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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:36 pm 
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The guy who is primarily responsible for the direction of Fox News was a close ally of Richard Nixon who worked for him as a political consultant in the role of his executive producer of television. He reacted to Nixon's near-impeachment not by believing it was justified, but with resentment towards negative media coverage of Nixon from the "liberal press." This helped galvanize his desire to create alternative media that would be more supportive of conservatives. He eventually, with people of like-mind, was able to be a significant player in making that happen.

His work eventually led to an enormously influential propaganda apparatus that currently is running nonstop disinformation to protect the President from being impeached for blatantly impeachable conduct. Its influence plausibly is the difference between that President facing Nixon's fate and remaining in office.

One can say that Nixon's scandal carried over into Trump's where the desire for impunity for the former gave birth to it for the latter.

Honor: Hahaha! Ok Bircher-boy. Next you'll tell us that fluoridation saps our precious bodily fluids. Oh. Wait. Someone else has thought about that before. This is just a conspiracy theory of one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:41 pm 
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Thanks for playing both parts in your little conversation in your own head. It's very illustrative.

If I get you in this years MormonDiscussions.com Christmas white elephant gift exchange, I'm not saying you'll get a sock with nice button eyes to complete the act but, well, what's your favorite eye color so I can pick out the buttons early?

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:47 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
Thanks for playing both parts in your little conversation in your own head. It's very illustrative.

If I get you in this years MormonDiscussions.com Christmas white elephant gift exchange, I'm not saying you'll get a sock with nice button eyes to complete the act but, well, what's your favorite eye color so I can pick out the buttons early?

OK, this made me laugh.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:49 pm 
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New York Times wrote:
By contrast, the official said, it would clearly be an abuse — violating a specific prohibition in an executive order governing classified information — to mark something classified at an unjustifiably higher level in order to conceal violations of the law or prevent embarrassment. Here, however, the released call record was merely marked “secret,” a lower level of classification than “top secret.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/01/us/p ... ystem.html

Res Ipsa wrote:
No violation of an executive order. No violation of any rule at all.

EAllusion wrote:
The last sentence doesn't follow what comes before it. It would be a violation to enhance the classification of material to conceal violations of law or to prevent embarrassment. That it was a lower level of classification than the maximum level doesn't tell you whether or not that occurred. Part of the allegation of the whisteblower complaint, which seems amply backed up, is that this particular call was inappropriately classified to conceal the misconduct contained within. The same complaint, corroborated by independent testimony, is that this is not the only instance of this occurring.

The article says that these type of transcripts are routinely classified as secret. That’s what the Ukraine transcript was classified as. It also says there is no rule against putting documents classified as secret on the NICE server. At most, we have evidence of a different practice than was used in the past. So far, you’ve shown no evidence of a violation of rules, let alone an executive order. I don’t see a change in practice, in and of itself, as an impeachable offense.

Res Ipsa wrote:
If you think I'm somehow reasoning backwards, please describe exactly what you think my chain of reasoning is and why it is backwards.

EAllusion wrote:
I believe the President has given rather clear evidence of impeachable offenses on multiple occasions. For one, rampant Presidential self-dealing isn't exactly a secret. By arguing this one time the President was foolish enough give up some evidence it implies that did not occur in other instances. It's hard to see how this evaluation came to be without taking the one example Democrats finally seized on and retroactively declaring its evidence more clear than other cases.

I think you’ve misunderstood my reason for referring to Trump handing over the Ukraine transcript. My purpose was only to show that Schiff didn’t have to fight for months to see the Ukraine transcript because Trump volunteered it. That puts the Ukraine investigation many months ahead of any investigation of other phone calls. Right now we have good evidence of an impeachable offense sufficient to support approval of articles of impeachment tomorrow. We don’t and won’t have comparable evidence with respect to other phone calls for the foreseeable future.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:21 am 
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EAllusion wrote:
The guy who is primarily responsible for the direction of Fox News was a close ally of Richard Nixon who worked for him as a political consultant in the role of his executive producer of television. He reacted to Nixon's near-impeachment not by believing it was justified, but with resentment towards negative media coverage of Nixon from the "liberal press." This helped galvanize his desire to create alternative media that would be more supportive of conservatives. He eventually, with people of like-mind, was able to be a significant player in making that happen.

