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18 March 2017

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Lars

The genius of the founders was that they created a system of government that could be run by idiots. Fairly soon we will find out whether that is still a fact. I would suggest to ease up on all the conspiracy theories. In the end, it will be whether the POTUS is competent (25th Amendment) or has violated the law (impeachment).

Or Trump decides that since he is not universally loved and admired, which he craves, he will just quit.

David Habakkuk

All,

With reference to the performance of the German journalists at the White House press conference, and that of the Western MSM generally: anyone who, after the events of the past years, thinks that a denial of Andrew Napolitano’s claims by GCHQ has any evidential value whatsoever doesn’t deserve the name of journalist. They are stenographers.

In the attempts to discredit Napolitano’s claims, deft use is being made of the fact that one of his sources is the former CIA and State Department counter-terrorism expert Larry Johnson – and he made an ass of himself by spreading the story that Michelle Obama had used the derogatory term ‘whitey’.

However, Johnson has provided an account of and apology for his error, which he repeated in a post this morning entitled ‘Dishonest NY Times Hit Piece.’

(See http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/79653/dishonest-ny-times-hit-piece/ .)

If one wants to approach the claims by Napolitano in the spirit of a serious journalist, but one lacking access to intelligence sources, I suggest that one can usefully break down Napolitano’s account into separate elements.

As I understand it, it involves the following claims:

1. That the NSA ‘hoovers up’ so much material that what Obama wanted would already have been collected anyway.

2. That it would have been within Obama’s rights to have requested what he wanted, without a FISA warrant, but he would have had to have produced a written order. Doing so would have involved leaving a ‘paper trail’ which would obviously have been an enormous hostage to fortune.

3. That GCHQ has 24/7 access to the NSA computers as a matter of routine.

4. And that, accordingly, all that was necessary to secure the material Obama wanted, without there being any hard evidence, was for the word to be passed to GCHQ to prepare a transcript.

In the light of the ‘Vault 7’ materials, and much else, none of these claims strike me as particularly surprising. However, that does not mean that they are true.

I would be interested in the views of other members of this ‘Committee of Correspondence’ as to how plausible they are.

iowa steve

While the two competing narratives may well be mutually exclusive, they both are real in the sense that they are actively informing, or misinforming, the political debate and political agenda, which is what I believe is the author's point.

confusedponderer

Trump refuses to talk about his earnings for years, to media as much as to the IRS. The man is simply a blatant and mysteriously unaccused tax evader.

He must by now owe the US somthing like half a billion or that. Aint it time to eventually pay? Re coup - woldn't it be an elegant and consequent thing to

* have Trump to confess what he earned and earns and to
* make him pay the money he must owe by now, if necessary by confisating some of his oversized houses

Him paying that finally would be good for US tax incoming and it would be good generally since it would result in Trump getting a well deserved criminal record - iirc that would disqualify him from being able to serve as president.

That's be a win-win solution.

Certainly, Trump that way could be prevented from spontaneously starting a nuclear war or something as ... unwise and murderous.

I write that because Trump recently expressed that he would like to nuke IS, and that it was a great error of the US to not nuke Iraq during the last war. Trump likes nukes a lot - an unhealthy preference.

That way, eventually if quite late, Trump would finally pay the taxes he STOLE, by keeping it for himself instead of paying it to the US citizens. That ought make one thing clear:

Despite his patriotic babbling about making America so very great again, Trump being pro Trump was always more important to him than Trump being good for America. Unless the election changed him on this, that is still so.

Valissa

'Coup or legitimate political pushback' is one way to frame the narrative, but it suffers from the limits of dualism. I'm guessing there are multiple factions amongst the political elite that are jockeying for power in various ways. Seems a bit of a free-for-all right now. If Trump proves himself "worthy" through this power-testing process then many will jump onto his train.

Trump is a fighter... he is pugnacious... something not seen in a president for a long time. I think people underestimate him because to them he is a "barbarian." One can be an intelligent barbarian, despite the gaudy outer appearance. He is fighting to change the direction of the US, as he was elected to do. How could this not stir up the enmity of much of the existing political power elite? Would you really prefer him to be another mealy mouthed metrosexual politician?

IMO, the attempt to get rid of Trump via the Russia scam by one faction has been losing traction. However, just because the Russia tactic is not being as effective as hoped, doesn't mean "they" won't find another point of attack and narrative that gets pushed by the complicit MSM.

b has a great post here with many links included to show the breadth of the trend away from the Democrat's attempt to hogtie Trump with Russia-Putin allegations.

The Democrats Anti-Russia Campaign Falls Apart (Updated) http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/03/the-democrats-anti-russia-campaign-falls-apart.html

turcopolier

confusedponderer

"He must by now owe the US somthing like half a billion or that" You don't know any of that. pl

Valissa

How Donald trump’s enemies fell for a 1.6 billion dollar hoax https://www.buzzfeed.com/kenbensinger/how-donald-trumps-enemies-fell-for-a-billion-dollar-hoax
An elaborate hoax based on forged documents escalates the phenomenon of “fake news” and reveals an audience on the left that seems willing to believe virtually any claim that could damage Trump.

