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The Russia Investigation: Stone Pal Corsi Believes He will Die in Prison

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Just now, Ministry of Pain said:

You know what is even funnier, HRC had 3 Million more people in the country vote for her :yes: What other country elects a candidate that doesn't have the most votes?

A separate issue but yeah that sucks. The system we have though.

 

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1 minute ago, The General said:

A separate issue but yeah that sucks. The system we have though.

 

If you start with the scoreboard 66-63, HRC...isn't anything that follows after sort of brought on by everyone? We obviously didn't learn much in 2000. What will change in 2020/2024?

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I've gone thru this whole thread and not one person has yet posted a picture of Trump's Russian Ties.  Are they better than regular ties?  Do they cost more than the ones you can buy at Kohls?

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19 minutes ago, JIslander said:

Exactly my question.  He truly hasn't been vetted to be POTUS.

I strongly disagree with this.  Trump has been thoroughly vetted.  We know with near-total certainty that he's dangerously unqualified, temperamentally unsuited, and intellectually and ethically unfit to be president.  It's just that a disturbingly large number of people are cool with Trump because he'll stick it to brown people.  But this guy is the most vetted president-elect of all times.  We know what we elected.

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Just now, IvanKaramazov said:

I strongly disagree with this.  Trump has been thoroughly vetted.  We know with near-total certainty that he's dangerously unqualified, temperamentally unsuited, and intellectually and ethically unfit to be president.  It's just that a disturbingly large number of people are cool with Trump because he'll stick it to brown people.  But this guy is the most vetted president-elect of all times.  We know what we elected.

I have posted this before but I will repeat when MOP laughs he hits the like button regardless of who I vote or don't vote for. I thought this was funny, thanks IK.

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27 minutes ago, Ministry of Pain said:

If it were widely known for a long time Trump has all these connections then why did everyone sell him so short in the media? And why didn't someone blow the lid off this? I guess the crotch grabber angle seemed at the time like it had more teeth and easier Knockout for the HRC Camp?

How did everyone miss this?

There should be a recall effort and full on Civil War, what are we waiting for?

It wasn't missed. Plenty of speculation that Russia was the source of the WikiLeaks info but the Intelligence findings weren't released so Trump's explanation of a 400 lb. guy in his mom's basement was more plausible, if never really satisfactory. 

Some in the IC, like FBI Director Comey, argued against publicly naming Russia as it might be perceived as having a late influence on the election. Obama reportedly wanted to do a non-partisan announcement of findings before the election but Mitch McConnell objected and said any official information coming out would be attacked as a partisan attempt to hurt Trump. 

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2 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I strongly disagree with this.  Trump has been thoroughly vetted.  We know with near-total certainty that he's dangerously unqualified, temperamentally unsuited, and intellectually and ethically unfit to be president.  It's just that a disturbingly large number of people are cool with Trump because he'll stick it to brown people.  But this guy is the most vetted president-elect of all times.  We know what we elected.

Sure, that's all superficial that yes, most everyone knew -- but what wasn't thoroughly vetted was his finances and connections with Russia (in particular).  We've never had a President like him with his $$ and conflicts spread everywhere and yet did not vett that out as should have been. 

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2 minutes ago, JIslander said:

Sure, that's all superficial that yes, most everyone knew -- but what wasn't thoroughly vetted was his finances and connections with Russia (in particular).  We've never had a President like him with his $$ and conflicts spread everywhere and yet did not vett that out as should have been. 

Okay, fair enough. I agree with you that this stuff should be out there, but I'm pessimistic that it would make any difference considering that this guy should have been disqualified a million times over already.

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9 minutes ago, Arsenal of Doom said:

It wasn't missed. Plenty of speculation that Russia was the source of the WikiLeaks info but the Intelligence findings weren't released so Trump's explanation of a 400 lb. guy in his mom's basement was more plausible, if never really satisfactory. 

Some in the IC, like FBI Director Comey, argued against publicly naming Russia as it might be perceived as having a late influence on the election. Obama reportedly wanted to do a non-partisan announcement of findings before the election but Mitch McConnell objected and said any official information coming out would be attacked as a partisan attempt to hurt Trump. 

Take a picture of Obama and then a recent picture of Mitch McConnell and place them side by side...one guy has a high approval rating and looks healthy, the other is a fat quivering bowl of Jell-O and you are giving that Jell-O way too much credit. 

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10 minutes ago, Ministry of Pain said:

Take a picture of Obama and then a recent picture of Mitch McConnell and place them side by side...one guy has a high approval rating and looks healthy, the other is a fat quivering bowl of Jell-O and you are giving that Jell-O way too much credit. 

do you think comparing to desserts is a good way to judge competence of politicians?

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Just now, moleculo said:

do you think comparing to desserts is a good way to judge competence of politicians?

Take a cup of jell-O and then take a cup of fruit and line them up side by side. If you could somehow blend the two into a dessert you might really have something there. 

