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#1202 Apr 18 2018 at 7:42 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Um... Or some of us don't assume that this is a conservative vs liberal issue?
Them? I can't say. You? You make almost everything a conservative vs liberal issue.
gbaji wrote:
And I'm going to apply the same rules to sources regardless of which "side" the person making the claim is on.
You're in fine form today lil' buddy. You should do stand-up!
gbaji wrote:
because of the GOP members not getting on board with the agenda which the voters actually seem to want
The GOP didn't want massive tax cuts for the rich to "spur growth and create jobs"? Huh. Must have misheard all of them on the news.


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#1203 Apr 18 2018 at 7:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
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The funny thing is that it's not even all that important. I just posted it because it was amusing, not because it "proved" anything.

Which is odd, given your reaction when I responded with "this doesn't prove anything".

Laughing at you for not knowing who Erickson is?

Once again, easy to tell when I've hit a nerve when you immediately try to use the same line back on me Smiley: laugh
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#1204 Apr 18 2018 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Given the sheer volume of complete BS reported over the last year or so by "unnamed sources", and given that this is yet another "just what liberals want to believe" claim, yeah, I'm going to go with "made it up completely". Why should I believe differently?
Mostly that this is a more solid investigation with genuine leads than the whole birth certificate thing and you chased that particular dragon for the better part of a decade, Quixote.


I treated "unnamed sources" exactly the same in that issue too (gave them no weight). My assessment of both issues is based on a series of facts. In the case of the birth certificate question, it went like this:

1. The constitution requires that someone be a natural born citizen in order to hold the office of president.
2. INS rules require that to be a natural born US citizen one must either be born on US soil, have two parents who are US citizens, or if one parent is not, the other must have lived in the US for at least 5 years past the age of 15 (er, or something similar to that, since I can't recall the exact age and/or number of years).
3. Obama's father was not a US citizen, and his mother did not meet the age/residence requirement, so he could only be a natural born citizen if he was born in the US.
4. At the time of Obama's birth, the state of Hawaii allowed for birth certificates by application rather than witnessed birth.
5. A certificate by application may or may not meet the natural born citizenship requirement (never tested in court)
6. The fact of whether his birth certificate was generated by application would only be apparent by examination of the full long form certificate, and would not appear in the short "certification of birth".
7. Obama only provided the certification of birth
8. Ergo, to determine if he qualifies as a natural born citizen he should provide the full long form for examination.

That's it. Note, there's no reliance on unnamed sources. Everything in here is a known fact. To me, this was never about whether he actually was a natural born citizen, but that he had not provided adequate documentation to prove it. It's not about what I believe, anymore than it's about whether that cop pulling you over believes you have a valid license or not. He's not going to accept a library card in lieu of a drivers license, right? Same deal here.

On the issue of Trump and the whole Russian collusion thing, there are so many gaps and questions and pure speculation involved, that it's impossible to even set up a logical sequence to explain it. The closest you can come up with is:

1. Trump won the election.
2. Some people speculate that the Russians may have wanted him to.
3. Some people speculate that maybe the Russians took illegal actions to help him win.
4. Some people speculate that maybe Trump or someone in his campaign knew this and worked with the Russians to do <something> to help him win.
5. If that speculation is true, then maybe there's evidence of this somewhere.
6. In the absence of evidence, let's just create an investigation to see if we can find some.
7. And after a year, and still no evidence, let's just keep looking!
8. Honestly, no clue. This whole thing makes no sense.


In the first case, I can show a clear legal requirement which drives the entire issue. Where is the legal issue in the second case? Is there one? What law is being violated? In the first case, it's clear: Article II, section 1 of the US constitution is the law in question. What law is involved in the Trump/Russian collusion thing? Does someone think Trump violated election laws? Which one? I mean, to prove anything here, you'd need to show that someone actually broke a freaking law, right? When you have an investigation and no one even seems to know what law they think might have been violated, you really ought to maybe question what the heck is going on.


I'll ask again, for like the 10th time: What law does anyone here think that Trump, or someone on his campaign actually violated, and which they think in some way had to do with him getting elected? That's the crux of this issue. It's abundantly obvious that this isn't about finding proof of collusion with the Russians to rig the election. It's about having an investigation, so you can keep putting people under oath, and keep looking into their pasts and actions, and eventually, when you do that long enough, to enough people, you'll find "something". And that's really not about the election at all, but about affecting public perception.

It's the freaking Plame investigation all over again. Same deal. We know there's no crime to investigate, but we'll have an investigation anyway. And we'll leak juicy tidbits along the way to keep the public speculating, and keep impacting the administration, and then, at the very end, we'll find a few folks to slap a perjury charge or obstruction of justice charge on, just so we can say we did something. I'll go on record right now and state that at the end of this, there will be no legal charges filed that equate in any way with "collusion with the Russians to rig the election". Just as there was no charge in the Plame investigation related to "disclosing the secret status of a CIA operative".

