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US Politics: Shutbound & Down

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2 minutes ago, Lord Dracarys said:

I suppose you mean Leopold who was a finalist for a Pulitzer prize last year? Sure, he does but he's also broken big stories. Cormier also doesnt seem to have any skeletons far as I have read.

The Buzzfeed story is as good as dead (worse than dead really), unless another reputable news organization can independently confirm their findings.  Cohen is due to testify to Congress in February, so I'm sure he'll get asked about the portions that relate to him.  If he answers, we might get some confirmation (true or false) about portions of the report then.  Or we wait until Mueller is finished and hope most of the report is made public, and I'm sure all the portions that exculpate Trump, if any, will be made public.

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1 hour ago, larrytheimp said:

I agree, but that was 2016.  I voted for Sanders in the primary.  I just think that today, the party has moved left, and he's no longer the only option to Clinton.  I think half the reason he was popular with younger voters is that he wasn't Clinton.  Most of his policy stuff I'm down with in a general way but I was a little concerned that his foreign policy wasn't more openly pacifist.  I think the best thing Sanders did was show that there is a lot of popular support for a more progressive domestic agenda that really seeks to address income inequality.  

Yeah, if Sanders does run it will be interesting to see this tested.  There was definitely a desire last time for a non-Clinton option.  I hope Sanders doesn't run because I don't think it will go great, and he's already accomplished a lot in terms of moving the window a bit.

It's interesting for me right now...I don't have a huge preference on anyone yet.  I have some Beto fandom, but it's largely for the same reasons that others do.  That I think he might have some special star power that could get turnout up, Obama style.  

I like Booker too.  I know that a lot of people are made uncomfortable by how he's been too close to Wall Street in the past, but I expect him to do a solid job of getting away from that.  But he's a very gifted speaker, and I think that will help raise his profile as things get going.  

ETA:  Mueller's statement is vague enough as to be totally unclear what's going on.  Could easily be an attempt to downplay without lying.  

Edited by Triskele

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1 hour ago, DMC said:

Yeah Ohio is literally part of the Midwest according to census region.  And while PA is in the Northeast, Western PA is much more similar to the midwest than (most of) the rest of the Northeast.  A simpler way (and more flexible) term to describe this is the rust belt.

We're also part of the Great Lakes Conference which includes western PA, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, western NY, Minnesota (and Ontario and Quebec). We have far more in common with those regions than we do the Northeast. Even Harrisburg thinks the state ends at the Susquehanna.

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16 minutes ago, Triskele said:

Yeah, if Sanders does run it will be interesting to see this tested.  There was definitely a desire last time for a non-Clinton option.  I hope Sanders doesn't run because I don't think it will go great, and he's already accomplished a lot in terms of moving the window a bit.

Yeah I also hope Bernie doesn't run so that lefty enthusiasm can settle on someone else. If he runs I doubt he'll get the nomination but he'll hoover up important support for other more leftist candidates. He might be an interesting VP choice for someone.

I wonder if any of the candidates are going to stake out some differences on foreign policy as there is plenty to critique about the US foreign policy consensus. That's actually one thing I really like about Tulsi Gabbard, I know I know she has a ton of problematic history, but I really like her foreign policy record. I'm hoping some other candidates stake out some foreign policy positions outside the beltway consensus.

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26 minutes ago, Mudguard said:

The Buzzfeed story is as good as dead (worse than dead really), unless another reputable news organization can independently confirm their findings.  Cohen is due to testify to Congress in February, so I'm sure he'll get asked about the portions that relate to him.  If he answers, we might get some confirmation (true or false) about portions of the report then.  Or we wait until Mueller is finished and hope most of the report is made public, and I'm sure all the portions that exculpate Trump, if any, will be made public.

Honey, you're dreaming in technicolor if you think this story is dead!

The significant thing about the Mueller commentary is that Mueller did not say the story was untrue,. The statement is very, very carefully written.

"BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony are not accurate."

