Author Topic: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality  (Read 3818 times)

Seriati

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Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« on: March 27, 2018, 01:23:14 PM »
Anyone else finding themselves flustered by the current reality?  We literally have a porn star and a playboy centerfold, both very attractive, suing to be able to talk about having sex with Donald Trump.  In what world does that make sense?  I honestly, can't imagine that isn't flattering his ego.

Where exactly does CNN see this going?  If I understand the argument correctly, CNN seems to think that by reporting on behavior they don't think  is wrong (ie voluntary sexual encounters), that conservatives should decide en mass to vote for other people who don't think that behavior is wrong and who don't support the views of the conservatives on any issues, rather than Trump who is at least arguably achieving the goals they think are important.  I think that would fall in the category of not taking advice from people who don't have your best interests at heart.

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 01:41:52 PM »
This breaks down to a few pieces.

First, Trump is more celebrity than president.  This is exactly the type of scandal you expect from reporting on some famous celebrity.  And, to one of your points, yes I expect Trump does find it flattering.

Second, there are huge swaths of liberals or the left who cannot grok how conservative christian values can tolerate this stuff.  Hypocrisy IS the story.  YOU claim X yet you voted for Y, how is this not insane? 

Third, I doubt you'll find many who don't think it's wrong to cheat on your wife who just had your child.  Shockingly, you'll find many on the left/liberal side of the aisle who DO think marriage is sacred. 

As to where they think this is going?  No clue.  These stories only confirm what we knew strongly suspected about the man already.  As to who it may convince of what, no clue. 

Flustered doesn't even begin to explain how I feel about current reality.  I've hated "reality TV" since the moment it landed.  To see the *censored*ing White House set as the venue for some low brow "locker room" humor serialized production makes me nauseous.  As if the partisan divide wasn't enough in this country, now we got to put up with this buffoonery.  And the "left wing media" is eating his *censored* up with a spoon and begging for more.  God help us all.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 01:49:08 PM »
Second, there are huge swaths of liberals or the left who cannot grok how conservative christian values can tolerate this stuff.  Hypocrisy IS the story.  YOU claim X yet you voted for Y, how is this not insane?

Same way that people on the left could vote for Obama after he stated he believed marriage was between a man and a woman.  The alternative is no better on that issue, and is worse on many many others.  At best, CNN is engaging in voter nullification by trying to convince conservatives not to vote at all (which -by the way- puts to the lie the idea that the left really wants every vote to count, and the whole message of the rock the vote campaign being pro-democracy). 

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Third, I doubt you'll find many who don't think it's wrong to cheat on your wife who just had your child.  Shockingly, you'll find many on the left/liberal side of the aisle who DO think marriage is sacred.

Sure, in their personal lives.  But how many on the left would insist on eliminating a liberal candidate because they were a cheater?  Or removing one from office? 

As an interesting tidbit (unverified), I saw that the interview set some kind of ratings record for CBS in the last 10 years.  What would the media do without Trump?

DonaldD

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2018, 02:20:07 PM »
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But how many on the left would insist on eliminating a liberal candidate because they were a cheater?  Or removing one from office?
Are there many (even on the left) insisting that Trump is ineligible for office, or that he should be removed from office, because they think he had sex with adult entertainers?  Is that really the only purpose left to media, nowadays?  Or maybe there is just the desire to shame him, and tarnish those Republicans who gladly associate with him and would ride his coattails...

At any rate, the story is no longer that Trump may have had sex with random people while married to other people ("dog bites man") but rather, all the shenanigans around hiding what may have happened (payoffs, for sure. Children threatened? Pattern of behaviour?) shaming the hypocritical family values team, and giving second thoughts to the honest family values team.

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2018, 02:28:30 PM »
Obama on SSM:  pass
Want everyone to vote = lie:  agree
CNN = voter nullification?:  don’t shoot the messenger
Insist on elimination or removal?:  the left hasn’t branded themselves with the “family values” label
Media thrives on Trump:  Duh (I fear that ALL media will conspire to give us 4 more years of this guy.  A true bipartisan effort!)  :(

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 02:29:11 PM »
While the salacious details are interesting (and the Right's attempt to minimize the significance of them makes me smile when I think of WIOHDI*), it misses the really significant point of the scandal.

Trump apparent broke elections laws.

As Electorial-vote.com nicely summarizes:

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He believes the money paid to Daniels was very likely an illegal campaign contribution, particularly given the timing of the payment (two weeks before the election). That will make it hard for Trump to borrow the argument that John Edwards successfully used, namely that the payment to his mistress was meant to save his marriage and not his political career, and so was a private business transaction.

Meanwhile, Avenatti dropped a minor bombshell (and one that's probably not getting quite as much attention as it should). We already knew that while Trump lawyer Michael Cohen claimed to be negotiating with Daniels on behalf of a non-Trump shell corporation called "Essential Consultants," he was using his Trump Organization e-mail address. What Avenatti added on Sunday night was a copy of the letter that Daniels' then-attorney Keith Davidson sent to Cohen to complete the transaction. That letter was sent to Trump Tower, and addressed to "Michael Cohen, Executive Vice President and Special Counsel to Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization." In short, it is now almost impossible for Cohen to argue that he was not working in an official capacity on behalf of the then-candidate.

