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Messages - DonaldD

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General Comments / Re: A Warning
« on: December 04, 2019, 06:50:56 PM »
My guess is he wants to "agree to disagree" that "petty bureaucrat" is a "single noun" (maybe you meant compound word, but even if so, it's not) or that it means low or mid level bureaucrat (that would be a pretty unique reading, BTW).

General Comments / Re: A Warning
« on: December 03, 2019, 02:43:32 PM »
the large memo should never have been given to the President in the first place.
I wonder how the length of these memos compares to those given to Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush... the impression we're given is that the memos were not unusual in length for what is generally provided to a president, but that something else was different.

For instance, the length of memos eventually had to be whittled down to only a few points, and eventually to a single, lonely point, repeated numerous times through numerous digressions, in order for it to be digested.

Of course, debating the length of the memos is silly, since the information comes directly from the deep state, so it cannot be believed.

General Comments / Re: A Warning
« on: December 03, 2019, 01:26:24 PM »

I don't know about the G6 having issues with this - most G6 countries, with the possible exception of the US, will probably applaud at least the reduction in carbon emissions entailed by replacing even planned coal fired power with less CO2-heavy options.

Now, natural gas is still nowhere near perfect, but reducing China's dependency on coal is hugely important and necessary globally - and not just from the perspective of emissions, but politically; too often we hear the self-serving argument "why should we do anything here about CO2?  Look at China - they pollute way more than we do!" 

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 03, 2019, 06:41:11 AM »
I was trying to separate out the legal side from the ontological, but as you've ignored that I guess we can move on.
I didn't ignore it - I pointed out the basis on which you constructed the argument was incorrect, and I also pointed out that your point was orthogonal to Seriati's attempts to support wmLambert's misstatements.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 03, 2019, 06:36:25 AM »
I do apologize for pointing out your partisanship, though - it is not helpful

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 03, 2019, 06:11:05 AM »
In the matter of a crime you still seem to be implying that there definitely was a crime here, and the issue is just tying it to Trump.
No, on this topic, I was simply pointing out that Seriati misrepresented or misunderstood wmLambert's statement, and continued to do so. No assumption about Trump's guilt was implied, as we were at that point discussing wmLambert's claims concerning the evidence.

I at least hope you can see the difference between Trump's remarks seeming like they might very well be demands being made, conditional on the aid mentioned previously, and between him outright saying "no investigation, no money."
Sure - and that's the difference between absolute certainty and reasonable doubt.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 03, 2019, 12:21:34 AM »
A phone conversation which does not explicitly say what you're saying it implies, which is not at all obviously even implying what you think it does

I get it - in this situation, your partisanship precludes you from understanding the clear meaning of the.words on the call, instead inserting words into Trump's mouth that he never spoke, and in turn meaning that just isn't there.
The presumption of innocence means that there is no crime on the table unless a witness or some other evidence presents to that effect.
No, that's not at all what the presumption of innocence means - it's not that we presume no crime has been committed (although the incontrovertible existence of a crime is a prerequisite of a finding of guilt) it's that we do not attribute the crime to a particular person without achieving a defined level of certainty.

The existence of a homicide can be obvious and self-evident - but we still may not be able to convict a particular person.

So no, that really doesn't explain Seriati's logical failure.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 02, 2019, 08:02:14 PM »
How about you just walk through the testimony that establishes the crime?  And that doesn't include quotes that are undermined by the individual's own later admissions.
Trump's own words are sufficient evidence.  His own words just from the July 25 call are enough.  And if they weren't the call on September 7 put the cherry on top.  The rest of the corroborating evidence, including not just the testimony, and all sorts of Giuliani's inadvertent self incriminations, those are just cream.

I get why you're running away from your misstatements - admitting mistakes can be hard.

But you aren't just running away from your misstatements; you're also now failing to support your other claims.  For instance, please do provide the detailed quotes where "Sondland admitted he made up the quid pro quo".

That should be really easy.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 02, 2019, 05:06:41 PM »
Let me just put the exact quotes side by side so there can be no claim that my "soft quotes of wmLambert aren't terribly accurate"
All those Schiff witnesses came to the conclusion there were no crimes.

Read the transcripts.  You won't find any of them that assert a crime

It's very clear - these two statements are not at all equivalent.

