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The Art of No Deal 
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
I mean, all 17 of our intelligence agencies say there was collusion.

Careful - they agreed Russia attempted to hack the election in Trump's favor, nothing about collusion.

You claim obstruction will be the main vehicle, but I think there's another critical aspect that has been under-reported which is Trump's business dealings with the Russian mob and money laundering. I recommend spending 45 minutes with the following documentary out of The Netherlands. The names of those Russian contacts will become much more well known soon as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Dept. of Treasury is now sharing documents with the Senate Committee investigating Trump.

The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump (Part 1)



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Mon May 22, 2017 7:42 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Yeah except Trump urged the Russians to release 30,000 emails she supposedly deleted and he did it on national television. How can he do that and still claim the collusion is a made-up story? A sensible person who is guilty would feign outrage over Russia's actions but Trump is not a sensible person. He knew what was going on.

I never said obstruction will be the main vehicle. That was simply my advice. Go after obstruction because it's a ready-made case. Do I want to see all the dirt dragged out in the open? Absolutely. Will it all prove collusion in the end? I don't know. So I'd go for obstruction. We know he did that.



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Mon May 22, 2017 8:22 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
geo wrote:

Yes, I'm surprised that anyone is talking about impeachment at this stage. Trump has not been proven to have committed any crimes.


What???? So, if my wife is found murdered in my house and all the evidence points to me, I should not be charged because no one has proven I did it??? See, you have to charge the person first in order to prove he did it. That's called a trial. But before a trial can be begin, charges have to be filed. You DO know that what the word "impeach" means right? Of course Trump must be impeached, it is the only way his guilt can be established or dismissed.

Okay, I did misuse the word "impeach". But you're still missing my larger point.

In your wife's murder case, if all evidence points to you, of course you would be charged. But in Trump's situation, you don't have a good case at all (or at least not when I wrote that comment). Obstruction of justice is not an easy case to make, and the one line quoted in the Comey memo wasn't going to be enough, according to several legal analysts in an article I read. The main gist of my comment is that for the good of our nation, it would be better to wait have a slam dunk case against Trump. Without a slam dunk case that is accepted by both parties, you would only be feeding the witch hunt narrative.

Either way, we obviously need to continue investigating Trump and his administration for possible ties to the Russians. Let Mueller turn up what he may. Flynn seems a pretty unsavory character and now even Jared Kushner looks like a person of interest as well.[/quote]

http://www.newsweek.com/did-trump-obstr ... ion-611703

from the article:

"The more difficult issue will be to prove Trump’s intent. A “corrupt” intent requires proof that Trump acted with an improper purpose, an intent to obstruct the investigation as opposed to a more benign, lawful intent."

For Trump to be convicted of obstruction of justice, you have to show intent. If Trump never colluded with the Russians, where's the intent? Isn't it more likely that Trump just fired Comey because he was tired of the Russian investigation? There might be those in the Trump administration who actually do have something to hide, but I still don't see much of a chance that Trump himself was working with the Russians, orchestrating the leaks.


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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:

You seem to be changing what you were saying though. You said:

"I agree that it would be best for our system if we simply endure a bad president, and not make his incompetence or even his abuse of power reasons to remove him."


That's not saying wait until we have evidence, that's saying that even if he broke the law that shouldn't be a reason to remove him. So my question is, what in the hell then would be a good reason to remove him??

Sorry if there's any inconsistency.

First, it's not a good idea to try to impeach for lack of competence. The Constitution doesn't support that as a justification for impeachment. Abuse of powers without illegality is another one that can be iffy. Presidents do abuse their powers, though often there's little agreement that they've done so, due to good old political partisanship. I say stick with treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors. Interestingly, "high" in "high crimes" doesn't mean "serious," but crimes committed by those in high places. "Misdemeanor," which for us has taken on a meaning of minor infractions, for the framers could mean misconduct quite serious.

I thought Fred Hiatt put the matter well in this morning's column in the Wash Post:
Quote:
Impeachment should not be ruled out. If special counsel Robert S. Mueller III gathers evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, Congress should proceed, regardless of partisan advantage or political fallout.