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9 minutes ago, Ministry of Pain said:

Take a picture of Obama and then a recent picture of Mitch McConnell and place them side by side...one guy has a high approval rating and looks healthy, the other is a fat quivering bowl of Jell-O and you are giving that Jell-O way too much credit. 

I've always though McConnell bears a striking resemblance to the Gerber baby.

Obama was in a tough spot though. Keep in mind this was happening before Comey threw grease fire on the election with his letter to Congress about the Weiner laptop and potential for what turned out to be non-existent new information relating to the Clinton server investigation. A Clinton win seemed extremely likely in spite of the Russian interference, so if the Admin pressed forward with releasing Intelligence info and was accused of using the office to influence not only could it backfire but set a precedent for future misuse.  

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27 minutes ago, JIslander said:

Sure, that's all superficial that yes, most everyone knew -- but what wasn't thoroughly vetted was his finances and connections with Russia (in particular).  We've never had a President like him with his $$ and conflicts spread everywhere and yet did not vett that out as should have been. 

Yes and this exposes what a huge gap we have in the laws. Releasing tax returns should be mandatory, and all candidates should be subjected to a full background check. We require more vetting of cabinet positions than the damn president, how stupid is that?

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5 minutes ago, McGarnicle said:

Yes and this exposes what a huge gap we have in the laws. Releasing tax returns should be mandatory, and all candidates should be subjected to a full background check. We require more vetting of cabinet positions than the damn president, how stupid is that?

seriously.

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5 minutes ago, McGarnicle said:

Yes and this exposes what a huge gap we have in the laws. Releasing tax returns should be mandatory, and all candidates should be subjected to a full background check. We require more vetting of cabinet positions than the damn president, how stupid is that?

Oh we just found out how stupid it is. 

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5 minutes ago, McGarnicle said:

Yes and this exposes what a huge gap we have in the laws. Releasing tax returns should be mandatory, and all candidates should be subjected to a full background check. We require more vetting of cabinet positions than the damn president, how stupid is that?

It is stupid. What you propose will likely require a Constitutional amendment, You should get on that!

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44 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I strongly disagree with this.  Trump has been thoroughly vetted.  We know with near-total certainty that he's dangerously unqualified, temperamentally unsuited, and intellectually and ethically unfit to be president.  It's just that a disturbingly large number of people are cool with Trump because he'll stick it to brown people.  But this guy is the most vetted president-elect of all times.  We know what we elected.

Yet we learn new #### everyday about him and don't know his taxes/financials

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3 minutes ago, bueno said:

It is stupid. What you propose will likely require a Constitutional amendment, You should get on that!

I get the feeling that in 2-3 years, there will be momentum building to better vet candidates.  could be as simple as a minimal criteria to participate in the debates - a full reveal of finances going back 10 years, security clearance, etc.

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1 hour ago, Ministry of Pain said:

If it were widely known for a long time Trump has all these connections then why did everyone sell him so short in the media? And why didn't someone blow the lid off this? I guess the crotch grabber angle seemed at the time like it had more teeth and easier Knockout for the HRC Camp?

How did everyone miss this?

There should be a recall effort and full on Civil War, what are we waiting for?

Let's not forget that Trump is disturbingly adept at playing the media by generating outrageous statements for them to freak out over

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1 minute ago, moleculo said:

I get the feeling that in 2-3 years, there will be momentum building to better vet candidates.  could be as simple as a minimal criteria to participate in the debates - a full reveal of finances going back 10 years, security clearance, etc.

But it has to be by Constitutional Amendment. If we let the political parties do it, they'll abuse the responsibility. You know they will!

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3 minutes ago, Slapdash said:

Yet we learn new #### everyday about him and don't know his taxes/financials

This is a completely fair point.  I'm just saying that Trump is unqualified to be president on a bunch of dimensions that go beyond his personal finances.  But I agree that those are relevant too.

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3 minutes ago, moleculo said:

I get the feeling that in 2-3 years, there will be momentum building to better vet candidates.  could be as simple as a minimal criteria to participate in the debates - a full reveal of finances going back 10 years, security clearance, etc.

Sounds kind of slanted towards one race. 

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I hate how people view this as a partisan issue when it should clearly be about what's best for our country. We all know that if a Democratic president was accused of the things Trump has been in connection with Russia the Republicans would be losing their minds. This shouldn't be about defending the party name or the party's choice to be President. This should be about the President elect and ensuring there is absolutely nothing that this country should be concerned about in terms of his ability to lead and govern.  

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3 minutes ago, bueno said:

But it has to be by Constitutional Amendment. If we let the political parties do it, they'll abuse the responsibility. You know they will!

no, it doesn't.  There is no constitutional amendment to include some people in the debates but not others.  Everyone has a constitutional right to run for president, but there is no constitutional right to be invited to the debates.