That's a pretty safe claim, right? I mean, is there anyone here who honestly thinks otherwise? So yeah, the thin you're claiming is a "solid investigation with genuine leads" isn't. And frankly, you know this. You're just willing to play along because you care more about the political impact than you do about our legal system having any sort of sanity to it.
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#1205 Apr 18 2018 at 9:06 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Given the sheer volume of complete BS reported over the last year or so by "unnamed sources", and given that this is yet another "just what liberals want to believe" claim, yeah, I'm going to go with "made it up completely". Why should I believe differently?
Mostly that this is a more solid investigation with genuine leads than the whole birth certificate thing and you chased that particular dragon for the better part of a decade, Quixote.


On the issue of Trump and the whole Russian collusion thing, there are so many gaps and questions..


I am glad we agree. There are many, many questions. Thankfully, we have this probe thing going to see to that collusion thing.
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#1206 Apr 19 2018 at 3:25 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
And after a year, and still no evidence, let's just keep looking!
Totally and completely unlike Hillary and the embassy, right?
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Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#1207 Apr 19 2018 at 6:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Actually, after a year we have a bunch of new, previously unknown links between Trump allies and Russian sources and a bunch of new information about previous lies and misdirection about how well people knew one another, when they met, who they met with, etc. A number of indictments (those we know of) for relatively minor crimes as a pretext for people flipping and working with the investigation to avoid greater charges. I can agree with "Let's keep looking" though.

Oh, and there's the fact that Cohen likely has a ton of illegal stuff to hit him on and Trump allies believe that Cohen is going to flip like a Pog the moment he's squeezed. Meanwhile, New York is working to amend its double jeopardy laws to allow for prosecuting state cases against crimes that received a presidential pardon at the federal level. So that should be fun. Currently, the method is just to hold back indictments that could be prosecuted at the state level for additional leverage.
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#1208 Apr 19 2018 at 7:56 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
It's not about what I believe
That's true. It's about what conservatives believe. No one, at no point, has ever accused you of thinking for yourself. It's already been explained why you're wrong on the birth certificate issue, so if you want to rehash on that just go back to those.

Edited, Apr 19th 2018 9:58am by lolgaxe
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#1209 Apr 19 2018 at 4:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
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The funny thing is that it's not even all that important. I just posted it because it was amusing, not because it "proved" anything.

Which is odd, given your reaction when I responded with "this doesn't prove anything".

Laughing at you for not knowing who Erickson is?


It's interesting to me that some people put more weight on assessing who said something, than assessing what was said. I didn't care who Erickson was. I responded purely to what he said, and my assessment that an article written solely based on an unnamed source was more or less meaningless. Doesn't matter to me who wrote it.

You, on the other hand, made a huge point about who he was. In case you're not getting the point, I think that's the wrong way to approach things. But you're free to be you, I suppose.
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#1210 Apr 19 2018 at 5:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Actually, after a year we have a bunch of new, previously unknown links between Trump allies and Russian sources and a bunch of new information about previous lies and misdirection about how well people knew one another, when they met, who they met with, etc.


Previously unknown to whom? The general public? Do you seriously think that you are directly aware of how many people associated with Clinton (or any federal level politician, much less one running for president) have similar "ties" to people from Russia (or any of a number of other countries)? Um... That's the freaking point. When you run for president you hire people on to your staff who have experience with foreign countries to help you with your foreign policy positions and facts and whatnot. It's somewhat impossible for anyone running for president to not have numerous people on their campaign staff with connections to people in foreign countries.

It's the kind of thing that is stated, not because it really means anything, but because by stating it, you give the perception to the public that it must mean something. It doesn't. What we have here is a completely normal set of people who have foreign policy experience, who might have been hired by any random person running for president, regardless of political party. OMG! It's a scandal! Um... No, it's not.

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A number of indictments (those we know of) for relatively minor crimes as a pretext for people flipping and working with the investigation to avoid greater charges.


Yeah. You keep telling yourself that. Tell you what. When this whole thing is over and it turns out that these minor charges are the only ones filed, you'll post that you were wrong about the whole thing, right? Oh what am I saying. It's not like you did that when ol Scooter was indicted back in the day either, why expect it here.

Funny thing is that I predicted that outcome then too. This will be the same. The purpose of the investigation is to have an investigation. That's it.

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I can agree with "Let's keep looking" though.


I was being sarcastic though.

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Oh, and there's the fact that Cohen likely has a ton of illegal stuff to hit him on and Trump allies believe that Cohen is going to flip like a Pog the moment he's squeezed.


