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Messages - Seriati

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1
General Comments / Re: hey moderator
« on: Today at 12:19:39 PM »
Would you at least concede that "the media" has an abnormally larger bug up their rumps regarding Trump in particular then?  Or do you just see this DNC puppetry as par for the course?

I agree the media has it more in for Trump than normal.  Republicans are only evil, Trump is a threat to the system itself (i.e., the entrenched media/bureaucracy).

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How do YOU view Trump (in terms of troubling/evil) compared to other former presidents or candidates in his party?

I don't think you could convince me that we've had an evil President.  At least politically, they all pretty much are pursuing goals that they could (and in most cases probably do) believe are good for the country.  Now, they're also part of a class of autocrats that believe they are better than the little people and have repeatedly accreted power to that class.

Oddly despite all the paranoia about Trump's "autocratic tendencies" he's been less so than average on that front.  I mean, I actually read text in and around the SC's decision on the travel ban that literally implied it would be within the Presidential powers to enact the ban, but maybe not for Trump.  Could not have been clearer that there was a view that someone other than the "worthy" was exercising the powers they were never supposed to touch. 

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Just more of the same unfairly maligned by The Media?

They hate Trump so much more that they're openly opposed to him.  Gave up pretending.

Romney was legitimately threatening to a large part of the country. He thought 50% of America is full of freeloaders, and wanted to chop taxes for the wealthy - by capping federal spending at 20% of GDP leading to drastic cuts to SNAP. Reporting on those facts didn't make the media biased, nor did it make everyone who was concerned about his potential presidency a mindless sheep being manipulated by the press.

Reporting on "facts" really isn't the issue.  "Half" the country generally finds positions of each side to be "legitimately threatening" but when the media only validates the blue half you get the bias I'm talking about.

I mean my goodness, the media has so sold the DNC on believing that they're the "good guys" that they believe that when they do evil it's justified.  Free speech?  No longer true if you say something "wrong."?  Equal protection?  Not if you practice "hate" (but excluding any hate by leftists on the conservatives, which is justified).  Attacking children?  Totally okay if they are pro life or wearing a Maga hat.  Right to privacy?  Allows abortions, protects journalists from criticism, doesn't apply to anyone who may be a Republican because they people have a right to investigate them until they find the crimes they must be guilty of.

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He did also create universal healthcare in MA, which was widely reported and appealing to the people further to the left - which could have been effective if he hadn't bashed Obamacare in an effort to secure the nomination from a party that was whipped into a froth over that issue.

It's been a while since I looked at this, but I'm pretty sure that "Romneycare" was passed by a Democratic legislature that put it in place with a veto proof majority.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement (and I'm pretty sure he didn't get "credit" for it until the Dems wanted to convince voters that Obamacare was really a Republican idea - gee I wonder how they were able to do that?  Couldn't be a compliant media that sold that lie?)

It's just stunning that a "state media" is obviously a bad thing, and that Trump even criticizing the media is a "bridge too far," but a media being openly in the tank for a political party is a "nothing to look at here" situation.

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The Palin treatment wasn't so different from Johnson being roasted over Aleppo. Both of these candidates were ill-equipped and ill-prepared to answer questions in an interview. She was incapable of naming any supreme court case other than Roe v Wade, for example. Do you expect that any other candidate would be unable to cough one up?

If you only see the out of context moments the media wants you to see you get a picture of Palin as incompetent.  Go take an honest look now and see if you think the same thing.  I mean, she was running in an election versus a President who visited 57 states to win.  If that was Palin's line it'd be as famous as Dan Quayle not being able to spell tomato.

2
General Comments / Re: hey moderator
« on: Today at 11:21:31 AM »
If you truly believe that, then what changed about "the media"?

Nothing changed, they've pitched every single Republican pairing as either either or incompetent of both since Bush I's re-election campaign, versus pitching every single Democratic pairing as inspiring or ground breaking or both. 

Which candidate wasn't painted as an arch-conservative, threatening or outright evil?  Just John McCain, and even there he wasn't painted remotely flatteringly (notwithstanding how much love the media gave him before or after), and instead they absolutely destroyed Sarah Palin and painted her as the incompetent arch-conservative.  But McCain was a media win to get the nomination in the first place.

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The Media is bad.  Nothing to do with Trump himself.

Those are unrelated things, and the proper way to phrase it would be:

The Media supports the DNC.  Nothing Trump could do would be presented as other than bad.

3
General Comments / Re: hey moderator
« on: Today at 10:37:26 AM »
It wouldn't have mattered who the Republican nominee is, you'd be just as convinced by election day that they were evil incarnate.  It's a game the media plays with you.

4
General Comments / Re: hey moderator
« on: Today at 10:24:20 AM »
Well, Kasandra has a point correct, even if the outrage behind it is not.  We no longer have common facts.

Look at the impeachment of Bill Clinton.  I don't think anyone then or now reasonably disputes that Bill perjured himself by lying under oath.  I don't think there's a legitimate argument today (and barely one then, notwithstanding that it was made) that having an affair (this was pre-me too so that's how it was interpreted) was an impeachable offense.  I don't think anyone seriously doubted that he'd cheated on Hillary, with multiple women (whether or not they believed those specific women about what happened), or that he had relations with Monica.

We were all on board with that. 

Where we varied is on what we thought about those facts.  Some thought the President lying under oath was impeachable (no doubt a standard the left would insist on for Trump, even it if's about Stormy Daniels), some thought that was an elevation of process over substance (if you can't impeach for the affair, you can't impeach for lying about it).

Nixon?  Facts were not really in dispute, nor honestly was whether he should be impeached.

This is not still true.  Hillary's server is a perfect example.  Take a look at Lisa Page's sworn testimony.  The DOJ told the FBI that - notwithstanding the law - they would not file charges for gross negligence.  Comey's statement, and the revisions thereto, make it crystal clear they found gross negligence (in my view, even a moderately aggressive prosecutor would have found intentional violations).  Yet, we still have people asserting that nothing illegal happened.  You can't even question that there were violations of the record keeping rules, or frustration of legitimate Freedom of Information Act concerns.  All of which is against the law, and all of which is unethical.

Yet the argument isn't about why - against that backdrop - it was fair or not fair to prosecute.  The argument is a disputation argument.  Didn't happen.  No proof (never enough).  We aren't arguing about whether the statute is too broad, or whether it's obvious that deliberately creating an outside server violates.  We're arguing a complex version it happened (see these sources that agree with me), it didn't happen (see these sources that agree with me).

5
General Comments / Re: BoJo Boffo or Bozo?
« on: Today at 10:01:43 AM »
The way I read this is still the same.  A majority of Parliament wants to ignore the Brexit.  There's no way to complete a deal against the backdrop.  Hence the need for an election, either give the Brexiteers the mandate to finish, or make it clear they will never have the mandate.

I'm still a bit stunned that Boris managed to actually get the EU to make concessions towards a reasonable deal by the deadlines imposed.  Notwithstanding, Kasandra's complaints it's a big improvement over the prior arrangement and seems to have been a good compromise that covered everyone's sacred cows.  At this point, the best thing for the UK would be for the EU to reject the extension.  That would leave them with very specific options and force them to make a choice.

6
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 18, 2019, 06:05:39 PM »
Meanwhile, if you think that is a good idea, I look forward to all the Trump kids getting investigated ad-nauseum years after Trump leaves office.

I think the difference is that what you are proposing is investigating people, Trump's kids, looking for a crime.  Rather than investigating a situation that is suspicious on its face.  I refreshed myself yesterday on Hunter, you might want to refresh yourself on his colorful history, and seeming success directly tied to his father's career.  It was clearly widely known, one of the things I read said that Obama's team was investigating him before they choose Biden as a running mate for example. 

Another that his firm specialized in lobbying - no surprise - and that the Administration made it clear to him that he couldn't keep doing that with his father being VP.  That means they knew real time how much he traded on his father's influence, they knew that when he flew in to China on Air Force 2 and signed large deals in the next 2 weeks.  They knew what he was doing when he took a position in the Ukraine that's largely unjustifiable.  His father was fully aware of Hunter's history of drug use and other bad decisions.  Do you really think he had no doubts about what value was providing to the gas company or what else he might be getting involved in that could come to light during an investigation?  Was it a "twofer" in Joe's view to kill the investigation?

Again though, investigating what looks to be criminal is hugely different than just investigating a person to try and find a criminal action.  I mean heck, it's not like anyone's digging through everything Hunter's ever done (and plenty of that was illegal), or looking at all of his lobbying activities.  Would it surprise anyone to find violations in his past lobbying practices?  Not at all, but there's no apparent crime there hence no investigation that anyone's aware of.   Now if someone goes public with a credible criminal act there, will that change?  Sure would, cause then there would be an apparent crime to investigate.

What's the "crimes" you see that you think the Trump kids are involved in.  Go ahead and list them out.

7
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 18, 2019, 04:24:35 PM »
I'm saying Trump has no authority over tariffs which aren't related to national security. I'm sure you wouldn't dream of supporting a President who exceeded his legislated authority.

I've commented  before on Trump's use of tariffs.  I'll be honest, I don't know enough about them to know if they are within his authority or not.  I suspect that the issue is probably more complicated than we'd like to think.  I do agree that the power to impose tariffs unilaterally is something that if it does sit with the President should probably be reconsidered.  I mean I may agree with Trump on the issue, or the results he's been getting, but establishing this as a Presidential perogative is not likely to be a future precedent that will be used in ways that I like as much.  So yes, this is one that should be curtailed.

I just think it's interesting that you dodge the point by focusing on that piece.

Seriati:
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This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.

honest question:  does the statute of limitation start at the occurrence of the crime, or when it was discovered/reported?
What if the theft was at someone's vacation home and not discovered until 6 months later?  When does the 1 year begin?

Depends on the statute.  Statutes of limitations are pretty literally statutes.  We know that some run from the time the crime occurred, others run from the time they are discovered/reported (or more significantly here should have been discovered/reported), and others expire based on unrelated events (e.g., many crimes against children run their statute of limitations from the child's 18th birthday - effectively to push the now adult to promptly file). 

It's unfair to call somebody out on an incomplete form nine months after they write it? Mmmmmkay.

You really are confused.  The issue on failure to report is that the report wasn't completed (that would be the individual accident report) and that the log therefore will have an omission.  The "incorrect" log is derivative of the failure to complete the report, why would it be the focus?

Maybe you should read up on why we have statute  of limitations in the first place, you don't seem to understand them as anything but a negative.

Imagine an employee from 3 years ago starts asserting that they were injured on the job because of a routine practice of ignoring a specific safety measure.  The company investigates and finds that the safety measure is currently always strictly enforced, there's no history of a lack of enforcement or any previous findings of it being ignored in inspections.  Only a few people work in that area and of the ones still at the company none of them remember such an event.  Floor videos are only saved for 90 days.

Is that proof it didn't occur?  Mostly not.

Now if the claim had been brought in a timely manner (i.e., immediately after the injury) would the company have been able to establish whether the event occurred?  Almost certainly.  And the dangerous situation could have been corrected.

The point of the OSHA implementing law was to ensure workplace safety (not to compensate employees - which is in fact different rule, and if I recall a "no fault" set up that isn't targetted at punishing companies but at compensating workers with minimum fuss). Delaying raising injuries and safety issues for years frustrates the goal of improving work place safety, which is why the statute of limitations is shorter.  I'd also note, that given the "no fault" relief available under worker's comp, recharacterizing an injury as work place related can have a material financial impact, particularly for he uninsured.  Fraud frisk increases as the time between an injury and the report separate.  Is the worker's claim really because of a work place issue from 3 years ago, or from an injury from their recent car accident, or from the uninsured fall they took during a drunk wrestling?  So again the regime is designed to force those claims to occur promptly to allow them to be properly investigated, and if necessary disputed, and to cause the unsafe situation to be remedied promptly.

The 2016 reg did confuse this, because it deliberately protected workers from punishment for a failure to promptly report injuries.  The argument for that was that a worker may not realize they are injured for a period of time, or an injury may be a cumulative event, and they discounted the known fraud risk in the interest of increasing that protection.

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An employee violates a safety rule, they get written up internally. Enough times, they get fired. Build a culture that is unforgiving of corner cutting.

That's generally the rule already, enforcement may vary.  Has little to do with whether injuries are properly reported, and they will still occur no matter how much safety is in place.  The six month limit is on the failure to record an injury, whether or not the injury is tied to a safety violation.   

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Its about reducing penalties in the sense that the the terrifying expansion got undone. Under the Obama rule, penalties would be higher.

Penalties were not intended to be the focus of OSHA or the rules.  Safety was.  Finding out that a company failed to record injuries, even if you can't currently cite them for those that occurred more than six months will show in the OSHA report and require remediation going forward, the failure of which does result in OSHA violations and punishments.

Again, the goal is to create a safer work environment not to levy financial consequences for historic events.

8
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 18, 2019, 03:13:03 PM »
An actual politician wanting to investigate a political rival would have used a chain of go-betweens. I don't doubt such a thing has happened on one level or another, but they wouldn't be on record with personal involvement. Appearances matter.

Again, see my point about dealing with Oligarchs.  It's actually likely that only a specific request by the President would be convincing that its okay to investigate a former VP's son.

9
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 18, 2019, 02:44:33 PM »
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What do you think is "counter-factual."
I don't know enough to point to things.  But scifibum brought up 4chan inventions.  That would be an example of what I meant, not that *I* had further info to toss into the ring.

