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Messages - Wayward Son

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51
Can't read the article, either, but FiveThirtyEight had an interesting article arguing that, while we may primarily get our information from biased sources, we are also exposed to opposing views through our friends.  Unfortunately, this can be as much, if not more, polarizing that the media.

52
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We know Turkey notified the UN that it intended to invade Syria and the UN reworked international law for this case so it would be “legal”.

Do you have a link to this story?  This is an aspect I've never heard of.

53
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And as somebody wrote in a very, very powerful article today, they didn't help us in the second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy as an example.

They didn't fight with us against the British in the Revolutionary War, either.  ::)

54
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 10, 2019, 10:20:20 AM »
Anyway, the bottom line here is as Politfact summarizes:

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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.  So Crunch's crowing about how the economy is doing exceptionally well because Trump is in charge is an exaggeration, and any implication that it will automatically tank if he is no longer in charge is bunk.

55
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 10, 2019, 10:12:18 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.

As much as I disagree with you, you are one of more intelligent posters on this board.  You may come to the wrong conclusions at times, :)  but you do come to them through an intelligent and thoughtful process.

Just want to make sure we are not misunderstanding each other.

56
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 06:44:58 PM »
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I get it,  you hate that. You seethe with hatred for Trump, me, anyone and everyone that does not join you. It’s a terrible thing for so many on the left to see minorities being more successful than ever before, for all Americans to recover from Obama’s reign of error.

Don't put words into my mouth.  You're not smart enough to do that.

No, I just object to you giving Trump credit for stuff he didn't do.  Stuff that happened in spite of what he did.

I mean, if the economy tanks in the next few months, will you credit Trump for that?  Or will you blame everyone else but Trump, just like Trump will?

I know where the good money is. :)

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When you’re sick and tired of people being successful and taking part in the American dream in record numbers, that is TDS. That’s how you suddenly come out in favor of things like racial segregation. The hatred is so intense, you’re losing your *censored*. Seriously.

And, seriously, you've drunk the kool-aid so much that you can't even see facts anymore.  You think everything that Trump does is golden, when he's the biggest screw-up the Presidency has seen in modern times.

Yeah, I may have TDS, but it's far, far better than the TSS you exhibit.  Trump Stupidity Syndrome.  Makes formerly intelligent people act like their idiot President.

57
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 06:40:18 PM »
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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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

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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! :)

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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.

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.  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.

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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.

It's like giving a 10% tax break to a guy who pays $200 a year in taxes, vs. a 5% tax cut to a guy paying $200,000 a year in taxes.  Sure, the $200/year guy got a bigger percentage break, but it won't have nearly the impact on his life as the $200,000/year guy's break.

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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).

I know.  But for how many years have Republicans been insisting on paying for any new programs so as to "not increase the deficit?"  Like they cared about it or something.

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. :)

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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.  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.  And remember:  that's still his legal justification.  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! ;)

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

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.

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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."

So what about the Republican non-deficit hawks?  They bear none of the blame?  Sounds like Trump who always blames those darn Democrats when he can't get anything through Congress.  As if the Democrats aren't the minority party in the Senate, and were in the House for a full two years.

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

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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.

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

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!"  ::) )

So other than going along with Congress on their tax cut, and promising to someday cut regulations, just exactly did the Stable Genius do to help the economy?

You sound more like a Chargers fan, who keeps talking about how their Winning!  Winning!, even though they aren't making the touchdowns.  :P

58
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 05:00:04 PM »
It's not TDS, Crunch.  It's Trump Fatigue.

We've been watching Trump f**k up this country in so many different ways for months now, we're just plain tired of it.

And absolutely astounded that you conservatives haven't noticed yet.  ::)

What is truly funny about it (and you), is that you put down to Derangement what most people call facts and truth.  Every single point I made is verifiably true.  But I suppose you consider anyone who believes in facts and truth to be deranged now, right?  The Stable Genius you blindly follow certainly does. :D

59
And, in addition, maybe Trump should push Congress to authorize our continued presence in Kurdish territory in order to help protect our allies who did so much of the fighting against ISIS for us? ;)

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Especially since, per this article, Trump is basically giving Turkey permission to come into Syria and take over Kurdish territory.

62
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 02:27:26 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 has tried to influence the Federal Reserve Board's decisions, even though he hasn't a clue on how macroeconomic works.

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.

If any Democrat had done any of these things, the economy would tank.  But because Trump did it, the Republican deficit- and economic-hawks are fast asleep.  It all looks like irrational exuberance to me.

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.

63
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 01:35:25 PM »
I can't say that I have researched this, but then again, I don't know where to look.

