US General Election 2016

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US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:55 am

The second one - didn't know the Queen was capable of such subtle, cheeky malice.  Smile

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:23 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{Would love to know from our US residents how this is going down over there? Cause its going down as a total sell out to Russia here, utter unbelievable capitulation to Putin and acceptance of his word over his own countries, even by Trump standards he seems to have shocked people. }}

In case you didn't see, this was the scathing cover of the New York Daily News yesterday. Possibly the best caricature of Trump I've seen: look at that tie!


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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:54 pm

{{Yup that tie somehow sums him up!  But what's been the response to the 'excuse' that he just misspoke a single word? }}

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:11 pm

Basically Rolling Eyes

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by malickfan on Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:51 pm


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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by malickfan on Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:17 pm

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/397701-white-house-trump-open-to-russia-questioning-us-citizens

So Trump might be fine with Russia getting to question innocent american citizens, yet has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with the Mueller Probe, surely if he is fine with innocent people getting questions by russians, he as someone supposedly innocent of collusion with Russia wouldn't have any issues with the probe? Suspect

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by chris63 on Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:41 am




" time for bed, my little friend. No more twitter today. Good night "

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by azriel on Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:22 am

Very Happy

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:11 am

{{Dan Coates, US Director of National Intelligence (its that not an oxymoron right now?!) reacts, live whilst being interviewed, to the tweeted news that Trump is brining Putin to the White House. I think he puts it well for everyone. }}


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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:37 am

Related to that I'm reading Michael Hayden's Playing to the Edge - he has been director both of the NSA and the CIA post 911, and has some eye-opening revelations (though he's very matter of fact about it).  I saw him interviewed by Trevor Noah and was so taken by his thoughtfulness and experience that I went right out and bought the book.

One revelation is that George W Bush is not at all the pea-brain we made him out to be during his tenure as president....even without comparison to the current occupant.  Hayden shows a very involved, very nuanced president.  Someone who insisted on a full security briefing each day (Obama actually pulled back on this) after which he would call up president Maliki in Iraq to coach him through how to deal with the issues while running a government with a multi-faction approach.  It was after Obama came in and the phone calls stopped that Malicki began to resort to his more Shia-centric ways that destabilized the government.

Another revelation regards "enhanced interrogation".  I've always been firmly against this.  But Hayden paints a picture of interrogators who would take time to get to know the captives well and treat them with personal respect: Mohammed Atta referred to his interrogator as "Emir" and did not harbor resentment towards him.  Questioning was never done in the midst of waterboarding - for that wasn't the point.  The point was to bring the captive from a resistive state of mind to a compliant one: the 'torture' would stop once they became cooperative.  Once the captives reached the compliant phase they would become "gossipy as school girls", and typically stayed that way.  One captive told his interrogator that they owed all prisoners the water boarding treatment, for in the Koran it is written that Allah would not demand more than a believer can bear - and once they had brought a prisoner beyond what he could bear, it was not longer a sin to cooperate.

I may sound like an apologist here, but it was made very clear that outside of uncontrolled exceptions like Abu Ghraib, the interrogation program was done with careful thought and respect, it wasn't at all a case of "by any means necessary".   In fact the last waterboarding was done in 2003, long before it had become a public issue.  It was only used while there was still a sense of urgency. They weren't trying to "break" a prisoner psychologically, more like condition him that resistance was painful and cooperation was not. Eventually he'd become cooperative and there was no need to repeat the 'training'.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:37 pm

Wow, nobody's wanted to touch this. I understand, I wasn't comfortable with it either. But Hayden was somebody I came to trust - willing to talk about moral dilemmas and grey areas; who wanted to make it clear why certain choices were made and that they weren't made based on dogma but with careful deliberation and the knowledge that they would be judged for their actions. I haven't gotten to the Edward Snowden chapter yet. On Trevor Noah he said he was sympathetic but that he went about it all wrong (not selective in his releases) and that's where the problem was.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:08 pm

OK I'll give my 2 cents.

halfwise wrote:I may sound like an apologist here, but it was made very clear that outside of uncontrolled exceptions like Abu Ghraib, the interrogation program was done with careful thought and respect, it wasn't at all a case of "by any means necessary".   In fact the last waterboarding was done in 2003, long before it had become a public issue.  It was only used while there was still a sense of urgency.  

That's exactly the same kind of ethical rationalization as what's happening with the use of guns for self defense now, where it's increasingly OK to shoot somebody if you happen to have a gun and you "feel threatened".

The fallacy is that the threat/urgency is entirely subjective, and sooner or later if somebody goes to all the trouble of training for a particular situation, they'll perceive a risk high enough to justify trying it just once (think George Zimmerman/Travon Martin or any number of rooky police shootings).

