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Messages - DonaldD

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51
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 10:48:08 AM »
No. Try again, but this time, read. Think. Understand.

52
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 10:03:18 AM »
Read the two posts again, and this time at least try to understand what was written.

53
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 24, 2019, 06:29:27 AM »
Ah, whataboutism... It does allow people to feel better when they otherwise have no recourse.

As an aside, "[refusal] to prosecute" does not imply that an allegation has been "discredited" - especially not when the department doing the investigation comes under the authority of the party being investigated. Also, if there was no prosecution, double jeapardy does not come into play whatsoever - and that's notwithstanding that federal and state law and legal systems are independent of each other (dual sovereignty) as is civil or tort law.

So as LR stated, a conviction in a federal case, depending on the jurisdictions where the alleged activities occured and on the jurisdictions affected, could very well establish pretty solid grounds for a state investigation.

And an abandoned federal investigation may very well lay the groundwork for, and provide a solid rationale for, a state investigation.

I haven't delved into this particular situation, but it would seem that there may be a number of pretty solid reasons to support state level investigations, especially in the case where Trump lost in federal court.


54
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 23, 2019, 10:21:21 PM »
Excellent.  Is there a point to that - are you suggesting both she and Trump should be removed from office?

55
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 23, 2019, 05:44:34 PM »
If the New York AG announces investigations into anybody without first having any credible evidence, then the New York AG should be out of a job.  Why is this even a question?

56
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 23, 2019, 02:10:10 PM »
Quote
More properly framed, he seems to think it is perfectly okay for the various States Attorney General to announce they're going to investigate members of the opposing party on little or no evidence.
Don't pretend to be that idiotic.  I never said or even suggested that.  Any AG who announces an investigation into a political opponent had better first have some well substantiated evidence. Otherwise, they'd better be prepared to reap the whirlwind.

57
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 23, 2019, 11:56:59 AM »
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?

58
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 23, 2019, 08:25:43 AM »
Quote
I don't understand this term "involving". Since when did that become a dirty word?
Congratulations.  You've managed to ignore the complete substance of the argument, and are now focusing on a single word, completely out of context, in a sentence that simply references multiple posts each of which included multiple points. (note the "in this escapade" clause.)

But to answer your question: when "involving" involves asking a foreign country's leader to announce an investigation into one's own domestic political opponents, one risks breaking federal US law since It's illegal for anyone to solicit or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the US. Not to mention all the other things I mentioned in those earlier posts.

Oh, and I really hope you were being disingenuous when you claimed not to know that "Burisma" meant "the Biden's"...

59
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 09:58:31 PM »
TheDaemon, you can't just take the most consequential part of the argument out and expect it to still make sense.

Trump involving a foreign government in this escapade is the crux of the matter as I described above.  In addition to that, there is the whole accepting foreign assistance in a domestic political campaign too.

Even putting that aside, though... any AG who willy nilly advertised investigations into people who who had not yet been investigated at all would be an AG who would shortly be out of a job, as that state and the AG would be sued successfully for many millions of dollars.

60
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 06:00:32 PM »
Quote
Wait, by this standard, shouldn't a number of Attorney Generals be undergoing impeachment proceedings in their respective states? New York in particular comes to mind.
You're saying that the New York AG asks foreign countries' presidents to announce publicly investigations into their political rivals without having done any investigation into the charges?  Or are you suggesting the AGs ask other states' governors to do so?  Really?

61
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 05:13:52 PM »
Quote
Trump going after a political opponent is not any kind of problem - not even doing so with foreign help - if it's to help rid America of corruption.
There are a few assumptions being made here: that having Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens in any way benefits the USA; that having Ukraine specifically investigate the Bidens for corruption (as opposed to having Ukraine investigate corruption more generally) benefits the USA; that once found out, outsourcing the investigations of political opponents to foreign countries has no observable cost to the perception of the USA itself as not being corrupt, especially prior to the completion of those investigations.  These assumptions are incorrect.

