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18 March 2017

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Lars

Mr. Trump has yet to show the letter from IRS that he is being audited. Until he does, that is just an excuse to hide reality.

steve

Coup is overblown. Was Trump's campaign about Obama's birth certificate a coup attempt? There is always a campaign of sorts to try to discredit the sitting president. When we had dozens of Benghazi investigations, when the GOP didn't even accept investigations done by their own party, when you have 60 or 70 repeal votes on the ACA, really there are just too many examples of this stuff.

confusedponderer- The US tax system and code is specifically set up so that wealthy people in the US can find ways to avoid paying taxes. It is unlikely that Trump did anything illegal in regard to his taxes. (That said, I am pretty darn sure he bought off people in New Jersey, as if that is hard to do, to get out of trouble with his casinos there while going bankrupt 4 times. But there again, that is pretty normal real estate developer stuff. He was exceptionally well connected politically and took advantage of that.)

Steve

Andy

David,

To me the biggest question is why would President Obama do this?

Any information, gained in such an illegal manner, could not be used for political purposes (first assuming there was information that could hurt Trump) - this isn't something the President or his staff could leak because of the obvious danger that its provenance could be discovered. What actual advantage would the information give him or even Clinton considering the huge risk involved? To me it doesn't make any sense, so I tend to think the story isn't true.

Farmer Don


The Video clip mentioned above, where Pres. Trump says that Merkel and Himself may both share being bugged is widely viewed, but anti Trump and Pro Trump people see two COMPLETELY different things!

The comments on twitter from anti Trump people see a highly embarrassing spectacle of Trump at his worst. They read into Merkel's expression, (she didn't have her translation ear piece in), one of utter amazement of what a boor she has to contend with.

The pro Trump people see this as a very witty remark by Trump, and Merkel's expression as surprise of hearing the truth.

The for and against Trump people populate different copies of the video and have hundreds of uniform replies depending on who's camp aired it.

I have never seen such a striking example of people watching the same film and instantly SEEING two completely different things.


The Twisted Genius

Steve,

That's exactly what I was thinking. Trump was actively pushing a "coup" of the presidency for almost eight years. That coup was no more likely to succeed than this attempt. But those arrayed against him are more numerous and embedded than the birthers ever were.

I do want solid investigations of the whole Trump-Russia accusations to continue. Based on my experience of various aspects of Russian information operations, I think we will find there was a robust, aggressive long term campaign to influence/weaken our political and governmental systems. We will also find that Trump has fairly extensive business and financial connections with some shifty Russians. Some of these shifty Russians will have connections with Russian government and intelligence services. Those connections will have nothing to do with Trump. It may even reveal Trump was unwittingly used, but I think that is less likely. This will be embarrassing and a massive blow to Trump's ego, especially if he was unwittingly used. None of this will force him out of the presidency. The only way he leaves early is if he becomes bored and/or overly annoyed. Even that's unlikely since I don't see him ever admitting he is wrong or defeated.

I'd also like to see an investigation into our robust, aggressive long term campaign to influence/weaken the political and governmental systems in Ukraine. I bet that's an uglier story than Russia's meddling in our elections.

Bobo

Regarding Trumps Tweets on wiretapping I believe people are looking at the wording way to deeply. When Clapper was caught in his lie we found out that metadata was being collected under the Patriot Act which was signed by Obama. Thus every phone call, e-mail, tweet, text or other communication was/is collected, stored and placed into a searchable archive. That is the simple explanation and anything else gets us into that devious world.
Now all these high faluting journalists running around claiming Trump was tapped and said this or that have egg on their faces for spewing Fake News. Perfect example was the NY Times front page on Inaugaration Day something they will never live down.
The present Russia meme is falling apart but just give them a month or so and they will be spouting something else.

Edward Amame

Col Lang

If you're talking about this: "The budget is a statement of values, and President Trump has shown he does not value the future of children and working families," that's not hysteria, that's politics.

scott s.

Steve- I don't agree that the "tax system" (or individual income tax which I guess is what is meant) is set up for the wealthy. The core problem is that "income" is an accounting concept and it is difficult to reduce a concept to hard numbers. To make matters worse, there's actually four different definitions of income -- gross income, adjusted gross income, modified adjusted gross income (for purposes of the Alternative Minimum Tax) and taxable income. All of which require detailed regulations subject to interpretation (which is why there is an Administrative Law court, the Tax Court, to adjudicate this mess). And all this is before Congress starts using the income tax as a way of distributing welfare in the form of "tax credits".

