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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:38 am 
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Santa wrote:
Pelosi calling it bribery now.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4704 ... most-small

So the new definition of bribery is not not giving someone money that they had already been allocated.

Thanks Laura

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1195177457210540033


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:23 am 
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Flyin Ryan wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Rinkals wrote:

Trump was elected because he was seen as a successful businessman and I think that part of his mandate was to run the United States as US Inc., but obviously being CEO of a business (particularly in Trump's case where the general MO was to screw over suppliers and pursue vanity projects) is not really compatible with being elected POTUS.


That's an interesting point. There's a subset of Americans - perhaps all of Trump's base, and more besides - who want to see US foreign policy run exactly that way. We've talked on here about great power politics, and that's what great power politics is: the unilateral exertion of force. It includes screwing over suppliers and vanity projects galore, at the whim of whatever ruler du jour. That's how Europe looted the world, with Trump now cast in the role of a Twittering king, of a soon-to-be second-rate power that doesn't yet understand the implications of being second-rate.


I want to dispute that for a second. Bashing America is a global sport. Yet, everyone takes money or our defense to cover them. Use France as an example. They during the early '00s timeframe were the public face internationally against our Iraq conflict in the UN. Which fine, they are a sovereign state, and it's their right to do so. Fast forward 8 or so years, there's a civil war on their horizon across the Mediterranean in Libya. This is seriously bad news for Italy and France who are getting all the emigrants and it's also bad news for their oil companies who have investments in Libya. This is by definition a French problem. Obama ran in 2008 against involving ourselves in foreign areas. Fine, that's his point of view. He then proceeded to be manipulated by worthless piece of shit Nicolas Sarkozy into doing their dirty work for them in Libya. We owed the French NOTHING! We called for them to be an ally with us, they chose not to and argued against it to other countries. Why should we then spend our material and our troops for a conflict that affected them and not us, and especially when the sitting president at the time absolutely ran against doing this very thing?

The Libya conflict is to me one of the 3 critical foreign policy failures of the Obama administration - the others being Syria and the Iran nuclear deal.

Looking at our allies and saying "you can't have your cake and eat it too" is not a bad thing. You want to do things your way and bash us publicly, great, go ahead, but why should we provide financial or military aid at that point? Europeans that decry American military power as evil, great, to not be hypocritical that means you should be in favor of go fighting the Russians with an EU force only on the eastern front when the time comes.


I'm not bashing America. We're all second-rate powers. It is a dig however at American exceptionalism. If the United States isn't the moral leader of a global system of rules [which it no longer is, since it's in the process of dismantling it] and it isn't the dominant economic force [which in the future it won't be] then what is it? Merely another competitor in a multi-polar world. As it happens, the one with the biggest military, so your point is taken. My point is that America *benefits* from that system. It's what led to America being the only superpower. That's why smarter Americans created it.

I'd personally have pulled Russia and China further into the tent. Why they haven't been is complex, but Russia lost interest, and is sliding further into authoritarianism. But that's me.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:34 am 
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Santa wrote:
If you twist your eyes and your brain up and turn it upsidedown it's bribery.


It isn't much of a twist upside down at all. You just don't deal with this on a daily basis so aren't used to this.

Try asking a local or government official in Indonesia to do something that it is their job to do. Not to do something wrong, just to do the very job that they are employed to do. Ask the official that is responsible for issuing copies of a birth certificate to provide a copy of the birth certificate. There is the official fee, and then the "fee" for it to issue without them losing your application for a few months.

The official is mandated to perform a task but holds it up for something of value.

They solicit a bribe to do something.

In this case Trump clearly held up something the administration was required to do by congress, issue the aid, in return for something of value.

Just because it wasn't cash doesn't mean it isn't soliciting a bribe.

It is very clearly bribery.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:39 am 
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paddyor wrote:
Santa wrote:
Pelosi calling it bribery now.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4704 ... most-small

So the new definition of bribery is not not giving someone money that they had already been allocated.

Thanks Laura

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1195177457210540033


Wow.

That's some serious mental gymnastics right there.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution!!"


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:48 am 
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Thomas wrote:
paddyor wrote:
Santa wrote:
Pelosi calling it bribery now.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4704 ... most-small

So the new definition of bribery is not not giving someone money that they had already been allocated.

Thanks Laura

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1195177457210540033


Wow.

That's some serious mental gymnastics right there.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution!!"


"Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty."
https://law.cornell.edu/wex/bribery


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:10 am 
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Admittedly, what we're debating here is the modern statutory standard for bribery, which may have no resemblance to what the Founders meant. Any legal historians here?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:44 am 
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6.Jones wrote:
Thomas wrote:
paddyor wrote:
Santa wrote:
Pelosi calling it bribery now.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4704 ... most-small

So the new definition of bribery is not not giving someone money that they had already been allocated.