Obviously business confidence skyrocketed after Trump took office.  But why?  Were there specific policies that businesses liked, and so their confidence soared?  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?

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?

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 08, 2019, 01:29:17 PM »
Only if it's hand-stitched.  ;)  ;D

65
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 11:57:13 AM »
"I know he rolled back some regulatory decisions the Obama Admin made in regards to the Trucking Industry..."

Which ones?  What were their impact?  Why is no one (here or any place else) ever specific about these regulations that have helped so much and how they have helped?

Like I said, this all sound like incantations, with the hope/belief that if it repeated enough times, it will be true.  A mantra that no one questions.  "It is known" as the Dothraki kept saying in Game of Thrones. :)

66
General Comments / Re: The impossible economy
« on: October 08, 2019, 11:12:42 AM »
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He halted pending regulations, rolled back more than $30 billion of existing rules...

I've never seen the connection between the deregulations of the current Administration and the booming economy.  It all seems like mystic incantations to me.

Could someone please point out the most pertinent halts and deregulations that supposedly helped stimulate the economy??

Here's a list that might be helpful.

67
General Comments / Re: Heart-Bern?
« on: October 07, 2019, 11:51:14 AM »
Biden and Trump are also excessively old. Warren is...what...in her sixties?

If he's healthy he's healthy. God knows half the country ignores Trump's dementia like symptoms as is.

IIRC, Warren is 70.

But, hey, she's a real cougar!  Or, at least, a Houston Cougar. :)

Why you linking Jacob Wohl stories to me? Guy's an idiot.

Because, even though it isn't PC, sometimes it's fun to laugh at the idiots.  :D  It (hopefully) helps to remind people not to listen to them.

And I especially liked Warren's come-back.

68
General Comments / Re: Heart-Bern?
« on: October 04, 2019, 06:34:46 PM »
Biden and Trump are also excessively old. Warren is...what...in her sixties?

If he's healthy he's healthy. God knows half the country ignores Trump's dementia like symptoms as is.

IIRC, Warren is 70.

But, hey, she's a real cougar!  Or, at least, a Houston Cougar. :)

69
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 06:15:40 PM »
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After all, as has been pointed out, the Democrats did the same things and worse and it was totally fine. Looking for real corruption and conflicts of interest and making those public isn't a crime and shouldn't be and just because it's your political rivals you are looking for dirt on doesn't change that. If that was illegal Hillary would already be in prison.

Could you please be specific about when the Democrats did the same things and worse and "it was totally fine?"

Because I don't ever recall when the Democrats did anything and the Republicans considered it "totally fine." 

Heck, they weren't "totally fine" with stuff the Democrats never did! :D

70
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 06:13:21 PM »
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LOL, you have to be kidding.  See the defense of Biden.

What do you mean by that, Seriati?  Are you saying that we shouldn't investigate Trump for the same reason we shouldn't investigate Biden?  Or are you saying that both Biden and Trump should be investigated for the same reason?

Or, because "there are plausible reasons for a policy decision doesn't mean that it is impossible that it was motivated by personal gain," we should investigate Biden but not Trump?

I'm confused.  ???

71
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:57:12 PM »
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Okay I apologize for not making the hypothetical situation more clear. It's just some random guy being investigated, someone who is not politically connected, so there is no issue there where it looks like Trump is investigating for his own personal reasons.

But in your hypothetical situation, cherry, why is the President investigating this random guy?

If it's not personal, then it must be for some governmental reason.  What reason is that?

Is there some formal investigation in the Justice Department?  If so, when was it announced?  What started the investigation?  For what reason is this random guy being investigated?

Is it some local investigation of possible corruption, that asked the Justice Department for help?  When was the request made?  Who made it?  Why was it needed?

After all, the President just doesn't start random investigations himself.  He may ask the Justice Department to start one, but then he hands it over to them.  Then the Justice Department may request help from the Executive Branch, and they usually give it, by having the local diplomats contact the foreign governments.  It is usually coordinated through them.

So why is the President getting involved with the investigation of this random guy?  What is so important that it is elevated up to his level?  And why, for goodness sake, is the President's personal lawyer involved??

Even for some random guy, wouldn't you want to know the answers to these questions?  Just to be assured that he wasn't being targeted for some obscure political reason?

Even for a random person, it still needs explanation.

And for his likely opponent, it needs plenty of explanation.