So, a criminal violation of election law almost certainly occurred. If that is not enough, Cohen has also exposed himself to significant liability, and to possible disbarment. Consequently, as Potter observed, a "wild card" in all of this is that Cohen might well have some knowledge of Trump's dealings with the Russians. And as everyone knows by now, special counsel Robert Mueller loves to nail someone on a slam dunk criminal offense, so as to get them to squeal on their bosses in order to save themselves. Thus, Cohen might soon be traveling the same path that Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos have traveled. And depending on exactly what Cohen did, and in what capacity he did it, attorney-client privilege may not apply. Or, if Cohen's law license is dead in the water anyhow, and his goal is to avoid prison, he might choose to waive privilege. Either way, it's yet another headache for the President.

Then there is the little matter of physical threats against Stormy:

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As Daniels explained, just weeks after she told her story to In Touch magazine in May 2011, she was approached by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot. "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story," he reportedly demanded. "And then," Daniels explained, "He leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom.' And then he was gone..."

[If this is true], this represents an egregious abuse of power and privilege by Trump, from a man and a President who has a long history of abusing his power and his privilege, particularly when it comes to women. Oh, and he also has documented dealings with the Mafia, who seem like the folks that might have been charged with this particular task.

And while you might write-off this facet since there is no proof that she is telling the truth, that kinda assumes that this was the only time it happened, and proof from some other incident may not emerge.

There's also the little matter of whether there were other such affairs that Trump wants to remain quiet, and who knows about them:

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Finally, as Vox's Matthew Yglesias astutely points out, whatever else Daniels might know, there are two things she couldn't possibly know: (1) How many other women have been paid (or threatened) for their silence? and (2) What foreign intelligence services know about these arrangements? It is possible that Daniels and McDougal are the only affairs Trump ever had, and nothing like this happened ever again. However, that is not consistent with what we know about human behavior, nor of what we know about Donald Trump. Similarly, it's possible that the Russians, and the Chinese, and the Saudis, and the Israelis, and all of the other highly-skilled intelligence agencies that would like to have leverage over the United States have not managed to dig up a single shred of information about this, but it's not likely. And all of this is before we consider the fact that there's already evidence that America's enemies have dirt on The Donald, namely the Steele dossier. Not to mention Steve Bannon's claims that there are "hundreds" of other women.

So, to review: That's a creepy spanking, an almost certain violation of campaign finance law, the potential for the President's counsel to be indicted and to flip, an abuse of power, the possibility that more dirt is coming, and the likelihood that all of this is a budding national security crisis. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is definitely going to earn her paycheck this week.

On top of all that is Melania:

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But the biggest unknown unknown is how Melania is taking all this. She can't be happy, but will she take any action? It is virtually certain that Trump forced her to sign a pre-nuptial agreement when they got married, but did he also force her to sign an NDA? What happens if she has had it and decides to file for divorce? Since Trump is known to be a tightwad, most likely the pre-nup gives Melania several million dollars in the event of a divorce, but not tens of millions. Suppose she threatens to write a tell-all book to supplement the settlement in the pre-nup? So far she has not given any sign of wanting a divorce, but she is surely feeling totally humiliated by now.

So the affair--which would have been front-page news for any other President--is only the tip of the iceberg.  This could easily evolve into a Presidental-toppling scandal.  Much like a small break-in at Democratic headquarters a few years back. ;)

*What If Obama Had Done It.

scifibum

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2018, 04:28:09 PM »
CNN wants ratings, obviously.  The salaciousness is enough of an explanation for why they are giving it airtime. 

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But how many on the left would insist on eliminating a liberal candidate because they were a cheater?  Or removing one from office? 

Remember Anthony Weiner? 

In fact, Democrats have done a lot of navel gazing over how they defended Bill Clinton, and there's been a lot of acknowledgement that what he did was indefensible. 

Hint: the left isn't amoral.  Certainly a business entity like CNN might be, but you were painting with a broader brush.  And of course Democrats are partisan and it sometimes blinds them, but that is not nearly as extreme a claim as "they don't think cheating is wrong". 

Did you intend your mention of "voter nullification" as a joke?  Because it is one either way.  That's CNN you're talking about.

As for whether the affairs are newsworthy, yes. 

1) The integrity of the President matters.  It's been clear to most for some time that he has none, but some remain unconvinced. Blatantly lying about the affairs and the coverups might help convince some people that they misjudged him as having some decency. (His wife had a newborn baby, for goodness sake.)

2) The corruptibility of the President matters.  He's got a history of paying hush money.  How extensive and varied the reasons for this is a matter of national interest.  Who else has leverage on him?

3) Campaign finance laws might have been violated.

I'm not going to deny that there's a substantial amount of schadenfreude involved in finding this whole matter interesting.  And because Trump is doing a huge amount of damage, and because his tenure is likely to further entrench the oligarchic trend in our government, and because the GOP in general is likely to continue much of what he's doing, yes, it would be great if embarrassing him, exposing his venality and dishonesty and hypocrisy, and shining a light on how he has debased the office had the side effect of depressing voter enthusiasm among the classes of voters who were stupid enough to think he would be a good President.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2018, 10:22:19 PM »
Hint: the left isn't amoral.  Certainly a business entity like CNN might be, but you were painting with a broader brush.  And of course Democrats are partisan and it sometimes blinds them, but that is not nearly as extreme a claim as "they don't think cheating is wrong".

Why did you put that in quotes?  I didn't say that.  I only mentioned CNN, granted as a proxy for the media, not every Democrat on earth.  I also literally wrote "(i.e., voluntary sexual activity)."

In fairness, the media has already established that voluntary affairs are not a grounds to disqualify a politician in their view.