"Are not accurate" does not mean "are untrue".

"This office" does not mean that some other office investigating Cohen or Trump doesn't have those statements.

Mueller's office does not leak. The two investigators who have talked to BuzzFeed are obviously, I think, not on Mueller's team. But there are 17 different investigations being run by 7 DoJ offices. 

All Mueller is saying is, hey, don't look at us, we didn't talk to BuzzFeed. Otherwise Mueller would have come out and said the statements are untrue.

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12 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Honey, you're dreaming in technicolor if you think this story is dead!

The significant thing about the Mueller commentary is that Mueller did not say the story was untrue,. The statement is very, very carefully written.

"BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the Special Counsel's Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony are not accurate."

"Are not accurate" does not mean "are untrue".

"This office" does not mean that some other office investigating Cohen or Trump doesn't have those statements.

Mueller's office does not leak. The two investigators who have talked to BuzzFeed are obviously, I think, not on Mueller's team. But there are 17 different investigations being run by 7 DoJ offices. 

All Mueller is saying is, hey, don't look at us, we didn't talk to BuzzFeed. Otherwise Mueller would have come out and said the statements are untrue.

This reasoning seems like desperate grasping of straws.  Mueller's statement was extraordinary and I find it extremely unlikely that he issued such a statement, which on its face appears to clearly dispute the main and most explosive allegations of the Buzzfeed story, only to try and bizarrely split hairs as you are suggesting.  

I'd be very surprised if Democrats continue to cite the allegations in the Buzzfeed story as grounds for impeachment, which were flying all around earlier today.  We need some independent corroboration of the allegations in the Buzzfeed story, from another reputable news organization or from Mueller, before it can be relied on.  Relying on the Buzzfeed story without further confirmation after Mueller's statement would be highly irresponsible.  I think most Democrats will walk back their calls for further investigations and impeachment, although I could see a few ignoring Mueller's statement to push their agenda despite the lack of credible facts.

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Josh Marshall at TPM makes some interesting observations:

Quote

It’s very difficult, perhaps impossible to parse this statement. The fairest read is that certain specific claims or characterizations of documents are not accurate, not that the general claims of the article or all of its claims are necessarily wrong. That leaves us with an almost infinite range of possibilities, which is just what Mueller’s office wants. They didn’t want to give us any clues or bread crumbs in the first place. They’ve only told us want they want us to know: the article contains significant inaccuracies.

So let’s start with why they’re speaking up at all. There have been tons of stories, a number of which seem to have been erroneous or significantly incorrect. Mueller’s office has felt no need to correct them. The answer here has to be that this claim was so damning, so specific to the legitimacy of the presidency that Mueller or his overseers felt it was necessary to correct the record.

This is a case where it’s important to remember Rod Rosenstein’s role in overseeing the investigation. Rosenstein should know all relevant major details of the investigation. As far as we know he has steadfastly resisted any attempts to meddle with or interfere with the probe. But if a story like this is out there, this damning to the President and is in some material and significant way wrong, it quite plausible to me that he would have insisted the Mueller’s office release a statement. It’s equally plausible that the decision was Mueller’s.

As I’ve said, I don’t think we can parse this statement. It’s designed to tell us very little, no more than that the story contains significant inaccuracies. But I think there are some hints in the original story itself that may help us.

As noted last night, there’s something curious in the sourcing of this story. It doesn’t have the accustomed sourcing from cooperators or grand jury witnesses or targets strategically leaking information about themselves. It’s specifically sourced to “two federal law enforcement officials.” That in itself was probably very unwelcome to Mueller’s investigators who have clearly worked long and hard to run a leak free operation. Some of the motivation is likely to make clear that the Special Counsel’s Office was not the source of this information.

