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Which Tyler

US Politics - I'm not orange I'mpeach

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 @Mudguard:

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I'm not citing articles and trying to summarize them.  I'm citing them to support a specific point (i.e. the dollar figure), which has nothing to do with many of your points.

The portion of the Sarah Hayes Atlantic piece you cited literally makes no mention of the dollar figure.  The New Yorker article you cited is - as you said - ridiculously long (as New Yorker pieces tend to be), but begins with a nine paragraph intro making it clear it's a left-wing hit job on Biden that itself cites, of all places, Breitbart "News" for "a possible narcotics offense," as if whether or not Hunter has a drug problem should have anything to do with voters' decision to vote for Joe Biden.  

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You keep citing portions of the article that I'm not arguing about and that I have no issue with and that are completely irrelevant to the argument that I'm making. 

You said:

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Rosemont Seneca Partners is the firm Hunter Biden founded.  This isn't illegal, but since Joe Biden (while he was VP) appeared to have introduced him to one of the financiers, it potentially raises conflict of interest issues and it's not a good look.  

I think it's fair for the press or a private investigator hired by Trump's campaign to look into these dealings since both the China and Ukraine dealings raise potential conflicts of interest, but it's not OK for Trump to pressure foreign governments to help him dig up dirt. 

Then:

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None of the reporting I have seen has suggested that Trump implied that Biden and his son personally received $1.5 billion.  That makes zero sense at all.  Nobody would just hand out $1.5 billion to someone just because he was a son of the VP.  It's pretty clear that Trump is alleging that Biden got $1.5 billion for his fund.  That allegation is very possible.  As far as I can tell, Hunter Biden has little credentials, beside being Joe Biden's son, that would support him serving as a board member and later as a stakeholder in a $1.5 billion private equity fund.

And proceeded to snip two paragraphs out of an article as a way to support your assertion the "the allegation is very possible," which can only suggest you think this is both legitimate and potentially politically damaging to Biden.  I think that's a bunch of bullshit, and was particularly annoyed by your disingenuous depiction of the article that actually refuted your argument as you used it as apparent support, so I said so.  That was completely relevant to the argument you were making by any reasonable standard.  Then, once I responded, you said:

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Trump's children are all fair game for criticism, so I don't see why Hunter Biden isn't fair game too.  Like it or not, if Biden is the nominee, both Joe and Hunter are going to have to answer questions about this.  Trump is going to hit him over and over on this, and I don't think he can just continue to refuse to answer the questions and let Trump set the narrative.

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He's qualified to practice as an attorney, assuming he still has a bar license.  I don't think he's practiced much law in the last 10 years or so.  Why would practicing law qualify him to run a fund?  For a while now, he's been more of a business man, which is more relevant, but his results haven't been generally good. Certainly not to a level that is typical for a private equity fund partner.

YOU are the one making this a political issue, implying there's something corrupt involved with Hunter's business interests, and outright stating he's not qualified to run an equity fund as if you're an expert on Hunter Biden's qualifications, or equity funds, neither of which I suspect you are.  But now you're retreating and whining that "no, I was just nitpicking about the $4 million figure." 

The quotes above demonstrate that, no, your intent was much more than simply a calculation curiosity.  Pretending it wasn't is the worst type of argumentation, akin to a FNC bullshit artist that runs a piece on Vince Foster's death implying the Clintons assassinated him then decries "I was just asking questions!"  Spare me the manufactured confusion.

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I'm astonished the implications of the text messages released last night are not being discussed here.  Everyone should read this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/04/three-deeply-problematic-aspects-newly-released-text-messages-centered-ukraine-scandal/

***

A couple of thoughts: 

1. The Republicans have argued for the release of Volker's transcript.  This would make it easier for Trump appointees like Gordon Sondland to coordinate testimony and downplay the significance of the documentary evidence.  Volker may have downplayed the significance of the text messages in his testimony though, as a Republican Trump appointee.  

2.  It's an abuse of power for a President to ask a President of a foreign country to investigate his political rival.  It's an even greater abuse of power for a President to withhold a presidential meeting in the WH for a fragile ally like Ukraine until it initiates politically motivated investigations. 

