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  #1051  
Old 09-28-2019, 05:37 AM
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Question. Does Congress have any ability to create it's equivalent of an immunity deal? With a corrupt AG, what's going to compel the truth from these players?
Yes. They typically talk to DOJ but the law does not require DOJ support or action. DOJ can ask the judge for a 20 day delay. It does take a 2/3 vote of the relevant committee so it would require bipartisan support to accomplish.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/pol...happen-n741161
  #1052  
Old 09-28-2019, 05:38 AM
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Question. Does Congress have any ability to create it's equivalent of an immunity deal? With a corrupt AG, what's going to compel the truth from these players?
Don't worry about that. The players will put their hand on a Bible and swear to tell the truth so that proves they'll be honest. No way they'd defy Yahweh, the smitiest of them all.
  #1053  
Old 09-28-2019, 05:51 AM
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It does take a 2/3 vote of the relevant committee so it would require bipartisan support to accomplish.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/pol...happen-n741161
Well there goes that idea. Thanks for the link/answer.
  #1054  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:49 AM
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RioRico, just a friendly suggestion: There’s a thread here in Elections called “Let's say that Trump went 'Bat-Shit Crazy' and wanted to permanently end all dissent in the US....”. That might be a better place to focus on your theme of extreme measures (like “wagging the dog” with a nuclear launch) that Trump may or may not take if he gets truly desperate.

Or, maybe start a new thread.

I’m not saying this focus is irrelevant to this thread we’re in now, but with all the events coming fast and furious in real time, it’s complicated enough keeping up with the here and now, and likely/highly plausible near-future developments.

Just a suggestion. I’m not junior modding.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 09-28-2019 at 06:50 AM.
  #1055  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:06 AM
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His emphasis on the sentences ending with ellipses is, I feel, pretty spot on.

While it's not impossible that Trump drifted off and changed subject, I feel like he said something too horrible to enshrine at those positions, based on the words leading up to them.
I thought that was interesting too. The missing explicit quid quo pro could be where the ellipses are located. But even without them, the information revealed so far is very damning for Trump and other top officials.

The best thing that could happen for America is Trump is removed from office and goes to prison.

The best thing that could happen for the GOP is Trump dies in office. It would end all of the investigations, and not have them saddled with having such an explicit (and vocal) criminal tied around their necks.

I do wonder if the GOP have decided that they've got all the value they can get from Trump? I don't think so. I think the GOP is now the Trumpist party (I think it was the Trumpist party before Trump but now we have a more convenient name to put on where they were headed). Have to just wait and see what happens.
  #1056  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:20 AM
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So it took ol' Uncle Joe re-emerging from the sidelines after two years for this to happen. He might not even be the nominee!
  #1057  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:36 AM
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So it took ol' Uncle Joe re-emerging from the sidelines after two years for this to happen. He might not even be the nominee!
Heh. Wouldn’t it be cool if that were the Democratic leadership’s plan all along?

1. Find a potential 2020 candidate plausible enough for Trump to worry about, but it’s okay if he/she doesn’t become the nominee in the end. Biden? Perfect - the Obama association will push Trump’s buttons just right.

2. Convince a family member of that potential candidate to do something legal but doesn’t-look-totally-above-board-maybe-on-the-face-of-it, in a country that depends on our official assistance, not for humanitarian needs but for hard-core security ones. Hmmm...Hunter Biden...and....South Korea? Not quite...Ukraine? Yes!

That’s all you really need for the set-up.

Obviously I don’t think this is what happened, but it would make for a clever twist/reveal in a book or movie.

Of course, Trump would squeal “entrapment” — don’t the perps always? — but no one was forcing him to act.
  #1058  
Old 09-28-2019, 07:54 AM
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I did like what Bill Maher said about Hunter Biden: “Get a fucking job!” Obviously it in no way justifies the way Trump has massively abused his presidential power, but it is gross nevertheless that Hunter got a job he wasn’t qualified for, paying $50,000 a month, almost certainly just because of who his daddy is.