His work eventually led to an enormously influential propaganda apparatus that currently is running nonstop disinformation to protect the President from being impeached for blatantly impeachable conduct. Its influence plausibly is the difference between that President facing Nixon's fate and remaining in office.

One can say that Nixon's scandal carried over into Trump's where the desire for impunity for the former gave birth to it for the latter.

Honor: Hahaha! Ok Bircher-boy. Next you'll tell us that fluoridation saps our precious bodily fluids. Oh. Wait. Someone else has thought about that before. This is just a conspiracy theory of one.

I appreciate how you pepper fact with fantasy. About the only thing honest in your post is that Ailes worked for Nixon on Nixon's tv image. Your keywords of "alternative media" and "propaganda apparatus" are the stuff of tin-foil hats and largely just you regurgitating the fear-based blather from the hair-fire op-ed du jour.

Ailes is best summed up by his re-branding of the ever true adage of news being "man bites dog" whereas the media strategy is - "If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, "I have a solution to the Middle East problem," and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?"

It is irrefutable for you to propose that any major media outlet today is not using this orchestra pit measure to dimension everything they sell to advertisers.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:04 pm 
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Justify this rule for us. What is your reasoning (assuming it's not some capricious silliness)?

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Page clutter? Search on the screen name "Smokey" and look at the obnoxiously large images he's spamming posting. Let us know if you find any "page clutter", Shades.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:33 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
...

No violation of an executive order. No violation of any rule at all.

If you think I'm somehow reasoning backwards, please describe exactly what you think my chain of reasoning is and why it is backwards.

because EAllusion pride insists that what he "thinks" is actually what things "are" especially when he has "figured" them from his armchair...that and EAllusion really really really wants this all to be true (see also Nov '16, electoral college, Pee tape, Russia, Dr Ford, election tampering, taxes, emoluments, Stormy,....aka ad nauseum pipe dreams).

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:35 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
The article says that these type of transcripts are routinely classified as secret.


What matters is the purpose for classifying them. They are routinely classified because they routinely contain sensitive material deserving of classification. On the flip side, calls are routinely not protected in this manner as well. The argument at hand is that the Ukraine call, among others, was classified not because of legitimate reasons these cases typically involve, but instead out of a desire conceal the embarrassing and corrupt content of the call. That is the allegation.

If so, that's both a gross abuse of power and a violation of the controlling EO for how to use that power that exists because it is a gross abuse of power. Congress has oversight over whether the President conducts his classification powers in a proper manner regardless, but the violation exists in a written legal interpretation.

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I think you’ve misunderstood my reason for referring to Trump handing over the Ukraine transcript. My purpose was only to show that Schiff didn’t have to fight for months to see the Ukraine transcript because Trump volunteered it. That puts the Ukraine investigation many months ahead of any investigation of other phone calls.

I did misread you. To that, all I say is, "What's the rush?"

I thought you were arguing, like Honor has, that this is a unique instance because Trump finally has done something there is brightline evidence of impeachable conduct over, so this is a special case. Trump does that on a regular basis. This is just the instance where Democrats decided to act. He hands over evidence of impeachable conduct often enough.

For example, pardoning unquestionable war criminals against the wishes of the Pentagon is ballpark impeachable on its own and as part of a pattern of related conduct, is plainly impeachable. It's not a secret that he did it. It's a matter of public record. Trump, through unrelenting corruption and our poor media culture, has lowered the bar a great deal for what a (Republican) executive can get away with.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:58 pm 
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You didn't explain my argument. It isn't that the Ukraine scandal has unique evidence. It's that it has different characteristics that make it a better case. I feel like I've said that a half dozen times. Perhaps it's on me to clarify what you have wrong but honestly? I don't think I can convince you that you are wrong about what I am saying when you don't accept you might be first.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:58 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Res Ipsa wrote:
The article says that these type of transcripts are routinely classified as secret.