But Trump opponents are kidding themselves if they think that sacking him will restore comity and peace to the nation. And they are dodging the work they need to do if they let a focus on impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment keep them from offering solutions to problems that contributed to Trump’s victory.

Impeachment has been and should be considered a “drastic remedy,” as attorney Gregory Craig called it when he was defending President Bill Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee in 1998.

Trump was legitimately elected by Americans who knew they were voting for an inexperienced, bombastic, intermittently truthful, thin-skinned, race-baiting businessman. If Trump turns out to be an inexperienced, bombastic, intermittently truthful, thin-skinned, race-baiting president, that should not come as a surprise. Nor is it grounds for impeachment.

Even if Trump turns out to be worse than feared, a failure, a disappointment even to his voters, someone who would, say, boorishly disparage America’s FBI chief as a “nut job” while speaking to America’s adversaries — even that would not be grounds for impeachment. The remedy for poor performance is to not reelect. It is a decision for the voters.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... story.html



Mon May 22, 2017 8:59 pm
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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
I watched your link, Landroid, and I realized i posted on this information some time ago in here but not a in-depth:

Trump’s Russian ties boggle the mind. Since the news that all 17 of America’s intelligence agencies agree that Russia hacked into four organizations associated with Hillary Clinton or the DNC and given the information to Julian Assange and subsequently published on Wikileaks, Trump has fervently defended Russia by appealing to Putin and Julian Assange—a man he wanted executed back in 2010 for publishing leaked emails damaging to him. Why would Trump openly cast doubt on his own intelligence agencies whom all living ex-presidents agree he will depend on for all his future intelligence briefings without which he cannot govern effectively? Because the reason for the Russian hacks were to influence the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor and against Hillary Clinton. Trump’s adamant refusal to accept the assessments of his own intelligence services can only be accounted for because he had prior knowledge of the hacking.

Trump, of course, denies he has any ties to Putin or to Russia. “I have ZERO investments in Russia,” he tweeted, a classic businessman’s and politician’s lie. Yes, he has zero investments in Russia because he has failed to land any. He did try to establish a Trump Tower in Moscow and failed. Investigations have shown he has been, for years, entangled with Russian “businessmen” and some of them are in Putin’s financial circle. Many of his aides, advisers and cabinet picks have extensive dealings with Russia and Putin.

But Trump’s Russian dealings are deep. The idea of building a Trump Tower in major cities around the world including the Soviet bloc isn’t even Trump’s idea (although he’ll gladly take credit for it). The idea was originally that of a Russian immigrant to the U.S. named Felix Sater. Trump claims to barely remember him in sworn testimony given in 2013 but Sater remembers Trump very well as they communicated on a regular basis for six years, that Sater flew to Colorado with Trump, that he escorted Trump’s kids, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, around Moscow in 2006. Sater was unable, however, to swing a deal to have a Tower built in Moscow.

Sater founded a firm called Bayrock Group LLC. He was also a government informant against the mob. Former business associates who lost money in Trump-related projects say that Sater has threatened to kill them. In 1991, Sater, working as a stockbroker, stabbed a commodities broker in the face with a piece of broken glass severely injuring him and lost his trading license and spent a year in prison starting in 1993. After getting out of prison, Sater joined up with an old acquaintance helping Wall Street brokers at White Rock Partners working in collusion with the La Cosa Nostra crime syndicate to run a $40 million stock fraud operation. He was busted in 1998 but became an informant to avoid more prison time. In 2001, he started Bayrock and had his own office the Trump Tower. Sater stated in 2008 during testimony given in a libel suit filed by Trump against author Tim O’Brien over his book “Trump Nation” (which Trump lost) that he became friendly with Trump and also met Donald Jr. when they worked on a deal together in Phoenix.

In 2005, Trump worked with Bayrock to develop various projects in Moscow. Sater was the go-between for Trump to a group of Russian investors but nothing came of the meetings. In 2007, a 46-story hotel called Trump Soho was launched in New York with the help of Bayrock. In 2009, a lawsuit was filed against Trump by condo buyers over the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale. One of the complaints was the Trump did not disclose the criminal past of one of the members of his team, presumably Sater. Trump simply washed his hands of the project claiming he had no liability.

