Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

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Forty Two
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Forty Two » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:04 pm

Brian Peacock wrote:
Forty Two wrote:
Brian Peacock wrote: ... Isn't this what inquiries and investigations are for? You seem somewhat overly invested in resolving this matter ahead of those proceedings, and particularly in affirming the judgement you've already made which, essentially, seek to dismiss ahead of time certain possible conclusions to those proceedings. Why do you think that is?
Well, because of a lack of probable cause. Yes, investigations are to investigate, but you seem somewhat quick to consider any investigation of any allegation concerning Trump to be justified because, well, they're just investigating....
I think the allegations are serious and need investigating. As I've said on a number of occasions the allegations strike at the heart of the US's democratic security and that this is, or at least in my view should be, of serious concern to all US citizens in light of what we already know about Russia's activities and intent.
Well, one issue is we don't really know what "the allegations" are, but I will agree that some of what has been talked about in the media is "serious." However, the seriousness of an allegation is not the only factor to consider. Murder is a serious allegation, but one wouldn't expect an investigation unless there is sufficient evidence to establish probable cause that an offense has been committed.

But, we have an investigation open, and it's been going on for a year now, so I'm not arguing against investigating. I would like to see some evidence soon, though. I don't think that's really unfair to ask.
Brian Peacock wrote:
... But, when I raise issues like Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation donation issues, or the alleged collusion between the Clinton camp and FusionGPS (foreign nationals), you generally haven't suggested investigations are appropriate. Why do you think that is?
Quote me saying I don't think investigations into those things are appropriate.
\

I didn't say you you said anything, I said you didn't say something. You haven't suggested it.

So, do you think investigations therein would be appropriate? Are the allegations serious enough?
Brian Peacock wrote:
What I have done is countered the view that the Steele dossier was fabricated at the behest of the DNC, which has been the entirety of the content of the spin coming from the US right.
That's fine for you to counter, however, wouldn't the Steele dossier be an example of a foreign national providing something of value to the Democrats?
Brian Peacock wrote:
I've also dismissed claims that the Russians infiltrated US national security to corner the uranium market and that Hillary Clinton is personally responsible for giving away 20% of the US's uranium assets to the Russians -- according to some in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation -- and/or that the Russians control 20% of the US's domestic uranium production as a consequence of the Uranium One deal as laughable.
Sure, you find the allegations laughable, but the allegations are serious. Just like the allegations that Trump colluded with the Russians to rig the election. Laughable.
Brian Peacock wrote:
Regardless of my personal opinions on those matters, investigations of the sort you say I consider inappropriate are a matter for Congress and the Justice Department - bodies which have declared that the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and/or members of that campaign and/or the Trump administration, are serious enough to warrant further official inquiry.
Sure, and there is evidence that persons involved in the investigations of Clinton and of Trump were significantly biased in favor of the former and against the latter. And, we have not seen the evidence that they say was serious enough to warrant further official inquiry.
Brian Peacock wrote:
If they decide that Clinton's tenure at the State Department warrants investigation then surely investigations will follow. As things stands you would have us believe that the Republican controlled government's instigation and oversight of the various 'Trump-Russia' investigations, along with a failure to investigate the Uranium One matter, are grossly unfair political conspiracies. But who are the various Republican-controlled government institutions and agencies conspiring with, and to what end I wonder?
We've seen direct evidence of bias, and the agent on the Hillary Clinton investigation thought that it was a moral imperative that he and others in the agency stop Trump. They downplayed Hillary's alleged offenses, and they have hungrily gone after Trump. Maybe he's guilty of something, I don't know. But, I'd like to see evidence. Allegations of Russiagate are not the only allegations relating to threats to democracy. Allegations that "never Trumpers" and the DNC are working to pin something on Trump regardless of his guilt or innocence in relation to Russia are serious too.
Brian Peacock wrote:
But, anyway, my question was posed to ask what Bannon would be talking about. And, it seems to me very unlikely that he would have anything to say that would suggest any sort of crime on the part of Trump. But, as you noted, there is, in fact, an investigation, so go right on ahead and question Bannon, I say. He's probably more at risk for himself than he is a risk to Trump. Although, I can't for the life of me see what he's going to say that's anything more than gossip.
In general I'd tend to agree with your comments, but only up until the part where you couldn't help but dismiss ahead of time anything which Bannon might have to say to investigators. Tell me, in this context what's the difference between Bannon answering investigators' questions regarding what he knows about what has been going on and Bannon merely gossiping? Does it depend on the content of his answers or the context of the questions?
I've said that I don't know what he'll say. He might say "Donald Trump was in cahoots with the Russians, and here's how I know....[and provide detailed evidence about Trump contacts with Russians and shady deals]". I, however, find that extraordinarily unlikely. Steve Bannon was a chief strategist, basically planning the overall strategy of the campaign and managing the message and machine trying to get Trump elected. If he has anything concrete to say about Donald Trump illegally dealing with the Russians, Bannon would be incriminating himself too. He wasn't just a bystander, and if he saw something, he'd be legally bound to report it, and if he hung around he couldn't help but expose himself to allegations of being part of the conspiracy. If Trump was not personally involved, but Bannon has personal, firsthand knowledge of campaign people dealing illegally with Russians, it's the same thing - Bannon is a conspirator there, at best, and at worst he was involved. He'd be sending himself to jail, and he'd take the 5th if forced to sit and testify.

So, what's he going to say? Oh, yes, I knew Trump was colluding with the Russians. I helped arrange a meeting between Trump and a Russian agent who had a suitcase of money? I didn't help arrange it, but I knew about it firsthand because Trump told me? Or, Trump Jr told me? Or, I overheard a phone conversation? Or a saw a written communication from a Russian? What, really, is Steve Bannon possibly going to say?

