Author Topic: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation  (Read 18730 times)

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Offline PowerSlave

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2019, 05:09:42 PM »
Would any of the legal minds care to comment on this video? I've watched a couple of this guy's videos on other subjects, and he seems like he's above board, but I'm far from being a lawyer...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca12k2qbUQM

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Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2019, 06:30:27 PM »
Good video. Worth the watch. He's popped up in my suggestions a few times, but usually something pretty lighthearted. Curious what Stadler's take would be.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2019, 04:33:36 AM »
I love Legal Eagle. His My Cousin Vinny breakdown is good.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #73 on: November 27, 2019, 02:05:52 PM »
Watching now, actually.  I understand why you would wonder about my opinion ("the process matters!").

Short answer, it does. 

I've said before I have zero dog in the Trump hunt.  If he did something illegal (or rather, committed "high crimes and misdemeanors"), then he should be impeached.   I don't know that he did (not a euphemism for "I don't think he did", but rather, literally, I don't know that he did), and neither do the people that are conducting these hearings.   Saying it enough times doesn't make it so.  They have to do the heavy lifting of proving the elements of the crime, or making the argument that a crime doesn't have to be committed, we just have to get rid of him for getting so close to the line. 

First side thought, though:  Ben Shapiro codified the argument I've been giving for weeks now (independent of Ben).

Second side thought: I'm all for reducing complicated legal concepts into more manageable bits so we can all understand and talk from the same sheet of music, but if I never hear overly-simplistic, quasi-mocking references to "the Side-Show Bob Defense" or "The Chewbacca" defense again, I'd be happy. 

Controversial thought:  this process, these hearings aren't really about the Constitution, or preventing corrupt behavior.  They are about embarrassing the President and influencing the next election, one way or the other (and that applies to both sides).  Many of us have made the crass joke about Trump "shooting someone on Fifth Avenue", but this is very much his Fifth Avenue right here.  And rather than made a low-key, methodical, point-by-point presentation of the elements of murder, which is what the process requires (and a legit prosecutor would do), the Dems are instead taking the Johnny Cochran approach and obfuscating the real truth with bells and whistles.  It's only logical that the Republicans counter smoke and mirrors with smoke and mirrors of their own.  This is not taking sides, or giving the Republicans a pass in any way; it is to say, though, that arguing this in the press is really undermining any real attempt at "truth".   When Mulvaney spoke absolute but inconvenient truth and was attacked for it, it showed that no one was really interested in truth, just the PERCEPTION of whatever truths they could muster.  Both sides.  Equally.   The Clinton impeachment was a partisan shitshow, and we're 20 years down the road now, so I'm not sure why anyone would expect better. 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 04:56:04 PM by Stadler »

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #74 on: November 27, 2019, 02:37:25 PM »
First side thought, though:  Ben Shapiro codified the argument I've been giving for weeks now (independent of Ben).
Yeah, that was an excellent distinction. Yet I think we've seen the answer to which he was going for pretty clearly. All accounts suggest that the actual investigation didn't matter to Trump. Only that its existence be announced publicly. I'm having a very hard time reconciling "we don't care what you find, just tell people you're looking into it" with a legitimate investigation into possible wrongdoing years ago.  "Getting Biden" on the other hand, yeah, that fits pretty neatly into place.

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I've said before I have zero dog in the Trump hunt.  If he did something illegal (or rather, committed "high crimes and misdemeanors"), then he should be impeached.   I don't know that he did (not a euphemism for "I don't think he did", but rather, literally, I don't know that he did), and neither do the people that are conducting these hearings.   Saying it enough times doesn't make it so.  They have to do the heavy lifting of proving the elements of the crime, or making the argument that a crime doesn't have to be committed, we just have to get rid of him for getting so close to the line. 
Honest question: can their be enough circumstantial evidence to work for you, or are you out until we hear a phone call of an explicit solicitation? Everybody knows what he did, including you. Including Shapiro. All that's left is to prove it. Seems to me that we've reached that tipping point. You think he squeaks by with a jury of 12? Where's the threshold for you?
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #75 on: November 27, 2019, 05:23:30 PM »
First side thought, though:  Ben Shapiro codified the argument I've been giving for weeks now (independent of Ben).
Yeah, that was an excellent distinction. Yet I think we've seen the answer to which he was going for pretty clearly. All accounts suggest that the actual investigation didn't matter to Trump. Only that its existence be announced publicly. I'm having a very hard time reconciling "we don't care what you find, just tell people you're looking into it" with a legitimate investigation into possible wrongdoing years ago.  "Getting Biden" on the other hand, yeah, that fits pretty neatly into place.

Well, first, a bit of semantics:  I've laid that out as the ARGUMENT, not a DEFENSE.  What I mean is, that's the legal question at issue, here, not the silly "QUID PRO QUO!" discussions.  I would expect Adam Schiff, et al. to be using that SAME basis for argument in their hearings, and refuting it. They are not, and that leads me to say things like I did above that he doesn't care about truth, only perception.    that's a very real problem for the defense.

If Trump only cared about the announcement, that is a deep problem for that argument as an actual defense, since it goes to his intent (an element of these crimes in a criminal setting; I'm well aware that the impeachment hearings are not a criminal proceeding.).