If a bi-partisan committee can agree on rules of a debate, certainly they can agree on a minimal job requirement.

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4 minutes ago, Ministry of Pain said:

Sounds kind of slanted towards one race. 

the American race!

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1 minute ago, moleculo said:

no, it doesn't.  There is no constitutional amendment to include some people in the debates but not others.  Everyone has a constitutional right to run for president, but there is no constitutional right to be invited to the debates.

If a bi-partisan committee can agree on rules of a debate, certainly they can agree on a minimal job requirement.

I was focusing more on financial transparency. However, if you are talking minimal qualifications, yes, that has to be Constitutional.

Edited by bueno

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4 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

This is a completely fair point.  I'm just saying that Trump is unqualified to be president on a bunch of dimensions that go beyond his personal finances.  But I agree that those are relevant too.

Yeah.  Worst. Election. Ever

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3 minutes ago, bueno said:

I was focusing more on financial transparency.

I'd propose that a full reveal of a candidates finances going back X years be included.

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11 minutes ago, moleculo said:

I'd propose that a full reveal of a candidates finances going back X years be included.

Go for it!

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32 minutes ago, McGarnicle said:

Yes and this exposes what a huge gap we have in the laws. Releasing tax returns should be mandatory, and all candidates should be subjected to a full background check. We require more vetting of cabinet positions than the damn president, how stupid is that?

We require more vetting to deal craps than we do for president.  

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14 minutes ago, moleculo said:

I'd propose that a full reveal of a candidates finances going back X years be included.

I think they should have to disclose their birth certificates too - let's just put an end to all this.

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1 minute ago, Sabertooth said:

We require more vetting to deal craps than we do for president.  

I can't believe you seriously said that.

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Yes, I know...daily Kos is a left wing rag and therefore not to be believed.  They put together a summary of the FT piece that bears reading.  If you are on Team Trump, read this with the understanding that this is what the opposition is reading - consider it opposition research.

link

Quote

 

In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. attended a real estate conference, where he stated that 

Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.

As it turns out, that may have been an understatement. Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, whose work in the region goes back to defending Andrei Sakharov and other Soviet dissidents, has gone through a series of studies by the Financial Times to show how funds from Russian crime lords bailed Trump out after yet anther bankruptcy. The conclusions are stark.

Among the powerful facts that DNI missed were a series of very deep studies published in the [Financial Times] that examined the structure and history of several major Trump real estate projects from the last decade—the period after his seventh bankruptcy and the cancellation of all his bank lines of credit. ...

The money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources.

He was their man.

Yes, even that much seems fantastic, and the details include business agencies acting as a front for the GRU, billionaire mobsters, a vast network of propaganda sources, and an American candidate completely under the thumb of the Kremlin.

It reads like the a B-grade spy novel, a plot both too convoluted—and too bluntly obvious—for John le Carré. The problem is it may not be a conspiracy theory. It may be a conspiracy.

Horton’s analysis comes from piecing together information in three Financial Times “deep reports.” One of these focused on Sergei Millianthe head of the Russian American Chamber of Commerce in the US at the time of Trump Jr.’s “money pouring in from Russia” claim.

Mr Millian insists his Russian American Chamber of Commerce (RACC) has nothing to do with the Russian government. He says it is funded by payments from its commercial members alone.

Most of the board members are obscure entities and nearly half of their telephone numbers went unanswered when called by the Financial Times. An FT reporter found no trace of the Chamber of Commerce at the Wall Street address listed on its website. 

Why was RACC’s background filled with so many holes? The Financial Times quotes former Russian MP Konstantin Borovoi in tagging the chamber as a front for intelligence operations that dates back to Soviet times.

“The chamber of commerce institutions are the visible part of the agent network . . . Russia has spent huge amounts of money on this.”

Millian helped arrange for Trump to visit Moscow in 2007, and had other outings with Trump in the states, including a visit to horse races in Miami. Millian claims that he had the right to market Trump properties in Russia.

“You could say I was their exclusive broker,” he told Ria. “Then, in 2007-2008, dozens of Russians bought apartments in Trump properties in the US.” He later told ABC television that the Trump Organisation had received “hundreds of millions of dollars” through deals with Russian businessmen.

Despite documents and photos showing Trump with Millian, Trump denied their association during the campaign.

Hope Hicks, Mr Trump’s campaign spokeswoman, said Mr Trump had “met and spoke” with Mr Millian only “on one occasion almost a decade ago at a hotel opening”.

The second Financial Times article puts Trump at the middle of a money laundering scheme, in which his real estate deals were used to hide not just an infusion of capital from Russia and former Soviet states, but to launder hundreds of millions looted by oligarchs. All Trump had to do was close his eyes to the source of the money, and suddenly empty apartments were going for top dollar.

Among the dozens of companies the Almaty lawyers say the Khrapunov laundering network used were three called Soho 3310, Soho 3311 and Soho 3203. Each was a limited liability company, meaning their ownership could easily be concealed.