What’s also curious is that the information being discussed looks like matters being investigated mainly by the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan (SDNY) rather than the Special Counsel’s Office. No one has imagined that these probes are hermetically sealed. But the real scrutiny of the Trump Organization seems to be coming from New York, where the Cohen case itself is located. Not the statement’s very specific reference to information “obtained by this office.” I think that’s key. The SDNY is notoriously more porous to the press than the Special Counsel’s Office. So we have a kind of information that seems more likely to come out of New York and an office there that seems considerably more likely to leak.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/prime-beta/what-does-muellers-statement-mean

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24 minutes ago, Mudguard said:

This reasoning seems like desperate grasping of straws.  Mueller's statement was extraordinary and I find it extremely unlikely that he issued such a statement, which on its face appears to clearly dispute the main and most explosive allegations of the Buzzfeed story, only to try and bizarrely split hairs as you are suggesting.  

I'd be very surprised if Democrats continue to cite the allegations in the Buzzfeed story as grounds for impeachment, which were flying all around earlier today.  We need some independent corroboration of the allegations in the Buzzfeed story, from another reputable news organization or from Mueller, before it can be relied on.  Relying on the Buzzfeed story without further confirmation after Mueller's statement would be highly irresponsible.  I think most Democrats will walk back their calls for further investigations and impeachment, although I could see a few ignoring Mueller's statement to push their agenda despite the lack of credible facts.

:laugh:

My sweet, summer child, have you never spoken to a lawyer in your life? Soooooooo many weasel words in that statement!

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3 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Western PA, and Ohio, if they aren't part of the Midwest, what are they?  

According to ye olden days, they were The West,  The Ohio River Valley Territory.  Which young and old George Washington surveyed and bought into heavily in order to make a fortune in the way that forefathers of the colonial and early Republic did (and where, of course, the young George Washington started the French and Indian Wars).

By the earliest Virginia Company landgrants, ALL OF IT, from even norther than what is now New York and all the way to the Pacific, was Virginia. Which is another reason Virginia quoted that IT ALL BELONGS TO US so bow down you assho!es and do as what OUR government says, which was their government until 1860.

So Kentucky was cut out of Virginia Territory. Which already, back that far was creating divisions of slave and not slave territory, which is another reason why we are where we are today.

History, it tells tales on us all.

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Not sure.  Looks almost like Pelosi blinked on the shutdown...or maybe she's laying the groundwork to trap Trump (again) somehow...

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/house-democrats-add-dollar1-billion-in-border-related-spending-to-measures-to-reopen-government/ar-BBSqldl?ocid=msnclassic

 

WASHINGTON — House Democrats have added more than $1 billion in border-related spending to a package of funding bills that would reopen most of the government, even as President Trump said he would have a “major announcement” on Saturday about the border and the shutdown stalemate.

 

Both sides’ actions were the first indications of possible movement over the shutdown after a week of inertia and harsh words between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Trump. That conflict culminated when the president, responding to Ms. Pelosi’s request that he postpone his State of the Union address, announced on Thursday that he would not authorize the use of a military plane to fly her and other members of Congress to Afghanistan to meet with American troops.

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18 hours ago, Martell Spy said:

James Woods Calls Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘The Most Dangerous Person’ In The Nation
The youngest woman ever elected to Congress appears to be getting under the right-wing actor’s skin.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/james-woods-calls-ocasio-cortez-most-dangerous-person-in-america_us_5c410ea9e4b0bfa693c173b5

 

Woods is about as sharp as a marble.

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49 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

Woods is about as sharp as a marble.

But he's rich! How can he be stoopid if he's rich????

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7 hours ago, felice said:

I don't think the age factor can reasonably be discounted. We need someone to do a punishing job for eight years, that doesn't start for another two years. People like Warren and Sanders might be fully up to the task of campaigning now, but what shape will they be in a decade's time? It's certainly possible that they'd be fine, but I'm not comfortable with the odds.