Taylor said he saw no crime
Correct - Taylor's testimony was primarily setting up other witnesses and putting them in context.
Sondland admitted he made up the quid pro quo
A quote and link would be good, so we know from where, exactly, you are interpreting this. 
...and saw no crime
Again - not seeing a crime is not asserting that there was no crime, assuming that the answer to the question was not lawyerly in nature, as well.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: December 02, 2019, 05:01:22 PM »
I think in both cases there wasn't much damage overall, because Trump never got his investigation and never accomplished damaging Biden even if that was his intent.
Metaphorically, I would just point out that there are reasons there are laws against attempted murder and extortion... but practically speaking, Trump's actions very much a) damage US relations internationally, b) affect how other countries respond to your increasingly irrational and inconsistent foreign policy, and even c) support Russian intervention and adventurism in the region.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 02, 2019, 04:43:38 PM »
Because it's a prosecutors job to show a crime, not as seems to be the "new logic" of the left for an accused to "prove their innocence."
Interesting dodge, but a complete non sequitur.  wmLambert made the claim all of the witnesses asserted there was no crime.  You then attempted to support wmLambert's position by claiming that none of the witnesses asserted there was a crime.

Those statements have completely different meanings.  By my pointing that out, I don't need to be making any claim about the necessity to "prove their innocence".  I was just pointing out that you misspoke or, as seems more and more likely, that you simply do not understand basic formal logic.
The witnesses admissions on cross flat out make the case that they did not assert any crime
Correct.  Also true during the majority's questioning.  But irrelevant to wmLambert's claim, which you seemingly still do not understand.
In fact, they failed to establish even the elements of the crime.
That is, I'm finding, more and more subjective.  Trump's words already establish strong evidence of his own crime.  The witnesses provided evidence that there was coordination in the attempts to bribe the Ukrainians in support of Trump's admitted crimes. So yes, they pretty much did establish the elements of the secondary crime, and provided corroboration for Trump's initial crime.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 02, 2019, 03:28:10 PM »
Read the transcripts.  You won't find any of them that assert a crime, and they did pretty much admit to the factual problems on cross.
Not asserting a crime is not at all equivalent to asserting there was no crime.  You should be smart enough to be able to make this distinction, yet you did not. Can you figure out why?

Also... when exactly would a fact witness be expected to make a conclusion of guilt (or innocence)?  That whole meme is a pure red herring.  It's the same reason why Taylor very explicitly expressed that he would NOT make such a conclusion, and why most of the witnesses introduced themselves as "fact witnesses"... so people like you and wmLambert would not take their statements of facts as some kind of conclusion.
And you chose not to quote the cross on quid pro quo, why?
Because it was unnecessary to show that wmLambert was incorrect in making his positive assertion - both about quid pro quo, as well as about impeachment.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 02, 2019, 02:43:56 PM »
Originally Posted by wmLambert:
All those Schiff witnesses came to the conclusion there were no crimes.
Every one of them... "conclusions"? really?  I can't wait to see those quotes...

Specifically, they all said there was no bribery, quid pro quo, threats, nor any other impeachable actions.
No, they did not.

Ambassador Sondland: "Was there a quid pro quo - as I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call, and the White House meeting, the answer is 'yes' "

Ambassador Taylor: "Mr Ratcliffe, I would just like to say that I'm not here to do anything having to do with to... to decide about impeachment, that is not what either of us is here to do, that is your job."

I realize the cross afforded to the GOP panelists was short
Wrong again - the Republicans were granted exactly the same amount of time as were the Democrats.

...but they did get every single witness to admit there was no crime.
Again, quotes, please?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: December 02, 2019, 01:27:58 PM »
ScottF is implying that while you're unwilling to make damaging assumptions about Biden's unstated intentions
I suppose one can claim something is unstated forever, if one ignores or doesn't look for those statements.

Biden wasn't just on the record as calling for an overhaul of the Office of the General Prosecutor in 2015 - he was on record as doing so directly to the Ukrainian legislature.

And it’s not enough to set up a new anti-corruption bureau and establish a special prosecutor fighting corruption.  The Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform.  The judiciary should be overhauled.  The energy sector needs to be competitive, ruled by market principles -- not sweetheart deals.
Seriously, it is stated here over and over, links are provided supporting the multi-national aspect of the efforts to reduce corruption in Ukraine, links are provided to Biden's and the US governments position in 2015, yet somehow, no matter how often these points are raised, there are people here who continue to throw up their hands and claim "How could we possibly know?  Biden's intentions were unstated."

