Author Topic: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation  (Read 18733 times)

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Offline eric42434224

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Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« on: October 11, 2019, 11:16:08 PM »
"You cant impeach somebody who is doing a great job."  ..........Or can you?

Thought we should have a thread on this topic.

I feel this is clearly different than the Mueller Investigation, and that it has the potential to get a whole lot uglier for Trump, if it hasn't already.

Discuss.
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Offline Vmadera00

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 10:22:43 AM »

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2019, 10:35:48 AM »
A: Every one of us knows that Trump did something crooked and probably illegal. It probably won't be provable, though.
B: It won't make any difference. Trump could be blowing 8 year olds and the senate would protect him. He's bulletproof.
C: It'll be sold in such a way to create a crippling precedent. Impeachments will be the new norm whenever the house and whitehouse are held by different parties.
D: It won't get good and entertaining until Bolton testifies. The whole thing explodes if/when that happens.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2019, 01:03:24 PM »
A: Every one of us knows that Trump did something crooked and probably illegal. It probably won't be provable, though.
B: It won't make any difference. Trump could be blowing 8 year olds and the senate would protect him. He's bulletproof.
C: It'll be sold in such a way to create a crippling precedent. Impeachments will be the new norm whenever the house and whitehouse are held by different parties.
D: It won't get good and entertaining until Bolton testifies. The whole thing explodes if/when that happens.

I think A is true (with the corollary that "won't be provable" isn't going to matter to some).
I think B is likely true, but only to a point.   If a scenario comes out that saves face and undercuts Trump, look out.
I think C is really the important thing here; we're seeing the last 10 to 20 years of politics in the U.S. be one huge DNA helix, in that what comes around goes around, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of "one-offs" and "anomalies".  "Impeachment" is going to be regarded in the same light.  I think Pelosi understands that, I think Schiff is oblivious to that fact.
I think D is true.   :corn

« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 06:19:52 AM by Stadler »

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2019, 03:25:01 PM »
A: Every one of us knows that Trump did something crooked and probably illegal. It probably won't be provable, though.
B: It won't make any difference. Trump could be blowing 8 year olds and the senate would protect him. He's bulletproof.
C: It'll be sold in such a way to create a crippling precedent. Impeachments will be the new norm whenever the house and whitehouse are held by different parties.
D: It won't get good and entertaining until Bolton testifies. The whole thing explodes if/when that happens.

I think A is true (with the corollary that "won't be provable" isn't going to matter to some).
I think B is likely true, but only to a point.   If a scenario comes out that saves face and undercuts Trump, look out.
I think C is really the important thing here; we're seeing the last 10 to 20 years of politics in the U.S. be one huge DNA helix, in that what comes around goes around, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of "one-offs" and "anomalies".  "Impeachment" is going to be regarded in the same light.  I think Pelosi understands that, I think Schiff is oblivious to that fact.
I think D is true.   :corn

(for the record, I agree with A entirely, I think B is likely true but not set in stone
The sad truth is that A won't matter to most once you apply it to both sides. Proof won't matter to many on the left or to the right. "Fingerprints, shmingerprints. Ha, I laugh at your so-called DNA evidence. One in seven trillion?  Pshaw."

If I understand your point about B, and I'm pretty sure I do, it'd be an interesting thing to find out. The vast majority of republicans recognize that Trump's a buffoon. They're stuck with him because he is the GOP. Given the opportunity to ditch him and still save face with their constituents would be a tempting offer. Yet he is getting some of what they want. The question for them becomes whether they're more interested in upper class tax breaks and sticking it to the Mexicans or having competent, respectable leadership that doesn't put them in awful situations at every turn. It's like owning the golden goose, but it smells like a rendering plant and spends all of its time pecking you in the shins, making lewd and suggestive comments about your wife, and telling racist jokes at inopportune times. Tough spot, really.
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Offline chknptpie

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2019, 05:03:57 PM »
When the dude literally said "Foreign policy was undercut by Giuliani" I think my eyes popped out of my skull. What a bold statement to make in that setting.

Offline eric42434224

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2019, 07:42:58 PM »
A: Every one of us knows that Trump did something crooked and probably illegal. It probably won't be provable, though.
B: It won't make any difference. Trump could be blowing 8 year olds and the senate would protect him. He's bulletproof.
C: It'll be sold in such a way to create a crippling precedent. Impeachments will be the new norm whenever the house and whitehouse are held by different parties.
D: It won't get good and entertaining until Bolton testifies. The whole thing explodes if/when that happens.

If you believe (A), do you believe it is an impeachable offense?  And if so, is it better to ignore (A) if it leads to (C), or must you pursue impeachment of (A) regardless of (C)?
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2019, 09:38:27 PM »
A: Every one of us knows that Trump did something crooked and probably illegal. It probably won't be provable, though.
B: It won't make any difference. Trump could be blowing 8 year olds and the senate would protect him. He's bulletproof.
C: It'll be sold in such a way to create a crippling precedent. Impeachments will be the new norm whenever the house and whitehouse are held by different parties.
D: It won't get good and entertaining until Bolton testifies. The whole thing explodes if/when that happens.

If you believe (A), do you believe it is an impeachable offense? 
I believe so. I've been thinking about it in relation to Watergate. The end goal was the same in both. Undermine political rival(s). The question it presents is which method towards that goal was more egregious. Having some goons on your payroll break into an office building, or extorting a foreign government? They're kind of hard to qualify, but I have to think that the latter is a greater transgression. The problem is that the former is clearly a violation of state and local laws. The latter might well fall into a grey area, which would be a damn shame, but not at all uprising. After all, since when do crooked politicians get held accountable?

Quote
And if so, is it better to ignore (A) if it leads to (C), or must you pursue impeachment of (A) regardless of (C)?
Normally I'd purse it for the principle involved. However, in light of (B) I think you ignore it. It's a shame, but really there's nothing to be gained except a principle that will be lost on half the population.

That said, I'm kind of wavering on the relevance of (C). At this point the precedent is probably set regardless, and was likely inevitable anyway. If it weren't this it would be something else, and if it weren't Trump it'd be Hillary.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2019, 01:56:37 PM »
A: Every one of us knows that Trump did something crooked and probably illegal. It probably won't be provable, though.
B: It won't make any difference. Trump could be blowing 8 year olds and the senate would protect him. He's bulletproof.
C: It'll be sold in such a way to create a crippling precedent. Impeachments will be the new norm whenever the house and whitehouse are held by different parties.
D: It won't get good and entertaining until Bolton testifies. The whole thing explodes if/when that happens.