The "income tax" was first invoked under Congress' taxing power during the Civil War as a remedy for perceived unfairness of the Direct Tax (essentially, a national property tax) that allowed owners of joint-stock companies to "carry their property in their vest pockets" and hence avoid the direct tax.

Note also that the income tax was never "illegal". Rather, a series of Supreme Court decisions ruled that you had to look to the source of income to determine if the tax was direct (following the rule of apportionment) or "indirect" (duties, imposts, and excises following the rule of uniformity). This was seen as unworkable hence the passage of the XVIth amendment, which declared income tax would follow the rule of uniformity, regardless of source.

While on the subject, also may be worth noting that the history of the so-called "three-fifths rule" was based on taxation. During the debates on drafting the Articles of Confederation there was consideration of taxes for the Confederation. It was generally agreed to that states would be assessed based on their "wealth". The problem was determining wealth. It was suggested that population could act as a proxy for wealth. The slave-holding states argued that slaves were not as productive as free persons and shouldn't be counted in population. A compromise was suggested by applying a three-fifths rule, but in the end the population proxy was rejected.

The main advantage of being "wealthy" is you get to do your taxes twice: once using the "regular" rules and a second time using the AMT rules. (you pay the higher amount)

turcopolier

EA

No. I am talking about what has become a mindless witch hunt designed to destroy Trump's Administration and anyone who fails to get in line with the mob of peasants headed for Dracula's castle carrying torches and pitchforks. I am talking about the trolls who send me and others messages asserting that I/we are hypocritical servants of the "devils" because I defend the established constitutional order, something that evidently means nothing to the mob that has been called into being by agitprop reminiscent of methods in the 20th Century that I never expected to see in America. I am talking about people who tell me every day that my senile dementia is accelerating because I don't shut up. Are you one of them? You seem more rational. pl

turcopolier

TTG

I really think that Trump's birther nonsense is irrelevant to what is going on now unless his enemies just want to indulge themselves in revenge at the expense of the innermost assumptions we have held about the US republic. The birther thing was never going to unseat Obama. Whether or not you think the effort against Trump will succeed is interesting but not dispositve. I am told by sources on the Hill that Republican members are under constant pressure from the Democrats and media to abandon Trump. The intention is clear. It is to reduce his support enough to make him vulnerable to the 25th Amendment or impeachment and this is succeeding. His polling numbers are steadily declining. It is clear to me from confidential sources that leaders of the IC DID approach GCHQ with an informal and, of course, un-written request to dig through the intercepts available to them in the joint NSA/GCHQ system for material adverse to Trump. The then director of GCHQ accommodated them and was fired when his presumption was discovered at 10 Downing Street. This, in spite of British protestations of outrage to the contrary. This kind of skullduggery is essentially not provable unless those who were in certain meetings come out of the woodwork and they will not. Efforts like this re planned to be un-provable in court or a hearing and this one was done fairly well. pl

Edward Amame

Col Lang

Pelosi was just doing the job that she got elected to do. I do support the idea of resistance to Trumpism by demonstrating peacefully, getting involved politically at the local level - maybe by joining or starting a political club, pressuring elected officials, donating to orgs to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, etc.

As for your trolls, I wish they'd cut it out. Bullying is poor salesmanship, for starters.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

The flack you are getting must be intense. Keep it going. You’ve handled worse.

Since George W Bush, I noticed that Presidents like to have the military personnel as background for their speeches. Probably because it looks patriotic and the military will behave themselves. However, when President Trump spoke at MacDill AFB, the enthusiasm from the back of the room was palpable. Together with his staff of retired Generals, a coup against his Presidency will have to be legal; either by resignation, the 25th amendment or an impeachment.