Sater was sentenced in 2009 for his part in the stock fraud (it had been delayed because of his informant status which was netting them a great many crooks). He was fined $25,000 and did no prison time. In 2010, Trump Organization gave Sater its business cards and an office employing him to seek out more deals for the Trump empire. When Trump began his run for president, Sater declared his enthusiastic support stating, “He will make the greatest president of our century.”

Another partner in the Trump Soho project was the Sapir Organization founded Russian immigrant Tamir Sapir (now deceased). Working as a cab driver in New York, Sapir speculated on Russian oil and New York real estate and struck it big. Bayrock was controlled by a former Soviet official named Tevfik Arif. While Trump claims he did not know of Sater’s criminal history, Tim O’Brien says this is untrue, that Trump continued doing business with Sater even after his sordid past became public knowledge. In a deposition of Trump in 2007, O’Brien’s lawyers asked Trump if he was going to sever ties with Sater because of his ties with organized crime and Trump replied that he had not yet decided. Despite Trump’s claims of barely remembering Sater, there is a photo taken September 19, 2007 in New York at the Trump Soho launch party showing Trump speaking into a microphone and standing next to him are Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater. In 2008, Donald Jr. claimed, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere In New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

O’Brien also knows about Trump’s dealings with the mob in Atlantic City going back to the 1990s, particularly with Kenneth Shapiro whom O’Brien calls “a street-level gangster and a bag man for Philadelphia’s Scarfo crime family…” and Daniel Sullivan, a mob associate and FBI informant. Trump later told O’Brien, “…[T]hey say that Dan Sullivan was the guy that killed Jimmy Hoffa.”

When American banks would no longer lend Trump money due to his many bankruptcies (and despite his supporters’ claims of what a brilliant businessman he is), he turned to Russian banks for loans. In 2013, he and Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov set up the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Trump Vodka was an attempt to break open the Russian market. It didn’t work. Trump also sold a Palm Beach mansion to a Russian billionaire named Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million.

So we know that Trump has been dealing with Russians in business for a long time. We know that American banks stopped lending Trump money some years ago and the belief is that he going to Russian banks for loans. So how beholden is Trump to the Russians? We know the Russians helped Trump get elected but is it credible that Trump knew nothing of it? If not, then who in the U.S. was colluding with the Russians to get Trump elected and why? I mean, if people were saying the Russians helped get me elected by hacking into government computers and those of rival political parties, I would demand an investigation. The idea of calling the intelligence agencies a bunch of bullshitters and citing a man I once wanted executed as an authority to counter their claims does not inspire anyone with a functioning brain to believe I had no involvement especially when I tell everyone to just forget about it and move on to other more pressing matters. That has to set off alarm bells. One should find the fact that Trump brazenly implored the Russians to find Hillary Clinton's missing 30,000 emails on national television before the election to be reason enough not to believe any claim that Trump did not know about clandestine Russian help in the election.

The implications are far-reaching. Everything from American domestic policy and security to NATO and Middle East policy is profoundly affected if Trump is owned by the Russians. We cannot trust anything he decides on because we don't know who is actually calling the shots. When one looks at what we DO know about Russian involvement in the election, one should greatly alarmed at how deftly it was performed. DNC information hacked and given to Wikileaks, damaging fake news stories about Hillary Clinton made up by RT and spread through the media with help from Infowars and Breitbart--both outlets closely associated with Trump.

The question is when did Trump become so enamored with Russia? The answer seems to be in the late 80s when his own empire was on the verge of dying in a black pool of bankruptcy. Someone rescued him. Who? The answer likely lies in his tax returns which we will never see--unless someone leaks them. So we MUST question why Trump has surrounded himself with so many people with close ties to Russia and personal friends of Putin--Rex Tillerson, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Boris Ephshtein (the Russian-born communications director for Trump's inaugural committee and himself an investment banker with close ties to Moscow), etc.