… Seated at a table toward the rear of a café, away from the street where they might attract unwanted attention, Ariel recalled, he handed over the cash. In exchange he was given a copy of a potentially explosive set of documents. Its 35 pages told the story of a $1.6 billion wire transfer from petroleum giant ExxonMobil to a European office of a Chinese mining company, which a day later transferred 1.4 billion euros to the Trump Organization, the privately held conglomerate founded by President Trump. The transfers appeared to have taken place in mid-June, at the exact same time that Exxon’s then chief executive, Rex Tillerson, was in St. Petersburg at an economic forum, which Russian President Vladimir Putin also attended. … The only problem: The documents were phony.
------------------

Just one example of the active disinformation campaign against Trump by a faction of the elite. As I said to a friend the other day... now we have dozens of versions of The National Enquirer (which also occasionally reports real news) that compete to implant desired dramatic narratives or often simply plain old nasty gossip, instead of useful information.

Matthew

Col: Equally amazing is the MSM's default assumption that if President Trump is annoying the Germans, Trump must be doing something wrong.

I like Germans. But President Trump is absolutely right about the Europeans' failure to meet their treaty obligations.

Edward Amame

Trump is kind of a gift from the gods to the Dems in a way. Don't be so sure it's they who may be pining for a President Pence.

sid_finster

You make an awful lot of assumptions and wishful thinking.

confusedponderer

PL,
I read that US president candidates have tended to make their taxes public before elections. As for Trump, he hasn't and says he won't release his tax infos while his taxes are under audit.

Trump said to an ABC interviewer that his tax rate is "None of your business," and that he fought "very hard to pay as little tax as possible."

So, while I dont know for certainty how much tax Trump probably avoided to pay, I suspect it is something. A couple of years make sums add up. Example:

Trump "used a $916 million loss that he reported on his 1995 income tax returns to avoid paying personal federal income taxes for years."

"With a $916 million net operating loss in 1995, Mr. Trump could have avoided paying more than $50 million a year in taxable income over 18 years."

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/10/us/politics/donald-trump-taxes.html?_r=0

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/donald-trump-tax.html

Bill H

Indeed, not to mention that the issue is a red herring. The issues raised in the article are not Trump's taxes, but have to do with subversion of elections and governance.

Fred

confusedponderer,

Nice rant. I believe this is right in line with the left in the US. Got any evidence, other than that thing Rachel Maddow put on t.v. showing Trump paid $38,000,000 USD in taxes in 2005?

Jack

Confusedponderer,

You surely are very confused on how the federal tax collection system works and our byzantine tax code. Clearly you show an ignorance of the IRS and it's powers.

The fact that Trump's federal returns are under audit demonstrates that the IRS is reviewing every detail including all deductions claimed. I can assure you that an IRS audit is worse than anything you can imagine. I know having been through one.

Your clear distaste for Trump, the man, has shorn you of any objectivity.

Thomas

"Certainly, Trump that way could be prevented from spontaneously starting a nuclear war or something as ... unwise and murderous."

Yes, only the Likudniks have divine authorization to destroy all Goobers of Yokeldim. I guess they would call it "harvesting for the land" since "mowing the grass" sounds so.., so puny in comparison.

turcopolier

confusedponderer

In the US EVRYONE tries to pay as little tax as legally possible. This is expected, even by the IRS.

turcopolier

EA

"the left and the foreign policy Borg" Did I say "the Dems" pl

turcopolier

Matthew

A factor that is being ignored is that the armed forces would not accept anything done illegally against their legitimate CinC. pl

Lefty

Dear cp, There are good reasons to be critical of Trump, but his taxes do not seem to be one of them. When he finishes his audit (apparently annual and likely for good cause) his accountants, lawyers and the IRS come to a decision on what he owes, if anything, and he pays what is due. Revenue Agents are not shy about attaching assets if they have been stiffed, and we have no indications that has ever happened with Trump.

I have no more love for the IRS than for Trump, but I am pretty sure that the IRS knows something about the (bizarre) US Tax Code, and that they have been thoroughly engaged with ensuring that Trump complies.

Going after Trump's taxes distracts from real issues and causes all complaints, even legitimate ones, to be discounted.

The Beaver

David,

Just noticed the following from a Twitter a/c but don't know the source:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7I00VWXkAA1W0d.jpg

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

LJ just now told me that he will be on Brian Stelter's "Reliable Sources" show tomorrow to defend his assertions. pl

Lefty

Col. Exactly, it is our obligation under the law to pay what is owed, not more and not less.

The Beaver

Oops

I may have given the wrong link:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7I00VWXkAA1W0d.jpg

Edward Amame

Col Lang

Noted. But the left doesn't stand to gain from a Pres Pence either. Who does stand to gain from a coup?

turcopolier

EA

The left may not stand to gain but they are swept up in the hysteria of defending "the future" as Pelosi said yesterday. The Borg will gain ye stopping Trump's assault on what they see as their birthright in running international relations. pl

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