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 04:09:19 PM »
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Let's say it was someone like Marc Rich, an international commodities trader, hedge fund manager, financier and businessman who as far as I know was never a politician and never ran for public office. So if the same allegations against Trump were true but it wasn't a politician he was talking about, would it still be a crime? Trump tells Ukraine he wants an investigation into the finances of some Marc Rich type guy and if he doesn't get it then the arms deal will be put on hold. Is that an impeachable offense? Is it a crime? Is it even wrong?

Yes, I think so.

You wouldn't have any problem with Trump using his position as President of the United States to investigate a private citizen for his own personal reasons?  That he will put on hold badly needed arms to a country that is defending itself against Russian aggression because he wants dirt of some guy?  Do you really think it is moral and "usual" for a President to possibly affect the security of an ally, and possibly our own nation, just to check out a private citizen?  :o

The fact that he was doing so against his most likely opponent in the next election just makes it worse.

73
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 01:46:20 PM »
Is a whistleblower's report evidence?  Something that someone witnessed?  Something that someone heard someone else say?  Something that was reported?

Isn't hearsay literally not evidence?

The answer is no.  Hearsay is a type of evidence.  As FindLaw discusses:

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Hearsay is defined as an out-of-court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted. These out-of-court statements do not have to be spoken words, but they can also constitute documents or even body language. The rule against hearsay was designed to prevent gossip from being offered to convict someone...

Hearsay evidence is not admissible in court unless a statue or rule provides otherwise. Therefore, even if a statement is really hearsay, it may still be admissible if an exception applies. The Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) contains nearly thirty of these exceptions to providing hearsay evidence.
(Emphasis mine.)

Courts rightfully excluded hearsay evidence to prove that something is true or not.  However, this does not mean it is not "evidence," shown by the fact that there are multiple exceptions to the rule.  And for purposes of an investigation, in order to gather evidence that may prove or disprove someone's guilt, I believe it is certainly considered evidence for further investigation.  Otherwise, any report given to a police officer would be considered "hearsay" if the officer reports it to someone else. ;)

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Doesn't the whistleblower report outright say that the author of it did not personally witness the events in question, but only heard others say they heard it?

As I have heard from multiple sources, and as the report says, the answer is also no.  The whistleblower stated that he was "not a direct witness to most of the events described."  However, this means that he was a witness to some of them.

And, by statute, even not being a witness (hearsay) was sufficient for him to file the report.

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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.

If by "evidence" you mean "something has spurred on our suspicion" then of course the answer is yes; the report itself spurs on suspicion. But the issue is whether it's based on evidence of a crime, and for that there needs to be an actual crime and evidence that links it to the person being investigated, doesn't it? So what's the crime?

Isn't it using the office of the President to solicit valuable aid from a foreign government for his political campaign?  As I recall, accepting money or anything of value from a foreigner person or government is considered a crime.

Also remember that impeachment does not require an actual "crime" in the normal sense, but includes "high crimes and misdemeanors" which is more expansive than what is covered by criminal statutes.

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Just for example, in the memorandum it shows Trump asking for some favors after a discussion about Javelin missiles. Some have interpreted that as Trump implying that the favors are the price of the missiles, some that he was just moving on to the next point since the missiles were a given anyhow (i.e. that it was Zelenskyy complying with the U.S.). Maybe both are plausible, but the notion that you *could* interpret it as a quid pro quo is not "evidence" of a crime. Otherwise you could take transcripts from anything, suggest 'possible implications' of things not actually said, and then make up crimes that could be inferred from those implications. It sounds like a huge kafkatrap to me. I'm not even saying it's impossible that Trump really did intend it as extortion, but if the only evidence is "he might have meant that when he talked of favors" that's not evidence, it's just conjecture.

Conjecture, like a guy sneaking around a neighborhood at night.  But enough for the police to investigate.

And then when they find out the guy is carrying valuable jewels in his pocket--or a diplomat sends a text message that says "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign"--then it is worth further investigation, right?  Just to make sure those are really the guy's jewels, or that the President really did not imply that assistance was dependent on finding (or making up) dirt on the President's likely rival in the next election.

The nice thing about investigations is that, if no further evidence is found, or if the evidence found is weak, then you can drop it.  But if the investigation brings up more, or even better, evidence, then it's kind of a weak argument that the better evidence should be ignored because the initial evidence was weak, or even inadmissible in court.  That's known as letting the criminal get away on a technicality, something that a lot of people have thought to be an injustice for quite a while. ;)

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General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 04, 2019, 12:41:02 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?

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

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.