I think this is a very reasonable consideration given how badly the job aged Clinton, Bush2 and Obama. I think the electability factor shouldn't be discounted either, I was looking at the ages of Presidents when first elected (I know I've seen someone else mention this previously) and the only Dem that has succeeded at being elected POTUS when over 50 since JFK is LBJ and he had some pretty extenuating circumstances. So all the 'young' contenders that have put their hand up so far are actually old by this standard except for Beto and Gabbard (46 and 37 respectively). When many of the major issues of the time boil down to "people who are going to be alive long enough to see these problems erupt" vs "I just want to maximise my money, I'll be dead before things go to shit" you really want someone young who will be a better representative for this first group.

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43 minutes ago, karaddin said:

I think this is a very reasonable consideration given how badly the job aged Clinton, Bush2 and Obama.

I agree with you about Dubya and Obama (with him it was most obvious imho); however I think Clinton aged quite well in the office; especially compared to his successors.

But I agree with you on the bigger point that age should be a factor when you pick the candidate.

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1 hour ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

 however I think Clinton aged quite well in the office; especially compared to his successors.

.

Being a goddamn sociopath will help mute the emotional ravages of the gig.

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15 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

Being a goddamn sociopath will help mute the emotional ravages of the gig.

Possibly... I did not voice any (nor do I have one tbh) opinion on the why. I simply stated that Clinton aged relatively well in office compared to Dubya and Obama.

I'll leave it to you to explain how Clinton was a bigger sociopath than Dubya. :cool4:

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12 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Second, while I have never been on board with Beto as the nominee, he does make a lot of sense as the VP. He would do well in the debate, raise a ton of money, possibly help in some red states and if the Dems lose they aren't giving anything up with him. 

I’m strongly pro Harris, but I’ve been curious about the Beto as VP angle since his loss, and increasingly like it.  At least, I think I might really like it in the context of woman president/ man VP combo particularly.

In addition to what’s been said, it seems like he’s good at getting young people to vote and pay attention.   But I think what I might like most about him is his ability to explain things well, make issues personal without seeming like it’s torturously staged and pandering, and to reach a lot of people.  There’s been a pretty strong disinformation campaign by the right for years that’s served to obfuscate basic reality about how government works, what government programs people are benefitting from, and so on.  

Judging by the scores of think pieces about government-supported voters continuously voting against government-support by voting Republican and such (and all those furious people who are anti Obamacare but want their ACA), it looks we’re overdue for a lesson in “what does government actually do for us.”   I get the sense that not knowing about how government affects people personally makes a lot of especially young people feel like their vote is pointless so why bother.  I’m thinking he might be a useful messenger to this end.  And granted, he doesn’t have to be a VP to be an influential Dem messenger and leader, but being on the ticket would obviously raise the profile and keep him relevant.

 

Edited by butterbumps!

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11 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Possibly... I did not voice any (nor do I have one tbh) opinion on the why. I simply stated that Clinton aged relatively well in office compared to Dubya and Obama.

I'll leave it to you to explain how Clinton was a bigger sociopath than Dubya. :cool4:

I wasn't attacking you or anything. Forgive my bombastic ways if it seemed so.

Meanwhile though, please don't confuse the difference between a weak willed puppet levered by the most base emotions and a shark wearing a person mask.

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Just now, Jace, Basilissa said:

I wasn't attacking you or anything. Forgive my bombastic ways if it seemed so.

Meanwhile though, please don't confuse the difference between a weak willed puppet levered by the most base emotions and a shark wearing a person mask. 

And the shark,  it has teeth, and it wears them in the face. And MacHeath, he has a knife, but the knife can't be seen.

No offense taken, I am not that thinned skinned. Just felt the urge to point out that I did not express any other opinion than the visible aging of the former POTUS. 

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2 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

I agree with you about Dubya and Obama (with him it was most obvious imho); however I think Clinton aged quite well in the office; especially compared to his successors.

But I agree with you on the bigger point that age should be a factor when you pick the candidate.

I'll grant that I was much younger when Clinton was in office and the big "wow he's aged" was when he came back into the picture helping to campaign for Obama in 2012 - I'd just attributed part of that to his presidency rather than the extra decade lol.

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