What matters is the purpose for classifying them. They are routinely classified because they routinely contain sensitive material deserving of classification. On the flip side, calls are routinely not protected in this manner as well. The argument at hand is that the Ukraine call, among others, was classified not because of legitimate reasons these cases typically involve, but instead out of a desire conceal the embarrassing and corrupt content of the call. That is the allegation.


The problem with your argument is that the call does contain sensitive information. It discusses specific weapons purchases and corruption among government officials. Yes, not all calls are categorized as "secret." The April call was not classified. But it says absolutely nothing of a sensitive nature. (Unless the Miss Universe Pageant has become a state secret.) Given the fact that the "default" and "routine" classification for calls (at least of any substance) between the President and foreign leaders, and that the non-embarrassing portions of the memo justified classification (see the Post articles linked below), how can you make a straight faced argument that giving late transcript the correct designation broke some sort of rule?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/ ... -alarming/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... ite-house/

If I'm correct that the July call, absent the embarrassing content, merited the "routine", "default" secret classification, then the argument you're trying to sell is that the document was given the correct classification for the wrong reason. If you think you can sell "he broke the rules because he did what the rules permit for the wrong reason," good luck to ya. It looks like overreaching on a hyper technical argument, which is what most "fishing expeditions" are based on.

[quote=EAllusion]If so, that's both a gross abuse of power and a violation of the controlling EO for how to use that power that exists because it is a gross abuse of power. Congress has oversight over whether the President conducts his classification powers in a proper manner regardless, but the violation exists in a written legal interpretation.[/quote]

What EO? You keep talking about an EO without referring to the actual language. As a guy once said "I cannot read a sealed book."

Res Ipsa wrote:
I think you’ve misunderstood my reason for referring to Trump handing over the Ukraine transcript. My purpose was only to show that Schiff didn’t have to fight for months to see the Ukraine transcript because Trump volunteered it. That puts the Ukraine investigation many months ahead of any investigation of other phone calls.

EAllusion wrote:
I did misread you. To that, all I say is, "What's the rush?"


I wouldn't describe promptly acting on very solid evidence of an impeachable offense as "rushing." Delaying action on a clear impeachable offense sends an implicit message that the Democrats don't think its really a big deal. If Trump is re-elected, it really is going to look like the Democrats just waited around and then tried to undo the results of an election. If you've got a case, and you believe it's a good case, bring the case. Don't wait around to see if maybe you can add some other stuff that you don't, right now, have clear evidence for.

EAllusion wrote:
I thought you were arguing, like Honor has, that this is a unique instance because Trump finally has done something there is brightline evidence of impeachable conduct over, so this is a special case. Trump does that on a regular basis. This is just the instance where Democrats decided to act. He hands over evidence of impeachable conduct often enough.

For example, pardoning unquestionable war criminals against the wishes of the Pentagon is ballpark impeachable on its own and as part of a pattern of related conduct, is plainly impeachable. It's not a secret that he did it. It's a matter of public record. Trump, through unrelenting corruption and our poor media culture, has lowered the bar a great deal for what a (Republican) executive can get away with.


for what it's worth, I don't agree with Honor's argument. But I also don't think you've presented it accurately or fairly.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:58 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
The problem with your argument is that the call does contain sensitive information. It discusses specific weapons purchases and corruption among government officials.


The weapons sales portion of the call was a matter of public knowledge. The only thing secret about it was the effort to hold up those weapons sales as leverage for political advantage. Discussion of corruption among government officials only occurs in the context of pressuring Ukraine to investigate (i.e. make up dirt on) political rivals. It does not contain any sensitive material. If there were sensitive material, we wouldn't be seeing it, but we probably would be hearing about its existence as a refutation of the allegation the classification system was abused.

There isn't anything in the call that merits moving from ordinary classification systems to the code word level server that we know of, and the whistleblower's complaint - the one that has been dead-on about almost everything - alleges that it was used in this instance and others as a tool to conceal details of the President's corrupt or embarrassing behavior by his staff.