My view is, nothing. He'll talk about hard in-fighting, and political power plays within the organization -- shuffling around for power -- backstabbing - whatever. But, nobody is going to roll over on this. If there was some illegal dealmaking between Trump or his campaign and the Russians, it would have involved a fair number of players, and someone by now would have spilled the beans. If it so happens that it was a private thing between 2 or 3 people - nobody will say a word. Hard to envision it being just a couple people involved, but if that's the case, and nothing is in writing, then there won't be anything to find.

Brian Peacock wrote:
Brian Peacock wrote:
Forty Two wrote:... This is a new phrase - "utilise or rely on it [Russia] as a political resource." What might Trump have done that would fall within that blurb, and also be illegal or unethical or immoral?
I think you'll find that this is currently being investigated by multiple authorities, but I presume from your wiggle that you see nothing untoward about another country offering material support to any domestic US presidential campaign, or in a campaign accepting such support?
:tea:
Oh, I can see potential legal issues with "another country offering material support to any domestic US presidential campaign, or campaign accepting such support," but nobody has said that any country offered material support to the Trump campaign or that the campaign accepted that support.
You wish :tea: [/quote]

Nope. My statement is accurate. There are allegations of Russian meddling, and Russian hacking, and Russian interference. But no allegation that there was an OFFER made to Trump or his campaign, or an ACCEPTANCE by Trump or his campaign.
Brian Peacock wrote:
If you're referring to someone offering to give "dirt" on another candidate, well, I don't think that's ever been held to be a problem. Was it illegal for FusionGPS or that guy Steele to provide dirt on Trump to his opponents?
I see. You would consider a foreign power hacking the IT network of a domestic political organisation and passing that 'dirt' to a rival campaign, the attempted hacking of computerised electoral systems to favour one party over another, and systematic propagandising on behalf of one party over another as 'no problem'. Got it. I also note that you haven't really answered the question, merely recast it and fired it back....
No, I would not consider a foreign power hacking an IT network of a domestic political org to be no problem. But try to understand what I'm saying. Of course "hacking" is a problem, but there is no allegation that Trump campaign participated in or knew about any hacking. The allegation against the Trump campaign is that some Russian lawyer said she had dirt on Hillary Clinton and used that as a way to get a meeting with Trump Jr. That's not a problem. Any hacking is a problem, but that's not anything Trump is alleged to have participated in.

And, of course, an attempted hacking of computerized electoral systems is a big problem. But, let's posit the Chinese doing it to help the Democrats. Is that a crime on the part of the Democrats? Or, does there have to be some involvement by the Democrats to participate or conspire in the act? Foreign governments and hackers are trying constantly to hack election computers. This is not a first time thing. These computers are not sacrosanct with rival nations paying due respect to the systems up until 2016, when the Russians crossed the hacker Rubicon to try to hack computers and influence or meddle in an election. They do it every election. What, in your estimation, would make it a crime on the part of either the DNC or RNC, or a particular candidate's campaign?
Brian Peacock wrote:
Your use of the term "material support" makes the analysis more difficult, than if it was payment of money or donations. But, I see where you are going with it. Is it material support if the Prime Minister of Canada called up Hillary Clinton and said, "hey, I have this information on Trump that shows he's lying about X, cheating the government on contracts in his companies, and discriminating against black people in hiring - it's rock solid, accurate information?" Would that be a crime? What if a Canadian national, a big businessman, did the same thing? What if it was a former Crown Prosecutor from Ottawa who came across the border, had a meeting with Hillary Clinton, and offered dirt on Trump?
Perhaps that would be material support in this instance -- if such information was private and not in the public domain -- but, as I noted in my original post, the, "But what about the Democrats/Hillary...?" repost is merely a way to avoid the issue at hand by implying that the possible wrong-doing of one party is mitigated, legitimised, or offset by the possible wrong-doing of another - and indeed, it appears to be a pathological response with many on the right of the US political divide.
No no - I'm trying to illustrate why it's NOT illegal. Dirt is never in the public domain. That's what makes it valuable dirt. Dirt that's in the public domain is already known to the public. The value of dirt is, like the Stormy Daniels stuff, to take private information and make it public to embarrass the politician. It doesn't become a crime just because the guy coming forward with the Stormy Daniels stuff is Canadian, British or Russian. Even if the info was stolen by someone, it doesn't make getting and publishing that information a crime. Look at the Pentagon Papers - there, the New York Times came into possession of illegally obtained and illegally leaked government secrets and papers that were not in the public domain. They published them, and revealed politicians to be liars and cheats in relation to the Vietnam War. The US Supreme Court held that the first amendment protects the publishing of even stolen, illegally taken materials. Now, if the New York Times had participated in the theft, that's another story - but, the Times had no obligation to keep it secret.

So, it's like if 42 is running for office. Some Brit or Russian hacks my computer and finds out my fetish for Stormy Daniels porn flicks, and they download the proof, and give it to my opponent as dirt on me. My opponent publishes the dirt, but didn't know about the hack. Who has committed the crime? My opponent? The hackers? Both? Did my opponent have a legal obligation to burn the true and accurate information, just because someone else stole it?
Brian Peacock wrote: "Why did you steal those cookies Todd?"
"Well Jimmy steals cookies and gets away with it all the time Moma!"
Wrong analogy. The actual analogy is "Vladimir stole cookies and gave them to Todd, who did not participate in the theft or know about the theft, and so Todd is a criminal."

"Well, Jimmy got a cookie from General Tsao, and it turns out that cookie was stolen too, and Jimmy was not prosecuted." Well, that's because Jimmy didn't do anything wrong. He didn't participate in the theft.
Brian Peacock wrote:
Do you think US democracy is secure as it stands, or do you think that, given what has come to light about what Russia actually did do (the Trump-Russia thing aside), US democracy is perhaps less secure than it should be or needs to be?
I don't know what it means for US Democracy to be secure. I think the process is surprisingly less rigged than I expected. I didn't think Trump had a chance of winning. I can't imagine a guy who never held elected office running for President on what amounts to a shoestring budget, with a novice team, and the entire Democrat Party, and most of the Republican Party establishment, against him, could possibly win. The election of Trump actually restored my faith in the voting booth, because it shows that it's still extremely difficult to fix it so someone can't win.