75
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: October 02, 2019, 03:50:28 PM »
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As far as the impeachment goes this has been coordinated from the moment he was elected. It was always going to be "we are going to get him, the only question is how", and not "well if he does something wrong we'll be there to wipe his nose." And again, lest the word "coordinated" be trivialized, it does not have to mean secret meetings of 'the cabal' organizing and planning their actions carefully. It can mean that various interested parties all observed a similar situation that could advantage them and set about throwing fuel into the fire.

While I'm sure there are quite a few who look for how the situation could "advantage them," remember that most of the impeachment movement comes from Donald himself.

It was obvious (to many of us) that Donald would be a terrible President even before he was elected.  He is a narcissist, a know-it-all, a bully and a blowhard.  He lies openly and obviously, and attacks anyone who opposes him.  He has little to no respect for the law or norms.  Knowledge and competence are less important to him than loyalty and doing what he wants.  He was always out for himself above all others.  It was only a matter of time before he did something illegal and/or stupid.  The only question was when, where, and how bad.

In a situation like this, it's not "well if he does something wrong we'll be there to wipe his nose."  It's "WHEN he does something wrong..."  We have been expecting it; we have been on the lookout for it.  When you know there is a tiger in the tall grass, you prepare for it and keep you eyes open.  And you're not surprised when he comes out.

Yes, people may have jumped the gun before.  Other times, we have seen things we knew were wrong but didn't have enough proof and/or political clout to prove it.  Pelosi was cautious in what she went after.  And even this latest scandal may turn out to be jumping the gun.  But don't fool yourself--Trump is a terrible President, a rotten human being, and this Presidency will be remembered as one of the worst in American history.  And if those in the Deep State--those people who work for the government and try to keep it running--see how things are being messed up, it is not surprising that they would oppose the destruction of what they have spent years of their lives creating and maintaining--the U.S. government.  It doesn't need to be looking for an advantage for oneself.  It could just be that they don't want to see a good thing ruined by a bad President.

76
General Comments / Re: Heart-Bern?
« on: October 02, 2019, 01:23:23 PM »
Fortunately, it may not come to that.

P.Z. Myers said he had a similar procedure done about 9 years ago, and he has been fine ever since.  In fact, he said it didn't even interfere with his work teaching (although he did not say how long he "took it easy" before going back to work).

It remains to be seen if Bernie's condition is as mild as Myers', but it does show that this may not be a big deal.

77
General Comments / Re: Heart-Bern?
« on: October 02, 2019, 12:45:49 PM »
1.  Don't know.

2.A. Hurt.

2.B. No, not until the ship sinks (i.e. Bernie quits or, God forbid, otherwise...)

3.  Definitely Warren.  FiveThirtyEight says that they are both appealing to the same "track."  She is the closest contender to Bernie in this race.  So most of his supporters would, most likely, turn to her.

78
No one is saying that the e-mails can't or shouldn't be retroactively classified.  It happens all the time and is good for our security.

What I'm worried about is telling people that something has been retroactively classified and "You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability" in the "security incidents."  This is an entirely different subject.  While it can be argued that the person should have known something should have a higher classification than it currently held, it is another to say that they are "culpable" of a "security incident" because they did not recognize it at the time. 

Heck, some material that has been classified is then re-classified at a later date.  Should we hold all the people who didn't realize that a classified document would be re-classified at a later date culpable in not handling the information at the later classification level?  ???

And even if it was obvious for some material that obviously should have a higher classification than it had, just how many times do you think that occurred?  A dozen times?  A hundred?  Several hundred?  Enough so that 130 people are accused of being "culpable?"  If so, there was a MAJOR problem with classifications at the time, in that they were relying on the judgement of 130 underlings to classify documents instead of those professionals trained to do so.  ::)  If there are that many that were negligent people handling classified documents and made mistakes, then there is a problem with the system, not the individuals.

Only in unusual circumstances would an individual who does not typically classify documents be held responsible for not noticing that something should have a higher classification than it holds.  Not enough for 130 people to be held "culpable."

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What bothers me is, if this is so innocuous, why did the letters state that "You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability" in the "security incidents?"

That is a warning that you may have done done some wrong in the past.  Which means that someone at the State Department considers it a possible crime that someone sent these retroactively classified documents to Hillary's server.  And is considering blaming those who sent them for doing so.

The only reason it may be confusing is because one thinks it should be logical and reasonable.  But if this is simply a way of harassing, intimidating, or possibly persecuting former Hillary aides, it becomes quite a bit more understandable. :(

80
According to the Washington Post, the Trump Administration has found more classified information being sent to Hillary Clinton's private e-mail account.  How did they find these new, classified documents?  They reclassified them.