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Did you intend your mention of "voter nullification" as a joke?  Because it is one either way.  That's CNN you're talking about.

Unfortunately it's not a joke.  I can't see how it could be read any other way.  There's no chance fundamentalist Christians are switching parties. 

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3) Campaign finance laws might have been violated.

This seems a soft claim, not sure it doesn't have legs as technical matter.  I am to the point where I think the campaign finance laws are a gross miscarriage of justice and designed solely to advantage career politicians.

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And because Trump is doing a huge amount of damage, and because his tenure is likely to further entrench the oligarchic trend in our government,...

Yes, the horror of Trump increasing Buffet's power.. oh wait!  Or him endorsing the Hollywood power brokers... again.

And all the damage he's doing by increasing the power of the unelected regulatory state... oh again no.

I'm not seeing this claim about Trump as legit.  Obama was far more an autocrat than Trump, and there's no question that Hillary was deep deep deep inside the entrenched power scheme.

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...and because the GOP in general is likely to continue much of what he's doing, yes, it would be great if embarrassing him, exposing his venality and dishonesty and hypocrisy, and shining a light on how he has debased the office had the side effect of depressing voter enthusiasm among the classes of voters who were stupid enough to think he would be a good President.

And didn't you say that was CNN?  And now you're hoping for voter suppression.  Oh well, it's a pretty slogan about making every vote count even if its a lie.

Fenring

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2018, 01:09:42 AM »
I am to the point where I think the campaign finance laws are a gross miscarriage of justice and designed solely to advantage career politicians.

I can see how one might come to this conclusion, but I don't think that's the larger problem. Politician benefits are surprisingly meager in legal political bribery. Sure, they get the main benefit, which is being in office, but the actual benefits it took to get them there are paltry compared to how their special interests benefit. The insertion of a measly few million can greatly help secure a Congressional win, for instance, and put that person squarely in the pocket of a special interest, and yet the payoff for having a few Congresspeople vote correctly on specific matters can yield billions or even tens of billions in extra profits. The scaling of what they have to pay versus what they get in return is quite astonishing and whenever I see figures of how much various companies contribute (legally) to individual campaigns the numbers are so small compared to what I know they're getting from it. These people are bought so cheaply, it's almost embarrassing. It doesn't take that much in the way of campaign contributions (in the grand scheme) to carry off a good campaign. It's only the Presidential election where the campaign costs get into the billions, but for anything else these 'small' donations go a long way.

I'm only pointing this out because in my view the campaign finance laws very clearly benefit the special interests, who get the vast proportion of the material benefit from the legal (and no doubt illegal) corruption that results. The politicians get a tiny slice of that but in comparison not very much, but it's enough because, again in comparison, they don't need very much. Big pharma and the military companies have GDP's the realm where they dwarf small countries, whereas people in Congress have teeny-tiny budgets and need only a little to then propel the big companies very far.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2018, 10:33:17 AM »
Lest there be continued confusion, I'm not rejecting the idea of reform of campaign finance laws, just stating that having politicians draft them has led to the worst form of design, where they entrench their own interests and create loopholes that they can exploit.  We need an independent commission of some sort.

I also note that the penalties rarely equal the scale of the crime.  Sending a bundler to prison for two years but leaving the illegally supported candidate in office?  Removal of candidates potentially frustrates the democratic will, but so does leaving them in office.

TheDrake

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2018, 11:46:19 AM »
Lest there be continued confusion, I'm not rejecting the idea of reform of campaign finance laws, just stating that having politicians draft them has led to the worst form of design, where they entrench their own interests and create loopholes that they can exploit.  We need an independent commission of some sort.

I also note that the penalties rarely equal the scale of the crime.  Sending a bundler to prison for two years but leaving the illegally supported candidate in office?  Removal of candidates potentially frustrates the democratic will, but so does leaving them in office.

Or the electorate could smarten up to the point where their decision to go to the polls and which candidate they support isn't driven by how many yard signs and 30 second spots they are saturated with.

scifibum

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2018, 04:20:27 PM »
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Unfortunately it's not a joke.

It makes a mockery of the concept. Voter nullification suggests that people's votes are being blocked or discounted. Feeling discouraged because the president you voted for is a scumbag, which you somehow only figured out because of coverage on CNN, is not an example of disenfranchisement.

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Oh well, it's a pretty slogan about making every vote count even if its a lie.

You might want to clearly identify your targets. I've never said that I want all stupid people to vote for stupid reasons.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2018, 05:16:33 PM »
Well not sure that "voter nullification" is the right term, was trying to convey the idea of coverage that isn't designed to persuade or inform but to discourage.  What term would you use?

In any event, if you were a conservative voter and listened to CNN all you'd end up with is a worse overall result by getting discouraged.  I said it real time in the last election, a ethics voter had no candidate in the last election.  Luckily most people are not single issue voters. 

I will say the extreme negativity is making me very excited to vote, and I'm not the only one.

ScottF

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2018, 06:52:43 PM »
Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) cited a poll that was taken before the Stormy news and after. The approval rating (or I think it may just have been generic R vs D choice %) was significantly higher AFTER the “scandal”. This led Adams to ask “how many porn stars does he need to sleep with in order to lock up his reelction?”

I’ve never seen a president so teflon coated, or a media so stymied as to how to bring him down.