I think A is true (with the corollary that "won't be provable" isn't going to matter to some).
I think B is likely true, but only to a point.   If a scenario comes out that saves face and undercuts Trump, look out.
I think C is really the important thing here; we're seeing the last 10 to 20 years of politics in the U.S. be one huge DNA helix, in that what comes around goes around, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of "one-offs" and "anomalies".  "Impeachment" is going to be regarded in the same light.  I think Pelosi understands that, I think Schiff is oblivious to that fact.
I think D is true.   :corn

(for the record, I agree with A entirely, I think B is likely true but not set in stone
The sad truth is that A won't matter to most once you apply it to both sides. Proof won't matter to many on the left or to the right. "Fingerprints, shmingerprints. Ha, I laugh at your so-called DNA evidence. One in seven trillion?  Pshaw."

If I understand your point about B, and I'm pretty sure I do, it'd be an interesting thing to find out. The vast majority of republicans recognize that Trump's a buffoon. They're stuck with him because he is the GOP. Given the opportunity to ditch him and still save face with their constituents would be a tempting offer. Yet he is getting some of what they want. The question for them becomes whether they're more interested in upper class tax breaks and sticking it to the Mexicans or having competent, respectable leadership that doesn't put them in awful situations at every turn. It's like owning the golden goose, but it smells like a rendering plant and spends all of its time pecking you in the shins, making lewd and suggestive comments about your wife, and telling racist jokes at inopportune times. Tough spot, really.

I'm not sure I agree with that (I mean that literally; because I'm not sure I followed).   I don't think I agree with the narrative about the GOP, and I certainly don't agree with the notion of the GOP as a bunch of spineless blathering morons with zero conscience or moral fibre.   I think there has to be some self-awareness of critics and what the alternative is.   

I get that moral authority is important, I get that international credibility is crucial from a long-term perspective, but I don't believe, even a little bit, that somehow these blinders are just on the right.  I DON'T believe Trump is a threat to the Republic as a whole; we WILL survive him.  (China?  Different story.)   So for me, it's not about a "minor inconvenience" of higher taxes or an entitlement program I don't like versus the most morally bankrupt and corrupt President the developed world has ever known, which I think is a necessary assumption of that anti-GOP position. 

Personally, I think that for every step that Trump has taken into moral bankruptcy, the platform of the Left has taken a step (one could reasonably argue an equivalent step) away from a reasonable and fair platform for ALL of our 325 million people, not just those special interests being pandered for votes.  As one who votes based on economics, I find Warren and her "plans" every bit as dangerous - albeit in a very different way - that some of the things being attributed to Trump.  One doesn't have to agree with me, but one does have to acknowledge that I can hold that opinion reasonably, without being labelled "stupid", "deplorable", a "Russian bot", or whatever is the personal attack du jour.) 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2019, 02:05:37 PM »
I believe so. I've been thinking about it in relation to Watergate. The end goal was the same in both. Undermine political rival(s). The question it presents is which method towards that goal was more egregious. Having some goons on your payroll break into an office building, or extorting a foreign government? They're kind of hard to qualify, but I have to think that the latter is a greater transgression. The problem is that the former is clearly a violation of state and local laws. The latter might well fall into a grey area, which would be a damn shame, but not at all uprising. After all, since when do crooked politicians get held accountable?

How do you parse the differences in any meaningful way, though?   It's not really the "undermining of a political rival", it's the personal benefit gained from leveraging your office.  That's in part why buying dossiers is legit, but this is not.   But if it's personal gain, why is Biden's quid pro quo legit and this isn't?   That's a rhetorical question, but the point is that once we start trying to guess "which is a worse transgression", the horse is out of the barn.  You've immediately lost half the population, and turned it into a popularity contest, not an actual tribunal that holds anyone truly accountable.    It's why I wrote what I wrote above; we've been letting egregious behavior off the hook for decades now, there's nothing truly new about Trump or his actions (just the degree) and so we're destined to repeat this again and again.   

El Barto, I've said this to you before (but not in a long time), but it's going to be more and more relevant as we drunkenly lurch toward November, 2020:  I don't fear Trump NEARLY as much as I fear what comes after. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2019, 03:46:56 PM »
A: Every one of us knows that Trump did something crooked and probably illegal. It probably won't be provable, though.
B: It won't make any difference. Trump could be blowing 8 year olds and the senate would protect him. He's bulletproof.
C: It'll be sold in such a way to create a crippling precedent. Impeachments will be the new norm whenever the house and whitehouse are held by different parties.
D: It won't get good and entertaining until Bolton testifies. The whole thing explodes if/when that happens.

I think A is true (with the corollary that "won't be provable" isn't going to matter to some).
I think B is likely true, but only to a point.   If a scenario comes out that saves face and undercuts Trump, look out.
I think C is really the important thing here; we're seeing the last 10 to 20 years of politics in the U.S. be one huge DNA helix, in that what comes around goes around, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of "one-offs" and "anomalies".  "Impeachment" is going to be regarded in the same light.  I think Pelosi understands that, I think Schiff is oblivious to that fact.
I think D is true.   :corn

(for the record, I agree with A entirely, I think B is likely true but not set in stone
The sad truth is that A won't matter to most once you apply it to both sides. Proof won't matter to many on the left or to the right. "Fingerprints, shmingerprints. Ha, I laugh at your so-called DNA evidence. One in seven trillion?  Pshaw."

If I understand your point about B, and I'm pretty sure I do, it'd be an interesting thing to find out. The vast majority of republicans recognize that Trump's a buffoon. They're stuck with him because he is the GOP. Given the opportunity to ditch him and still save face with their constituents would be a tempting offer. Yet he is getting some of what they want. The question for them becomes whether they're more interested in upper class tax breaks and sticking it to the Mexicans or having competent, respectable leadership that doesn't put them in awful situations at every turn. It's like owning the golden goose, but it smells like a rendering plant and spends all of its time pecking you in the shins, making lewd and suggestive comments about your wife, and telling racist jokes at inopportune times. Tough spot, really.