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I've said before I have zero dog in the Trump hunt.  If he did something illegal (or rather, committed "high crimes and misdemeanors"), then he should be impeached.   I don't know that he did (not a euphemism for "I don't think he did", but rather, literally, I don't know that he did), and neither do the people that are conducting these hearings.   Saying it enough times doesn't make it so.  They have to do the heavy lifting of proving the elements of the crime, or making the argument that a crime doesn't have to be committed, we just have to get rid of him for getting so close to the line. 
Honest question: can their be enough circumstantial evidence to work for you, or are you out until we hear a phone call of an explicit solicitation? Everybody knows what he did, including you. Including Shapiro. All that's left is to prove it. Seems to me that we've reached that tipping point. You think he squeaks by with a jury of 12? Where's the threshold for you?

Well, complicated problem.. Short answer? Of course there is enough circumstantial evidence to convince me. If we were ever able to get an honest accounting of what happened, by who, and when - note that I very much intend the implication that Schiff's Sham isn't that - I think he's in deep trouble and at least committed an impeachable offense.   I think in a court of law, he has a real problem.  In the hands of a skilled prosecutor, that knows how to put the pieces together in a cogent, logical way, we're likely already there.  His problem is double if his legal team is as we've seen so far.  He's not responding to a criminal trial/accusation, he's handling a media/PR problem. 

But, since this has gotten personal, the Democrats jumped the gun and are playing into that public relations game, this whole hearing thing is "not working for me" as you say it.  I don't think anyone can - objectively - say that Trump is guilty here when the questions being asked are bogus.  If the Dems can't articulate the crimes clearly and cogently to us, the American people, they don't deserve the advantages of decimating or removing a political behemoth like Trump.  (I firmly believe this is them exacting their election revenge for 2016, as well as punishing Trump for his anti-wokeness).  Anticipating the question:  no, no matter how bad Trump is, I don't support shortcuts for circumventing his legal, lawful election in 2016. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #76 on: November 27, 2019, 05:53:39 PM »
Honest answer. And to put it even more simply, you're taking the OJ position. Of course we all know he's guilty, but his lawyers did a better job than the state's lawyers so we should regard him as innocent. I don't mean this as a dig or a shot at you, from a logical standpoint I've got no problem with it, but simply to make sure I understand your position thus far.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #77 on: November 29, 2019, 08:22:30 AM »
Honest answer. And to put it even more simply, you're taking the OJ position. Of course we all know he's guilty, but his lawyers did a better job than the state's lawyers so we should regard him as innocent. I don't mean this as a dig or a shot at you, from a logical standpoint I've got no problem with it, but simply to make sure I understand your position thus far.

I actually had OJ on my mind the whole time I was writing that.   I stayed away from actually mentioning him for various reasons - not least that the circumstances are different - but you're not wrong in alluding to it. 

But don't take it too far: I'm okay with the impeachment process being POLITICAL, not criminal, but again, the Dems still should be able to articulate the problem correctly, and not be relying on the same PR approach that they're castigating the President for using. 

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #78 on: November 29, 2019, 09:04:56 AM »
I've refrained from commenting in here because you guys are paying WAY much more attention to this that I am. And this is why. Trump didn't do anything that 98% of the other Presidents or their Reps. haven't done. Period. Does that make what he 'allegedly' had done right? Nope. But this 'outrage' is only outrageous because the Democrats have been after ANYTHING that isn't colored within the lines to try and nail this guy with.

And that is why I DGAF. If this was a genuine concern by the Dems on behalf of the American folks then I'd listen a little more. But, when you have a group of people that have been so vocal about impeaching a President since before he was even sworn in.....and have already thrown anything and everything at the wall to see if it'll stick.....just leaching onto this now in the hopes of maybe 'this' is the time.....I (and I can guarantee A LOT of people) just don't give a  :censored on what the Dems are saying here. Especially when any intellectually honest person knows that every F'n President in modern times has done the same thing in one iteration or another.

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Offline The Walrus

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #79 on: November 29, 2019, 09:10:40 AM »
EDIT: Nope... NOPE! Not letting myself chime in again. Excuse me.  :lol
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Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #80 on: November 29, 2019, 09:17:22 AM »
EDIT: Nope... NOPE! Not letting myself chime in again. Excuse me.  :lol

Did I trigger you  :lol     I'm sorry and I know what I posted is a very ignorant way of looking at it but IMO that's just what the Dems get. Scream wolf for three and a half years I'm not going to hear your screams when/if there's an actual wolf around
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #81 on: November 29, 2019, 09:26:18 AM »
Quite triggered  :lol It's all good. I'll let someone else take up the fight. Screw politics.  :rollin
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #82 on: November 29, 2019, 09:40:01 AM »
Gary, I am with you.  Yes, Trump is a clown, and I am sure he did some of what he is being accused of, but I have long held the belief that most politicians are corrupt liars (even those who went into politics with good intentions) who will do anything and everything to advance their agenda, show off their power, make more money, etc. 

Reading Twitter (which I know is the lowest of the low) is hilarious sometimes.  Some people need to realize that "I don't like him" is not a good reason to impeach the president.  :lol :lol :lol

I still think the Democrats would be suited getting Trump out of the White House by kicking his ass next November in the actual election, but with no Obama in site (see: a candidate most of the base can rally around and get excited about, and can also get moderates and independents on his/her side), they are probably worried about not winning in a year.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #83 on: November 29, 2019, 09:48:43 AM »
I've refrained from commenting in here because you guys are paying WAY much more attention to this that I am. And this is why. Trump didn't do anything that 98% of the other Presidents or their Reps. haven't done. Period. Does that make what he 'allegedly' had done right? Nope. But this 'outrage' is only outrageous because the Democrats have been after ANYTHING that isn't colored within the lines to try and nail this guy with.

