Patterico's Pontifications

12/30/2019

Presidential Elections Bring Us the Usual Silly Ideas

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:37 pm



[guest post by JVW]

It wouldn’t be a Presidential election year without at least some candidate or other coming up with rather stupid ideas. No, I’m not referring to “Medicaid for All” or “free” college, I am thinking here of the truly trivial and small-potatoes initiatives, such as Bill Clinton’s school uniform fixation (though, to be fair, I suppose in retrospect we can view this as a possible sexual fetish). So let’s take a look at brand-new Democrat candidate Michael Bloomberg, who is either closing out 2019 or kicking off 2020 by bringing the dumb:

Because making the White House function more like a WeWork office will no doubt fix a whole number of our problems.

This promises to be a truly insipid year ahead of us.

– JVW

111 Responses to “Presidential Elections Bring Us the Usual Silly Ideas”

  1. As a lot of people on Twitter are pointing out, it’s only the CEO with the really nice private office who seems to think people enjoy working in the crowded and loud open room.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. Take what Bloomie says with a Big Gulp of something; Adolf spent a lot of time ‘conferring’ with his team, too. Then they clicked their heels, saluted smartly and did what Der Fuehrer conferred on them to do– or else.

    Dictators; birds of a feather.

    Bloomberg…

    Watch him.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. If you elect me President, I will not set foot in the White House at all. I will live in a tent on the White House lawn with a small camping trailer for bathing and such parked next to it. THERE WILL BE NO WALLS BETWEEN ME AND THE PEOPLE!

    nk (dbc370)

  4. bloomberg and steer were run out of the republican party along with the rest of the never trumpers. by the way biden says he may dump stacy abrams as veep for a never trumpet republican like john kacich! Bernie sanders aging in polls over goofy corrupt bidens.

    asset (adc449)

  5. Educating Liberals
    @Education4Libs
    ·
    Elizabeth Warren says she will abolish the electoral college before her second presidential term.

    Well the good news is that she won’t have a first term to begin with.

    The bad news is that she’s still a moron who doesn’t understand basic 8th grade civics.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  6. There was Tom Steyer running ads saying he was for term limits.

    (impossible to do in any case without a constitutional amendment, unless he thinks his got some gimmick up his sleeve to achieve the same end.)

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  7. Now you know why Crazy Nancy wants Trump to be the Republican candidate in November. Whichever of these dipsticks is his Democratic opponent. They wouldn’t have a chance against any sane person picked at random out of the phonebook.

    Or did you all already know this and didn’t tell me?

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Re; Bloomberg and an open office:

    That’s what Bloomberg said he would do after he was elected mayor, too:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/25/nyregion/bloomberg-vows-to-work-at-center-of-things.html

    Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that he would create a large, open office in the heart of City Hall — modeled after the one that he used to manage his private company, Bloomberg L.P. — from where and he and his top deputies would run the city. Mr. Bloomberg said he would relegate the mayor’s formal corner office to mainly ceremonial purposes.

    That;s what he did, too:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/nyregion/bloombergs-bullpen-candidates-debate-its-future.html

    It is the ultimate symbol of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s management style, borrowed from Wall Street, plunked incongruously into the middle of City Hall and studied by everyone from M.B.A. students to visiting heads of state.

    Known, simply, as the Bullpen, it is a warren of about 50 humble cubicles, packed together without privacy in mind, that puts the city’s chief executive within arm’s reach, and a shout’s distance, of his top lieutenants.

    The mayor swears by it. Now his would-be successors want to rip it out….

    ….Bill de Blasio, a Democratic candidate who is the public advocate and a perennial Bloomberg detractor, said he saw the configuration as an unenviable symptom of the current mayor’s insularity.

    “In the bullpen,” Mr. de Blasio said, “the mayor is surrounded by the voices of his inner circle. But he’s been unable to hear the voices of the people.”

    He added: “In a funny way, I think it made him more isolated.”

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  9. Sorry, I think Mike Bloomberg’s ideas on management are more valuable than JVW’s ideas. Bloomberg has a lot of weaknesses as a President, but he obviously has been an incredibly successful manager.

    David in Cal (f8ea8c)

  10. Sorry, I think Mike Bloomberg’s ideas on management are more valuable than JVW’s ideas.

    You ever worked in this sort of office environment, David? In my experience the only people who like this particular set-up are people who sit on their rear ends all day without bothering to accomplish anything of substance. It’s why most programmers, for example, seem to do all of their work at home in the evenings.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  11. How will he extort political kickbacks from other world leaders in return for foreign aid if his desk is within earshot of dozens of others?