As just one example, immediately after being shown documentary evidence from 2015 that Shokin was impeding the investigation, where both the UK and US take exception with Shoking, cherry was able to write this:
The more obvious one for people who may be more jaded and less trusting is that it is exactly what it looks like. The guy investigated a company Joe's son worked at and got fired for it.
And also
The timeline Lambert laid out was something I hadn't seen in the media.
... and that immediately following two posts showing that wmLambert misrepresented the contents of the links he posted.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: December 02, 2019, 12:41:07 PM »
What do you make of it Cherry?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: December 02, 2019, 11:59:15 AM »
Wow... just wow - the very first link actually states the exact opposite of your claim
The Ukraine timeline:

Dec. 8, 2015

The New York Times publishes article stating Prosecutor General Shokin’s office is investigating Burisma Holdings and its founder Zlochecvsky, and that Hunter Biden’s participation on Burisma board is undercutting Joe Biden’s anticorruption message in Ukraine. VP Biden office quoted in story.


From the link:
But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets.  The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.


Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him.
So, Shokin's office was impeding the UK investigations, and actually confirmed to Zlochevsky that there was in fact no case against him.

Seriously... were you expecting people not to read your links?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine Timeline
« on: December 01, 2019, 11:25:23 PM »
Oh, stop already. Any lives lost can be laid at the feet of Obama
Don't be foolish. Of course Obama killed Ukrainians - he was literally the anti-christ, after all. What Trump's actions have done is led to additional deaths, on top of those caused by the anti-christ.

One does not preclude the other.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: December 01, 2019, 11:06:42 PM »
Why is there so little mention that The Ukraine was investigating Burisma when Biden wanted the Prosecutor fired
Because it's completely counter factual, and knowingly doing so would be lying?

If you had bothered to check, you would see that the then prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, refused to investigate Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, even though investigations had been opened into them prior to Shokin's acceptance of the position. It was only after Shokin was replaced that those investigations were reopened. In fact, Biden is on the record during Shokin's tenure as decrying Shokin's inaction on corruption.

General Comments / Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« on: December 01, 2019, 08:39:39 AM »
I think there might be a compelling case in this instance for SCotUS to put a curb on that to the extent that only the Senate can do that when it comes to impeachment proceedings.
The courts have already weighed in on the conflict between privilege and oversight, and although there could be tweeks to the balance between the branches, there is no chance the court would fly in the face of previous jurisprudence to this extent and so radically intrude into the separation debate.

But then, this comes down to politics again, because I'm still not convinced that what the Dems have uncovered to date warrants impeachment.
Whether something warrants impeachment to one person is if course purely subjective, but notwithstanding the particular echo chamber of this thread, what Trump did just on the July 25 phone call would almost certainly be enough to get him convicted of bribery in criminal court.

That's aside from all the corroborating witnesses and the refusals to testify by members of the administration - this not being a criminal proceeding, but rather a political one, there's nothing stopping Congress from interpreting what such refusals likely mean, nor even from interpreting what Trump's directives for his people not to appear might mean.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 04:42:36 PM »
Here is a little thought experiment: in what way would it be acceptable for Trump to have pressured Zelensky to announce, on CNN, an investigation into your spouse, parent or child?  And I mean literally, would it be OK for the president to bring up that person who is now retired (possibly) or who is now working in mid-level management at a marketing firm and is currently driving your child to soccer practice, or maybe your college aged son who plays varsity badminton, would it be OK for Trump to pressure Zelensky to announce a criminal investigation into them based on social media posts?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 04:07:32 PM »
You keep asking the same question, and you keep getting the same answer: the Bidens could absolutely be investigated.  The president could even announce the investigation.  But with those actions come possible repercussions.  You seem to believe, by your refusal to accept this answer, that the president should never suffer repercussions for bad or even illegal decisions.

Isn't this like saying "sure you could do it, but I'll shoot you if you do"? That's not really saying it's ok to do it, just the person will be impeached if he does it. That pretty much means it's unacceptable, doesn't it?
Ummm... no.