I am shocked how easily his minions and diehard republicans have fallen in line to either praise Russia or demand people lay off Trump's relationship to that country. Would they do that for Hillary or Obama? No. But one also has to wonder how long this can go on. Someone is going to dig up something sooner or later. Some insider fed up with the bullshit is going to leak something very damaging and the dirty laundry will come spilling out. There can be no doubt that the Russians can ruin Trump politically and financially at any moment if they choose to. I expect that someday they may elect to do just that. The question, what we will have lost by the time that happens?

trump-is-a-dangerous-and-deranged-man-child-write-your-representatives-t26362-15.html?hilit=Bayrock



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
Go after obstruction because it's a ready-made case.

:btw: We don't have to pick one. Five articles of impeachment were written against Nixon. The Judiciary committee approved three to move forward. I think Clinton faced two articles.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Sure. We could add violations to the emoluments clause, for example. In fact, I think he should get whacked with that one. The only thing we owe to Trump is that, after this, I don't want to hear anymore about how we need a businessman in the White House. I've never agreed with that and this is why.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Well, Comey testified today:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ ... li=BBnb7Kz

He didn't say anything that sensible people didn't already know--Trump is a liar and untrustworthy and he fired Comey in an attempt to derail the Russian investigation--something Trump himself admitted to Lester Holt on national TV. He repeated the story that Trump wanted and expected complete loyalty to him. Trump denies this but who would believe that? Trump demanding and expecting absolute loyalty??? Trump???? I mean, if you're going to lie at least try to come across as believable. Of course Trump demanded loyalty--that's how he has always operated. He doesn't have any himself but he expects it from others.

The public overwhelmingly believes Trump is trying to derail the investigation proving that since Nov 8, the public has grown a brain. When a man admits he tried to derail the investigation--believe him. The public also overwhelmingly believes Comey over Trump. Gee, I wonder why.

This is looking possibly like the beginning of the end for Trump. He doesn't look like he is going to recover from this. It's amazing that all this has happened in the 5 months he has been in office. Can we go through 3 1/2 more years of this?

In other news, Mr. Deal-Maker can't get Mexico to pay for the wall as he promised his stupid voters would happen so the latest brilliant idea is that we'll festoon the thing with solar panels to generate enough energy to pay for this idiotic idea. First. Trump, build the wall. Okay? Build it. I challenge you to build it. THEN make Mexico pay it for because that is what you said you were going to do. So quit bullshitting around and do what you said you were going to do. That's partly what got your fat, stupid ass into the White House was that you would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it. Now do it. And remember--the wall got 10 feet higher.

The Senate is set to unveil their healthcare repeal. It has to go back to the House for approval though. The White Nationalist Caucus---er, I mean, the Freedom Caucus, has already stated that they won't back it if the Senate changed anything in the bill they sent to them. Actually, it's a lose-lose. If it passes, Trump will sign it, people will lose insurance, others will hooray over their cheap premiums only to find out that it doesn't pay anything when you get sick. Hard to believe they plan to unveil this monstrosity before the mid-terms. But then, who with a brain ever said the republicans were smart?



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Landroid: "Careful - they agreed Russia attempted to hack the election in Trump's favor, nothing about collusion."

Well, that's no longer the case. As we should all know by now, Donald Trump Jr just released "an email chain of my emails" to the media and handed them the story that many journalists had been trying to prove for a year! Namely, that the Team Trump colluded with Russia to influence the election in Trump's favor by digging up dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Trump Jr received an email written by a music publisher from Britain that a Russian lawyer with ties to the Russian govt wanted to meet with him to relay some damaging intelligence on Clinton because Russia favors a Trump presidency. Trump Jr responded, "...I love it. Especially later in the summer."

Ooch! So anyway, Trump Jr takes Kushner and Manafort with him and they go meet with the lawyer who turns out to have nothing on Clinton.

Junior and perpetual surrogate idiot Kellyanne Conway are both resorting to the worst defense imaginable: There was no information so we had nothing to influence the election with and so we are not guilty. Uhhhhhh...that's not a defense. If I point a loaded pistol at your head and pull the trigger and the gun jams, that doesn't absolve me of any guilt in a crime. It's attempted murder instead of murder.

Now, it's true "collusion" is not a crime per se. But tampering with an election is and so is accepting something of value from a foreign govt for personal gain. Doesn't have to be money, just something of value.