Thanks Laura

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1195177457210540033


Wow.

That's some serious mental gymnastics right there.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution!!"


"Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty."
https://law.cornell.edu/wex/bribery


All jokes aside, do you think foreign aid fits that definition or is money just given to people with no expectation of a return?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:00 am 
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I thought you were putting jokes aside?

You will be aware that the expected return, if required, is likely be something beneficial to the american tax payer, not a personal gain to the person who is supposed to be representing them.

But your following your usual MO.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:30 am 
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Santa wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Thomas wrote:
paddyor wrote:
Santa wrote:
Pelosi calling it bribery now.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4704 ... most-small

So the new definition of bribery is not not giving someone money that they had already been allocated.

Thanks Laura

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1195177457210540033


Wow.

That's some serious mental gymnastics right there.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution!!"


"Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty."
https://law.cornell.edu/wex/bribery


All jokes aside, do you think foreign aid fits that definition or is money just given to people with no expectation of a return?


Quote:
Solicitation of a bribe also constitutes a crime and is completed regardless of whether the solicitation results in the receipt of a valuable gift


The issuance of the foreign aid is the action of the the individual. The request for the investigation is the solicitation of something of value. It isn't that difficult to grasp.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:45 am 
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Santa wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Thomas wrote:
paddyor wrote:
Santa wrote:
Pelosi calling it bribery now.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4704 ... most-small

So the new definition of bribery is not not giving someone money that they had already been allocated.

Thanks Laura

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1195177457210540033


Wow.

That's some serious mental gymnastics right there.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution!!"


"Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty."
https://law.cornell.edu/wex/bribery


All jokes aside, do you think foreign aid fits that definition or is money just given to people with no expectation of a return?

Foreign aid paid by nations is undoubtedly bribery by the modern legal definition of the term. But then bombing your enemy's families in restaurants would be murder, if you or I did it. States can do what they want, subject to international law. And as W famously said: 'international law? Get me a lawyer.' If an individual conditioned aid as a means of influencing the actions of another individual holding a public or legal duty, then that'd be bribery, obviously.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:16 am 
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Altazuma wrote:
Santa wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Thomas wrote:
paddyor wrote:


Wow.

That's some serious mental gymnastics right there.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution!!"


"Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty."
https://law.cornell.edu/wex/bribery


All jokes aside, do you think foreign aid fits that definition or is money just given to people with no expectation of a return?


Quote:
Solicitation of a bribe also constitutes a crime and is completed regardless of whether the solicitation results in the receipt of a valuable gift


The issuance of the foreign aid is the action of the the individual. The request for the investigation is the solicitation of something of value. It isn't that difficult to grasp.


Not for most of us.

But I suppose, when the facts don't fit your view, you are entitled to disregard them.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:17 am 
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I have mentioned it before - Santa is the harbinger of Fox talking points.

He starts banging on about how there is nothing wrong with trying to commit a crime as long as you're not actually successful in pulling off the caper...

...and low and behold, a day later, "Shut Up and Dribble" starts spouting the same bullshit on her show. I bet Hannity, Dobbs, Pirro and (the worst) Varney will follow suit.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:18 am 
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[quote="6.Jones]
Foreign aid paid by nations is undoubtedly bribery by the modern legal definition of the term. But then bombing your enemy's families in restaurants would be murder, if you or I did it. States can do what they want, subject in international law. And as W famously said: 'international law? Get me a lawyer.'

If an individual conditioned aid as a means of influencing the actions of another individual holding a public or legal duty, then that'd be bribery, obviously.[/quote]

If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

Anyway this is my point. This is an arcane, slightly grey area that requires a fair degree of explanation to make the argument. And it has zero impact on anyone's life. Why is that a problem? Because it has to be sold to the American public.

Now you can present it a number of ways with different emphases. Here is one way:

The President withheld an aid payment in order to secure an investigation into corruption in a foreign country. The aid payment went through and the investigation did not happen so there was no real impact.

That is a reasonable* rendering of the situation (accepting that any rendering will omit some details in order to favour its message) that has to be sold as a reason to impeach a President and overturn an election, especially this close to an election. To many it looks less than compelling. And if it is being done purely for something to use in the election rather than as a genuine attempt to remove Trump then that is a scurrilous unconstitutional abuse of the impeachment power.