We're human. We're not good at assessing risk in unusual situations. If torture is considered a legitimate tool in the intelligence toolkit, it's going to be used sooner or later, no matter the risk or urgency. There's a really good chance that if the soldiers who are trained to launch nuclear weapons didn't have so many checks in the launch procedure we'd  all be toast now... pale

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:29 pm

But that's the point, there were many checks in the process. Contrary to the way I was thinking about it, the waterboarding wasn't done in a "cut the dogs loose" type of way at all. They had layers of clearance to go through before they started, and those performing it were usually the first ones to call an end because they had achieved their objective. It was neither starkly clinical (they took time to form relationships) nor starkly brutal (they maintained those relationships). I got the feeling they sat down and explained to the captives what they were doing and why, and it would be a process of wearing them down until they were willing to cooperate. And it worked.

There's no way to make it look good unless you read a whole chapter and are willing to overlook the trickle-down effects like Abhu Graib, which is asking a lot. The very fact that the US used torture type of techniques cast a pall over the whole military/intelligence industry. No matter how thoughtfully it was done there is no way of escaping that - and that has to be weighed against the good that may have come from the intelligence. I can't make such a judgement, I can only be relieved that at least at the highest levels the government hadn't descended into the brutal mentality I had feared.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:29 pm

{{I haven't commented on it Halfy just because I feel it requires a full reply and I dont have the time! (yet)

In other news be interested in your thoughts on this Dave-

'The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will grant up to $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs in the ongoing trade fight with China and other American trading partners....Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said that the plan, which will provide direct assistance and other temporary relief for farmers through the USDA’s commodity program, is meant as a stopgap to give Trump time to negotiate a long-term policy with China, the European Union and others....“Farmers will be the biggest beneficiaries,” Trump told the crowd gathered inside Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium. “We’re going to do something that has never been done.”..."Just stick with us," he said. "Don't believe what you hear on the fake news."
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said lawmakers are making the case to Trump that tariffs are "not the way to go."....Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the plan would spend billions on "gold crutches."..."America's farmers don't want to be paid to lose — they want to win by feeding the world," he said. "This administration's tariffs and bailouts aren't going to make America great again, they're just going to make it 1929 again."..."This is becoming more and more like a Soviet-type of economy here" with "commissars" passing out benefits, Johnson said, according to The Hill.'- Fox news

So useful or just a gesture?}}}

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:50 pm

halfwise wrote:

There's no way to make it look good unless you read a whole chapter and are willing to overlook the trickle-down effects like Abhu Graib, which is asking a lot.
I don't see how you can overlook the Abhu Graib effect. I think it was shocking to everybody how quickly it "trickled down" including Bush who approved it. It appears to be a steep and slippery slope and I'd prefer we don't step out on it.

This is the face of a man trying to stand on a slippery slope:



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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:59 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{In other news be interested in your thoughts on this Dave-

So useful or just a gesture?}}}

At least it's an acknowledgment of the harm that's been done. I'm going to wait and see if it trickles down to anywhere near us.
There's a pretty good article from a business standpoint here https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-farmers/trump-to-give-farmers-billions-in-aid-politico-idUSKBN1KE1YE  with some good quotes from some Republican Senators from farm states:

“This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and the White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches,” said Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican who frequently criticizes the president, a fellow Republican.

“Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers,” Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul wrote on Twitter. “If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers — the answer is remove the tariffs.”

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the aid package is “encouraging for the short term.”
“What farmers in Iowa and throughout rural America need in the long term are markets and opportunity, not government handouts,” Grassley said.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:52 pm

David H wrote:
halfwise wrote:

There's no way to make it look good unless you read a whole chapter and are willing to overlook the trickle-down effects like Abhu Graib, which is asking a lot.
I don't see how you can overlook the Abhu Graib effect. I think it was shocking to everybody how quickly it "trickled down" including Bush who approved it. It appears to be a steep and slippery slope and I'd prefer we don't step out on it.

This is the face of a man trying to stand on a slippery slope:




Bush is not good on presentation of anything.  Hayden is masterful.  Here is the appearance with Trevor Noah that impressed me.

playing to the edge part 1
playing to the edge part 2

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:50 pm

I was able to watch part of that Halfy. Hayden is definitely an Olympic class ethical gymnast, and a master figure skater on slippery slopes and thin ice. Nod

Wish he'd had a better handler than Bush though.... Rolling Eyes

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:34 pm

His book Playing to the Edge is worth reading. If nothing else it makes one have hope that the bench of talent is deep enough that Trump's purges won't wipe it out.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:11 pm

So Petty's been asking how farmers are affected and I'm still trying to bite my lip while we figure out where things are going, but this guy speaks for a lot of farmers I know:

https://www.sidneydailynews.com/opinion/columns/112560/local-farmer-calls-it-like-he-sees-it

Local farmer calls it like he sees it

By Christopher Gibbs - Guest columnist


Let me be clear. I want to be supportive of the president and his policies. As a farmer, we voted for the president because he purported to represent a “can do, just get it done” attitude. That attitude is the core of farm folks. But the president’s trade war, now being supported by hush money to keep agriculture sedated, is a bridge too far for me. This week the president announced he is offering $12 billion of borrowed taxpayer monies to continue to “have farmer’s backs.” These dollars are nothing more than verification that the president’s protectionist’s trade policies are folly.