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2018, 10:09:21 AM »
Did anyone, of any political persuasion, think the Stormy scandal would make any difference at all?  Even if 100% true, what does it tell us we didn't already know about Trump?  The only catch is if it was bungled in such a way as to make it criminal.

This isn't so much about him being teflon coated, but rather someone who was elected despite (or who knows, perhaps even because of) his flaws.  But the media is stymied.  Everything they thought of as being "presidential" has been thrown out the window.  It's being treated as any other high profile, low class, CEO position, and a large swath of the country seems cool with that.

Judging by Crunch and often Seriati's reactions and defense, this guy is getting the results they wanted, and nothing else matters.  The ends justify the means.  (and the stupid, and the petty, and the wasteful)  :P

Other than criminal wrongdoing 'the media' can't 'bring him down', because he exists down there.  He thrives on being down.  He is perfectly content being hated by most, as long as he's "winning" personally. 

The real dilemma is should the press keep reminding people who he is (as if he'd ever let us forget), or just get numb to it?  Is this some sort of "boy who cried wolf" scenario where they should save their outrage for...  who the hell knows what at this point?

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2018, 10:34:13 AM »
Did anyone, of any political persuasion, think the Stormy scandal would make any difference at all?

Well it's an odd attack vector, the guy ran on being a super alpha.  How does a porn star and playboy model suing to be able to talk about having sex with him work against that image?  The point of this thread was that it was a very bizarre tact to take.  Maybe the media can't help themselves, in the metoo era they just can't accept that this isn't a paramount concern to everyone (much like the religious right wastes times trying to convince the left that their candidates are "godless," which literally no one on the left cares about, or if they do care, they would not trust the religious right's opinion on the topic).

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Judging by Crunch and often Seriati's reactions and defense, this guy is getting the results they wanted, and nothing else matters.  The ends justify the means.  (and the stupid, and the petty, and the wasteful)  :P

I think that's a bizarre interpretation.  I'm not aware that Trump's used any improper means to achieve the goals I favor.  He's cut back on executive abuse and regulatory abuse to achieve most of his goods.  Literally the correct means to an end.

I'm not a moral fundamentalist.  Not a religious fundamentalist.  I'm not seeing Trump's personal issues as terribly relevant to the job he's doing, and I'm also aware that a media that has been 90% plus negative from day one (a total record by the way), can distort how someone's perceived dramatically.  Heck if they'd been like this for Obama he'd never have had a second term.

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Other than criminal wrongdoing 'the media' can't 'bring him down', because he exists down there.  He thrives on being down.  He is perfectly content being hated by most, as long as he's "winning" personally.

If the media hadn't sold out, they'd have a credibility to make claims.  But when, for example, they decide to spend dozens of minutes of on air time criticizing the President's diet coke intake, it's kind of hard to trust they are actually being objective on other issues.  When they praise the Obama economy, and declare sub-standard growth the "new normal" despite an enormously depressed business climate, and can't find anything nice to say about a much better Trump economy, I'm left wondering what they actually do report on accurately.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2018, 10:41:57 AM »

Mynnion

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2018, 10:56:58 AM »
The only thing I find strange about this is the NDA.  Only the most anti-Trumpers care about an affair years ago.  With his history it would be surprising if there had not been affairs.  Why the pay-off?  His base was not going to vote for Hillary no matter how despicable Trumps behavior.

On a side note:  Liberals do care about individuals who cheat on their wives (at least under certain circumstances).  When was the last time you heard anything about John Edwards?

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2018, 11:18:47 AM »
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I'm not aware that Trump's used any improper means to achieve the goals I favor.
A far distinction.  I wasn't thinking in a compartmentization way.  Trump the person being a non related issue to Trump's (important) presidental/political agenda.  (as opposed to the smokescreen / trivialities where we just let Trump be Trump)

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He's cut back on executive abuse and regulatory abuse to achieve most of his goods.
Jury's still out on the first IMO.  Something I agreed with you on when it was Obama in the hot seat.  As to the regulatory abuses...  That's very much a pick your poison ideology.  Abuses in regulation or abuses due to lack of oversight.  I tend to favor the former if I have to pick one of those evils (and I feel we must pick).

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I'm not seeing Trump's personal issues as terribly relevant to the job he's doing
I do feel for you (and voters like you) who have legitimate non-Democrat political views/objectives.  I'm glad you're seeing some results you like.  That doesn't do much to change my view that Trump (and current day Republicans in general) rode to where he is on the backs of the religious/moral fundamentalists.  I felt much the same way about Bill Clinton durring his scandal.  That's between him and his wife I thought, but it is a mark on the dignity of the office.  With Trump, we seem to have (or rather he has) discarded the idea that the office should be dignified at all.  :(

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If the media hadn't sold out, they'd have a credibility to make claims.
  They aren't being objective.  I do worry about phrases such as "make claims" though.  Biased reporting of actual events IS still reporting.  Asking for unbiased reporting is like looking for endagered species... 

As for credit and blame of the economy, I've always found it silly to give the president himself much credit.  Maybe they are helping the legislative branch come to agreements, or motivating them.  Or maybe they are making executive decisions that move things.  Watching the stock market fluctuate wildly on the off hand tweets of POTUS doesn't inspire me with confidence, but who knows, maybe with enough deregulation someone else's 401k or stock options will be looking up! 

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2018, 11:34:35 AM »
The only thing I find strange about this is the NDA.  Only the most anti-Trumpers care about an affair years ago.  With his history it would be surprising if there had not been affairs.  Why the pay-off?  His base was not going to vote for Hillary no matter how despicable Trumps behavior.

