• James Riley
    Do you believe the intel about bounties was good?NOS4A2

    I honestly don't know. But I do know people who used to play the game and they told me it was par for the course. On the other hand, as I said, politicians spin intel all the time. But since I was not a BTDT on this issue, I won't take sides. I'm assuming you don't know any more than I, but perhaps you were on the ground over there and know the truth of the matter.
  • NOS4A2

    You should take sides on these matters. All out war is at stake.

    I don’t know more than you do. I just think it was bad intel, therefor walking back is good. If there is evidence I am wrong I need to hear it, but until then...
  • Joe Mirsky
    Stable Genius
    “Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!”
    — Donald Trump tweet January 6, 2018, in response to the book Fire and Fury in which he was called a horse’s ass.

    The horse’s ass was behind a horse. The horse, of course, is the original stable genius, Mister Ed, the talking horse. Mister Ed would only talk to his owner, Wilbur (played by Alan Young). The Mister Ed show ran from 1961-66.

    Mister Ed won a Golden Globe in 1963 for best comedy show. Trump’s Apprentice show was nominated for Emmies but never won, because, of course, that horse race is rigged:

    “The Emmys were horrendous...the absolute worst show!” “The Emmys are all politics, that's why, despite nominations, The Apprentice never won--even though it should have many times over.”
    — Trump tweets from September 24, 2012.

    Mister Ed was much more modest. From his theme song: “People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.”

    Mister Ed’s real name was Bamboo Harvester. Ailing, he was put down in 1970 at 21. We’re still putting up with Trump at 20 (in horse’s ass years).
  • Wayfarer

    I have to say, Trump is acting exactly like a foreign agent who is hellbent on destroying American democracy. The only reason I believe he's not, is that it's beyond the powers of the Putins and Kim Jong Uns of the world to actually do what he's doing. It's all driven by Trump's narcisism, which is now inflated beyond all possibility of correction.

    I suppose, and hope, the best-case scenario is, that he really, truly destroys the Republican party in the polls - that they lose big time in 2022 and again in 2024, because the rump of fanatical so-called 'Republican Voters' is not big enough to actually win, in which case, it's enough rope, and let him lead the lemmings over the cliff. Not out of any animus towards that party in particular, but because the endorsement of the lies and malfeasance of Trump is indefensible.
  • Michael
    MI6 spy Christopher Steele 'produced second dossier on Donald Trump for FBI'

    The former MI6 spy Christopher Steele produced a second dossier for the FBI on Donald Trump while he was in the White House, sources told The Telegraph.

    Mr Steele filed a series of intelligence reports to US authorities during the Trump presidency, including information concerning alleged sexual exploits.

    Mr Steele’s continued involvement supplying intelligence to the FBI appears to give credibility to his original dossier, which sparked a Special Counsel investigation by prosecutor Robert Mueller into Russian interference into the 2016 US presidential elections.


    The Telegraph understands that Mr Steele, through his company Orbis Business Intelligence, continued supplying raw intelligence to the federal authorities in the US.

    The second dossier contains raw intelligence that makes further claims of Russian meddling in the US election and also references claims regarding the existence of further sex tapes. The second dossier is reliant on separate sources to those who supplied information for the first reports.

    The fact the FBI continued to receive intelligence from Mr Steele, who ran MI6’s Russia desk from 2006 to 2009 before setting up Orbis, is potentially significant because it shows his work was apparently still being taken seriously after Mr Trump took hold of the reins of power.


    Intelligence gathered by Mr Steele for his second dossier is understood to include further details of Mr Manafort’s alleged Russian contacts.


    The FBI interviewed Mr Steele at the Grosvenor Hotel in central London, close to his offices, in September 2017 as part of then ongoing inquiries into Russian meddling.

    In the interview, Mr Steele told the FBI that Orbis had "four discrete, ‘hermetically-sealed’ main agent networks". His primary "sub-source" for the dossier was no longer "active" at the time of the interview with FBI agents, but that another "main agent network is up and running and is now starting to get good information".

    The Telegraph understands this agent, referred to by Mr Steele in his interview with the FBI, supplied information for the second dossier.