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What EO? You keep talking about an EO without referring to the actual language. As a guy once said "I cannot read a sealed book."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... it-worked/

https://www.archives.gov/isoo/policy-do ... o.html#one

Quote:
I wouldn't describe promptly acting on very solid evidence of an impeachable offense as "rushing." Delaying action on a clear impeachable offense sends an implicit message that the Democrats don't think its really a big deal. If Trump is re-elected, it really is going to look like the Democrats just waited around and then tried to undo the results of an election. If you've got a case, and you believe it's a good case, bring the case. Don't wait around to see if maybe you can add some other stuff that you don't, right now, have clear evidence for.

Investigating is promptly acting on. Refusing to pursue leads on wrongdoing in the course of that investigation out of an artificial need to end quickly is "rushing."

The flip side of this is that when Congress doesn't impeach on all the other impeachable conduct, it sends a clear message to the public that it must not be that bad because even Democrats don't think so. I would argue that exact thing happened with the Mueller Report.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:48 pm 
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Page clutter? Search on the screen name "Smokey" and look at the obnoxiously large images he's spamming posting. Let us know if you find any "page clutter", Shades.

By "page clutter," I'm referring to the bar of buttons labeled "Profile," "PM," "E-mail," and "Quote." These won't appear if you simply type everything into a single post rather than making a new post every time you should simply press the "Enter" key twice.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:59 am 
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Returning to the OP, which started with the disparity between the views of the general electorate and the voters in swing states who could end up deciding the election in 2020.

It has been mentioned on the board there is variety between how convinced people may be that Trump has committed an impeachable offense. Those include disparities between differing political affiliations but also in swing States such as Wisconsin. For example, Fivethirtyeight describes the political differences in this link -

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mo ... e-offense/

Likewise polls taken in the middle of the impeachment proceedings tell us the voters in the OP are slightly less likely to support impeachment than they were when this kicked off.

It forces me to reconsider my views on the topic as I see the testimonies given as quite compelling and clear. While there is wiggle room in the evidence, it leaves only limited space to try and distance the President from the worst possibilty of his having held up aid for a political favor. The biggest gap in the evidence being the direct tie between the aid being held up and Trump seeking the announcement of an investigation into Biden.

I have to agree with EAllusion on that point. Closing the investigation right now will likely cause more damage. The gaps will be exploited in public opinion as the Senate takes up the issue and begins the hearing if/when Democrats impeach which, at this point, they have to or the end of our democracy will have came and went live on CNN.

I don't agree with the expansion of the proceedings into a fishing expedition to find anything and everything one might hope to dig up on Trump, and certainly don't see how doing so changes the calculus on his attempting to pursue election manipulation given what we are seeing going on with Nunes and Graham. In some ways, the impeachment gave oxygen to the conspiracy theories in a Barbara Streisand Effect kinda way.

I don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:08 pm 
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I’ve seen nothing that has caused me to rethink my opinion that the impeachment process over the Ukraine issue should not be delayed for the period of time it would take to gather the evidence necessary on other issues. That doesn’t mean that the inquiry shouldn’t take all the time it needs to fully gather the relevant evidence. I think there should move forward on the case Bolton filed, as he is a witness who was in a position to know important information and who appears willing to testify if a court says he can. I think more effort should be made to find the witness who has first-hand knowledge of the hold placed on the military aid, and I think Parnass should be deposed and whatever relevant facts he has should be investigated.

Normally, had the justice department done the investigation, the public would have seen nothing yet. And what it hasn’t seen is the events told as a story. That would have first been done in the report of the investigation. We aren’t even there yet.

There’s a great article in the New York Times about how Fox News goes about deciding on a narrative at the beginning of every day and then concentrates on crafting a story around the narrative. It’s the stories that are persuasive. But the House Democrats can’t afford to do that until they have the facts.

