Kelli Fury

US Politics- Stay Gold, Pony Boy

403 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, mormont said:

Why not?

This is exactly what is expected of someone who puts themselves forward for public office. Maybe not to sell it off, but at least to let go of it. This is what public service is, and always has been, about: making sacrifices. If Trump could not bear to give up his life's work he should not have sought the nomination. He knew, from day one, that if he won it would create numerous, serious conflicts of interest. His behaviour so far has made it clear that he considers those problems less important than looking after his business interests.

He's done pretty much nothing. He could clearly do much more. He could, for example, appoint an independent person or board to run his businesses instead of his children. But then he wouldn't be in control.

Appointing an independent board to run his companies wouldn't do anything to eliminate conflicts of interest.  If he maintains ownership, regardless of who is running his companies, he would still be able to enrich himself by doing things to benefit his companies.  The only way to eliminate the potential conflicts of interest is to sell off all his companies and place the proceeds in a blind trust that is managed by an independent entity and/or to invest the proceeds in certain highly diversified mutual funds like index funds. 

I'm not a big fan of Rex Tillerman, but one thing he did right was selling off all his Exxon stocks and options and putting the proceeds into a blind trust.

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21 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

To me the issue is quite clear. A vast gulf exists in opinions on what is reasonable in this case.

Some would say anything he did that goes beyond an absolute legal requirement, is more than reasonable. You (and many others) feel a much higher ethical standard should be used to define reasonability here.

I listened to his lawyer's speech from a business person's perspective. And I was nodding along as she presented and discussed the pro's and con's of the various options they had considered.

You've been a vociferous advocate for tribalism in the past, and viewed tribalism as justified rationale for voting for Trump.  How much does Trump's being Republican contribute to your belief in this as reasonable?   Would you be coming down on the same side if a rich Dem won?   

Trump sold himself as a guy who would be far less financially and otherwise comprised than Hillary.   A significant portion of his followers saw Hillary as hopelessly tied to other countries' money and corrupt beyond repair, and said they couldn't possibly have someone like that in office.   How isn't it hypocritical AF for his supporters to not demand transparency in his financial dealings, and demand he go beyond the legal obligations?  I mean, he ran on an anti-corruption bit, ffs.

Adjacently, do you believe it's reasonable to demand, at the very least, that he release his tax returns and make all of his financial ties transparent?

Edited by butterbumps!

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21 minutes ago, Hereward said:

Mudguard,

 

I wouldn't be surprised. All the major HUMINT sources in the Russian state apparatus, at least since the Philby spy ring was closed down, have worked for the British not the Americans, see Gordievsky, Mitrokhin, etc.

How would you know what the current Russian sources of the CIA are?  That seems like pure speculation.  Regardless, couldn't the CIA ask British intelligence for help if they lacked the resources?

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1 minute ago, butterbumps! said:

 

You've been a vociferous advocate for tribalism in the past, and viewed tribalism as justified rationale for voting for Trump.  How much does Trump's being Republican contribute to your belief in this as reasonable?   Would you be coming down on the same side if a rich Dem won?   

Trump sold himself as a guy who would be far less financially and otherwise comprised than Hillary.   A significant portion of his followers saw Hillary as hopelessly tied to other countries' money and corrupt beyond repair, and said they couldn't possibly have someone like that in office.   How isn't it hypocritical AF for his supporters to not demand transparency in his financial dealings, and go beyond the legal obligations?

Adjacently, do you believe it's reasonable to demand, at the very least, that he release his tax returns and make all of his financial ties transparent?

Not sure why this angle is necessary.

But in any case, I believe people are divided into interest groups, yes. Interest groups who in many cases (not all, but many) are battling each other in a zero sum game. Meaning what one gains, the other loses. My views are constantly evolving, by the way. I take in a lot of new information, and yes, my views get shaped by it on an ongoing basis.

In any case, let's refer to conservatives and liberals as two such interest groups, for the sake of trying to answer your question. Two "tribes", if you will.

And to be quite honest, yes, I am willing to overlook a lot of Trumps obvious failings, if Trump achieves the gains promised during his campaign (remember,  I was never a fan of him as the preferred candidate, and I'm still not a fan of the man as a person, but I was willing to settle for him if it brings a victory - which it did against all expectations, including my own).