As long as the US electoral system remains mostly offline, and mostly non-computerized, and as long as it remains decentralized with a paper trail of ballots that can be counted physically, we are largely secure. The only real way it Russia "interfered" was through propaganda and facebook ads ,and there's not much we can do about that. If political speech is going to be free speech, then Russians get to say what they want as much as anyone else. Shit, our President actively worked in public to defeat Brexit. Were his published speeches and such an "interference" in the Brexit vote? Was it o.k. for him to say "vote remain" and state all his reasons? What about individuals and groups outside of Britain? Were they free to publish facebook posts and ads one way or the other? Or is that an illegal interference?
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by L'Emmerdeur » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:03 pm

Steele was paid for his work. I haven't seen anybody claiming that he made any donation or contribution* to the Clinton campaign. There is no law that I'm aware of the prevents a foreign national from being hired and paid for their work by a political campaign.

*A gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value given to influence a federal election; or the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person if those services are rendered without charge to a political committee for any purpose. (11 CFR 100.52(a) and 100.54)

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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by pErvinalia » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:28 pm

Forty Two wrote:
Brian Peacock wrote:
Brian Peacock wrote:
Forty Two wrote:... This is a new phrase - "utilise or rely on it [Russia] as a political resource." What might Trump have done that would fall within that blurb, and also be illegal or unethical or immoral?
I think you'll find that this is currently being investigated by multiple authorities, but I presume from your wiggle that you see nothing untoward about another country offering material support to any domestic US presidential campaign, or in a campaign accepting such support?

:tea:
Oh, I can see potential legal issues with "another country offering material support to any domestic US presidential campaign, or campaign accepting such support," but nobody has said that any country offered material support to the Trump campaign or that the campaign accepted that support.
You wish :tea:
Nope. My statement is accurate. There are allegations of Russian meddling, and Russian hacking, and Russian interference. But no allegation that there was an OFFER made to Trump or his campaign,
WTF?! :? :think:
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by pErvinalia » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:31 pm

L'Emmerdeur wrote:Steele was paid for his work. I haven't seen anybody claiming that he made any donation or contribution* to the Clinton campaign. There is no law that I'm aware of the prevents a foreign national from being hired and paid for their work by a political campaign.

*A gift, subscription, loan, advance or deposit of money or anything of value given to influence a federal election; or the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person if those services are rendered without charge to a political committee for any purpose. (11 CFR 100.52(a) and 100.54)
42 knows this, it's just part of his bullshit rhetoric to try and muddy the waters. Large amounts of his posts these days involve hypotheticals which are not only hypothetical but also non-analagous to the Russia affair.
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"The Western world is fucking awesome because of mostly white men" - DaveDodo007.
"Socialized medicine is just exactly as morally defensible as gassing and cooking Jews" - Seth. Yes, he really did say that..
"Seth you are a boon to this community" - Cunt.
"You know you blokes didn't criticize Obama. You're lying. - Forty Two. Umm - http://rationalia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=42144

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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Brian Peacock » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:23 am

Forty Two wrote:
Brian Peacock wrote:...
I think the allegations are serious and need investigating. As I've said on a number of occasions the allegations strike at the heart of the US's democratic security and that this is, or at least in my view should be, of serious concern to all US citizens in light of what we already know about Russia's activities and intent.
Well, one issue is we don't really know what "the allegations" are, but I will agree that some of what has been talked about in the media is "serious." However, the seriousness of an allegation is not the only factor to consider. Murder is a serious allegation, but one wouldn't expect an investigation unless there is sufficient evidence to establish probable cause that an offense has been committed.
OK, so you don't think there's enough evidence, or at least not enough of sufficient quality, to warrant an investigation. Fair enough. But to imply that there's actually no evidence, or that it's not sufficient to establish probable cause, is to confuse an opinion with fact, and then apply it as fact. The alternative is that the FBI and Congressional investigation are proceeding on no evidence at all, or at least on such slim evidence as to be indistinguishable from a whim or a witch hunt. Do you think that the FBI, Justice Department and Congress would set up and oversee investigations on next to no evidence at all?

I say, let the investigations run their course and come to a conclusion after all the shouting's over, not form a conclusion and start shouting before the investigations have run their course. The worse thing for justice, let alone a dispassionate appraisal of the know facts, is to proceed from one's conclusion - as I'm sure you'd agree.
But, we have an investigation open, and it's been going on for a year now, so I'm not arguing against investigating. I would like to see some evidence soon, though. I don't think that's really unfair to ask.
Ask away, but what why are you so keen to demand particular knowledge or insight into ongoing Federal and Congressional investigations?
...
Brian Peacock wrote:
... But, when I raise issues like Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation donation issues, or the alleged collusion between the Clinton camp and FusionGPS (foreign nationals), you generally haven't suggested investigations are appropriate. Why do you think that is?
Quote me saying I don't think investigations into those things are appropriate.
I didn't say you you said anything, I said you didn't say something. You haven't suggested it.