With all due respect, Gary, I think this is step beyond the typical suspect behavior of most politicians. Certainly beyond what we've seen from the last 7 US presidents. I expect financial gain as a perk of their office. I expect a little friendly espionage from time to time. I certainly expect spying on your political opposition. Using duly appropriated financial aid to extort behavior from our allies to benefit your own political campaign moves it well beyond typical, real life political corruption. This is into movie villain level corruption now. This is easily a Watergate level transgression. You might be correct that other presidents might have wanted to pull something like this, but as I've suggested, those guys knew what it was to be president and how it was supposed to work. They knew where the "do not cross" lines were. Trump not only doesn't know where those lines are, he doesn't care and takes great joy in obliterating them when he finds them as part of his Rocky persona.

And in any case, even if they did all do it that's no excuse. Try telling a judge "but everybody drives 75 through there!" sometime and see how it works out.

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And that is why I DGAF. If this was a genuine concern by the Dems on behalf of the American folks then I'd listen a little more. But, when you have a group of people that have been so vocal about impeaching a President since before he was even sworn in.....and have already thrown anything and everything at the wall to see if it'll stick.....just leaching onto this now in the hopes of maybe 'this' is the time.....I (and I can guarantee A LOT of people) just don't give a  :censored on what the Dems are saying here. Especially when any intellectually honest person knows that every F'n President in modern times has done the same thing in one iteration or another.
That's falling into a trap. It's deciding to dismiss all allegations of wrongdoing, including the genuine ones, because you don't like the messenger. You have to be able to consider things objectively even when the people presenting it are anything but. This attitude is why the "shooting on 5th avenue" thing is so accurate. He can do anything he wants and get away with it as long as enough people refuse to believe anything presented by his opposition. If they discover the bodies of 26 little boys in the crawlspace under his Chicago properties do we dismiss it because the democrats are untrustworthy?
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #84 on: November 29, 2019, 09:59:03 AM »
Honest answer. And to put it even more simply, you're taking the OJ position. Of course we all know he's guilty, but his lawyers did a better job than the state's lawyers so we should regard him as innocent. I don't mean this as a dig or a shot at you, from a logical standpoint I've got no problem with it, but simply to make sure I understand your position thus far.

I actually had OJ on my mind the whole time I was writing that.   I stayed away from actually mentioning him for various reasons - not least that the circumstances are different - but you're not wrong in alluding to it. 

But don't take it too far: I'm okay with the impeachment process being POLITICAL, not criminal, but again, the Dems still should be able to articulate the problem correctly, and not be relying on the same PR approach that they're castigating the President for using.
I can get behind that on a philosophical level, but there comes a point where the real world ramifications need to win out beyond a simple thought exercise. Earlier in the year when I was pointing out how bloodthirsty some of the Supreme Court justices are, I mentioned a case where Clarence Thomas signed off to let somebody die for the very reason you just laid out. In his ruling he shot down the argument presented by the appellate, but went on to point out a valid argument they didn't present. Essentially, "if the appeal had been based on this, A, B, C, then we'd likely be ruling in his favor." YOU JUST LAID IT OUT MOTHERFUCKER! In this case Thomas knew perfectly well there was a valid problem with an upcoming execution and chose to let the guy burn because his lawyers didn't phrase it in the proper way. In OJ's case I can get behind your point. We're talking about taking away a person's liberty. Thomas was being the obtuse sadist we all know and love, which is a pretty awful thing and just shouldn't happen. Trump's impeachment is kind of in between those two things, and I'm not real keen on letting somebody walk away from it scot-free because the argument wasn't presented quite as well as it could be.
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Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #85 on: November 29, 2019, 10:40:08 AM »
I've refrained from commenting in here because you guys are paying WAY much more attention to this that I am. And this is why. Trump didn't do anything that 98% of the other Presidents or their Reps. haven't done. Period. Does that make what he 'allegedly' had done right? Nope. But this 'outrage' is only outrageous because the Democrats have been after ANYTHING that isn't colored within the lines to try and nail this guy with.

With all due respect, Gary, I think this is step beyond the typical suspect behavior of most politicians. Certainly beyond what we've seen from the last 7 US presidents. I expect financial gain as a perk of their office. I expect a little friendly espionage from time to time. I certainly expect spying on your political opposition. Using duly appropriated financial aid to extort behavior from our allies to benefit your own political campaign moves it well beyond typical, real life political corruption. This is into movie villain level corruption now. This is easily a Watergate level transgression. You might be correct that other presidents might have wanted to pull something like this, but as I've suggested, those guys knew what it was to be president and how it was supposed to work. They knew where the "do not cross" lines were. Trump not only doesn't know where those lines are, he doesn't care and takes great joy in obliterating them when he finds them as part of his Rocky persona.

And in any case, even if they did all do it that's no excuse. Try telling a judge "but everybody drives 75 through there!" sometime and see how it works out.

I can't disagree with anything you stated here. There's no getting around the fact that Trump is an idiot. While 'most' people hate politicians because they're politicians....politicians whether they're scum or not individually are still learned in the art of decorum and civility (generally speaking) there is a line they learn to walk and they walk it very finely and know when they can and can't take a step or two across it. Trump has no such 'setting' as far as knowing how to navigate things politically and it shows.