The companies were created in April 2013 in New York. A week later, property records show, they paid a total of $3.1m to buy the apartments that corresponded with their names in the Trump Soho, a 46-storey luxury hotel-condominium completed in 2010 in a chic corner of Manhattan.

Why would Trump’s organization make such a good means of laundering funds? Because real estate has an arbitrary value. Is that apartment worth $1 million? Two million? Why not $3 million for a buyer who really wants it? When the whole transaction is just one LLC with undisclosed ownership paying another LLC with undisclosed ownership, it’s even neater than hiding the money in an offshore account. And while some businesses require due diligence in looking at the source of funds, real estate is a bit more … flexible.

The laws regulating US real estate deals are scant, experts say. Provisions against terrorism financing in the Patriot Act, passed in the aftermath of the September 11 2001 attacks, obliged mortgage lenders to conduct “know your customer” research. But money launderers pay in cash. Sales such as those of the Trump Soho apartments have passed through this loophole, which was partially closed only this year.

Converting funds stolen overseas into property in the US and cash in the account of an LLC represented a win for both the oligarchs and Trump. Best of all, Trump’s sole requirement was that he pay scant attention to the deal—something at which he was already a proven master. For example, the actual owners of the Trump Soho were another limited liability company, Bayrock. Trump was a partner in the LLC and Bayrock cut the checks Trump received when those apartments were sold. And yet ...

In a 2011 deposition, given in a dispute over the Fort Lauderdale project, Mr Trump said he had “never really understood who owned Bayrock”. Jody Kriss, a former Bayrock finance director, has claimed in racketeering lawsuits against his former employer that Bayrock’s backers included “hidden interests in Russia and Kazakhstan”. Bayrock has denied Mr Kriss’s allegations but declined to answer questions about the source of its funds and its relationship with the Khrapunovs.

The third article digs more deeply into the origins of Bayrock and its connection with Trump. That connection … was very close.

The Republican presidential nominee and Bayrock were both based in Trump Tower and they joined forces to pursue deals around the world — from New York, Florida, Arizona and Colorado in the US to Turkey, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Their best-known collaboration — Trump SoHo, a 46-storey hotel-condominium completed in 2010 — was featured in Mr Trump’s NBC television show The Apprentice.

This is the same group about which Trump said he “never really understood” the ownership.

“I don’t know who owns Bayrock,” Mr Trump said. “I never really understood who owned Bayrock. I know they’re a developer that’s done quite a bit of work. But I don’t know how they have their ownership broken down.”

At the very least, Trump confessed to partnering with, taking money from, and acting as a representative for a corporation whose ownership he didn’t know, in deals that totaled hundreds of millions in countries around the world. However, it seems far more likely that Trump knowingly worked with oligarchs, groups associated with the Russian government, and plain old mobsters. Why? Because he was desperate.

By the 2000s, the property developer and casino owner with ready access to the capital markets and the biggest New York banks was no more. A series of corporate bankruptcies had limited his financing options. Mr Trump had become an entertainer who portrayed a tycoon on television and licensed his name to businesses looking for a brand, leading to fee-making opportunities as disparate as Trump University and Trump Vodka.

The Trump Organization was a hollow shell and Trump was bankrupt, but Donald Trump the public figure was a “successful businessman,” a screen behind which criminal activity could be carried out on a massive scale. Throwing his name at every scheme in existence wasn’t a strategy, it was a fire sale on Trump’s respectability. Steaks? Water? Vodka? Fake real estate school? You pony up the cash, and Trump will slap his name on it. Because by the early 2000s, Trump wasn’t just broke, he had nothing left to pawn. He wasn’t a successful businessman, but he still played one on TV. His image had more value than his real estate portfolio.

But the apartments and buildings where Trump held some degree of ownership could be turned into value again. All it took was partnering with foreign crime bosses looking for a place to stash their cash. To inflate the value of his portfolio, Trump had to do nothing other than look away as the dirty money poured in from one LLC to the next. Citizens in Russia, Kazakhstan, and other former Soviet states lost hundreds of millions, but Trump got a cut as looted funds flowed through offices and apartments in buildings that carried those critical gold letters. 

Horton’s evaluation of this material in coordination with the declassified DNI report is that Trump actively worked with and for Russian interests.

What these exposes showed, is that Trump pursued the projects hand in glove with Russian mobsters who worked closely with Putin’s Kremlin ...

But based on the information in the Financial Times report, it appears that there are actually two possible answers. Trump may have been actively involved with and working for Russian sources. He might also have simply played the role of useful idiot, displaying his readiness to feign ignorance about any deal … so long as it generated some funds to float his sinking boat.

In the end, there’s not a lot of difference in the outcome. Trump got money. Oligarchs cleaned their cash. Russia got their man.

