The next President

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Re: The next President

Postby Jaybird » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:19 pm

LynchMob wrote:A Kennedy hasn't been president since 1963. Yeah, obviously everybody's heard of them, but this dynasty business is pretty overblown.

SOTU is all meaningless theater anyway, Obama got better feedback on his first one and then lost 63 seats in 2010.

Big news is another crazy Trumper quitting rather than losing an election in the person of Trey Gowdy, and the FBI proactively coming out and saying the memo is inaccurate and omits key facts.


I'm pretty sure that's not why Gowdy's quitting. If he wanted to stay in Congress, they'd have to pry that seat out of his cold, dead hand before he'd ever have to give it up. But what he really wants is to be a judge, and a seat just came open on the 4th Circuit. He's a trump loyalist, so a nomination is probably a lock, and he's well regarded by Republicans in Congress, so confirmation should be a breeze. In other words, goodbye Congressman Gowdy, hello Judge Gowdy.

Still, he'll be giving up a committee chairmanship. That's five or six Republican committee chairmen who aren't running again, which is probably a tell that they don't like how November's shaping up. Committee chairmanships are sweet gigs and I don't think people surrender those very willingly, unless they're pretty sure they're not going to have them after the election anyway.

I read somewhere once that since members of Congress (as opposed to Senators) are almost perpetually in re-election mode, their parties expect them to work the phones talking to deep-pocket donors at least two hours a day. There are even call centers set up by the two parties where members check in and make their calls from little cubicles. They probably feel more like telemarketers than lawmakers and getting off that hamster wheel must feel pretty liberating sometimes.

There are now 47 members of Congress who've said they're not running again, and there'll probably be more. 34 are Republicans. Dems need to flip 24 seats to retake the House.
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Re: The next President

Postby vivid_dude » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:09 pm

Still waiting for someone to justify Trump not imposing the Russian sanctions. (Do cowards chirp like crickets?)

It is funny how low of a bar Trump has. I'm actually proud of him, in some weird way, that he hasn't ruined a decent evening by Tweeting something like: "All African countries are shitholes. Yes. That's true. I believe that and said that. Now watch the #FakeNews say I called African nations shitholes. #MAGA."

And Waylon or Fritz will respond: "YEAH!! You tell like it is. You know exactly what it's like to be an average Joe like me."

Meanwhile:

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Re: The next President

Postby jayball » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:12 am

http://thehill.com/homenews/administrat ... -10-points

I think it is unwise to underestimate trump and his republican allies.

Tax reform will give some money to most people and it will open floodgates of big donor cash. If economy is even remotely better he will have something to sell.

Immigration is an easy wedge issue to ride

Scandal will not topple him. Controversy is his his oxygen, his entertainment factor, his appeal to many. It shows he is “fighting” and he doesn’t give a fck

Midterms will be insane.
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Re: The next President

Postby SendDustyIn » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:09 am

LynchMob wrote:So is Don Bacon a dynasty? He, like "the Kennedys", holds one seat in the House.


If his uncle, cousin or brother has held an elected seat in the federal government every year since WW2 except for 2012, then yeah.

Jaybird wrote:I read somewhere once that since members of Congress (as opposed to Senators) are almost perpetually in re-election mode, their parties expect them to work the phones talking to deep-pocket donors at least two hours a day. There are even call centers set up by the two parties where members check in and make their calls from little cubicles. They probably feel more like telemarketers than lawmakers and getting off that hamster wheel must feel pretty liberating sometimes.


That's not entirely true. Senate seats hold more power, and therefore more expensive, so they are fundraising even more than the MoCs. They also have 6 years to do it, so their warchests are massive. MoCs are still fundraising a ton though. I think it was Rahm Emmanuel who made up the two hours a day rule for his freshmen, but there's no hard requirement. Either way, it's pretty obvious if you're not meeting your goals.

The way to gain power is to donate to the national committees, either the senate or congressional committee, or both, and to other candidates, in that order. Safe districts don't need to spend as much on their own campaigns, and that's usually why you see those people in leadership positions.

Anyway, the call centers, if you can call them that, are a set of tables with phones in the basements of the RNC and DNC, respectively. Not even cubes. They were mostly used to phonebank for elections though. Since it's illegal to fundraise using government equipment (offices, phones, time), most members just go home to make their calls.

FWIW, my former boss hated fundraising. It was easily her least favorite part of being a MoC.
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Re: The next President

Postby LynchMob » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:27 pm

If they all hate fundraising, the Democrats have been hanging out for decades, ready to vote for publicly-funded elections like every other civilized country. Republicans might claim to hate fundraising, but they sure love sucking that Koch dick.
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Re: The next President

Postby LynchMob » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:41 pm

Trump getting torched by his dead fish Ivanka stand-in Hope Hicks is going to be hilarious:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/31/politics ... index.html

Hicks allegedly told President Donald Trump on a conference call that the Trump Jr. emails "will never get out," and Corallo plans to share the conversation with special counsel Robert Mueller, the Times reported Wednesday night, citing three people with knowledge of his interview request.


Then his idiot son tweeted them out. This is too great.
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Re: The next President

Postby LynchMob » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:20 pm

So the #memo is out and it's a big nothing-burger. Central proposition is that surveillance of Carter Page was based only on the Steele Dossier (the one with the pee pee tape). We know that's not true, because surveillance was started in 2013 after Page gave documents and information to Russian spies, spies who were later caught and convicted of spying. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pol ... rter-page/

We do know one element contained in it. The Post first reported on the warrant (known as a FISA warrant, short for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) in April. That report included this bit of information:

Three years before Page became an adviser to the Trump campaign, he came to the attention of FBI counterintelligence agents, who learned that Russian spy suspects had sought to use Page as a source for information.