ETA: Maher did not seem to blame Joe for this, just Hunter. And I think that’s probably right.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-28-2019 at 07:55 AM.
  #1059  
Old 09-28-2019, 08:08 AM
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I did like what Bill Maher said about Hunter Biden: “Get a fucking job!” Obviously it in no way justifies the way Trump has massively abused his presidential power, but it is gross nevertheless that Hunter got a job he wasn’t qualified for, paying $50,000 a month, almost certainly just because of who his daddy is.

ETA: Maher did not seem to blame Joe for this, just Hunter. And I think that’s probably right.
How is he not qualified exactly?

Yale Law School graduate. Worked as a lawyer for MBNA bank. Worked in the US Dept of Commerce. Worked as a lobbyist. Was on the board of directors for Amtrak. Founded an investment firm. And then again as a lawyer. Also served in the US Naval Reserve.

I mean it seems strange to tell somebody to get a job when they've had a pretty good professional career over two decades.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter...note-entous1-2

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 09-28-2019 at 08:09 AM.
  #1060  
Old 09-28-2019, 08:43 AM
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It’s an energy company, and his prior experience was not in that sector. Also, I am presuming that he does not possess native fluency in Ukrainian or Russian. Do you really think he got that high-paying job just based on his resume and interview and without any consideration of whose son he was?
  #1061  
Old 09-28-2019, 08:44 AM
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Speaking of Biden, I just went looking for the crazy right wing take on all this. Here ya go.

"So let's get this straight, dems are attempting to impeach a president for exposing a crime and then elect the person who did the crime to the highest office in the land!"

It was in all caps of course but I just couldn't do it.
  #1062  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:03 AM
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Heh. Wouldn’t it be cool if that were the Democratic leadership’s plan all along?

1. Find a potential 2020 candidate plausible enough for Trump to worry about, but it’s okay if he/she doesn’t become the nominee in the end. Biden? Perfect - the Obama association will push Trump’s buttons just right.

2. Convince a family member of that potential candidate to do something legal but doesn’t-look-totally-above-board-maybe-on-the-face-of-it, in a country that depends on our official assistance, not for humanitarian needs but for hard-core security ones. Hmmm...Hunter Biden...and....South Korea? Not quite...Ukraine? Yes!

That’s all you really need for the set-up.

Obviously I don’t think this is what happened, but it would make for a clever twist/reveal in a book or movie.

Of course, Trump would squeal “entrapment” — don’t the perps always? — but no one was forcing him to act.
That's already a right-wing conspiracy theory. Think I saw it on Twitter. Progressives are supposedly making all this up to tank Biden and Trump to get Warren elected.
  #1063  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:31 AM
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That's already a right-wing conspiracy theory. Think I saw it on Twitter. Progressives are supposedly making all this up to tank Biden and Trump to get Warren elected.
Interesting — “Making all this up” isn’t what I outlined, though... just baiting a known criminal.
  #1064  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:37 AM
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It’s an energy company, and his prior experience was not in that sector. Also, I am presuming that he does not possess native fluency in Ukrainian or Russian. Do you really think he got that high-paying job just based on his resume and interview and without any consideration of whose son he was?
Of course not. But a lot of wastrel children of powerful people get jobs through family connections. The end goal is to use the family connections to bring in clients and investments.

I’m not crazy about it, but it’s very common practice. There’s really no non-political reason to single out Hunter Biden among the droves of rich kids working jobs like this.


I just saw this story which had a couple of interesting tidbits that I hadn’t seen before.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/...ump-lying.html

Back on May 11th, Guiliani had a trip scheduled to Ukraine. That trip was cancelled. The reason he gave was that he “would be walking into a group of people that were enemies of the president”. Which may have been true in some sense, but the real reason for canceling the trip was that Zelensky refused to meet with him.

Three days later, on May 14th, Trump canceled Pence’s trip. It was also around that time that Trump said he wouldn’t meet with Zelensky until he showed a willingness to “play ball”.

Even though the Slate article doesn’t go there, it was also around that time that Trump recalled the Ukrainian ambassador, calling her “bad news”. Something about how she discouraged an Ukrainian prosecutor from pursuing certain cases. The article doesn’t say what the “certain cases” are, but I can take a guess.