So, for the sake of a conservative supreme court justice, 2nd amendment protections, immigration control, etc. (basically, a lot of important issues to conservatives), I guess I am obviously willing to be less critical of him than if he opposed these positions.

In short, pragmatism. But I must say, in this case I don't think the expectation that he should sell his businesses is reasonable, no matter what his political persuasion might be.

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1 minute ago, Mudguard said:

How would you know what the current Russian sources of the CIA are?  That seems like pure speculation.  Regardless, couldn't the CIA ask British intelligence for help if they lacked the resources?

I don't. I simply stated, on the basis of past success in recruiting agents, that I wouldn't be surprised. And yes, British intelligence could and would share information with the CIA, though not details of who the agents are, as they've lost agents like that before because of Russian agents (financially not ideologically motivated)  in the CIA.

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30 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

To me the issue is quite clear. A vast gulf exists in opinions on what is reasonable in this case.

Oh, absolutely. But, as ever when a wide range of opinions exists, some of those opinions are reasonable and well founded and some are not.

30 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Some would say anything he did that goes beyond an absolute legal requirement, is more than reasonable. You (and many others) feel a much higher ethical standard should be used to define reasonability here.

Well, I think it's fair to suggest that we should err on the side of setting higher standards for more powerful positions, don't you? If your position is that the reasonable standard for the most powerful position in the world is literally the lowest possible standard that complies with the letter of the law, then I think that's a position that's difficult to defend and very easy to dispute.

30 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I listened to his lawyer's speech from a business person's perspective.

That is, with respect, not the relevant perspective. This isn't a business issue, it's a question of public policy.

30 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

In each case one had to weigh the potential benefit of an option against its cost (yes, its cost to Trump and his family). You and others who share your opinion clearly feel that the cost to him should not be a major consideration as he entered into this situation willingly and knowingly. The alternative view is that one should not be required to sacrifice even more, after you are already sacrificing years of your life to such a demanding public service.

You do understand that Trump has, to date, sacrificed exactly 0 years of his life to public service? And that your point is that he should continue to not make sacrifices?

30 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

In any case, the options like blind trusts were in my view very logically dismissed, as still not truly killing off all opportunities for conflicts of interest or appearances of conflicts of interest.

So because he can't completely fix the problem, that justifies making no effort at all?

Except he can, of course, but it involves doing something he doesn't want to do, i.e. sell up. And I repeat: since Trump knew this would be the situation all along, it's not unreasonable to ask why he chose to go ahead anyway. The answer can only be that he always intended to hang onto his businesses despite the conflict of interest. That he went into this knowingly intending to prioritise his own interests above doing the best job he can as President. I don't think that's a resounding endorsement. In fact, I think it's corrupt. And so does Trump, by the way. He excoriated Clinton for conflicts of interest because she had a charitable foundation operating while she was SoS. Now, he thinks (and you think) it's OK to operate an international private business while being President, adding hypocrisy to corruption.

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1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Not sure why this angle is necessary.

But in any case, I believe people are divided into interest groups, yes. Interest groups who in many cases (not all, but many) are battling each other in a zero sum game. Meaning what one gains, the other loses. My views are constantly evolving, by the way. I take in a lot of new information, and yes, my views get shaped by it on an ongoing basis.

In any case, let's refer to conservatives and liberals as two such interest groups, for the sake of trying to answer your question. Two "tribes", if you will.

And to be quite honest, yes, I am willing to overlook a lot of Trumps obvious failings, if Trump achieves the gains promised during his campaign (remember,  I was never a fan of him as the preferred candidate, and I'm still not a fan of the man as a person, but I was willing to settle for him if it brings a victory - which it did against all expectations, including my own).

So, for the sake of a conservative supreme court justice, 2nd amendment protections, immigration control, etc. (basically, a lot of important issues to conservatives), I guess I am obviously willing to be less critical of him than if he opposed these positions.

In short, pragmatism. But I must say, in this case I don't think the expectation that he should sell his businesses is reasonable, no matter what his political persuasion might be.

That doesn't really answer the bulk of what I was asking.   In the first part, I was curious how far your tolerance for protecting an elected official's business interests went, and especially whether it transcended party lines.    I assume your belief in "pragmatism" would apply to an official from the opposite party?   ETA: to be clear, I'm not asking about the specific action of "selling the business."  To rephrase, I am asking more generally if you believe that officials-- especially in the presidency-- should uphold more rigorous ethics practices than the law dictates regarding their conflicts, putting aside the specific "how" for now, regardless of party.  