That's like saying, sure, you could shoot that person, but if he was naked at the time and already lying down on the floor, you had better have a good rationale, and preferably corroborating evidence for having done so.  Otherwise, you might get investigated.

Do you see how straw man arguments work?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 03:49:17 PM »

It wasn't lost, although I'm sorry I didn't reply earlier to this particular point. Here's an excerpt from an early part of the phone conversation, prior to Trump asking for a favor:

ZELENSKYY: [...] I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.
TRUMP: (laughter) That's a very good idea. I think your country is happy about that.
ZELENSKYY: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.

So early on in the call, basically during the mutual congratulations, Zelenskyy is already bringing up government corruption and making it clear that it's his intent to clean it up. The praise to Trump aside, the order of the conversation is about:

1) Congrats (pgs 1-2)
2) Ukraine wants to clean up corruption, i.e. drain the swamp (pg 2)
3) Europe needs to do better for Ukraine, and Ukraine needs to do better for the U.S. (end of pg 2)
4) Specific elements in the Ukraine to investigate (pg 3)
5) Burisma and the Bidens (pgs 3-4)
6) Establishing regular lines of communication between Ukraine and Trump's admin (pgs. 4-5)

So yes, not all of the conversation is about corruption, and Trump himself only brings up 3 examples himself, and as you say refrains from naming corruption as a general topic, restricting himself to three specific issues. It was Zelenskyy himself, earlier, who brought up corruption as a general issue. I suppose it's debatable whether his mention of that bespeaks earlier conversations they had about draining the swamp in Ukraine, but one thing we can know with relative certainty is that a country like that (especially in the turmoil it had) was probably a corrupt cesspool by Western standards. It should come as no surprise that the two of them had been previously talking about that subject (as Zelenskyy intimates), although in this call it's true that Trump focuses only on three issues. I suppose you can make of that what you will.
Suggesting that president Zelensky is talking specifically about corruption, and not simply stroking Trump's ego, is a bit generous.  Especially since he goes on to finish that statement with "You are a great teacher for us and in that."

Teaching them what - to hire people who then get indicted, convicted and thrown in jail?  To threaten to throw former and future political opponents in jail?

But OK, it is possible, even likely, that Zelensky's statement is at least a little about corruption.  But there is nothing in Trump's statements that suggest he is responding to some kind of implicit reference to corruption. Why?

Well, your summary/list is more than a little misleading, in that you bundle a back and forth between the two presidents in a single bullet (#3) making #2 and #4 somewhat less disconnected.

Trump's response to the replacing old politicians with atypical politicians (not specifically anti-corrupt politicians, BTW) is actually as follows: "Well, it's very nice of you to say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and time.  Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very good to Ukraine.  I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very good to Ukraine."

So many words in response to Zelensky's statement, and nothing whatsoever to do with corruption (or Burisma - you remember when you claimed that Trump mentioned Burisma specifically?)

It's not even clear that Trump heard what Zelensky said, aside from "general sucking up".  He certainly says nothing whatsoever taking Zelensky up on the topic of implied corruption (actually, quite the opposite - Trump initiates a discussion about what Ukraine could do for the US... how Ukraine actually basically owes the US something...)

It's only after Zelensky talks about the Europeans, then his Russian problems, then when Zelensky brings up military aid that Trump talks about... the "favor".  Several minutes, and hundreds of words after a debatable implied reference to corruption by the Zelensky, but coincidentally, immediately after Zelensky brings up military aid to Ukraine...  Come on, I know you can see this, even if you cannot admit it. 

What seems most likely, though, is that Trump was simply working off a script - given the awkward, almost non-sequitur responses:
1. General glad-handing and intros
2. Tell Zelensky his countries is indebted to the US (but probably not using the words "indebted to")
3. Tell Zelensky how he can pay back Ukraine's debts to the US
4. Offer Zelensky the assistance of Giuliani and Barr in setting things right
5. Sign off

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 03:07:15 PM »
Right, but let's say (as cherrypoptart suggested) this is really the only way to get traction on something like this with the Ukraine. That means there simply should be no investigation?
You keep asking the same question, and you keep getting the same answer: the Bidens could absolutely be investigated.  The president could even announce the investigation.  But with those actions come possible repercussions.  You seem to believe, by your refusal to accept this answer, that the president should never suffer repercussions for bad or even illegal decisions.