Scifibum seemed convinced the issue is made up, notwithstanding that the facts actually establish that its real.  Again the only piece we don't have is the motive, which is what they are digging for in the Trump situation - by trying to interview everyone who ever had a conversation about Ukraine in the hopes that one of them will say they believed there was an order to get a qui pro quo.  However, what we have in the record, so far, is actually the opposite, with the top down orders being in the record specifically directing the opposite.  If that's the truth, then all the Dems are trying to do is convince enough voters that they should ignore the order in favor of believing that Trump could never act other than out of his own interests, in which case that must have happened here.

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The reason I asked about the timeline (which you seemed to hedge a bit on there) was that it does matter if the efforts to get him replaced took place during or after an investigation into Biden's son.

I don't think anyone has ever claimed there was an investigation into Biden's son, just that his relationship may have been part of a target or something that would get targetted as part of the existing investigation of the company.  The investigation was ongoing. 

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At this point I don't much care how it "seems" to those living under Oligarchs.  I'm only interested in holding OUR elected officials to the law, and doing what we can to stop Oligarchs here at home from consolidating power.

Okay.  Are you opposed to the head of the executive branch doing what the executive branch is charged to do?  The reason to consider how it seems to those living under Oligarchs is simply that no one but the President himself may have been in a position to convince them that a fair investigation of a Vice President's son would be okay.  Without the President's personal involvement, it's very possible they would deem the request as something that should be ignored as potentially triggering another attack by an Oligarch (e.g., like when Joe Biden threatened them with pulling $1B in aide).

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 18, 2019, 11:17:05 AM »
Seriati, I expect you've looked into this a lot more than me.  Are you confident in the timeline as you've outlined above?

I'm 100% certain the timeline doesn't matter to how it would appear in the Ukraine to people who have lived with Oligarch's ALWAYS being the motivators and benefactors.  But on the timeline itself, it seems consistent with what we know now (and what we discussed in the past).

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Also, I  don't think anyone has suggested Biden is or should be immune from investigation.  Just that some of the things he's accused of are to greater or lesser extent... counter-factual

What do you think is "counter-factual." Pretty certain its all just "factual," and that the only piece we don't really know is Joe Biden's reasoning (which is exactly, what people are trying to obtain by "investigating" Trump and trying to avoid by declaring Biden innocent.

In other fun news, it's being reported that testimony from one of the diplomats involved that the issues with Biden were raised real time and that the VP's office dismissed them, that the EU was indifferent to replacing Shokin and that they went along with the US demand to do so, and ummm... that the replacement prosecutor was also corrupt and connected to the same people.

None of which is proof, but all of which clouds the picture.  Are you sure that an investigation into the records won't reveal something bad?  And if not, why do you think an investigation is unwarranted?

11
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 17, 2019, 07:18:41 PM »
So I guess you're saying that we only care about worker safety when it impacts our national safety?  Can I quote you on that and run the implications into the ground?

12
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 17, 2019, 07:17:07 PM »
"The whole thing was about the quid pro quo but suddenly it’s not."

For non-Trumpists, the whole thing is about an ongoing investigation.

How can the "whole thing" be "about an ongoing investigation"?  Isn't an investigation supposed to be about conduct?

The whole thing is really just a simple question, was there a misuse of public authority for personal gain.  That's really it.  If there was, then it becomes a question of whether it can be proven and whether its severe enough to warrant removal.

However, if you can't parse between a legitimate exercise of power from which there's a personal gain, like firing a prosecutor that's knee deep in corruption, or demanding a fair process around investigations of corruption including those that involve your own countries leaders and their families, and a personal gain of protecting your son or harming your political opponent, you're going to have a hard time here.  If you don't have a consistent principal you're not going to engage in justice, and if you let hate blind you, you're just going to get all worked up about the "obvious" guilt of one guy and innoncence of the other.

But you have to realize, this whole exercise is about motive speculation.  There's a reason motive speculation is often bared on boards.  It's rare that the reason someone believes they say or do something and the reason you believe they say or do it are the same.  As I said before, those who are opposed to Trump can not accept he may be acting for good reasons regardless of the proof.  That's not going to get us a fair process.

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We'll see what comes out about an explicit quid pro quo. There's clearly an implied one just in the phone call, but there could always be more to learn.

There could be more, but there wasn't one implied on the call, and the current facts on the ground pretty decisively establish that the public message passed down by Trump to those working for him is that there would not be one.  Ignoring that because you "believe" there is one or should be one isn't a reflection of the truth. 

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For Trumpists, it's been about throwing up distracting smokescreens, making up things about the process so they could pretend the process invalidates the inquiry.

I see.  So you are now of the view that foreign banana courts run by dictatorships are issuing valid judgments and engaging in good inquiries?  That hanging juries get us to the truth?

I can't think of a single reason that any American should be advocating for an unfair process.  How does it make our process better by refusing cross examination of witnesses?  It's pretty much a fundamental fact that the ability to cross examine is designed to force witnesses to make admissions under oath that don't help the "prosecution" or risk committing and being charged with perjury.

How does a process of "necessary secrecy" but leaks of one sided facts actually create a fair process?  I mean honestly, you seem to believe that it's perfectly fine to stack the deck, ignore unfavorable evidence, make up evidence and lie is okay - so long as its the Congressional Democrats - but if it were Trump it'd be impeachable, illegal, and immoral.

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Even the "no quid pro quo" is a smokescreen. Trump doesn't get to ask other countries to attack his political rivals; the act isn't whitewashed by the lack of an explicit quid pro quo. The quid pro quo would only be additional wrongdoing.

Without the "quid pro quo" all you have is the President exercising his constitutional duties, and asking for a fair and non-corrupt investigation of a potential crime.  All you have that makes it "wrongdoing" is the as of yet unexplainable theory that members of the opposite party and their families have an absolute immunity from investigations into criminal acts.  And you have a big ole unexplainable problem explaining why then Trump and his own son were not absolutely immune from the Obama administration doing much more and much worse to them.

You are correct it's a smokescreen, but it's being blown by the media to cover over the abuses of power that have been done against Trump.

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(I'm not bothering to engage with the fantasy that Trump had legitimate reasons to ask for the investigations. Crowdstrike/Ukraine/server is a 4chan invention, and Joe Biden didn't kill an investigation into his own son. If Trump believed those things it's just more evidence he's unfit for office.)

This baffles me.  You dismiss actual facts that do warrant an investigation.  On the "impeachment" standard you want to use for Trump, Hunter Biden's conduct would merit impeachment, whether or not criminal.  It's openly unethical, and the only thing stopping it being a misues of public office is that it was his father's office that was being misused.

Of course, up above you STRONGLY asserted that we need an investigation into Trump's conduct to find out what happened, with less of a predicate, so it seems odd that you are so dismissive of a need to investigate Biden.  If you're so convinced that he's innocent, what are you afraid of?  Surely it will clear him if he cooperates fully and releases all records relevant to the investigation to the DOJ.  Isn't that exactly what you said with respect to Trump's investigation by Meuller?   And didn't he in fact release those records to the special counsel's investigation and provide hundreds of members of his staff to them for interviews?

So what gives, other than you personally think Trump is not entitled to the presumption of innocence and that some how Biden is immune from investigation.

13
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 17, 2019, 06:55:15 PM »
My understanding of the process is that an investigation into a President or Vice President does not boil down to President having to initiate the investigation by bypassing process. (If that’s what he did) I would like to think that a process existed for proper checks and balances. I assumed that there was but maybe that’s not the case.

You said this a while back, but I'm behind.  I would like to point out that context matters.   The only reason this seems odd or improper is the context of it being the Bidens (who in fairness, are literally the most famous current case of an American acting in a manner that could be corrupt in the Ukraine, but they are also Trump's political opponents). 

But that's only the US context.  Think about the Ukranian context.  It's a country where rule by oligarchs is literally the way things are done.  It's as normal to them, as our system is to us.  Now think about how it looked from their perspective that Hunter got a seat on the board of gas company, controlled by a Ukranian oligarch, at the same time his father was vice president, and miraculously thereafter, the US and EU pressure the government to end an investigation into that company, US and European policy expressly becomes to favor Ukranian gas and the legal obstacles that company was facing in the EU are "resolved" after Hunter advises them on which legal counsel to retain.

If you're an oligarch or used to oligarchs, what do you see there?

Now imagine a few years later, where there's a competing Oligarch controlling the US, yet the original one is still a prominent member of the opposition and in fact may be the very next President.  What do you see now?  Do you see a situation that calls for cooperating with the DOJ or "proper channels" that in your own country have always been 100% corrupt?  Or do you see a situation where you potentially are getting caught between two power oligarchs?

Against that background, if the request doesn't come from Trump, I'd think you'd have to believe it wasn't serious, and that an honest investigation of US oligarch Biden's potential corruption shouldn't happen.  The problem of course, is that where the request does come from Trump, then you probably see a request from the current in power oligarch to help against another oligarch.

There's no good clear path, but there's also no chance that regular channels were going to get it done.

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I’m not convinced that Biden innocents or guilt is relevant to the question of the method Trump choose to take to pursue an investigation, however I suspect I don’t understand the rules of the game.

Sorry if I implied that before or above.  I just meant its relevant to the public perception (which is pretty much all impeachment is about as it's being run).

14
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 17, 2019, 05:51:28 PM »
That's a procedural question. My question is whether it is good or bad that there is a six month window. Courts exist to provide oversight on legality and mechanism. I actually liked the argument that this is an ongoing violation because they have an ongoing opportunity to make the record correct, but clearly the appeals court did not - though the original court did.

I noticed that the Trump administration didn't drop the attempt and replace it with an effort to change the law, so the effect is simply reduced penalties for chronic recordkeeping violations.

How is it "reducing" penalties for record keeping violations?  Congress set the penalty, Congress can and does increase penalties when they want to, and they can and do give the agencies discretion to change the rules when they want to do so.

And you may not realize it, but this is far more complicated that the simple idea that this six month window is designed somehow to let companies off.  It's the authorizing statute, which was by far about the opposite about holding companies accountable.  Most of these kinds of limitations are about fairness, including this one.

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I don't contest any of your points on legality, this is an illustration of attempts to reduce regulation for the purpose of making life easier on businesses. Unless you think the administration is reviewing items on legal grounds and only removing those that they deem illegal.

The administration is openly reviewing items based on whether they are economically justifiable.

This rule in particular exists because of the inherent unfairness involved in requiring a company to defend an action about whether an event occurred 4.5 years ago, where there are no records, may not be any staff involved, and the only person that claims to remember it is an ex-employee that is suing the company with OSHA's backing.  Congress very expressly felt that more than 6 months after an event was alleged to have occurred is too long for it to have sat without some action by the regulator.  They don't have to have completed that action in the window, they just have to have filed it or even provided some kind of notice (which often triggers an agreement to toll the six months).

How do you imagine that OSHA is discovering a failure to report years after the fact in a manner that is reliable and credible?

I guaranty that if the reports are being falsified there will be other violations that OSHA can bring that don't toll in the same manner.

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Seventeen other-than-serious citations were issued for failing to complete "OSHA 301 Logs" used for a first report of injury; failing to record 102 injuries and illness on the "OSHA 300 Logs"; company executives certifying OSHA 300 Logs that were neither correct nor complete; and failing to provide the OSHA 300 and 301 Logs upon request. Additional violations included lack of rating capacity for alloy steel chains/synthetic web slings, restricted work space in front of electrical equipment, use of hazardous chemicals from unmarked containers and lack of material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals. An other-than-serious violation is a condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety or health of the employees.

These are bad guys creating an unsafe work environment and trying to hide the inevitable injuries that result.

I think you're kind of confused about what those mean.  I doubt there's more than a tiny fraction of inspections that don't come up with a list of violations of various levels of seriousness.  Most of the time, and for most of them, notwithstanding they may be a large list, the OSHA office is looking for the company to remediate the problems and not looking to fine them.  Even companies that take safety seriously and that have compliance professionals and engineers focused on safety are likely to not receive a "clean" report.  That's a far cry from being "bad people."

For example, you listed failing to record illnesses on the log, very commonly those relate to technical issues.  Like, for example, believing that the contractor that brings in temporary employees (who the plant owners may not even know) is responsible for maintaining that paperwork, or that a illness was "obviously" not work related.

Safety violations often occur as a result of employees undermining safety features that "get in their way," like by refusing to use harnesses, or disengaging ackward safety rails (or even standing on top of a rail to reach something instead of using a ladder.

Clearly there are serious violations as well.

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Even more aggressive rollbacks of such rules have been advocated, up to the elimination of OSHA proposed by CATO in 1995.

Yep, reasonable people can disagree at the level of safety regulations.  Most of the world has lower safety regulations than the US, are they all clearly wrong?  If so, can I get your support on Trump's tariffs against those factories?

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We contend that citizens generally favor a perspicacious government where policy costs and benefits are concerned-they want an efficient government, one that does not pay more for something than it is worth, including the cost of saving a statistical life.

That lays the philosophy pretty bare. We don't care how many workers fall off a roof if it is going to be expensive to prevent it.

I think rather they want a government that proposes rules like harnesses and nets to protect workers on high rises, rather than one that declares that all buildings have to be built no taller than one story for "safety."  That's where it feels like you're leaving the path hear.  The vast vast majority of companies take safety very seriously and comply with the very high US standards.  Nothing about these changes is a significant, let alone a material departure from those standards.