Of course, partisans believe as a matter of faith that the Bidens are guilty, I get that; and for seemingly very many folks, the ends in this case justify the means.
Quote
Ah, but they're coming from the position that the Bidens are completely innocent of any and all possible wrong doing, and the "bribe" Trump was asking for wasn't for an investigation per say, but rather Trump was actually asking them to create evidence to justify a prosecution of Hunter Biden.
The internet is a big place, and I suppose somebody somewhere believes this, but it's rather hard to breathe through all this straw.  Trump very possibly believes the conspiracy theories concerning Joe and Hunter Biden and Ukraine.  I personally think he does believe that the Ukraine was somehow involved in working against his election, to the exclusion of the Russians being involved (notwithstanding everything the US intelligence agencies have been telling him for 3 years). But Trump's problem is NOT that he was asking anybody to "create" evidence - the Bidens' guilt, or otherwise, is irrelevant (although from a technical perspective, they are innocent until proven guilty, so the head of the branch responsible for the justice department should really tread carefully in assuming their guilt); it's that he was asking a foreign government to publicly name them as suspects before any significant amount of investigation had occurred.  Even ignoring the immediate political effects, this puts the government of an allied country in the position of deciding whether to be seen to be meddling in US politics, at the risk of alienating what might be the next government of the USA.  It's transparently wrong on so many levels.

62
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 04:06:03 PM »
Quote
the main thing under that definition is "bribery", which is exactly what Trump is being accused of.
Not quite - the bribery certainly is one aspect of his abuse of power, but without him targeting his domestic political opponents, there would be no issue with the bribery... for instance, Trump could have "bribed" Zelensky to provide more intelligence cooperation with the CIA, or with committing to use a specific % of the military aid to be spent on US suppliers, or with opening up particular markets to US industry, or any other of a number of things that would have benefited the country instead of himself... and that would not have been an issue, never mind impeachable, never mid illegal.

63
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 03:16:00 PM »
Fenring:
Quote
dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
Neither "dishonest" nor "fraudulent" necessitate illegality.  Even "bribery" is not necessarily illegal... and this is generally understood.  How do we know this?  Because many people, legislators in fact, are making the claim that the "quid pro quo" that Trump engaged in, i.e., that bribery, was skeevy, it was untoward, but it is not considered "impeachable" (not that impeachment even necessitates statutory illegality, but whatevs.)

You can debate word definition all you want, but you're not going to convince anybody who isn't already on-side.  If you want, here's another definition:
Quote
Corruption is the misuse of public power (by elected politician or appointed civil servant) for private gain. ... Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power (by heritage, education, marriage, election, appointment or whatever else) for private gain.
There are lots of misuses that simply do not rise to the level of illegality, or have simply not been previously envisioned.

64
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 02:04:51 PM »
No, "corruption" does not necessitate illegality.  Neither does "waste"

65
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 01:03:33 PM »
yossarian, this may all be true, but it doesn't make a civilian doing tasks for the president inherently illegal. It doesn't even necessarily make a civilian doing foreign policy work illegal, as long as it can be shown that he is doing it at the behest of the executive (or at least, that is what I have heard described recently). 

66
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 12:32:14 PM »
Fenring, there is so much partisan word salad in there, it's hard to know what to grab hold of...
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I assume a "fake whistleblower" would be someone blowing the whistle on something that is not illegal. The idea is supposed to be that you observe a breach of established law
No.  Not by common usage, nor as specifically described by law.  Without getting into from whom a whistle blower is protected, the relevant wording of the law is "to protect federal employees who disclose "Government illegality, waste, and corruption" from adverse consequences related to their employment."

Waste and corruption are listed separately specifically because those two may exist absent illegality.  This misunderstanding of yours invalidates most of your previous post, including that bit about "what is the actual law that's been broken?"

Quote
but in this case it seemed that plenty of authorities already knew about it
Who are the relevant authorities in this case?  Why, those responsible for oversight of the executive branch.  Ar you suggesting that the House and the Senate were both already well aware of the details of the administration potentially requesting a foreign government to investigate one of the president's political rivals?