The NDA angle is bizarre.  Only makes sense to me in the context of serial cheater who has to be cautious of his pre-nups.

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On a side note:  Liberals do care about individuals who cheat on their wives (at least under certain circumstances).  When was the last time you heard anything about John Edwards?

That's interesting thing to bring up.  You mean the same John Edwards whose story broke in the National Enquirer and got almost no traction for almost a year in the same mainstream media that is breathless reporting on anything they can find whether or not verified?  Seems to me to be a literal case study in how similar conduct is reported completely differently based on party (Edwards, conduct by the way, was both better and worse, depending on point of view, and the cover up was at least equally as bizarre).

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2018, 12:45:33 PM »
The only thing I find strange about this is the NDA.  Only the most anti-Trumpers care about an affair years ago.  With his history it would be surprising if there had not been affairs.  Why the pay-off?  His base was not going to vote for Hillary no matter how despicable Trumps behavior.

The NDA angle is bizarre.  Only makes sense to me in the context of serial cheater who has to be cautious of his pre-nups.


It is also worrisome.  If Trump is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep these women (I believe there is more than Stormy) quiet, and to threaten them with million-dollar lawsuits if they don't, what else is he willing to do to keep these stories under-wraps?

TheDeamon

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2018, 12:26:56 AM »
On a side note:  Liberals do care about individuals who cheat on their wives (at least under certain circumstances).  When was the last time you heard anything about John Edwards?

That's interesting thing to bring up.  You mean the same John Edwards whose story broke in the National Enquirer and got almost no traction for almost a year in the same mainstream media that is breathless reporting on anything they can find whether or not verified?  Seems to me to be a literal case study in how similar conduct is reported completely differently based on party (Edwards, conduct by the way, was both better and worse, depending on point of view, and the cover up was at least equally as bizarre).

And on a related note: That "it came to light" for the MSM after he turned out to be a major contender in 2008 against both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama.

More likely than not, Edwards was run through the coals because he challenged the Clinton Political Machine.

TheDrake

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2018, 02:19:42 PM »
There was also Gary Hart in 88 found fooling around with a model on the improbably named "Monkey Business" yacht.

TheDeamon

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2018, 11:21:57 AM »
There was also Gary Hart in 88 found fooling around with a model on the improbably named "Monkey Business" yacht.

While many of the same people are still around, most of them were still bit-players on the larger stage. Different rules applied in the 1980's.

Which isn't to mention that was pretty much the apex of "the religious right" and they had enough influence that the Dems couldn't just shrug that off.

rightleft22

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2018, 02:03:30 PM »
Both the right and left are being hypocritical on the matter of character traits that still matter.. does lying, sex, family values, cheating, racism, misogyny…still matter? I think stealing, murder, treason… still matter.

With regards to character of a Leader, what is your line in the sand?
What failure of character would stop you from supporting someone?
What failure of character would stop you from supporting a political leader that in all other ways matches your ideology, policies, goals?
Are the lists the same?

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2018, 02:33:11 PM »
Both the right and left are being hypocritical on the matter of character traits that still matter.. does lying, sex, family values, cheating, racism, misogyny…still matter? I think stealing, murder, treason… still matter.

This is actually a fair criticism, these things do matter.  The problem is that in a binary two party system there is no solution.  A responsible voter can't just throw up the their hands because "their" candidate is a bad person, when the other person is worse for the country. 

I'm still of the view that Hillary was a far worse choice than Trump.  A year in, I think Trump was a better choice than I realized.  I even think he's been better for the positions of the people on the left, though they've absolutely refused to acknowledge it, than another more typical Republican would have been.

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With regards to character of a Leader, what is your line in the sand?
What failure of character would stop you from supporting someone?

Why don't you answer this question?  What personal failure in the Democratic candidate, with whom you agree on 75%+ of the issues, would cause you to vote for Trump for reelection, or even to stay home? 

Is there any such thing?  Or do you acknowledge that getting 75% of what you're looking for, as opposed to what seems to be 100% what you hate, is worth overlooking even major defects?
 
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What failure of character would stop you from supporting a political leader that in all other ways matches your ideology, policies, goals?
Are the lists the same?

I think your real options are to influence who ends up as the party's candidate.

rightleft22

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2018, 05:46:47 PM »
To be honest I'm not sure what my lines in the sand are.
I do think we deserve better then have to choose to compromise our own values in order to support someone that does not measure up.
To support and defend such a person that does not meet our own standards, to me anyways, suggest they are not really our standards, or wont be for long.

Personally I struggle with this which is why I asked the question. Not to trap anyone.

Ok my lines in the sand will be (I will not support any leader - even if that means spoiling my vote) 
- Intentionally, knowingly, criminally manipulation of the of the facts in order to create division, anger and hatred.
- A reliance on Fear as a means to motivate.
- Hypocrisy i.e. promoting Values while intentionally not trying to live up to them. 
- Racism
- Murder
- Treason
- Intentional cheating, stealing - level of criminal action
- Allowing lobbyist to overly control them - To such a point its obviously they are puppets.

Putin, Trump, Hillary would not get my vote





TheDrake

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2018, 06:03:52 PM »
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A reliance on Fear as a means to motivate.

Crap, that's going to eliminate a lot of candidates.

Aren't about 90% of political ads and speeches all about fear? Fear of what it would mean if <insert opponent> gets to nominate a Supreme Court Justice? Fear of what will happen to your job/economy? Fear of the removal of public safety nets? Threats, threats, threats outweigh Opportunity 3:1.