Heck....a microcosm of 'who' he is can be seen in the way he treats his wife. He practically ignores her existence when entering/leaving buildings/cars etc etc. Never helping her, holding her hand, holding an umbrella etc etc. He has zero decency towards her. It's all about him....which we know is pretty much how he operates. It drives me insane since it's one of the simplest things to do in the world....being decent towards your spouse in 'simple' encounters.

If he had the ability to even act a quarter more 'Presidential' he'd not have 3/4's the issues he has. Most of his problems could be solved by being just a bit more decent of a human being. It's no secret I didn't like obama's presidency BUT he as a man and person is a civil, decent, thoughtful and caring person and it shows (showed)



I will admit EB and I'm sure it's not difficult to surmise from my posts that I'm past the point of being to objectively look at things right now. I'm so turned off at the antics of the 'main' Dems that are screaming the loudest that I simply can't listen to them because I doubt their sincerity and know it's just a political game show right now. The sad thing is in lieu of spending the time and effort to find a decent, respectable candidate to run against Trump (which they've failed at thus far) they've wasted time with the Russian probe that everyone knew was a joke and now this impeachment which everyone knows trump won't be removed from office....all the while souring the taste buds of folks that might have voted for a Dem candidate that probably won't now.

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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #86 on: November 29, 2019, 12:14:07 PM »
I've refrained from commenting in here because you guys are paying WAY much more attention to this that I am. And this is why. Trump didn't do anything that 98% of the other Presidents or their Reps. haven't done. Period. Does that make what he 'allegedly' had done right? Nope. But this 'outrage' is only outrageous because the Democrats have been after ANYTHING that isn't colored within the lines to try and nail this guy with.

With all due respect, Gary, I think this is step beyond the typical suspect behavior of most politicians. Certainly beyond what we've seen from the last 7 US presidents. I expect financial gain as a perk of their office. I expect a little friendly espionage from time to time. I certainly expect spying on your political opposition. Using duly appropriated financial aid to extort behavior from our allies to benefit your own political campaign moves it well beyond typical, real life political corruption. This is into movie villain level corruption now. This is easily a Watergate level transgression. You might be correct that other presidents might have wanted to pull something like this, but as I've suggested, those guys knew what it was to be president and how it was supposed to work. They knew where the "do not cross" lines were. Trump not only doesn't know where those lines are, he doesn't care and takes great joy in obliterating them when he finds them as part of his Rocky persona.

And in any case, even if they did all do it that's no excuse. Try telling a judge "but everybody drives 75 through there!" sometime and see how it works out.

FULLY, 100% behind the idea that just because others did it is not an excuse.  BUT... neither is "well, we're not sure what it is he did, and what we're sure of isn't actually a crime even though we make it sound like it is ("quid pro quo") but he's really unlikeable (he grabs their PUSSY!) so let's just be done with him and get someone in there who's better*" doesn't work either.

* Especially when "better" means double-digit trillion dollar programs for healthcare, double-digit trillion dollar programs for student loan absolution, single-digit trillion dollar programs for taxing those that are actually successes and are already paying what some consider to be "their fair share".

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And that is why I DGAF. If this was a genuine concern by the Dems on behalf of the American folks then I'd listen a little more. But, when you have a group of people that have been so vocal about impeaching a President since before he was even sworn in.....and have already thrown anything and everything at the wall to see if it'll stick.....just leaching onto this now in the hopes of maybe 'this' is the time.....I (and I can guarantee A LOT of people) just don't give a  :censored on what the Dems are saying here. Especially when any intellectually honest person knows that every F'n President in modern times has done the same thing in one iteration or another.
That's falling into a trap. It's deciding to dismiss all allegations of wrongdoing, including the genuine ones, because you don't like the messenger. You have to be able to consider things objectively even when the people presenting it are anything but. This attitude is why the "shooting on 5th avenue" thing is so accurate. He can do anything he wants and get away with it as long as enough people refuse to believe anything presented by his opposition. If they discover the bodies of 26 little boys in the crawlspace under his Chicago properties do we dismiss it because the democrats are untrustworthy?

What if you DO believe them, but don't feel that two wrongs make a right?  Who DO believe them but don't want to give Adam Schiff the win on what's not even a technicality but a... I don't even know what.  Circumstance?  We referenced OJ before; this is like if Louis Farrakhan was on the stand.  All other things being equal, same prosecutor, same defense, same judge, same "crooked" cops, same sympathetic but not THAT sympathetic victim... do you think Farrakhan walks?  I don't know; we have no way of knowing. I would HOPE not, because justice is supposed to be blind.  I'd like to think it was, but it's unavoidable to ignore that part of that "justice" for OJ (and it was justice, of a sort) might have been because when OJ put those gloves on and gave that smile that we saw in Towering Inferno, Naked Gun and 100 Hertz commercials we remembered why we liked him.   That was the "mistake" of the OJ trial, if there was one, and for me, I want to make sure that we don't normalize that kind of mistake again and again.    "Unlikable fuck" is not an element of the crime of murder, nor is it an element in the crime of conspiracy.   

And for me, this is where the difference between "political" and "criminal" come into play.   This is not about due process or justice, this is about POLITICAL GAIN.  So the "unlikable fuck" component isn't off set by protections like "due process" and what not.   And so we should be even MORE scupulous in the standard we hold EVERYONE to, not just Trump.  Biden BRAGGED of this behavior and wore it as a badge of courage.  This isn't the same as "hey, everyone goes 75 through there!".