So, do you think investigations therein would be appropriate? Are the allegations serious enough?
Brian Peacock wrote:
What I have done is countered the view that the Steele dossier was fabricated at the behest of the DNC, which has been the entirety of the content of the spin coming from the US right.
That's fine for you to counter, however, wouldn't the Steele dossier be an example of a foreign national providing something of value to the Democrats?
The Steele report was provided to the US intelligence community not because it was commissioned by a firm specialising in commercial strategic intelligence and due diligence services connected to the Democrat party and the Clinton campaign, but because of what it contained: so-called 'raw intelligence and analysis' which, upon completion, the report's author, Christopher Steele, considered significant enough to pass on to his former US counterparts in the FBI. Let us also not forget that the Clinton campaign only made general noises about Trump and Russia, that the FBI was looking into the Trump campaign's connections with Russia well before the election and well before the Steele report became public fodder during the transition period, nor those elements of the Steele report which have subsequently been borne out.
...
Brian Peacock wrote:I've also dismissed claims that the Russians infiltrated US national security to corner the uranium market and that Hillary Clinton is personally responsible for giving away 20% of the US's uranium assets to the Russians -- according to some in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation -- and/or that the Russians control 20% of the US's domestic uranium production as a consequence of the Uranium One deal as laughable.
Sure, you find the allegations laughable, but the allegations are serious. Just like the allegations that Trump colluded with the Russians to rig the election. Laughable.
The 'allegations' just don't stack up - the number of conjunctive suppositions necessary to make them stand is just too high - and they're only 'serious' to the extent that some people want others to think that they could be true and, furthermore, that if they could be true then they probably are.
...
Brian Peacock wrote:Regardless of my personal opinions on those matters, investigations of the sort you say I consider inappropriate are a matter for Congress and the Justice Department - bodies which have declared that the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and/or members of that campaign and/or the Trump administration, are serious enough to warrant further official inquiry.
Sure, and there is evidence that persons involved in the investigations of Clinton and of Trump were significantly biased in favor of the former and against the latter. And, we have not seen the evidence that they say was serious enough to warrant further official inquiry.
Apply that thinking to 9/11 and we'd call it a conspiracy theory - a kind of narrative which attempts to draw a cohesive conclusion from disparate data points by employing imaginary connections and overarching assumptions which stand aside from or lieu of the known facts. Following this logic, it would seems to me that the FBI will always be biased when it comes to conclusions that don't conform to the conspiracy - in circumstances where conclusions which don't conform to the theory then act to support and confirm the conspiracy itself.

If you can't trust the FBI or Congress to investigate Republicans how can you trust them to investigate Democrats, or anyone, or anything, for that matter? Next people will be calling for the FBI to be disbanded - Oh wait, crackpot conspiracy and alt-right fake news sites are already doing that.
...
Brian Peacock wrote:If they decide that Clinton's tenure at the State Department warrants investigation then surely investigations will follow. As things stands you would have us believe that the Republican controlled government's instigation and oversight of the various 'Trump-Russia' investigations, along with a failure to investigate the Uranium One matter, are grossly unfair political conspiracies. But who are the various Republican-controlled government institutions and agencies conspiring with, and to what end I wonder?
We've seen direct evidence of bias, and the agent on the Hillary Clinton investigation thought that it was a moral imperative that he and others in the agency stop Trump. They downplayed Hillary's alleged offenses, and they have hungrily gone after Trump. Maybe he's guilty of something, I don't know. But, I'd like to see evidence. Allegations of Russiagate are not the only allegations relating to threats to democracy. Allegations that "never Trumpers" and the DNC are working to pin something on Trump regardless of his guilt or innocence in relation to Russia are serious too.
If you can't trust the people running the government, and you can't trust the people running for government, then perhaps it's time to head for the hills and go off-grid. :tea:
...
Brian Peacock wrote:
But, anyway, my question was posed to ask what Bannon would be talking about. And, it seems to me very unlikely that he would have anything to say that would suggest any sort of crime on the part of Trump. But, as you noted, there is, in fact, an investigation, so go right on ahead and question Bannon, I say. He's probably more at risk for himself than he is a risk to Trump. Although, I can't for the life of me see what he's going to say that's anything more than gossip.
In general I'd tend to agree with your comments, but only up until the part where you couldn't help but dismiss ahead of time anything which Bannon might have to say to investigators. Tell me, in this context what's the difference between Bannon answering investigators' questions regarding what he knows about what has been going on and Bannon merely gossiping? Does it depend on the content of his answers or the context of the questions?
I've said that I don't know what he'll say.
Image
Swerve!!!
He might say "Donald Trump was in cahoots with the Russians, and here's how I know....[and provide detailed evidence about Trump contacts with Russians and shady deals]". I, however, find that extraordinarily unlikely. Steve Bannon was a chief strategist, basically planning the overall strategy of the campaign and managing the message and machine trying to get Trump elected. If he has anything concrete to say about Donald Trump illegally dealing with the Russians, Bannon would be incriminating himself too. He wasn't just a bystander, and if he saw something, he'd be legally bound to report it, and if he hung around he couldn't help but expose himself to allegations of being part of the conspiracy. If Trump was not personally involved, but Bannon has personal, firsthand knowledge of campaign people dealing illegally with Russians, it's the same thing - Bannon is a conspirator there, at best, and at worst he was involved. He'd be sending himself to jail, and he'd take the 5th if forced to sit and testify.
I don't know what question you thought you were answering, but it wasn't the one I asked.
So, what's he going to say? Oh, yes, I knew Trump was colluding with the Russians. I helped arrange a meeting between Trump and a Russian agent who had a suitcase of money? I didn't help arrange it, but I knew about it firsthand because Trump told me? Or, Trump Jr told me? Or, I overheard a phone conversation? Or a saw a written communication from a Russian? What, really, is Steve Bannon possibly going to say?
Well, if Trump keeps referring to him in Tweets as 'Sloppy Steve' who 'cried like a baby' when he was sacked, perhaps he might say that - whether it's true or not. When you're hurt by someone you love things can get pretty nasty can't they? Personally I'm waiting for Sean Spicer's memoirs. :tea:
My view is, nothing. He'll talk about hard in-fighting, and political power plays within the organization -- shuffling around for power -- backstabbing - whatever. But, nobody is going to roll over on this. If there was some illegal dealmaking between Trump or his campaign and the Russians, it would have involved a fair number of players, and someone by now would have spilled the beans. If it so happens that it was a private thing between 2 or 3 people - nobody will say a word. Hard to envision it being just a couple people involved, but if that's the case, and nothing is in writing, then there won't be anything to find.
Pah! You've just said that the players are hardly likely to voluntarily incriminate themselves (which I agree with), but then cited the fact that nobody has incriminated themselves as reason for us to believe that nothing has or is going on. Do you see how conveniently circular that is?
Brian Peacock wrote:
Brian Peacock wrote:
Forty Two wrote:... This is a new phrase - "utilise or rely on it [Russia] as a political resource." What might Trump have done that would fall within that blurb, and also be illegal or unethical or immoral?
I think you'll find that this is currently being investigated by multiple authorities, but I presume from your wiggle that you see nothing untoward about another country offering material support to any domestic US presidential campaign, or in a campaign accepting such support?