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2018, 09:18:01 AM »
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Ok my lines in the sand will be
<This is where I would find a good Kang and Kodo gif of them laughing at you to insert>

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2018, 09:37:07 AM »
Ok my lines in the sand will be (I will not support any leader - even if that means spoiling my vote) 
- Intentionally, knowingly, criminally manipulation of the of the facts in order to create division, anger and hatred.
- A reliance on Fear as a means to motivate.
- Hypocrisy i.e. promoting Values while intentionally not trying to live up to them.

First all, kudos on trying to have a line in the sand.  I'd suggest you rethink it though.  We live in a two party system, if you fit within the great mass on the political spectrum one of the two candidates will almost certainly better align with your goals than the other.  Unless you're to the point where you reject the legitimacy of the system itself and no longer wish to record your support of it by voting at all.

But in particular, the 3 items listed above eliminate virtually every candidate possible.  Though the first is far more common in a non-criminal contest, it's not clear if you meant that reference to by hyperbolic or literal.
 
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- Racism

Agreed, virtually no one would vote for David Duke.

I do draw a big distinction between racism, and accusations of racism.

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- Murder
- Treason

Hard to imagine a politician recovering from these, though it's pretty easy to show that they can recover from accusations if they can throw enough doubt on the matter. 

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- Intentional cheating, stealing - level of criminal action

We've had more than one Congressman caught doing this and remaining in office or even being reelected.

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- Allowing lobbyist to overly control them - To such a point its obviously they are puppets

Tough to be sure on something like that.  Seems more an accusation you can throw at the other side's politicians (ie, "He's controlled by the NRA") than say (I won't vote for him cause he's a pawn of the teacher's union).

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Putin, Trump, Hillary would not get my vote

Putin wouldn't get my vote.  I have a real problem supporting autocrats in any context.

Hilary is autocratic, but could certainly be the lesser of two evils in some circumstances. 

Trump, was definitely a tough one to vote for, the last election had two horrible candidates.  That said, he's actually been better than I expected.  I even think, objectively, he's been better from the left point of view than another traditional Republican would have been (though there's zero chance anyone on the left is going to acknowledge it).

TheDrake

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2018, 01:08:48 PM »
I gladly withheld my vote from both major party candidates in 16, as I considered them fatally flawed. I don't care about a lesser of evils, because I take a long term view. If my vote for a third party is added with enough other votes to be more than the margin of difference between the two major parties, it will affect whether a party asks a candidate to step aside on character issues, whether they will collude with a candidate during primaries, whether they back candidates under indictment with pac money, or brag about how they could murder someone and still get their candidate elected.

Legislation and policy isn't the only thing that matters about a politician. Leadership, example, attitude, diplomacy, and other qualities also shape the world around us in profound ways.

I would have voted for Sanders based on his integrity, even though I'm not very well aligned on policy.

And, by the way, the "virtually no one" who would vote for David Duke were 8500 and sufficient to win a seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. According to wiki, they cared more about their property taxes than his character - although they might well have had no conflict at all.

rightleft22

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2018, 01:49:34 PM »
For me the point about character is that if one is going to overlook character flaws for their party’s candidate then they can’t use the same characters flaws as arguments against others…  And really at your core you must me ok with those flaws at some level.

With regards to infidelity (topic of this thread) I had in the past held leaders to that standard but today I don’t. What does that say about me? I don’t expect people in power to keep it in their pants and that’s ok??? (I hope their partners leave them)

I get making a choice between what one views as the better of two “evils” but such a choice changes us when we make it.  Though I may agree with most of the policies of the better of two “evils” I most definitely will not defend or excuse the “evil” (character traits I find distasteful). Character must matter or what’s the point.

I know my list is subjective, (and quickly compiled) its why I included the judgment of intentional. I don’t expect leaders to be perfect but there must be a point I say - to far.

For me the ends do not justify the means. If I made the choice between what I felt was the better between of two “evils” then fine, man up, the policies matter more to me then character flaws, don’t pretend otherwise. I don’t want to pretend so no more. If the leader does not deserve my support they will not get it, even if I agree with 100% of the policies they represent. No more.

Fenring

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2018, 02:14:22 PM »
I'm not as hung up over personal character flaws if they are merely personal. Like, if a candidate's personal life is a mess but they take the job seriously I'm not hung up about their imperfections. It could be a messy divorce, or even a drug problem, and I would just want to know if it will interfere with their work. But if the work ethic is there then I'm fine. I daresay that even a criminal record wouldn't bother me, so long as it was behind them and not pertinent to their current work status.

What I consider an unacceptable 'personal flaw' is that the person lies for their special interests, or steals using their government position, or otherwise abuses the office or doesn't do the job as stated. Being beholden to special interests, for instance, is not only corrupt in a general sense but specifically also means they refuse to do the job they're hired to do. It's like if I went to work for Google but I spend most of the time there soliciting Microsoft for funding. You're fired!

To me a candidate who I don't trust to represent the best wishes of the majority of Americans is unacceptable. If I think they want the office to help only their party, or worse, only themselves and their allies, then forget it. At this point I'd have to be pretty convinced that there was no hidden master behind a candidate to think positively of them. I might perhaps vote for someone merely unobjectionable, but I wouldn't be happy about it unless I thought they actually cared about the office or at least the causes they claim to espouse. Basically the thing I find most unacceptable in politics is lying. I would have greater respect for a war-hawk who came out and said "I think blowing up dark-skinned people is great" than someone who mouths liberals buzz words and then proceeds to do the same as the former anyhow. I wouldn't have much regard for either, but at least you'd know where you stand with the first one.