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/26/76456...u-s-ambassador

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 09-28-2019 at 09:38 AM.
  #1065  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:43 AM
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Giuliani just cancelled another trip. He was scheduled to meet with the Kremlin next week. Must of thought it was bad optics or something.

ETA Make that at a "Kremlin backed conference" with Trump's controller there.

Last edited by steatopygia; 09-28-2019 at 09:45 AM.
  #1066  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:46 AM
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Speaking of Biden, I just went looking for the crazy right wing take on all this. Here ya go.

"So let's get this straight, dems are attempting to impeach a president for exposing a crime and then elect the person who did the crime to the highest office in the land!"

It was in all caps of course but I just couldn't do it.
Even sillier was one meme that had Donald getting impeached and convicted, Pence naming him to be the new vice president, and then resigning in order to put him right back in the White House. Apparently they're unaware that both houses of Congress must confirm a vice presidential appointment, so for this scheme to work both houses would have to deem him unfit for the presidency and then say he's perfectly fit to be vice president.

What even I as a diehard Democrat find troubling about the Biden thing- why on earth would a Ukrainian oil company put Hunter Biden on its board of directors? Exactly what is his expertise?

But I digress... this past week has been nothing short of extraordinary. New things are coming to light faster than we can process them. What I wish would happen would be Schiff getting a court order to view any and all call logs from the White House to Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea. I don't hold much hope that the Republican Supreme Court would order such a thing, but it would be lovely to behold. One thing I wonder- could President Warren in her first day order all of the stuff in the super-dee-duper document server to be placed on her desk? I think that would go a long way to cool off the MAGAbots, show them what a corrupt shitstain DJT was.
  #1067  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:50 AM
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I did like what Bill Maher said about Hunter Biden: “Get a fucking job!” Obviously it in no way justifies the way Trump has massively abused his presidential power, but it is gross nevertheless that Hunter got a job he wasn’t qualified for, paying $50,000 a month, almost certainly just because of who his daddy is.
How about if Don Junior, Ivanka, (Jared,) and Eric get some fucking jobs independently of who their fucking father is?
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  #1068  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:51 AM
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"So let's get this straight, dems are attempting to impeach a president for exposing a crime and then elect the person who did the crime to the highest office in the land!"
Damn, it’s like Trump is a dainty-handed Batman or something!
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Last edited by Ukulele Ike; 09-28-2019 at 09:52 AM.
  #1069  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:53 AM
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What even I as a diehard Democrat find troubling about the Biden thing- why on earth would a Ukrainian oil company put Hunter Biden on its board of directors?
So they could say, "Joe Biden's son is on our board of directors." The entirety of his duties and responsibilities was to be Joe Biden's kid. It's good work if you can get it.
  #1070  
Old 09-28-2019, 09:58 AM
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...
What even I as a diehard Democrat find troubling about the Biden thing- why on earth would a Ukrainian oil company put Hunter Biden on its board of directors? Exactly what is his expertise?
....
In my 40 years of experience in the non-profit world, you don't put someone on the board for their "expertise," you do it for their influence and connections.

The one thing you DON'T want on the board of a social services agency is a bunch of social workers, or wall-to-wall musicians on the board of the chamber music society. Painters and potters on the board of an arts organization? I don't think so.

You want influential people, the kind of people that when they call someone the person being called picks up the phone or returns the call. The kind of people that when they host an event, people show up.

Surely that must be the case in the profit-making world, too, right?
  #1071  
Old 09-28-2019, 10:18 AM
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So they could say, "Joe Biden's son is on our board of directors." The entirety of his duties and responsibilities was to be Joe Biden's kid. It's good work if you can get it.
I can't blame him for getting it. Him using his father to get a cushy job is a lot different than him using his father to do some corrupt things for personal gain.

There is no evidence that Hunter broke any laws. Ongoing investigations against Burisma are focused on before he was even hired.

Joe Biden did make noise about firing Shokin but he was not alone: "...the international community came to view Shokin as too weak on corruption, despite his promises to investigate wrongdoing. The United States, the International Monetary Fund, and others pressured Ukraine to investigate corruption more thoroughly, but Shokin took no serious action.