 

 
 
 
Edited by moleculo
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4 minutes ago, bueno said:

I think they should have to disclose their birth certificates too - let's just put an end to all this.

works for me!

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20 minutes ago, packersfan said:

I hate how people view this as a partisan issue when it should clearly be about what's best for our country. We all know that if a Democratic president was accused of the things Trump has been in connection with Russia the Republicans would be losing their minds. This shouldn't be about defending the party name or the party's choice to be President. This should be about the President elect and ensuring there is absolutely nothing that this country should be concerned about in terms of his ability to lead and govern.  

Exactly.  People instantly jump on the defense of their party's guy.  Doesn't matter the offense.  Sad.

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1 minute ago, bueno said:

I think they should have to disclose their birth certificates too - let's just put an end to all this.

Sure.  Why not?

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so here's how Trump skates on this whole affair:

1. he was smart enough to have layers in his org - enough layers that he has plausible deniability.  "I had no idea my SoHo general manager was renting out my place the the Russian mob!"  his GM takes the fall.

2. Trump can make the claim that ultimately, he is a businessman first.  His business dealings with the Russians have always gone very well - he made a lot of money off of them.  Why wouldn't he think they were all just great folks, and not want to continue relations with such a great country?  Here's what Trump knows of Russia: 1. they like to spend money, especially in his casinos and his condos (how was he supposed to know the money was dirty?) 2. they have really hot women (Can't fault him on that one).  3. they have great taste in interior design.  Seriously - Trumps apartment , Russian Amber Room 4. Russians have sweet boats.  Why would Trump not want the rest of us to know the Russia he knows?

3. OK, sure, the Russians played some dirty pool during the runup to the election.  Any sane country would do the same in their shoes - on one hand a genius, and on the other hand, a Nasty Woman.  The choice is clear.

There is some room for deniability here.  For trump to go down, trump has to be directly and irrefutably connected to the Russian Mafia, and/or a solid connection with the Russian GRU or KGB or whatever they call themselves today.

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6 hours ago, Slapdash said:

Could just be bragging.  If you are a Russian Citizen, isn't that what you would want to hear from your govt?  "Look how powerful and great we are!  We manipulated the American system and got our guy elected!  Look at me!!!one!!!11!"

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33 minutes ago, moleculo said:

Yes, I know...daily Kos is a left wing rag and therefore not to be believed.  They put together a summary of the FT piece that bears reading.  If you are on Team Trump, read this with the understanding that this is what the opposition is reading - consider it opposition research.

link

Where does Paul Manafort and his secret ledgers fit in?

Edited by Amused to Death

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It sure seems most likely that the reason Donald Trump is so, shall we say, kind to Putin and Russia, is that he knows he's indebted to them, possibly historically or possibly presently, or both.  If they were there for him at a time when his company was taking and they staked him, it would explain why he doesn't release past tax returns, and also possibly why he can't hardly bring himself to utter anything even moderately critical of Putin or Russia.

It's unbelievable that we're actually having to have this conversation about our President-Elect.  I agree with IK when he says we already knew enough about him to disqualify him, or should have, but there's still a lot to learn and it's even more concerning.  

I keep saying it - there is so much smoke from many different areas between Trump and Russia that it's very hard to believe there's not a significant fire or two burning under there.  This much coincidence doesn't all coalesce in one place without there being something deeper to the story, some true connection between Trump and Russia that he doesn't want us to know about, that manifests itself in how he talks about Putin, how he deals with accusations that they helped him win the presidency, how he picks cabinet members with close ties to Russia, how his responses nearly mirror in many cases what the russian media is saying, and how he uses typical Russian propaganda to go after and de-legitimize trusted institutions of truth (journalists/Intelligence communities) just like Putin has done in Russia and is working to do across other democracies.

That he is an unwitting puppet is the best we can hope for.  The more that comes out here, the more reputable papers are finding with his ties to Russia, and the more his behavior reinforces that there is something there, the more I fear that he's more than an unwitting puppet.

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full disclosure: I am a never-Trumper, and a reformed conservative.  I'm not entirely comfortable describing myself as a liberal, but I'm probably swinging closer to that side as the (R)'s get more and more crazy.  I did not vote for Trump and don't like most things about him, but he is our legally elected president and he deserves the benefit of the doubt.  I do hope he succeeds in making America Great Again; I do believe Trump has tapped into something forgotten in American politics, the middle class.

I'm not actively cheering one way or another in this whole sordid affair, I'm mostly fascinated in the story as a current event.  It's got potential for all of the drama and intrigue of a Clancy novel.  Frankly, the implications of the story as outlined by the Financial Times scare the crap out of me.  If true, and Trump was a knowing accomplice to Russian Mafia money laundering, he will be impeached and will spend time in jail.  I find that fascinating, regardless of political persuasion.

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20 minutes ago, Amused to Death said:

Where does Paul Manafort and his secret ledgers fit in?