I'm not sure I agree with that (I mean that literally; because I'm not sure I followed).   I don't think I agree with the narrative about the GOP, and I certainly don't agree with the notion of the GOP as a bunch of spineless blathering morons with zero conscience or moral fibre.   I think there has to be some self-awareness of critics and what the alternative is.   

I get that moral authority is important, I get that international credibility is crucial from a long-term perspective, but I don't believe, even a little bit, that somehow these blinders are just on the right.  I DON'T believe Trump is a threat to the Republic as a whole; we WILL survive him.  (China?  Different story.)   So for me, it's not about a "minor inconvenience" of higher taxes or an entitlement program I don't like versus the most morally bankrupt and corrupt President the developed world has ever known, which I think is a necessary assumption of that anti-GOP position. 
I think you half got my point. The GOP congressmen are a bunch of spineless blathering morons, just the same as the democrats are, or would be with President Hillary. My question is whether or not the deciding factor in them supporting Trump no matter what he's guilty of, and you agree that they will, is because they're afraid of the political fallout or because they're getting some of what they want, both at the cost of supporting a clueless oaf (a point you also agree with).

Also, at the moment Trump is the first line of defense against China. You can't really say that you don't fear him but you fear China, because his incompetence enables them. 
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2019, 03:55:38 PM »
I believe so. I've been thinking about it in relation to Watergate. The end goal was the same in both. Undermine political rival(s). The question it presents is which method towards that goal was more egregious. Having some goons on your payroll break into an office building, or extorting a foreign government? They're kind of hard to qualify, but I have to think that the latter is a greater transgression. The problem is that the former is clearly a violation of state and local laws. The latter might well fall into a grey area, which would be a damn shame, but not at all uprising. After all, since when do crooked politicians get held accountable?

How do you parse the differences in any meaningful way, though?   It's not really the "undermining of a political rival", it's the personal benefit gained from leveraging your office.  That's in part why buying dossiers is legit, but this is not.   But if it's personal gain, why is Biden's quid pro quo legit and this isn't?   That's a rhetorical question, but the point is that once we start trying to guess "which is a worse transgression", the horse is out of the barn.  You've immediately lost half the population, and turned it into a popularity contest, not an actual tribunal that holds anyone truly accountable.    It's why I wrote what I wrote above; we've been letting egregious behavior off the hook for decades now, there's nothing truly new about Trump or his actions (just the degree) and so we're destined to repeat this again and again.   

El Barto, I've said this to you before (but not in a long time), but it's going to be more and more relevant as we drunkenly lurch toward November, 2020:  I don't fear Trump NEARLY as much as I fear what comes after.
And I've said this to you many times over a variety of aspects. I accept that politicians, particularly at this level, are crooked. Some are better than others at it, but generally                                                       they're all there for the wrong reasons. With that idea in place it's simply a matter of preferring one who's a rational actor, who understands the job he's been given, and who understands how to perform his roll, over somebody who has no clue WTF he's doing. I agree with you that Hillary or whoever gets the nomination this time around will be morally no better. It's something we're sadly stuck with. I do suspect that either one of them will have some idea how to do the job they're given, though. I don't think Hillary would have been a good president. I think she would have been presidential, though. That matters to me.

And in the end there's no point in being fearful. Accept your front row ticket to the freak show and take it all in.                                                                                                                                           
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2019, 06:52:43 PM »
Also, at the moment Trump is the first line of defense against China. You can't really say that you don't fear him but you fear China, because his incompetence enables them.

I respectfully disagree with that.  We should have been fearing China for the last decade.   The Democrat candidates on the debate stages shouldn't even be blinking an eye when asked what's the biggest threat facing the United States, even bigger than climate change, because the Chinese threat is going to happen sooner, and we're not going to stop climate change while they are unwilling to participate in that effort.

Trump might be an enabler, but for all the bad things Trump is accused of - assault, bribery, corruption, losing the Alabama football game (NOT a joke), kowtowing to Russia - there's little if any criticism of him being too soft on China. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2019, 07:20:03 PM »
Also, at the moment Trump is the first line of defense against China. You can't really say that you don't fear him but you fear China, because his incompetence enables them.

I respectfully disagree with that.  We should have been fearing China for the last decade.   The Democrat candidates on the debate stages shouldn't even be blinking an eye when asked what's the biggest threat facing the United States, even bigger than climate change, because the Chinese threat is going to happen sooner, and we're not going to stop climate change while they are unwilling to participate in that effort.

Trump might be an enabler, but for all the bad things Trump is accused of - assault, bribery, corruption, losing the Alabama football game (NOT a joke), kowtowing to Russia - there's little if any criticism of him being too soft on China.
That's a valid observation, but I think the assessment should be that they're similarly terrifying. Not that Trump isn't.

And I don't think it's a good interpreation. There's more to protecting us from China than "being tough." We're not going to tough it out against China on our own. We loose that game. What we need are allies and a unified front. How's Trump doing with that? Past presidents might not have started trade wars with China, and their sabres might not have been as loud, but they at least maintained our status as the good guys. Look at what's going on with Huawei. Despite our very loud protestations over the last year the UK, Germany, and France are all moving ahead with Huawei 5G infrastructure. Five years ago that would have been unheard of. Turkey, ostensibly our allies, is buying Russian military tech despite it being a big no-go for a NATO member. The reality is that we simply don't have the cache we did a few years back, and that's a huge liability.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2019, 06:55:18 AM »
That's what happens when the President befriends our enemies and shits on our allies.
Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2019, 10:32:52 AM »
Not to divert the discussion, but they just played the testimony of Maria Yovanovitch, and I'm listening to Adam Schiff's questions.  GTFO.  There's no reasonable ground you can argue he's merely "searching for truth"; the pontificating, grandstanding for the cameras, the witness leading, the preconceived assumptions stated as hard facts... c'mon, at least be MARGINALLY better than Trump at hiding your real motives.   

(And NB4 the criticism; this isn't meant to be a comprehensive look at the impeachment hearings, there are no implications as to the relative worth of other behaviors, or other actors, nor any inconsistency or bias in my assessment of the overall worth of the proceedings.  It just is what it is on face value: there is little objectivity or bipartisanship on the part of Adam Schiff, full stop.)