Let's put this another way... the president of the United States is the president of all US citizens.  His first responsibility is to them.  For the president to choose to outsource the investigation of a US citizen to a foreign country, he has to have, at the very least, information that would lead him to believe that his responsibility to that citizen should be overridden.

Secondly, if that citizen happens to be a political opponent, the bar is raised even further.

If the president cannot show information that meets this somewhat subjective bar - but realistically, that bar should be set as probable cause if you are going to have a foreign leader name somebody under your protection, and especially a political opponent, in a criminal investigation - if probable cause cannot be readily shown, then forcing a foreign leader to name that political opponent is reckless, irresponsible, probably illegal and very likely to cause blowback.

Let's be honest here: the president has never had any significant amount of information that would lead anybody to believe there was 'probably' a criminal act perpetrated by either Biden.  There have been rumours and conspiracy theories and innuendo bandied about on social media, but nothing brought to him by any serious investigative arm of the US government. It's not a coincidence that, a day after Trump announced the release of the military aid to Ukraine, president Zelensky cancelled his scheduled interview on CNN.


General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 01:26:22 PM »
that having Ukraine specifically investigate the Bidens for corruption (as opposed to having Ukraine investigate corruption more generally) benefits the USA;

Are you deliberately misstating facts here, or...? The call was literally about Ukraine generally cleaning up corruption. It's true that the three instances of it Trump named specifically in the call were Crowdstrike, Mueller, and Burisma, and no doubt that's because they were all recent events regarding the 2016 election and thus fresh in everyone's mind. Now I suppose you could theorize that Trump only wanted these three things investigated, but what he actually said on the call was to clean up the corruption in the Ukraine.
OK, I just noticed this, and it goes a ways to explaining the current misunderstanding. 

You really need to actually read  the memo itself.

Nowhere in the call does anybody, including Trump, use either the word "corruption" or the word "Burisma". The "favor" Trump asks for very specifically names first Crowdstrike, then Mueller, then, after a response from Zelensky, both of the Biden's (Joe, twice). Trump's favors make no mention of either corruption, especially not "generally" nor of Burisma.

Now Zelensky, at the beginning of the call, does mention "draining the swamp", but his wording refers to replacing old guard politicians and bureaucrats - not opening investigations into corruption.   And nowhere does Trump follow up on that point.

So no, I did not misstate facts as you suggested, and I won't suggest that you were lying yourself when you misspoke.

But does the fact that Trump in no way suggested cooperating on generalized corruption in this call, but exclusively requested investigations into domestic political affairs that affected him directly, does that not now give you pause?
It seems like this may have gotten lost - Fenring, you seemed to have misread the memo substantively - given that the call was not "literally" (or otherwise) about "generally cleaning up corruption" (nor even about Burisma) as you thought, but was specifically about the Ukraine investigating the Bidens, does that new information not change your analysis of the situation at all?

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 01:18:30 PM »
And then there was this:
You seem to be conflating the request for an investigation with the request that there be a public announcement of it.
No.  I have kept those actions of the president completely separate.  I will repeat - there is simply no way that pressuring the Ukrainian president to immediately announce an investigation into the Bidens is anything but wrong.  Pressuring the Ukrainians to actually investigate the Bidens is almost certainly also a bad idea, although there could theoretically be ways to do so without looking and being corrupt.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 01:11:28 PM »
This is starting to sound again like the 'Biden can't be named because he's a candidate' thing.
No, I've said many times that Biden could be named.  He could be named when charges are being laid by prosecutors (very safe).  He could be named as part of search warrants (safe).  He could even be named without any credible evidence against him by his political opponent (really, really unsafe).

My point about Trump naming Biden (or worse, having a foreign leader do so at his bidding) is that the president is putting himself, his position, and the position of the country, at risk.  Why?  Because there is a real risk that it will be seen as the president using the office of president and the moral authority of the country to attack his political opponent, and to involve foreign countries in a domestic political attack.  Unless it is a slam dunk with credible, verifiable and sufficient evidence already available and ready for public consumption, then the risk of all of the above is simply too great.  And THAT is why the president should stay away from these types of actions.