3.  The evidence on why aid was withheld is suggestive but not conclusive.  But such conclusive evidence may well exist. 

4.  Pompeo is a crucial witness for the House to subpoena down the line.  The conversations that Trump had in respect of his true motives are likely known only to Mulvaney and Pompeo.  In light of the documentary evidence, his testimony is not needed, but will be necessary to demonstrate impartiality/search for truth.  And he may choose to be truthful, although I highly doubt it.  

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Yeah, so about that whole “NO COLLUSION” business… Maybe nudes aren’t the worst thing you can do via text.

You gave sound advice @Mlle. Zabzie.

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Monthly under the hood jobs report info...

 

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52 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

2.  It's an abuse of power for a President to ask a President of a foreign country to investigate his political rival.  It's an even greater abuse of power for a President to withhold a presidential meeting in the WH for a fragile ally like Ukraine until it initiates politically motivated investigations. 

I hate to relitigate this, but this is exactly why Mueller messed up by not forcing Trump to personally testify. If given enough time, he’ll admit everything, we we should retroactively view his actions with Russia considering now he’s just openly asking anyone for help. Benedict Arnold would look upon his actions with horror.  

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I hate to relitigate this, but this is exactly why Mueller messed up by not forcing Trump to personally testify. If given enough time, he’ll admit everything,

I agree.  Mueller was afraid of being tarred as another Ken Starr, a Javert like figure determined to "get" the President. 

But he also had the best criminal lawyer in the USA, Michael Dreeben, advising him.  Trump's lawyers would have fought any subpoena all the way to the SC, and there are at least 4 judges on the SC would have subscribed to a unitary executive theory (Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Alito) to avoid an inferior officer compelling the head of the executive branch to testify.  

And, as a legal matter, Mueller had enough evidence to indict Trump for obstruction of justice, anyway. 

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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40 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

I agree.  Mueller was afraid of being tarred as another Ken Starr, a Javert like figure determined to "get" the President. 

But he also had the best criminal lawyer in the USA, Michael Dreeben, advising him.  Trump's lawyers would have fought any subpoena all the way to the SC, and there are at least 4 judges on the SC would have subscribed to a unitary executive theory (Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Alito) to avoid an inferior officer compelling the head of the executive branch to testify.  

And, as a legal matter, Mueller had enough evidence to indict Trump for obstruction of justice, anyway. 

I’m not sure he was afraid of that as much as he’s just a conservative legal theorist and concluded he already have enough and couldn’t charge anyways because of the OLC’s memo. He punted, and he was always going to punt, but he had a chance to pin Trump on the one yard line and didn’t. The one thing I can forgive him for is that he’s simply human and was exhausted, but he failed to complete his work and set a bad precedent in the process.

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Looks like Romney has 'broken ranks' and condemned Trump in a tweet. There are still questions as to whether he will actually do something when push comes to shove (such as vote for impeachment in the Senate), but this is an important first step.

In that some sort of critical mass has to be reached among GOP senators, and the first to breach the walls always provides impetus for others. Then again, doing it on a Friday means it becomes buried over the weekend, so maybe thats why he did it now.

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2 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

Then again, doing it on a Friday means it becomes buried over the weekend, so maybe thats why he did it now.

Sasse has broken ranks too, sorta: https://www.omaha.com/news/nation/morton/americans-don-t-look-to-chinese-commies-for-the-truth/article_d229258d-0d9d-5fdf-800a-7c74f6f5c253.html

The only R Senator who has spoken in defense of Trump's comments is Ron Johnson: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/03/ron-johnson-ok-trump-asking-china-investigate-bidens/3855795002/

As for Romney's statement being buried over the weekend:  by doing it now, in the news vacuum over Friday/weekend, it's likely to lead for next three days, including Sunday shows. 