    I just don’t think he’s thought this through.

    Dave (1bb933)

  12. Because making the White House function more like a WeWork office will no doubt fix a whole number of our problems.

    Since it currently functions like a cross between a day-care center with no adult supervision and an insane asylum run by the inmates, a WeWork office sounds like a pretty big step in the right direction.

    Dave (1bb933)

  13. where is the wave pool?

    mg (8cbc69)

  14. This is the Wal street Journal story about this:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/bloomberg-moves-campaign-headquarters-to-times-square-11577739142

    Bloomberg actually announced this in an email to his staff on Monday.

    He got in a shot at President Trump that doesn’t make any sense but maybe sounds like it does)

    “Walls just get in the way, by stifling communication and making collaboration more difficult,” Mr. Bloomberg said in an email to staff Monday. “Some people like to build walls. I like to tear them down.”

    He also has a countdown clock. To March 3, the date of Super Tuesday, and plans after that to set the countdown clock to November 3, the date of the 2020 general election. He is planning to give conference rooms and some other spaces names of states and the number of delegates (so people will be reminded of that often?) He also plans to keep some staff even if he loses the nomination.

    Incidentally, he’s started a big anti-Trump advertising campaign chiefly in seven battleground states, saying you can’t wait to start later. Overall, he’s going to wind up spending on advertising the same amount of money just by Super Tuesday as what the Obama re-election campaign spent in 2012 over the course of the entire general election.

    But Mr. Bloomberg’s aides believe it is imperative to flood voters with attacks on the president before it is too late — a lesson Republicans learned in 2016 when they initially spent most of their ad budgets during the primaries tearing into each other while ignoring Mr. Trump.

    “All this effort and all this money and none of it goes to help the one election that really matters?” asks a man from Michigan in one new Bloomberg campaign ad, referring to the spending in the Democratic primary. The campaign plans to run the ad online in Super Tuesday primary states.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/us/politics/michael-bloomberg-trump-advertising.html

    Here’s one online ad, planned for super Tuesday:

    https://www.mikebloomberg.com/2020/beat-trump (the message: Bloomberg can beat Trump)

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  15. 11. He’ll make and take secure calls from other places like Trump.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  16. But this isn’t about workers, this is about appealing to people who think America should be run like a business. It may even be directed at Trump voters. Whether the workers are happy or even productive isn’t the point. The point is whether the workers will do what the CEO President tells them to do. They probably will if he is sitting in the same room.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. It might have worked for Bloomberg LP, but in perspective Bloomberg LP is a minnow and the United States is an ocean. In dollars only, Bloomberg is worth maybe $60 billion and the United States GDP is nearly $20 trillion. Not even a Cabinet Secretary can “micromanage” at that level. At best, maybe the head of a Division inside a Department or Agency. A small Division.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. “Whichever of these dipsticks is his Democratic opponent. They wouldn’t have a chance against any sane person picked at random out of the phonebook.”

    The ‘no way anyone votes for Trump’ line.

    2016 called. They want their take back.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  19. I don’t think a President’s job is to run America but Bloomberg and Trump appeal to people who think that is his job.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. asset wrote:

    by the way biden says he may dump stacy abrams as veep for a never trumpet republican like john kacich!

    Not Mr kasich, no, he’s going to pick Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney John Patrick Frey as his running mate! :)

    The Dana in Kentucky (a9ea87)

  21. That image from Bloomberg looks terrible. If I were sitting on the fence about the guy, this would make me vote against him.
    The bigger news is that Iran is escalating their bully tactics in Iraq. Like with any bully, the way to stop them is to punch them in the face. Hard.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  22. That would be a plausible premise for a FOX prime TV series, Dana of Many Things. Fox News allows a lot of crapping on the Golden State, but the broadcast side always seemed to hold a torch for LA – they base their NFL/College football coverage there, had New Girl and have the growing 911 plus Deputy series’ based there as well.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  23. I can just see the Joint Chiefs discussing the situation wrt to China in front of 30 clerical workers.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  24. If you elect me President, I will not set foot in the White House at all.