 


67
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:55:53 AM »
Quote
You have a fake whistleblower, making a false claim
I think the Kool Aid has infiltrated your eyes and ears :)
What is a "fake whistleblower"?  Do you doubt the existence of the person who reported the activity?  If so, how could a non-existent person have made any claim, never mind a "false" one?  Or maybe they were not really blowing the whistle when they blew the whistle?

Through a less partisan lens, every single point raised by the whistle blower has now been corroborated by other witnesses.  Sure, they could all be lying, all those career bureaucrats hired by Republicans and Trump's administration, as well as the whistle blower (all of whom must have collaborated with said whistle blower)

68
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:48:41 AM »
Quote
I'd like to see the "incontrovertible" evidence.  Can you provide a link to that document?
Reading comprehension: I said the existence of the evidence is incontrovertible.  I went out of my way NOT to characterize the evidence itself.  The existence of the evidence is what was required to initiate the proceedings, not the subjective evaluations thereof.

69
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:25:06 AM »
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Why do you think that is evidence?  By all accounts, Trump's initial reaction was to not have a meeting
This is completely counter-factual.

Here is an extract rom the memo of the April 21, 2019 congratulatory phone call between President Trump and President-elect Zelensky (https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2019/11/15/CLEAN%20UKRAINE%20CALL.pdf
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Well, I agree with you about your country, and I look forward to it.  When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people.  Ukraine was always very well represented.  When you're settled in and ready, I'd like to invite you to the White House. We'll have a lot of things to talk about, but we're with you all the way.
Oh, and military aid was approved by congress in early 2019, so...

70
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:12:05 AM »
Quote
Is Guiliani working for Trump in that capacity illegal or not allowed by some other statute? Not a gotcha question, I genuinely don't know if it's literally against the rules (whatever rules might be in play), or simply being highlighted as "sketchy" and a way for Trump to insulate himself from the presumed dirty work.
I would be surprised that hiring a 'civilian' to work on behalf of the administration, even internationally, is legally problematic.  This happens all the time in other countries; I can't imagine it would be any different in this case.

The issue, rather, is what Giuliani has been asked to do.  In this case, he has been tasked with communicating to the Ukrainians that in order to get their desired oval office meeting, and in order to free up the promised military aid, they would need to announce investigations into the Bidens.  Heck, just asking them to interfere in domestic US politics, as a proxy for the president, would be problematic.

71
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:03:46 AM »
Quote
This investigation is illegitimate, it's based on lies that at their heart are about policy.
One might choose to believe many things about the results of the public  hearings, but that there is significant evidence of Trump using his position as president to benefit himself personally is incontrovertible.  Notice I say that the existence of the evidence is incontrovertible, not that one will necessarily believe or interpret the evidence in such a way as to support impeachment.

As such, claiming that the investigation is "illegitimate" is just silly, transparent partisanship. I won't attempt to guess whether it is honestly naive partisanship or purposefully disingenuous partisanship, but it's partisanship nonetheless.

72
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 10:08:43 AM »
Quote
and not just that Trump is defending executive privilege
Does anybody here honestly believe that this has anything to do with executive privilege?  That Rick Perry's or Mike Pompeo's or Mick Mulvaney's interactions with Giuliani or Ambassador Sondland are in any way reasonably protected by executive privilege?  It certainly wasn't the case during the Nixon impeachment proceedings, nor during the Clinton impeachment, where both attempts failed in court, and these refusals would also have been challenged and overruled today if an election wasn't looming in less than a year.

73
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 09:59:29 AM »
Quote
Best you can get on a direction from Trump, is Sondland "presumed" and it was somehow common knowledge without anyone ever hearing it.
No, Sondland's presumption is actually one of the weaker pieces of supporting evidence, but, and I'm sure this is coincidental, it happens to be the one point that Republicans keep glomming onto and repeating ad nauseum.

There was a months' (plural) long process of withholding a commitment to a meeting and of threatening to withhold aid, and that one waffle word by Sondland doesn't make the other witness' statements, nor the rest of Sondland's statements, disappear.