More importantly, though, I was asking whether you believed that it was hypocritical for his followers to roll over on the ethics/ COI issue in light of how he made his incorruptibility part of his campaign.  He tried to sell himself as fundamentally anti-conflict, and painted the opposition as hopelessly conflicted and corrupt.    Shouldn't the people who voted for the "drain the swamp" candidate because he was the "drain the swamp" candidate be furious that they've been defrauded?    

And if you weren't in love with him but voted for him anyway, why not be critical?    Why not retain your sensibilities and standards of judgment?

And lastly, I asked if you believed, at the very least, that Trump should make his conflicts apparent by releasing tax returns, so that, at the very least, we are aware of them.    Until he becomes more transparent about his finances and conflicts, he's going to be facing scandal after scandal.   Which, speaking of pragmatics, is a nightmare.   

 

Edited by butterbumps!

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34 minutes ago, Hereward said:

I don't. I simply stated, on the basis of past success in recruiting agents, that I wouldn't be surprised. And yes, British intelligence could and would share information with the CIA, though not details of who the agents are, as they've lost agents like that before because of Russian agents (financially not ideologically motivated)  in the CIA.

Well, back to my original point.  If the report by the ex-officer was true, shouldn't the CIA, with assistance from British intelligence, been able to verify the claims made in the report by now?  How likely is it that the ex-officer has sources that cannot be corroborated by any sources of the CIA or British intelligence?  Or is it more likely that the report is full of shit?

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5 minutes ago, Mudguard said:

Well, back to my original point.  If the report by the ex-officer was true, shouldn't the CIA, with assistance from British intelligence, been able to verify the claims made in the report by now?  How likely is it that the ex-officer has sources that cannot be corroborated by any sources of the CIA or British intelligence?  Or is it more likely that the report is full of shit?

Pure speculation, but theoretically they might well be able to corroborate. But would they risk an agent, and would the agent risk his or her life, to corroborate whether Trump likes watersports? Seems unlikely. The (damp) bed has been made and, Russian agent or not, the Americans and Trump are going to have to lie in it.

Edited by Hereward

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5 minutes ago, Hereward said:

Pure speculation, but theoretically they might well be able to corroborate. But would they risk an agent, and would the agent risk his or her life, to corroborate whether Trump likes watersports? Seems unlikely. The (damp) bed has been made and, Russian agent or not, the Americans and Trump are going to have to lie in it.

I don't get why the CIA or British intellgence would have to risk a life to get the same information that the ex- officer got.  Or do you think the ex- officer also risked lives to compile his opposition research report?  If so, how likely is that?

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It's not corroboration if you ask the same source, and no-one would take it as such. To corroborate, you'd have to get someone in Moscow to back the story up.

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3 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

What is the supposed to do? I don't think it is reasonable to expect him to sell off his life's work before he can be president. Short of letting go of his shares in his businesses, I'd say he has done about as much as he can to create a "Chinese Wall" between himself and his business interests.

He could always declare bankruptcy again. He has lots of experience with that. Problem solved with what to do with his 'business interests'.

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1 minute ago, Hereward said:

It's not corroboration if you ask the same source, and no-one would take it as such. To corroborate, you'd have to get someone in Moscow to back the story up.

His reports don't name any sources.  You wouldn't be able to tell if you were using the same sources or not.  Aren't the ex-officers sources Russians?  Were all these people putting their lives on the line so that he could complete his opposition research report?  That's even more unbelievable.

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I'm fairly sure they would know who the source is if the ex-agent is in good standing, but even if they don't, they would have to get two credible sources, and/or an official, verifiable document from the archives to make sure. That's dangerous. 

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1 hour ago, butterbumps! said:

That doesn't really answer the bulk of what I was asking.   In the first part, I was curious how far your tolerance for protecting an elected official's business interests went, and especially whether it transcended party lines.    I assume your belief in "pragmatism" would apply to an official from the opposite party?   ETA: to be clear, I'm not asking about the specific action of "selling the business."  To rephrase, I am asking more generally if you believe that officials-- especially in the presidency-- should uphold more rigorous ethics practices than the law dictates regarding their conflicts, putting aside the specific "how" for now, regardless of party.  