Uh huh. Sure. Let's violate some pretty serious legal ground in our zeal to "get Trump!". What part of "fishing expedition" do you not get? So now, going after someone's lawyer because "we think he might have something illegal in his documents somewhere", is ok? Did the number four just disappear from the bill of rights at some point?

When did this stop being about trying to find evidence of illegal manipulation of an election and turn into "just look through everyone's papers who is connected to Trump until we find something, no matter how completely unrelated to the original investigation"? You don't even seem to be concerned that this has happened.

You get that this isn't a usable legal standard to use, right? You could literally speculate that *anyone* might have violated a law, and use that to justify searching through their stuff to see if there's something there. We have specific laws saying that this isn't allowed. Yet... here we are allowing it. See... cause this is a "special" investigation, so apparently the normal rules just don't apply.

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Meanwhile, New York is working to amend its double jeopardy laws to allow for prosecuting state cases against crimes that received a presidential pardon at the federal level. So that should be fun. Currently, the method is just to hold back indictments that could be prosecuted at the state level for additional leverage.


Seriously? As if the previous bad precedent wasn't bad enough. How many of our legal protections are you guys willing to throw in the trash in your rush to get Trump? I get it. You don't like the guy. I don't like the guy. I don't think we should shred the constitution in order to get revenge on him though. That just seems incredibly short sighted. You must really feel threatened by a supposed idiot with a bad combover, I guess.

Edited, Apr 19th 2018 5:05pm by gbaji
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#1211 Apr 19 2018 at 5:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It's interesting to me that some people put more weight on assessing who said something, than assessing what was said. I didn't care who Erickson was. [...] You, on the other hand, made a huge point about who he was

I love it when you opine on a topic in complete ignorance, make yourself look stupid and then pretend it's the other guy's fault for actually knowing what he's talking about Smiley: laugh
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Did the number four just disappear from the bill of rights at some point? [...] I don't think we should shred the constitution in order to get revenge on him though.

Speaking of ignorance, you, uh, didn't know that states have their own levels of double jeopardy protection and exclusions or that many states don't consider it to be a double jeopardy case at all when it's between federal and state, did you? I mean, since you're crying now about "shredding constitutional protections"? I know, I know... shame on me for knowing things. God, what a total drag, right? New York's codification is at the legislative level and had been criticized previously as a legal loophole when someone goes free due to a presidential pardon and NY can't prosecute directly..

Ugh, and there's more things people can know. Like understanding that Mueller's authorization isn't just "lol u didnt pruv trump collussion!!!" like your talking point addled brain seems to insist but rather "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump" and also (ugh, more knowing things!) "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". So all those things that FOX taught you to stomp your feet and yell "Fishing!! Witchhunt!!!" over and over about are, in fact, part of the investigation as intended. And...

Oh, who am I kidding. Knowing things is hard. It's easier to pretend that you're the smarter guy for discussing stuff in ignorance!

Edited, Apr 19th 2018 6:33pm by Jophiel
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#1212 Apr 19 2018 at 6:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:

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Did the number four just disappear from the bill of rights at some point? [...] I don't think we should shred the constitution in order to get revenge on him though.

Speaking of ignorance, you, uh, didn't know that states have their own levels of double jeopardy protection and exclusions or that many states don't consider it to be a double jeopardy case at all when it's between federal and state, did you?


Uh... I was talking about the whole "let's raid a lawyers office and look through his files to see if there's anything illegal in there" bit. Oh... But I'm sure they'll be extra special careful to make sure no non-illegal client confidential information will ever get leaked, right? Sure... Got a bridge to sell you. You really don't see the pattern?


But on this subject anyway:

Quote:
New York's codification is at the legislative level and had been criticized previously as a legal loophole when someone goes free due to a presidential pardon and NY can't prosecute directly..


Great. Change the law if you don't think it's good. Um... Changing it with a specific individual in mind is a problem though. I'm assuming your entire point for bringing it up in this context was it's potential for allowing folks who are currently being investigated in association with the whole Trump/Russian investigation (like say the aforementioned lawyer) to be prosecuted by the State of NY if the evil Trumpzilla just decides to grant them a pardon. Or worse, change the law so that they'll be more pressured to cut a deal because they can't rely on just getting a pardon after the fact for the inevitable obstruction charge they'll face if they don't. That was where you were going with this, right?

Which is an awful reason to change a law. Do it when there isn't a political agenda involved if you really think it's about the law being bad and needing to change. When you only think it's a great idea when it'll have a specific negative political impact on someone you don't like, that's just what I said earlier: Shortsighted.

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Like understanding that Mueller's authorization isn't just "lol u didnt pruv trump collussion!!!" like your talking point addled brain seems to insist but rather "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump"...