74
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 09:50:49 AM »
Quote
More likely Sondland doesn't want to go up for perjury charges, so unless he's 100% certain he can prove something did not happen, he'll instead risk perjuring himself by agreeing with whatever other people have testified to having happened rather than trigger an investigation into who is right and find out he was wrong.
That makes little sense - if Sondland really did NOT remember and wanted to avoid perjuring himself, then he would NOT have confirmed Holmes' characterization of the call.  By confirming Holmes' version, he is actually opening himself up to perjury charges, unless he is confident that Holmes' statements were factual.

75
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 09:21:09 AM »
Quote
Personal gut feeling has nothing to do with it. We all saw Cuomo literally prove it, live on CNN.
Really?  Cuomo had a recording of the Sondland/Holmes lunch, and specifically, that part where the phone call took place, from Holmes' exact position?  Again, if you don't know what the words "prove" and "literally" mean, it would be best if you avoided them.

76
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 22, 2019, 06:44:47 AM »
There's no way Taylor could have heard either side of the conversation. 🙂

And yes, Sondland has a history now of admitting/remembering more things, as the inquisitors bring to bear direct questions that force him to admit more, where previous questions weren't pointed enough to do so. The risk of being held in contempt is actually a good motivator.

77
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 21, 2019, 09:34:43 PM »
Of course it's possible that two people misremembered the same phone call in exactly the same way (or should I say, one of them fabricated it, because personal gut feels tells us that it's not possible to overhear a phone conversation of two loud talkers...)

78
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 21, 2019, 08:29:34 PM »
Sondland confirmed, under oath, that Holmes' recounting of the phone call was, to his recollection, accurate.  The one exception was that Holmes testified he heard Sondland say "Biden" whereas  Sondland did not remember saying "Biden".

So we have Sondland confirming that what Holmes said he heard is accurate.  Are you all simply arguing that Holmes coincidentally manufactured a recollection of the phone call that just so happened to have been completely accurate? (BTW, it hardly matters since Sondland copped to having said what Holmes repeated, so the substance of what Holmes recounted is effectively a corroborated fact.)

79
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 19, 2019, 10:42:30 PM »
TheDaemon, I can kinda see where you got confused: when Holmes said
Quote
that Trump "doesn't give a s--t about Ukraine," and that his primary focus was on "big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing."
you have to understand that he was quoting Sondland, not Trump.  Meaning, the reference to Giuliani is Sondland's reference, not Trump's (why the quote is to "big stuff that matters to him" not "big stuff that matters to me")

It's quite clear that the investigation is Trump's preoccupation, that it is "important" to him, that Trump is well aware of it, and that Sondland is also aware that Giuliani is tasked with pushing Ukraine on the topic of the investigations.

Or is it your point that Trump is somehow aware of what Giuliani is doing, that Giuliani's goal is important to the President, but that Giuliani had gone rogue and Trump simply could not stop Giuliani from doing the thing that was so important to Trump and that the president wanted done (and which Trump himself was pushing independently?) 

80
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 19, 2019, 05:59:19 PM »
Quote
The Impeachment narrative only works if Giuliani is working under Trump's orders.
You do realize that Sondland and Giuliani are not the same person, right?  And that the quote to which you are responding had nothing to do with Giuliani..?

Also the quote to which you were responding... It was in reaction to the claim that all evidence against Trump is hearsay, because Taylor only provided 3rd hand knowledge..

81
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 18, 2019, 09:29:51 PM »
Quote
I'm not sure I get the point of your argument though.  Everything Taylor knows about Trump's reasoning is either made up or hearsay.  Pointing to Sondland isn't helpful, because everything he knows about Trump's reasoning came from two direct interactions with Trump
Taylor's value as a witness was not as a direct witness to events but rather as a person who was aware of the different threads of the story.  Other people are direct witnesses, e.g, David Holmes:
Quote
Holmes heard Trump ask Sondland on the call if the Ukrainians were going to "do the investigation," and Sondland responded, "He's gonna do it." 

<Snip>

 In his deposition, Holmes said Sondland later told at the restaurant that Trump "doesn't give a s--t about Ukraine," and that his primary focus was on "big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing."       