    The new dossier contains, like the first, a series of raw intelligence reports on alleged Russian interference linked to Mr Trump and his associates.

  • jorndoe
    What's up over in Trump-land?

    It appears that he thinks that Cyber Ninjas will find many thousands of votes for him in Arizona. Then they will move on to Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin where they will also find many thousands of votes for him. Enough votes to overturn the election in his favor.Trump Thinks That He Will Be Reinstated In The White House (Caren White, May 2021)

    This is why I am convinced that Trump will run for president in 2024. In his reality, it makes sense to run for a second term and believe that he can win.Trump Thinks That He Will Be Reinstated In The White House (Caren White, May 2021)

    Is White exaggerating?
  • James Riley
    Prefatory to my comments, I found this on a social networking page:

    "i feel like liberals, who mostly avoid rw media, have no idea of the craziness they soak in daily that millions of our fellow americans truly believe. roving bands of antifa, cancelling disney cartoons on the behalf of powerful blm militias. *they believe all this shit*"

    It was also opined that, while the politicians may know better, they play this for people who don't know better.

    So my question is this: Isn't it incumbent upon "liberals" to go into the lions den, troll if they have to, rock boats, stir pots? For if "liberals" likewise self-isolate in their own little safe-spaces, aren't they just playing the same game? And, if "liberals" are to go into the lions den, shouldn't they send their very best?

    I've been banned from more discussion boards than Carter has pills. I use to play the gadfly to the right, until given the boot, then I'd play gadfly to the left, until given the boot. Then back again. But my methods were crude and unsophisticated. My methods were as to my audience as Trump was to the press corps. (Perhaps that is why I could appreciate his trolling of insolence that could not be cajoled into asking probing, polite questions. But regardless, nothing came of it. Or did it? Maybe the insolence has become more polite and professional and probing, having learned a lesson from Trump? Even if so, that would just provide fodder for the right, pointing to the different treatment Biden gets. Sorry for the digression.)

    Don't we need a counter-insurgency program, specifically designed to upset stupidity? Or am I wrong? Is Hillary really running a child sex ring out of a pizza pallor and Mike Gaetz is a white knight? Maybe we just stand down and pray Joe Biden can lead by example?

    Regardless, I ask myself, how best to turn the craziness when the truth will not suffice? When facts will not suffice? Maybe the craziness should not be turned? I hate to use terms like "truth" and "facts" on a philosophy board, because I know what can be done to me for using them, but I'm at a loss.
  • baker
    At stroke of midnight, Trump shall win.
    I am certain that it is just a matter of time before Trump or his children win the presidential elections.
  • Benkei
    Probably true which is why the US is potentially a bigger danger to the democratic order in many countries than Russia or China.
  • baker
    It's the democratic order itself that is the greatest danger to the democratic order. Because the democratic order is ultimately about power in numbers.
  • Benkei
    That means exactly nothing to me.
  • Baden

    Don't give up the day job.
  • baker
    See, power in numbers.
  • Baden

    Just kidding around. In all seriousness, I have a deep interest in your profession. I once considered becoming a top pastry chef, only I don't really knead the dough.
  • baker
    That's because you're trying too hard.
  • Baden

    Quite. And this is all I have to show for it.

  • baker
    Talk about ivory towers ...
    People, Trump and co. really could win.Then the fun will be over.
  • praxis
    I think I’ve seen a pastry like that on the British Baking Show or something. Don’t think it’s called an Ivory Tower though, unfortunately for the witticism.
  • Benkei
    No, I meant that literally. I have no fucking clue what you think to mean with that.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    People, Trump and co. really could win.Then the fun will be over.baker

    Been there, done that.
  • James Riley
    We had a little respite, but now Trump is getting oxygen again from mainstream media. Is there something newsworthy, or is this proof they want the issue ($), not a solution? Or do they think he is the solution? Or is the issue the solution (struggle)? I think it's $. Either that, or the Plutocrats want the struggle. I just can't tell. Every person and ever institution has lost credibility so we are left to wander alone through a wasteland strewn with lies and facts and illusions, picking up scraps and making of them what we will. Tune in, turn on, drop out. T. Leary.
  • Fooloso4
    It is anyone's guess what will happen to Trump but the direction the Republican Party is going in is clear. They believe they have a winning formula, suppress votes and suppress any criticism or denial of Trump's lies.
  • baker
    Democracy is, eventually, about voting, and voting is about having the majority. Because of this, other principles of democracy, such as inclusiveness and equality, become increasingly irrelevant.
  • James Riley
    Because of this, other principles of democracy, such as inclusiveness and equality, become increasingly irrelevant.baker