:tea:
Oh, I can see potential legal issues with "another country offering material support to any domestic US presidential campaign, or campaign accepting such support," but nobody has said that any country offered material support to the Trump campaign or that the campaign accepted that support.
You wish :tea:
Nope. My statement is accurate. There are allegations of Russian meddling, and Russian hacking, and Russian interference. But no allegation that there was an OFFER made to Trump or his campaign, or an ACCEPTANCE by Trump or his campaign.
Going UPPERCASE is the first sign of madness you know! :D And let's not pretend that the secret Trump Tower meeting didn't take place or that it wasn't arranged on the understanding that representatives of the Russian government were willing to share dirt on Hillary, or that Flynn and Sessions lied to the FBI and under oath about their contacts with Russian representatives.

The bulk of the right-leaning political commentariate that aren't slavering loons are constantly boiling this issue down to one which is defined solely in terms of whether Trump was a knowing or willing pawn of the Kremlin. If Trump wasn't/isn't a Kremlin stooge then, so we're told, everything is OK and it's business as usual, and all the assertions about 'no collusion' are vindicated.

To a great extent, the idea that this is only about whether Trump or his campaigners were knowing puppets of the Kremlin is a strawman dressed in coat of crimson herring. It's not just about that. This is a much broader matter, one in which we (and the ongoing investigations of course) are trying to understand not if the Russian government invested considerable resources to boost Trump’s political fortunes (and perhaps even his personal fortunes too), but to what extent - and to what extent the political players in the Trump campaign, or even the man himself, were aware of the Russian's activities and, as I put it earlier, to what extent they might have relied on and utilised those resources.

However, the question remains: do you see anything untoward about another country offering material support to any domestic US presidential campaign, or in a campaign accepting such support? That seems like a pretty straightforward question to me - although I'd grant that it's a question which, at the moment, weighs far more heavily on the Forever Trumpers and the GOP than on the Never Trumpers and the DNC. That this does weigh heavier on one side of the US political divide does not signal bias btw - and to suggest otherwise is perhaps more than a little disingenuous, imo.
Brian Peacock wrote:
If you're referring to someone offering to give "dirt" on another candidate, well, I don't think that's ever been held to be a problem. Was it illegal for FusionGPS or that guy Steele to provide dirt on Trump to his opponents?
I see. You would consider a foreign power hacking the IT network of a domestic political organisation and passing that 'dirt' to a rival campaign, the attempted hacking of computerised electoral systems to favour one party over another, and systematic propagandising on behalf of one party over another as 'no problem'. Got it. I also note that you haven't really answered the question, merely recast it and fired it back....
No, I would not consider a foreign power hacking an IT network of a domestic political org to be no problem. But try to understand what I'm saying. Of course "hacking" is a problem, but there is no allegation that Trump campaign participated in or knew about any hacking.
In continually and unnecessarily tying these two matters together you kinda come across as a bit of an apologist for Russian interference. Now I know this is not you intention, or even your view, but your inclination to only see this through the prism of Trump vs The World, and as such a good enough reason to defend that perspective, is, I fear, skewing your objectivity.
The allegation against the Trump campaign is that some Russian lawyer said she had dirt on Hillary Clinton and used that as a way to get a meeting with Trump Jr. That's not a problem. Any hacking is a problem, but that's not anything Trump is alleged to have participated in.
That's not a problem, but it's only one reading of the facts. This issue is not about whether 'some Russian lawyer' dangled the possibility of dirt on Clinton to secure a meeting with member's of Trump's inner circle, but that Trump's inner circle were willing to arrange a meeting in Trump Tower on the understanding that the Russians were offering to help out. If Bannon actually said that the meeting was 'treasonous' and 'unpatriotic' then in that respect, and probably in that respect alone, I totally agree with Steve Bannon.
And, of course, an attempted hacking of computerized electoral systems is a big problem. But, let's posit the Chinese doing it to help the Democrats. Is that a crime on the part of the Democrats? Or, does there have to be some involvement by the Democrats to participate or conspire in the act?
You're doing again. But do you even notice that you're doing it again? You've invoked a strawman to draw a moral equivalence on the presumption that it's somehow biased and partisan to criticise, let alone condemn, something that we do know actually happened - that Russia attempted to hack the electoral systems to favour the fortunes of a particular candidate.

It really doesn't matter who does the hacking or who the candidates are does it? So
many on the US right have this seemingly unquenchable urge to imply that being critical means one is somehow only interested in giving Democrats a easy ride while riding Trump hard for the border? That very implication is implicit in your remarks above.
Foreign governments and hackers are trying constantly to hack election computers. This is not a first time thing. These computers are not sacrosanct with rival nations paying due respect to the systems up until 2016, when the Russians crossed the hacker Rubicon to try to hack computers and influence or meddle in an election. They do it every election. What, in your estimation, would make it a crime on the part of either the DNC or RNC, or a particular candidate's campaign?
I don't doubt it goes on, though that's by-the-by. I would be interested to read reports from previous US elections about Russian, or North Korean, Chinese, or whatever nation that where systematically trying to hack election systems in favour of a particular candidate. To very large extent the so-called 'whole Trump-Russia thing' has raised public awareness about how susceptible our democracies and democratic institutions are to outside influence and manipulation.