15
General Comments / Re: hey moderator
« on: October 17, 2019, 05:18:52 PM »
Just quit if you have too, though it'd be nice if you didn't.  Talking to people with different views is supposed to expand our minds.

Moderator, please don't "unregister" him it seems to break the boards.

16
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 17, 2019, 02:39:03 PM »
It's not at all like that.  Statute's of limitations are common everywhere in the law.  For example there may be a 3 year statute of limitations to sue your accountant.  The fact that your accountant has done your records for 20 years doesn't convert the earlier 17 years into a "continuing" issue for the statute of limitations that restricts it to the last 3 years.  Or how, virtually all crimes but murder have a statute of limitations past which you can not be prosecuted.  This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.  Effectively ignoring the law.

So yes, Congress determined that OSHA has to bring such claims within 6 months.  That's a deliberate decision they made.  The agency does not get to overrule Congress just because they want to.

17
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 17, 2019, 01:37:38 PM »
Getting out of the way has worked so well in the past. Looks great on paper until you realize the fallout.

"Congressional Republicans approved and President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution blocking the Workplace Injury and Illness recordkeeping rule, which clarifies an employer’s obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to maintain accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. "

Of course if an employer can just replace injured workers with fresh ones, they'll make more money. They may even pass that on as higher wages. It isn't a good idea however, because those workers are drawing federal and other benefits.

I never know how to take it when I read these kind of "soft" assertions of a fact, that posters then rely on as support to write conclusory arguments later in the thread.  So I decided I'd go look and see what you're talking about.  I can find two things that this could be referring to and neither really supports your final paragraph or any of the arguments you make later.

The first was in fact an exercise of the Congressional Review Act, but it occurred back in 2017 just after Trump took office.  Congress overturned the "Volks Rule," which was a regulation promulgated by OSHA to over rule an unfavorable court decision.  On background, OSHA can cite an employer for failure to record an accident at anytime within 6 months of the accident - this is actually stated in the law that created OSHA.  OSHA has a separate rule that requires the employer maintain accident records for 5 years.  The case OSHA lost was an attempt to treat the five year record keeping rule as a back door into a five year statute of limitations that exceeds the statute.  The court said no.  So OSHA passed a rule to "clarify" the situation and effectively turn the five year holding period into the statute of limitations (which, by the way, would most likely have been struck down by the next court to look at it) to try and rely on the so called Chevron doctrine where by court's are supposed to defer to administrative agencies when they are clarifying or interpreting vagueness in their statutory authorizations.  Congress rejected the regulation as exceeded OSHA's statutory authority (which it clearly did).

Nothing about that though changes the status of OSHA regulations as were in force from the 70's through now.  OSHA is still completely able to enforce the rules and hold employers accountable same as always.

The second thing that could fit the bill is the recent OSHA regulations that partially repealed Obama's 2016 OSHA regulatory expansion which did a lot of things, some of which were necessary, but more of which were excessively burdemsome.  The thing I'd focus on is the information grab and support for publicaly posting information.  Effectively, they used part of the regulation to facilitate use of mandatory government record collection to support the plaintiff's bar.  To minimize the "burden" they used "existing records" and required they be sent to OSHA every year.  The problem is the existing records were never designed to be used in that manner, and contain personal and medical information for the employees on the files, which is now subject to the highest standards of personal confidentiality. 

I know you may not be aware, but there has been an enormous push (even before Trump) on the administrative agencies to eliminate the collection and storage of data related to persons and even businesses.  Much of this has its roots in data security and in actual data breaches/thefts of data from government systems that are behind the curve when compared with private bad actors, or even from government employees misappropriating the data and using it for their own benefit (there's a real issue with government employees that can access proprietary tech or information turning around and using it to their own benefit when they leave for private industry).

So the new regulation doesn't change one bit the record keeping requirements - neither did Obama's 2016 change.  It doesn't alter one bit OSHA's existing and historical use of the data.  OSHA has collected the summary forms mandatorily and used that data to set up it's targetted enforcement actions, and used the on site records for the other 2 forms in connection with inspections, investigations and enforcements.  There's literally no damage to OSHA's existing operations to rescind the receipt of the detailed forms, which it would then have to redact, review and come up with new processes to effectively use.  So if OSHA didn't need the info, it shouldn't have it, so why did the 2016 rule make the collection mandatory?  Well it seems to me that there were two primary reasons, first to expand what OSHA would be doing (whether or not authorized, one could make a fair case that this may be a beneficial action) and second, and largely unstated, to collect the information in a single place where a plaintiff's bar friendly team could turn over massive amount of litigation data pursuant to FOIA requests and/or subpeona's (which, despite what some may believe is not a legitimate government purpose and potentially interferes with OSHA's own enforcement actions).   

Here's the link to the implementing release for the new regulation, which walks through much of the history and the thinking - you can also find the 2016 regulation (and all the others before) on the site, also with a lot of the thinking.
 
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/01/25/2019-00101/tracking-of-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses

Here's the paragraph where they explain what they are doing, the 300 and 301 are the log of all injuries - which includes private details about every employee on it, and the individual log of the specific injury.  All are still required to be kept on site (the number of employees language was there before the 2016 reg, after the 2016 reg, and after this reg).  The 301A summary was designed to be disclosed to OSHA, and it's disclosure has not been altered by either of the 2016 reg or the new reg.

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Elimination of the requirement that establishments with 250 or more employees submit information electronically from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301—a requirement that has not yet been enforced—does not change any employer's obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under OSHA's regulations for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. The final rule also does not add to or change the recording criteria or definitions for these records.

Here's their explanation for why they are revising the rule to eliminate this routine collection.  I note many find this unpersuasive, but I think they are largely ignoring that OSHA has always been able to identify its enforcement targets from the summaries and direct reports from injured parties and has been and still is able to access the detailed information both during those investigations and during routine inspections.  They are are also able to specifically request the information when they need it.  They actually go into a lot more detail in the release, including walking through the history of how such forms have been treated as "need to know" level of confidentiality.

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In light of this backdrop, OSHA has determined that the rule will benefit worker privacy by preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers' injuries and the body parts affected, and thereby avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or through the Injury Tracking Application. OSHA has also concluded that the extent of any incremental benefits of collecting the data from Forms 300 and 301 for OSHA enforcement and compliance assistance activities is uncertain. OSHA has determined that avoiding this risk to worker privacy outweighs the data's uncertain incremental benefits to enforcement. The rule will allow OSHA to focus agency resources on the collection and use of 300A data described above, and severe injury reports, as well as data from other initiatives that its past experience has proven useful—instead of diverting those resources toward developing a Web portal for, and then collecting, manually reviewing, and analyzing data from Forms 300 and 301.

Anyway, I don't see anything that supports the reaction that you had to this.  Is there some other rule you meant to reference?  Cause the idea that OSHA doesn't collect and store the detailed records, versus keeping them on site with the Companies as they have done historically, doesn't seem to me to somehow be a wink wink, nudge nudge to business to go ahead and kill off their employees, because there's always more where they came from.

18
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 11, 2019, 06:55:27 PM »
The particular "moron" comments was directed at Trump specifically for suggesting negative interest rates, not about tariffs or such.  For that I can call him a "moron" and suggest that he doesn't understand what he's talking about.

If you were looking at what I was looking at he was commenting on the Fact that the EU actually has negative rates now as a comparison the lack of support he's getting at the Fed.  Given the EU has negative rates are they morons?  Not sure where you mean to go with that.

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But saying that a great economy is completely the result of Trump's policies is not true, either.  And predicting that the economy would tank because Warren or Biden gets elected is not based on facts, either.  It's all speculation and expectation, not reality.  And eventually reality comes home to roost.

See above, Trump's policies are not the "cause" of the economic success.  Getting out of the way of the economy is.  That's the opposite of what Biden and Warren are signaling.  They've literally promised to take over control of most of industry and constrain every choice of businesses based on "fairness" rather than economics, and they've promised to take away wealth on top it.  There's no chance that's not going to kill economic optimism.  Whether the future slave class of America can still generate gains remains to be seen.

19
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 11, 2019, 06:51:01 PM »
Although I think you're right that the direct structures are different I'm not so sure it's more than a difference of scale, as I do think there are unofficial partnerships between the U.S. government and various corporations, most especially tech and military.

That's actually a different issue.  Every government has contractors that work directly with them for a host of national security and other reasons.  There are plenty of companies that deliberately cultivate US government contracts.  The difference is that Google - which has cutting edge AI research that is necessary both for National Defense and for offensive spy and military purposes - can and does refuse to work with the US government and keeps that tech to itself.  In China there's no such potential bifurcation.  Any tech the government finds useful is by default government tech. 

Would Nike agree to let the US government place spies as its employees in other countries?  They might on an exceptional basis, for a Chinese corp its not an exception, its just the expectation.  Would Nike engage in active spying efforts and report the information to the CIA?  We'd be lucky if they revealed accidental information.  Would a US company share stolen tech with the US government so it could be distributed to other US companies in the same industry?  No, cause those are it's competitors, yet that happens frequently in China - because they aren't really competitors at a fundamental level.

But every President and follower who take credit for a great economy is just blowing smoke.  It used to be that Republicans were sensitive to smoke.  Nowadays, though, it looks like they breath it in like fresh air. ;)

I think though there's a confusion here.  The credit I'm giving Trump is that he freed the US economy to do what it does.  I've never given one iota to a thought that his policies are responsible for the success directly.  That's fundamentally what's different between Trump and Obama on this point.  The success of the economy is being generated by the people and companies operating in it.  Trump's biggest "policy" that allowed them to do this is to make it clear that he'll get the government out of their way (less regulation) and let them keep more of what they generate (tax reform).  The delusion on "fixing" the economy is on those who believe they can "stimulate" growth by their specific top heavy choices and directives.

20
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 11, 2019, 01:32:13 PM »
I wasn't basing my reply on the assumption you meant China alone. I was basing it on the assumption that you're thinking of foreign governments as being the ones competing against the American government and linking that to trade practices like offshore labor and cheap imports.

I think if you really look at the trade barriers they put in place, it's foreign governments fighting with American (and recently "global") companies.  The US governments official policy has been to stay out of it on the partisan level, which is diametrically opposed to the policies of non-US governments.

China takes that a step beyond and considers it corporations as proxies of the government in an economic war, complete with high level cross overs and coordination with it's actual military and spy networks.  The idea of a "Chinese Google" refusing to work with the Chinese government over politics is actually inconceivable, yet in America is routinely occurs.  Even in our European allies there's a lot more cronyism going on than appears to the naked eye.

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What's new is corporations within a country also competing against their own country, effectively taking jobs elsewhere to cut costs and to 'pass along the savings' at Walmart, where the people who previously had better jobs now work.

But my point is, its not "within any country" that this occurs, it's largely "within America" that this occurs.  That's the direct result of the US position that the level playing field is the most important thing and the position of everyone else that the playing field should be tilted as much as possible towards their own companies and economies.

US institutes a political policy that China doesn't like, China responds by changing an economic policy.  France levees a new tax in the tech space that only applies to companies with large amounts of global revenue (ie not to 99%+ of French companies), which are almost exlusively based in the US, and the US doesn't react at the governmental level.

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Back in the day, like in the British Empire, the East trading companies were operating in a sort of pillaging way, making use of resources and colonies abroad to enrich the homeland. While we decry those sorts of behaviors now (except in practice we actually don't) at least they had the virtue of desiring to enrich their own country. Now it's the opposite, where utilizing resources abroad actually ends up harming their own country,...

Except it literally doesn't harm the countries in the way you think, specifically because those countries are directing how it happens.  It's the strategic goal of China to centralize the world economy in China and all their actions are designed to do that.  They don't care if all of their companies operate at a loss for decades if the end result is control over virtually the entirity of the world's heavy or high tech industry.  Our specific policies of not fighting trade wars, even when the other side is definitely fighting a trade war, got to the point where it was harmful and exploitable.  Our goal was to ensure the most efficient producers and companies would win, not to ensure that a government could fund monopolies at a loss to put all of our businesses out of business with impunity.

21
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 11, 2019, 10:38:32 AM »
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Calling names makes you big again?

It occurred to me last night that you may have taken my "moron" comment as being directed at you.  It was not, in the slightest.  It was directed at Trump.

No worries, I didn't think it was directed at me.  I wouldn't have reacted if you had directed it at me rather than using it as part of an argument.  It's sloppy thinking to think Trump doesn't understand things because he's reaching different conclusions.  In fact the results of what he's done, like using tariffs, are making me personally realize that I've been relying too much on the "experts" without examining exactly what they were saying.  In this case that the export of US jobs to China and other jurisdictions was a feature of the system, but don't worry cause our jobless people will have lower prices and our rich people will have more money from which to pay those taxes.  That the important things is "no US tariffs" no matter how many trade constraints the non-US actors impose.

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Sinclair [economics professor at George Washington University] said GOP policies that cut regulations may have helped lead to stronger business investment under the Trump administration, but it’s hard to blame or credit a presidential administration for most economic outcomes.

Indeed, as we have noted time and again in fact checks, experts say it is wrong to attribute too much to individuals or particular policy changes. There are simply too many factors in the economy to boil it down to one.

Trump's cutting regulations and tax cuts may have helped the economy.  His trade wars have hurt the economy.  But overall economic growth has too many players and influences for Trump or any President to have control over it.