    If you elect ME President, I will not move to DC at all. I will not sign any bill or executive order, and my phone number and address will be Top Secret. In short, I will be as unert as a bag of rocks, which I assert would be better than some recent occupants of the Oval Office.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  25. *inert

    Kevin M (19357e)

  26. I don’t think a President’s job is to run America but Bloomberg and Trump appeal to people who think that is his job.

    It’s kind of funny that in a Bloomberg-Trump contest, Trump would be the less arrogant candidate.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  27. This comes back to elements my thesis touched on years back. Sorry, Bloomie; irritated candidates w/business backgrounds can chase political offices (chiefly due to the resources necessary to seek them as the system is presently structured) believing the autocratic methods of efficiency and economy they employed to achieve success in the private sector can and should be transferred to what they perceive as inefficient government ops. But they are routinely frustrated when they discover American government, by design, is not structured to operate w/corporate efficiency on a quarterly, profit-and-loss basis and ‘run like a business.’ If it were, there would be just four post offices in Wyoming. And if you try to run it like a “business,” dictating directives from the top down like some eccentric, orange-haired CEO, your frustrations will mount quickly — and might just lead to articles of impeachment. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. 1. I *hate* open plan offices — the noise and motion can be distracting when i’m trying to think — and almost always respond to them by using headphones to allow me to block out the noise.

    2. A leader being with his team, though, isn’t generally a bad idea.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  29. Kevin M — in a Trump Bloomberg contest, Bloomberg is more likely to pursue authoritarian dictatorial policies, too.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  30. Good lord, I bet Jay Sekulow uses the same setup for his radio show…the background noise sounds like a cross between QVC, a telethon and a boiler room.

    urbanleftbehind (2b79d1)

  31. Iraqi’s riot at u.s. embassy supporting iran. 6,000 americans die for nothing nice going republican party!

    asset (3e7ae6)

  32. in a Trump Bloomberg contest, Bloomberg is more likely to pursue authoritarian dictatorial policies, too.

    At least consistently.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  33. 6,000 americans die for nothing nice going republican party!

    Yeah, Trump pulling out our troops in 2013 was almost treason!

    Kevin M (19357e)

  34. What should Trump do to respond to the Iranian-inspired invasion of our Baghdad embassy?

    1. Bomb the Iranian embassy in Mexico City.
    2. Bomb the Iranian embassy in Paris.
    3. Bomb the Iranian embassy in Beijing.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  35. [bad ideas thread]

    Kevin M (19357e)

  36. 33. Wisdom. Americans have never been a particularly good as a colonial power, as occupiers nor empire builders. The Brits learned it the hard way as well:

    “… until you, yourselves, see the wisdom of leaving…”

    https://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechgandhi3.html

    In the end, we will leave. Iraq knows it; Iran knows it… and Americans know it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. What should Trump do to respond to the Iranian-inspired invasion of our Baghdad embassy?

    4. Ask Putin what to do.
    5. If Putin is busy, back whichever side can fabricate dirt on Biden first.

    Dave (1bb933)

  38. Presidential campaigns lead to dumb ideas. Even worse people take them seriously and believe them. Last time some nutjob was saying he’d build a wall across the entire southern border and some of the more gullible members of electorate believed him.

    Time123 (14b920)

  39. Sean Spicier
    @sean_spicier
    President Trump is breaking tradition by not jetting off to Vegas immediately following an attack on our embassy
    __ _

    IMIKE72
    @IMIKE721
    ·
    Or blaming a private citizen
    __ _

    ʟɛօռ
    @LeonGoudikian
    .
    Hey, when Jay Z is having a party, you are there, phone on airplane mode.

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  40. Why aren’t Rambo Rummy, and fellow neocons Cheney, Wolfowitz and Walrus Gumbo strapping on chutes and jumping into Baghdad to bail out the biggest and most expensive embassy ever built? They’ll surely be greeted as liberators. Freedom “too messy” for ‘them over a holiday, eh?

    Quick Donald- duck… and cover!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  41. The same guys seem to be blaming the predictable consequences of Trump being a coward with Iran on everybody but Trump. I’m no Romney fan… doubt there’s a more consistent critic of his on this blog over the past ten years, but give me a break. Trump’s tolerated one egregious thing after another from Iran, so why shouldn’t Iran use its time wisely? Next president could mean ISIS and Iran and North Korea have to chill out a little bit.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  42. Putin knows what brought down the Soviet Union, and he’s ordering Trump to do the same things to America.
    1. Ruinous, resource-wasting arms race with the largest military budget ever, expensive dead-end military projects, and whimsical grandiosities like the Space Force.
    2. Trade war that causes food producers to need government bailouts.
    3. Cutbacks in social programs to cause further unrest in a country already divided if not yet splintered.
    4. And last, but not least, loss of all credibility with friend and foe alike, military partner or trading partner, military rival or economic rival, internationally.