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #87 on: November 29, 2019, 12:17:57 PM »
Honest answer. And to put it even more simply, you're taking the OJ position. Of course we all know he's guilty, but his lawyers did a better job than the state's lawyers so we should regard him as innocent. I don't mean this as a dig or a shot at you, from a logical standpoint I've got no problem with it, but simply to make sure I understand your position thus far.

I actually had OJ on my mind the whole time I was writing that.   I stayed away from actually mentioning him for various reasons - not least that the circumstances are different - but you're not wrong in alluding to it. 

But don't take it too far: I'm okay with the impeachment process being POLITICAL, not criminal, but again, the Dems still should be able to articulate the problem correctly, and not be relying on the same PR approach that they're castigating the President for using.
I can get behind that on a philosophical level, but there comes a point where the real world ramifications need to win out beyond a simple thought exercise. Earlier in the year when I was pointing out how bloodthirsty some of the Supreme Court justices are, I mentioned a case where Clarence Thomas signed off to let somebody die for the very reason you just laid out. In his ruling he shot down the argument presented by the appellate, but went on to point out a valid argument they didn't present. Essentially, "if the appeal had been based on this, A, B, C, then we'd likely be ruling in his favor." YOU JUST LAID IT OUT MOTHERFUCKER! In this case Thomas knew perfectly well there was a valid problem with an upcoming execution and chose to let the guy burn because his lawyers didn't phrase it in the proper way. In OJ's case I can get behind your point. We're talking about taking away a person's liberty. Thomas was being the obtuse sadist we all know and love, which is a pretty awful thing and just shouldn't happen. Trump's impeachment is kind of in between those two things, and I'm not real keen on letting somebody walk away from it scot-free because the argument wasn't presented quite as well as it could be.

I'm beating a dead horse (and I should have read this before responding to the other one, because the answer is the same) but this is why the distinction between "political" and "criminal" are important.  You might be right; I was going to push back on "Trump's behavior" being in between incarceration for murder and being executed, but it doesn't matter to the answer, because the PUNISHMENT is different too.  He just gets removed from office and Dems celebrate a political win.  If they get to celebrate the consequences, they should have to put in the work.  In the Thomas case, you have a case where the prosecutors didn't put in the work but the PRISONER bore the consequences.  That's important. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #88 on: November 29, 2019, 12:21:00 PM »
Most of his problems could be solved by being just a bit more decent of a human being.

Doesn't this rub anyone the wrong way?  This isn't really the same thing as El Barto's "presidential", because in El Barto's scheme - which I agree with, nominally - it's not about being a "decent human being" it's about being aware.   Nixon was "presidential" in El Barto's reckoning, but I wouldn't say he was necessarily a "decent human being".  Same with LBJ.   

But here, I think that DOES play in. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #89 on: November 29, 2019, 12:26:25 PM »
I've refrained from commenting in here because you guys are paying WAY much more attention to this that I am. And this is why. Trump didn't do anything that 98% of the other Presidents or their Reps. haven't done. Period. Does that make what he 'allegedly' had done right? Nope. But this 'outrage' is only outrageous because the Democrats have been after ANYTHING that isn't colored within the lines to try and nail this guy with.

With all due respect, Gary, I think this is step beyond the typical suspect behavior of most politicians. Certainly beyond what we've seen from the last 7 US presidents. I expect financial gain as a perk of their office. I expect a little friendly espionage from time to time. I certainly expect spying on your political opposition. Using duly appropriated financial aid to extort behavior from our allies to benefit your own political campaign moves it well beyond typical, real life political corruption. This is into movie villain level corruption now. This is easily a Watergate level transgression. You might be correct that other presidents might have wanted to pull something like this, but as I've suggested, those guys knew what it was to be president and how it was supposed to work. They knew where the "do not cross" lines were. Trump not only doesn't know where those lines are, he doesn't care and takes great joy in obliterating them when he finds them as part of his Rocky persona.

And in any case, even if they did all do it that's no excuse. Try telling a judge "but everybody drives 75 through there!" sometime and see how it works out.

FULLY, 100% behind the idea that just because others did it is not an excuse.  BUT... neither is "well, we're not sure what it is he did, and what we're sure of isn't actually a crime even though we make it sound like it is ("quid pro quo") but he's really unlikeable (he grabs their PUSSY!) so let's just be done with him and get someone in there who's better*" doesn't work either.

But they are sure he committed an impeachable offense, and so are you.




Quote
What if you DO believe them, but don't feel that two wrongs make a right? Who DO believe them but don't want to give Adam Schiff the win on what's not even a technicality but a... I don't even know what.  Circumstance?  We referenced OJ before; this is like if Louis Farrakhan was on the stand.  All other things being equal, same prosecutor, same defense, same judge, same "crooked" cops, same sympathetic but not THAT sympathetic victim... do you think Farrakhan walks?  I don't know; we have no way of knowing. I would HOPE not, because justice is supposed to be blind.  I'd like to think it was, but it's unavoidable to ignore that part of that "justice" for OJ (and it was justice, of a sort) might have been because when OJ put those gloves on and gave that smile that we saw in Towering Inferno, Naked Gun and 100 Hertz commercials we remembered why we liked him.   That was the "mistake" of the OJ trial, if there was one, and for me, I want to make sure that we don't normalize that kind of mistake again and again.    "Unlikable fuck" is not an element of the crime of murder, nor is it an element in the crime of conspiracy.   