I'm ignoring the "But what about the Democrats/Hillary...?" stuff now because it's becoming tiresome.
Brian Peacock wrote:
Your use of the term "material support" makes the analysis more difficult, than if it was payment of money or donations. But, I see where you are going with it. Is it material support if the Prime Minister of Canada called up Hillary Clinton and said, "hey, I have this information on Trump that shows he's lying about X, cheating the government on contracts in his companies, and discriminating against black people in hiring - it's rock solid, accurate information?" Would that be a crime? What if a Canadian national, a big businessman, did the same thing? What if it was a former Crown Prosecutor from Ottawa who came across the border, had a meeting with Hillary Clinton, and offered dirt on Trump?
Perhaps that would be material support in this instance -- if such information was private and not in the public domain -- but, as I noted in my original post, the, "But what about the Democrats/Hillary...?" repost is merely a way to avoid the issue at hand by implying that the possible wrong-doing of one party is mitigated, legitimised, or offset by the possible wrong-doing of another - and indeed, it appears to be a pathological response with many on the right of the US political divide.
No no - I'm trying to illustrate why it's NOT illegal. Dirt is never in the public domain. That's what makes it valuable dirt. Dirt that's in the public domain is already known to the public.
So you'd rather argue about what dirt is than about dirty, compromised politicians? Fair enough. But before we get stuck into equivocations on the word 'compromised' I don't mean the run-of-the-mill compromises and concessions politicians make to get elected and operate in office, but of being compromised and susceptible, or perhaps even amenable, to undue influence.

The attempt to draw yet another moral equivalence off the back of a red herring, in the guise of a Canadian prosecutor dealing dirt to the Democrats, falls well short. A more telling equivalence would be to draw an inference from, say, someone claiming to represent the Iranian government and seeking to arrange a meeting with the Clinton Campaign on the promise of compromising information from an inside source - such as hacked private email accounts.

Does the ambivalent legal status of that kind of activity render the matter moot?
The value of dirt is, like the Stormy Daniels stuff, to take private information and make it public to embarrass the politician.
Nope. There's no public requirement for 'dirt'. Private and non-public individuals, institutions, and organisations can seek and apply 'dirt' on each other. It would not have to be public, just compromising.
It doesn't become a crime just because the guy coming forward with the Stormy Daniels stuff is Canadian, British or Russian. Even if the info was stolen by someone, it doesn't make getting and publishing that information a crime. Look at the Pentagon Papers - there, the New York Times came into possession of illegally obtained and illegally leaked government secrets and papers that were not in the public domain...
But you'll grant they were in the public interest I'm sure?
... They published them, and revealed politicians to be liars and cheats in relation to the Vietnam War. The US Supreme Court held that the first amendment protects the publishing of even stolen, illegally taken materials. Now, if the New York Times had participated in the theft, that's another story - but, the Times had no obligation to keep it secret.
Indeed. Just as Christopher Steele had no obligation not to pass his report to the FBI and media outlets had no obligation not to report what they might glean of that or, as they ultimately did, publish the report themselves.

But Hillary's emails are not the same as that, and I think you know it. Her emails were released for political effect during an election campaign (a huge dump an hour after 'pussygate' broke), and used to undermine not only the standing and prospects of another candidate (fair game one might say) but in so doing bolstered the justification for those charges by tainting the conclusions of an official investigation and, in the followup process, undermine the perceived impartiality of a primary Federal institution - the charge being that the FBI were/are partisan in favour of Democrats.

If Hillary, the Democrats, or Obama's administration can so easily co-opt or corrupt the FBI then it follows that the FBI as an organisation are easily corrupted, and so one might assume that a GOP administration sitting within the context of a GOP-controlled government could also corrupt the FBI, and probably the NSA, or Congressional investigations, the Supreme Court, or whatever. Do you see the rabbit hole looming ahead?
So, it's like if 42 is running for office. Some Brit or Russian hacks my computer and finds out my fetish for Stormy Daniels porn flicks, and they download the proof, and give it to my opponent as dirt on me. My opponent publishes the dirt, but didn't know about the hack. Who has committed the crime? My opponent? The hackers? Both? Did my opponent have a legal obligation to burn the true and accurate information, just because someone else stole it?
Are you running for President 42? I must say, despite what I might say in these communications I think you'd do a far better job than the bloke who has the big chair (and the big button) at the moment. :D

Let's assume that you're running for an office which regulates the the porn industry and the hacker doesn't sell the info to your opponent but to the consortium that runs the, erm, adult entertainment industry in your State? For all we know those shady wank-sellers might have manipulated or exploited your weakness for Ms Daniels already - without you even knowing. But you're certainly open to being compromised if you don't want the voting public knowing that you like nothing more than throwing one over your thumb to the image of your obsession.

Now, let us imagine that your financial affairs were also wrapped up in some rather dodgy dealings with the muffin-topped moguls, perhaps indirectly, arranged by unofficial intermediaries and unscrupulous creative accountants? I'm sure you can see the massive hint I'm dropping here :D

The term 'illegality' is something we apply to action, not mere possibility. When we apply 'illegality' to mere possibilities then we've invented the thought police. But the possibility that someone in public office could be compromised by, shall we say, undue or unsavoury influences is clearly a concern for us all. The potential for manipulation, or even straight out blackmail, is surely something to guard against? How's that rabbit hole looking now?
Brian Peacock wrote: "Why did you steal those cookies Todd?"
"Well Jimmy steals cookies and gets away with it all the time Moma!"
Wrong analogy. The actual analogy is "Vladimir stole cookies and gave them to Todd, who did not participate in the theft or know about the theft, and so Todd is a criminal."