And in keeping with the barely concealed motivations, even John King (who I generally like and respect as a journalist) is now simply referring to Giuliani as "the Hand Grenade", and the announcer reporting the breaking news about Roger Stone's conviction went off on a five minute op-ed about important this decision was to preserve the institutions of the United States and to reconfirm the importance of taking Congress seriously and testifying truthfully in their presence. M'kay. Good thing of course, but let's acknowledge that we're just starting now to take it seriously; it wasn't so in May 2017, or in October of 2015, just for two examples...
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 11:17:30 AM by Stadler »

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2019, 10:44:27 AM »
Ever since the "cokehead" video I've had a weird fascination with Roger Stone. Seems like an intriguing guy.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2019, 10:45:18 AM »
Also, at the moment Trump is the first line of defense against China. You can't really say that you don't fear him but you fear China, because his incompetence enables them.

I respectfully disagree with that.  We should have been fearing China for the last decade.   The Democrat candidates on the debate stages shouldn't even be blinking an eye when asked what's the biggest threat facing the United States, even bigger than climate change, because the Chinese threat is going to happen sooner, and we're not going to stop climate change while they are unwilling to participate in that effort.

Trump might be an enabler, but for all the bad things Trump is accused of - assault, bribery, corruption, losing the Alabama football game (NOT a joke), kowtowing to Russia - there's little if any criticism of him being too soft on China.
That's a valid observation, but I think the assessment should be that they're similarly terrifying. Not that Trump isn't.

And I don't think it's a good interpreation. There's more to protecting us from China than "being tough." We're not going to tough it out against China on our own. We loose that game. What we need are allies and a unified front. How's Trump doing with that? Past presidents might not have started trade wars with China, and their sabres might not have been as loud, but they at least maintained our status as the good guys. Look at what's going on with Huawei. Despite our very loud protestations over the last year the UK, Germany, and France are all moving ahead with Huawei 5G infrastructure. Five years ago that would have been unheard of. Turkey, ostensibly our allies, is buying Russian military tech despite it being a big no-go for a NATO member. The reality is that we simply don't have the cache we did a few years back, and that's a huge liability.
We really don't disagree here.  You are, of course, completely correct that in a global, multi-country economy, one nation alone cannot "tough it out" as you say.   It's got to be a concerted, global recognition that if China is going to participate with the world economically, then they do so under the established rules of that economy, including participating fully (and in a binding way) with global initiatives like climate change, they will respect the global acknowledgement of intellectual property rights, and they will recognize that their currency is but one of many and needs to be treated as such. 

I think there's an argument that Trump is the cause of that loss of cache, and I certainly think he's contributed to that, but I don't think it's a complete argument.   We'll likely never know fully, but we won't even have a clue unless and until we get a President - of either party - that recognizes the threat for where it lies and gets off this "ALL RUSSIA, ALL THE TIME" narrative.  Russia is NOT our friend, there's no question of that, but Russia, at least, CAN be an ally, if the cards are played correctly, and they're not right now.  We have a far better chance of "going it alone" than Russia does, so it's a matter of survival for them to have a partner they can work with (note I did not say "trust" or anything like that; I'm not naive with respect to Russia.  It's a marriage of convenience and necessity, nothing more).  They WILL choose between the U.S. and China, and if we truly ARE the good guys, we will, in keeping with the spirit of 1989/1990, take as many countries with us as would want to come. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2019, 11:07:05 AM »
Ever since the "cokehead" video I've had a weird fascination with Roger Stone. Seems like an intriguing guy.

A lot of these "fringe" players are; I find them more interesting than the main players, often.   It takes a lot of charisma to be a national figure for any length of time.  I know several people that have met Bill Clinton and every single one of them said something similar: talking to him felt like you were talking to your best friend, and he was hanging on every word.  Even Bush; the people that I know that have met him say that in person, he's bright and charming.  I think people like this bring out those with similar ambition but without the physical and intellectual gifts to do it alone.  Stone strikes me this way. 

Offline TAC

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2019, 11:08:26 AM »
I have today off, so I have this on TV.

I'm no lawyer, but where did the Republicans get this counsel? He seems awfully unprepared and disorganized.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2019, 11:16:43 AM »
He's a career guy in Congress, and comes pretty highly regarded.   Other than that...

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2019, 12:39:41 PM »
Also, at the moment Trump is the first line of defense against China. You can't really say that you don't fear him but you fear China, because his incompetence enables them.

I respectfully disagree with that.  We should have been fearing China for the last decade.   The Democrat candidates on the debate stages shouldn't even be blinking an eye when asked what's the biggest threat facing the United States, even bigger than climate change, because the Chinese threat is going to happen sooner, and we're not going to stop climate change while they are unwilling to participate in that effort.

Trump might be an enabler, but for all the bad things Trump is accused of - assault, bribery, corruption, losing the Alabama football game (NOT a joke), kowtowing to Russia - there's little if any criticism of him being too soft on China.
That's a valid observation, but I think the assessment should be that they're similarly terrifying. Not that Trump isn't.

And I don't think it's a good interpreation. There's more to protecting us from China than "being tough." We're not going to tough it out against China on our own. We loose that game. What we need are allies and a unified front. How's Trump doing with that? Past presidents might not have started trade wars with China, and their sabres might not have been as loud, but they at least maintained our status as the good guys. Look at what's going on with Huawei. Despite our very loud protestations over the last year the UK, Germany, and France are all moving ahead with Huawei 5G infrastructure. Five years ago that would have been unheard of. Turkey, ostensibly our allies, is buying Russian military tech despite it being a big no-go for a NATO member. The reality is that we simply don't have the cache we did a few years back, and that's a huge liability.
We really don't disagree here.  You are, of course, completely correct that in a global, multi-country economy, one nation alone cannot "tough it out" as you say.   It's got to be a concerted, global recognition that if China is going to participate with the world economically, then they do so under the established rules of that economy, including participating fully (and in a binding way) with global initiatives like climate change, they will respect the global acknowledgement of intellectual property rights, and they will recognize that their currency is but one of many and needs to be treated as such. 