    Trump is a corrupt criminal traitor Russian asset and there’s no “But whatabout …” about it.

    nk (dbc370)

  43. #42
    I disagree

    steveg (354706)

  44. Maybe we should ask the Kurds to protect our embassy situated as it is in Shia-ville

    steveg (354706)

  45. “Sean Spicier
    @sean_spicier
    President Trump is breaking tradition by not jetting off to Vegas immediately following an attack on our embassy”

    Sean Spicer: “It’s actually cool and good that our embassy got invaded.”

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  46. I think Esper will handle the safety of the embassy personnel aspect just fine. With that out of the way, Trump will be free to surrender Iraq to Iran. It’s not like the Iraqis stormed the beaches at Normandy with us or something.

    nk (dbc370)

  47. 42. What brought down he soviet Union is that Brezhnev died, and Kosygin died and the members of his Politburo, and an inexperieced ruler came to poer who decided to try to change a few things.

    Now what brought Putin to power, exactly 20 years ago today, was Putin convincing Yeltsin and his family and associates that he would protect him and that he was a good guy.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  48. It’s not that Trump wants to surrender anything – it’s that he doesn’t care about human rights and he’s a peacenik – but I kind of repeat myself because none of the peaceniks cared about human rights in the Soviet Union or Red China.

    Iran seems to be a little bit of an exception to his belief in negotiations – he was even negotiating with the Taliban! I think he;s also not enamored of the other side in the Arab Israeli conflict. He also so far does not want any kind of negotiations with Maduro in Venezuela except how to leave power,

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  49. The Kurds would probably do it because their genes seem incurably brave

    steveg (354706)

  50. Trump let Erdogan do to the Kurds what we did to the American Indians.
    Settlers, miners and other business interests wanted their land.
    They complained that the Indians raided them … ahem, posed a security threat.
    The US Army would go in and take some more land for a safety zone.
    The settlers, miners and other business interests would move into the safety zone.
    Then they would complain that the Indians blah, blah, blah … you know how it ends.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. Rome happened. Lucius Cornelius Sulla.
    Happy New Year, nk.

    mg (8cbc69)

  52. Happy New Year, mg!

    nk (dbc370)

  53. nk (dbc370) — 12/31/2019 @ 8:56 pm

    despite all the negativity mr president vladimir also known as putin is making failmerica and certain former regions of the head lice infested ukraine great again and we can all sleep better this election year because he will make sure things work out for the best

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. 50. I don’t think Erdogan wants Turkish citizens to move into the “safe area”

    He wants to dump Syrian refugees (from other parts of Syria) there. He sought, but did not find, international support for that idea.

    I also think he doesn’t want any kind of Kurdish ruled territory, but for now, the United States is defending the remaining territory because Trump got persuaded the United States should keep the oil fields that the Kurds control out of other hands.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  55. Putin knows what brought down the Soviet Union

    Perhaps, but you don’t. What brought down the Soviet Union was its inability to borrow, in a spending war with a country that could borrow whatever it wanted.

    This dynamic is still mostly true, and Russia attempting to drive the US into BK with an arms race is ludicrous.

    That being said, the “hypersonic missile” is probably as much a fraud as Star Wars was, and we shouldn’t freak out like the Soviets did.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  56. My first day on the job in the Bloomberg Administration, I’m setting up my cubicle with some earplugs, a 7-11 big gulp, my two Ridgeback dogs, and some Black Rifle Coffee.
    I’ll be home before noon.

    steveg (354706)

  57. . Bomb the Iranian embassy in Beijing.

    Well, Bill Clinton once bombed the Chinese embassy in Serbia. It was said to be by mistake – that it was on te target list by mistake.

    But Beijing did stop helping Serbia.

    And there was the time we shot down the Iranian civilian jetliner with many Revolutionary Guards aboard. In 1987, by mistake. It really was a mistake, at the operational level – but Ayatollah Khomeini decided to put an end to the Iran-Iraq war as a result.