There is a second point; I am willing to bet that most, if not all Presidents have skirted through these types of grey area and not been impeached (I have no evidence for that). And why was that? In my view because up to now there has generally been a patriotic sense of duty encapsulated in the view "I didn't vote for him but he's my President anyway" which meant that people put aside their political views for some kind of greater good. That has completely gone. The whistleblower, the Democrats, the Intelligence Community and now parts of the the State Department staff have all normalised a situation where it is OK, even laudible, to undermine the President for partisan reasons. Ok. That's the new way. Expect it to happen again. Just be clear these actions are a large escalation of the culture war and are pretty clear antecedents to civil war.

*I know many of you won't agree but you are wrong.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:19 am 
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I don't know anything about this, but it's fun to speculate. It seems even states have limits. There must be defined by treaties. I'd guess there's a section of Geneva that deals with extrajudicial killings. So it's legal for the United States to bomb a restaurant in Baghdad, but it'd be illegal for Iran to bomb a restaurant in Washington. Or does the Patriot act allow what would otherwise be illegal? The CIA used to be very secretive about assassinating foreign leaders. I guess it depends on how powerful the foreign leader is, and whether America's currently bombing their country.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:23 am 
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Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king. By your logic Trump would be able to use aid money to build Trump Towers, and the Constitution has nothing to say about it. He could bomb his political opponents, if they were in a foreign country. I doubt that's what the Founders had in mind.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:29 am 
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6.Jones wrote:
Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king. By your logic Trump would be able to use aid money to build Trump Towers, and the Constitution has nothing to say about it. He could bomb his political opponents, if they were in a foreign country.


That's going a bit further than what I meant. Maybe a lot. Don't forget I said it's a bit grey, and those probably aren't. And I mentioned impact: there is none in the current scenario and there are clear impacts in your examples.

There's no question that Presidential candidates articulate a personal view of foreign policy that then gets voted on and if they win they are given the institutional power to implement their personal view.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:37 am 
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Santa wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king. By your logic Trump would be able to use aid money to build Trump Towers, and the Constitution has nothing to say about it. He could bomb his political opponents, if they were in a foreign country.


That's going a bit further than what I meant. Maybe a lot. Don't forget I said it's a bit grey, and those probably aren't. And I mentioned impact: there is none in the current scenario and there are clear impacts in your examples.

There's no question that Presidential candidates articulate a personal view of foreign policy that then gets voted on and if they win they are given the institutional power to implement their personal view.

It is grey. The problem is the Constitution [like the bible] is an old document, written when certain key words had different meanings. When we try to see them through the lens of modern ideas it becomes subjective. That's what the SCOTUS is for. I guess that's where this is headed.

But surely there's impact. It's an intervention in an American election. Imagine if Obama has pressured Ukraine using aid money to publicly investigate Trump during the last election. Would you be as sanguine about that?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:47 am 
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6.Jones wrote:
Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king. By your logic Trump would be able to use aid money to build Trump Towers, and the Constitution has nothing to say about it. He could bomb his political opponents, if they were in a foreign country. I doubt that's what the Founders had in mind.


At least in part that's what the foreign emoluments clause is supposed to guard against.

As for the use of aid money, he's not supposed to be able to just appropriate funds that have been allocated by Congress for another purpose. Of course we already see this theory being weakened through his use of military funding to build his fence.

The real trouble we have is that Trump and his sycophants are very deliberately trying to weaken the barriers between the Executive, the Judiciary, and Congress.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:52 am 
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Seneca of the Night wrote:
Too soon to stick a fork in this? The politics around this are collapsing real fast. Real fast.

It's like Chernobyl, Seneca. We can stick the control rods back in and declare ourselves done, but that's when Congress realises it no longer has control of the process. There'll be three-headed newts born around Washington for decades to come, and I don't mean Newt Gingrich.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:03 am 
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Seneca of the Night wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:
Too soon to stick a fork in this? The politics around this are collapsing real fast. Real fast.

It's like Chernobyl, Seneca. We can stick the control rods back in and declare ourselves done, but that's when Congress realises it no longer has control of the process. There'll be three-headed newts born around Washington for decades to come, and I don't mean Newt Gingrich.


It's going to be a zombie hearing.

Sadly, declaring victory only plays to the base.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:08 am 
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I see Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block he subpoena for him to release his tax returns:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/14/poli ... index.html

Could I ask Santa, Seneca et al: Why has he got such a problem with releasing his tax returns? What's he trying to hide?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:17 am 
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Quote:
That is a reasonable* rendering of the situation (accepting that any rendering will omit some details in order to favour its message) that has to be sold as a reason to impeach a President and overturn an election, especially this close to an election. To many it looks less than compelling. And if it is being done purely for something to use in the election rather than as a genuine attempt to remove Trump then that is a scurrilous unconstitutional abuse of the impeachment power.


How would it overturn an election - the vice president, an elected official, would become president - it is not like there wouldn't be a republican (a hard line one at that - far more so than Trump) in the Whitehouse. it's up there with that nonsense about this being a coup.