If the president thinks the only way to bring Biden to justice is to personally involve himself with naming the subject of the investigation, then that should be a red flag for him.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 11:29:21 AM »
It could also be that Trump and company "probably understood/read the situation" based on past experience, and that is why they went about it the way they did.
If past experience is anything to go by, if the daily stormer or breitbart tweeted that the moon was made out of cheese, Trump would probably invest in cheddar futures and initiate a new moon program.  That is, after all, the amount of investigation that went into the Burisma affair, after all is said and done.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 29, 2019, 11:26:08 AM »
I must admit I'm baffled. Are you declining to believe anything I write, and instead deciding my questions mean something other than what I outright say they mean?
Not at all - I said a) that there were multiple questions, and statements that were not actually questions (so the whole post could not be "a question", by definition, and b) I wrote that the questions "read as rhetorical" not that you intended them as such.

That being said, I did answer several of the questions, regardless.
It's been pretty clear you think that Trump did it wrong. What I wanted to know is how you think it should have been done right.
I guess what you are not getting is that sometimes, there is no "right" way to do something.  What is the "right" way to embezzle?  What is the "right" way argue that blacks are inferior to other races? And of course, it also depends on what you meant by "it".  There really is no "right" way for the president to 'request' a foreign leader to announce investigations into a political opponent.

Now, is there a "right" way for the US to investigate former vice presidents' and their offspring for malfeasance?  Yes, of course.  The right way would be, top down, to set policy in such a way as to prioritize resources in certain areas; for those policies to lead to specific investigations, which might then find evidence of malfeasance by certain parties, some of which might or might not be former VPs and their offspring; and for the departments responsible for investigating crimes to follow up on the evidence, and eventually, if found, to provide the evidence to the respective parties in charge of prosecution.  Oh, that does not have the effect of immediately tarnishing the reputation of one's opponent?  Or more benignly, that doesn't get the criminally-involved opponent charged prior to the next election cycle?  That's really unfortunate.

But starting off with the president naming a political opponent as the subject of investigation as the very first step?  The reason why that is stupid is because it leads directly to situations like the current: the president himself being investigated for urging foreign parties to interfere with US elections (or more generally, with the president being investigated for using the office itself to politically assassinate opponents.)

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 27, 2019, 08:28:17 PM »
He's stuck in a double-think trap. Basically by "ducks in a row" he means
TheDaemon, why do you continue to bring the stupid?  Hint - don't try to guess what I mean, because every time you do put words into my mouth, you miss the mark in such obvious ways as to embarrass yourself.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 27, 2019, 04:31:05 PM »
Fenring, your post was not entirely "a question", and those parts that were questions read as rhetorical (especially the ones where you highlighted the important bits, or where you went on to answer them yourself.)

But as to the "how"?  The one obvious thing NOT to do is to "ask" (maybe, make him an offer he can't refuse...) a foreign leader to publicly announce the investigation into a named political opponent based on nothing but Twitter suspicions.  This is so obvious I continue to be baffled that you continue to miss it. What if those suspicions were wrong?  And this is where the ducks in a row come in - if you make an unfounded, defamatory claim about something, you are responsible.  Not being able to first investigate sufficiently to disprove the defamatory statement is not a defence of the statement - it is a reason not to make it in the first place.

Trump had no need for the investigation to be announced whatsoever.  If the investigation bore fruit, then one or the other Biden would be brought up on charges, and justice would be served.  But forcing an announcement based on the flimsiest of suspicions is simply irresponsible, and might even be illegal if not provably well-founded.

The challenge with requesting an investigation is almost as fraught: in that in all likelihood, the fact of the investigation (or worse, you requesting it) is almost certain to also come to light.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 27, 2019, 03:54:08 PM »
We're talking about potential corruption happening in a wack country where all kinds of stuff goes down.
Um, OK...  your whole post reads as an apologia to requesting an investigation of anybody in that country, regardless of evidence.

I'm sure that's not what you meant, but the only substantive thing you wrote was about the country being "wack'.  The rest is rationalization.

So yes, requesting that one's opponent be named publicly on CNN as being investigated? That's something that requires more than just a "I read something somebody wrote on twitter, about things for which I have seen no evidence, but it might be true because it fits into my world-view, so..."  If that's all one's got, and one strong-arms a foreign leader to announce publicly the opening of an investigation at one's behest, then yes, it really sucks to be... someone.