    Iran was said to by some to have organized the destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 as a result (now 31 years ago)

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  58. 55. Kevin M (19357e) — 1/1/2020 @ 9:47 am

    What brought down the Soviet Union was its inability to borrow, in a spending war with a country that could borrow whatever it wanted.

    If economic problems could bring down a dictatorship, Maduro would have fallen long ago.

    So long as the Secret Police and the military are well funded and know what they are doing, a dictatorship can last. But it inevitably becomes senile, given enough time, and gets people in it who are silent enemies of the regime, because there’s nobody who isn’t..

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  59. As soon as I see security coming after me, I’m tossing frisbees for my dogs

    steveg (354706)

  60. Giuliani tried this skipping the early primary thing too. Won’t work any better.

    Would note in the far left of the photo is a cubicle blocking a fire exit. So incase of emergency the Bloomberg team can all burn together. The Big Gulps, were they present, would be a big help putting out a fatal blaze.

    As someone who once worked in NYC government, the never-ending belief that big daily meetings are going to solve all our problems never fails to amuse. Oh, yes, I’ll get right on that; as I told you i would at the last big important meeting were we all blew smoke up each other’s posteriors. Have no idea if this is a NYC thing or a government thing. But it accomplishes nothing that could not be easily done by text, phone call or email. Nobody works a full 8 hours or more with no break. A bit of privacy is not the end of the world. The bullpen leads to a lot of needless banter rather than anything you would call productivity. Giving employees enough trust to conduct themselves accordingly as adults starts with not hiring people that need to be watched like prison inmates.

    And in Bloomberg’s specific case he found himself removed from Salomon Brothers’ open floor office because he was fond of bragging very openly about the young ladies he claimed to have had sex with. it’s good to won a media company. He was blessed with a great big pile of money and a opportunity to get Bloomberg terminals on brokerage desks before the internet exploded. Like the qwerty keyboard or Microsoft Windows, did not have a great product or even the first, but he did have the first widely used and accepted such product.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  61. 346; you actually have to own or control something worthwhile to surrender it. So we should embrace out inner neocon and stay forever? When does that end? How many open-ended military commitments is too many? Japan, Korea, Germany?

    Knock Trump all you want, in that respect he’s 100% correct.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  62. Bugg 60.

    Giuliani tried this skipping the early primary thing too. Won’t work any better.

    I had the ame thought too. And I remember how he went out banking votes in Florida before the primary. A lot of people who voted early for him were sorry. But I also think there might be reasons it might not turn out that way. Things don’t have to work out the same way every time. Bloomberg should actively compete in the 4 early states, just to get across the idea that he in the race but it’s not absolutely fatal.

    Actively running starting from Super Tuesday is like a late entry. Jerry Brown in 1976 was actually quote successful with that, only he didn’t have enough states. And Hubert Humphrey could have done it too (except for his bladder cancer which he kept secret) And also in 1992. But Bloomberg is positioned to actually run all out as the equivalent of a late entry.

    This is one of those things that has never worked since the primary system started, (maybe it didn’t with RFK in 1968 because he didn’t have enough primary states) and is much harder because of all the filing deadlines. But it is something that always might work. Maybe there’s a 30% or a 15% chance something like thsi might work. That’s not nothing. This is at least possible when when you have a front runner whom nobody really wants. But you can’t say we are headed there.

    Another way to be viable is if there is no front runner by Super Tuesday. But he’s not even trying to get into the debates. He;s going to have to do something to catch fire or indeed he could wind up like Giuliani, or even like Newt Gingrich in 2012 after South Carolina.

    One problem Bloomberg doesn’t have is dropping out because of lack of money but politically it not over, like Kamala Harris did. This began with Muskiw in 1972. Falling in the polls the previous year can be recovered from – both Kerry in 2003 for 2004 and McCain in 2007 for 2008 did but recovered. (Kamala Harris in 2019 just didn’t budget her money well)

    Of course, Bloomberg is positioning himself if Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders seems to be in the lead, with Biden trailing, or if Biden drops out, and thaat was actually what motivated him to run.

    And there could some hope for him in an open convention, although he’s more likely to be the kingmaker there, or before.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  63. nk
    the Iraqi’s did not invade Normandy alongside the Allies.

    However the back history is interesting.