82
General Comments / Re: In any other administration...
« on: November 15, 2019, 11:42:36 AM »
Quote
Clinton foundation gets a Failing grade and IMO should not be given a charity status. Less then 20% goes to actual causes.
A quick Wikipedia search suggests this is untrue.  Two different charity monitor services, Charity Navigator and CharityWatch, each gave the foundation their highest rating for governance and disbursements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Foundation#Charity_review_sources
Quote
In September 2016, [Charity Navigator] gave it its highest possible rating, four out of four stars, after its customary review of the Foundation's financial records and tax statements.[76] A different charity monitor, CharityWatch, said that 88% of the foundation's money goes toward its charitable mission and gave the foundation an A rating for 2016. In 2015, based on revenue of $223 million and an expense ratio of 12% the foundation spent in excess of $26 million to complete its mission.[77]
Of course, the Wikipedia entry might not be accurate, or these entities might not be on the up and up... from where did you get your information, rightleft22?

83
General Comments / Re: In any other administration...
« on: November 13, 2019, 09:51:59 AM »
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I’ll say that what the Trump campaign did here was wrong if that will make you happy. It’s something nearly every campaign has done for at least the last 20 years, including Obama
This is patently untrue, on several levels.  First off, the implication in your "admission" is that Trump was not responsible for breaking the law - whereas Trump has admitted, via his plea deal, that he was directly responsible for re-directing money from the charity to his businesses and to his campaign.  Of course, you do not explicitly state that Trump was not responsible - so before putting words into your mouth, do you also accept that Trump, as he has admitted, was responsible for breaking the law?

As for Obama, what evidence do you have that any of Obama's actions contravened a law?  Of course, your wording is once again weaselly, so it's hard to pin down exactly what you mean by "It’s something nearly every campaign has done for at least the last 20 years, including Obama". Putting aside the false equivalency between stealing from a charity and mis-reporting funds raised by the campaign, as was the case with the campaign to elect Obama... did you mean to write "... including Obama's campaign"?  Because by leaving out that last word as you did, it makes it look like you just cannot NOT attribute these actions directly to Obama... and it also makes it look like you don't have the courage to outright say it.  Of course, that's not your intent - that's just the way it looks.

84
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 13, 2019, 06:19:33 AM »
No - it's really simple: I'm saying that the argument that one can doubt Taylor's testimony, and specifically his interactions with Sondland, due to the possibility of his memory being inaccurate is a non-starter. And it's a non-starter for all the reasons I listed. 

Doubt him because you think he is lying, sure.  Posit that there is a conspiracy to bring down the president.  But it's simply not rational to believe that Taylor's testimony about Sondland is wrong in the way you were suggesting due to memory failure.

85
General Comments / Re: In any other administration...
« on: November 12, 2019, 05:17:32 PM »
Quote
You want to provide that quote?  Again, the violation of election law is minor and it's a violation of the charity not Trump's.
Actually, the plea deal (to which Trump agreed) specifically states that Donald Trump "breached his fiduciary duty" to the foundation (charity) and also "allow[ed] his campaign to orchestrate the fundraiser".  Those actions were attributed to Trump by the plea deal to which he agreed.  By agreeing to the plea deal, that means Trump has accepted those descriptions as fact.  This is from USA today, but Judge Scarpulla's text is quoted all over the place:
Quote
In this week's ruling, Scarpulla wrote "that Mr. Trump breached his fiduciary duty" with statutory violations that included "allowing his campaign to orchestrate the fundraiser."

That conduct, she wrote, resulted in "distribution of the funds to further Mr. Trump's political campaign."
So no, that's really not a technicality - Trump funnelled money from a charity to his businesses and election campaign. This is not at all equivalent to the reporting violations attributed to Obama's campaign, which were, as you pointed out, technical.  Also, Obama, as far as I know, was in no way implicated in taking the actions for which the campaign was found responsible.

86
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 12, 2019, 04:48:58 PM »
And maybe that's why you think it's in any way possible for Taylor to have misremembered that discussion, TheDrake - because that discussion did not take place in a vacuum. It took place in the context of a months' long process where numerous people in the foreign service were concerned about the administration tying different types of aid to Ukraine to domestic policy issues, which was all coming to a head in early September - exactly when the Sondland discussion occurred.