I think there's an argument that Trump is the cause of that loss of cache, and I certainly think he's contributed to that, but I don't think it's a complete argument.   We'll likely never know fully, but we won't even have a clue unless and until we get a President - of either party - that recognizes the threat for where it lies and gets off this "ALL RUSSIA, ALL THE TIME" narrative.  Russia is NOT our friend, there's no question of that, but Russia, at least, CAN be an ally, if the cards are played correctly, and they're not right now.  We have a far better chance of "going it alone" than Russia does, so it's a matter of survival for them to have a partner they can work with (note I did not say "trust" or anything like that; I'm not naive with respect to Russia.  It's a marriage of convenience and necessity, nothing more).  They WILL choose between the U.S. and China, and if we truly ARE the good guys, we will, in keeping with the spirit of 1989/1990, take as many countries with us as would want to come.
I think it probably goes back further than Trump. The invasion of Iraq put a pretty big crack in the facade. I think that hurt our reputation as the good guys, and by bogging us down tarnished our image of invincibility. The difference is that while Bush and Obama were mountain streams, slowly eroding our standing in the world, Trump is a jackhammer. For all of her faults, I think Hillary would have been a mere continuation of the stream.
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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2019, 12:41:33 PM »
Don't disagree.

Now let me flip it: who's going to STOP the erosion? 

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2019, 12:46:40 PM »
Back on the Impeachment hearings; is "making House committee members angry" now an impeachable offense?  Because I've just heard three panel members make dramatic "Oh, yes! You BET I'm angry!" pronouncements before their time expired.  I don't recall any of their questions.   

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2019, 01:02:25 PM »
Don't disagree.

Now let me flip it: who's going to STOP the erosion?
Nobody. We're fucked. And while that's largely my disdain speaking, I'll throw out that there's no reason to think that it's stoppable, or was preventable, under any circumstances. All things must pass.

I'd say the bigger problem is the notion that the jackhammer is a wonderful thing and God's gift to the USA. As somebody who doesn't really give a damn about the survival of this country I'm not terribly bothered by somebody expediting its decline. I'm pretty offended by the people who are either so stupid or too blinded by self interest and/or the cult of personality to recognize it as the harmful thing that it is, though.
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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2019, 02:59:41 PM »
Not to divert the discussion, but they just played the testimony of Maria Yovanovitch, and I'm listening to Adam Schiff's questions.  GTFO.  There's no reasonable ground you can argue he's merely "searching for truth"; the pontificating, grandstanding for the cameras, the witness leading, the preconceived assumptions stated as hard facts... c'mon, at least be MARGINALLY better than Trump at hiding your real motives.   

(And NB4 the criticism; this isn't meant to be a comprehensive look at the impeachment hearings, there are no implications as to the relative worth of other behaviors, or other actors, nor any inconsistency or bias in my assessment of the overall worth of the proceedings.  It just is what it is on face value: there is little objectivity or bipartisanship on the part of Adam Schiff, full stop.)

And in keeping with the barely concealed motivations, even John King (who I generally like and respect as a journalist) is now simply referring to Giuliani as "the Hand Grenade", and the announcer reporting the breaking news about Roger Stone's conviction went off on a five minute op-ed about important this decision was to preserve the institutions of the United States and to reconfirm the importance of taking Congress seriously and testifying truthfully in their presence. M'kay. Good thing of course, but let's acknowledge that we're just starting now to take it seriously; it wasn't so in May 2017, or in October of 2015, just for two examples...

We've been following it all day over here, and before these hearings began I had a list of things I wanted to see asked and answered during them (some of them have been, particularly in the questionings by Will Hurd and Elise Stefanik, who in my opinion are rare credits to the modern Republican party). But the main question I wanted to get a sense of was: do these senators really understand the history of this Ukrainian issue? To be clear, this isn't a criticism of them. Just as I don't exactly blame that bench-full of addled octogenarians asking Zuckerberg how to programme the VCR when they should have been quizzing him on his overt propaganda agency, so I don't blame these people in this hearing today for not knowing the ins and outs of who is who in Ukrainian politics. This is an inconceivably complex stretch of history, and these are issues that specialist State Department officials deal with. Senators and Congresspeople, by far the dumbest strata of political operatives in any country, have a million other things to focus on.

With that said, Will Hurd just skated very close to the nub of the matter, and Ambassador Yovanovich got as uncomfortable as I've seen her throughout today. Hurd brought up the name of Ihor Kolomoyskiy, who is (as regards the last 2 years at least) the central figure in this story. Sadly, as soon as the name got brought up, Yovanovich got a bit flustered and Hurd was out of time. 

It would take me all night to do more than scratch the surface of this question but I want to jot down a few details, because it looks like a few people here are following it and I don't want you to be misled by 2 popular narratives of the anti-Trump branch of the American media (and bear in mind I despise Donald Trump with a passion but I like to think that I am fair to him, and on this Ukrainian subject at least, his total ignorance of what is going on makes him by default the least criminal person in this story. If Joe Biden wasn't protected by the fact he was Vice President of America, he and his corrupt and thieving scumbag of a son would be languishing in The Hague now).

Firstly, one of the biggest pieces of nonsense that the American media presents about the current Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is that he's nothing more than a TV star who became president. That's the narrative being pushed out. That he was the star of a popular Ukrainian comedy show called 'Servant of the People', a show that poked fun at Poroshenko's (the previous president, installed by America in 2014) corrupt government in Kiev, and this 'populist defender of the common man' rose from being a hapless TV entertainer to being president.

Now, anyone who knows even the first thing about Ukraine knows that this simply isn't how it works over there in that gangster state (which is on my doorstep by the way, and a few years ago it was a part of my job to go there on a monthly basis, exactly to the east where the war is). TV stars don't become president and oust Obama-installed oligarchs on a wave of anti-corruption 'democratic' fervour. And by the way, can I remind everyone that Poroshenko (not only a billionaire oligarch but also the finance minister and chief money launderer of the previous president, Victor Yanukovich, the guy who America overthrew because he was corrupt!) was sold to Ukraine by Obama as being "anti-corruption"; 4 years later and he's the one who "the masses" want ousted for 'corruption' apparently!