#### man, there's so much smoke, it's hard to keep up.  I had to google it to remember that bit.  

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3 minutes ago, adonis said:

It sure seems most likely that the reason Donald Trump is so, shall we say, kind to Putin and Russia, is that he knows he's indebted to them, possibly historically or possibly presently, or both.  If they were there for him at a time when his company was taking and they staked him, it would explain why he doesn't release past tax returns, and also possibly why he can't hardly bring himself to utter anything even moderately critical of Putin or Russia.

It's unbelievable that we're actually having to have this conversation about our President-Elect.  I agree with IK when he says we already knew enough about him to disqualify him, or should have, but there's still a lot to learn and it's even more concerning.  

I keep saying it - there is so much smoke from many different areas between Trump and Russia that it's very hard to believe there's not a significant fire or two burning under there.  This much coincidence doesn't all coalesce in one place without there being something deeper to the story, some true connection between Trump and Russia that he doesn't want us to know about, that manifests itself in how he talks about Putin, how he deals with accusations that they helped him win the presidency, how he picks cabinet members with close ties to Russia, how his responses nearly mirror in many cases what the russian media is saying, and how he uses typical Russian propaganda to go after and de-legitimize trusted institutions of truth (journalists/Intelligence communities) just like Putin has done in Russia and is working to do across other democracies.

That he is an unwitting puppet is the best we can hope for.  The more that comes out here, the more reputable papers are finding with his ties to Russia, and the more his behavior reinforces that there is something there, the more I fear that he's more than an unwitting puppet.

I dunno. I'm just not seeing it. And, for the record, the exact same argument was made about Hillary.

Occam's Razor tells me that Trump's attitude is based on his inherent insecurity: he doesn't want anyone to think his victory is illegitimate. He's like a big child.  And his proposed friendship with Russia is based on his pragmatism and urge to "shake things up"- not much different from Obama's willingness to meet with Iran which he stated several times during his 08 campaign.

I could be wrong, but I really don't think it's much more complicated than this.

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I dunno. I'm just not seeing it. And, for the record, the exact same argument was made about Hillary.

Occam's Razor tells me that Trump's attitude is based on his inherent insecurity: he doesn't want anyone to think his victory is illegitimate. He's like a big child.  And his proposed friendship with Russia is based on his pragmatism and urge to "shake things up"- not much different from Obama's willingness to meet with Iran which he stated several times during his 08 campaign.

I could be wrong, but I really don't think it's much more complicated than this.

There was no equivalent argument, in terms of evidence, made against Hillary.  Regardless with Trump, what we have are at least these things:

- He's on record calling for Russia, a foreign nuclear adversary, to hack Hillary's emails and release them to benefit him, at a time when they were doing JUST THAT.  Was it a freudian slip of some kind, letting the world know that he knew what was going on?  It's really too much to assume it's just coincidence with what we know now about the massive campaign Russia was knee deep in at that point.

- His son is on record saying "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."  For years, his business has had strong ties with Russia.  Not china, not mexico, not any other country...but Russia.

- He has NO BAD THING to say about Putin, ever.  This isn't hyperbole...not only does he not say bad things, he praises the man.  When pressed, he doesn't do it.  It's uncanny...it's as if he's been cursed to utter not a negative thing about Putin or Russia and he's stuck to it perfectly.  Even if this was all there was, this would be very odd.

- The Financial Times, a reputable and respected organization, is finding links between his business and bad folks in Russia.  The investigation seems to just be gearing up, so we'll see what happens here, but it's not terribly surprising as it'd be a strong motivation behind not releasing his tax returns.

- The freaking Intelligence Community put out a report saying they had high confidence that Russia was engaged in an effort to smear Hillary and get Trump elected.  They have high confidence Russia, approved/guided by putin, was engaged in a propaganda dissemination campaign that had a goal to get Trump elected.  Our president was helped along to win the presidency by a foreign power who he will say nothing bad about, whom he has business ties with, who the IC says helped him along...no smoke yet?  Let's keep going.

- Paul Manafort, Trumps former campaign manager, is under investigation by the FBI for ties to Russia.  Other folks on his team, and his cabinet nominees, many have unusually close relationships to Putin and Russia in general.  Odd on its own, concerning in context of everything else.

- When the Intelligence Community was releasing information implicating Russia, instead of Trump accepting the information like any sane human would do, he lashed out at the Intelligence Community rather than accept that Russia was behind the hacking.  Since the briefing, he still refuses to directly meet this question head on as he's not willing to discuss it anymore.  He has a major problem being willing to admit that Russia was behind the hacking and they were working to get him elected.  

- The tactics that Trump used to become president, to win the election, bear a striking resemblance to the methods Putin is using to discredit democracies across the world.  Undermine confidence in elections (Trump: The system is rigged) and cast doubt on the outcomes.  Discredit the traditional sources of truth in a country, specifically the media and the intelligence community, both of which he's targeted, with journalists being someone he's targeted repeatedly and brutally.  And regarding propaganda, many times in the campaign, his rhetoric and information mirrored what the Russian media was putting out.