I think though you're misunderstanding what that quote really says (or maybe more accurately the fact checkers are misunderstanding the concept they are citing).  It says it's hard to attribute change to particular policy changes.  It leaves literally unsaid whether changes can be attributed to policy changes that are of much broader scope.  This ties directly into your first request that we list out the specific policy changes and their direct impacts - can't really do that.  However, what actually happened was a fundemental shift of ALL policy, which changed from viewing the economy as harming social goals to viewing economic success as the way to achieve social success.  That impacted literally every decision of the entire government.

Or to put it in simpler terms, there's little question that if Warren or Biden get elected and don't moderate their goals that it will have a massive impact on the economy and business confidence.  Again, that's a general and complete change in EVERY policy of the government.

It's almost impossible to believe that a government NO MATTER WHAT it does wouldn't be able to impact an economy.  If that were the case, communist economies and capitalist economies should largely and randomly have been great or bad, and that's not remotely how it plays out in real life.

Fen, when I'm referring to China they're - in my head - really a proxy for the entirity of the less developed world as well as for themselves.  They just happen to be the biggest and one of the most aggressive players there.  But when it comes to running a trade war, virtually all the economies in the world have imposed constraints on trade that disfavor the US.

22
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 11, 2019, 10:16:39 AM »
If its not against the law, as Seriati suggests, then no investigation required. End of story.

So if Biden is the Vice President at the time of his conduct, the options for investigating the conduct really boils down to Barack Obama or Donald Trump.  A rule that an "opponent" can't do the investigation is effectively a rule for something even broader than Presidential immunity.  An absolute immunity for acts of a Vice President, if those acts are not caught by the President of his own party before he leaves office. 

Of course, there's a direct conflict of interest there, and there's zero chance it would be looked upon as legitimate if say Trump declared that what appeared to be a crime by Pence as having been properly investigated and not a crime.  We don't even have to ask, the Trump DOJ already looked at the call and said there was no crime.  Which literally answers the question you are asking, yet you're still asking it and the left/media is still literally writing that it's a crime.

Again, one would think that Trump releasing the actual call AND the whistle blower complaint would be viewed more positively than Schiff making up what's in the call (because the call didn't say what he wanted it to say), conducting secret hearings and "leaking" tidbits that help his case.  If you asked an alien to look at which person was acting like the liar in that circumstance it's hard to imagine they wouldn't say Schiff.

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The arguments pointing to Biden guilt or innocence is in my opinion not relevant to the question, nor is reputation.

As a technical matter you're correct, for the purpose of a crime.  For an impeachment not so much, as the issue there is not whether what Trump did was illegal, but rather whether it was a misuse of public office.  And while it shouldn't matter whether Biden's guilty if the investigation itself is legitimate (and there's no reason to believe it's not legitimate to investigate when Hunter's benefits are really indefensible), it just does cause that's the way we're wired.  If Joe's guilty then we'd have little choice but to see the investigation as legitimate (how could it not be if there's a real crime), and if he's not guilty we're going to flip the scrip and claim that in hindsight no reasonable person could have thought he was (and therefore the real motive was an abuse of power).

And this is even worse because it's Trump.  Whether it's legitimate or an artifact of a massive manipulation campaign by the media (which did happen) not even his supporters are SURE he's acting for proper motives and his opponents can't even accept that he COULD BE no matter how plausible the circumstances.

23
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2019, 04:17:55 PM »
That is the question. Is it against the law to ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival directly in the way Trump has done? If so both Trump/JFK are guilty.

It's not illegal to ask a foreign power to investigate a political rival.

In fact, in the US it's the executive branch's responsibility to investigate potential crimes whether committed by their allies or their enemies, whether it makes them sad or makes them glad.  Think about the "opposite" position, that people not in control of the government are exempt from investigation?  Or that no one can investigate someone from another party (might want to let the AGs of a few states including NY know that they are violating the law in their investigations of Trump).

The only way this is a crime is if Trump is asking them to make something up.  There's no evidence that did occur (which is more than one can say for the "help" requested and received by the Obama admin to investigate Manaford (only after he became associated with  the Trump campaign)).  If Trump isn't asking for a fake investigation, then this is a political difference (which kills the WB protection by law) in that Trump is pursuing a legitimate policy goal related to the enforcement of Justice - in which case EVEN IF there's a "quid pro quo" it's okay, that's exactly what the "best case" version of what Joe Biden did is - quid pro quo for a legit policy demand.

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You still seem to be saying that a president with a good/bad reputation can break the law in the pursuit of the "justice"?

There's zero question that Obama got away with things that would easily trigger an impeachment of Trump.  Can you even imagine if Trump told his base he couldn't do something unilaterally that only Congress could do it, then decided to declare an entire program with the stroke of a pen?

24
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2019, 03:23:03 PM »
Just wana throw this out there.  The search for more "context".  That's called investigating.   ;D

And what's it called when you have 9 hours of testimony and a big bunch of documents that apparently undermine your case, and all that gets released is less than a page that apparently contradicts (when viewed out of context) the results of the "investigation"?

Oh yeah, that's called the House Democrats business as usual.

25
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2019, 02:13:26 PM »
I'm not trusting - at all - leaked transcripts that were specifically leaked to be as damning as possible.  For goodness sakes, there are people on your side claim that Trump's call transcript is not good enough and yet, you want to hang your hat on snippets leaked from 36 pages of text messages and 9 hours of testimony?  The word is that the testimoney killed the whole quid pro quo argument, so why is it that all we get to see are the worst parts without context?

26
Trump decided it was no longer in our strategic interest to support the Kurds.  That's all that mattered.

I'm not sure it's accurate to say we were supporting the Kurds.  That makes it sound like our policy was to advocate for their independence.  I think, rather, we were attacking ISIS and were supporting anyone in that fight.  Turkey refused to provide the troops and the Kurds were interested - hence we were allied.  I also think the Kurds are sympathetic and as I said above I wouldn't have a problem if we did choose to support them, but I've never seen anything that suggests we were there to support the Kurds.

I think if Trump had chosen to support the Kurds after ISIS is defeated he'd be exceeding his authority (if the Kurd's had a country they could invite him, which is a nasty consequence of this, but without a country he's literally on the ground of countries that are hostile to the US staying).

27
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2019, 12:48:53 PM »
Except all the contacts were through Gulliani, not Barr.

Guilliani was investigating the matter as Trump's lawyer.  The accounts I saw said he'd largely ceased working on it months previously.  Do you have different information.  Trump's reference to G in the call, was because he was knowledgeable on the subject (you know, cause he did the research on it), but he asked that they coordinate with Barr.

I think you may be misremembering (or may have been deceived by the media).

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What I'm saying is that without an active investigation in the US the president shouldn't be pressuring foreign heads of state to start one.

There is an active investigation of the sources of the 2016 election interference.  And the "investigation" into Biden's son, as well as to the 2016 election interference both directly reference speaking to the AG not Giuliani.  So again, it seems your standard has been met.

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Some evidence of corruption has to also exist within the US, without that evidence and process Trump shouldn't be bringing this up in a call with foreign heads of state.

That's a false standard.  Do you think the DOJ is prohibited from investigating violations of US law that occur completely on foreign soil?  The foreign corrupt practices act would disagree.  Not to mention, such acts would also be subject to impeachment investigations.  In any event, if you want an "act" you have Biden bragging on tv in the US about forcing the prosecutor out, which is enough to tie it together (or would be to any experienced RICO prosecutor). 

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If there were investigators within the US who were being stone walled by Ukrainian officials and they requested help getting the relevant information then the request is appropriate. Starting the investigation at the WH, running it through the presidents personal attorney, and passing it off to a foreign head of state is not an appropriate process.

There's no expectation that "stone walling" is required to lead to a contact. And I think that you are completely discounting what it's very likely that Trump believes, and that I would suspect that Barr believes as well, that foreign intelligence agencies and/or state department staffers were involved in the frame up that the 2016 election interference that triggered Mueller's probe.  I've not remotely seen an adequate explanation for the amount of spies and foreign government involvement around Papadopoulus (where one spy told him about Russian emails, another spy relayed that to the Australian government, and apparently the US government dedicated undercover resources to investigate him personally).  You have an English spy behind the dossier, with heavy reliance on false statements that originated in Russian/Ukraine.  Against that backdrop the President asking the Head of State actually makes far more sense that going through the diplomatic/intelligence channels that seem to have been misused/involved in the conduct.

Not to mention, I think your timeline of passing this through G to the DOJ is probably false.  It's also an interesting claim to make that Trump's lawyer investigating illegal activities of his opponent and passing that to the DOJ is somehow wrong after spending years defending Hillary's use of Perkins Coie to solicit foreign interference in the 2016 campaign.  Is it wrong or not?  Does it make a difference that Hillary turned up Russian propaganda, and that G appears to have turned up actual conduct?

28
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2019, 11:44:18 AM »
Here's the thing, I've said it multiple times here. If Biden is corrupt the place for that investigation is within the US justice department. Not in Ukraine, while military aid is being withheld while Trump is asking for this investigation.

The request was to contact Barr - ie to refer the information to the US justice department.  We have treaties in place specifically with foreign countries for assistance in connection with investigations where the facts in question reside on foreign soil.  The Ukranian President asserted multiple times that their process would be fair and didn't promise to deliver helpful information, to which Trump repeatedly said that was good.

So pretty much, this is exactly what you say should happen.

29
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 10, 2019, 11:14:46 AM »
Seriously though, keep doubling down.  As of now, you all seem to be on record as opposing a fair process and believing that the intent of the framers was to authorize a Kangaroo court in the House, notwithstanding everything they ever wrote or did with respect to fairness and process.

The house doesn't have to do any investigation. They could simply vote to impeach with a list of charges and send it to the Senate.

I agree.  The problem is not that the House can impeach, the problem is that the House DNC want to conduct a show trial on impeachment.  The "sole" power to try impeachments sits in the Senate, who are required to do it under oath, something that is missing in the House.

My second problem is the House using it's impeachment authority for the purpose of trying to generate political dirt to influence the 2020 campaign.  That's not why they have the power either.

If they want to vote out articles of impeachment today, go right ahead.  But trying to run a partisan trial process to "convict in the court of public opinion" is not in their authority.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that they will expressly try to claim that the Senate trial is fake.  They also have the option to vote to investigate if they don't feel they've got impeachable offenses yet (though, every committee head has flat out said they do).  And then we can see if their investigation authorization looks like they intend a fair process or witch hunt.

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Here's the thing, I think its likely Trump abused his power in office. I honestly don't think its worth the house impeaching him over because the Senate seems certain to acquit him. A censure vote is probably the right balance here unless something more damning comes out that the senate Republicans simply can't ignore or explain away.

I think the Senate is likely to demonstrate that Trump did not abuse his power, not just to refuse to remove him.  That's a big part why they didn't move on the Mueller obstruction charges, the legal basis was false (which would have come out in any kind of process, but the media ignores) and the "facts" largely consisted of opinion differences.  How well does Comey saying, "Trump did it for this reason" hold up versus two dozen witnesses and public Trump statements saying it was for this other legitimate reason?   Answer it doesn't, but Mueller didn't have to include all those statements in his report.

30
The history of the Kurds in the region is complicated.  Ideally, I'd hold to the principal of the UN that every people is entitled to self determination.  That means four countries in the area would almost certainly lose a part of their land to a new independent Kurdish state.  So why hasn't that happened?

US airstrikes against ISIS were followed up largely by Kurdish separatists to create a controlled terroritory.  Are they really terrorists as Turkey would assert?  I doubt it, but I haven't found a way to get objective information. 

Optics on what Trump did are horrible.  Pull out Americans and Turkey commences with Air Strikes.  But the alternatives are what?  Do we establish the Kurdish state?  If that was an acceptable possibility it would have already happened (and I don't fully know why the west has never supported it).  Do we declare a perpetual American presence?  That would allow the Kurds to create a state ultimately and most likely through violence and most likely through border conflicts that cross the line into terrorism.  Do we declare it a no fly?  Sure that stops the optics of the fighters, but does nothing to stop the well funded Turkish army moving on the ground.  And both the later options are a "soft" commitment to Kurdish independence that actually increases the chance of harm.  Do we pull out?  The almost certain result of which is to suppress Kurdish independence and cause the regional powers to assert themselves over the Kurds.

I guess - to me - the right answer is based upon a simple question.  Are the Kurds getting their own state?  If yes, then it should be declared and the World should back it.  If no, then it's hard to understand the intermediate processes of protecting the Kurds while they try to create it through force.

So you tell me, is it really just a simple question of not abandoning your allies?  If it is then I think you have to support forming a Kurdish state, which included part of an ally's (Turkey's) territory and how are you going to deal with that.

Maybe I'm missing something, that should persuade me there's a clear answer - I definitely lean towards allowing new states to form.

31
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 09, 2019, 05:15:39 PM »
As of now a memo written by the WB on July 26 is public. It has all the same stuff as the WB complaint. Does the conspiracy theory now require that Schiff was involved the day after the call?

Just read the memo, most of it's claims are more incorrect than they appear in the WB account.  In fact they're down right false when compared to the released call - even if you were to argue that the call has edits (which there's literally no evidence to support) many of the bullets would not be true unless it was also materially falsified (again no evidence of this, and next to zero chance it happened).  The fact that the WB does not fully align with the memo, including for the reasons I listed above, is a lot of evidence that it was in fact crafted by a team of lawyers.  The "memo" reads like what you'd expect a whistle blower to relate.  Of course if this memo had been the complaint, it would have been compared to the call record and properly dismissed as false.  Lucky for us it got redrafted.