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The Trump administration is investigating the email records of dozens of current and former senior State Department officials who sent messages to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email, reviving a politically toxic matter that overshadowed the 2016 election, current and former officials said.

As many as 130 officials have been contacted in recent weeks by State Department investigators — a list that includes senior officials who reported directly to Clinton as well as others in lower-level jobs whose emails were at some point relayed to her inbox, said current and former State Department officials. Those targeted were notified that emails they sent years ago have been retroactively classified and now constitute potential security violations, according to letters reviewed by The Washington Post.

In virtually all of the cases, potentially sensitive information, now recategorized as “classified,” was sent to Clinton’s unsecure inbox.
(Emphasis mine.)

How convenient.  If you don't have enough criminal acts to warrant an arrest, create some more ex post facto.  After all, a number of the classified documents were classified after they were sent in the original investigation.  So let's make a list bigger, to make her even more guilty! :)

Quote
Those targeted began receiving letters in August, saying, “You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability” in supposedly newly uncovered “security incidents,” according to a copy of one letter obtained by The Washington Post.

In many cases, the incidents appear to center on the sending of information attributed to foreign officials, including summaries of phone conversations with foreign diplomats — a routine occurrence among State Department employees.

There is no indication in any of the materials reviewed by The Post that the emails under scrutiny contained sensitive information about classified U.S. initiatives or programs. In one case, a former official was asked to explain dozens of messages dating back to 2009 that contained messages that foreign officials wanted relayed rapidly to Washington at a time when U.S. Foreign Service officers were equipped with BlackBerrys and other devices that were not capable of sending classified transmissions. The messages came in through “regular email” and then were forwarded through official — though unclassified — State Department channels.

In other instances officials were relaying email summaries of time-sensitive conversations with foreign leaders conducted over unclassified cellphones.

Those communications are now being “upclassified” or “reclassified,” according to several officials involved in the investigation, meaning that they have been retroactively assessed to contain material so sensitive that they should have been sent only on State Department classified systems.

Many of those who have been targeted by the probe and found “not culpable,” described it as an effort to harass diplomats for the routine conduct of their job.

81
President Donald Trump:

"To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!"

82
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 27, 2019, 01:47:35 PM »

Meh.  I'm not positive because I havn't seen the US legal definitions for quid pro quo, but I believe it's important if you are trying to show the phone call as evidence of quid pro quo.  I believe for there to be an offer of quid pro quo, both parties must understand the terms of the trade.  If Trump had not cut off the money already, or if Zalenskyy had not found out about it yet, then the phone call could be interpreted reasonably as "hey, I just would like a favor", instead of "if you want this then do this".  Perhaps later it would have been better understood, but then the phone call isn't evidence.

I don't think so.  Consider the following scenario:

You're purchasing a yacht from a rich person.  The purchase is going well, and the rich person calls you to congratulate you on something.  During the call he asks you, as a favor to do something odd.  Then three days later you find out that he had previously stopped the purchase for some weird reason.  (How many different reasons has the Trump Administration given so far for stopping the aid?  3?  4?  More?)

Would it be unreasonable to believe that the rich person stopped the sale of the yacht until he had the chance to call you and ask his favor?  And that the continued purchase of the yacht would not proceed until you proved that you were doing that favor for him?

Isn't this somewhat similar to the way that Michael Cohen testified that Trump indicated that he should lie about negotiations for the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow?

83
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 27, 2019, 11:43:56 AM »
Has the Trump Administration explained why they added an extra layer of classification to the memorandum?

According to the complaint:

Quote
According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President's call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information , such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was "not the first time" under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information .

Assuming we saw the memorandum in question, there did not seem to be much in the way of classified information in that phone call.

Per Wikipedia, codeword classification is a way to compartmentalize sensitive information, whether it be Secret or Top Secret.  (I'm not sure it applies to Confidential info.)  What part of that conversation, which we have been told is "perfectly fine and routine," warranted that extra security?

84
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 27, 2019, 11:33:39 AM »
When the aid was cut off, and when Zalenskyy learned of it, is not that important.

Even if Zalenskyy learned 3 days after the phone call that Trump had cut off the aid, he may have interpreted it as Trump showing that he was serious about getting his "favor."