And for me, this is where the difference between "political" and "criminal" come into play.   This is not about due process or justice, this is about POLITICAL GAIN.  So the "unlikable fuck" component isn't off set by protections like "due process" and what not.   And so we should be even MORE scupulous in the standard we hold EVERYONE to, not just Trump.  Biden BRAGGED of this behavior and wore it as a badge of courage.  This isn't the same as "hey, everyone goes 75 through there!".
Not the point Gary was making. He's ignoring it because it's the same ole political bullshit. When no crime can be investigated and sanctioned we call that anarchy.

And since we're now focusing on the personality of the president in question, what if Carter or Reagan had done this? You think we wouldn't be going after them?
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #90 on: November 29, 2019, 01:19:08 PM »
It was a different time back when Carter and Reagan were president.  No social media, no cable news channels making everything worse 24/7, etc.

I am not speaking for Gary, but I suspect he is similar to me in that he is just sick of politics and politicians and all that comes with it - the bickering, the awful rhetoric, the divisiveness, etc. - and that is what causes the "they all do it, I can't pretend to be outraged at every little thing anymore"-type attitude, even when deep down it is clear that not all crimes, indiscretions or whatever are equal.

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #91 on: November 29, 2019, 01:51:58 PM »
Just an observation here but elsewhere on this forum there was a thread about cable news, and the point was made by myself and others that in this day and age there is absolutely no reason on earth to be receiving your information from CNN, Fox, NBC and so on. The vast majority of all known and relevant information is directly available to us with just a few moments of searching. I've no doubt this situation will change in the years ahead* but for now governments and the media moguls have lost their control over the information we plebs can receive.

By the same token, there's no reason to care what "the Dems" or "the Republicans" have to say about the Mueller investigation or this latest Ukrainian situation. I made this point earlier in the thread: Adam Schiff and Jim Jordan know next to nothing about Ukraine. They are not experts. Their opinion on this issue counts for precisely nothing. Thankfully for us, there are experts on this theme (Hill, Kent, Holmes, etc), and this month they have been testifying on camera so that "the American public" can form their own opinion (what will 'destroy' America if anything is not Russia or China but Americans taking this kind of transparency and accountability for granted). Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi can spin this story however they want, it doesn't change the fact that Fiona Hill's testimony is there for every single one of us to read. As is George Kent's, and Bill Taylor's, and Alexander Vindman's, and Kurt Volker's, and Gordon Sondland's, and David Holmes', and Marie Yovanovitch's. It takes a little time and effort but I'd say that with an hour or two of reading a person can know everything they need to know to form their own opinion of Trump's July 25th call with Zelenskiy, his September 9th call with Sondland, and the chain of events that links the two. Just tune the politicians out and focus on the experts. Politicians (like the media) are in the business of manipulating people. 20 years ago I'd blame them for that, but now? If you have an internet connection then there's no reason to get annoyed at politicians for misleading people, you might as well still be blaming cigarette companies for giving you cancer. Assuming we all here live in roughly 'free' countries then what more do we need to be properly informed that we don't already have?



*slightly off-topic but relevant to the theme of information, and my fear that governments are starting to find ways to take back control (see the net neutrality saga in America for example): earlier this week 60 doctors signed a letter stating that Julian Assange's health is now so bad that he could die in prison -

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/nov/25/julian-assanges-health-is-so-bad-he-could-die-in-prison-say-60-doctors

Arguably the most important and influential journalist and publisher of the last 15 years may be about to die in a UK jail after years of psychological torture for the crime of publishing factual evidence and running an organisation with a 100% accuracy record, but almost nobody, not even the usual suspects who are never shy about promoting their brands with an afternoon of safe and uncomplicated humanism, really cares. If Trump tweets a meme about CNN or calls Jim Acosta an enemy of the people there's uproar about "attacks on freedom of the press", "intimidation of journalists" and "destroying pillars of our democracy" (justifiably by the way), yet here we have a guy being used as an example of what will happen to anyone else who ever dares expose American war crimes (spare me the utter bullshit about "conspiring to commit computer intrusion") and all the usual humanist-for-a-day Hollywood glitterati are silent. Far too risky a cause, better to stay with safe targets like Acosta's White House press credentials.

Anyway, my point here is to encourage everyone to enjoy this remarkable period in our history when we're able to access 99% of all known information and form our own opinions, independent of politicians and media elites, because I don't expect it to last.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #92 on: November 29, 2019, 01:59:31 PM »
It was a different time back when Carter and Reagan were president.  No social media, no cable news channels making everything worse 24/7, etc.

I am not speaking for Gary, but I suspect he is similar to me in that he is just sick of politics and politicians and all that comes with it - the bickering, the awful rhetoric, the divisiveness, etc. - and that is what causes the "they all do it, I can't pretend to be outraged at every little thing anymore"-type attitude, even when deep down it is clear that not all crimes, indiscretions or whatever are equal.
And yet we'd still be going after them for an obvious and blatant abuse of power. Social media and cable news haven't changed that. It's changed you to the point that you no longer give a shit about malfeasance, and quite rankly, that's a Kev problem, not a political one.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #93 on: November 30, 2019, 07:00:37 AM »
I've refrained from commenting in here because you guys are paying WAY much more attention to this that I am. And this is why. Trump didn't do anything that 98% of the other Presidents or their Reps. haven't done. Period. Does that make what he 'allegedly' had done right? Nope. But this 'outrage' is only outrageous because the Democrats have been after ANYTHING that isn't colored within the lines to try and nail this guy with.