And again, I note the "parallel" to the behavior of Comey, in drafting memo's to support a treatment that the recollection is more "proven."  Given this is on the 26th, and it's already materially erroneous, it sounds as if there's a real possibility that this person was fed a line to sell.

You may also note that the memo notes that the call transcript should be treated as "eyes only" and yet, the cabal backing the whistleblower seems to have have freely discussed it (or at least '6 or more' of them), and not to have seen it to be a duty to accurately relate the information.

32
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 09, 2019, 03:16:50 PM »
Wow, he moved a department about agriculture to the part of the country that engages in agriculture.  Couldn't possibly be because it'd grown complete unresponsive to the industries it's regulating?

I have no problem with whistleblowers.  I have a problem with labeling this as a whistleblower situation.

Seriously though, keep doubling down.  As of now, you all seem to be on record as opposing a fair process and believing that the intent of the framers was to authorize a Kangaroo court in the House, notwithstanding everything they ever wrote or did with respect to fairness and process.

33
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 09, 2019, 02:50:49 PM »
No basis in history?  Except the rights missing were in the other Presidential impeachments.

Why exactly are you afraid of a process that lets the President's lawyers cross examine the witnesses?  How exactly does it improve the decision of the House and the American people not to get all the facts out up front?

The fact is, your position is unAmerican, and I think you know it.  But this show trial only works if only the Democratic message - without regard to the truth - gets put on the table.

34
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 09, 2019, 01:43:58 PM »
Oh bull*censored* scifibum.  The House has never conducted a Presidential impeachment in this manner.  The precedents are rare, as they should be, but they are crystal clear.  And the House is the one that is issuing subpeonas - the Constitution directly speaks to that. 

There's no legitimate basis to argue that the entire basis of our legal system - the adversarial process - has no bearing on the House's investigation.  Only someone who does not want the truth to come out, and who believes that partisan bias is enough would call for that.  Seriously, your argument boils down to a technicality, and supports ignoring the constitutional rights to assistance of counsel, freedom from compelled testimony, requirement of probable cause and right to confront your acusser.

Your argument is literally that the House is entitled to run a banana court.  If you believe that then you have no basis for believing that Trump is guilty of anything.

And RL, I don't have to believe Trump, the transcript was released.  IT DOES NOT SUPPORT THE LEAKER'S CLAIMS ON THE IMPORTANT POINTS.  Calling me a partisan doesn't fix the flaw that the leaker either lied or was grossly mistaken on the relevant points.

Ignoring the fact that this seems to literally be connected to Mueller's failure to deliver an impeachment, and the collusion with the House DNC and seeing this as anything but partisan is ALSO highly questionable.  I curious, did you anywhere respond to any of my questions on the fact patterns that relate to the DNC?  Again, you didn't because this is partisan and there is no legitimate basis to ignore the situations that have more factual predicates but involve Democrats.

35
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 09, 2019, 01:28:38 PM »
As I recall, part of the reason they "colluded" was that they will still need to produce 2 different models even with the deregulation.  Because even if Trump prevented California from upping the standards, the rest of the world (e.g. Europe) would still require those standards.  So this was the case of having similar, worldwide standards so that they didn't have to produce 2 models, or of having two different standards and having to pay the cost of 2 models.

Not even remotely correct.  EU and US models are not now, nor would they be in the future the same.  The EU has a completely different mix of cars/SUVs and trucks than the US and generally uses smaller vehicles in every classification.  The issue isn't that Ford wants to build SUV's in a single plant in the US to send to the EU, it's that they don't want to produce a "CA complaint Ford" that is otherwise identical to the Ford in the rest of the country but costs $12k more, nor does the US government want to let them dump the costs of the CA version on the rest of the country by requiring they be sold at the same price.

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Plus the fact that those higher standards are likely to come back (if Trump is even able to force CA to let them go) once Trump leaves office.

Maybe.  Maybe not.  The standards are aspirational not realistic.  For a single vehicle they'd have to double their gas mileage in 6 years - not possible, so they have "credits" that can be earned for doing things like selling electric cars - a good thing - but doesn't justify putting every manufacturer that can't produce them out of business.

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Announcing that job killing regulations were going to be repealed.  Yes that was enough.  Announcing we'd move to a competetive tax rate.  Yes.

Which simply means that the market responded before the regulation reductions and tax reductions were a reality.  Hope for change.  Not actual policies or actions.  Just promises.

Change in policy.  You seem to think that's the equivalent of vapor ware.  The business community knew that Obama could be counted on to add costs and burdens to every thing on earth, to look to tax everything on earth and generally to undercount the economic consequences of his actions.  Believably announcing a change in that policy is a real thing.

In fact, I'm dumbfounded here, so many "change in policy" announcments have made real impacts in so many fields that it's almost like a serious case of willful blindness to make this claim (I mean heck, look at what a "sanctuary city" is, it's just a "change in policy" afterall).

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Which also means that, if the hoped-for change is not up to snuff, the economic upturn turns to dust.

That doesn't make sense.  Does the LGBTQ community give up on Obama if the court's frustrate a reform?  Rational people, including business people, make judgements based on their belief in what an administration's policies are trying to achieve, not just it's sucess and failures.

Or to put it another way, a failing Trump is thousands of times better for business than a sucessful Warren or Sanders.

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First, I doubt you're accurate on Trump's economic understanding.

LOL.  Well, everyone has an opinion.  I suppose you like the idea of negative interest rates for the Feds, too.  What better way to get people to invest in Fed bonds! :)

That's your answer or is it intended as a "proof" of some sort?  I get it, calling people stupid makes you feel smart.

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But second, the Fed was acting ridiculously.  For all people want to rewrite Obama's history to pretend he had a great economy, the Fed didn't believe it and tried to prop him up with the lowest interest rates in history.  When Trump got the economy bouncing back the Fed literally tried to put on the breaks because of "inflation concerns."   You know what we haven't had?  Material inflation, yet they clearly overcorrected and have had to back off.

Have you forgotten the Great Recession already?  We needed those interest rates down to stimulate the economy to get it moving again.

Didn't forget that.  It's part of what I think is a poor economic model, but it's still a legit belief that many hold that such a policy would work.  It didn't work though, because even with historically low interest rates Obama's policies were all about dumping massive expenses on the economy.

I saw someone say that we should pay down the debt when the economy is hot and run deficits when it's not.  But the corallary that seems to be ignored is that we shouldn't layer expensive and business killing regulations on the business world when the economy is in recession.  But Obama had no choice, he was a believer and he had to pursue his non-economic policies while he could whether or not the economy could bear them.

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Obama started with a lousy economy.  But while he was in office, it built up again, at a rate comparable to increase during Trump's time.

Obama started with a lousy economy.  He did not build it up at a rate comparable to Trump.  In fact, his policies were a direct drag on what should have been a good recovery.  This revisionism you guys participate in explains why you end up believing time and again that failed policies will work in the future.

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But the main difference is that Trump started with a good economy, which meant that that growth could easily have created inflation.  The Feds were doing their job, just the way they were intended to.

The Feds are reading out of a playbook that is wholly dependent on an economic philosophy that may not be true.  Trump's economy was threatening to prove it wasn't true, and they literally overreacted and slowed growth.  Don't believe me?  Take a look at how they've had to walk it back after they actually slowed growth.

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Even the NYTs acknowledged that the tax cuts gave big benefits to the majority of the tax base, with the middle class recieving real benefits that proporationately had a bigger impact on their incomes than the tax benefits to the rich.  It's kind of just a lie and a talking point to keep repeating the false claim.

It is also just a lie and talking point to ignore that dollar-wise, the rich and especially companies gained the most.

Oh like WOW, you mean people that pay 90% of the taxes got more dollars back from a tax cut?  Shocking!

You guys got caught selling a major lie about the middle class tax cuts, let it go.  When even the NYTs admits it was a middle class tax cut it's over.


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It's like a said: the Democrats may be the Tax and Spend party, but at least they tax.  The Republicans are the Cut Tax and Spend party, because they don't understand basic accounting. :)

That's kind of funny, certainly was true for Bush.  I think the new truth is that Democrats are supporting confiscate and spend but still funny.

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Trump didn't create the trade wars, he's just fighting back on the ones that have been running for decades.  I think the confusion here comes from misunderstanding the Economics 101 claim that tariffs only hurt yourself.  I mean honestly, the US has the least restrictions to access of our markets of any country on Earth, and when we "trade" with China they exploit us at virtually every turn, yet "Trump started" a trade war with China by putting on mild restrictions compared to the Chinese ones?

Oh, come on.  You know better.  It's not just China.  It's Europe, Mexico, Canada.

I do know better, do you?  I agree, all of those countries have spent decades imposing unilateral constraints on trade to the detriment of the US.  Heck I've even provided links to the report the US compiled on them (hundreds of pages long).  That includes individual countries in the EU as well as the EU.  Trade with the US has been a silent cold war, that's been complicated by our media's refusal to report anti-comptetive policies as part of a trade war.

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He's imposed tariffs or threaten to impose tariffs on just about everyone.  And for the most half-assed reasons imaginable--"National security."  Bull!  There was never a national security threat from steel imports at this time.  He only used that excuse because it gave him authority to impose them.

Lol.  Did you forget the prior discussions on this?  Or did you just not read the.  Steel is a national security issue, and the broad based tariffs were designed specifically to target Chinese steel produced at a loss in an effort to seize the strategic market in steel.  They were released expressly when other countries agreed to provisions that constrained the ability of the Chinese to flood those other countries markets with steel (which would have displaced the other countries steel into the US).

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Otherwise he couldn't do it.  So the next time you pay hundreds of dollars more for a new washing machine and dryer, remember that you're doing it to keep you country secure! ;)

Where are you buying a steel washer and dryer?  Lol.  I'm more concerned about how washers and dryers have usable lives of less than 10 years, when they used to last 30 or more.  Want to explain that against a backdrop of a word that has too much pollution and over production?  My last washer had a component that spins the drum that in fact dissolves when exposed to steam (which the washer actually produced intentionally) - the way it was cited made it unreparable. 

So to be clear, do you want US factory jobs?  It seems like you have before.  Can't have em if you're going to buy everything cut rate from China.

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And while you might think he imposed tariffs on China to counteract Chinese tariffs, look again.

Love this claim.  I never said he did it because of Chinese "tariffs" I said he did it in response to a Chinese trade war.  This is the same thing the media does, they look for "tariffs" and ignore EVERYTHING else.  China was literally engaging in the monopolistic practices of selling below cost to gain a strategic benefit by putting others out of business.  It's literally part of their policy (e.g., the one belt one road initiative).

But hey, let's declare them "good guys" because they didn't use "tariffs" only cutting corners on environmental concerns, product quality, intelletual property theft, and government subsidies.

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He never consistently stated exactly which tariffs he wanted removed.  He keeps moving the line, changing what he wants.  Ultimately, he seems to want China to buy as much of our stuff as we buy of theirs.  And for some reason he thinks he can dictate that in a free market.  ::)  I doubt that he truly understands what that means.

Based on what you say, I don't get the sense you understand trading and world markets.  China's market is artificially closed, Trump wants it to open more.  China's business success is built on cutting quality and environmental corners and stealing knowledge, Trump wants that playing field to be more level.  China literally uses government funding as a form of economic warfare to dominate trade in critical areas, Trump is doing what any US President should and reacting to protect our strategic interests against that.

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And, yes, we all understand that tariffs hurt China as well as us.  Do you think Trump understands that they hurt us as well?  If so, how do you explain him tweeting that China is paying for the tariffs.  ;D  As if he didn't know that tariffs are paid by the importer, not the exporter.  Moron.

Calling names makes you big again?  I think Trump has correctly deduced that the tariffs are barely marginally hurting the average person, and are in fact redirecting a big chunk of high value jobs into the US, which is in fact helping the common people.  Who are they really hurting?  I suspect, if you follow the money its the same "corporate bad guys" you want to tax and regulate, who maximized their profits by exporting jobs, quality control and environmental compliance to China.

So yes, I get it, Econ 101 "tariffs bad" but I also get that notwithstanding that aggregate trade is hurt, these tariffs are providing direct and specific benefits to real people and acting to reset the overall trade in a way that will be better than before.  That's just a fact, even in Econ 101, if you accept the rule that constraints on trade are always bad, using a tariff to force the Chinese to lift their constraints on trade must end up being a net good.

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So what about the Republican non-deficit hawks?  They bear none of the blame?

Sure, they're the same guys that supported Bush's spending without constraint.  Blame them too.

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When Republicans start blaming their own for the deficit, then I'll listen to you.

So are you listening to me now?  I'm not convinced that there are more than a handful of politicians - in total - that are serious about cutting expenses.  Every cut punishes someone who becomes an angry voter, every payout makes a voter happy.  There is zero incentive for the politicians to cut and every incentive to spend.

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But until then, as long as the deficit is always the Democrat's fault, I'll call bull.  Republicans are worse for the deficit than Democrats, because at least Democrats are willing to raise taxes to pay for the spending.

That's really just a delusion though.  Democrats are raising taxes to punish people not to increase spending.  Go back and read old stuff from Pyrtolin, the reality is that Democrats really just believe in printing money to what ever extent they need to fund the things they want.  The public demands a "fig leaf" to the idea that money is a real thing, hence the need to show taxes.

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Well, he's done a lot that is objectively bad for the economy.

Okay, what would that be?  Best case I can see is the mixed bag of tariffs, which have real tangible benefits and for which the harms are hard to see, and even there that's designed as a short term pain for a long term gain.