TheDrake

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2018, 02:56:05 PM »
I think the only reason I care about an infidelity is whether it represents a betrayal or if it could leave the politician compromised by blackmail.

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2018, 03:52:25 PM »
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I even think, objectively, he's been better from the left point of view than another traditional Republican would have been (though there's zero chance anyone on the left is going to acknowledge it).

Other than energizing the Left and starting what looks like to be a wave election this November, I can't really imagine what you're talking about. :)

You should start a thread talking about this.  I, for one, would be interested.

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2018, 04:43:58 PM »
I think the only reason I care about an infidelity is whether it represents a betrayal or if it could leave the politician compromised by blackmail.
Or, you know, taken out before the secret service could have a chance to stop it.  :P

TheDeamon

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2018, 05:52:54 PM »
Hilary is autocratic, but could certainly be the lesser of two evils in some circumstances. 

Trump, was definitely a tough one to vote for, the last election had two horrible candidates.  That said, he's actually been better than I expected.  I even think, objectively, he's been better from the left point of view than another traditional Republican would have been (though there's zero chance anyone on the left is going to acknowledge it).

I didn't vote for either one. But then, that was due to the Electoral College and my(and everyone else) deciding that it was a "safe win" for Trump so I threw my vote to a third party candidate.

Hopefully if he is the General Election candidate in 2020, I'll have that option once again.

His impact on 2018 in my state is likely to be minimal at best or worst depending on point of view. I doubt they're going to make much headway into my state. Other states, that's another matter. But I still think the polling for 2018 is likely to miss the mark in many ways. Of course, I haven't checked to see what Nate Silver is tracking at this point, but I think we're still too far out to really have any solid indications of what's going on.

Most of the "modern polling" methodology is likely to end up polling in districts that were likely to vote Democratic anyway, so they're going to have a strong pro-democrat bias. What isn't so clear is what is going to be happening in the more rural/less urban districts.

A number of "purple" and even "light-red" districts a potentially going to flip, but I think it's still highly probably(as Nate Silver suggested a couple months ago) for the aggregate vote tally to go heavily in favor of the Democrats, but for them to end up with "a split decision" in regards to control of Congress.

I'd almost bet on a Democratic House and a Republican Senate right now except things are so in flux right now it would be an insane bet to make when the final candidates are unknown.

Republican controlled House is still theoretically possible, even though the odds are getting increasingly bad on that count.

D.W.

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2018, 09:03:02 AM »
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I'd almost bet on a Democratic House and a Republican Senate right now except things are so in flux right now it would be an insane bet to make when the final candidates are unknown.
After last election cycle, I don't think I'd bet on politics, ever.  :P

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2018, 10:25:43 AM »
Things are heating up, now that Trump has denied knowing about the hush-money to Stormy.

As Electoral-vote.com summarizes:

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If Trump is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, that means that Cohen, of his own volition, borrowed money on a line of credit against his house to pay off the adult actress without any expectation of being reimbursed. The ethical issues this creates are staggering. First, lawyers are not supposed to make major decisions (like paying hush money just before an election) without even informing their clients what they are up to. Cohen could be disbarred for that. Second, if the purpose of his gift to Daniels was to influence the election, it would be an illegal unreported campaign expense, which could land him in prison. Third, Trump's name was printed on the NDA, but how can a contract be valid if one party to it doesn't even know it exists? If Avenatti wins the first round of his case and gets it to be handled in a public courtroom rather than in arbitration, he will certainly ask the judge for permission to depose both Trump and Cohen, which could get interesting.
(Emphasis mine.)

Odd that one of the best lawyers in the country (after all, Trump only hires the best ;) ) would so blatantly break the law on his own volition.

Of course, if Trump did know about the payment, then he did not report the campaign expense, which is also illegal.

And the pot begins to simmer...

TheDrake

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2018, 10:51:50 AM »
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after all, Trump only hires the best

And fires them after a few months.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2018, 11:26:14 AM »
Of course, if Trump did know about the payment, then he did not report the campaign expense, which is also illegal.

Or someone reached the reasonable conclusion that this wasn't a campaign contribution, which is all the more credible if there was a history of paying settlements established by Trump in his pre-campaign days.  After all, there are legitimate reasons for any celebrity to enter into such arrangements.

Do the Congressional settlements paid for by the federal government also constitution campaign contributions?  If you really want to strain it there are any number of things that could be shoe horned into such an analysis.  How sure are you about this interpretation?

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2018, 01:12:09 PM »
Well, this particular "settlement" was paid about 2 months before Election Day, and I have not heard that there were extended negotiations (that took, say, months) prior to that.  So it very much looks like this was a payoff to prevent a possible "October surprise" which might influence the election results, therefore making it a campaign expense.

It's also odd that this was handled entirely by his lawyer, who said he used his own funds, and that Trump denies the affair or knowing about the payoff.  It makes it look like he was trying very hard to hide the whole thing, and not necessarily to shield himself just from Melania's wrath. :)

One can't be completely certain about this until all the facts are out, of course.  But the circumstances we've seen so far certainly point in that direction.

TheDrake

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2018, 01:30:19 PM »
"An expenditure made by any person or entity in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign is also considered an in-kind contribution to the candidate."