Biden threatened to withhold aid if the prosecutor wasn’t fired, and he was. Importantly, Biden was not freelancing, but was acting as a representative of President Barack Obama. There’s no evidence that Biden was helping his son. Shokin’s former deputy, who quit in frustration over his boss’s intransigence, told Bloomberg in May that the U.S. wasn’t pushing to drop probes of Burisma. “There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky,” he said. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.”

In effect, Biden’s pressure to install a tougher prosecutor probably made it more likely, not less, that Burisma would be in the cross hairs." (The Atlantic) Emphasis mine.

Also, none of this has anything to to with Trump's impeachment, despite what Trump and our moderator who is allowing this talk in this thread will lead you to believe. Had Trump asked the FBI to investigate, above board and for all to see, none of this would be an issue. Had Trump simply released the aid that was earmarked by Congress to the Ukraine and not held it up (or had a good reason to hold it up, which he hasn't been able to provide) he wouldn't be dealing with impeachment. Even if Hunter Biden and his dad were the crookedest crooks who ever crooked and Trump knew it, he still had a dozen different ways to deal with it without doing the things that caused his impeachment inquiry.

Last edited by John_Stamos'_Left_Ear; 09-28-2019 at 10:20 AM.
  #1072  
Old 09-28-2019, 10:39 AM
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In my 40 years of experience in the non-profit world, you don't put someone on the board for their "expertise," you do it for their influence and connections.

The one thing you DON'T want on the board of a social services agency is a bunch of social workers, or wall-to-wall musicians on the board of the chamber music society. Painters and potters on the board of an arts organization? I don't think so.

You want influential people, the kind of people that when they call someone the person being called picks up the phone or returns the call. The kind of people that when they host an event, people show up.

Surely that must be the case in the profit-making world, too, right?
I'm not sure. If I was Hunter and had a shred of pride, I wouldn't take a do-nothing job on a board just because I had an influential father. That's neither here nor there, the issue is DJT's behavior.

If I had to guess, I'd say there were probably between 5-20 people who had access to as much or more information as the whistleblower. None of them felt strongly enough about it to come forward. I think there'll be a bit of a "Me Too" movement among White House insiders to come forward and spill more guts here. The snowball is getting massive as it rolls down the hill. I predict in the next week we'll have a revelation that makes the Ukraine call pale in comparison.
  #1073  
Old 09-28-2019, 10:40 AM
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It’s an energy company, and his prior experience was not in that sector. Also, I am presuming that he does not possess native fluency in Ukrainian or Russian. Do you really think he got that high-paying job just based on his resume and interview and without any consideration of whose son he was?
No, I don't think so. But isn't a bit silly for Maher to tell somebody who has been working professionally for 20 years to get a job? I could understand somebody who is just laying about spending mommy and daddy's money, but it is a ridiculous comment.
  #1074  
Old 09-28-2019, 10:45 AM
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I'm not sure. If I was Hunter and had a shred of pride, I wouldn't take a do-nothing job on a board just because I had an influential father. That's neither here nor there, the issue is DJT's behavior.

If I had to guess, I'd say there were probably between 5-20 people who had access to as much or more information as the whistleblower. None of them felt strongly enough about it to come forward. I think there'll be a bit of a "Me Too" movement among White House insiders to come forward and spill more guts here. The snowball is getting massive as it rolls down the hill. I predict in the next week we'll have a revelation that makes the Ukraine call pale in comparison.
I could be wrong about this but I thought that the whistleblower was a CIA staffer assigned to the WH. No Trump fealty. But I'm pretty sure that most of the people working there are diehard Trumpists.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:05 AM
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I'm not sure. If I was Hunter and had a shred of pride, I wouldn't take a do-nothing job on a board just because I had an influential father.
You are failing to understand what a board of directors is and does.

It is a do nothing job by it's very nature for the most part. They typically meet a couple times a year, usually, but not always, at least once. It's not so much a job as it is a position.

Al Gore is on Apple's board. Aside from inventing the internet, what's his expertise?
  #1076  
Old 09-28-2019, 01:27 PM
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No, I don't think so. But isn't a bit silly for Maher to tell somebody who has been working professionally for 20 years to get a job? I could understand somebody who is just laying about spending mommy and daddy's money, but it is a ridiculous comment.
Maher has never let sense, logic or truth get in the way of a good line.
  #1077  
Old 09-28-2019, 02:27 PM
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You are failing to understand what a board of directors is and does.