I agree that rushing for rushing’s sake is idiotic. But I haven’t seen anything that has convinced me that proceed with impeachment on the Ukraine issue alone is a mistake.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:58 pm 
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I agree with everything you've said above, Res. My concern is that the Democrats appear ready to move on to drafting articles of impeachment and voting soon. The examples you cite above are similar if not the same ones I think deserve to be resolved before they do. Their original witness pool has left a few critical unanswered questions that need to be before the articles of impeachment are voted on by the House.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:00 pm 
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In fairness to Honor, while I believe there is a best course of action, I don't think any course of action is likely to lead to desirable results. I'm more thinking in terms of "best shot" rather than, "This is what will work." Therefore, I don't take any approach's failure as definitive proof it was the wrong path to advocate. Trump is probably gonna get away with it. He probably is going to use illegitimate means to tip what would otherwise be a dodgy election in his favor, and he likely will use the following years to further institute authoritarianism within the US government. The US is likely to fall into being an illiberal country with semi-permanent right-wing control. After this episode, I imagine what remains of the independent civil service will be further obliterated in the coming years should the likely election outcome obtain.

The sad truth is the important election already happened and we are living with the consequences. This makes me frustrated that Democrats won't at least go down swinging.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:09 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
But I haven’t seen anything that has convinced me that proceed with impeachment on the Ukraine issue alone is a mistake.
Part of the issue here is the Ukraine issue not only connects thematically with other impeachable conduct, but appears to connect as part of a larger overarching scandal involving the same people and related actions. Pulling threads on what happened with Ukraine gets you to other topics of impeachment. You can't really fully investigate Ukraine without getting bogged down in a lot of misconduct here.

Trump and co really do operate as an organized crime syndicate and it's hard to isolate wrongful behavior when it comes to that.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:12 pm 
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I've said this a few times, but when these types of events happen in other countries, people don't have nearly of a hard of a time seeing where this is going. If you changed the names and attributed the last few years of politics in the US to the political situation in, say, South Korea, a lot of people would already know where this is headed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:13 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
In fairness to Honor, while I believe there is a best course of action, I don't think any course of action is likely to lead to desirable results. I'm more thinking in terms of "best shot" rather than, "This is what will work." Therefore, I don't take any approach's failure as definitive proof it was the wrong path to advocate. Trump is probably gonna get away with it. He probably is going to use illegitimate means to tip what would otherwise be a dodgy election in his favor, and he likely will use the following years to further institute authoritarianism within the US government, and the US is likely to fall into an illiberal country with semi-permanent right-wing control. After this episode, I imagine what remains of the independent civil service will be further obliterated in the coming years should the likely election outcome obtain.

The sad truth is the important election already happened and we are living with the consequences. This makes me frustrated that Democrats won't at least go down swinging.


Yeah, I get that. I have my own opinion, but that’s all it is. I can’t claim that I know I’m right.

And I agree with your bottom-line analysis: the election of Trump combined with their choice to hop on the back of the Tiger has put us in a situation that may be impossible to remedy.

But I would like to check out Nunes’s alleged involvement in the scheme.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:25 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Res Ipsa wrote:
But I haven’t seen anything that has convinced me that proceed with impeachment on the Ukraine issue alone is a mistake.
Part of the issue here is the Ukraine issue not only connects thematically with other impeachable conduct, but appears to connect as part of a larger overarching scandal involving the same people and connected actions. Pulling threads on what happened with Ukraine gets you to other topics of impeachment. You can't really fully investigate Ukraine without getting bogged down in a lot of misconduct here.

Trump and co really do operate as an organized crime syndicate and it's hard to isolate wrongful behavior when it comes to that.


I think that’s a valid point. Tactically speaking, the House Democrats need to decide on a theme, and then build a story around a theme. For example, they could pick “obstruction.” They could pick “bribery.” They could pick “organized crime racket.” Obviously, some themes would be more difficult than others. And it’s also true that, the more complicated the facts, the harder it is to create a convincing story that hammers on the theme. So there’s always a decision to be made about how much of the story to include.

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 Post subject: Re: The Tyrannical Minority
PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:17 am 
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This article from The New York Times, available through MSN, is worth reading. It paints a picture of how Trump's behavior mirrors that of the corrupting influences that led Ukraine to where it is, and to the condition where the idea the Ukraine has a corruption problem is accepted as a given by everyone on both sides of the political aisle in the US.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/ ... spartandhp

Donald Trump ought to be impeached and removed from office. This isn’t what I thought two months ago, when the impeachment inquiry began. I argued that the evidence fell short of the standards of a prosecutable criminal act. I also feared impeachment might ultimately help Trump politically, as it had helped Bill Clinton in 1998. That second worry might still prove true.