So Trump's knowledge (or anyone else in the campaign) might make it an issue, although I think it is hard to prove that Trump is cognizant of his immediate surroundings at any given time.

Either way, I think that whole line of inquiry is quibbling and stupid. The intent of these laws is to prevent undue influence, but Trump's lawyer "giving" him $130k is kind of irrelevant considering his general cash flow, and certainly less influential than mountains of PAC money. Prosecuting on a technicality that could probably be made against any candidate is an act of distracting desperation. I doubt we ever see anything come of this.

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2018, 01:37:02 PM »
Well, this particular "settlement" was paid about 2 months before Election Day, and I have not heard that there were extended negotiations (that took, say, months) prior to that.  So it very much looks like this was a payoff to prevent a possible "October surprise" which might influence the election results, therefore making it a campaign expense.

If Trump's campaign had paid this as a "campaign expense" I'm pretty sure we'd be on here with people asserting that it was illegal for Trump to misappropriate campaign resources to settle his personal issues.

By this logic, if Trump reached a settlement with the IRS two weeks before the election, to prevent a public filing by the IRS of a tax fraud claim, that would be a legitimate "campaign expense."

Honestly, you don't see a difference between a campaign expense and something that benefits a politician in their personal life?

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It's also odd that this was handled entirely by his lawyer, who said he used his own funds, and that Trump denies the affair or knowing about the payoff.

That is odd to me too, not aware of any lawyers who make such payments out of their own funds.  But the lawyer actually claimed that first, didn't he?  Would love understand why he did so.

Mynnion

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2018, 01:56:03 PM »
The whole thing is odd.  What possible impact would a story coming out about an alleged affair years before have on the election when we are talking about Trump's history?  He has admitted to affairs and cheating on his wives.  His "prolife" stance had already won over the majority of Evangelical voters and they are the only group that might have cared. 

Why would his lawyer fork out 130K of hush money if that was all there was?  That is what stinks to me.  I'll let the lawyers and partisans fight about the legality of the money.  I am more interested in the why.

Wayward Son

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2018, 11:23:13 AM »
Well, you may get your wish, Mynnion, since the legality of the money is going to become an issue.

Trump has admitted that he paid Cohen to pay Daniels.  Both Giuliani and Trump via Twitter has said so.  (Notice that someone else wrote the tweet for Trump. ;) )

Of course, Giuliani says it "is going to turn out to be ... a fact now that ... It's not campaign money. No campaign finance violation."  Mainly because the money was "funneled through a law firm."  Uh-huh.  As Electorial-vote.com said, "If all a politician had to do in order to engage in de facto laundering of campaign contributions was to hand over said contributions to their lawyer, then surely a Dick Nixon or a Bill Clinton or one of the Bushes' cronies would have figured that out long ago." :)

They could argue that such payments are quite regular for Trump, but that runs into at least two little problems.  One is that Trump would have to disclose all the other such payments of NDA to make his case, which kinda defeats the purpose of said payments. 

The other problem is the timing of this particular payment.  The alleged sexual encounter happened in 2006.  But it wasn't until 2016, two weeks before the election, that hush money was paid.  If Trump was so very concerned that this story would cause him personal, not political, harm, why did he wait 10 years to squelch it?  Didn't he have a personal life before then? ;)

So if this does go to court, the court is going to be asking Trump a lot of questions about it.  Like why he made the payment, and why he lied about it.  And even Bill Clinton, who is obviously more intelligent than Donald, had to resort to the definition of what "is" is to squirm his way out of admitting an affair.  We'll see how well Donald does. :)

Fenring

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2018, 11:57:29 AM »
I understand why there's an issue in whether Trump's lawyer did something he wasn't supposed to. But I don't really see how it's a violation of the law to use campaign money on PR for the candidate, even if that PR amounts to quieting people who would publicly make him look bad. How is that not real PR for his campaign? I don't see how it's possible to logically disconnect Trump's "private" image with his image as a candidate. It's simply a reality now that the two are always the same; there's no such thing as the candidate as professional as opposed to the candidate as private citizen. Trump didn't invest the President being a celebrity, he's just the only one in recent memory who was already a celebrity before running.

I'm not even addressing whether it's good or bad to have had an affair, or what the ethics are of handing people money in exchange for silence. But strictly on a "will this help get me elected" axis what exactly is the problem of spending campaign money on an action that will help win the election, and that doesn't break the law?

Seriati

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2018, 12:03:06 PM »
Wayward, you missed the key point of the revelation.  Trump's payment came from his personal funds, not campaign resources, which pretty much eliminates any possible violation here.  There's nothing illegal about paying someone to enter into an NDA, even the campaign could have done it, they'd just have had to make filings about it.  If Trump used his personal funds, there's only a poor argument that this was a campaign expense - especially given his past practices and celebrity status.

In fact, if this was the basis of the FBI's raid on Michael Cohen, this may completely invalidate its validity, as there would be no crime and every thing seized could be off the table.

scifibum

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #48 on: May 03, 2018, 12:22:59 PM »
Intent to influence the election = in-kind campaign contribution.

Loan from Michael Cohen to the campaign required filings (he was paid back in installments over time).

So no, this doesn't clear the air.

scifibum

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Re: Stormy Daniels and the Surreal Reality
« Reply #49 on: May 03, 2018, 12:23:51 PM »
"But I don't really see how it's a violation of the law to use campaign money on PR for the candidate..."

You have to account for campaign money regardless.