You're leaving out important word there. "Coordination" to do what? There has to be an underlying crime here. If the Trump campaign had detailed conversations with Russians to coordinate a birthday party, that's "coordination", but it's not illegal. Heck. Even if they spoke with Russians and discussed potential policy positions they might be willing to take or not, or whatever, that's also not illegal, as long as it's within the legitimate structure of their authority. Note that Flynn wasn't charged with a crime for having a conversation with a Russian diplomat in which he discussed potential policy positions, but because he lied about having the conversation.

Want to know why he lied? Because when the overwhelming public perception is that any conversation with a Russian equals proof of some kind of nefarious "collusion", folks in the targeted group will tend to avoid saying "Yeah, I had a conversation with a Russian and we talked policy". Again, not because that's actually illegal, but because you know it'll leak right from the FBI folks asking you to the media, and the title will be "Proof of Trump collusion with Russians!!!". The fact that you just made a huge deal about "previously unknown links between Trump allies and Russian sources" illustrates this. You think that means something nefarious. Why? It doesn't. If you can honestly self evaluate why you think this is actually significant, that'll be a first step to grasping why these sorts of investigations are problematic by their very nature.

You honestly don't see how the which hunt investigation mentality can actually create the very "crimes" it ultimately settles on charging folks with? Same deal with Scooter back in the day. He was misleading about his conversations with a reporter, not because anything he said was illegal, but because he knew that in the media environment at the time, any report of such a conversation would be portrayed as proof of the allegations, and would be damaging all by themselves. This is why these sorts of investigations can almost always dredge up a perjury or obstruction charge or three. Which is also why such investigations should be required to remain on their actual target and be held strictly accountable for leaks. It's the fear of leaks (legitimately) that push folks to be deceptive in their answers. They're more concerned about parsing their answers carefully so that when they get selectively quoted in the newspaper it wont be politically damaging, than they are about being 100% truthful.

I'll also take this moment to point out (again) how massively differently the FBI ran the investigation into Clinton and her email server. They practically fell over themselves to avoid putting anyone in a position of feeling pressured to testify or risk punishment. They "forgot" to ask any sort of tough questions. The avoided any topics which might be embarrassing for those being questioned, or those they worked for/with. The contrast between the two is hard to ignore.

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... and also (ugh, more knowing things!) "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". So all those things that FOX taught you to stomp your feet and yell "Fishing!! Witchhunt!!!" over and over about are, in fact, part of the investigation as intended.


Yes. Remember back like a year ago when the prevailing argument was "there's no harm in just having an investigation, just to see if there was collusion". This is the harm. The argument for the investigation was that "we just want to find out if this actually happened". Some of us saw back then that it was about having an investigation because we know that once such an investigation is launched, it will inevitably veer off in random directions and become a fishing expedition.

What do you think that quote you made actually means? It means that we're going to investigate thing A, but what we're really doing is seeing if there's a thing B, or C, or D. Even if we currently have no evidence of those things now. Which is in stark violation of some pretty basic principles we're supposed to hold dear when it comes to legal investigations. I get it. If you're investigating and stumble upon something new, you can investigate that. Great.

The problem comes in when it becomes apparent that you're launching the investigation entirely to have the ability to do that. And this investigation screams this. Loudly. The fact that no one seems to be able to answer that one simple question I've asked over and over "what actual federal statute do we think was violated" says all we need to know. There should never have been an investigation. Some of us argued this back then. For exactly this reason.

You can always do this sort of thing if you want. That's why we normally don't allow it in our legal system. And yes, if you recall, I was just as opposed to the investigation veering off target when Clinton was president and there was a blue dress involved. I've been consistent in my opposition to these sorts of things for decades now. Can you say the same? Or does your position change based on who the target is? Sure seems to.

Edited, Apr 19th 2018 5:42pm by gbaji
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#1213 Apr 19 2018 at 9:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Great. Change the law if you don't think it's good.

That's what's going on. The catalyst isn't Cohen, it's Trump. When you have someone who is potentially going to throw out pardons by the bucketful, it's better to get in front of that legally. You're always going to be changing a law of this type because of "one person" because only one person at any given time can grant presidential pardons.

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You're leaving out important word there.

Uh, no I wasn't. Because I was quoting directly from the authorization. The fact that you don't like it is your problem, not mine for not adding in magic words you wish were there.

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Yes. Remember back like a year ago when the prevailing argument was "there's no harm in just having an investigation, just to see if there was collusion". This is the harm.

Finding crimes? Well, ok... let's be honest: "Finding crime among GOP and Trump allies?" Yeah, I can see why you'd think that was "harm".