But the bigger problem is not what legally can or can't be done (it's debatable that Trump Junior committed a definite crime), the problem lies in the court of public opinion. That's a case where Team Trump loses because they've wasted their political capital denying ANY contact with the Russians. It's all FAKE NEWS!!! But that is not the case now. Incredibly, Trump is still insisting that it is. It's still fake news. But I wonder which part he is saying is fake. It can't be the part that says no one on Team Trump has had any contact with the Russians at all much less about the election. That part got blown down the shitter.

Once again, we are seeing the noose tighten around Trump and it is only a matter of time. What's bizarre is why Trump Jr released that email chain. He said transparency but it's not transparency if you reveal something that someone else told you they were going to reveal. If you kept silent before you knew this then you would go on keeping silent and so it was not transparency. But why not let the Times release the info and then claim it is fake news? Just play his dad's slimeball games. He hung himself. He proved himself, his father and all trump surrogates are liars.

In other new, McConnell has just announced there will be no healthcare vote because John McCain is recovering in the hospital from eye surgery. This would weaken the vote, he says. But for which side? Was McCain going to vote yes on it? Come on, McConnell, you delayed the vote because you knew it would not pass. There were two definite no votes but that would only result in a tie and Pence would then vote in favor of the Senate healthcare plan. So there were more than two just as every has pundit insisted. This was a convenient excuse to put off the vote that certainly would have failed.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Ok, so McCain comes back from his surgery. He votes to debate the latest republican healthcare bill which has almost no differences from the earlier one that failed. The debate vote passes 51-50. Trump is SO pleased with himself that he takes a victory lap in Ohio at a speech where he even asks the crowd if he should have his likeness carved onto Mt. Rushmore. He also claimed the crowd size "broke all records." Apparently, Trump is thinking he's got this thing licked.

Before that, he gave an utterly atrocious speech in front of a captive audience of boyscouts where he spoke very little of scout values and being a productive citizen (of course, what would he know about that?), instead he spoke once again of his great, amazing win over Hillary Clinton (he reminds me of Al Bundy from "Married With Children" who just can't shut up about his 4 touchdowns in one game against Polk High), that this crowd was a record-setter, he threatened to fire Tom Price if the healthcare package didn't go through, urged the scouts to boo Barack Obama (they did) and regaled them with tales of meeting up with some tycoon at a cocktail party--12 yo kids. Even more disturbing, some of the scout leaders were giddily applauding all this rambling stupidity. However, many parents that were present were furious. Does this man have no decency? they asked. The answer would be no.

So McCain returns to Congress and says he won't vote for the bill. Then he votes in favor of the bill. Doesn't matter, it failed. So yesterday they vote on a straight repeal with no replacement. This time McCain votes no as do six others.

Now you would think even someone as cement-headed as Trump would realize it's hopeless. Instead, he once again takes to Twitter to attack Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and, through his Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, threatens to pull out all the economy-boosting businesses going on in Alaska as punishment.

So, now, we're going to do this again. This time we're going for "skinny repeal" where the employer mandate, the penalty for not having health insurance and some of the taxes collected from it will be stripped away. They're hoping with that surgeon-like precision to hit Obamacare in its most vulnerable area and bring it down. Some think skinny repeal may pass if for no other reason than that Congress is sick to death of voting on healthcare and will pass it just to shut Trump's ass up because you KNOW he won't quit until he gets what he wants. Trump is like a child who wants a certain toy and mommy and daddy said no so he'll just throw tantrums for as long as it takes to break them down and force them to give in. See, Trump just can't stand to lose. He MUST win each and every time! If he doesn't win, he will NEVER stop whining about it until everyone around him is crazy from listening to him.

I will predict that the skinny repeal will not pass. The hold-out senators didn't hold out this long just to be give in now. They don't want to tamper with the ACA because their states are dependent on it and on the Medicaid expansion. Their constituents (many of whom voted for Trump because he promised to abolish the ACA even though their livelihoods depend on it) are now pressuring these Congressmen and governors not to abolish the ACA or they will be voted out. I doubt these politicians want to fuck with it in any way and end up destroying it in their state because there will be hell to pay for that. They want it left alone. Just leave it alone. It's working so don't fuck with it!!!