To put it another way - if you make a claim that in any other instance would be defamatory (if untrue), and you convince someone, in this case a foreign leader, to make that statement at your behest, and you cannot even minimally support that statement, then you are, unfortunately, responsible.  The stakes get much higher, of course, when the person you are potentially defaming is a political opponent, the person you are convincing to spread the defamatory remarks is a foreigner, and the defamation could be reasonably shown to benefit oneself in an upcoming election.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 27, 2019, 03:17:14 PM »
I haven't heard a satisfactory answer yet of an alternative for those who say that Trump shouldn't be allowed to investigate a political opponent who allegedly did something wrong in the past.
Well, it's a good thing I have not suggested that Trump shouldn't be allowed to do so... Of course, I have suggested that if investigating a political opponent, you had better have all your ducks in a row... and if you don't, and if it becomes clear that you should have known that you didn't (or worse, that you knew there wasn't cause) then cry me a river, but you'll be forced to take responsibility.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 27, 2019, 02:29:37 PM »
You are on the wrong side of this debate on facts, and on principle
Well, if you think so, then I must be on the right track...

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 27, 2019, 06:35:38 AM »
So, to paraphrase: "Giuliani? Good guy - not doing anything re Ukraine that I know of..."
Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.
And then there's Sondland, who has a line to reach Trump (and which the president actually answers)
I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much... This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy, though
It must be difficult, being the president and having to accept cell phone calls from so many complete strangers...

What's sad is that his fan boys actually buy into this BS

General Comments / Re: Deplatforming
« on: November 26, 2019, 02:02:41 PM »
Bloomberg (the media company) has an editorial policy of not investigating Bloomberg (the man).

Bloomberg (the company) in order not to unfairly benefit Bloomberg (the democratic candidate for president) will also avoid investigating (giving negative coverage?) to the other democratic candidates.

Bloomberg (the company) would have been better served to go the other way - and allow itself to investigate the man.

General Comments / Re: The smell test
« on: November 26, 2019, 10:13:54 AM »
Can we also get a list of every business deal, property sold by Trump inc over the last 3 years? I wonder if there are any more properties sold at inflated values to foreign nationals or properties rife with people buying them to launder money.
This has literally nothing to do with Burisma, or the specifics of the Biden situation.

I suppose you could bring up any number of other people who had been appointed to boards of directors based on name recognition only, and that doing so is common and rarely if ever worthy of mention, or that Biden's situation is only being brought up because it is convenient, but that's not clearly what you are doing, here.

General Comments / Re: Ilhan Omar - foreign agent
« on: November 26, 2019, 10:07:37 AM »
You know what there hasn't been on Ornery for a while... a thread about overt racism.  Could be time

General Comments / Re: The smell test
« on: November 26, 2019, 08:10:30 AM »
Joe Biden confessed to having the prosecutor investigating Hunter’s company fired, Joe bragged about it in an interview.
"Confessed" is an interesting word - it shows your essential blind spot on this topic, your inability to actually process the facts.  One of which is that Burisma was no longer being investigated during Shokin's term; another of which is that Burisma began to be investigated again following Shokin's ouster... you know, that darned timeline that "doesn't mean much" to cherry, either.

If you simply ignore inconvenient facts, you can convince yourself of just about anything.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine Timeline
« on: November 26, 2019, 07:53:57 AM »
It should be pointed out that to my understanding, May 2019 wasn't a mandated "send by" date for that money. That deadline was at the end of September.
This misses the point: Ukrainian soldiers have been fighting Russian backed insurgents this whole time, and every day the military aid was held back, was another day in which Ukraine could not use that money to bolster its military... it is almost a certainty that Ukrainian military people who otherwise would not have died have now died and will continue to do so as a result of the US aid being delayed. Not to mention the effect of emboldening Russia in general as a result of seeing how the US can no longer be trusted by its allies.

General Comments / Re: The smell test
« on: November 26, 2019, 07:28:44 AM »
We get it - facts don't matter, and self serving, after-the-fact statements carry the same weight as historical documentation.  That's why people point to Trump telling Sondland "I don't want 'quid pro quo'" after getting caught, and that somehow carries more weight with them than a number of career diplomats and bureaucrats, in sworn testimony, laying out a months-long campaign of, well, attempted quid pro quo.