Quote:
There is a second point; I am willing to bet that most, if not all Presidents have skirted through these types of grey area and not been impeached (I have no evidence for that). And why was that? In my view because up to now there has generally been a patriotic sense of duty encapsulated in the view "I didn't vote for him but he's my President anyway" which meant that people put aside their political views for some kind of greater good. That has completely gone. The whistleblower, the Democrats, the Intelligence Community and now parts of the the State Department staff have all normalised a situation where it is OK, even laudible, to undermine the President for partisan reasons. Ok. That's the new way. Expect it to happen again. Just be clear these actions are a large escalation of the culture war and are pretty clear antecedents to civil war.


This paragraph is just laughable nonsense


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:34 am 
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Saturnine wrote:
I see Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block he subpoena for him to release his tax returns:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/14/poli ... index.html

Could I ask Santa, Seneca et al: Why has he got such a problem with releasing his tax returns? What's he trying to hide?


I've wondered the same thing - is it that he actually does not make as much money as he's ,managed to convince the "common man" he makes ? I actually dont get why anyone should have to release their tax returns to be honest - if the IRS are happy with them then whose business is it. What I think is more relevant is the fact that he's moving residency to Florida so he doesn't have to pay state, city and estate taxes in New York. you used to be able to offset these against federal taxes where applicable - he of course got rid of this as part of his give away to the rich/make umerica great again trillion dollar deficit budget.....but Billy Bob will still love the old rogue for sticking it to the establishment


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:39 am 
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ticketlessinseattle wrote:
Saturnine wrote:
I see Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block he subpoena for him to release his tax returns:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/14/poli ... index.html

Could I ask Santa, Seneca et al: Why has he got such a problem with releasing his tax returns? What's he trying to hide?


I've wondered the same thing - is it that he actually does not make as much money as he's ,managed to convince the "common man" he makes ? I actually dont get why anyone should have to release their tax returns to be honest - if the IRS are happy with them then whose business is it. What I think is more relevant is the fact that he's moving residency to Florida so he doesn't have to pay state, city and estate taxes in New York. you used to be able to offset these against federal taxes where applicable - he of course got rid of this as part of his give away to the rich/make umerica great again trillion dollar deficit budget.....but Billy Bob will still love the old rogue for sticking it to the establishment


While I would be shocked if there wasn't some weapons grade tax avoision and other shenanigans worth hiding, I'm sure that is the main reason.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:40 am 
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BokJock wrote:
Quote:
That is a reasonable* rendering of the situation (accepting that any rendering will omit some details in order to favour its message) that has to be sold as a reason to impeach a President and overturn an election, especially this close to an election. To many it looks less than compelling. And if it is being done purely for something to use in the election rather than as a genuine attempt to remove Trump then that is a scurrilous unconstitutional abuse of the impeachment power.


How would it overturn an election - the vice president, an elected official, would become president - it is not like there wouldn't be a republican (a hard line one at that - far more so than Trump) in the Whitehouse. it's up there with that nonsense about this being a coup.

Quote:
There is a second point; I am willing to bet that most, if not all Presidents have skirted through these types of grey area and not been impeached (I have no evidence for that). And why was that? In my view because up to now there has generally been a patriotic sense of duty encapsulated in the view "I didn't vote for him but he's my President anyway" which meant that people put aside their political views for some kind of greater good. That has completely gone. The whistleblower, the Democrats, the Intelligence Community and now parts of the the State Department staff have all normalised a situation where it is OK, even laudible, to undermine the President for partisan reasons. Ok. That's the new way. Expect it to happen again. Just be clear these actions are a large escalation of the culture war and are pretty clear antecedents to civil war.


This paragraph is just laughable nonsense


I gave up after the first sentence....I'm thinking of an example .....so my company is looking to do a construction project to build out a manufacturing facility ; out to tender for say $2M.....I'm the CFO and get to make the call on who the contract goes to ; now in my meeting with ABC construction limited I tell them about the extension I;m building on to my house, I repeat it at every meeting while I;m deciding who the contract goes to ; I'm not sure what term you'd use to describe it but I mean, its ok to do, right ? every CFO would do the same thing ?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:10 pm 
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Santa wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Thomas wrote:
paddyor wrote:
Santa wrote:
Pelosi calling it bribery now.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4704 ... most-small

So the new definition of bribery is not not giving someone money that they had already been allocated.

Thanks Laura

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1195177457210540033


Wow.

That's some serious mental gymnastics right there.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution!!"


"Bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty."
https://law.cornell.edu/wex/bribery


All jokes aside, do you think foreign aid fits that definition or is money just given to people with no expectation of a return?