If and when the skinny repeal fails, I wonder what Trump will do next because you know he won't give up on it. He just has to be able to tell everyone, "I WON!!!!!!!" He just has to!

On top of this, Trump, for some reason only he knows, issued a Twitter statement yesterday that all transsexuals are hereby no longer allowed to serve the military. He did not make clear if that meant that those currently serving will be allowed to finish their enlistments. As usual, Trump issues a blanket order without any thought of how it should be implemented. After all, that's some flunky's problem. The reason Trump gave is that transgender personnel are costing too much when, in fact, they are costing us very little. There is some talk that he is doing this in a desperate attempt to find funds for his wall. All he has gotten thus far is $1.6 billion which is woefully short. Hey, here's an idea: MAKE MEXICO PAY FOR IT!!!! Anyway, this ban is destined to wind up in the courts where I predict it will fail.

Meanwhile, the Trump-Russia investigation continues. Trump continues to do something I have never seen before and never thought I ever would see--berating and insulting his own attorney-general. Trump is just so furious that Sessions recused himself from the investigation. For those who still believe there is nothing to the accusations of collusion, ask yourselves why would Trump be so pissed at Sessions for recusing himself over FAKE NEWS. Because it isn't fake. He has openly mulled over firing Robert Mueller and pardoning himself and his family. Right but there are nothing to these accusations--right, gotcha! Many of the republicans in Congress are very upset with Trump's treatment of Sessions calling it disgraceful and unbecoming of a president. Well, maybe you should stop kissing his flabby ass then!



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
What really astonishes me is how we can watch the Trump edifice crumbling into the house of cards it always was and yet his supporters STILL think he knows what he's doing and this is all part of some brilliant plan. Trump hired in Anthony Scaramucci as his director of communications. I can't think of any single word to describe this guy. "Scumbag" seems too nice a term. This guy's tenure is going to be short and a complete embarrassment to the Trump regime. He is like Mini-me in Austin Powers. He is MiniTrump--crass, uncouth, rude, classless, womanizing but rich. I mean, who gives interviews that are going to be read by the entire world where you describe a cabinet member as "sucking his own cock"? Then he cut loose on Reince Priebus and you knew right there Priebus was gone. Sure enough, after 189 days as Chief of Staff, Priebus got his walking papers. Officially, he resigned but we know the truth. His firing has been in the wind just a few weeks after Trump took office.

Sean Spicer hates Scaramucci and immediately resigned after 183 days on the job when he got the news that Trump hired Scaramucci on. Judging from what we've seen, who can blame him? I was wondering how long we'd have to wait to see what Spicer already knew. It turned about 24 hours. So "Mooch" pushed out Spicer and Priebus and he's not done. He and Bannon--the auto-fellatiator mentioned earlier--can't both have Trump's ear. One has to go. My guess is that it will be Bannon. When this happens, all the alt-right goons and weirdos are going to turn against him and who knows what will happen then? But ol' Mooch is threatening to fire the entire staff if the leaks don't stop!! Be my guest!

Two others lost their jobs just before Priebus: Derek Harvey the National Security Council Middle East advisor was fired after 187 days on the job. That same day, Michael Short, assistant press secretary resigned. I don't know if Mooch had anything to do with this but I suspect he did. This guy is really going to damage Trump before he gets the sense to get rid of him.

I also suspect Mooch's arrival may have compelled Walter Shaub to quit two days before Spicer. Shaub was the Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

As I predicted, skinny repeal failed. McCain's strategy seems a bit clearer: since they were using "reconciliation" to try and pass this bill, they only needed 50 senatorial votes with Pence as the tie-breaker. Normally, they would need 60 votes but had no hope of getting that. The problem with using reconciliation is that only certain parts of the bill can be targeted but if the bill is pulled off the floor before a vote, it doesn't count. So a new bill can be immediately introduced and reconciliation is put back on the table. What McCain did was vote for a debate which put the bill to a vote. Then he voted no, which along with Murkowski's and Collins's no votes put the repeal out of reach. It now is dead for the year. One a bill fails under reconciliation, it can't be voted on for the rest of the year.