Let me tell you a riddle. “I slept with a billionaire because he said he loved me. I expected to make love, but in the morning I realized I was getting screwed. When I went to tell the world, I was offered cash to keep my mouth shut.” Who am I? No, I’m not a model or someone named Stormy. I’m the American farmer.

In the mid-1980s we were awash with over production in the corn and soybean sectors. Agriculture got busy, boarded planes, trains and automobiles and started building markets around the world, one handshake and one relationship at a time. We used our own funds through our check off dollars and trade associations to build markets in Mexico, Canada, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. And we didn’t stop there. In partnership with the U.S. taxpayers, we built an ethanol industry to ensure another renewable energy source for U.S. consumers.

The world markets, which the president is now tearing down in the name of fairness, were built and paid for by farmers to ensure agriculture had outlets for our production so we didn’t have to come to the American taxpayer for support.

We keep hearing about the “Art of the Deal.” I’m waiting for the “Art” portion. Using a club to bludgeon our trading partners and allies is not negotiating. It’s nothing more than a playground bully stomping around to see who will flinch.

These pay-off dollars will do little more than put a target on agriculture’s back and make agriculture no better than those who come hat in hand wanting something for nothing. Farmers historically enjoy goodwill from the American public and taxpayer. This scheme will result in non-farm state legislators turning their back on agriculture when we need real help.

I spent 30 years administering federal farm programs with the USDA. I’ve administered and supported disaster programming, conservation programming, and price and supply stabilization. I believed in those supports because I believe a strong agriculture is directly related to our national security. I’ve never administered hush money designed to make me sit down and shut up about a ridiculous protectionist trade policy that has destroyed in a matter of months what my industry built with our own hands over decades.

The president calls ‘em like he sees them, and so do I. I won’t be silent any longer.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:25 am

{{Assuming Trump doesn't do anything too stupid, or offend too much, he has some chance of creating a new deal of some sort with the EU- maybe. Farmers are one of the most powerful lobby groups in the Eu and anything which infringes on them is going to be a fight for the EU to get agreement among its member states which would be necessary to ratify any new deal. So my hopes are not huge for anything massive happening there but a deal of some sort may be possible.

I think in the end Trump will be offered  some face saving way to drop the tariffs on allies. That and he is going to lose at the WTO- trying to claim German car manufacturers and Canadian steel makers are a national security threat to the US is unlikely to stand up. }}

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:07 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{Assuming Trump doesn't do anything too stupid.... }}

I'd be cautious about assumptions like that. The president seems to be getting angrier as his base of support among Republicans is fading, and when he's angry he's been known to lash out randomly. An example: his recent threats to shut down the government when his own party is in power. I'm preparing for it to get worse before it gets better....

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:23 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{Assuming Trump doesn't do anything too stupid.... }}


Why must you insist on setting the bar so high, Petty?

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:44 pm

{{You may wish to not read the following quote Dave from Trump at his most recent rally talking tariffs on farmers, it may make your head explode! }}

"China and others, remember this, have targetted our farmers, not good, not nice. And do you know what our farmers are saying? 'It's OK, we can take it'. These are incredible people. 'We can take it.'"

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:12 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{You may wish to not read the following quote Dave from Trump at his most recent rally talking tariffs on farmers, it may make your head explode! }}

"China and others, remember this, have targetted our farmers, not good, not nice. And do you know what our farmers are saying? 'It's OK, we can take it'. These are incredible people. 'We can take it.'"

Well looking on the bright side, I suppose it's good that he at least recognizes we're taking a serious hit because of his trade war. By "we can take it" I think he's trying to capture the message that almost no farmer thinks subsidies are an answer and that they almost certainly undermine us as a nation in the long run.

It's a well established fact that most of a farmer's wealth is in his land. When as a farmer you can't find a market for all your crop and you need to tap into your savings to get through a couple lean years, you often end up selling off all or part of your land to real estate developers. That's why a lot of America's best farmland has ended up under housing developments and business parks.

The land that's lost to development never comes back into food production, and so we end up importing more and more of our food from developing nations with large pools of cheap labor.  That's where tariffs, subsidies and trade wars take us as a nation. With or without subsidies, if you don't have a market for all your crop, you're going to look at selling some of your land. It's just basic economics.

Donald Trump is an old real estate guy so he's probably actually thought this through on some level. At least I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But I think he's taking us in a dangerous direction. Suspect

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