85
General Comments / Re: On Post-Cold War NATO
« on: September 26, 2019, 06:27:42 PM »
Beatles.  No question.  ;D

86
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2019, 11:49:57 AM »

87
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2019, 11:41:15 AM »
Ah, well, what can you do if the facts, written on the "transcripts" itself, are the last refuge of the scoundrel. :)

And to speed up the conversation, here's a article on the White House talking points, which they conveniently e-mailed to the Democrats (including Pelosi).  I notice that your reply to my Giuliani post is right there in Jacqueline Alemany's tweet.  Did you get a copy? :)

88
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 26, 2019, 10:58:45 AM »
Which, of course, is why Trump specifically told Zelenskyy to talk to his No. 1 crime investigator: Rudy Giuliani.  He's done outstanding service, working in the Department of...uh...hmm, who is it that Giuliani works for again?  ???  And why was he one of the people Zelenskyy was supposed to talk to? ;)

Yeah, Trump just wants a crime to be investigated.  Just like he never said The Wall would be made of concrete.  ::)

(BTW, just to be clear, the summary is not an actual transcript. 

As it says at the beginning: "CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty Officers and-NSC policy staff assigned to listen.and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place.  A number of factors can affect 'the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation. The word "inaudible" is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.")

89
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:44:07 PM »
Quote
In any event, that's a completely bizarre tack for you to take given your neverending support for the Mueller investigation for which the predicate is far less.  Somehow you seem to believe that the President is required to ignore what appears, on the surface to be a Politician's son getting a job based on graft or improper connections, where the Politcian's father expressly conditioned US benefits on firing the prosecutor that was investigating the same company.

What part of the Constitution do you believe supports your belief that the President is required to ignore what on the surface looks to be a blatant violation of law and abuse of power?

You keep missing the point.

Trump wasn't serious about investigating Biden, because if he was, he would have had the serious investigators do it, not him.  He would have had an investigation opened to do it, before he purportedly pressured the Ukrainian President to investigate.  He had much better ways of doing an investigation than the way he did.  He wouldn't have mentioned Barr five times; he would have referred him to Barr to coordinate the investigation.

However, he didn't have any better way to get dirt on Biden under the table.  Which is why it seems to be the more likely explanation.

90
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:34:53 PM »
Quote
Well lay it out, what statute did Trump violate and how.

That will be interesting to see what Trump violated.

Just remember, it doesn't have to be a statute.  As Wikipedia explains to us laymen:

Quote
The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials, such as dishonesty, negligence, perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of public funds or assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, refusal to obey a lawful order, chronic intoxication, including such offenses as tax evasion. Offenses by officials also include ordinary crimes, but perhaps with different standards of proof and punishment than for nonofficials, on the grounds that more is expected of officials by their oaths of office. The word "High" refers to the office and not the offense. Indeed the offense may not even be a breach of criminal statute.See Harvard Law Review "The majority view is that a president can legally be impeached for “intentional, evil deeds” that “drastically subvert the Constitution and involve an unforgivable abuse of the presidency” — even if those deeds didn’t violate any criminal laws."

Abuse of authority (using the office of the Presidency and withholding funds allocated by Congress) might fit nicely. :)

Quote
I would love to understand the mental process that leads you to believe he didn't want to prosecute Biden if he was guilty.

I'm sure he'd love to prosecute Biden if he was guilty.  But his advisers may have told him there wasn't enough evidence.

Fortunately, for a smear campaign, you don't need that much evidence. ;)

Quote
Well I agree with that, Trump's is a made up crime related -potentially- to actually doing his job to investigate what appears could have been an actual crime, so they do have little in common.

However, I feel no inclination to let you set fake narratives free from pointing out the blatant hypocrisy.

Well, that's what an investigation determines, isn't it?  If there was a crime committed or not.  And we won't know until all the evidence is seen.

And while you may see "blatant hypocrisy," and while there may even be such, there is still the matter of the crimes themselves.  It still doesn't matter if Biden is guilty of a crime or not in regards to whether Trump committed a crime or not.  Unless you're one of those who would be standing in the aforementioned puddle of blood... ;)

91
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:10:43 PM »
Wayward

Do you understand why Trump wanted to know wtf happened? The Steele Dossier had a large part of its origins in assumptions and outright falsehoods that were ironically brought to falsehood during Manafort"s trial. And the fact of the matter is that the DNC was looking in Ukraine especially for the DNC server info. The strangeness is that the origins of the Steele Dossier ultimately seems to be in the Ukraine.

After 2 and a half years of the Russia bull*censored*- where yes Trump was vindicated, he promised he wanted to know how this started and where its origins are. Most people paying attention know its the DNC, and Ukraine.

If the server gets released- Obama has some serious explaining to do.

We have literally gone through an attempted coup.

Except he never really believed that.  He just wanted dirt that he could use for his campaign.

Because he never opened a formal investigation.  He never got the experts involved.  He never got our professionals involved, the ones he's in charge of, the ones who could have done a better job than he could.