It is a do nothing job by it's very nature for the most part. They typically meet a couple times a year, usually, but not always, at least once. It's not so much a job as it is a position.

Al Gore is on Apple's board. Aside from inventing the internet, what's his expertise?
That's definitely my nonprofit experience. I've served on the board of one nonprofit, where I wasn't really an appropriate member (it's an early literacy nonprofit, and they brought me on to have a teacher, but what they really needed were fundraisers, and I eventually quit and offered to serve as a volunteer consultant instead), and I've worked with nonprofits who were transitioning their boards from activists and experts to rich fuckers, since the latter was really what they needed.

I don't really see Hunter Biden as a shining paragon of humanity, from the little I know, but instead as the kind of dude who's rich and entitled and has the way paved for him. Which, whatever, not my favorite--but hardly the sort of person that Trump gets to criticize.
  #1078  
Old 09-28-2019, 02:33 PM
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If anyone feels the need to continue discussing the role of a member of a board of directors or Joe Biden's role as a director, open a new thread. The details behind that discussion are not really relevant to the current Trump Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives that is the focus of this thread..

The Joe Biden discussion is closed in this thread unless it becomes a major focus of the House Inquiry, (which it currently is not).

[ /Moderating ]
  #1079  
Old 09-28-2019, 02:35 PM
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If anyone feels the need to continue discussing the role of a member of a board of directors or Joe Biden's role as a director, open a new thread. The details behind that discussion are not really relevant to the current Trump Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives that is the focus of this thread..

The Joe Biden discussion is closed in this thread unless it becomes a major focus of the House Inquiry, (which it currently is not).

[ /Moderating ]
Thank you!
  #1080  
Old 09-28-2019, 02:56 PM
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If anyone feels the need to continue discussing the role of a member of a board of directors or Joe Biden's role as a director, open a new thread. The details behind that discussion are not really relevant to the current Trump Impeachment Inquiry in the House of Representatives that is the focus of this thread..

The Joe Biden discussion is closed in this thread unless it becomes a major focus of the House Inquiry, (which it currently is not).

[ /Moderating ]
For any takers.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=882803
  #1081  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:12 PM
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I certainly agree that when the damn breaks, it goes quickly. But we're not there yet, and the excessive optimism by some people here is reminiscent of the days before the Mueller report was released.

Keep the wine in the cellar for now. There's a lot of investigation and testimony still needed, and a lot of time for Trump and his allies to counterattack.
That's a fair criticism, and point taken.

The only thing I would say in my defense is that it was impossible to know that Barr would lie and interfere so shamelessly with the release of the Mueller report. Anyone who reads it has no illusions about the breadth and depth of Russian involvement in the 2016 election or the complete criminality of Trump.

But no, I'm not busting out the wine just yet.

I do think Trump is running out of allies, and there is little room for counterattacks based on what's already before the public -- as released by himself.
  #1082  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:21 PM
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Serious question: If the whistleblower testifies, how is his or her identity kept secret from those attending the inquiry?
  #1083  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:24 PM
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Serious question: If the whistleblower testifies, how is his or her identity kept secret from those attending the inquiry?
He/she would likely appear in front a small group of legislators, with no TV cameras allowed. He/she would also be brought in out of the public eye. Anyone in the hearing is bound by law not to reveal the person's identity.
  #1084  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:27 PM
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Serious question: If the whistleblower testifies, how is his or her identity kept secret from those attending the inquiry?
Like this guy? (Igor Gouzenko).

Last edited by KarlGauss; 09-28-2019 at 03:27 PM.
  #1085  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:32 PM
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The individual's identity won't be kept secret from those attending the inquiry. I think this whistleblower knew that going in, just how much personal risk he/she (I'm pretty sure it's a he) was assuming. Very heroic, under the circumstances.

Based on reading the report, he seems extremely conversant with the process and also appears to have acted as a clearinghouse, a point person, so to speak, for information that came to him via several members of the national security community.