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4 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Sasse has broken ranks too, sorta: https://www.omaha.com/news/nation/morton/americans-don-t-look-to-chinese-commies-for-the-truth/article_d229258d-0d9d-5fdf-800a-7c74f6f5c253.html

The only R Senator who has spoken in defense of Trump's comments is Ron Johnson: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/03/ron-johnson-ok-trump-asking-china-investigate-bidens/3855795002/

As for Romney's statement being buried over the weekend:  by doing it now, in the news vacuum over Friday/weekend, it's likely to lead for next three days, including Sunday shows. 

I wouldn't call that breaking ranks - Sasse is taking shots at Schiff's investigation and calling it a clown show, and urging people to wait to have more information.  Which, if you're familiar with him, is what he always does - tries to sound like the voice of moderation and then just votes with everyone else.  He's a lot like Jeff Flake.

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I think Corbyn also posted something in a tweet that was sort of a defense of Trump. If the dominos were to fall, then the order would probably be 1) Senators with nothing to lose/about to retire 2) Swing senators (or from swing-y regions) like Susan Collins (I know, I know) and then 3) Deep red GOP senators who still have some integrity left.

There's probably at most 6-10 from 1) and 2); as for 3) I have no idea but it probably tends towards 0. 

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Romney is an unusual senator in that he may not even run for reelection, and he is so well liked in his home state that he doesn't have as much to fear from Trump.  Any Republican Senator speaking out against Trump is still a good thing though. 

If it comes down to an impeachment vote, there's like three levels of opposition we could see:

1.  Party line vote - this is best case scenario for Trump, since there's no way even red state guys like Manchin or Jones will vote to acquit.

2.  Slightly bipartisan vote - All Democrats + a couple of Republicans stand up to Trump.  The list is embarrassingly short of who might do this.  Romney, Collins, Murkowski, maybe Sasse or Paul.  Maybe one or two more I'm forgetting that are going to retire?  That's about it.      

3.  The dam breaks and there's enough Republicans to get safety in numbers and Trump is removed.  This remains exceedingly unlikely. 

4 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

I wouldn't call that breaking ranks - Sasse is taking shots at Schiff's investigation and calling it a clown show, and urging people to wait to have more information.  Which, if you're familiar with him, is what he always does - tries to sound like the voice of moderation and then just votes with everyone else.  He's a lot like Jeff Flake.

In the end Jeff Flake put his money where his mouth is, and chose to pay the price of standing up to Trump rather than becoming a sycophant.  If you want to see the other side of the coin, just look at Lyndsey Graham and his bootlicking. 

I doubt Sasse will follow in Flake's footsteps, but if he did, it would (sadly) be a step in the right direction.

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I think Republicans are vastly underestimating how damaging it will be for them if they have a quick, shame trial in the Senate, and that’s what McConnell is indicating. That video from Ernst’s town hall was powerful, and every Republican is going to have to answer the same questions, and that in and of itself will be brutal for those seeking reelection. Furthermore, House Democrats must do a better job of highlighting the bills they’ve passed that are dead in the Senate, and tie it all together and show that Republicans one and only job is protecting Trump, not legislating and do the work of the people.

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1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Of course, in regards to Ron Johnson, there is this...

 

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4 minutes ago, Mexal said:

Of course, in regards to Ron Johnson, there is this...

Wow.  That seems like a medium sized piece of the puzzle (IE a bigger deal than any scandal in 8 years of the Obama Presidency). 

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Posted (edited)

don't let these motherfuckers set the narrative. 'quid pro quo' is not the legal standard--that's a red herring in which trump would entangle everyone.  rather, the governing substantive law is 52 USC 30121:

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(a) Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for—

(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—

(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;

(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or

(C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.

emphases added.

Edited by sologdin

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Wow.  That seems like a medium sized piece of the puzzle (IE a bigger deal than any scandal in 8 years of the Obama Presidency). 

I mean, all of it is. Trump is using the full weight of the Presidency and United States foreign policy to pressure foreign governments to investigate his political rivals. Quid pro quo or not, he's not acting in the best interests of the American people, only himself. That should be disqualifying in and of itself. 

More from Johnson.

 

Edited by Mexal

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Posted (edited)

Johnson was also one of the GOP Senators who supported Biden's effort to get rid of the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor back in 2016.

Edited by DanteGabriel

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