"Well, Jimmy got a cookie from General Tsao, and it turns out that cookie was stolen too, and Jimmy was not prosecuted." Well, that's because Jimmy didn't do anything wrong. He didn't participate in the theft.
Wrong analogy? Really? I was saying that the wrong doing of one party does not mitigate, legitimise, or otherwise offset the wrong doing of another. Those who wish to compartmentalise the issue will, sooner or later, either stack all the boxes together and get a shock when they see what shape they make, or just set them alight to avoid finding out. Put the matches down 42, and step away from the paraffin.
Brian Peacock wrote:Do you think US democracy is secure as it stands, or do you think that, given what has come to light about what Russia actually did do (the Trump-Russia thing aside), US democracy is perhaps less secure than it should be or needs to be?
I don't know what it means for US Democracy to be secure...
Therein lies a big problem I think. Not just for you, but for a great number of people all over. But it's not a difficult notion to grasp when you think about it.
... I think the process is surprisingly less rigged than I expected. I didn't think Trump had a chance of winning. I can't imagine a guy who never held elected office running for President on what amounts to a shoestring budget, with a novice team, and the entire Democrat Party, and most of the Republican Party establishment, against him, could possibly win. The election of Trump actually restored my faith in the voting booth, because it shows that it's still extremely difficult to fix it so someone can't win.
Indeed. The system is so surprisingly less rigged that the candidate who does not poll the most votes can still become President!
As long as the US electoral system remains mostly offline, and mostly non-computerized, and as long as it remains decentralized with a paper trail of ballots that can be counted physically, we are largely secure...
Oops! C'mon. Get with it granddad. :D
... The only real way it Russia "interfered" was through propaganda and facebook ads ,and there's not much we can do about that. If political speech is going to be free speech, then Russians get to say what they want as much as anyone else. Shit, our President actively worked in public to defeat Brexit. Were his published speeches and such an "interference" in the Brexit vote? Was it o.k. for him to say "vote remain" and state all his reasons? What about individuals and groups outside of Britain? Were they free to publish facebook posts and ads one way or the other? Or is that an illegal interference?
I'm not inclined to think that specific interference has to be illegal to be wrong, compromising to the system, manipulative, or to put it another way, deleteriously influential. I feel we have to come to our own conclusions on this while avoiding falling to informal fallacies like appeals to statue. I'd invite you to do some research on Robert Mercer & Cambridge Analytica, and their role in both the 2016 US election and the UK EU Referendum, and draw your own conclusions about whether the kind of influence big-data can exert is helpful to achieving democratic security even if their activity is legal. In the end it's the same kind of discussion we've already had about the influence of media moguls, globalised corportations, and the big trans-national finance houses. Does he who pays the piper call the tune, or does the piper play whatever he's told to and then has to pay his master for that privilege?
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There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

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"This is how humanity ends; bickering over the irrelevant."
Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Brian Peacock » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:05 am

US Congress asks if Russian money funded Trump golf courses

The US Congress has been questioning whether Russian money could have been used to fund Donald Trump’s golf courses in the UK and Ireland.

It emerged after the permanent select committee on intelligence at the US House of Representatives released a transcript of the sworn testimony of the former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson. Simpson, who works for the consulting firm Fusion GPS, was asked to research then-presidential candidate Trump in 2015/16.

He told the committee that he had looked at the Trump golf courses in Scotland and Ireland as part of his research. Asked whether he saw Russian money involved with them, he replied:

“Well, we saw what Eric Trump [the second son of the president] said about Russian money being available for his golf – for the golf course projects, making remarks about having unlimited sums available.

“And because Mr Trump’s companies are generally not publicly traded and don’t do a lot of public disclosure, we can only look – have a limited look into the financing of those projects. But because the Irish courses and the Scottish courses are under UK, you know, Anglo corporate law, they have – they file financial statements.

“So we were able to get the financial statements. And they don’t, on their face, show Russian involvement, but what they do show is enormous amounts of capital flowing into these projects from unknown sources and – or at least on paper it says it’s from the Trump Organisation, but it’s hundreds of millions of dollars.

“And these golf courses are just, you know, they’re sinks. They don’t actually make any money.
“So if you’re familiar with Donald Trump’s finances and the litigation over whether he’s really a billionaire, you know, there’s good reason to believe he doesn’t have enough money to do this and that he would have had to have outside financial support for these things.”

Simpson said that he was mostly working off public records. He said: “A lot of what I do is analyse whether things make sense and whether they can be explained. And that didn’t make sense to me, doesn’t make sense to me to this day.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... _clipboard
.

"It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice.
There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

Frank Zappa

"This is how humanity ends; bickering over the irrelevant."
Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Tero » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:51 pm


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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Forty Two » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:40 pm

Brian Peacock wrote: The 'allegations' just don't stack up - the number of conjunctive suppositions necessary to make them stand is just too high - and they're only 'serious' to the extent that some people want others to think that they could be true and, furthermore, that if they could be true then they probably are.
This statement - the reason you to think there should be an investigation into certain other issues - is part of why I don't think the "investigation" into Trump is a good thing. Obviously, Congress can investigate who it wants -- they are a political body, and they vote on what to do. If they want to hold hearings on whether Forty Two is Communist, then so be it. Doesn't make it worthwhile, and doesn't mean there is probable cause. However, the FBI should, I think, have some demonstrable reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed before they start rooting through people's garbage and such.

I have as much doubt about the allegations against Trump, as you seem to have about the allegations I raised. If I see a decent piece of evidence, though, I would be all for it. I have no love for Trump. He strikes me as someone I would loathe personally, and someone I would absolutely hate to work for. He rules by tyranny and fear in his organizations. However, that doesn't make him a racist or a sexist (and I don't think he's the former - I think he's sexist, probably, in the way that most people in their 70s are sexist -- they were young in the early 60s, so they grew up differently).