More importantly, though, I was asking whether you believed that it was hypocritical for his followers to roll over on the ethics/ COI issue in light of how he made his incorruptibility part of his campaign.  He tried to sell himself as fundamentally anti-conflict, and painted the opposition as hopelessly conflicted and corrupt.    Shouldn't the people who voted for the "drain the swamp" candidate because he was the "drain the swamp" candidate be furious that they've been defrauded?    

And if you weren't in love with him but voted for him anyway, why not be critical?    Why not retain your sensibilities and standards of judgment?

And lastly, I asked if you believed, at the very least, that Trump should make his conflicts apparent by releasing tax returns, so that, at the very least, we are aware of them.    Until he becomes more transparent about his finances and conflicts, he's going to be facing scandal after scandal.   Which, speaking of pragmatics, is a nightmare.   

 

I don't care about Trump, or his future. But I care about the strength of his position insofar as it impacts his ability to deliver on policy and other issues. So if he goes to jail after his presidency, I don't really care. But for the next four years I would prefer him to have as strong a position as possible to effect the changes of the interest group that he represents.

That's the pragmatic position I'm talking about.

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4 hours ago, mormont said:

Why not?

This is exactly what is expected of someone who puts themselves forward for public office. Maybe not to sell it off, but at least to let go of it. This is what public service is, and always has been, about: making sacrifices.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!11111111111!!!!!!!!!1:rolleyes:

In the golden era of lobbying, where every US politician earns huge sums on de facto legalized bribery, are you seriously proposing that public service (at the top level in US at least) is about making sacrifices? 

The median net worth of a member of Congress was $1.03 million in 2013

https://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/01/12/making-it-rain-members-of-congress-are-mostly-millionaires/

Edited by Mr Fixit

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6 hours ago, TheKitttenGuard said:

The favor Buzzfeed did was distract that he is not ending any of his conflict of interest with his business.

I honestly do not know what is or is not with the dossier.  I am of full confidence that Russia does have something on him.  

Russia has a great oppritunity to truely show the World that their view will have real benefits.  They make Donald look like a true fool the world will not survive his bruised ego.

Exactly.  Any time there is any news of serious import about Trump and his shady business dealings or something that could get real traction something salacious is released that he blovates over, extensively, that way people focus on the salacious and ignore the serious.  It is an insidiously effective way to control media coverage.  

They will always go with salacious over serious (but boring) salacious gets them clicks.  Serious but boring does not.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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4 minutes ago, Hereward said:

I'm fairly sure they would know who the source is if the ex-agent is in good standing, but even if they don't, they would have to get two credible sources, and/or an official, verifiable document from the archives to make sure. That's dangerous. 

Even asking the original source for confirmation seems dangerous, not to mention the first time.  If any of this was true, Putin would be tracking down leaks as we speak.  I find it hard to believe that an ex- agent, unless they were a complete shit, would jeopardize the lives of so many people just for an opposition research paper.  He would have burned all his sources.  He was shopping his report all over the place.  None of this adds up.

Large parts of his report have already been debunked, so I'm convinced the report is a fake.

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1 hour ago, Altherion said:

It's not about tariffs. China is subsidizing their semiconductor industry and the American companies want similar subsidies as well as restrictions on what China may buy in the US for security reasons.

But tariffs were one of Trumps big ideas, if not the man one with regard to trade. And wasn't mentioned in the report. You missed the point.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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43 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

I don't care about Trump, or his future. But I care about the strength of his position insofar as it impacts his ability to deliver on policy and other issues. So if he goes to jail after his presidency, I don't really care. But for the next four years I would prefer him to have as strong a position as possible to effect the changes of the interest group that he represents.

That's the pragmatic position I'm talking about.

So you prefer Trump to have unfettered power to pursue his policies, because you see yourself benefitting from them.   We should all get in line behind the president to empower him without challenge, because you believe it serves you personally.   

At least in terms of guns, conservative Supreme Court appointments and immigration.   Yet you've stated that he wasn't your preferred candidate.    Doesn't that mean he has positions and policies you don't agree with that you'd prefer he isn't empowered to fully pursue?   You don't think empowering him to the fullest extent might backfire?

i guess, why is this all or nothing for you?  

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