Of course there's an expectation of a return, but that return cannot be for the President something that works to his personal political advantage, it has to work to the national advantage and then it's normal diplomacy/foreign policy. And again, if Trump wants to go after corruption in Ukraine that's fine, but he cannot merely target the actions of a child of a political opponent, and if he wants that opponent investigated that's fine, but he has to go to the DoJ and do so with more than a conspiracy theory to request they initiate an investigation.

I remain of the view I think it'd be very unfortunate if Trump were removed from office over this as whilst it's clearly an act of bribery it's also pathetic in the extreme and I'd prefer voters get the chance to deal with it, either accepting or rejecting his approach. That said if the whistle hadn't been blown in this event and matters had progressed I might not be using pathetic as an adjective to describe Trump's actions, perhaps illegal and dangerous. And that he's willing to have done this of course makes one wonder what else he's done.

There is another problem in this which is with that block of people declaring this all doesn't meet the standards or bribery, which is we're continuing to argue about what facts are not what the relevance of those facts are and what actions should result. If we cannot start from a position that up is up, down is down, and Trump's actions against Ukraine/USA are corrupt it renders much discourse a waste of time, and that too is problematic, dangerous even.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:13 pm 
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penguin wrote:
ticketlessinseattle wrote:
Saturnine wrote:
I see Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block he subpoena for him to release his tax returns:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/14/poli ... index.html

Could I ask Santa, Seneca et al: Why has he got such a problem with releasing his tax returns? What's he trying to hide?


I've wondered the same thing - is it that he actually does not make as much money as he's ,managed to convince the "common man" he makes ? I actually dont get why anyone should have to release their tax returns to be honest - if the IRS are happy with them then whose business is it. What I think is more relevant is the fact that he's moving residency to Florida so he doesn't have to pay state, city and estate taxes in New York. you used to be able to offset these against federal taxes where applicable - he of course got rid of this as part of his give away to the rich/make umerica great again trillion dollar deficit budget.....but Billy Bob will still love the old rogue for sticking it to the establishment


While I would be shocked if there wasn't some weapons grade tax avoision and other shenanigans worth hiding, I'm sure that is the main reason.



There is sadly the potential too that he might be heavily compromised by where his money is actually coming from, whether Russia, the Saudis, both, other parties that all represent a conflict of interest to his acting in the interests of the USA and not himself and those who've funded him


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:57 pm 
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Flyin Ryan wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Rinkals wrote:

Trump was elected because he was seen as a successful businessman and I think that part of his mandate was to run the United States as US Inc., but obviously being CEO of a business (particularly in Trump's case where the general MO was to screw over suppliers and pursue vanity projects) is not really compatible with being elected POTUS.


That's an interesting point. There's a subset of Americans - perhaps all of Trump's base, and more besides - who want to see US foreign policy run exactly that way. We've talked on here about great power politics, and that's what great power politics is: the unilateral exertion of force. It includes screwing over suppliers and vanity projects galore, at the whim of whatever ruler du jour. That's how Europe looted the world, with Trump now cast in the role of a Twittering king, of a soon-to-be second-rate power that doesn't yet understand the implications of being second-rate.


I want to dispute that for a second. Bashing America is a global sport. Yet, everyone takes money or our defense to cover them. Use France as an example. They during the early '00s timeframe were the public face internationally against our Iraq conflict in the UN. Which fine, they are a sovereign state, and it's their right to do so. Fast forward 8 or so years, there's a civil war on their horizon across the Mediterranean in Libya. This is seriously bad news for Italy and France who are getting all the emigrants and it's also bad news for their oil companies who have investments in Libya. This is by definition a French problem. Obama ran in 2008 against involving ourselves in foreign areas. Fine, that's his point of view. He then proceeded to be manipulated by worthless piece of shit Nicolas Sarkozy into doing their dirty work for them in Libya. We owed the French NOTHING! We called for them to be an ally with us, they chose not to and argued against it to other countries. Why should we then spend our material and our troops for a conflict that affected them and not us, and especially when the sitting president at the time absolutely ran against doing this very thing?

The Libya conflict is to me one of the 3 critical foreign policy failures of the Obama administration - the others being Syria and the Iran nuclear deal.

Looking at our allies and saying "you can't have your cake and eat it too" is not a bad thing. You want to do things your way and bash us publicly, great, go ahead, but why should we provide financial or military aid at that point? Europeans that decry American military power as evil, great, to not be hypocritical that means you should be in favor of go fighting the Russians with an EU force only on the eastern front when the time comes.