    That is certainly true of a true democracy. In the U.S., the founding fathers tried to prevent a tyranny of the majority with a Bill of Rights, representative democracy, federalism, life time judicial appointments, etc.
  • 3017amen

    The dishonest leadership (gaslighting) that was experienced was also caused or driven by the usual power & greed phenomenon of human nature: Love of power, operating through greed and through personal ambition, was the cause of all these evils. - Thucydides

    The most important thing for those who have been duped by trump is: does he want to be perceived as a victim or a loser? If he's perceived a loser, he gets no money or power. So it's in his best interest to perpetuate the [a] lie. How disturbing is that?

    A common sense characteristic of highly flawed individuals. (The voters are smarter than you think.)That's why he lost re-election (dishonest leadership).
  • 3017amen
    I remember this story finding a home among the credulous (one can type "bounties" into the search bar for a good laugh).

    U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops

    "It was a huge election-time story that prompted cries of treason. But according to a newly disclosed assessment, Donald Trump might have been right to call it a “hoax.”"


    I fact-checked the link you sent and read the story. It was determined to be fake news. Want to know how I found out?
  • Count Timothy von Icarus

    I wouldn't put too much faith in the "Trump will bring down the party," logic. He won in 2016 despite his liabilities, giving the GOP full control of government and its best showing at the state level in a century.

    He came very close to winning a second term, missing the electoral votes he needed by very narrow margins. I think it's safe to say that without the pandemic he would have made an easy second term.

    To be sure, his brand will eventually kill the party, since it does terrible with young voters. Bush split young voters (18-24 year olds) almost 50/50. Trump lost them by 15 points. He lost voters under 55 by landslide margins in both elections (9 and 11 points). That said, seniors are by far and away the most reliable votes and aren't going anywhere by 2024.

    Trump did better with Latinos in 2020 than any Republican in two decades (which is still fairly poorly). The idea that he'd doom himself through demographics never played out. Given the large structural advantage the GOP has in the Electoral College and Senate, I think Trump will be highly competitive in 2024 and the odds on favorite to win if a recession hits by then, which seems highly likely given record high corporate debt levels today.

    In general, I'd expect Far-Right political parties to continue their string of victories until developed nations figure out a solution for the issue of immigration. One can only hope that, if we're stuck with them, they might actually develop to become more competent and less corrupt.
  • Wayfarer
    I think it's safe to say that without the pandemic he would have made an easy second term.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Sad, but true. His ongoing appeal is still a symptom of some dreadful malady regardless.
  • Xtrix
    So my question is this: Isn't it incumbent upon "liberals" to go into the lions den, troll if they have to, rock boats, stir pots?James Riley

    Don't we need a counter-insurgency program, specifically designed to upset stupidity?James Riley

    Regardless, I ask myself, how best to turn the craziness when the truth will not suffice? When facts will not suffice? Maybe the craziness should not be turned?James Riley

    I think these questions are in the right direction. My own view is to resist the temptation to engage with the opposition, especially on the Internet (and even more especially on social media platforms), and instead to focus on gathering and organizing people who share the same values/goals -- or those who can be swayed (of which there are many).

    Why? Because I'm sorry to say that there's a chunk of the electorate that's just immovable, mentally. They're sinking further into a vortex of pure chaos, an alternative reality of "alternative facts" that far exceeds any kind of craziness on the left -- and is much more dangerous. The "Q" phenomenon is a prime example, but also the Big Lie ("election was stolen") and the sacking of the Capitol. There's really no reasoning with them anymore, and there's no time -- especially not online, which is where a lot of this banter takes place. If it's gonna happen, maybe it'll happen in real time between real people (neighbors, friends, pastors, priests, doctors, community leaders).