With all due respect, Gary, I think this is step beyond the typical suspect behavior of most politicians. Certainly beyond what we've seen from the last 7 US presidents. I expect financial gain as a perk of their office. I expect a little friendly espionage from time to time. I certainly expect spying on your political opposition. Using duly appropriated financial aid to extort behavior from our allies to benefit your own political campaign moves it well beyond typical, real life political corruption. This is into movie villain level corruption now. This is easily a Watergate level transgression. You might be correct that other presidents might have wanted to pull something like this, but as I've suggested, those guys knew what it was to be president and how it was supposed to work. They knew where the "do not cross" lines were. Trump not only doesn't know where those lines are, he doesn't care and takes great joy in obliterating them when he finds them as part of his Rocky persona.

And in any case, even if they did all do it that's no excuse. Try telling a judge "but everybody drives 75 through there!" sometime and see how it works out.

FULLY, 100% behind the idea that just because others did it is not an excuse.  BUT... neither is "well, we're not sure what it is he did, and what we're sure of isn't actually a crime even though we make it sound like it is ("quid pro quo") but he's really unlikeable (he grabs their PUSSY!) so let's just be done with him and get someone in there who's better*" doesn't work either.

But they are sure he committed an impeachable offense, and so are you.

That's true, but I was also sure OJ killed Nicole, there was a single gunman in Dealey Plaza, and Tom Brady had nothing personally to do with Deflategate.   It doesn't really matter.   




Quote
And since we're now focusing on the personality of the president in question, what if Carter or Reagan had done this? You think we wouldn't be going after them?

I can't answer that, except to say that one, if it was '76/'80, it would have been done with more gravity and more seriousness.   Carter was squeaky clean (relatively) but Reagan had his shenanigans.  If it was today, who knows?  I think there's a cogent argument both ways.  We're not going after Biden.  There's been extreme reluctance to go after Hillary.  There is ZERO appetite to involve Obama in any of this.  I don't think that's partisan-ism, frankly.  I think it's something deeper.  I'm not at all a "Deep State" guy in the sense that Trump is using it - he and Bannon, et al. have, as usual, abused that idea - but I think there's something to that in a more general, maybe even more benign way.  I think there's a pragmatism that sometimes gets confused for "deep state" antics, but I think there's a level of self preservation among career politicians and government entities that cannot be denied.  Trump is, to steal a phrase from Game of Thrones, a usurper, and usurper's are dangerous, especially powerful but careless ones.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #94 on: November 30, 2019, 07:20:24 AM »
And yet we'd still be going after them for an obvious and blatant abuse of power. Social media and cable news haven't changed that. It's changed you to the point that you no longer give a shit about malfeasance, and quite rankly, that's a Kev problem, not a political one.

Haha, I am aware, but I guess my point is that while back then most would have cared about gross malfeasances by those in power, nowadays many like me are so used to it that we just roll our eyes and move on.  Alluding to what Gary said, the problem here too is that the Democrats aren't doing it for the greater good or because it's the "right thing"; they are doing it because they hate Trump and will do anything to oust him (not that I blame them necessarily, it's just as civil servants, their motives should, in theory, cross a higher bar).

Offline Stadler

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #95 on: November 30, 2019, 08:00:10 AM »
There's a difference between going after legit malfeasance and abuse of power, and there's playing "gotcha games".  I'm really struggling with the notion that Trump's "abuse of power" is based on a preconceived, Jake-Tapper-notion of what Trump's real ambitions are.  We've heard so many conflicting interpretations of his motivations and feelings that we don't know what he's really intending. 

I get it, we can have both, and we quite possibly have both here, but there are SOME responsibilities with the power that SCHIFF has, and he can't abuse it to get rid of an otherwise unbeatable political opponent any more than Trump can. 

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #96 on: November 30, 2019, 09:28:54 AM »
I get it, we can have both, and we quite possibly have both here, but there are SOME responsibilities with the power that SCHIFF has, and he can't abuse it to get rid of an otherwise unbeatable political opponent any more than Trump can.

Genuine question here, how has Schiff abused his power? As far as I can tell he has done everything according to the powers afforded him as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee (if I'm wrong I welcome the correction).

The Republicans' strategy (successful it would seem) throughout this has been to get Americans to tune out these hearings. They have gone about this in several ways, but the main two are:

1) To confuse people about the chain of events. I noted elsewhere that at Trump's rally in Florida last Tuesday, a fascinating thing happened (fascinating from the point of view of how powerful propaganda can be). At one point when Trump was rambling semi-coherently about impeachment he nudged the crowd into a chant of "No Quid Pro Quo!" when he mentioned his call with Sondland, which he slyly misled the crowd into thinking was the July 25th call with Zelenskiy. He and his propaganda machine has skillfully woven 3 different events together: the 25th July call, the release of the (redacted) transcript, and the desperate ass-covering September call with Sondland. As far as his fans are concerned, it was back in July when he said "I want nothing! I want nothing! No quid pro quo!". It wasn't. That came later, when he realised he was in the shit. It was amazing to watch an arena full of people being conducted by their President into chanting a falsehood; a falsehood that later the evening got dutifully retweeted by the GOP's Synchronised Ass-Kissing Squad (Mark Meadows, Steve Scalise, etc).   

2) Secondly, they have been trying to propagate the idea that this impeachment investigation is a "Schiff-led Hoax by the Do Nothing Democrats". All the usual spineless sycophants (Jordan, Meadows, Scalise, Graham) have been tweeting out the lie that Schiff is "refusing to allow Republicans to take part in the investigation". Recall that self-abasing and embarrassingly staged 'storming' of the hearings by a handful of Republicans whose re-election next year is uncertain and so need the Dear Leader's endorsement:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50166577

I was reminded of those videos of military generals in North Korea tripping over each other in a bid to show Kim Jong-un how loyal they are.