There are some real gems in this thread :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:33 pm 
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La soule wrote:
Flyin Ryan wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Rinkals wrote:

Trump was elected because he was seen as a successful businessman and I think that part of his mandate was to run the United States as US Inc., but obviously being CEO of a business (particularly in Trump's case where the general MO was to screw over suppliers and pursue vanity projects) is not really compatible with being elected POTUS.


That's an interesting point. There's a subset of Americans - perhaps all of Trump's base, and more besides - who want to see US foreign policy run exactly that way. We've talked on here about great power politics, and that's what great power politics is: the unilateral exertion of force. It includes screwing over suppliers and vanity projects galore, at the whim of whatever ruler du jour. That's how Europe looted the world, with Trump now cast in the role of a Twittering king, of a soon-to-be second-rate power that doesn't yet understand the implications of being second-rate.


I want to dispute that for a second. Bashing America is a global sport. Yet, everyone takes money or our defense to cover them. Use France as an example. They during the early '00s timeframe were the public face internationally against our Iraq conflict in the UN. Which fine, they are a sovereign state, and it's their right to do so. Fast forward 8 or so years, there's a civil war on their horizon across the Mediterranean in Libya. This is seriously bad news for Italy and France who are getting all the emigrants and it's also bad news for their oil companies who have investments in Libya. This is by definition a French problem. Obama ran in 2008 against involving ourselves in foreign areas. Fine, that's his point of view. He then proceeded to be manipulated by worthless piece of shit Nicolas Sarkozy into doing their dirty work for them in Libya. We owed the French NOTHING! We called for them to be an ally with us, they chose not to and argued against it to other countries. Why should we then spend our material and our troops for a conflict that affected them and not us, and especially when the sitting president at the time absolutely ran against doing this very thing?

The Libya conflict is to me one of the 3 critical foreign policy failures of the Obama administration - the others being Syria and the Iran nuclear deal.

Looking at our allies and saying "you can't have your cake and eat it too" is not a bad thing. You want to do things your way and bash us publicly, great, go ahead, but why should we provide financial or military aid at that point? Europeans that decry American military power as evil, great, to not be hypocritical that means you should be in favor of go fighting the Russians with an EU force only on the eastern front when the time comes.


There are some real gems in this thread :thumbup:

Americans are a special kind of stupid


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:53 pm 
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6.Jones wrote:
Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king.


In the 1916 election, the Republican presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes ran against getting the U.S. involved in World War I, and said incumbent President Woodrow Wilson would get us involved if re-elected. Wilson ran and articulated, "no, Hughes is wrong, I am not getting us into a European theater".

Wilson narrowly won re-election, and then instantly got us involved in World War I.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:00 pm 
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Big Nipper wrote:
La soule wrote:
Flyin Ryan wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Rinkals wrote:

Trump was elected because he was seen as a successful businessman and I think that part of his mandate was to run the United States as US Inc., but obviously being CEO of a business (particularly in Trump's case where the general MO was to screw over suppliers and pursue vanity projects) is not really compatible with being elected POTUS.


That's an interesting point. There's a subset of Americans - perhaps all of Trump's base, and more besides - who want to see US foreign policy run exactly that way. We've talked on here about great power politics, and that's what great power politics is: the unilateral exertion of force. It includes screwing over suppliers and vanity projects galore, at the whim of whatever ruler du jour. That's how Europe looted the world, with Trump now cast in the role of a Twittering king, of a soon-to-be second-rate power that doesn't yet understand the implications of being second-rate.


I want to dispute that for a second. Bashing America is a global sport. Yet, everyone takes money or our defense to cover them. Use France as an example. They during the early '00s timeframe were the public face internationally against our Iraq conflict in the UN. Which fine, they are a sovereign state, and it's their right to do so. Fast forward 8 or so years, there's a civil war on their horizon across the Mediterranean in Libya. This is seriously bad news for Italy and France who are getting all the emigrants and it's also bad news for their oil companies who have investments in Libya. This is by definition a French problem. Obama ran in 2008 against involving ourselves in foreign areas. Fine, that's his point of view. He then proceeded to be manipulated by worthless piece of shit Nicolas Sarkozy into doing their dirty work for them in Libya. We owed the French NOTHING! We called for them to be an ally with us, they chose not to and argued against it to other countries. Why should we then spend our material and our troops for a conflict that affected them and not us, and especially when the sitting president at the time absolutely ran against doing this very thing?

The Libya conflict is to me one of the 3 critical foreign policy failures of the Obama administration - the others being Syria and the Iran nuclear deal.

Looking at our allies and saying "you can't have your cake and eat it too" is not a bad thing. You want to do things your way and bash us publicly, great, go ahead, but why should we provide financial or military aid at that point? Europeans that decry American military power as evil, great, to not be hypocritical that means you should be in favor of go fighting the Russians with an EU force only on the eastern front when the time comes.