To cut to the chase, 'President Zelenskiy' is a project of Ihor Kolomoiskiy. Kolomoiskiy is Ukraine's 2nd richest oligarch, who along with various banks, airlines, oil, steel and metallurgy plants, controls 1+1 Media Group, the largest media company in Ukraine. Now some background on him and Poroshenko:   

At the time when Poroshenko was installed by the Obama Admin and the good old-fashioned American raping of Ukraine began, Kolomoiskiy owned PrivatBank, which is Ukraine's largest commercial bank and a favourite among money launderers (it's also the channel through which Burisma Holdings - of which Hunter Biden was magically made a board member - funneled cash from Ukraine to America). Poroshenko duly did what he'd been ordered to do and stole this bank from Kolomoiskiy (if you saw Will Hurd's questioning of Ambassador Yovanovich 20 minutes ago you'll have heard him mention the circle of Giuliani, Kolomoiskiy, and those 2 clowns Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, both connected to PrivatBank). Kolomoiskiy took his complaint over PrivatBank's ownership to London's High Court, and earlier this year once Poroshenko had been kicked out of office, he got it back from the Bidens Poroshenko (it's now owned by "The Government of Ukraine", i.e 'Zelenskiy').   

There is vastly more that needs to be written here by way of explaining the connection between Poroshenko and Kolomoiskiy, but for now that will be enough. The essential point is that within Ukraine there has been a very long conflict (much like in Russia) between 2 very powerful elites, which we generally call the liberals (Medvedev in Russia, Poroshenko in Ukraine; recall Medvedev's comment to Obama when their microphones were turned on: "I will transmit this information to Vladimir, but I stand with you"*) and the conservatives (Putin in Russia, maybe Kolomoiskiy in Ukraine; Trump meeting with Zelenskiy last month seems to have been to make him declare who he is prepared to be with). Don't be misled by the terms, they have almost nothing to do with actual liberalism or conservatism, they're terms that refer to a particular reading of modern European history. 

Enter this fabulously popular TV show Servant of the People and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, this man whom the American media want people to believe appeared out of nowhere and is nothing more than a fresh-faced and very likeable TV actor who won a fair election by promising to fight corruption.

On October 16th 2015 (i.e a year after Poroshenko was installed as President and it was very clear what was happening), the first episode of Servant of the People aired in Ukraine. Remember the context here: this most 'corrupt', 'dangerous' and war-torn country in all of Europe (the 2nd poorest country in Europe since the Americans plundered it, behind only Moldova), a country that was clamping down on 'pro-Russian' journalists and stamping the Russian language out of classrooms, had as its most popular TV show a sitcom about how corrupt and idiotic the current regime was. 

The company that produced and broadcast Servant of the People and beamed it into every Ukrainian home? 1+1 Media Group (proprietor: Ihor Kolomoiskiy). The show's financier and chief publicist? Ihor Kolomoiskiy.

Sure enough, 3 years later this TV creation was 'elected' president (inverted commas very much relevant; as with Poroshenko, it wasn't an election*).

How is any of this relevant to today's hearing in America? Well, like I said, from the vantage point of "Do these people really understand the nuances of the Ukrainian conflict?," it was fascinating to witness a shift in atmosphere when Kolomoiskiy's name was brought up. This TV nonsense today is precisely that, nonsense, nothing that matters will come from it. But it's enough for me that the name got mentioned. Because if we talk about Kolomoiskiy, we then must talk about Poroshenko. If we talk about Poroshenko, we then must talk about the circumstances that made Biden, Kerry, Clinton and Nuland install him as President. And if we talk about that, we must talk about the structure of Ukrainian business dealings between the oil and gas oligarchs of Eastern Europe and the major American political players, none more so than Joe Biden (the next time CNN tell you that "there is no evidence of wrong-doing by Joe or Hunter Biden", please e-mail their desk and tell them "Yes there is and you know it; why don't you actually report on it?"). If and when America loses its position as global superpower, and hence its immunity from prosecution for war crimes, I will relish the day when people like Joe Biden go the same way as Slobodan Milosevic and Charles Taylor.


*Two footnotes:

1) Here is the video clip of Obama and Medvedev's 'hot mic' moment when Medvedev (at that time President of Russia) pledged his allegiance to Obama's clan so long as Obama followed through with his end of the bargain "after my election" (this clip leaves out Medvedev's last line after he says he'll "transmit" the information to Vladimir (Putin), which was: "But I stand with you")

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNxEDomUlXw

2) This photograph is from February 1st 2014. On the right of the table is John "We don't bomb hospitals, and if Assange dares prove otherwise we'll lock him up" Kerry and Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland. On the left is Pietro Poroshenko, Arseniy Yansenyuk and Vitali Klitschko (yes, the boxer).  Notice please that only the Americans have paper, pens and files in front of them. Notice also the subservient postures of these "proud, pro-democracy independence-fighting Ukrainians":



3 months after this meeting, by one of those miraculous coincidences that always seems to happen whenever America brings its patented brand of "democracy" to one of those oil-rich countries that are yearning for 'freedom', Poroshenko was 'elected' President of Ukraine, Yatsenyuk was 'elected' Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Vitali Klitschko was 'elected' the Mayor of Kiev. The 3 most 'powerful' positions in Ukraine are sitting with their heads bowed taking orders in preparation for being "democratically elected by the Ukrainian people" (not 1% of whom had ever even heard of Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk prior to the 'election').

On the evening of May 25th 2014 (the night of the election), Barack Obama stood in the Rose Garden and declared a "great victory for Ukrainian democracy", and the raping of Ukrainian resources by the Biden clan began.

This is what will not be allowed to be fully investigated (you PMed me recently Stadler to tell me that American politicians of Biden's level will never, ever be held to account, and I of course agree, because history shows it). But one day, long after Joe and Hunter are both dead, I hope that what they did will be a matter of recorded history. They can and will get away with it for now, but scum like them won't always be protected by American power. Saddam also thought he was invulnerable, but things change. Joe and Hunter will die very rich and comfortable men, but they know what they did, and history will one day know it too.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 03:31:38 PM by Dave_Manchester »
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"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, 26th September 2018.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2019, 08:41:52 AM »
Dave has written about this before both here and elsewhere, and while I don't even have a tenth of Dave's understanding of this, he's been patient enough to explain it a couple times.  It isn't the only thing I base it on, but it does contribute to some of my point of view, and serves as an answer to those that question why I'm not on the Trump Incarceration Team ("TIT"), screaming for his head. 