I don't think he expects to remain secret for long -- but I don't think he is going to be a solo whistleblower for long, either. The entire national security community is pretty pissed at how they've been treated under this "administration."

Last edited by Aspenglow; 09-28-2019 at 03:32 PM.
  #1086  
Old 09-28-2019, 03:53 PM
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So far, all the chatter around the Trump phone call has been about the Biden stuff. But I think trying to use the Ukrainians to disprove the results of the Mueller investigation was about as bad and no one’s said a single word about that one.

And I’m pretty freaking annoyed at that wimpy-assed coward Robert Mueller about now. He was a loyal suck-up Republican to the end in his own way, deliberately burying his conclusions in hundreds of pages of the driest most boring commentary ever written. He could’ve made that document interesting and readable, but no. And i don’t buy the idea that he wasn’t allowed, under any circumstances, to say that Trump did anything wrong..... it’s his fault for emboldening Trump.

And now that Trump is trashing his work and commanding a global army of idiots in order to discredit his investigation, he’s saying nothing. Freaking snowflake.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 09-28-2019 at 03:54 PM.
  #1087  
Old 09-28-2019, 04:03 PM
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Is erasing 30 years of diplomatic efforts towards promoting judicial independence an impeachable offence? Of all the things that 'the West' (and the US in particular) might export to promote democracy, the notion of judicial independence may be the most important.

It's probably behind a paywall at the Washington Post, but this piece by Anne Applebaum (who knows what she's talking about when it comes to places like Poland, Russia, Ukraine, etc.) describes the damage that Trump has done. I hope it's okay to give a few excerpts here while remembering that with its history of oppression from without, Ukraine was a natural 'prospect' to enter the western fold, for "freedom". Now, not just Ukraine but any similar nation will think more than twice about trusting the US.

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Since the former Soviet republics gained independence, Europeans and Americans, presidents and prime ministers, International Monetary Fund envoys and advisers of all kinds have sought to persuade the nations of the region to (have), an independent judiciary and apolitical prosecutors. By doing so, they hoped to promote democracy, prosperity and justice in a region that has known precious little of all three . . .

During those nearly 30 years, this argument for judicial independence has been completely bipartisan and multinational. It has been made by Democrats and Republicans, Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, Americans and Germans, think tanks and foundations and “anti-kleptocracy” initiatives. . .
Quote:
Now, . . . after all of that time and money invested in judicial training and rule-of-law seminars, . . . it turns out that the critics, the cynics, the would-be authoritarians and the corrupt politicians who seek to use the organs of justice to their own advantage — now it turns out that they are right. The United States is not an example to be admired . . .

Its elected president has spent months trying to persuade his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to return to Soviet-style ways of doing things, to bring back politicized justice and to put pressure on Ukrainian prosecutors to fabricate evidence and pursue a fake “case,” in an effort to help his own reelection campaign . . . Zelensky, to his credit, has apparently held out.
Quote:
Will any U.S. diplomat, ever again, be able to ask with a straight face for any American ally, in the post-Soviet world or anyone else, to crack down on corruption? . . .

Whatever becomes of Trump now, his presidency has definitely left a mark on history. He will be remembered as the president who destroyed the United States’ reputation for good governance, who undermined U.S. policy in the post-Soviet world and beyond, whose narcissistic and conspiratorial obsessions dominated his relationships with foreign leaders, even foreign leaders at war. This is the kind of damage that can never be repaired.
Trump is the best asset that America's ideologic enemies have. His actions in this regard alone justify his impeachment.
  #1088  
Old 09-28-2019, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia;21886629I just saw this story which had a couple of interesting tidbits that I hadn’t seen before.

[url
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/09/ukraine-timeline-shows-trump-lying.html[/url]

Back on May 11th, Guiliani had a trip scheduled to Ukraine. That trip was cancelled. The reason he gave was that he “would be walking into a group of people that were enemies of the president”. Which may have been true in some sense, but the real reason for canceling the trip was that Zelensky refused to meet with him.

Three days later, on May 14th, Trump canceled Pence’s trip. It was also around that time that Trump said he wouldn’t meet with Zelensky until he showed a willingness to “play ball”.