This was Ambassador Taylor's job, and the highest priority file that he was dealing with.  It was a topic about which he had raised concerns internally, with his boss, with other ambassadors, and in certain ways with Ukraine government representatives. This concern of his has been corroborated by several other people's testimony already, and is supported by documentary evidence that could be made available to disprove his statements. Given this context, it is vanishingly unlikely that his memory of this conversation would be in any way significantly incorrect - certainly, not to the level of mistaking Sondland for somebody else, or mistaking the substance of what Sondland conveyed to Taylor about Trump's position.

87
General Comments / Re: In any other administration...
« on: November 12, 2019, 02:39:04 PM »
Trump is not necessarily a new level of bad - that seems to be a mental blocker for people who cannot actually fault Trump for anything.

Trump admitting to personally breaking election law, in court - which is what the plea deal is, after all - is something that one would think is indefensible, but strangely, brings out the apologists.

That being said, this particular action does seem to be unique - when did the last sitting president admit, in court, to breaking the law?

88
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 12, 2019, 10:32:24 AM »

89
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 12, 2019, 07:56:06 AM »
Further to Taylor not raising objections, this is from the deposition of Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper:
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I knew from my Kurt Volker conversation and also from sort of the alarm bells that were coming from Ambassador Taylor and his team that there were Ukrainians who knew about [the hold placed the security/military funding in August]
There is already so much corroborating testimony about the monies being withheld, and the number of people raising concerns, that it's hard to understand why people who should know better aren't aware of the statements and timelines, especially since this is the biggest news story of the past several weeks.

Again, I can understand being aware and disbelieving, but not even being aware..?

90
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 11, 2019, 06:21:34 PM »
Quote
Sondland invited him off the record in the cone of silence. Taylor obliged. He doesn't appear to have raised an objection with anybody at the time, detailing "Sondland just told me this horse****, is that really our policy?"
Ummm, what are you talking about?  Taylor had already raised the issue with Pompeo, then he pushed back on Sondland, and then got confirmation that Trump wasn't changing his mind, which triggered him to raise more objections... and then within 2 days, the policy was reversed, and the withheld money had been released.

Which again says nothing about Taylor's testimony being non-compelling due to his possible memory issues.

91
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 11, 2019, 04:08:29 PM »
The Drake - you seem to be ignoring the part where, on September 1, Taylor immediately told Sondland to push back on the president's position.  And then, when Sondland returned a week later responding that Trump was "adamant" that Zelensky publicly announce the investigations, Taylor responded with a text to Sondland, "expressing [his] strong reservations" ("My nightmare is that the Ukrainians give the interview and don't get the security assistance.  The Russians love it.  And I quit.") The following day, he followed up with both Sondland and Volker, stating, among other things: "We have already shaken [the Ukrainians'] faith in us... I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

You also seemed to have missed that, at the time of Sondland's September 1 statements, Taylor had already sent a cable to his boss, Secretary Pompeo, "describing the folly of withholding military aid at this time, and that he could not and would not support such a policy."

The referenced texts and cables are, presumably, already in evidence.  If Taylor made those up, I can guarantee you that would have completely overshadowed the rest of his testimony.  Again, you may believe that Taylor is being dishonest, but to believe his memory invented multiple discussions with Sondland, and their specific contents, when there are numerous supporting documents referencing the very same concerns and topics, and where those documents illustrate how very focused and concerned Taylor was with those topics...  It is simply unreasonable to continue to hold that Taylor might have mis-remembered.

Again, I am NOT saying that Taylor did not lie about what he and Sondland discussed offline.  Maybe he is lying in ways that are consistent with the  documentary evidence.  But to believe, in the face of all that documentary evidence and his documented concern, and in the face of this being the most important issue of his then job, and in the face of him threatening to retire as a result... no, Taylor's testimony is irrefutably not a fabrication of a lapse in memory.