I wondered how Trump would proceed with a failed skinny repeal and it didn't take long for an answer: he is now threatening to kill Obamacare payments if he doesn't get a repeal. Someone better haul him into court on this quickly because he can severely damage the system quickly if he isn't stopped like right now.

McConnell looked devastated and I loved every second of it. He looked about to cry and that wasn't just my interp--he WAS on the verge of tears. I hope Trump remembers to fire Tom Price as he promised the boyscouts he would if the vote failed. So now McConnell, Ryan and Trump are all essentially lame ducks. They've all been stood up to and been faced down. Trump was faced down by two women who never flinched a bit which is the only time two women ever pissed on him and he didn't love it. Really, what could McCain do but side with these two ladies? I mean, senators were voting for repeal based on assurances from Paul Ryan that he would never allow it to become law!!!! What the fuck???

Meanwhile, on the international front, North Korea, whom Trump assured us would NEVER develop a missile that capable of hitting the US, has developed a missile capable of hitting the US. Iran, also not afraid of Trump, is similarly working on such missiles directly thumbing their noses at him--something they didn't dare do to Obama. Also Russia, seeing that Trump's usefulness has ended, is now loudly rattling sabers over the new round of sanctions. Trump cannot lift or kill the sanctions--his hands are tied because of the investigations. So Putin is kicking out hundreds of diplomats. No more Mr. Nice Guy. That little, amused, tolerant smile he would always display towards Trump (whom he obviously considered an idiot) is gone now. Trump is now going to see the real ruthless dictator in all his naked glory. And all those Russian banks and businessmen he has been far too cozy with over the years are not going to side with him. He is about to see who he's fuckin' with.

The scary part is, we are now about to see the crazy, scared, desperate Trump emerge. If we thought he was unpredictable before, there is no telling what this lunatic might do now over the next few months. The black tunnel we entered on January 20th is about to get a whole lot blacker.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
To make a deal in business, everybody at the table WANTS to make a deal. If they don't, you cut them out. They don't want to be cut out, that's why they are there--they want to make a deal. In politics, not everyone at the table wants to make a deal and you still have to put up with them. They are there whether you like it or not because voters put them there and if you can't appease them, they shut the deal down and walk away.

That's a really good comparison. Trump has apparently made much of his money by spotting low-hanging fruit: contractors who are a little bit desperate so they work for him despite his reputation; foreign investors who are attracted by a high profile with apparent success; gullible dreamers who are willing to believe there is a secret to successful negotiation; ambitious investors on the make who think his name and connections can be manipulated (by themselves, of course) into larger empire. By putting together "coalitions of the willing" he has also mastered the art of using his public appearances just to gin up excitement (there is no such thing as bad publicity, in show business) and leveraging the excitement with coalition-building.

The other relevant thing about business is that they are all in it to take the money and run, these days. No investments without "exit strategies." Like Wall Street in the late Nineties and early to mid Noughties, they don't really care if their game is unsustainable. Can you spell "Mooch"?

DB Roy wrote:
The dems HATED this legislation and didn't want to vote for it but they gave in. It passed by one single vote! that was all that was needed. The dems came together because if they left Clinton hangin' in the wind, they would have completely neutered his presidency. He would be done and gone in four years. Instead Clinton did two terms and left with a surplus on the books.


The Freedom Caucus behavior was created by four people: The Koch Brothers, who labored long and lucratively to get their agenda passed on the state and local level; Antonin Scalia, who wrestled Citizens United into being; and Ted Cruz, who takes his place in a long line of Southern extremists, going back to Calhoun, who prefer confrontation and a fight for a lost cause over compromise and coalition.

