active role in an effort to overturn the result of a presidential election, hand victory to the loser and unravel American democracy.

That Supreme Court justice, in turn, seemed to endorse the effort. When Trump’s attempt to undo the election’s outcome came before the Supreme Court, six of the nine justices ruled against him. But Thomas was one of three justices who sided with Trump and, his dissent echoed the arguments of C.N.P. Action, as Danny and Jo explain. Thomas effectively argued for giving partisan state legislators more control over elections and their outcomes.

Roberts vs. Thomas

The Times Magazine story has more details, including:

After the Jan. 6 rally turned into a violent attack on the Capitol, C.N.P. advised its members to defend the rioters. And Thomas herself signed a letter criticizing the House committee investigating the attack. The investigation, the letter said, “brings disrespect to our country’s rule of law” and “legal harassment to private citizens who have done nothing wrong.” (Ginni Thomas also made baseless accusations of election fraud in 2018, The Washington Post has reported.)
The Thomases have used his position as a justice to advance her causes as an operative. During the Trump presidency, White House aides were surprised when Justice Thomas brought an uninvited guest — his wife — to a scheduled lunch with the president.
I also recommend a recent New Yorker article on the couple, by Jane Mayer. It notes that the Supreme Court has exempted itself from some conflict-of-interest rules that apply to all other judges. In reporting the story, Mayer uncovered previously unknown payments to Ginni Thomas from conservative activists — including a group involved in a case before the Supreme Court.

The result, Mayer told NPR, is “the appearance of a conflict of interest that undermines the public confidence that the court is ruling in favor of justice rather than in favor of a justice’s pocketbook.”

I’m especially struck that the Thomases have been willing to mix Supreme Court cases with both their own finances and partisan politics at a time when the justices seem so worried about the court’s image.

Several justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, have recently given speeches insisting that the justices are neutral arbiters of the law rather than partisan figures. Justice Stephen Breyer has argued that the court’s authority depends on “a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics,” and Justice Amy Coney Barrett has said, “This court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks.”

Justice Thomas has made a version of this argument himself, saying that a justice is not “like a politician” who makes a decision based on “personal preference.” His actions send a different message, though. They seem to acknowledge that the court is indeed a political body.

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#19470 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-22, 15:56

Maggie Haberman at NYT said:

Is this supposed to be another data point that Putin feared Trump? Trump calling aggression “savvy?”

https://twitter.com/...222798703910912

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#19471 User is online   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-February-22, 20:02

You boys really are amusing. Rather than continuing to flog an inanimate equine please tell us just ONE thing that your boy Joe has done to improve the lives of we plebeians. Please. Just one.

#19472 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-February-22, 20:33

 Chas_P, on 2022-February-22, 20:02, said:

You boys really are amusing. Rather than continuing to flog an inanimate equine please tell us just ONE thing that your boy Joe has done to improve the lives of we plebeians. Please. Just one.


Joe's job is to make you personally happy?
The proximate reason that Joe and Bernie are unable to implement (even more) measures that will cause material improvements to peoples lives is that people like you vote for people like Gaetz, Greene, Graham and others of similarly grotty moral persuasion.

If you want a government that cares about people don't vote for the Ben Shapiro 'personal responsibility' parties.

You are literally hoist on your own petard.




non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek.
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#19473 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-February-23, 00:20

View PostChas_P, on 2022-February-22, 20:02, said:

You boys really are amusing. Rather than continuing to flog an inanimate equine please tell us just ONE thing that your boy Joe has done to improve the lives of we plebeians. Please. Just one.

Most people seem to be able to find something here they like. For those that don't, just getting an extra holiday a year after surviving the pandemic has got to be worth something. Considering the current state of Congress and the Gerrymandering Obstruction Party, that's really not too bad. If you want more, vote for candidates that care more about legislating than making headlines and raising cash.
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#19474 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2022-February-23, 08:36

View PostChas_P, on 2022-February-22, 20:02, said:

You boys really are amusing. Rather than continuing to flog an inanimate equine please tell us just ONE thing that your boy Joe has done to improve the lives of we plebeians. Please. Just one.

Biden definitely improved my life by kicking a con man out of the White House so decisively that no honest person can contest it. I am heartened that the good folks in the three states where I've spent most of my life -- Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan -- participated by helping Biden accomplish that.

When I travel abroad, I no longer have to deal with questions from relatives and friends about what has gone so wrong with America. And at this particular moment I'm especially thankful that Putin's lackey does not occupy the oval office.

Yes, Trump still runs his con games -- suckering folks out of millions of dollars by peddling his latest big lie -- and I do feel sorry for those suckers. But the good news is that the vast majority of Americans rejected Trump and are certainly not sending him their money.
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#19475 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-February-23, 15:27

View PostChas_P, on 2022-February-22, 20:02, said:

You boys really are amusing. Rather than continuing to flog an inanimate equine please tell us just ONE thing that your boy Joe has done to improve the lives of we plebeians. Please. Just one.