Show me that the Justice Department was investigating Biden and had asked for his help.  Otherwise, you're just fantasizing.

92
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:06:24 PM »
BTW, it is better to wait for the entire complaint to be released before jumping to conclusions, since this AP article from September 20 suggests that the complaint is “based on a series of events.”

If true, that means that one lousy transcript means nothing.

93
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 06:02:56 PM »
Well, Biden’s crime happened in Ukraine. I suppose that would be up to them to investigate, maybe?  I’m not sure we staff our own “professional investigators” in Ukraine or if they have any real jurisdiction there. Can you fill on those blanks?

As Grant suggested, it would be better for the professional investigators to coordinate with the Ukrainians for an investigation, rather than having a President pressuring the Ukrainians to come up with something.

94
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 04:49:55 PM »
Quote
And no Wayward, I'm not dropping discussion of the underlying crime, since you seem to be asserting that the President investigating a crime is somehow criminal just because it relates to his political opponents.

No, Seriati, don't stop talking about Biden supposed crime.  Please, keep talking about it.  Start a thread on it.  I'll start it for you, if you'd like.

Just don't talk about INSTEAD of Trump's possible crime.

Because, as is obvious to any disinterested observer, Trump did not "investigate" this supposed "crime."  Because if he wanted to investigate it, he would have called in the professional investigators.  That's what they do.  They know how to do it, not some New York real estate magnate.  They are the ones who can do the job.  Even the "Genius Trump" is smart enough to realize that.

No, he just wanted dirt.  He didn't want to prosecute Biden.  He just wanted to smear him.

So discuss Biden's possible crime, Seriati.  Just not on this thread.  Because we're talking about Trump possible crime here.  And the one has little to nothing to do with the other.

95
So you're doubling down on the last time Trump said no commitments was 6 months or a year earlier?  That said meeting was being scheduled earlier in the week and members of his admin said the same thing ealier in the week.

As I said to TheDeamon, maybe you should check the dates yourself.

Yes, the news conference with the Italian Prime Minister was over a year ago, July 30, 2018.

But Trump's interview with Chuck Todd was a mere 12 weeks earlier on June 23, 2019--3 months.  Mike Pence said the same thing that day to Jake Tapper.

And, yes, after that, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said on Fox News that he would meet without pre-conditions on August 28, 2019.  And Mnuchin and Pompeo said so again on September 10, 2019.

Quote
Then IRAN BLEW UP SAUDI OIL REFINERIES and said meeting was cancelled.

At that point you don't think a reasonable reporter would infer that Trump appears to no longer be willing to meet without pre-conditions based on a change of circumstances?  What exactly were they saying before Trump's tweet?  Did you go look?  Were they saying Trump was lying because he apparently had pre-conditions, or criticizing because he was "willing to meet without them after these atrocities"?  What was he reacting to?

Frankly, I don't know where to look to see what Trump was looking at and reacting to.  Does anyone?  What makes you think there necessarily was such a report? ;)

And it still does not excuse him from blaming the "fake news" media that he said he would meet with Iran without conditions.  Because he said it.  Repeatedly.  So did his staff.  Repeatedly.  Days before he changed his mind.

He could have corrected them.  But, no, he assumed (as apparently you do) that they should read his mind.  "Infer" that he changed it.  After all, why should the President actually have to state what is on his mind.  We apparently should all know what he is thinking before he says it, or it's "fake news!"  ::)

Would you have stood for this behavior from Obama?  If not, why do you stand for it from Trump?

96
General Comments / Trump Fights Air Pollution in California
« on: September 25, 2019, 03:43:57 PM »
How does the Trump Administration prove it wants clear air for all citizens.

First, it tries to revoke California's abiltiy to determine their tailpipe emissions standards and to relax those standards (even though many of the the major auto companies have no problem with those rules).

Then a few days later, it threatens to pull back Federal funds to fight air pollution because “California has the worst air quality in the United States,” and "many of the state’s plans to fight air pollution “are inactive and appear to have fundamental issues” that would keep the feds from approving them."

Quote
The EPA is giving California until Oct. 10 to cooperate. If the state does not, the agency said it will begin disapproving its air quality plans. After that point, the agency can block approvals for industrial operations that want to expand within 18 months, and withhold highway funding within 24 months.

So the White House's plan to fight "the worst air quality in the United States" is to either lower emissions standards in the state's cars and/or prevent their air quality plans from being implemented.  Yep, that's a recipe that will sure help a lot!  ::)

97
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 25, 2019, 11:34:48 AM »
Who is saying we should not investigate Biden?