    The British fought to re-establish the Prince.
    No doubt he was relieved to be done with the HMS Cockchafer
    On 31 March, the Regent of Iraq, Prince ‘Abd al-Ilah, learned of a plot to arrest him and fled Baghdad for RAF Habbaniya. From Habbaniya he was flown to Basra and given refuge on the gunboat HMS Cockchafer

    steveg (354706)

  64. @55. Clearly you don’t. Been there; saw that: 1971, first hand at ground level–particularly at the GUM Department Store in Red Square.

    You know what really “brought down” the then “Soviet Union”??

    It was as clear as glass: The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Beatles, The Big Mac, Levi blue jeans, Charmin toilet tissue, BIC ballpoint pens– and every other piece of Western culture seen and heard on radio and TeeVee that managed to get beamed east through the Iron Curtain.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  65. Like “Bedtime for Bonzo”?

    steveg (354706)

  66. @65. If it has a few big ol’ Plymouths, a Frigidaire and two inch steaks as props, why not.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  67. It was as clear as glass: The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Beatles, The Big Mac, Levi blue jeans, Charmin toilet tissue, BIC ballpoint pens– and every other piece of Western culture seen and heard on radio and TeeVee that managed to get beamed east through the Iron Curtain.

    I’ve always suspected that those hundreds of billions of dollars we wasted collecting a few bags of worthless moon rocks would have been better spent producing a couple more seasons of Green Acres.

    Dave (1bb933)

  68. We got cheated of both at around the same time frame…decisions to abort missions after Apollo 13 and up at Black Rock to purge the rural TV shows in favor of the Norman Lear / Procedurals network.

    urbanleftbehind (ddbe93)

  69. If economic problems could bring down a dictatorship, Maduro would have fallen long ago.

    Maduro has far more popular support than the Soviets ever did. At the end, more than half the Soviet economy was military spending and everything else collapsed. The center could not hold.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  70. Well, Bill Clinton once bombed the Chinese embassy in Serbia.

    Ronald Reagan bombed the French embassy in Tripoli during the 1986 attack. By accident, of course, and unrelated to France’s refusal to allow the planes to overfly, significantly complicating the operation.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  71. @67. “Hundreds of billion of dollars?” $23 billion in 1969 dollars. Paid for by that generation, too– not on Uncle Sam’s cuff, a la Reaganomics. Worthless? “NASA assessed the value of the [835 pounds of lunar]rocks at $50,800 per gram in 1973 dollars based on the total cost of retriving the samples. That’s just a hair over $300,000 per gram in today’s currency.” – source WaPo,6/13/18. Ironic though, the first pile of moon dust I saw was on display in Moscow- retrieved by Luna 16 in 1970.

    Stay away from real estate, Dave.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. @70. Ronald Reagan bombed before: The Killers, 1964.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  73. Maduro has far more popular support than the Soviets ever did.

    Not so sure about this.

    1) The CPSU had appropriated the mantle of Russian nationalism
    2) There were plenty of people being fed directly or indirectly from the Party trough
    3) There were no viable alternatives on the table, since the regime had spent 75 years stamping them out
    4) Change could be expected to make things worse rather than better (and indeed, the collapse of the regime led to terrible dislocations and economic contraction)

    Actually I don’t agree with either Kevin or Sammy.

    The Soviets could have kept plodding along. They had nothing to fear from the West militarily, and if the will to hold power whatever the cost had remained, keeping peace within the borders of the USSR required only rudimentary military technology that they could easily produce themselves.

    The Soviets collapsed because Gorbachev and his allies wanted to make things better, and he wildly overestimated his ability to manage that process without resorting to the repressive methods of the old regime. And that despite considerable moral and material assistance from the West (which could do nothing to resolve the “internal contradictions” of glasnost and perestroika).

    As we’ve seen in Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and many other failed states, without the institutions and traditions to support it, democracy is a house of cards waiting to collapse.

    Dave (1bb933)

  74. Democracy is a little like a bicycle or an airplane – it’s hard to get one going from a cold start, because there are a lot of checks and balances in it, inside and outside the constitution. It’s best when it starts as a spin off of another system or an outgrowth of something small. It’s popular everywhere, but can be subverted.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  75. Worthless? “NASA assessed the value of the [835 pounds of lunar]rocks at $50,800 per gram in 1973 dollars based on the total cost of retriving the samples. That’s just a hair over $300,000 per gram in today’s currency.”