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And yes, if you recall, I was just as opposed to the investigation veering off target when Clinton was president and there was a blue dress involved

Nice try but we're talking about actual crimes here, not hand-wringing over blue dresses.
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#1214 Apr 20 2018 at 12:24 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Oh... But I'm sure they'll be extra special careful to make sure no non-illegal client confidential information will ever get leaked, right?
Are you suggesting his lawyer might have information regarding legal but otherwise embarrasing/gross/immoral/offensive activities our wonderful, totally cool president might be involved in?

Heaven forfend!!
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Jophiel wrote:
Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#1215 Apr 20 2018 at 12:28 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Finding crimes? Well, ok... let's be honest: "Finding crime among GOP and Trump allies?" Yeah, I can see why you'd think that was "harm".
Since gbaji tells us taxes=slavery I'm a liiiiiitle suspect of what he might define as "harm" as well.

Crazy, right?
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Jophiel wrote:
Last week, I saw a guy with an eyepatch and a gold monocle and pointed him out to Flea as one of the most awesome things I've seen, ever. If I had an eyepatch and a gold monocle, I'd always dress up as Mr. Peanut but with a hook hand and a parrot.
#1216 Apr 20 2018 at 6:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Keep in mind as well that Mueller's primary goal is to put together a picture of whether/how Russia attempted to interfere with the 2016 election. Any additional indictments, etc that stem from that are due to discovering illegal activities during the course of that investigation but Mueller could find out that it was 100% one-sided and the investigation would still be a "success".

The whole "OMG he's fishing because he has to prove something" or the idea that he can only investigate stuff he already knows is criminal or that his investigation is illegitimate if it turns up anything less than a signed "Let's be Collusion Buddies!" agreement on Trump letterhead is just a set-up by frightened GOP shills trying to create a preemptive defense and discredit the investigation. That's not something you do when you're not worried about what your people have been up to. We've gone from "Yeah, a foreign government trying to manipulate our election is definitely something we'd want to look into" to, well, the current state of affairs from the right.

Edited, Apr 20th 2018 7:51am by Jophiel
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#1217 Apr 20 2018 at 7:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Did the number four just disappear from the bill of rights at some point?
You mean the second part where it specifically states that if there's probable cause then the right to confidentiality is overridden?
gbaji wrote:
Sure... Got a bridge to sell you.
I can't imagine you could afford to sell it with how often you use it to reach your outlandish conclusions.
gbaji wrote:
Remember back like a year ago when the prevailing argument was "there's no harm in just having an investigation, just to see if there was collusion".
I remember that being your argument about emails.
gbaji wrote:
This is the harm.
Then you really only have yourself to blame.
gbaji wrote:
I've been consistent in my opposition to these sorts of things for decades now. Can you say the same?
I doubt anyone else could say that you've been consistent in anything. At least not with any degree of seriousness or even a straight face.

Now if we can move away from Quoxite charging those windmills for a moment, Rudy Giuliani is joining 45's legal team, which probably means they need someone to repeatedly yell NINE ELEVEN at people in Wisconsin for three months. Kind of a shame, he was a pretty solid dude in the 80s and 90s, then was diagnosed with cancer and went batshit insane.

Edited, Apr 20th 2018 10:18am by lolgaxe
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#1218 Apr 27 2018 at 5:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Great. Change the law if you don't think it's good.

That's what's going on. The catalyst isn't Cohen, it's Trump. When you have someone who is potentially going to throw out pardons by the bucketful, it's better to get in front of that legally.


Any president could potentially "throw out pardons by the bucketful". That's not a good enough reason, and it certainly looks like you're targeting this president specifically in this case, rather than making a general change because you think it's a good idea.

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You're always going to be changing a law of this type because of "one person" because only one person at any given time can grant presidential pardons.


Sure. Still looks suspicious when you chose to do it when that "one person" is a member of the other political party though. Doubly so when it appears to be less about preventing people from getting off the hook retroactively, and more about providing pressure on them proactively to try to flip them against the very "one person" you seem to really be targeting.

So yeah, that's a problem.


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Finding crimes? Well, ok... let's be honest: "Finding crime among GOP and Trump allies?" Yeah, I can see why you'd think that was "harm".


Leave off the target identity though. Ask yourself if launching an investigation, complete with subpoena and warrant power, to "find out if a crime has been committed" is a good way for law enforcement to operate. Our system, by default, requires identification of a crime first and *then* investigation as to who is the guilty party. What you are arguing for is precisely the definition of a "fishing expedition".