If Trump wants to, let him open an inquiry with the Department of Justice.  Put someone in charge of the Department of Justice he trusts to do a good job.  That is how it's done.

So it's settled.  We don't need to discuss Biden anymore.  If someone wants to discuss Biden, let's start a new thread on it.

Let's stick to the subject at hand.  Did Trump unduly use the power of his office to try to get dirt on Biden for his re-election campaign?

Seriati, why did Trump withhold the funds to Ukraine?  You have at least four choices so far.  Choose your answer carefully (more carefully than the Trump Administration is). :)

The transcript is out. Just read it. Not a single redaction.

There is nothing in it that should be a problem for Trump. Zelensky brings up investigations first and Trump does question what happened around Biden coercing them to fire the prosecutor in order to protect Biden’s son and agrees that the matter should be looked into. That is appropriate to direct justice assets to investigate criminal activity.

In no way are there any kind of conditions or quid pro quo around it. It’s completely legitimate and proper.

Huh-huh.  Sorry, I'm from Missouri.  If the conversation was completely legitimate and proper, then I want to know exactly why someone filed a whistle blower complaint about it and how it got an "urgent" and "credible" status and why it was not handed over to Congress as required by law.  Not to mention verifying that the conversation that Trump released is unredacted and the one in question.

I don't trust this President, and neither should you.  Let's look at all the facts before jumping to conclusions.

98
I don't know, when did he?  Did you see the media query on whether the tweet meant he had withdrawn his prior offer?  I sure didn't.

Let's review the tweet again:

"The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, “No Conditions.” That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)."

Not much chance for confusion, is there?  "I am willing to meet with Iran, "No Conditions"...is an incorrect statement..." 

Quote
Again though, meet the challenge, show where the "gloss" in the media report is supported from the statements in the tweet (we already know if you guys could you would have already and not devolved into the standard ad hominem arguments that are your go to's these days).  I already pointed out the tweet was on Sunday after a major event on Saturday that scuttled an attempt at arranging a meeting (an actual actual that demonstrates there may be a a change in plan - or did you miss that).  I have no idea what was being said on Sunday - but I put some speculation above - to which he was responding.

In any event, you're going a heck of a long way to ignore the timeline (and I acknowledged the statements from his administration) to justify and try to make "reasonable" the media's overstatement.  Why is that?

What "overstatement" are you talking about?  What "gloss?" 

Trump said that "The Fake News media is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, "No Conditions.""  That is a true statement, because that is exactly what he had been consistently saying over the past few months.

He then continues, "That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)."  When did he tell "The Fake News media" it was untrue?  Oooh, that's right, in the previous sentence!

But "as usual," they were reporting an incorrect statement. Because he just told them he changed his mind a second ago!  ::)

Any parsing of his statement shows that he blames the "Fake News media" for incorrectly reporting that he said that he would meet with Iran with no preconditions, as usual.  He wants you to believe that he never said it.  He thinks his supporters are that stupid.

No gloss.  No overstatement.  Just facts, which Trump conveniently ignores when it suits him.

99
I can't keep up.  Is that a lie, a misstatement, fake news, flip-flop or evolving position or just a witch hunt?

Well, if we could get a time frame for those quotes WS gave, that would help immensely.

He may have been open to talks "without conditions" regarding a Nuclear deal a year ago.

But a lot has changed in just the last few months. "Mysterious" attacks on shipping near Iran, a US drone getting shot down, an attack on Saudi Arabia that appears to have at least had support from Iran if not outright perpetrated by Iran...

I'd say the position has probably "evolved" since a year ago.

Now if those quotes were from last week instead..

You can find when those quotes were made with a five minute internet search.  Probably three minute.  Aren't you curious? ;)

Besides, I already mentioned Pompeo and Mnuchin saying he would meet with "no preconditions" five days before the tweet.  That's less than a week.

As I said before, it's OK for his position to change.  But he doesn't admit it, does he?  No, it's "fake news" that he ever wanted to meet.  We have always been at war with Eastasia...

100
General Comments / Re: Ukraine
« on: September 24, 2019, 03:13:42 PM »
As yossarian said, if Trump was legitimately "investigating" possible corruption by Joe Biden and his son, he would (should?) have gone though legitimate channels.  Would his asking the Ukrainian President for information hold up in a court of law?  Especially if it is shown that he threatened to withhold funds to the country to get the information (thereby influencing the outcome of the "investigation?")

It is obvious that he did not intend the information for use in a legitimate prosecution.  Thus, it was for the court of public opinion, aka his re-election campaign.

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