I think that my day-to-day life is now close to the same as it was four years ago and about the same as it was eight years ago. So if we judge a presidency by looking at Ken's day-to-day life we might see no difference between Trump and Obama. Still, somehow, just somehow, I believe there is a difference.

I am not thinking that JB will be regarded as one of our great presidents. But the previous guy was a lying scumbag that was and is an embarrassment to the nation. So I take Improvement where I can find it. If the Rs want to put forward someone who doesn't think that Jan 6 (I am not speaking of last month) was just an ordinary day of tourism in the Capitol that would be nice.
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#19476 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-24, 11:53

Jonathan Bernstein said:

Here are a few early thoughts on the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

As always, be skeptical of the information you see (and, if you’re on social media, amplify). Some will be wrong because it’s deliberate misinformation. Some will be wrong because reporting during military action is always difficult. Remember that things can be reported by legitimate news outlets and good journalists that just turn out to be wrong. (One of the ways you can identify a legitimate news outlet is that it will correct mistakes as rapidly as possible, but mistakes are still inevitable.)

Be wary of anyone who is certain about how all of this will turn out, whether in the short run or the long run. No one knows today whether this invasion will be a great success or total disaster for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nor should anyone be certain about what President Joe Biden and U.S. allies could’ve done differently to achieve a different outcome. One thing this non-expert is confident about: U.S. pundits tend to massively overestimate American influence on international events.

A bit of relevant history: Journalist James Fallows reminds us that this is hardly the first time NATO has failed to deter aggression from Moscow. Fallows cites the Soviet attacks on Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, when their puppet governments appeared unable to stop liberalization movements; he could’ve added the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the suppression of Solidarity in 1981. This is clearly different, since Russia is attacking a neighboring independent democracy. But, as Fallows notes, none of the U.S. presidents at the time had any intention of a direct military response, although Jimmy Carter (for example) struck back in 1979 with a boycott of the upcoming Moscow Olympics, a grain embargo and support for a sharp increase in defense spending.

Fallows makes the further point that “in none of those other cases, as best I know, did US have prominent apologists for USSR action, comparable to Trump / Carlson these days.” True, and worth noting. But also worth pointing out that the bulk of Republican responses have been harshly critical of Putin. The U.S. may be more united than it seems. And NATO appears to be about as solidly united as it has ever been, while a broad group of world leaders have joined in support of Ukraine and in opposition to Putin.

One significant disadvantage for the U.S. during this crisis: a State Department that has been hollowed out for some time, especially during Donald Trump’s presidency. Biden shares some responsibility, as he has been slow to nominate ambassadors, while the Senate has been slow to confirm non-controversial nominees when Biden has acted. There’s also no nominee at the Treasury Department for undersecretary for international affairs; Biden did send the Senate a choice for deputy undersecretary/designated assistant secretary for international finance in early August, but that nominee has been waiting for a final vote since November, as has the nominee for assistant secretary for financial markets. Of course, people are designated to do those jobs in the interim, but they don’t have the clout that a Senate-confirmed presidential selection would. And there’s simply nothing that can be done rapidly to make up for lost experience in the permanent civil service.

On the plus side: It’s a nice time to have what appears to be a smoothly functioning White House, and an experienced president who by all accounts has strong relationships with U.S. allies. It doesn’t guarantee good decisions, let alone good outcomes, but it’s still a lot better than the alternative.

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#19477 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-February-24, 11:53

Mark Twain said:

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19478 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-February-24, 14:58

Or as Vincent Gambini said in opening statements, “Everything that guy just said is bullsh#t. Thank you.”
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19479 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-February-24, 16:02

From the Bernstein quote above:


Quote

A bit of relevant history: Journalist James Fallows reminds us that this is hardly the first time NATO has failed to deter aggression from Moscow. Fallows cites the Soviet attacks on Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, when their puppet governments appeared unable to stop liberalization movements; he could’ve added the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the suppression of Solidarity in 1981. This is clearly different, since Russia is attacking a neighboring independent democracy. But, as Fallows notes, none of the U.S. presidents at the time had any intention of a direct military response, although Jimmy Carter (for example) struck back in 1979 with a boycott of the upcoming Moscow Olympics, a grain embargo and support for a sharp increase in defense spending.<br style="color: rgb(28, 40, 55); font-size: 11.7px; background-color: rgb(243, 249, 246);">


Another part of that history, at least as remembered from when I was 17: Radio Free Europe encouraged Hungarians to believe that if they rebelled against Soviet control then we would be right there helping them. They found that Eisenhower was more cautious.

Of course, this was later debated. Who us? No, we never said that. Well, maybe. I met a guy a year or two later who had escaped. He was glad to be out, he did believe we had promised more than we did. Later I met a woman who got out with her kids through gunfire, not surprisingly she did not want to talk about it.

Whatever the truth of it, and I am no historian, it does illustrate that we should be careful about what we promise or appear to promise.
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#19480 User is online   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-February-24, 19:21

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-February-24, 14:58, said:

Or as Vincent Gambini said in opening statements, “Everything that guy just said is bullsh#t. Thank you.”

It all depends on who is judging what bullsh#t is. Thank you.

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