It's problematic because if you can launch such a thing, even in the absence of evidence of a crime, much less (in this case) even an idea of what exact crime may have been committed, you can launch such a thing against anyone at any time for any reason. Just claim that so and so may have committed a crime of some kind (any crime at all, no matter how vaguely stated) and start digging. Heck. May as well accuse them of witchcraft while we're at it, right? Yes, it's that backwards in terms of how a legal system should work. The scary thing is that so many people seem so focused on "getting Trump", that they can't see the horrific damage they are doing to the basic principles of our legal system along the way.

The politics of convenience are rarely a good reason to do things.

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And yes, if you recall, I was just as opposed to the investigation veering off target when Clinton was president and there was a blue dress involved

Nice try but we're talking about actual crimes here, not hand-wringing over blue dresses.


You mean the "actual crime" of perjury? Perjury committed because the target being questioned was primarily concerned about the political ramifications of telling the truth than the possibility of being caught lying? Sound familiar? It should. I just told you that this is why people lie during investigations like this. Yes, including presidents.


It really seems you are so obsessed with the identities of the folks involved that you're not looking at the methodologies being used. I think that's a mistake. It may seem useful today, but it's shortsighted in the long run.

Edited, Apr 27th 2018 4:26pm by gbaji
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#1219 Apr 27 2018 at 5:31 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Oh... But I'm sure they'll be extra special careful to make sure no non-illegal client confidential information will ever get leaked, right?
Are you suggesting his lawyer might have information regarding legal but otherwise embarrasing/gross/immoral/offensive activities our wonderful, totally cool president might be involved in?


Um... That is the entire basis behind the concept of attorney/client privilege. There's literally no other reason for that principle to exist in our legal system except to protect people from exactly the sort of thing you're talking about.

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Heaven forfend!!


That maybe we shouldn't be chucking a long standing legal protection just so we can "get Trump"? Yeah. Think hard about what you're arguing for here. It's a really really really really (times like 100) bad freaking idea.
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#1220 Apr 27 2018 at 5:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
You mean the "actual crime" of perjury?

No, I was referring to the investigation into the blue dress in general. There was no crime being investigated nor connection to Whitewater nor anything else aside from an attempt to dig up some political, though non-criminal, dirt. I don't excuse Clinton's perjury but I do recognize that he perjured himself over something that warranted no investigation. I don't believe that asking Libby about information related to Plame nor asking people in Trump's sphere about their interaction with Russian officials etc is analogous although, if I was scraping to make excuses for them, I suppose I might try the same barrel that you're currently digging in.

This isn't even really partisan although, again, I understand why you're trying to frame it as such. People broadly thought that Clinton's impeachment was such a Republican sham job that the opposition party to the White House managed to lose seats during the midterm for the first time since 1934. Conversely, Mueller's investigation enjoys wide bipartisan support with even 60% of Republicans agreeing that Mueller should be allowed to finish his work.
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#1221 Apr 27 2018 at 6:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Keep in mind as well that Mueller's primary goal is to put together a picture of whether/how Russia attempted to interfere with the 2016 election.


No, it's not. If it were, he would have started at the starting point: The hacked DNC servers and whatever trail that lead to. He hasn't touched that, or come anywhere near it. He might also look at propaganda efforts funded by Russia, but that's problematic, since as far as I know, as long as actual domestic campaign finance laws aren't violated, there's nothing illegal about a foreign parties funding issues ads and whatnot, just like anyone else is free to do (that pesky 1st amendment being a factor here).

So the one and only actual illegal action he could follow... he hasn't touched. No, this is not about finding out whether Russia illegally interfered with our election. It's about using a completely unsubstantiated rumor about "Russian collusion" (again though, collusion to commit what crime?), to go on a fishing expedition through anyone and everyone associated with Trump, so as to cause as much damage to the Trump administration as possible.

That's literally it. If there was really a strong legal foundation for this, rather than a political one, why on earth do you think that Comey handed his memos off to a friend to leak to the media? Those same memos were already provided to the appropriate people in the FBI and DoJ? Comey knew that there was not sufficient evidence of criminality to launch an investigation via normal legal channels. So he decided to put bits and pieces out in the public eye to create public pressure to "demand an investigation". And that's exactly what happened. Heck. He admitted that's why he did this. He wanted to force the creation of an investigation and appointment of a special prosecutor. Why do that via public pressure via leaked documents if he actually thought that there was sufficient legal evidence already? He wouldn't.

The entire thing is politically driven, not legally driven. It's not about investigating a crime at all. If it were, they'd have, you know, started with a crime and moved from there. Instead, they've started with a target and looked for a crime.

Which is, as you should know, completely backwards to how our legal system is supposed to work.


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Any additional indictments, etc that stem from that are due to discovering illegal activities during the course of that investigation but Mueller could find out that it was 100% one-sided and the investigation would still be a "success".