    LOL.

    “…based on the total cost of retrieving the samples…”

    That proves my point. How could they be worth $300,000 per gram? There’s not even any oil on the moon!

    But let’s use your math.

    The world sample of Higgs bosons is probably about 10,000 or so, which have a combined mass of around 2×10^-18 grams. And they cost the world (conservatively) a couple billion USD to collect. So that means (according to your methodology!) that we can “assess the value” of Higgs bosons at about an octillion dollars ($1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) per gram.

    Calling moon rocks worthless by comparison is being far too generous!

    Dave (1bb933)

  76. 58. 69. 73.

    DaveL

    Change could be expected to make things worse rather than better (and indeed, the collapse of the regime led to terrible dislocations and economic contraction)

    Yes there were economic dislocations and contraction, and the fire sale to insiders of state property, but that was after the Soviet Union collapsed, and nobody anticipated it.

    There nearly was a coup, on August 19, 1991, but the coup plotters didn’t take into account that Gorbachev had created new sources of power, and Russian president Boris Yeltsin was not arrested and was able to undo the coup because the military wouldn’t listen to the coup plotters as long as they had anybody else to listen to.

    Now the way Yeltsin got rid of Gorbachev was having all 15 republics secede from the Soviet Union (always technically possible because the Communists had written this kind of unreal “liberal” stuff into the constitution) so that the Soviet Union became a null set.

    It took another eight years and one week to get to Putin. some liberalization remains: freedom to travel and freedom of religion and the appurtenances of freedom that comes with a mostly free economy.

    Meaanwhile Putin is trying to convince people that if and tyranny goes things will be worse, and by worse he doesn’t mean the economy (which people could put up with) but people getting killed and massacred, and he joins with other dictatorships and corrupt regimes around the wor;d with this, and that’s the reason for his intervention in Syria.

    And that was the reason that Syria and ran and some other countries intervened in Iraq after Gulf War II. And that;s the reason that Pakistan will not supporting the Taliban and other Islamists until tyranny is restored to Afghanistan. It’s got to be shown to be futile.

    Now Eastern Europe is mostly lost to democracy and EastT Germany especially so since it was merged into West Germany, although Putin is having some success in Hungary but it is alittle bit of a different nature.

    He;s pushing white (and/or Christian) nationalism (because Russia is white and historically Christian) This translates into arguing for unity against Islamic terrorism.

    And of course, as I said he doesn’t want any foreign intervention to support democracy so his intervention to get rid of it will not be opposed. And to this end he’s trying to create a backlash
    to refugees, because refugees create sympathy and interest in the plight of the people in the country where they came from.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  77. Elizabeth Warren says she will abolish the electoral college before her second presidential term.

    The only direct quote I can find doesn’t say that.

    ‘I want to get rid of it,’ Warren said of the electoral college in a video posted on her Twitter feed.

    ‘So here’s my goal. My goal is to get elected and then be the last American president elected by the electoral college. I want the second term to be that I got elected by direct vote,’ she said. ‘Call me old fashioned but I think the person who gets the most votes should win.’

    She says she wants to get rid of it, as many people do, and have for a long time. She does not say that “she” will abolish it, only that she hopes it will be abolished by the 2024 election.

    This quote is (falsely) cited by GatewayPundit, TheFederalist, PJ Media and other FakeNews outlets as claiming she said “she” will abolish it, to mislead gullible Trump loyalists. If you have a quote of her saying what was alleged, I’d love to see it.

    Dave (1bb933)

  78. GatewayPundit, TheFederalist, PJ Media

    Same guys who say ‘no collusion’ and ‘Trump exonerated’.

    But lying is very profitable these days. Imagine all the clicks.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  79. There nearly was a coup, on August 19, 1991, but the coup plotters didn’t take into account that Gorbachev had created new sources of power, and Russian president Boris Yeltsin was not arrested and was able to undo the coup because the military wouldn’t listen to the coup plotters as long as they had anybody else to listen to.

    Even here, it was ultimately a failure of willpower (and thus a choice). The coup plotters proved unwilling to act with the ruthlessness required to hold onto power.

    (And, of course, Donald Trump was greatly disappointed in them!)

    Dave (1bb933)

  80. Dave (1bb933) — 1/2/2020 @ 11:54 am

    , Donald Trump was greatly disappointed in them!)