I see no reason to believe this Trump-Russia collusion narrative, and that's all it is at the moment, a narrative, and people believe it because they want to believe it. They think Trump is not only an asshole or a terrible President, but a monster who would sell his country down the river.
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Brian Peacock » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:07 pm

There you go again - reducing the whole tangled web to a matter of whether Trump and Putin were in cahoots. Why do you think the rather high numbers of documented political, financial, and personal connections between Trump and Russia, and between members of the campaign team and various grades of Russian representative, are not worth your, our, the Federal or Congressional attention? Should it not at least be acknowledged that Trump and his crew could have been systematically manipulated and compromised by Russia; reeled in, tuned up, and played like a banjo?



You say you're up for evidence, but you seem to spend a lot of time discounting the whole investigatory process as well as rubbishing the stories and reports which pop up into the public domain. I suspect that the majority of Forever Trumpers would still back him even if the FBI and the congressional inquiries found credible cause for concern - the groundwork for dismissing such conclusions has been seeded and bedded in already, and continues to be fertilised at every opportunity. By now I reckon that even if he stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot somebody with a gold-plated gun personally given to him by Putin many would still trash the reports as #FAKENEWS media bias and then blame it on Hillary's emails. It's kinda Pavlovian.
.

"It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice.
There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

Frank Zappa

"This is how humanity ends; bickering over the irrelevant."
Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Tero » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:05 pm

The FBI completely under Putin's control
As Christmas approached, a drumbeat against the FBI grew louder in certain quarters of Congress: GOP Rep. Jim Jordan led the attack, claiming on Fox News that the FBI had conspired against Trump’s 2016 campaign. President Trump himself launched broadsides against FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and “leakin’ James Comey.” And on Dec. 20, Fox News star Sean Hannity tweeted “CONSPIRACY: GOP Lawmakers Says FEDERAL CONSPIRACY to Prevent Trump Presidency.”

That day, Hannity’s website ranked among the top 10 shared by the network of Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence campaigns and tracked by the nonpartisan Alliance for Securing Democracy on its national-security project, the Hamilton 68 dashboard. Hannity content had not registered much previously—but since Dec. 20, links from Hannity’s site have appeared frequently on the dashboard, often ranking among the top 10. “It’s now up there with other top most-shared domains,” says Bret Schafer, an analyst who monitors the dashboard for the Alliance.

Another storm kicked up last week when House Republicans began calling for the release of a memo produced by Rep. Devin Nunes, purportedly alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI and Justice Department in the Trump-Russia investigation. On Jan. 18, Hannity inveighed against Mueller specifically: “I have a message tonight for the special counsel, Robert Mueller,” he said at the outset of his Fox News prime time report on the memo. “Your witch hunt is now over. Time to close the doors.” By the end of the following day, the hashtag #releasethememo had been tweeted about 3,700 times in 48 hours by the 600 accounts monitored on Hamilton 68, boosted in part by a tweet from WikiLeaks offering a reward for the memo. Hannity also posted “#releasethememo” to the top of Hannity.com.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 ... g-america/
http://karireport.blogspot.com/ (:_funny_:)
http://esapolitics.blogspot.com/
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Tero » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:30 pm

Mueller probe is winding up within 2018. It will lead to some congressional event maybe 2019 (closer to Democratic majority) but even that will end up like the Clinton case.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/24/politics ... index.html
http://karireport.blogspot.com/ (:_funny_:)
http://esapolitics.blogspot.com/
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Forty Two » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:05 pm

Tero wrote:Mueller probe is winding up within 2018. It will lead to some congressional event maybe 2019 (closer to Democratic majority) but even that will end up like the Clinton case.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/24/politics ... index.html
Can't wait to see the evidence for something.
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Tero » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:21 pm

Yeah well, we have the overwhelming evidence that he is an asshole. A little hanky panky with Putin can’t add much.Can it?

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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Brian Peacock » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:29 pm

A one-year review of 'the Trump-Russia thing' from NBC...
Flynn kept FBI interview concealed from White House, Trump

WASHINGTON — A year ago today, President Donald Trump’s newly sworn–in national security adviser, Michael Flynn, met privately in his West Wing office with FBI investigators interested in his communications with Russia's ambassador, without a lawyer or the knowledge of the president and other top White House officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

Flynn's FBI interview on Jan. 24, 2017, set in motion an extraordinary sequence of events unparalleled for the first year of a U.S. presidency. Flynn was fired as national security adviser after 24 days on the job, the acting attorney general was fired 10 days after the president took office, the FBI director was allegedly pressured by the president to let go of an investigation into Flynn, and then eventually fired himself.

The attorney general recused himself from a federal investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with the sitting president's campaign, and a special counsel was appointed.

The developments ensnared the president in an obstruction of justice inquiry, which resulted in his top intelligence and law enforcement chiefs cooperating in some form with that probe.

By the end of 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team had spoken with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency; former FBI Director James Comey; and numerous members of Trump’s campaign and White House inner circle. Flynn pleaded guilty last month to lying to the FBI during his Jan. 24 interview and is cooperating with the Russia investigation.

NBC News also has learned that former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who informed the White House about Flynn’s interview two days after it took place, has cooperated with the special counsel. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who was allegedly asked by Trump to lean on Comey to drop his investigation, has also been interviewed, according to people familiar with the inquiry...

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald ... mp-n840491
.

"It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice.
There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

Frank Zappa

"This is how humanity ends; bickering over the irrelevant."
Clinton Huxley » 21 Jun 2012 » 14:10:36 GMT
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Re: Enjoy President Trump, Courtesy of The Kremlin

Post by Tero » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:39 pm

Trump not getting bricks. Fence might get srarted. It will end in 2020.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... ca/551288/

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