Even though the Slate article doesn’t go there, it was also around that time that Trump recalled the Ukrainian ambassador, calling her “bad news”. Something about how she discouraged an Ukrainian prosecutor from pursuing certain cases. The article doesn’t say what the “certain cases” are, but I can take a guess.

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/26/76456...u-s-ambassador
So I'm still trying to grapple with all of this information, but am I wrong in thinking that the cancellation of these trips/refusal of meetings was part of a program of intimidation, coupled with withholding of money? Given how vital the U.S. is as an ally, getting the cold shoulder would probably be worrisome.

It also appears--to my eye--that Coats resigning 3 days after this infamous phone call would be related. Especially given that he crashed a meeting to make sure Sue Gordon knew to F.O. immediately. Maybe he knew about the phone call/classification and sought to save himself?
  #1089  
Old 09-28-2019, 04:32 PM
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Serious question: If the whistleblower testifies, how is his or her identity kept secret from those attending the inquiry?
For that matter, in this day and age how is the identity of the whistleblower still secret ? How many intel guys were in or around the WH during the dates and events in question? 100? 10? Would seem it's just a process of elimination.
  #1090  
Old 09-28-2019, 04:41 PM
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RioRico, just a friendly suggestion: There’s a thread here in Elections called “Let's say that Trump went 'Bat-Shit Crazy' and wanted to permanently end all dissent in the US....”. That might be a better place to focus on your theme of extreme measures (like “wagging the dog” with a nuclear launch) that Trump may or may not take if he gets truly desperate.

Or, maybe start a new thread.

I’m not saying this focus is irrelevant to this thread we’re in now, but with all the events coming fast and furious in real time, it’s complicated enough keeping up with the here and now, and likely/highly plausible near-future developments.

Just a suggestion. I’m not junior modding.
I'm an old SD reader but new to the forums. I've not yet explored Elections; many thanks for the pointer. But I do fear likely WH counter-attacks. This gets nastier, more perilous. We can't be over-confident. Shit has only begun hitting fans.
  #1091  
Old 09-28-2019, 04:42 PM
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It also appears--to my eye--that Coats resigning 3 days after this infamous phone call would be related. Especially given that he crashed a meeting to make sure Sue Gordon knew to F.O. immediately. Maybe he knew about the phone call/classification and sought to save himself?
Maybe Dapper Dan is the whistleblower??
Quote:
Dan Coats or Susan Gordon, the Director of National Intelligence, (DNI) likely is the whistleblower. Now this is based upon inferences and timing, but it makes sense. Coats and Gordon must be called before Congress in order to develop the facts. Even if I am wrong, they certainly would have much insight into the matter as they certainly resigned, forced out by Trump, over Trump’s statements in the telephone call with the Ukrainian president.
from DailyKos but it's an opinion piece so relax.
  #1092  
Old 09-28-2019, 04:48 PM
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I wish I could find video of this, but there was a Happy Days Episode where Ron Howard's character was doing investigative journalism for the school paper. He uncovered some sort of scandal and gets an anonymous interview with a "Deep Throat" type informant character, who will only be seen silhouetted behind a screen to protect his identity. It turns out to be Al Molinaro, who had an enormous nose, seen in profile.
  #1093  
Old 09-28-2019, 05:03 PM
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Today is rumblings-of-a-White-House-tearing itself-apart day

1. Barr is pissed Trump lumped him in with Giuliani. (Hint: he's not. He was instrumental in making this happen, but the import is he has his own team speaking to the press, and he's distancing.)

https://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1/sta...061168641?s=19

2. Poor Mark Mulvaney, being thrown under that double-length bus for not having a strategy for handling messaging re: the call, transcript, and memo.

https://twitter.com/ShimonPro/status...637033479?s=19

3. Republicans souring on Rudy (may have been linked to above):

https://twitter.com/politico/status/...009501185?s=19

Last edited by JohnT; 09-28-2019 at 05:03 PM.
  #1094  
Old 09-28-2019, 05:12 PM
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2. Poor Mark Mulvaney, being thrown under that double-length bus for not having a strategy for handling messaging re: the call, transcript, and memo.
I will say, Mick Mulvaney doesn’t really deserve that. It should really be he communications director’s role to come up with strategies to mobilize the message in Trump’s defense, and since a Trump gutted his comms staff because he’s under the impression that he is better than all of them, it’s a bit like a baseball manager trying to call in a left-handed reliever after he’s fired all the pitchers.