But if the congressional testimonies of Marie Yovanovitch, Bill Taylor, Gordon Sondland, Alexander Vindman and especially Fiona Hill make anything clear, it’s that the president’s highest crime isn’t what he tried to do to, or with, Ukraine.

It’s that he’s attempting to turn the United States into Ukraine. The judgment Congress has to make is whether the American people should be willing, actively or passively, to go along with it.

I’ve followed Ukrainian politics fairly closely since 1999, when I joined the staff of The Wall Street Journal Europe. It has consistent themes that should sound familiar to American ears.

The first theme is the criminalization of political differences. Years before Trump led his followers in “Lock Her Up” chants against Hillary Clinton, then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych did exactly that against his own political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was sentenced to seven years in prison on a variety of byzantine charges after she had narrowly lost the 2010 election.

She spent three years in prison before her release during the 2014 Maidan Revolution. Key to Yanukovych’s efforts to discredit Tymoshenko was — who else? — Paul Manafort.

A second theme is the use of political office as a shield against criminal prosecution and as a vehicle for personal and familial enrichment. Why have so many of Ukraine’s oligarchs — including Burisma Holdings founder Mykola Zlochevsky — also served as government ministers? Simple: Because, until recently, it shielded them from criminal prosecution thanks to parliamentary immunity, while also providing them with the means to use government power for their own benefit.

The third theme is what one might call the netherworldization of political life, in which conspiracy theories abound, off-stage figures wield outsized influence, and channels of formal authority are disconnected from the real centers of power.

This reality came vividly to light in 2016, when a parliamentary effort to vote “no confidence” in the government of then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk unexpectedly collapsed, thanks to the usual string-pulling from the country’s wealthiest power brokers. As Ukrainian political commentator Maxim Eristavi noted at the time, in Ukraine “There are no party lines, no real policy debates, no ideological clashes: just cold-hearted vested interests and short-term alliances between various oligarchic groups.”

The fourth theme is covert Russian interference, usually facilitated by local actors.

Ukraine offers the world’s most extreme example of this kind of interference (nearby Georgia is a close second), since large parts of the country have been seized outright by Russia and its proxies. But long before the Kremlin’s “little green men” arrived in Crimea in 2014, Russia and its agents were using every dirty trick at their disposal, from poisoning a future Ukrainian president with dioxin to poisoning the media landscape with disinformation. Too often, it worked, whether because its victims were suggestible, corrupt, fearful or simply not paying attention.

That last point was also made by Fiona Hill in her testimony on Thursday, where she warned members of the House Intelligence Committee that they ran the risk of themselves falling victims to “politically driven falsehoods,” regarding a bogus theory about Ukrainian political interference, “that so clearly advance Russian interests.”

Yet the person who is both the principal consumer and purveyor of those falsehoods is the president of the United States, just as he has been a purveyor of so many other conspiracy theories. Even now, this should astound us.

It doesn’t, because we’ve been living in a country undergoing its own dismal process of Ukrainianization: of treating fictions as facts; and propaganda as journalism; and political opponents as criminals; and political offices as business ventures; and personal relatives as diplomatic representatives; and legal fixers as shadow cabinet members; and extortion as foreign policy; and toadyism as patriotism; and fellow citizens as “human scum”; and mortal enemies as long-lost friends — and then acting as if all this is perfectly normal. This is more than a high crime. It’s a clear and present danger to our security, institutions, and moral hygiene.

It’s to the immense credit of ordinary Ukrainians that, in fighting Russian aggression in the field and fighting for better governance in Kyiv, they have shown themselves worthy of the world’s support. And it’s to the enduring shame of the Republican Party that they have been willing to debase our political standards to the old Ukrainian level just when Ukrainians are trying to rise to our former level.

The one way to stop this is to make every effort to remove Trump from office. It shouldn’t have to wait a year.

_________________
The world is always full of the sound of waves..but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows it's depth?
~ Eiji Yoshikawa


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