92
General Comments / Re: Tim Apple has a problem
« on: November 11, 2019, 01:05:30 PM »
Quote
The fact that gender ever became a dominant variable on its own
Actually, we don't know that this is the case.  A self-reported subset is not necessarily representative, and even if the number of people who have done via Twitter so seems 'large' intuitively, the set is still probably statistically insignificant.

93
General Comments / Re: Tim Apple has a problem
« on: November 11, 2019, 12:21:35 PM »
Yeah this is a challenge when letting AI and computer algorithms in general make decisions based on data sets gathered by, well, systems designed by anybody.  There very well could be bias in the actual data, in how it was gathered, in exactly what has been gathered.  I guarantee that Goldman Sachs (the bank behind the Apple Card) does not have any lines of code such as "if gender = 'x' then [Y]"

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 11, 2019, 11:54:10 AM »
in which case, it really doesn't matter if somebody says "Trump told me 'X'"... or even if Trump said "I told John 'Y'."

They are both equally not believable.

I think you really are missing the boat on Taylor's testimony, though - he made a point of calling Sondland because he was so concerned with this topic - remember, this was generally a topic that was central to his accepting the job, and which then led to his resignation.  Given that it was so concerning that he first texted then telephoned Sondland to clarify Sondland's position, the likelihood of Taylor mis-remembering that interaction is basically nil - that is, if you believe he is not lying.  in which case, the concern is not one of memory, but rather one of dishonesty.

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 11, 2019, 10:30:02 AM »
Quote
The only thing that will truly convince me is when someone says "Trump told me personally that he wanted aid held up until Ukraine makes a statement."
But why?  It is no more likely that Taylor would mis-remember what Sondland told him, than for Sondland to mis-remember what Trump told him.  They are both recalling a conversation they personally had with a single person.

Your standard for Taylor's memory basically puts into question everybody's recollection of their own, personal conversations.

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 11, 2019, 09:31:56 AM »
Sure, but your initial concern about Taylor's deposition was with his memory, not about his reliability or with that of Sondland.

I am NOT suggesting that, on its own, Taylor's statements are enough to sway anybody's mind; I was simply making the point that his memory is NOT a particular concern. Now, his testimony, in conjunction with Vindman's, in conjunction with Giuliani's tweets, in conjunction with Trump's statements as  quoted in the memo, in conjunction with Yanukovich's statements, taken together with other evidence, do start to paint a picture.

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 10, 2019, 05:46:29 PM »
Of course it's not definitive.  But your rationale was that Taylor's memory might be suspect.  I just pointed out that you might rationally choose to believe that Taylor is being dishonest, but that it is highly unlikely that he is misremembering.

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 10, 2019, 03:40:49 PM »
It's possible that Taylor is a liar, sure.  But the likelihood of him being amnesiac... why do you find that more likely than Sondland having a poor memory?  Especially since Sondland has already once amended his testimony to more closely match the testimony of other witnesses?  And that's not even getting into Sondlands motivations for lying  as compared to Taylor's (hint - Sondland paid Trump a million dollars for his ambassadorship - Taylor was asked to come out of retirement to take on his job, one which he was more than a little reticent to accept...)

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General Comments / Re: In any other administration...
« on: November 09, 2019, 05:42:18 PM »
You still can't substantiate your claim... And yes, everybody can see that.

100
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: November 09, 2019, 04:17:29 PM »
Quote
I'm saying that memory is tricky, as I've said many times. We've seen major media figures taken down. I think Taylor could have easily substituted a conversation for a different conversation between different people.
TheDrake, can I ask whether you read Taylor's testimony?  Because he is very detailed and very specific about timeline, people and content.  It is highly unlikely that Taylor confused Sondland with anybody else... Seriously, there were only a few people involved, even fewer of whom Taylor would have expected to be providing direction from the president.  Also, Taylor was being very careful in his testimony - it is unlikely he would have presented something uncertain as a fact. And it's not like he was under fire at the time, or that it was years ago and his brain is filling in gaps, or that the topic was not of immediate interest to him; he was very concerned at the time of the conversation - so concerned that he followed up with Sondland first by text, then on a phone call. The idea that he then misremembered such an important interaction, one that eventually led to his resignation, is not likely, not even remotely.

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