There are some real gems in this thread :thumbup:

Americans are a special kind of stupid


And these are our "allies".

Obama 2008 and most Democrats: "we will never again repeat the failure that was Iraq and regime change, Bush was only in this for oil"

A few years later, the French call on us to take action that would instigate a regime change in Libya because theirs and the EU's military was unwilling or incapable. Reason is the steady stream of emigrants coming through Italy that Italy were sending on to France, and French and Italian oil companies had investments in Libya that were threatened.

Remember a comment at the time from the World Affairs Board: "Obama is doing in Libya what he said would never do after Iraq, the French are in this for oil, why can't we all just be honest?" Because it would make too many people hypocrites and that destroys the narrative that people want to operate under. What infuriates me is I'm actually taking the anti-war stance here, we had no business involving ourselves in Libya, but an anti-war Democrat president carried out war on behalf of a country that argued against our warmongering and themselves did not do anything. If you want to use the search function you can search for "Libya" posts made by me that go back years here, I've been very consistent on this point.


Last edited by Flyin Ryan on Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Flyin Ryan wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king.


In the 1916 election, the Republican presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes ran against getting the U.S. involved in World War I, and said incumbent President Woodrow Wilson would get us involved if re-elected. Wilson ran and articulated, "no, Hughes is wrong, I am not getting us into a European theater".

Wilson narrowly won re-election, and then instantly got us involved in World War I.



Certainly the idea of checks and balances is far less observed in the area of foreign policy where your President gets an awful lot of free rein, but that should see a discussion about amending the constitution if that's the concern, it's not an argument which says because because other presidents have not been bound by election pledges that the current POTUS can pursue a course of bribery


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:04 pm 
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The real concern that American should have with Trump, other than the fact that he seems intellectually limited to an extent that you have to wonder whether he can comprehend all the complex issues an american president has to deal with, is the fact that he acts as a Mafia Godfather.

Some signs that surfaced were his requiring that staff use Trump hotels when on travel, or the organisation of international events in his hotels. These seem minor issues but highlight this habit of putting his interest first, and are classical mafia family behaviour: as a member, you are required to support the godfather 's business and pay your tribute.

In Ukraine, his hiring of Giuliani as his own intermediary to manage his private business, and the people Giuliani surrounded himself with are other signs of this mafia type of behavior. Nobody mentioned it here, but Giuliani being asked recently whether he wasn't worried that Trump would not throw him under the bus, responded that he had a good insurance policy which he was sure would pay for the injuries. That veiled threat really highlights the type of relationships between these guys.

The mafia behaviour can also be seen in the way Trump bullies his own camp into submission. There are many Republicans who agree he is unfit for Presidency but they fear him and won't act because of that fear.

This is, I think, what should be the greater concern about Trump and the reason for impeachment.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:05 pm 
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piquant wrote:
Flyin Ryan wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king.


In the 1916 election, the Republican presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes ran against getting the U.S. involved in World War I, and said incumbent President Woodrow Wilson would get us involved if re-elected. Wilson ran and articulated, "no, Hughes is wrong, I am not getting us into a European theater".

Wilson narrowly won re-election, and then instantly got us involved in World War I.



Certainly the idea of checks and balances is far less observed in the area of foreign policy where your President gets an awful lot of free rein, but that should see a discussion about amending the constitution if that's the concern, it's not an argument which says because because other presidents have not been bound by election pledges that the current POTUS can pursue a course of bribery


The problem is the last good president we had at foreign policy was George H.W. Bush. That was 27 years ago. Every president since has ranked somewhere on the scale of moron to lightweight.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:13 pm 
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Flyin Ryan wrote:
piquant wrote:
Flyin Ryan wrote:
6.Jones wrote:
Santa wrote:
If you or I did it. If the President, who essentially gets to make up foreign policy - thats an ambiguous fusion of institutional power and individual preference - did it?

It's an interesting point. Is the Prez able to make up foreign policy for his own benefit? That's what the Constitution is designed to prevent. A king.


In the 1916 election, the Republican presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes ran against getting the U.S. involved in World War I, and said incumbent President Woodrow Wilson would get us involved if re-elected. Wilson ran and articulated, "no, Hughes is wrong, I am not getting us into a European theater".

Wilson narrowly won re-election, and then instantly got us involved in World War I.



Certainly the idea of checks and balances is far less observed in the area of foreign policy where your President gets an awful lot of free rein, but that should see a discussion about amending the constitution if that's the concern, it's not an argument which says because because other presidents have not been bound by election pledges that the current POTUS can pursue a course of bribery


The problem is the last good president we had at foreign policy was George H.W. Bush. That was 27 years ago. Every president since has ranked somewhere on the scale of moron to lightweight.