What's odd here is that politics as normal has been so disrupted, that we don't even have our frame of reference anymore that ANY SINGLE ONE OF THESE THINGS being true in previous years would've been a scandal of epic proportions.  Yet, you pile them all together with Trump, and people want to give him the benefit of the doubt.  "Just wait to see what he does"...but good lord, he went on a multi-year defamation expedition on Obama about his birth certificate with about 1/10000000th of the evidence of probable cause as I just laid out above. This isn't similar to anything that could be factually said about his opponent during the campaign.  The difference in scale, and the legitimacy of the information, are worlds apart.  Almost everything I said above is based on highly reputable sources, aside from my editorializing.

There is a ton of smoke, and it's silly to say we should just sit back, give the man the benefit of the doubt, and wait and see.  He is not normal, this is not a normal president-elect, the situations described above individually are very concerning, but when added together paint a very concerning picture.  And what's more, I'm not including everything I could be...just the most solid, well known stuff.  We're still only a couple months out from him winning the election and investigations take time...there's every reason to believe there's more to this story.  I am not a conspiracy theorist, and most of the time scoff at loose conspiracies even if they're focused on people I don't like...but this seems much more real.

 

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6 minutes ago, adonis said:

There was no equivalent argument, in terms of evidence, made against Hillary.  Regardless with Trump, what we have are at least these things:

- He's on record calling for Russia, a foreign nuclear adversary, to hack Hillary's emails and release them to benefit him, at a time when they were doing JUST THAT.  Was it a freudian slip of some kind, letting the world know that he knew what was going on?  It's really too much to assume it's just coincidence with what we know now about the massive campaign Russia was knee deep in at that point.

- His son is on record saying "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."  For years, his business has had strong ties with Russia.  Not china, not mexico, not any other country...but Russia.

- He has NO BAD THING to say about Putin, ever.  This isn't hyperbole...not only does he not say bad things, he praises the man.  When pressed, he doesn't do it.  It's uncanny...it's as if he's been cursed to utter not a negative thing about Putin or Russia and he's stuck to it perfectly.  Even if this was all there was, this would be very odd.

- The Financial Times, a reputable and respected organization, is finding links between his business and bad folks in Russia.  The investigation seems to just be gearing up, so we'll see what happens here, but it's not terribly surprising as it'd be a strong motivation behind not releasing his tax returns.

- The freaking Intelligence Community put out a report saying they had high confidence that Russia was engaged in an effort to smear Hillary and get Trump elected.  They have high confidence Russia, approved/guided by putin, was engaged in a propaganda dissemination campaign that had a goal to get Trump elected.  Our president was helped along to win the presidency by a foreign power who he will say nothing bad about, whom he has business ties with, who the IC says helped him along...no smoke yet?  Let's keep going.

- Paul Manafort, Trumps former campaign manager, is under investigation by the FBI for ties to Russia.  Other folks on his team, and his cabinet nominees, many have unusually close relationships to Putin and Russia in general.  Odd on its own, concerning in context of everything else.

- When the Intelligence Community was releasing information implicating Russia, instead of Trump accepting the information like any sane human would do, he lashed out at the Intelligence Community rather than accept that Russia was behind the hacking.  Since the briefing, he still refuses to directly meet this question head on as he's not willing to discuss it anymore.  He has a major problem being willing to admit that Russia was behind the hacking and they were working to get him elected.  

- The tactics that Trump used to become president, to win the election, bear a striking resemblance to the methods Putin is using to discredit democracies across the world.  Undermine confidence in elections (Trump: The system is rigged) and cast doubt on the outcomes.  Discredit the traditional sources of truth in a country, specifically the media and the intelligence community, both of which he's targeted, with journalists being someone he's targeted repeatedly and brutally.  And regarding propaganda, many times in the campaign, his rhetoric and information mirrored what the Russian media was putting out.

What's odd here is that politics as normal has been so disrupted, that we don't even have our frame of reference anymore that ANY SINGLE ONE OF THESE THINGS being true in previous years would've been a scandal of epic proportions.  Yet, you pile them all together with Trump, and people want to give him the benefit of the doubt.  "Just wait to see what he does"...but good lord, he went on a multi-year defamation expedition on Obama about his birth certificate with about 1/10000000th of the evidence of probable cause as I just laid out above. This isn't similar to anything that could be factually said about his opponent during the campaign.  The difference in scale, and the legitimacy of the information, are worlds apart.  Almost everything I said above is based on highly reputable sources, aside from my editorializing.