I'm honestly not sure if you're just that naive, or just blatantly lying here Joph. The hope to discover illegal activities unrelated to the investigation is the purpose. It's also almost 100% likely to be the only thing ever discovered along the way. That's why these kinds of investigations are so problematic. I can't think of a single one that has occurred in my lifetime that hasn't had the same exact "we found no crime related to what we started investigating, but we found this other stuff along the way" result. They *always* do that.

At some point, a rational person should come to the conclusion that this is the real objective of launching such an investigation.

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The whole "OMG he's fishing because he has to prove something" or the idea that he can only investigate stuff he already knows is criminal or that his investigation is illegitimate if it turns up anything less than a signed "Let's be Collusion Buddies!" agreement on Trump letterhead is just a set-up by frightened GOP shills trying to create a preemptive defense and discredit the investigation.


You're kidding, right? Has it even occurred to you that maybe these crazy "GOP shills" are just plain right about this?

The investigation was discredited because of the nature of the investigation itself. It's predicated on an unprovable claim. I'm serious here. How on earth could you ever prove that a crime was committed by someone on Trumps team that allowed Trump to win this election? What is the standard for that proof? What is the law that we'd charge that person with violating? There isn't any. It's nonsense. It is 100% about the political damage of having an investigation itself, and whatever random stuff they can find along the way. That's it. You are incredibly naive if you honestly believe anything else. And frankly, incredibly partisan if you can't see that this is all about politics.


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That's not something you do when you're not worried about what your people have been up to. We've gone from "Yeah, a foreign government trying to manipulate our election is definitely something we'd want to look into" to, well, the current state of affairs from the right.


Huh? It's not about "my people" or "your people", it's about the idea that "all people" in our legal system have protection from this kind of thing. Once again, you put the identity of the target ahead of the principles involved. It's not about who is the target. Or it should not be.


And yea, looking into a foreign government trying to manipulate our election is something we should look into. But that's *not* what this investigation is doing. Again, because if that was the case, you'd start with the foreign government and move from there. And they'd be looking in locations other than the Trump campaign. You honestly don't think it's odd that social media collecting data and selling it to third parties was only viewed as "bad" when one of those third parties happened to be an organization working for the Trump campaign? You don't think this same process has been used by campaigns in the past, or hosts of groups unrelated to politics? You honestly don't realize that foreign governments spend money to influence public opinion in the US on a host of social and political issues, and that these things can absolutely affect the outcome of some elections? But you only think it's a problem if it happens to have a chance to have helped Trump win this time? Seriously? Do you live in a bubble or something? This has been going on all along. This is not new. Nothing that happened here is new.

What is "new" is this sudden claim that this is something so horrible, so wrong, so bad, that we must get to the bottom of it! But not really to the bottom of the meddling, but to the bottom of demonizing Trump because he maybe might have benefited from it. Maybe. Possibly. In some tangential way. Perhaps. But let's go after Trump, right?

This is not about investigating vulnerabilities in our political system to foreign influence. It's just not. Because if it was, it would be operating in a completely different manner. This is entirely about using the speculation of something to create political damage for a sitting president. Nothing new here. Again, as I've stated many times, this is the same page out of the same book that created the Plame investigation. And it's just as bogus as that one was.

And I'll make the same prediction as to the outcome.

Edited, Apr 27th 2018 5:30pm by gbaji
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#1222 Apr 27 2018 at 6:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
You mean the "actual crime" of perjury?

No, I was referring to the investigation into the blue dress in general. There was no crime being investigated nor connection to Whitewater nor anything else aside from an attempt to dig up some political, though non-criminal, dirt.


So just like digging through the files of a lawyer who was involved in paying a adult film star to keep quiet about an affair, right? Just like that. How do you not see the parallel to the "blue dress" here? Well, except that one affair happened 10 years before the guy took office, and the other happened, while in office, while at work, with a subordinate at work. But yeah, other than that, nearly identical situations.

And it's obvious what the purpose of seizing those files are about. To see if there's things in there that are not illegal, but embarrassing to Trump. Then demanding he answer about it. And then see if he lies. And then use either response to cause his administration harm. How do you not get this? We've already seen classified NSA intercepts leaked to the media in order to go after a member of Trump's administration. You don't think that stuff in the seized documents wont be leaked if it can affect public opinion about Trump negatively? Again. How do you not see what's going on here?

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I don't excuse Clinton's perjury but I do recognize that he perjured himself over something that warranted no investigation.


Uh huh. Now take the next step in the logic train. It's not that hard to do. Ask yourself why they'd grab documents from a lawyer involved in paying hush money related to an affair? C'mon Joph. You're not this dense.

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I don't believe that asking Libby about information related to Plame nor asking people in Trump's sphere about their interaction with Russian officials etc is analogous although, if I was scraping to make excuses for them, I suppose I might try the same barrel that you're currently digging in.