In that case, one of the Russian suspects, Victor Podobnyy — who was posing as a diplomat and was later charged by federal prosecutors with acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government — was captured on tape in 2013 discussing an effort to get information and documents from Page. … In one secretly recorded conversation, detailed in the complaint, Podobnyy said Page “wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] practice the language. He flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on Gazprom thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious that he wants to earn lots of money.’’


As a bonus, this big scary memo also proves that the FBI opened the counter-intelligence investigation against various members of the Trump campaign not because of the dossier, not because of Carter Page, but because Trump's foreign policy advisor George Papadopulous got drunk and bragged to an Australian in London that the Russians hacked the Democrats and stole a bunch of emails, which would be released later. How does it prove that? Oh, it just comes out and says it:

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Re: The next President

Postby Jaybird » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:32 pm

I just read this and, of course, it's mostly garbage written by a boiler room committee hack so Nunes could seem like a playah in all this.

If Steele got all blabby to members of the press in the late post-dossier stages, that doesn't change his proven record of reliability or his findings, whether accurate or inaccurate.

If people in the decision-making chain had their own political preferences, that doesn't interfere with their ability to act like professionals, and I'd challenge anyone to find an SES-level GOV employee--or an Article III judge--who doesn't have a set of political views.

If they have spouses who are politically active, that's perfectly permissible by any GOV regulations or ethics standards I'm aware of. The one example of that cited in the memo was someone in DOJ, not the FBI, and the memo misleadingly tries to make the DOJ guy part and parcel of the warrant application process. He wasn't.

If a FISA warrant application cited the dossier as a piece of evidence to allow surveillance of a guy who'd been in the FBI's crosshairs for over three years at that point (the Bureau has a recording of two Russian spies operating out of the UN in 2013 talking about the "idiot" Carter Page and how he was becoming a useful asset and, by then, Page was known to have a Russia fixation, having studied, lived in, and made numerous recent trips to Moscow--and having already handed over information to those very same spies), warrants, any warrants, typically will include everything thought relevant to support the request.

FISA warrant apps are, from what I've read and heard, almost always at least 30 pages long, and often up to 100 pages (and if this truly was an "initial" warrant application for Page, they likely would have loaded it up with everything they had, and they had a lot by then, so it would have been long). It defies reason that there wouldn't have been much more than just some dossier, that even the FBI admitted at the time was largely unverified, to support the app. So, where's the app itself?

If this was intended to be a reasonably objective rendering of some findings or other, why include emotionally charged terms like "mistress" in referring to an FBI employee? Even if she was, unnecessary, slimy characterizations like that undermine the seriousness of this memo thing.

The memo emphasizes the funding source for the dossier, while conveniently omitting that the dossier was originally commissioned by GOP operatives and, when they pulled out after trump's nomination became a certainty, entities with Democratic connections stepped in. If the funding chain was only selectively described in the memo, it's fair to wonder what else was left out that Nunes wouldn't have liked.

To me, what's most important is the timing aspect that even the memo can't get around. This particular warrant app (I really question whether it was truly the first for this Page character) was two weeks before the Presidential election. October 21, 2016. The memo really had no choice but to concede that. Even if some cabal of anti-trumpists was behind the Page wiretaps, they weren't going to be in any position to influence the election in the next two weeks. What were they going to do? Acquire incriminating info, analyze it and process it through the layers of the bureau, and then inject it into the public bloodstream in time to change votes on November 8? Early voting was already underway in most states, and, anyway, if the Billy Bush Pleasure Barge didn't sink trump, who could reasonably think by then that some esoteric Russia--Carter Page communications would do it? trump's mancrush on Putin was already well-known and baked into the cake by most voters that late in the game. And the warrants are for ninety days and it was probably going to take most of two weeks just to get set up (unless it was a renewal app, which I suspect). And, since almost every sentient being assumed trump was going to lose anyway, why risk careers, and maybe jail time, to go after him? This was about Page, and just Page.

Have any of you seen or heard Carter Page? He walks around DC with a goofy grin and a fishing hat. He can't give a straight answer to even the most basic question. Is this the hill trumpies want to dig in and die on?

I will say that I can't see what "sources and methods" are compromised or put in jeopardy by this release. Maybe there's some subtextual stuff that intelligence pros will pick up on, or maybe I'm just naive.

With all of that, there's one sentence in this memo that I thought was key: "...McCabe testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information". Wow. I didn't know that. If that's something in the public domain, I sure missed it. And, if that's true (it's hard to imagine it could be) that might be significant, since the FBI had doubts about the dossier even then. I'd sure like to see some context to McCabe's testimony, and I can't wait to see how the rebuttal memo by the Dems on the committee addresses that little bombshell.
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Re: The next President

Postby jayball » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:29 pm

Its all pretext to build cover/support for taking out Rothstein and putting a Trump stooge in his place.

This is what authoritarians and demagogues do. They attack neutral arbiters to remove checks on their power/prerogatives.

They also get help from an established political party.

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
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Re: The next President

Postby vivid_dude » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:36 pm

Remember in the movie "Se7en" when Brad Pitt breaks down Kevin Spacey's door without getting a warrant, and him and Morgan Freeman paid a homeless person to tell the cops a story in order to establish (deceptively) probable cause? That's how I view the Memo. Yeah, some of the motivations and tactics are wrong - and those folks should be investigated and, if necessary, punished.

But the end result is that the serial killer was discovered, and with the exception of Gwyneth Paltrow's head, the reign of terror ended. Paying the homeless person was bad, and wrong, but it doesn't diminish or erase what Kevin Spacey did to the fat guy who was force-fed spaghetti or poor Victor.

That is my expert, totally on-point analysis.
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