That's who you've voted in. Change your process for nominating candidates, change how you elect Presidents, and/or change the powers of the office of POTUS.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:15 pm 
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TheFrog wrote:
There are many Republicans who agree he is unfit for Presidency but they fear him and won't act because of that fear.


I don't think it's they fear him, they fear the primary electorate. The rank-and-file Republican primary voters are fully onboard with President Trump and they're not going to accept a Republican that's against him to any degree. Trump for all his faults has been very effective at getting the people that support him to be against anyone he wants them against, which is a good trait in politics to have as far as having your views be the ones that get championed. What did taking a principled stand against President Trump get Paul Ryan? He's out of Congress now, choosing to resign instead of face a bitter fight either in a primary or to maintain the Republican House leadership position. Talk to random people about politics - family, friends, etc. - the Republicans in them hated Ryan. It's not because of the bills he was bringing up for priority in the House, it's because of his views on Trump. All the Republicans that openly stated Trump was unfit for the presidency have either become silent or moved on from politics. Your one exception is maybe Mitt Romney, who has become a Senator out in Utah.

We had a Senate election in 2018 in my state. There were 3 Republicans in the primary - two sitting Representatives of the House and a state legislator that was a business owner and self-funded. I attended a debate held in my city and it was so sad from a policy perspective to me - none of them were willing to have any significant policy difference between them and of course they were all glowing about Trump's leadership, because if they weren't, they were going to lose the primary. So at that point, all you're voting on is personality and style.


Last edited by Flyin Ryan on Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:16 pm 
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piquant wrote:
Flyin Ryan wrote:
piquant wrote:
Flyin Ryan wrote:
In the 1916 election, the Republican presidential candidate Charles Evans Hughes ran against getting the U.S. involved in World War I, and said incumbent President Woodrow Wilson would get us involved if re-elected. Wilson ran and articulated, "no, Hughes is wrong, I am not getting us into a European theater".

Wilson narrowly won re-election, and then instantly got us involved in World War I.



Certainly the idea of checks and balances is far less observed in the area of foreign policy where your President gets an awful lot of free rein, but that should see a discussion about amending the constitution if that's the concern, it's not an argument which says because because other presidents have not been bound by election pledges that the current POTUS can pursue a course of bribery


The problem is the last good president we had at foreign policy was George H.W. Bush. That was 27 years ago. Every president since has ranked somewhere on the scale of moron to lightweight.


That's who you've voted in. Change your process for nominating candidates, change how you elect Presidents, and/or change the powers of the office of POTUS.


I'm one man. No one cares what I think. Change and reform requires too many people to be in support when the vast majority do not care.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:20 pm 
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I find it remarkable that the American voter sees Paul Ryan as anti-Trump.

It seems insane considering the spineless arse-licking and "I haven't read that tweet" nonsense that he spouted throughout his tenure as Trumps Speaker.

I would love to see examples of Ryan's anti-Trump proclamations once Trump was in office.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:22 pm 
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Flyin Ryan wrote:

And these are our "allies".

Obama 2008 and most Democrats: "we will never again repeat the failure that was Iraq and regime change, Bush was only in this for oil"

A few years later, the French call on us to take action that would instigate a regime change in Libya because theirs and the EU's military was unwilling or incapable. Reason is the steady stream of emigrants coming through Italy that Italy were sending on to France, and French and Italian oil companies had investments in Libya that were threatened.

Remember a comment at the time from the World Affairs Board: "Obama is doing in Libya what he said would never do after Iraq, the French are in this for oil, why can't we all just be honest?" Because it would make too many people hypocrites and that destroys the narrative that people want to operate under. What infuriates me is I'm actually taking the anti-war stance here, we had no business involving ourselves in Libya, but an anti-war Democrat president carried out war on behalf of a country that argued against our warmongering and themselves did not do anything. If you want to use the search function you can search for "Libya" posts made by me that go back years here, I've been very consistent on this point.



High chance that Sarkozy had some other motivations for the war in Lybia than just oil.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:25 pm 
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BokJock wrote:
I find it remarkable that the American voter sees Paul Ryan as anti-Trump.

It seems insane considering the spineless arse-licking and "I haven't read that tweet" nonsense that he spouted throughout his tenure as Trumps Speaker.

I would love to see examples of Ryan's anti-Trump proclamations once Trump was in office.


It wasn't the American voter that saw Paul Ryan as anti-Trump, it was Trump that saw Ryan as anti-Trump, and therefore Trump's base inside the Republican Party. President and Congress leadership despite being the same party and not seeing eye-to-eye is pretty common. Obama and Harry Reid were reportedly pretty frosty at the end of Reid's leadership.


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