How on earth is Cohen related to the theory of collusion with the Russians then? Please explain how this doesn't fall exactly into "blue dress" territory?

Um. And at the risk of pointing out long discovered truth, the issue with demanding Libby answer questions under oath about the timing of meetings with a reporter was problematic given that the investigators already knew who told the media about Plames job at the CIA. They knew it was Armitage from day one. A fact that was hidden from the media, and hidden from the public. The sole purpose for asking Libby questions about conversations with the media, which they already knew had no impact on what they were supposed to be investigating was in the hopes that he would be so concerned that if he had talked to the reporter at the "wrong time", it could support the speculation that he had leaked the information about Plame, and this would in turn be leaked to the media, and we'd have had 6 months of "OMG! Bush really did go after Wilson by outing his wife" in the media.

In that case, it was also about lying to avoid damaging the administration. And in that case, it was in an investigation that literally should never have happened, because the investigators knew that no crime had been committed. It was also 100% about applying pressure to members of the administration, in a media environment just itching for anything that might support the negative narrative at hand, and then hoping that this might cause some to lie in some way. That's it.

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This isn't even really partisan although, again, I understand why you're trying to frame it as such. People broadly thought that Clinton's impeachment was such a Republican sham job that the opposition party to the White House managed to lose seats during the midterm for the first time since 1934. Conversely, Mueller's investigation enjoys wide bipartisan support with even 60% of Republicans agreeing that Mueller should be allowed to finish his work.



Frankly, at this point, most of the folks on the right saying to let it continue are doing so purely because it's gone so far that to close it down at this point would look worse than allowing it to finish. Of course, the part you're leaving out is "he should finish, but finish quickly". The motivation on the right isn't because we're at all afraid that Mueller will actually find any collusion with the Russians, but that he'll drag this thing out for years, causing constant political damage every day it continues. But yeah, this is why we're also very concerned about what looks to be drifting into "blue dress" and "can we pressure someone into lying" territory. If he has evidence to support collusion then finish up and present it. If he doesn't, then finish up and say "didn't find anything". The longer this goes on the more it looks like he's just digging to see if he can find "something", regardless of what that something actually is.

Which is what leads to "fishing expedition" claims.

Edited, Apr 27th 2018 5:37pm by gbaji
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#1223 Apr 27 2018 at 8:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
So just like digging through the files of a lawyer who was involved in paying a adult film star to keep quiet about an affair, right?

Well, no. Because Cohen's payments (and this wasn't just about those payments) may have violated campaign finance laws. See? An actual, real, crime being investigated.

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Uh huh. Now take the next step in the logic train. It's not that hard to do. Ask yourself why they'd grab documents from a lawyer involved in paying hush money related to an affair? C'mon Joph. You're not this dense.

No, I'm not. Seems like you are though. I suppose it's more of a willful ignorance.

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How on earth is Cohen related to the theory of collusion with the Russians then?

Ah, ok. You were unaware that this was a separate FBI investigation. This must be one of your "I'm so much better because I talk without knowing anything about the topic" moments.

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Frankly, at this point, most of the folks on the right saying to let it continue are doing so purely because it's gone so far that to close it down at this point would look worse than allowing it to finish

Whatever helps you sleep, cupcake. As for your other post, well, I have the statements from the FBI and the document authorizing Mueller and you have... uhhh... apparently Hannity's Deep State Conspiracy Talking Points. Here's a tip: calling people "naive" when you don't understand the fundamentals of the topic at hand doesn't really sting much.

Edited, Apr 27th 2018 9:18pm by Jophiel
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#1224 Apr 27 2018 at 8:37 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
It's not about investigating a crime at all. If it were, they'd have, you know, started with a crime and moved from there. Instead, they've started with a target and looked for a crime.

Which is, as you should know, completely backwards to how our legal system is supposed to work.


Given that no-knock warrants to homes where no crime is being committed has led to numerous deaths of said homeowners on the strength of a freakin' anonymous phone call and you never had a problem with it but do with this is...confusing.
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#1225 Apr 30 2018 at 8:12 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Because Cohen's payments (and this wasn't just about those payments) may have violated campaign finance laws.
But you're not allowed to investigate whether or not it did violate because ... I don't know, Cohen didn't wave his hands in the air screaming "I AM COMMITTING CAMPAIGN FINANCE FRAUD OVER HERE! LOOK!"

This whole "It's not murder if the cop doesn't witness it" line of argument is ******* bizarre.
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#1226 Apr 30 2018 at 9:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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Funny enough, he practically did scream that with his repeated insistence that he paid out of his own pocket and Trump had nothing to do with it and hadn't even paid him back.
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
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