There is a ton of smoke, and it's silly to say we should just sit back, give the man the benefit of the doubt, and wait and see.  He is not normal, this is not a normal president-elect, the situations described above individually are very concerning, but when added together paint a very concerning picture.  And what's more, I'm not including everything I could be...just the most solid, well known stuff.  We're still only a couple months out from him winning the election and investigations take time...there's every reason to believe there's more to this story.  I am not a conspiracy theorist, and most of the time scoff at loose conspiracies even if they're focused on people I don't like...but this seems much more real.

 

you could also add that the Russians claimed they were in direct contact with Team Trump throughout the election (per Reuters).

I'm curious: at what point does smoke become actual fire?

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2 minutes ago, moleculo said:

you could also add that the Russians claimed they were in direct contact with Team Trump throughout the election (per Reuters).

I'm curious: at what point does smoke become actual fire?

Y'know, this is the same #### we've been saying for years.  :whistle:

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30 minutes ago, moleculo said:

full disclosure: I am a never-Trumper, and a reformed conservative.  I'm not entirely comfortable describing myself as a liberal, but I'm probably swinging closer to that side as the (R)'s get more and more crazy.  I did not vote for Trump and don't like most things about him, but he is our legally elected president and he deserves the benefit of the doubt.  I do hope he succeeds in making America Great Again; I do believe Trump has tapped into something forgotten in American politics, the middle class.

I'm not actively cheering one way or another in this whole sordid affair, I'm mostly fascinated in the story as a current event.  It's got potential for all of the drama and intrigue of a Clancy novel.  Frankly, the implications of the story as outlined by the Financial Times scare the crap out of me.  If true, and Trump was a knowing accomplice to Russian Mafia money laundering, he will be impeached and will spend time in jail.  I find that fascinating, regardless of political persuasion.

America is already great.  I appreciate the sentiment that you want to give him a chance, and certainly he should be allowed to govern within the bounds of what a president can do, but at a certain point, with his behavior in the primaries, in the general election, and now after he's won the presidency...attacking the media?  Attacking private citizens?  

Are we accepting all of this as normal now?  Does winning a presidency mean that we, as a country, lower our standards for what normal behavior we expect from our President?  It's sad, but I think that's exactly what we're doing.  

The media is have a hard time covering him because of his campaign against it.  Hell, even this forum is having a hard time moderating in the Trump era...and this is nothing compared to the importance of our free media.

I think we're all, in an effort to seem balanced and open as a people, too willing to compromise our dignity, our morality, our respect for the office, and our expectations of those who lead us just to look like we're unbiased.  People will call me biased for calling Trump out, repeatedly, as being not-normal, as lying repeatedly, as being a petty, thin skinned person who is too reactive to be trusted with important things.  People will call it partisanship, they'll say he won the election and stop complaining.  

But at a certain point, we should be able to draw a line in the sand and say "This is the measure of acceptable behavior of a president, or president-elect, and this man is over the line."  Attacking our media, is over the line.  Attacking our intelligence agency, is over the line.  The president elect not having press conferences to discuss his cabinet choices, is over the line.  The president elect discussing strategies to shut out the press from his administration except from the bare minimum they can get away with, is crossing the line.

I'm seriously worried for our country precisely because we're so used to having normal folks as president, that we're trying VERY hard to treat Donald Trump as a normal person.  He's not. He's dangerous, and he should be labeled as such and we should remind ourselves frequently that this is not normal.

Do a little research on abusive relationships and see how they start out.  They don't start out with someone just beating the crap out of a spouse day 1.  Things progress.  And the way they progress is just like the kind of language being used by many in here and many in the public in general.  "It's not a big deal, it was just a one time thing" or "Let's give him a chance, we're not married yet...maybe it'll get better?" or "That wasn't so bad, at least it wasn't as bad as this other thing he did".  Yes, i'm sure many will think this is a stretch too far, but just think about it.  As a country, we don't need to descend into that thinking...we need clear lines, and not allow the boundaries to constantly be pushed.

This isn't directed at you moleculo, just an opportunity to type what's been on my mind about folks in general.

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3 minutes ago, MaxThreshold said:

Y'know, this is the same #### we've been saying for years.  :whistle:

Yeah but now THEY are saying it, so it matters more

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41 minutes ago, moleculo said:

full disclosure: I am a never-Trumper, and a reformed conservative.  I'm not entirely comfortable describing myself as a liberal, but I'm probably swinging closer to that side as the (R)'s get more and more crazy.  I did not vote for Trump and don't like most things about him, but he is our legally elected president and he deserves the benefit of the doubt.  I do hope he succeeds in making America Great Again; I do believe Trump has tapped into something forgotten in American politics, the middle class.

 

I think Trump did a far better job connecting with the middle class than Clinton did and that was one of the reasons he won the election. Unfortunately, he's a rich entitled elitist who at no point in his business career has shown any interest in the middle class or furthering their causes. As a member of the middle class I see nothing in Trump that leads me to believe he has my best interests at heart. I'll need to move up a few tax brackets before he's even aware of my existence.   

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