I totally believe that if someone does something criminal they ought to be punished, and I don't (necessarily) agree that just because someone gets away with it that it gives any one else a pass (murder is not now legal because OJ was acquitted), but it's hard to gin up any real anger or sanctimony when Trump's REAL crime - from a practical standpoint - is ultimately that he's a Republican, and he's not very subtle.  If you believe the polls, there's a very real chance that in a year we're right back in the thick of what Dave is writing about, and the fox is again in charge of the henhouse.   Sure, we'll have a few more liberal social agendas met - which mean absolutely nothing to me in this context - but the global machinations will be back in force, and the world will be no less "corrupt" than under the "most corrupt President we've ever seen" (a paraphrase from one of the Committee members yesterday on CNN).     

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2019, 09:54:00 AM »
That's why I follow this investigation very closely, but nevertheless with an overwhelming scepticism that it's being done for the correct motives. The 'charge' is that Trump sought to withhold American "aid" ("aid" as in "here's 400 million dollars of tax payers' money which you must now give directly to our buddies in the military industrial complex") in order to pressure Zelenskiy to publicly announce an investigation into Biden. If this is proven to be what actually happened, then it's very serious (not the threat to withhold aid, which all presidents do, but the fact it involves his main political rival). But news organisations that are covering this story need to be crystal clear on what exactly the charge is. I'm fed up of reading stories about how "Trump sought to bribe a foreign government". For Christ's sake, at least he didn't install that foreign government and then have them do his every bidding. There are 1000 reasons I think Trump is a woeful world leader but I'll say this for him: 3 years into his presidency and not a single foreign government has been overthrown, that must be some kind of record for an American president. 

I'm also struck by how the reporting of this story does almost everything it can to leave the Biden factor out of it (beyond an obligatory mention that he's Trump's main rival and "there is no evidence of wrong-doing by Joe or Hunter Biden"). Did anyone see that 'interview' that Hunter Biden gave to ABC last month? It was absolutely maddening. I went into it wanting his answers to 2 extremely simple questions:

1) By what method did you - who have absolutely no knowledge of or experience in the oil and gas industry and speak not a word of Ukrainian - get appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings 4 days before your father arrived in Kiev and ordered Poroshenko to change Ukraine's energy policy (and by the way here's a fun fact, Poroshenko was still 6 weeks away from his "democratic election", but I guess Biden had a premonition that "the Ukrainian people" would 'choose' him; see the photo I posted in my previous message)?

2) Your hastily-assembled 'explanation' is that you were there to advise Burisma on "corporate governance best practices". Ok. Absolute fucking bullshit, but impossible to disprove, so let it be. BUT...show us then what exactly you changed about the practices of Burisma during your time there. You received huge sums of cash for your 'expertise'. Point to examples of how you earned it. If you, a 40-something American lawyer (from the same law firm as John Kerry's stepson by the way) with no experience of the industry, were there to weed out corruption and advise Burisma on "corporate governance", explain why Burisma is still to this day corrupt as all fuck.

Was any of that addressed in the interview? No. Instead we were treated to some sympathy-garnering shit about his battles with drug and alcohol addiction. Quality cutting-edge investigative journalism right there. And when Burisma was briefly touched upon, Biden's 'defence' was hilarious. "I did nothing wrong, but I promise I won't do it again" (paraphrase, but that was the gist). If you did "nothing wrong" then why would you feel the need to constantly say you'll never do it again?

So yeah, Trump is a monstrosity, but at least on this Ukrainian issue, I can say that his main mistake was being so careless in hiding his dodgy behaviour (and it is dodgy; I think Trump's in real trouble here). People like Biden and Kerry and Clinton have had decades to perfect the art of enriching yourself from public office (over 50 years in Biden's case) and of how to make sure "there is no evidence of wrong-doing" (but again, yes there is, mountains of it, and the sooner ABC stop asking Hunter Biden about his "brave fight with drug addiction" and start digging into how and why he ended up in Kiev in 2014, the sooner I'll lose some of my scepticism). Trump has made many basic errors that are typical of his careless attitude, and also of his lack of awareness of the gravity of his job and the conversations he has while doing it (it's ludicrous that he seems to be learning along with the rest of us about how many people were listening in to that call with Zelenskiy; it's obvious why John Bolton warned him that doing the call would end up being a disaster). He's not more corrupt than Biden or Kerry or Clinton (article on CNN yesterday about how the Trump Admin is "the most corrupt in American history"). He's just really bad at covering it up.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #28 on: November 16, 2019, 10:05:35 AM »
So yeah, Trump is a monstrosity, but at least on this Ukrainian issue, I can say that his main mistake was being so careless in hiding his dodgy behaviour (and it is dodgy; I think Trump's in real trouble here). People like Biden and Kerry and Clinton have had decades to perfect the art of enriching yourself from public office (over 50 years in Biden's case) and of how to make sure "there is no evidence of wrong-doing" …….....He's not more corrupt than Biden or Kerry or Clinton (article on CNN yesterday about how the Trump Admin is "the most corrupt in American history"). He's just really bad at covering it up.

Totally agree with all of this. I REFUSED to vote for Hillary for these reasons. She's fucking dirty.





With that said, Will Hurd just skated very close to the nub of the matter, and Ambassador Yovanovich got as uncomfortable as I've seen her throughout today. Hurd brought up the name of Ihor Kolomoyskiy, who is (as regards the last 2 years at least) the central figure in this story. Sadly, as soon as the name got brought up, Yovanovich got a bit flustered and Hurd was out of time. 


If this was so close to the "nub of the matter", why didn't the GOP counsel work this into his questioning where there was more time to dig in?
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Harmony

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2019, 10:15:38 AM »
Personally, I think Biden is a nonfactor in the election and not just because of this Ukraine scandal.  Yeah, I know some sources say he's polling well.  But let's face it, he's his own worst enemy.  People have had enough of this trait in POTUS.