But of course, this particular manager has never admitted making any mistake at all, so it must be the hitting coach’s fault that the bullpen is empty.
  #1095  
Old 09-28-2019, 05:40 PM
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The only thing I would say in my defense is that it was impossible to know that Barr would lie and interfere so shamelessly with the release of the Mueller report. Anyone who reads it has no illusions about the breadth and depth of Russian involvement in the 2016 election or the complete criminality of Trump.
Yeah, it's important to remember that the facts aren't important, the narrative is. The Mueller report was a great example of that. If the Dems lose control of the narrative, things could fizzle out. Hopefully they've learned some lessons.
  #1096  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Today is rumblings-of-a-White-House-tearing itself-apart day

1. Barr is pissed Trump lumped him in with Giuliani. (Hint: he's not. He was instrumental in making this happen, but the import is he has his own team speaking to the press, and he's distancing.)

https://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1/sta...061168641?s=19
Given that it matters whether or not he was involved, in terms of whether he has to recuse, it's important to Barr that he not have known about this and that Trump not have involved him.

(What may simply be) Barr's leak to the press that he didn't know about this and that he's pissed that Trump involved him would be the exact cover needed to allow him to refrain from recusing on any subjects related to the topic.

I would want a double-check if there are any communications between Barr and Giuliani before assuming that this story is true. It is quite possible that it is true. However, making that assumption in this particular case would be unwise.

Who else has a motive to give that specific story to the press other than Barr himself? Isn't it a bit strange for someone to call you up and make an explicit statement, "Why no, I was very very angry and upset about what President Trump said about me. Please write that in your newspaper, thank you. Don't tell them that I told you."
  #1097  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:35 PM
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Yeah, it's important to remember that the facts aren't important, the narrative is. The Mueller report was a great example of that. If the Dems lose control of the narrative, things could fizzle out. Hopefully they've learned some lessons.
Oh, believe me, I get the importance of the narrative. But that's exactly what gives me more hope going forward.

It's not Trump who has controlled the narrative, not really. It's the Republican-held Senate, Fox "News" and more recently, Bill Barr. Trump himself lost the plot long ago, and he deludes himself that he really enjoys all this success under his own steam.

Now, all three of those pillars (piles?) of corruption and misdirection appear to be softening. Barr is putting distance, Moscow Mitch seems to be doing the same. And the Republican Senate could be a cricket farm compared to how quickly they've leapt to defend him in the past with one unified, loud, loony orchestra of yips and howls.

The lengths to which they all must go to try and cobble together some sort of bizarro narrative that gives a filmy pretext to Trump's dangerous and criminal actions grow longer every day. Trump is unstable. His slide off his cracker has accelerated to a noticeable and alarming degree.

Every day, the cognitive dissonance between what people can actually observe with their own eyes and what they are told to think grows louder. At best, probably only 38% (a depressing percentage, to be sure) are willing to blindly follow along. It's just not enough.

Without the united support of Senate Republicans, Fox "News" and Barr, Trump is toast, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Today is rumblings-of-a-White-House-tearing itself-apart day

1. Barr is pissed Trump lumped him in with Giuliani. (Hint: he's not. He was instrumental in making this happen, but the import is he has his own team speaking to the press, and he's distancing.)

https://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1/sta...061168641?s=19

<snip>
LOL, I'll bet Barr is a lot more than pissed. He's probably shitting bricks. There are a fair few potential whistleblowers inside the DOJ who are chafed over Barr's corrupt practices and itching to spill. What he has done to our DOJ is a travesty. It's a bad day when Jeff Sessions looks like the principled one.
  #1098  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:42 PM
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This is the Night of a Thousand Retainers.

Last edited by JohnT; 09-28-2019 at 06:43 PM.
  #1099  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:45 PM
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This is the Night of a Thousand Retainers.
That was funny.
  #1100  
Old 09-28-2019, 06:46 PM
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This makes Watergate look like Dick and Jane in terms of complexity....am i wrong?
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