Corporate media has gone crazy trying to rub their insanity off on him. The elite’s gravy train of exploiting the little people is coming to an end; ready or not.

turcopolier

EA

Why do you want to participate in resistance to this man in his exercise of office? Do you think it is patriotic to impede the functioning of the government? What gives you the right to defy the constitution? It is one thing to oppose his policies and quite another to oppose the outcome of the election. pl

Fred

Col.,

What vengeance are they going to pursue once victorious? Surely those presumed to be vulnerable in Congress or government don't think they'll be safe after Trump is gone? I think the deplorables know that vengeance will be inflicted upon them and they could look forward to open borders in the effort to import a replacement demographic loyal to the right political orthodoxy.

turcopolier

Farmer Don

"what a boor she has to contend with." I guess you don't remember the tremendous flap she caused when she realized that NSA was listening to her cell-phone chatter. someone in the BND must have broken the news to her since they and NSA are partners in such activity in Eastern Europe. pl

turcopolier

Andy

"could not be used for political purposes" what? It has been used to hurt Trump. Is that not obvious? pl

Edward Amame

Col Lang

I don't have your sources, but what I've been reading/hearing is that if anybody's agitating for impeachment, it's the base not Dem elected reps.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-impeachment-democrats-235184

http://www.salon.com/2017/02/06/nancy-pelosi-cools-trump-impeachment-fever-when-and-if-he-breaks-the-law-that-is-when-something-like-that-will-come-up/

IMO, the Dems in congress are (correctly) looking to the midterms not impeachment.

turcopolier

EA

Yes, You do not have my resources. Yes, your base is fired up because of the agitprop war in the media. Your party's members are actively engaged in the effort. Just listen to them on TV. He is the worst human imaginable. Look at people like Adam Schiff. He is engaged in jihad, a holy war. pl

Hunsdon

The nomination and subsequent confirmation of Gen. (now Secretary) Mattis was, I realized a day or so later, excellent anti-coup insurance.

turcopolier

Hunsdon

Yes, but they never would have accepted a soft coup that was not legal whether or not Mattis was SECDEF. pl

turcopolier

VV

Trolls come in different tribes. The political ones sent by a cause like the anticonservative jihad often use exactly the same themes and even language. They are easily recognizable. Unfortunately the present troll activity is a powerful incentive for me to continue for a while. pl

The Twisted Genius

pl,

The Brits first gave us a tip off about Russian hacking of the DNC in 2015. A Baltic service gave the CIA a tip off of Russian efforts to fund efforts to influence the election in Spring 2016. That's when the inter-agency investigation started. I would not be surprised if we asked the Brits for further assistance after that. It's hard to stonewall the investigations into the Russian end of this mess.

Unfortunately for Trump and his supporters, his virulent opposition smell blood, real or imaginary, and will not let it go. Trump is not helping matters by denying any connection to anything Russian. That's demonstrably false and smacks of cover up. Of course, with his opposition so bloodthirsty, he can't afford to give them an inch. Instead, he's left with throwing up distractions like the wiretapping.

Jack

Your assertion that "Mr. Trump has yet to show the letter from IRS that he is being audited. Until he does, that is just an excuse to hide reality." makes no sense. He is under no obligation to show any letter from the IRS. He's never gonna convince NeverTrumper like you. So why bother?

Those that get it know that if he lied on this with the legions of leakers in the bureaucracy it will only be a matter of time before it came out. And it would be 24x7 on all the hyperventilating channels.

Unlike Donna Brazile who fed Hillary the debate questions and then brazenly lied only to get caught and now having to admit it. But that's not gonna hurt her career as the MSM were all in cahoots to take down Trump. They just didn't count on voters seeing through their propaganda.

different clue

Edward Amame,

The Clinton courtiers all want revenge against Trump for having defeated their Highness. They would accept a President Pence as the price of having their revenge.

The R2P Wilsonians and the NeoCons and NeoLibs would prefer a President Pence because he supports the same Forced Trade Agreements they support, he supports the same Cold War 2.0 with Russia that they support, and he supports the same Assad-must-go that they support.

Jack

TTG, Sir

The Birther "coup" attempt is qualitatively different than the current "coup" attempt where elements in the federal intelligence bureaucracy are placing stories in the MSM to insinuate that POTUS Trump is a Manchurian Candidate. This is then amped up by the MSM with the agitprop that we see.

To be equivalent we'd have seen elements in the State of Hawaii bureaucracy seeding stories that Obama was not a US citizen. So there would have been stories with lines like " A senior official in the Hawaii Department of Health stated there are no records of President Obama's birth in the State of Hawaii". And then the MSM going hog wild.

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