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And the stuff that he has done, it sounds like most of the exuberance has come from anticipation rather than actual implementation.  The objective evidence you have provided (rather than reassuring me exists somewhere) is a bit thin.

This is why we have trouble communicating.  There are thousands of regulatory reversals that you haven't bothered to look at, yet you seem to think your ignorance of them is evidence.  You can't understand why the economy is having positive results, even though those directly responsible for each of the components can and have told you (if you look for it in the media). 

What do you want me to say?  Just keep being "mystified" when the world works based on observable inputs and reactions, but I wish you'd stop voting based on willful blindness.

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Oh, by the way, let's not forget that the tax cut was primarily Congress' plan.  I don't recall the Trump Administration doing more than telling them "send me a plan"--much like Trump's plan to end ISIS in six months after he was elected (Candidate Trump: "I have a great plan to end ISIS in six months!"  President Trump: "Generals, give a plan to end ISIS in six month!"  ::) )

Okay.  Sure, go with that.  And I learned my lesson about thinking you would be asking a question in good faith.

36
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 09, 2019, 12:15:08 PM »
I'm a elementary guy. And you didn't answer the question

The facts say Trump didn't do what the leaker says.  The motivation of the leaker has nothing to do with Trump making a call, and everything to do with the leaker lying about the contents of the call.
 
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Funny that few are arguing that Trump didn't do what the report claims he did. Instead is diversion, diversion diversion.

Trump didn't do the material things the the report says he did.  This is the Trump dossier redux, mix a lie in with some truth and claim the "verification" and support of the true parts makes the lie true too.

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Deep down I think you know your on the wrong side of this one.

What scares me more, is that deep down you don't know you're on the wrong side of this one.

37
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 09, 2019, 12:11:38 PM »
So Grant, I read through the timeline you quoted earlier, it's pretty partisan and anti-President.  I found it fascinating how quickly the media can compile something when it's anti-Trump and seem to find a lot of "supporting" items (but can't seem to be bothered when it's not anti-Trump, or able to find confounding items). 

It was fascinating to see where they "start" their timeline and what they treat as background.  They treated Hunter's appointment in 2014 as background and focus on the corruption in the Ukraine at that time.  A problem on which the US and EU should be aligned, correct?  It's seems though that they "forgot" about what was actually going on at that time, and the real dispute BETWEEN the US and the EU related to the Ukraine.  Specifically, the EU was considering expanding it's energy relationship with Russia by purchasing oil and gas from Russia, and the US was hard selling the EU to isolate Russia and, by "coincidence" to buy oil and gas from the Ukraine.  Hunter got that position at the exact time the US government was pushing Ukranian energy for the purpose of isolating Russia.  Interesting timing that Biden is front man on the Ukraine at the exact time we are pushing Ukranian gas to Europe and his son ends up at a Ukranian gas company.

So what about the corruption angle?  Apparently, a big part of the EU reluctance to use Ukranian energy over Russia was tied into the corruption problem, with numerous payments and loans from the EU being redirected to oligarch accounts and being defaulted.  Makes it hard to get those  Ukranian deals going.  Not evidence - to me - that Biden pushed the prosecutor out to save his son, but seems open and shut that Hunter had inside knowledge and exploited his connection (almost certainly with his father's knowledge) to end up in a position to benefit from US policy.

Another tid-bit that gets ignored.  The call with the Ukranian President was literally the day after Mueller's public testimoney.  The issue of how the fake investigation got started was completely on Trump's mind, in his tweets and in his re-tweets.  It's not remotely shocking that he would have asked the Ukranian president about the origins of that probe and the information that was in the Ukraine.  Given the closing of the book on the witch hunt into collusion, Trump and Barr were launching multiple investigations of how DNC lies triggered both spying on a campaign and a two year investigation.

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Well, that really sheds some light on the motivation.

Does the motivation of the WB mean Trump did not make the call?

No, it speaks to why the leaker misstated the contents of the call and drafted an impeachment roadmap that they pretended was a WB complaint.

Crunch, I know it's hard, but you're going to have to try to understand that "Democrat" does not equate to "Not Allowed To Do Anything". So far, it looks like the allegations in the complaint are holding up just fine.

Is there another complaint?  The only material "allegations" have for large part been shown false, and were shown false as soon as the call transcript released.  Yep the "allegation" there was a call turned out true, but the allegations of the contents did not.

Specifically, the "allegations" said that multiple officials with direct knowledge of the call said that "after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests."  Not true.

"Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid."  Not true, which is exactly why the "no quid pro quo" line is so powerful and why the media and Schiff have falsified statements to create a meme that wasn't there.

"According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia: initiate or continue an investigation into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;"  Not true, no pressure was present.  As far as "asking for a investigation" it was in the form of 'lots of people are talking about it' and whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.  In other words, what facts do you have on what looks like a violation of law, and could you send them to the AG (not Rudy).  It's also interesting given that we now know that the investigation had been reopened well before the call - which was apparently not something that the media/DNC wanted widely known, that the leaker hedged the bet.  Since that info was available open source, and he had no problem compiling things related to Ukraine and claimed expertise thereon, it seems like the leaker would have known the answer to that question.  It would have massively undercut the entire basis for this "report" if the investigation was already known to be occurring, but they clearly couldn't resist the hedge - which says to me that they in fact knew it was ongoing and are afraid that when they get revealed the fact that they did would become evident.

"assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine,..."  This is sort of true.  The request for such assistance was the "favor."  But the reference to "Russian interference" was not directly in there.  Rather the actual request was for information in the Ukraine related to the "whole mess" with the 2016 election.  Whether you believe the investigation of Trump's campaign was fake or real, information about either situation would be about a crime and an appropriate request of the President (I think it's obvious what the President believes or he wouldn't be asking for it to be sent to Barr).

"...with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016;"  It's fascinating that this allegation is there.  No where did the DNC get mentioned, nor the work about Russian hackers.  Crowdstrike and "servers" were mentioned, and that's likely a fair implication but claiming it was a "specific request" and then including the extra details make it misleading.  Especially given the lead in discussed in the prior paragraph.  This is in FACT part of the President's duty and he again specifically referenced the AG - who is in fact currently conducting an investigation into how the FBI's counterterrorism investigation started and morphed into the Meuller investigation. 

So, again, proper exercise of executive power, and that's before you even consider that CrowdStrike's reputation for faking things has come to be, and the only source of "Russian" hacking of the DNC servers comes from Crowdstrike.  Not denying the possibility of course, only that it's a heck of a lot to turn upon the word of an openly partisan company with a reputation for manipulating situations and whose claims are politically useful (or more useful say than a finding that four or five countries breached the servers, or that the Chinese downloaded them would be).

"meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem."  This is actually false.  Barr was never presented as a "personal envoy" only as the AG in connection with legitimate investigations.  The linking here was done on purpose and with malice.  Rudy wasn't mentioned until the Ukranian President brought him up, largely because they had met with him months before.  Trump didn't declare him a personal envoy either just someone knowledgeable on the situation (which is literally true, given he was spear heading the investigation in his capacity as one of Trump's lawyers).  In any event the "linkage" was largely just that Trump said he'd have both of them call the Ukranian, only once implying together and several times implying separately.  If you look at it, the repeated references most closely resemembles someone trying to get off a call by repeating the next steps.

That's just from page 2 of the compliant.  So again, it's not holding up on any material claims.  It's an old propaganda trick to mix in a bunch of true but innocuous statements that relate to the manipulative lie.  That's all you're seeing here.  The leaker's opinion about the call is irrelevant when we have the call.  The leaker's claims about the call are false and don't hold up.  If you want to give the benefit of the doubt, this shows why second or third hand information is not admissable in court, cause even a "well meaning" recipient of such information is getting information that's been passed through a game of telephone to say things it never did.

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It does not matter if the whistleblower had a bias, what matters is what Trump did and why.

It does matter if the leaker had a bias.  I can't overlook the "coincidence" that the leaker produced an impeachment road map, that he discussed with House DNC committee members prior to August 12th, which is literally in the two week period immediately following Mueller's testimoney implosion that killed any real possibility of using his report as an impeachment road map.  This doc was purpose built to "save" an impeachment looking for a cause.

There's no good basis to accept hearsay that is contradicted by the record.  There's every reason to view this as an illegal leak and not a whistle blower complaint, and that goes 100% to the leaker's bias.

What Trump did - didn't violate any laws, and seems reasonable in light of the conduct being investigated, and I presume his reasons include having been subjected to a 2 year investigation of fake crimes by the deep state and wanting to get to the bottom of it.  How many times has he said some form of "this can never be allowed to happen to another President"?

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There are other witnesses and documents that will help show the truth of the matter.

There really are not.  Unless there's another call with Trump this is a fake issue.

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So far, we have Pompeo asking if he's allowed to punish people for cooperating with the inquiry.

Really?  We have the actual letters that the House DNC has sent threatening to punish people if they don't cooperate - notwithstanding that the threats are not remotely in compliance with existing law.

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We have text messages that show diplomats had reason to believe Trump was asking a political favor and might have been holding back military aid until the favor was promised.

You have a leaked text message (interesting how that particular interrogation was conducted behind closed doors and the leaks are partisan - but nothing to see here), that shows someone asked about whether there was a quid pro quo and was expressly told the direction from the top is that under no circumstances will there be a quid pro quo.

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We have witnesses to the call that the ICIG interviewed and found consistent with the WB complaint.

Do we?  Show me.  Are those witnesses expressly claiming the call record is false?  Cause otherwise what we "have" is evidence of more coordination to bring a false claim.

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We have the WH ordering people not to comply with the inquiry.

You should read the WH's letter.  It's directly on point about the abuses going on here.

If you can't answer anything else, explain directly, why you believe the House process doesn't need to be fair and comply with Constitutional protections.

38
General Comments / Re: The appearance of impropriety
« on: October 09, 2019, 10:24:01 AM »
Not sure what you're asking, prior to the hyperpartisan era, recusals for conflict were in fact common even in significant situations.  They still occur routinely in non-partisan situations.

I mean here's a link to an ABA write up of recusals in 2016 (granted they were hyper focused because Kagan had a lot of situations she had to recuse from, and that potentially impacted the ability to push liberal positions through the court).  http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/supreme_court_justices_recused_themselves_180_times_in_most_recent_term

Not sure how commonly prosecutors recuse themselves, or if there are metrics on other judges (I assume so).  I suspect you're going to see a lot more of these complaints going forward, after all there's a reason that Soros started heavily funding district attorney campaigns.  Whether you see that as a search for better justice, or the ability to exert political control over the bringing of charges is probably a function of which party you support, but there's no question that it's making the elections he touches far more partisan than they ever have been before.

39
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 04:31:53 PM »
I know, NobelHunter.  It seems that the economy is doing well in spite of what Trump has done, rather than because of.

Trump has created trade wars, which eventually will cause a downturn if not a recession.

Trump didn't create the trade wars, he's just fighting back on the ones that have been running for decades.  I think the confusion here comes from misunderstanding the Economics 101 claim that tariffs only hurt yourself.  I mean honestly, the US has the least restrictions to access of our markets of any country on Earth, and when we "trade" with China they exploit us at virtually every turn, yet "Trump started" a trade war with China by putting on mild restrictions compared to the Chinese ones?

Did Trump require that to do business in the US a Chinese company has to build a US plant that will be majority owned by US persons (and not of Chinese descent), that all proprietary technology to the companies process must be held in the US in the company files and that the US government have access rights to review it for "compliance"?   Did the US government then steal that information, provide it to US compitetors of the Chinese company, who undersell the products and even export them into other markets undercutting the Chinese company and provide no ability for the Chinese company to have redress in court?  Or was in the US that has a giant industry that exists solely off of pirating Chinese intellectual property?

Yep, Trump "started" a trade war when he put tariffs on Chinese steel produced under market prices because the Chinese government is subsidizing steel for strategic reasons.

And I'm fascinated by how, notwithstanding economics 101 and how nothing but harm comes to the US workers by using tariffs, under Trump and as a direct result of those tariffs factory jobs to produce things in the US have been increasing as have wages to low and mid skill workers (pretty sure, just saw lowest unemployment rate for high schools grads since they began the measurement).  If you listen to them, globalists knew that loss of these jobs was a consequence of not protecting your trade interests (ie, the previous US policy of "free" trade where the other side doesn't have to be free), they just couched it in vague and misleading terms about lower prices (without jobs even low prices are no help).

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Trump has tried to influence the Federal Reserve Board's decisions, even though he hasn't a clue on how macroeconomic works.

First, I doubt you're accurate on Trump's economic understanding.  But second, the Fed was acting ridiculously.  For all people want to rewrite Obama's history to pretend he had a great economy, the Fed didn't believe it and tried to prop him up with the lowest interest rates in history.  When Trump got the economy bouncing back the Fed literally tried to put on the breaks because of "inflation concerns."   You know what we haven't had?  Material inflation, yet they clearly overcorrected and have had to back off.

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Yeah, the tax cut put a lot more money in the pockets of the rich and companies.  But with the yearly deficit almost at $1 trillion ($200 billion more than last year's deficit), you'd think those CEOs would be worried.

?  Even the NYTs acknowledged that the tax cuts gave big benefits to the majority of the tax base, with the middle class recieving real benefits that proporationately had a bigger impact on their incomes than the tax benefits to the rich.  It's kind of just a lie and a talking point to keep repeating the false claim.