    We can learn some lessons from history. We beat them in 2020 by 7 million votes during a high turnout year. Given the electoral college, that's still not good enough in my view -- especially against such an awful incumbent. On the other hand, incumbents historically win, and Biden voters were far less enthusiast than Trump voters in 2016 or Obama voters in 2020. Given the Republican gains in Congress and the state legislatures, however, it only shows how unpopular Trump was (e.g., Trump lost Maine but Susan Collins won re-election handily). Is this level of participation good enough? Not at all.

    We need to do more, not only bringing more and more people away from the right and the center, but away from apathy and non-voting (the largest "voting" bloc there is by far). Our job, besides voting, is to organize these people.

    I think the focus should shift away from national issues and towards local issues -- the state legislatures, local elections, councilmen elections, etc. Creating groups in person or online of like-minded people around your community. Otherwise all this news-consumption and yelling into the social media ether (Tweeting, re-tweeting, sharing memes, hitting a "like" button, writing long political posts, etc) and endless complaining amounts to is political hobbyism. (I should know -- I've fallen into that trap too. I see it all around me -- and there's good reasons for it; it's not just laziness.)

    As far as national issues -- we should try pushing this administration and the Democratic party as a whole towards what we feel are the right issues. Here I am in Noam Chomsky's camp. Bernie Sanders has already done that in his own way, and it's showing in Biden's administration. I'm not at all fooled by the media's portrayal of this, making him out to be the "next FDR," but I simply don't see him going as big as he is without having to kiss the ass of the large number of Bernie voters and the vocalness of AOC et al. One reason to push, apart from the fact that they're simply better policies, is that if these measures pass they will have real, noticeable effects on people's lives and, once they get a taste of it, it'll be very hard to reverse -- and will lead to greater turnout. (I think Obamacare demonstrates the former point -- and I'm not a big fan of it, but it is far more popular now in it was 10 years ago.)

    So, on the federal level: push them in whatever way you can to implement policies that will help the majority of Americans, and this will (arguably) lead to higher approval and turnout. More importantly, on the local level, start getting involved. This necessitates the things you mentioned: talking to others, trying different strategies, discovering better methods of organizing, etc. That itself takes group collaboration. So if there's any mantra here, it's that we've got to be more social.

    Those on the Right know it, and they're better at it -- they're far more organized than the Left. They're also desperate, have a coalition that are becoming more and more unhinged (which are turning off a lot of corporate America despite their party being far more likely to give them everything they want), and increasingly rely on structural factors (electoral college, Senate representation) and cheating (gerrymandering, voter suppression) to maintain power.

    We don't share the same problems. We already have the numbers, and we have the policies (large majority support for most of them). But we're simply not as organized. You can't run on demonizing the other side forever, and running simply on "I'm not as bad as that guy," even if it's true. Eventually you have to do something. I think handing out stimulus checks was a good start, and some of the proposals (child care, universal Pre-K, taxing the rich) are decent, but it's got to continue.

    I live in NH -- close to Maine, where Collins won. I can't help but think if I did more to assist her opponents campaign that the Democrats would not have to be held hostage by the likes of Joe Manchin. So there's a little connection for you. (Not to say I have that much influence, of course.)

    I think Trump will be highly competitive in 2024 and the odds on favorite to win if a recession hits by then, which seems highly likely given record high corporate debt levels today.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Are corporate debt levels very predictive of recessions? What data are you looking at, and can you pass along please? Thanks.

    In general, I'd expect Far-Right political parties to continue their string of victories until developed nations figure out a solution for the issue of immigration.Count Timothy von Icarus

    I don't think people really care much about immigration if there isn't a "crisis" or the media isn't whipping them up in a frenzy. Notice the hysteria about the border from last month has completely subsided. This shows up in polling, too. It's there, but other things like healthcare, political corruption, the economy, etc., consistently poll higher in importance.
  • James Riley

    Wise words. Especially about showing them what it means to govern for the people. But it always comes down to shoe leather.

    My sister, in Maine, said Collins was pushed over the top by some last minute outdoor T.V. personality that everyone loves.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
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