It used to be that a party's "base" was willing to compromise with its center to avoid the damage the other side would do. But the uneasy Republican coalition between populist social conservatives and business-oriented fiscal conservatives is unable to function that way, and keeps falling apart (in North Carolina, in Pennsylvania, in Maine, in New Hampshire, in Nevada, and coming soon, in Wisconsin, Colorado and Arizona.) So far the social conservatives have been fobbed off with seats on the Supreme Court (most of whom, like Gorsuch, are really about protecting business from the depredations of regulators) but the Ted Cruz approach may blow up that strategy. And his approach wins elections, because Koch money can scare voters in Red states, and thus chase off the moderates.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
DB Roy wrote:
As I predicted, skinny repeal failed. McCain's strategy seems a bit clearer: since they were using "reconciliation" to try and pass this bill, they only needed 50 senatorial votes with Pence as the tie-breaker. Normally, they would need 60 votes but had no hope of getting that. The problem with using reconciliation is that only certain parts of the bill can be targeted but if the bill is pulled off the floor before a vote, it doesn't count. So a new bill can be immediately introduced and reconciliation is put back on the table. What McCain did was vote for a debate which put the bill to a vote. Then he voted no, which along with Murkowski's and Collins's no votes put the repeal out of reach. It now is dead for the year. One a bill fails under reconciliation, it can't be voted on for the rest of the year.
Thanks for unpacking that. My reading in the NY Times and occasional forays onto CNN had not explained in enough depth to make sense of McCain's behavior. Looks like the prospect of dying put some spine in the old soldier, or maybe revenge is a dish best served cold.

DB Roy wrote:
McConnell looked devastated and I loved every second of it. He looked about to cry and that wasn't just my interp--he WAS on the verge of tears. I hope Trump remembers to fire Tom Price as he promised the boyscouts he would if the vote failed. So now McConnell, Ryan and Trump are all essentially lame ducks. They've all been stood up to and been faced down. Trump was faced down by two women who never flinched a bit which is the only time two women ever pissed on him and he didn't love it. Really, what could McCain do but side with these two ladies? I mean, senators were voting for repeal based on assurances from Paul Ryan that he would never allow it to become law!!!! What the fuck???

Ryan and McConnell are skilled at the arts of opposition: never admitting what is really going on, ignoring substance so tactical maneuvering can give the appearance of victory, pretending to stand for something defensible. I'm not so sure they are lame ducks. Looking at the Senate slate in 2018, it is mostly Dems defending their seats, and a substantial number in Red states. McConnell may play for time.

The House is another matter. If Dems can get their act together and quit playing to score moral points, (i.e. talk down their base), they could win it. But as we all know gerrymandering has stacked the cards against them and so far there doesn't seem to be a strategy for leveraging the Trump disaster into election victory. I look at the by-elections in Montana and Georgia and it looks to me like a feat they can pull off - not by running against Trump but by talking sense and working the issues of substance, including the ACA.

DB Roy wrote:
No more Mr. Nice Guy. That little, amused, tolerant smile he would always display towards Trump (whom he obviously considered an idiot) is gone now. Trump is

The scary part is, we are now about to see the crazy, scared, desperate Trump emerge. If we thought he was unpredictable before, there is no telling what this lunatic might do now over the next few months. The black tunnel we entered on January 20th is about to get a whole lot blacker.


At least one historian of the 30s is swearing Trump will stage a military coup. I think it is too late for that - the military already hates his guts. But Putin may in fact be smart enough to teach Trump how to gradually take over power and put together a deep state of generals, tycoons and judges who will back further neutering of the other branches of government.

Yet who would bet on another Presidential election won by the lunatic right? If we see a coup it will be at the ballot boxes - a stolen election is way more likely at this point that tanks in the streets.

And then there is the nervous breakdown prospect. I mean, if I were Putin I would have given up on teaching Trump anything useful. Running things is not 45's skill - making noise is.



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
This might be a good time to insert a paradoxical out of left field--or rather right field. George F. Will has a "bright side" view of the Trump debacle. His column mirrors one that he penned many years ago titled "Feeding our Infantilism," about the American obsession with the office of the president and our continual enabling of its powers. I wonder that Will has not advocated for a parliamentary system; so far as I know, he hasn't.
George F. Will wrote:
'To see what is in front of one’s nose,' George Orwell wrote, 'needs a constant struggle.' An unnoticed reason for cheerfulness is that in one, if only one, particular, Trump is something the nation did not know it needed — a feeble president whose manner can cure the nation’s excessive fixation with the presidency.


Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/4 ... dency-good



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Post Re: The Art of No Deal
Anyone interested in the next fiction book discussion?


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