I also think nepotism in politics needs to be put an end to.
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Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2019, 10:23:41 AM »
^^ Hurd brought up Kolomoiskiy when asking about Giuliani and Lev Parnas, not about his ownership of 1+1 Media and his creation of 'Servant of the People'/'President Zelenskiy'. It's what I meant when I said I'm interested to know how much these senators and congresspeople know about who is who in this story (there's no reason to believe they do, it's not their job to be experts in Ukrainian politics). Sometimes when I listen to news anchors say nonsense like "President Zelenskiy is the popular star of a sitcom and was elected on a wave of anti-corruption fervour", I want to ask them: "Ok, I get why you're telling people that, but do you at least know that what you're saying is bullshit?" In a similar way, I'd like to ask Will Hurd (and the rest of them) if he knows who exactly Kolomoiskiy is in this story, and that when we speak of 'President Zelenskiy', we're really speaking of him and his elite. It was abundantly obvious that Yovanovich knows who he is, because this is her field. But do the likes of Will Hurd and Julian Castro and Adam Schiff and Jim Jordan, who until recently probably couldn't have named 5 Ukrainian cities, let alone walk us through how their 'political' structure is composed and who is who in the very dodgy world of Ukrainian/Russian business.
"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, 26th September 2018.

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2019, 10:26:08 AM »
(that was to TAC by the way. I can't edit my post for some reason).
"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, 26th September 2018.

Offline TAC

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2019, 10:34:56 AM »
(that was to TAC by the way. I can't edit my post for some reason).


I gotcha!
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums................or WTF.  ;D

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2019, 03:55:16 PM »
But do the likes of Will Hurd and Julian Castro and Adam Schiff and Jim Jordan, who until recently probably couldn't have named 5 Ukrainian cities, let alone walk us through how their 'political' structure is composed and who is who in the very dodgy world of Ukrainian/Russian business.

You mentioned Julian Castro, and I'm not sure why.  You'll notice that the real "players" in the impeachment are not prominent members of the Obama administration, and are not the frontrunners in the race for President.  I'm not saying that the candidates haven't said anything - they have - but the people doing the real heavy lifting here are essentially lapdogs at this point.  I don't think Adam Schiff knows nor cares even a little bit about what you're discussing and writing, other than what he's told by the powers that be.   

By the way, Trump IS in trouble here, but it's not because what he did was so egregiously bad.  It's at least in part because he's surrounded by IDIOTS.   Why they are not falling on their sword and doing a "Biden" is beyond me.  Trump should be saying "“I carried out the policy of the United States government. That’s what we should be focusing on.”, as Biden didduring the most recent Democratic debate. He should be saying "I looked at them and said, ‘If the corruption probe isn't started, you’re not getting the money.’, mirroring Biden's testimony in 2018 where he said "I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’".  He needs to tie this to the cleanup of the 2016 election, NOT Biden in the 2020 election.  He's entitled to investigate crimes against the United States.   It's not "investigating Biden" that's the trouble, it's the failure to cast that in a light that benefits the United States as opposed to himself.   This is where Trump's (and Trump's teams) failure to stick with the precise facts is going to fail them.  Mulvaney tried this and the rest of the team completely swamped him before the klieg lights went out. 

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2019, 04:43:26 PM »
^^  I mentioned Castro because his was by far the worst performance yesterday. His 'questions' were so utterly stupid I literally found myself reading his Wiki page to find out how he became, as he likes to remind people, "the youngest member of President Obama's cabinet".

Off-topic for a moment but this past April I went back to England to have a meeting with my local MP, Liz McInnes. I'd 'booked' a 15 minute slot with her, as any British citizen can do. Primarily I wanted to ask her questions about Brexit, but I used the chance to ask her about last year's sanctions against Russia over the Skripal incident (for which she voted 'for'). And it was predictable. She's an extremely clever woman, far more clever than me, and like all politicians, she knows something about almost everything. But also like most politicians, she is an expert in nothing. I understood that she knows almost nothing about who is who in the Kremlin, how the Russian political structure is composed, who Putin represents, who Medvedev represents, who Navalny represents, and so on (and I don't balme her for it, there is no reason on earth she should know anything about any of that; as a Member of Parliament for the tiny northern English towns of Heywood and Middleton, she has a million more 'important' things she needs to focus on). She knew almost nothing about the subject, and yet, she is among the 650 most politically powerful people in the UK who are able to vote on world-defining legislation; legislation that directly affects me and my family here in Russia. She voted on an issue that (I quickly got her to admit) she knew next to nothing about (and as a post scriptum, she then went on to make a fool of me by walking me through why I was completely ignorant on Brexit).

I'm saying this by way of explaining my theory that a lot of people massively over-estimate the intelligence of politicians. I think that a lot of people assume that MPs (in England) and senators (in America) are extremely clever people. They're not (necessarily). Want evidence? Witness those farcical hearings with Zuckerberg ("how are you so fabulously wealthy, Mr Zuckerberg?"), or the CEO of Google (at which he was being asked about Apple products), or indeed yesterday with Yovanovoch. To use my favourite quote from one of my favourite 'Russian' writers, "They speak with cosmic stupidity on matters of cosmic importance".

As for what Trump needs to do from here, I wrote in an earlier message in a different thread that he is the worst person in the world to set out the case against his 'enemies', because he struggles with language and he can't speak at an adult level. This kind of thing needs a cogent delivery. But if, hypothetically, he were able to speak in complex sentences then the best thing for him to do from here is to do what he does best: attack. He needs to ask the 2 questions of Hunter Biden that I asked in my previous post. This 'case' hinges not on his interfering in the affairs of a sovereign nation (something America has never given a fuck about), but on the perception that he was looking to get a foreign government to investigate a political rival. He can't worm his way out of that, and it's useless for him to even try. He did it, and it's very bad. So: attack. This is his Jack Nicholson "You're Goddamn Right I Did!" A Few Good Men moment (hopefully for him without the resultant incarceration). His strategy needs to be: "Yes, I asked Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens, and here is why..." A case can be made that what Biden, Kerry, Nuland and Clinton did was detrimental to American interests, and if that needs proving, then look no further than the fact that the guy who Obama installed was ousted by "the Ukrainian people" because they were sick and tired of his "corruption", apparently. If I were advising Trump, that would be my suggestion for his line of attack: "If what you people did in Ukraine was so benevolent, explain the ousting of your guy Poroshenko at the first available opportunity and the election of 'President Zelenskiy'".
"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, 26th September 2018.