I am concerned about the deficit.  Tax revenues while increasing haven't yet increased by enough.  Spending though?  No one is putting any brakes on that, which leads to bigger deficits (the last reported deficit is $700m).

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If any Democrat had done any of these things, the economy would tank.

Well only superficially, because a Democrat would never have done anything Trump did for the right reasons.  A trade war?  Would have been to support a social rather than an economic policy, ergo it would have been a double whammy on the economy.  Lowering taxes?  Dems do it ALL THE TIME they just do it through cronyism and deals with connected people for tax breaks.  Big suprise that Solyndra didn't spark the economy.  Last time I checked its the Democrats screaming for the literal "tax breaks" for rich people SALT deduction to be restored - there's virtually no middle class tax payer that's hit by the current cap, yet it's a major concern of the Democrats (and the media hides the hypocrisy for them).

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But because Trump did it, the Republican deficit- and economic-hawks are fast asleep.  It all looks like irrational exuberance to me.

I agree on the deficit, but I think you're confused about what happened.  The Dems have supported Trump's spending, there are more Dems than there are Republican deficit Hawks.  In fact, this is the one area where there's been cooperation (albeit quite and not talked about by the media, first rule of Deficit Club is no one talks about Deficit Club).  Dems wanted out of the sequestration limits (and to be fair the non-deficit hawk Republicans wanted out of some of them too), so they all agreed to put it on the table. 

It's a win win for Congress.  Dems get more spending.  Republicans "can't do anything" and Trump takes the wrap for signing it and "undermining the Republican spending cuts."

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That's why I'm trying to get my head around what Trump has actually done.  Because what he's actually done has been bad for the economy, and those who talk about the good things he's done as so vague as to be meaningless.

I'm struck by how you can ask what he's done, admit you've done little reading, not understand how any of it impacts the economy, and then conclude that what he's done has been "bad for the economy"?

It's like objective evidence is beyond your ken.  I can't understand why the Partiots are winning, I mean they keep scoring all those touchdowns but that's not the way you win.

40
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 03:59:25 PM »
I can't say that I have researched this, but then again, I don't know where to look.

Pick any deregulatory effort and take a deep look.  Pretty sure I saw you post on the whole stink between CA setting it's own emissions standards versus the US having a uniform standard and the Trump admin revoking their exception.  Both the standards Obama pushed and the ones CA has pushed will not be reached by gasoline powered vehicles and require extensive increases in electrical cars to meet.  Last I heard is that compliance with the CA standards vs. Trump's standards is expected to add about $12,000 to the price of new cars, SUVs and other light trucks.

Why do you think four car companies "colluded" with CA to try and avoid lowering the standards?  Because they don't want to pay the price of producing 2 different US models (which is  a massive cost for them), and they know they could never compete with US "standards" cars sold in the remainder of the country that cost $12k less than the CA compliant model.  If you can get your competitors to agree not to compete problem solved. 

The economic implications of this are enormous.  Whether you like CA's position or not, you have to realize that an extra $12k per vehicle is a massive burden on working and even middle class families.  If you couple it with required replacement standards it becomes obscene.

Or heck, think about the consequence of the lower corporate tax rates.  Tax inversions have virtually ended, and some have reversed.  Profit in the US is not currently something to be avoided to the maximum extent possible.

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Obviously business confidence skyrocketed after Trump took office.  But why?

Compliance burden is a big part.  Compliance offices in every industry massively expanded under Obama as a direct result of his policies.  Every single part of a compliance office is effectively an economic waste.  Granted they often serve other masters, and provide other benefits, but economically they are waste (and the fact that you are "avoiding fines" is not real economics, the fines themselves are punishments designed to put non-economic terms into economic terms specifically because those concepts do not properly track in economics).  When the balance goes from doing business to complying with law it stunts growth (in an industry I've been connected to for decades, the one man shop effectively became illegal (with a minimum of four being required - 3 of which had little to do with the productive business, other than by accident) and the average "small" shops tripled in size and generated hundreds of times the previous records (not to mention extensive regulatory meetings requirements).  The "improvement"?  Largely nominal.   Massive costs, itty bit rewards.

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Were there specific policies that businesses liked, and so their confidence soared?

Announcing that job killing regulations were going to be repealed.  Yes that was enough.  Announcing we'd move to a competetive tax rate.  Yes.

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Or was there some vague superstition that, since Trump was a businessman himself and a Republican and made some vague promises to cut regulations, everything was going to be great?

I think, if anything, Trump's business acumen was called into question.  But cutting regulation isn't really all that vague, at least to anyone that's ever had to comply with them.

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Unfortunately, I don't know where to find articles that answer that specific question.  Yes, the Wall Street Journal probably has some, but I'm not going to go through several weeks of issues just to find them.

What articles are you basing your opinion on?

Hundreds of em, as well as conversations with clients both prospectively, during and after the fact as they've expanded what they were doing, been willing to do more.

I'm strongly tempted to believe that this "business confidence" thing is the corporate equivalent of the Deep State. Which is to say either a conspiracy or a concatenation of interests that act ensure that things are ordered in a certain way.

No more than "New England Partiot's" confidence is a conspiracy to manipulate us.  Sure the Patriot's get some odd breaks that the rest of us don't, but they wouldn't have been in a position to get the breaks if they weren't good in the first place.

I think it's stunning that you think it takes a "Deep State" kind of mentality to understand why under Obama and in the future, potentially, under Warren or even Sanders, the business confidence is going to go down.  They've flat out said they want to regulate and investigate and "bring charges," I mean heck the CPFB is literally Warren's baby.  Obama had high taxes and both Warren and Sanders not only want to bring them back they want to add to them and tax wealth as well.  What rational business seeing that coming is going to say - "great time to invest billions in US facilities that'll insure our income is stuck in the US for the next 4 years"?  If I'm part of the global elite, which most companies and most of their executives are, why would I be confident about the US climate that is literally promising more taxes, more regulations (despite being second only to the EU now) and higher wages - by force not economic growth (again despite such laws making my plants uncompetitive versus the third world in the past)?

And you are totally correct, I should have lost confidence when a candidate promising to lower taxes, support business growth, remove excess regulatory burdens comes into force.  I mean, why would I be confident when the candidate is running on generating a better economy by unleashing my and other companies to generate growth.

Not sure if you're being ironic, but I would say the same thing unironically. Wall Street "confidence" is just that, a confidence game, where it can be tilted up or down based on what "investors" feel, emotionally. Except "investors" are not a hive mind, so how do they know what they're supposed to feel?

Investors in what?  In some industries they know because the industry publications are great, in others because to even be in the game you have to have an extensive knowledge of what's going on.  At least if you're talking about big investors you can get a pretty good feel for what they're thinking.

Do you ever read any of the publicaly available information that companies file with the SEC?  Management discussions for public companies can be great.  Disclosures by investment advisers and investment funds in certain industries can give you real insight into what's really going on and what the risks and concerns are.  Heck, most regulators publish their own speaches and insights.

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Do they read the What We Are Feeling journal each week to know whether they have confidence or not? Or is it not so much investors, as the shepherds that lead the flock, announcing in so many words "we are scared!" and the market dips?

I mean I get a sense of what the confidence levels are from "word on the street," but you could easily pick it up from the WSJ or other financial publications.  Or if you prefer you could chase the trend (on a big lag) by looking at objective metrics connected to financial matters.  Or you could chase the lag of the lag of the trend and just watch what the Fed does.

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I'd like to see a real study one day, using mathematical technology we probably don't have yet, of what % of market activity actually relates to 'the real world', like crop seasons, business efficiency, money market fluidity, effective CEO's, and positive regulation along with monetary policy; and likewise what % is completely made-up mind games where the position of the market is a shared delusion based on essentially where certain cliques of people with a lot of capital decide it should be.

Well you should join a finance company, they already track virtually everything you list there.  My favorite is the projections they can make on a company's expected earnings based on hirings and firings of specific people below the CEO level based on metrics that have been connected to those people, or the divisions they worked for over their whole career.

That said, there's definitely some markets that are heavily mind games (take a look at crypto's for example).

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When asking what about Trump's presidency would cause markets to be courageous, the question is just as impossible to address as asking what would make an actual person courageous.

Not sure how to take this.  Nothing about the markets is "courageous".  Are you trying to imply that they are being reckless somehow?  They're responding to predictable inputs that say good things are coming their way.  That's all.

Just like consumer confidence (ie spending) is massively up.  It's not a mystery, or just a sense of optimism, it's people who want jobs being able to find them, people who want better jobs having lots of opportunities, its raises and promotions and more money in pockets as wages are up in a big way (notwithstanding that we somehow didn't need any of those government mandated wage increases to get there).  More money, better jobs equals more spending.  It's not rocket science.

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Oh sure you can take a guess, but there's no way you're plumbing out that person's brain and assessing which neurons fired, which chemicals mixed with which, and what their sodium and blood sugar levels are like, along with the makeup up the population of their gut bacteria. Now imagine that kind of complication, where with many nodes - each that complex - connected to each other in asymmetric ways.

Or I could say tell you that I'll subsidize $100k of your downpayment on a house.  Would you really need a pyschological test to understand why a lot of people bought houses?  (or an economics degree to figure out why a bunch of people increased the price they were willing to sell a house at?)

41
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 12:45:54 PM »
Lol, Wayward, if it were as simple as saying Regulation 47 repealed, $23 million in real impact on the economy, we'd all agree on everything and know exactly what to do.

If you have a real question on this what have you done to investigate?   There's a thousand articles out there on business confidence, on specific and general regulatory relief, have you read any of them?  There's articles out there that discuss business confidence and specific and general reactions by companies to specific changes and to general philosophy.  Have you looked at the Wall Street Journal, or any business publications.  Business confidence really popped after the election and kept rising through and until we got the Democratic house, which sucked the wind out of the potential for progress (if Warren get's elected, business confidence will crater).

42
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 08, 2019, 10:22:54 AM »
After Biden got that prosecutor fired was the Burisma probe carried out or was it effectively stopped?

Wasn't the Burisma probe dead before Biden got the prosecutor fired?

No, in fact in carried on for a short period with the next prosecutor, who decided there was no evidence against Joe or Hunter.  Normally, that would be the end of it, but we have on record accounts by the first prosecutor from several US-linked vectors (ambassadors, as well as, Joe) that the investigation of Burisma had to be handled with "white gloves" or "kid gloves" (which was taken to mean to drop it), and that he was expressly told that he had to drop it by the President because the US demanded it.  It's an interesting re-direct to point to the prosecutor's own corruption, which was endemic in the Ukraine, as somehow an excuse - when literally everyone knew that Burisma was itself owned by a massively corrupt Ukrainian businessman and literally was exploiting government resources on a corrupt basis.

I mean the logic is really wonky.  Unless you're asserting that Burisma is legit (which, as far as I can tell, no one on earth believes), why would you ask/demand any prosecutor, even a corrupt one, drop a investigation of it?  And then condition US aid on it (which appeared to be the initial request, as the President told the Prosecutor to drop that specific investigation, and then later fired him under pressure).  If Burisma was dirty dropping that investigation should have been no part of a request.  Asking for it to be conducted fairly - totally fine (and you'll note (or more literally you won't note cause we only see things in partisan ways) in the Trump transcript they literally talked about conducting fair investigations).

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Every source I've seen has indicated pretty much all of Europe, the state department, and the intelligence community wanted this prosecutor gone. But I'm sure Biden has the kind of influence to get everyone on the same page just to protect the cushy job his son got in Ukraine.

It's actually tough to find good sources (ie those not corrupted by a current writer, writing either to support or attack the President).  Here's one I found that seems good http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/12/30/corruption-in-ukraine-is-so-bad-a-nigerian-prince-would-be-embarrassed-2/.

You can see that item number 1 on the list is to replace Shokin, but the entire write up is about endemic corruption by the government that the US effectively installed.  Shokin looks more like a figure head in this than the core problem.  I think it's most fair to say the push was to end systematic corruption, and that they felt they needed a face at the top that made that a priority rather than was part of the system.

By the way, on that backdrop, it almost makes it a certainty that Shokin is telling the truth about how this was communicated to him.  That's the world they live in with oligarch's making demands or getting favors and Joe's personal involvement would have certainly been interpreted through that world view.

It's also interesting that in the 10 comments from back then, they already flagged out Joe and Hunter as being part of the corruption from Hunter's position at Burisma.

So, it is legit that Shokin's removal was desired, but it looks more like it was a means to an end, that they wanted a systematic ending of the Ukrainian corruption (or would one could look at it to mean that they wanted that corruption to protect rather than undermine EU/US interests if you're cynical - again, that's almost certainly how the Ukrainian oligarch's would have heard it based on their world view).

43
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 09:54:56 AM »
I'm more fascinated by the largely unreported and massive jump in middle class incomes under Trump.  Middle class family incomes are up almost $5k - that's a friggin huge difference in the life of most of the country (and lest you think the poor are left behind, their income is also massively up).  Most of the benefits to the poor and middle class have been openly lied about by the media/left (is there a difference?) to the point where people don't even believe their own eyes.

And yoss, I'm laughing at you.  Massive "stimulus" and Obama government can save us policies did very little AND doubled the debt.  Trump's policies, whether you want to call them a stimulus (which is a 1984'esque battle of redefining words bit of propaganda) have in fact had massive economic gains.  Id be willing to bet that we could cut government spending and the deficit and keep the gains, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and and ask your representatives to support spending cuts and we'll find out.