It is utterly false that the Republicans are being denied the ability to take part in the investigation. Even before the hearings their members on the committee were granted access to everything the Democrats were, and as for the hearings themselves, I watched almost every minute of them and the Republicans took a precisely equal part in them. Devin Nunes spoke just as much as Adam Schiff.

Also, they have pushed out the narrative that 'Schiff' is refusing to allow 'their side' to testify. Which, again, is absolute nonsense. John Eisenberg was called to testify. The White House blocked him. Mick Mulvaney was called to testify. The White House blocked him. Mike Pompeo was called to testify. The White House blocked him. Rudy Giuliani was called to testify. The White House blocked him. Mike Pence was called to testify. The White House blocked him. Now the reply may be: why should they take part in a "Dem-led trap"? Fine, but a) don't say you're being denied the ability to take part, and b) how little faith do you have in your own Republican colleagues who are on that committee that you consider this nothing more than a "Dem-led trap"?

Finally, the Republicans and their propaganda arm have been touting the lie that everyone who testified last week is a 'Never Trumper'. That for me is the biggest abdication yet of Republicans' respect for their country. These shameless opportunist scumbags are perfectly happy to exploit "our great heroes in the military" when it suits them, but when highly decorated military officials with unblemished records are called to testify they do everything they can to disparage and besmirch them (with very rare credit here going to Chris Stewart, one of the few Republicans on that committee who treated the witnesses with utmost respect). Colin Kaepernick takes a knee? "Respect our heroes you fucking ingrate!" A lieutenant colonel in the United States armed forces gives his testimony (not one fact of which was ever even questioned by the Republicans by the way) and he's a lying "Never Trumper" according to Trump's twitter account (shamefully retweeted by the official White House account).

This is what the White House and the Republican Party wants people to believe: that every single one of those career diplomats and military officers are lying 'Never Trumpers' (and it's worth mentioning here that the only person who testified who isn't a career diplomat - Sondland - is a wealthy hotelier who was only given his cushy EU Ambassador job after donating 1 million dollars to Trump's election campaign. This guy is a 'Never Trumper'??). It would seem they've been very successful at it.

Finally, a gentle reminder that the head of the State Department that lectures the rest of us about how it is the World's Greatest Democracy is the very same one that is now telling us that the procedures and protocols of the United States House Intelligence Committee are a useless waste of time. It's mildly annoying, because I can guarantee that 11 months from now Russia will get blamed for whichever dipshit you end up electing this time, whereas the reality is that America has cannibalised itself with this bullshit we are seeing now.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 09:43:10 AM by Dave_Manchester »
"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 El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #97 on: November 30, 2019, 09:48:58 AM »
Clearly this country is more doomed than even I thought. According to intelligent, thoughtful people here we've reached a point where political figures can no longer be held accountable because we cannot trust the motives of the people charged with checking them. That spells lawlessness and anarchy and that seems to be the way people want it.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #98 on: November 30, 2019, 09:57:54 AM »
I can guarantee that 11 months from now Russia will get blamed for whichever dipshit you end up electing this time, whereas the reality is that America has cannibalised itself with this bullshit we are seeing now.

The reality is that America does possess the ability to make our elections safer from outside and inside forces who are more than happy to exploit us for our weaknesses, the powers that be don't seem to really care much about it advancing it to the senate for a vote.
Since when is a military occupation considered small government?

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #99 on: November 30, 2019, 10:05:51 AM »
^^ Which is one of the many ironies of Trump's 'Do Nothing Democrats' nickname. There are currently more than 250 bills passed by Democrats in the House that Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring for a vote before the Senate. But hey, don't let that stop Trump characterising the Do Nothing Democrats as "obsessed with nothing more than removing me from office".
"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 Chino

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #100 on: November 30, 2019, 10:08:41 AM »
I've read it's closer to 400 bills.

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #101 on: November 30, 2019, 10:09:30 AM »
Could well be by now, my statistic is from October.
"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 El Barto

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #102 on: November 30, 2019, 10:24:16 AM »
I can guarantee that 11 months from now Russia will get blamed for whichever dipshit you end up electing this time, whereas the reality is that America has cannibalised itself with this bullshit we are seeing now.

The reality is that America does possess the ability to make our elections safer from outside and inside forces who are more than happy to exploit us for our weaknesses, the powers that be don't seem to really care much about it advancing it to the senate for a vote.
Suggesting that there was any outside influence tarnishes the greatest landslide victory in presidential election history.

The irony to me has always been that the people who scoff the loudest at the idea that Rooskies, or anybody else, could influence elections are the very people most susceptible to that sort of influence.
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #103 on: November 30, 2019, 10:31:59 AM »
Clearly this country is more doomed than even I thought. According to intelligent, thoughtful people here we've reached a point where political figures can no longer be held accountable because we cannot trust the motives of the people charged with checking them. That spells lawlessness and anarchy and that seems to be the way people want it.

+1
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Re: Ukraine Scandal / Impeachment Investigation
« Reply #104 on: November 30, 2019, 11:19:49 AM »
Clearly this country is more doomed than even I thought. According to intelligent, thoughtful people here we've reached a point where political figures can no longer be held accountable because we cannot trust the motives of the people charged with checking them. That spells lawlessness and anarchy and that seems to be the way people want it.

+1

+1
Oh shit, you're right!

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