General Comments / Re: The smell test
« on: November 26, 2019, 06:51:11 AM »
didn't the fired prosecutor publicly assert that he was told he was fired ... because he was looking into Burista and Hunter?
Cherry, it takes just a couple of minutes to find plenty of evidence suggesting Shokin's statement was a self-serving lie. Why do you do this? Why not question things like this that hew too closely to your preferred narrative?

General Comments / Re: The smell test
« on: November 25, 2019, 05:48:35 PM »
No whistleblower, fake or otherwise. No insider confession. No clandestine meeting. No phone calls. No tweets. Just a "this looks bad" and away we go.
Clearly, Graham was using shorthand ("smell test") to refer to other evidence already in the public domain, with which everybody who is interested is already aware... so what is that evidence?

General Comments / Re: In any other administration...
« on: November 25, 2019, 03:12:07 PM »
The other way to think about it is how bad an actor does a charity have to be in order for Chick-Fil-A to drop you... And blaming the powerful left on Chick-Fil-A's decision is silly - the year following the same sex marriage decision and the whole Chick-Fil-A controversy attempts to boycott, etc., (2012), the company reported a year-over-year increase in sales of 12 percent.  At the same time, the company had a favorability rating of upwards of 60% and an unfavorable of less than 20%.

But what does Chick-Fil-A itself have to say?  This paraphrase is from Wikipedia:
In an interview with Bisnow in 2019, Chick-fil-A President Tim Tassopoulos said the company will stop donating to charities with anti-LGBT views.[33] The company will instead donate to charities focused on education, homelessness and hunger.[33][34] These new organizations could include both faith-based and non-faith-based charities, but the company said none of the organizations have anti-LGBT positions.
Maybe, just maybe, the company has come around to the idea that it shouldn't be supporting groups with hate-based policies.  Note that you can be against same-sex marriage with having anti-LGBTQ policies.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 25, 2019, 08:26:02 AM »
Why would a foreign national have to be involved for it to be bribery?
I wasn't talking about the bribery... In practice, "bribery" isn't inherently bad, except when used to support a "bad" end: for instance, if Trump was soliciting election aid from a foreign national as has been pretty well documented, the bribery makes it worse, but isn't the primary bad act.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 11:04:27 PM »

these are the same guys who make all kinds of other claims that tend to end up unproven or unsubstantiated in the end. Iraqi weapons of mass destruction anyone?
Actually, no: the people who evaluate foreign weapons capabilities are completely different than those people analyzing Russia's cyber attacks.  Not to mention, that was 20 years ago, so even the people involved in weapons evaluation today are different.

Plus you are glossing over the fact that the Bush administration misrepresented the intelligence provided, ignoring dissenting points therein.  Laying that fiasco primarily at the feet of the intelligence services is a little disingenuous.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 10:43:58 PM »
I believe Seratil already did so earlier in this thread in regards to the origins of what culminated in the Mueller Investigation.
Seriati "already did so" what, exactly?  Brought up an example of somebody soliciting or receiving something of value from a foreign national in connection with an election?

If he did, that has nothing to do with the example of the New York AG, which remains a classic example of whataboutism as pertains to the Trump discussion.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 05:34:47 PM »
Since TheDaemon hasn't brought up an example of anybody soliciting or receiving anything of value from a foreign national in connection with an election, and that is the basis of Trump's current problems, bringing up the New York AG, who has not been accused by anybody of dealing with foreign nationals, is pretty straightforward whataboutism.  Especially since, as LR and I have now argued, the New York AG actually does have plenty of evidence to drive forward state level charges.

If you're going to insert yourself at the end of a debate, you should really do so without immediately throwing around insults, and being at least slightly relevant to be topic.

For instance, I'm sure you could have added something of value to the dual sovereignty / double jeapardy discussion, or to the issue of soliciting foreign assistance related to elections... instead of being the angry/insulting guy who acts all whingy and butt-hurt when somebody calls you out for being irrelevant and rude.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 04:21:06 PM »
Crunch, you've just illustrated that you are incapable of reading and comprehending even the very first word of my response to you, even though that word contains just two letters, and it's a word even you are almost certain to have come into contact with at some point in your life.

General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 04:17:38 PM »
Whataboutism is bringing up the New York AG when one cannot find a way to defend Trump's actions anymore, in the hopes of distracting from the topic at hand Pete.

It has nothing to do with your urge to sling insulting language at everybody you disagree with.

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