44
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 07, 2019, 04:02:52 PM »
Seriati, you're divorcing your argument from the facts. Let's start here:

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However, when you have a whistle blower report that didn't hear the statement, and the statement itself is available and contradicts the whistle blower it undermines the evidentiary value.

The "statement" meaning the call summary IS consistent with the WB report.

Cite to me the quid pro quo the whistle blower alleges in the call summary.  What you can't?  Thought you just said they were consistent?

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You're also apparently ignoring the text messages that corroborate and bolster the quid pro quo angle.

You mean the text messages where the US ambassador to the EU expressly stated that Trump was crystal clear that their would be no quid pro quo?  Lol.

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Although it's not required for there to be a quid pro quo regardless. Just asking a foreign country to open an investigation into your political opponent when there's no national interest involved in that request is an impeachable abuse of office.

Lol, what's your basis for the conclusion that asking for an investigation of a crime is an impeachable offense?

And how do you walk that back from the Democratic Senators that wrote a letter with an express quid pro quo to the Ukraine threatening them unless they investigate Trump?  Or heck, with the Obama admin seeking out and actually recieving political dirt from the Ukraine on Paul Manafort to support their illegal spying operation during the campaign, that morphed into an actual criminal prosecution of Manafort?

There is no law, or principal of law, that bars investigating crimes committed by your opponents.  Or should we say put NY prosecutor Vance in jail for his investigation of the Stormy Daniels payments, wherein he's demanding 8 years of Trump's tax returns (odd coincidence)?

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Your denials and obfuscations are right in line with the ones Hannity and others are using, so perhaps you are mistaking their advocacy for reality.

So my "denials" consist of acknowledging the factual statement that the transcript doesn't show a quid pro quo and that the whistleblower misrepresented that (or just lied about it).

My "obfuscations" consist largely of pointing out that investigation of criminal acts by a former vice president are actually properly the duty of the DOJ and the administration to investigate - who else do you think would handle that investigation?  Or pointing out that you seem to have a problem with Presidential immunity, but to be asserting a "running against Trump" absolute immunity standard - which is expressly not the standard that the Obama administration used against Trump during the campaign.

Or by pointing out that no part of the Democratic effort here resembles in any way a fair process, or a process that protects Constitutional rights or basic fairness? 

45
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 06:03:15 PM »
LOL, you have to be kidding.  See the defense of Biden.

46
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:55:20 PM »
Is Trump hammering the Fed to lower interest rates to help the American people, or to boost his profits? We can't know.

Why can't we?  You are aware that not only has the EU lowered rates, they have actually put them negative.  Which means banks have to pay interest to the central bank to keep money there, they don't even have room to go lower.  In fact most of the world has been having a pretty hard time economically compared to the US.

The biggest benefit to Trump of lower rates isn't personal, it's the increased power of the economy, which helps him both politically and by benefiting all businesses (and potential customers).

I was reading the other day, that in Obama's 8 years the average income for a middle class family increased by $1000, and in Trump's 3 years, it's up by almost $4000.  I won't stand behind something I read once, but that would be a stunning reality against the fake economic news we are generally sold.

47
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:04:23 PM »
The WB complaint indicated BOTH secondhand and firsthand information, and the ICIG found both claims credible.

Point to which parts were first hand.  Was it just that the whistleblower went to meetings?  Was it something more?  Can't assume it's material, where the whistle blower went out of their way not to attribute anything that is actually criminal or even suspicious to their own direct knowledge.  And again, the "interpretation" they put on thing from "more than 6 officials" turned out to not be supported by the facts.

That means either 6 plus officials didn't say it, or if they did they too didn't have direct knowledge or were misrepresenting the situation.  Kind of like how when an "anonymous source with direct knowledge of the situation" turns out to be completely wrong, it's pretty big undercut to claim that more than 6 people have direct knowledge of something that didn't happen.

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"So what's the crime?"

Come on. You have to know that "High crimes and misdemeanors" was never supposed to map to the criminal code.

That's an unexamined truism.  What "high crimes and misdemeanors" did Congress miss over the last 250 years that are so obvious?  Lol.

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The "high crime and/or misdemeanor" is, at least:
1) Conducting foreign policy for personal benefit

Zero evidence this occurred.  It's totally a shaky claim, but the media is hard selling it, I'll give you that.  It requires that the quid pro quo did in fact happen and that what Trump was doing was improper, neither of which are actually true.

Or I guess, given we're going with "it doesn't need to be an actual crime" this should be retranslated as investigating malfeasance of members of the DNC is a an impermissable act of a politician (except see DNC Senators that did the exact same thing).

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2) Soliciting interference from a foreign country in our domestic politics

Show me where anyone asked the Ukraine to interfere in US politics.  Seriously, show me where.  This is one giant leap of logic that if the Ukraine provides evidence of criminal activity by the Bidens and the US prosecutes them it would be an interference - by law it would not.  Or are you positing that it's illegal for a President's lawyer like Giuliani (or say, Hillary's legal team) to seek out and obtain (or pay for) a foreign government (or UK spy) to provide evidence of a crime (or Russian propaganda that was untrue).  Or should be consider the express and literally equivalent actions of the Obama administration in pressuring and actaully recieving intel from the exact same country during the election, after pressuring them with respect to corruption in their government and after failing to support them as Russian invaded their country?

Oh sorry, forgot rule one, investigating DNC crimes is a high crime and misdemeanor.

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3) Obstructing and interfering with Congressional oversight

Which didn't happen either.  There seems to be a delusion that protecting ones Constitutional rights is obstruction of justice.  See the list I cited above, Congress is subject to the Bill of Rights - it's literally part of the Constitution.  Not to mention, you seem to think that the Executive Branch has no rights under the Constitution, rather than being intended to be CO-EQUAL to and not subservient to Congress.

The House pretending they are conducting an impeachment does not entitle them to ignore the Constitution, a fact most everyone of them Nadler and Biden included has acknowledged (and even screamed and whined about) when the shoe was on the other foot.

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There may be conduct that DOES map to the criminal code, but there doesn't have to be.

I will concede this is true, but it's a gross violation of the oath of office of each member of the House to pretend that political conduct that they dislike is a high crime simply because they dislike it. 

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Yet we'll continue to see people arguing that there's no evidence, no real justification for an investigation. Because they wrote the story in their minds long ago and the evidence before their eyes doesn't matter.

Of course, and we've seen the how the House handles it where they open up their "investigations" literally with statements that the person they are investigating is guilty.  Go back and read Nadler's opening statement in the Lewandoski hearing.  By his statement there's no investigation required, guilt is already a factual matter.  Heck Schiff took it even further, he made up evidence in his opening statement.

But sure, it's the problem of the other side in prejudging the validity of the evidence.  Sigh.

48
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 04:09:50 PM »
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Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?

It really comes down to what is considered "evidence."

Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

Sure is, in fact that's how many investigations start.  However, when you have a whistle blower report that didn't hear the statement, and the statement itself is available and contradicts the whistle blower it undermines the evidentiary value.  When you consider that the IG found that the whistle blower may have a partisan motive that too undermines the account.  Hearsay has to be verified, not undermined, to keep the investigation moving - at least when it's a real investigation, obviously the House DNC doesn't care about anything more than an appearance.

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How about suspicious activity?  Can police question someone (aka investigate) based on suspicious actions?  What constitutes "suspicious?"

Sure can.  Usually "suspicious" is conduct that is atypical and consistent with a crime.  Hanging around a building after dark.  In this case the conduct is "speaking with a foreign leader," which is actually part of the job, "asking for help investigating a crime," which is actually part of the job, "considering if a country is too corrupt to receive aide," which is also part of the job and for which a conversation with the brand new government and an explanation of their actions is perfectly consistent (see specifically, Trump's comment about the Ukrainian President surrounding him with the same people that are known to be corrupt).

you seem to be hanging your hat on Trump asking for any information about the ongoing investigation into the 2016 election interference - which again is legit and totally appropriate - and using the very public example of Biden in connection with ongoing corruption.  Was Trump right about it being an open example of corruption?  There's not enough evidence one way or the other, was it outside of the realm of reasonable beliefs to have?  Not at all.  But those comments even expressly say there's a "lot of talk" about and "Biden went around bragging" about it. 

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It seems pretty obvious to me that the current investigation based on the whistleblower's complaint is based on "evidence."  So it all pretty moot to me.

Nah, Congress isn't doing a real investigation, and certainly couldn't care less about evidence.  All Congress's investigation is based on is politics and a pretext.

49
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 03:48:35 PM »
Quote
Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?
The remains how reasonable suspicion is being defined, how much smoke is required before we get to check it out?

Well there has to be evidence a crime occurred.  But the bigger problem here is, what does it mean to "check it out"?  In this case the "best" form of the argument for a crime is that Trump illegally used his office to obtain something of value in connection with the 2020 campaign (at least according to the Dems and the Whistle Blower).  But there's massive problems with that.  First, the DOJ already looked at it and said there's no campaign finance violation, ipso facto there's no crime.  That's also completely evident from the transcript in question.

I've said it more than once, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PRECEDENT OR LAW that states that true information about crimes someone committed is "something of value" under the law.  You can look at Mueller's write up if you don't believe me, they admitted that even they didn't think they could get there.  It's simply false that obtaining that information is a violation of election laws.

So then what's the crime?  Is it corruption?  A "quid pro quo" of holding up Ukrainian aide for "something of value" to Trump personally?  Problem with that is that Trump never said it and the evidence points to his proxies making it express that there would be no quid pro quo internally.  It's also pretty evident that a big part of the reason Trump released his transcript and the WhistleBlower complaint is that he knows there was no quid pro quo (sounds familiar, kind of like when he knew there was no Russian collusion).

So if there's no election law violation, and no evidence of the quid pro quo, what exactly is the crime that needs investigating?

However, I'm not going to die on that hill, the DOJ could just as easily decide appropriately to conduct an investigation.  Whether or not Trump intended a quid pro quo doesn't control whether or not his proxies tried to arrange for one, and there certainly could be crimes there.  But the big problem is that they literally don't go to Trump without facts that aren't in evidence - ie there's no real smoke.

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Based on how I read most of your comments you set the Bar high for Trump and low for Biden?

Same bar, except in Biden's case we have him bragging about the act on tv that would have been the very and exact act that was corrupt.  He literally demanded as a condition of US aide - expressly, which is what's missing in Trump's record - that a certain prosecutor be fired.  In fact, he told them he was getting on a plane in 6 hours and the billion was effectively going with him.  While his son's company was under investigation by that prosecutor.  That very same prosecutor has gone under oath and made certain statements related to that event that flat out state a corrupt purpose.  Not an anonymous whistleblower, the actual person involved, and actual witnesses of an event that in Biden's own words occurred and that we have video of (not a transcript that DOES NOT SHOW THE EVENT).

Is it possible Biden is innocent, sure, I said as much in my early comments.  Is it possible Trump did something corrupt, that too is possible.  However, based on the records you'd have to not believe in justice to believe that Biden's conduct should not be reviewed, and I personally don't see much to investigate on Trump, but wouldn't stand in the way of a fair investigation (Congress on the other hand is not engaging in any kind of recognizable process, both Nadler's and Schiff's have opened up with statements of guilt of the person they are investigating).

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Questions.
If Biden is guilty does that exonerate Trump?

Nope, Biden's guilt is an independent question.  But the question itself is misleading until you can set out what Trump needs to be "exonerated" from.

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Is President asking another government to investigate a political rival breaking the law.

No.  Which law would it be breaking?  Again, you are aware that under the Constitution the President is in fact the chief law enforcement officer directly charged with this kind of investigation.  Would I be happier if Trump had asked more neutrally for evidence of law breaking?  Sure, if you go back and look he also talked about the Ambassador from the prior admin, which if you do a little digging was massively connecting in the entire manipulation of the Ukranian government.  But pretty much the most public piece was Biden.

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Is the hint of smoke from the transcript of a quid pro quo wink wink enough for a investigation?

What hint of a quid pro quo?  It's not in the transcript, and it appears to have been the express direction from Trump to his staff that there was to be no quid pro quo.

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Are you being honest with yourself. If Obama had made the same call would you demand a investigation?

Why do you think he didn't?  What did he mean about flexibility with Russia after the election?  Who exactly did arrange to obtain dirt from the Ukraine on Manafort during the election?

If you believe this is problematic, why are ignoring the letter the DNC Senators recently sent to the Ukraine threatening to pull the support of the left if they don't investigate Trump?

Again, walk me through the fairly applied process you're running.

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Morally and ethically how do you feel about what Trump said he did?

I actually feel morally and ethically fine about it.  Tactically I wish he'd have more sense than to say things that can be misconstrued.  But there's no crime in asking for evidence of a crime.  Period.  End of story.  Even if the evidence also benefits him.

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Or you know, you could actually establish a President doing something illegal and then investigate

My comment you referred to was about how we were undermining the foundations we say we are standing on.
Trumps go to preemptive/counter punch strategy is effective. It very much confuses things as everyone gets to choose what mud stinking on the wall to point to. Essentially its don't look at me look over their.

Except it's not what happened.  Trump reacted to  - not preempted - what appears to be a set up.  The fact that the establishment keeps miscalculated how he'll react does make me laugh.

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The problem "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail". Trump attacks everything the same way and its should be understandable that some people see this as smoke to be investigate. Trump would be much more effective if he learned that not every *&^% thing is a (*&^ nail

And to the Democrats, everything looks like an impeachable offense.

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 11:46:02 AM »
Generally one starts with evidence of a crime.  How do you think the police do it today?

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