    Bill Clinton didn’t have any opinion about them (or claimed he didn’t) and he gave me the impression of sounding shallow as a result. That was my first strong impression of Bill Clinton.

    It wasn’t that the coup plotters weren’t ruthless – and in fact they didn’t want to be too ruthless because that wouldput their own lives in danger later if they were purged – they wanted to stick with the precedent set by Khrushchev of purges without the person purged being arrested or executed. So they made sure Gorbachev was kept comfortable – but incommunicado. It wasn’t lack of ruthlessness that was their undoing.

    They just hadn’t included Boris Yeltsin and some others on the list of people to arrest.

    They were not the kind of people who could create a tyrannical system and didn’t realize that the president of Russia – a position of no account a year or two before – could undermine their entire plot. Like Brezhnev and other successors of Stalin, they could only continue what already existed.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  81. ‘This quote is (falsely) cited by GatewayPundit, TheFederalist, PJ Media and other FakeNews outlets as claiming she said “she” will abolish it, to mislead gullible Trump loyalists. If you have a quote of her saying what was alleged, I’d love to see it.’
    Dave (1bb933) — 1/2/2020 @ 11:43 am

    “(And, of course, Donald Trump was greatly disappointed in them!)”
    Dave (1bb933) — 1/2/2020 @ 11:54 am

    Dave leads by example.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  82. @75. ROFLMAO. Your point is pointless.

    Stop swinging after the bell– and definitely stay away from real estate.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  83. My goal is to get elected and then be the last American president elected by the electoral college. I want the second term to be that I got elected by direct vote

    This is a fair enough statement, and yet it could be accused of being misleading. She doesn’t say how difficult this would be: It requires a constitutional amendment, which means 2/3 of both houses f Congress and a majority of the legislatures (both houses individually) in 3/4 of the states and that’s hard to get done in 3 years or so.

    This is something that may very well be misleading but not seem so to an educated person. Because her statement that she wants to be elected to her second term by direct vote is ridiculous. But the kind of pious hope that we allow.

    Let’s say she’s attempting to mislead people about how realistic this is.

    There are some other issues with direct vote: It doesn’t limit recounts; it probably requires national standards in voting eligibility and might encourage – although it doesn’t have to – a nationally administered voting system which might be hacked instead of the totally decentralized and offline system we have now; If the standards for registration were not uniform you can decide to penalize states that don’t allow 16 year olds to vote or make it difficult for college students to register); direct vote penalizes states with non-citizens compared to the way they are now because non-citizens affect the number of Electoral votes a state has.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  84. She doesn’t say how difficult this would be: It requires a constitutional amendment, which means 2/3 of both houses f Congress and a majority of the legislatures (both houses individually) in 3/4 of the states and that’s hard to get done in 3 years or so.

    It will be difficult, but it does not require a constitutional amendment. States totaling 196 electoral votes have already passed legislation stipulating that their electors will go to the winner of the national popular vote as soon as 270 electoral votes are so committed.

    The Constitution already grants states complete freedom in the manner of choosing their electors. Presidents would still be elected by the electoral college, but based on the result of the national popular vote.

    Dave (1bb933)

  85. Munroe (dd6b64) — 1/2/2020 @ 12:48 pm

    Donald Trump in March 1990:

    What were your other impressions of the Soviet Union?
    I was very unimpressed. Their system is a disaster. What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.

    You mean firm hand as in China?
    When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world—

    Why is Gorbachev not firm enough?
    I predict he will be overthrown, because he has shown extraordinary weakness. Suddenly, for the first time ever, there are coal-miner strikes and brush fires everywhere – which will all ultimately lead to a violent revolution. Yet Gorbachev is getting credit for being a wonderful leader – and we should continue giving him credit, because he’s destroying the Soviet Union. But his giving an inch is going to end up costing him and all his friends what they most cherish – their jobs.

    Dave (1bb933)

  86. 84

    She doesn’t say how difficult this would be: It requires a constitutional amendment, which means 2/3 of both houses f Congress and a majority of the legislatures (both houses individually) in 3/4 of the states and that’s hard to get done in 3 years or so.

    It will be difficult, but it does not require a constitutional amendment. States totaling 196 electoral votes have already passed legislation stipulating that their electors will go to the winner of the national popular vote as soon as 270 electoral votes are so committed.

    The Constitution already grants states complete freedom in the manner of choosing their electors. Presidents would still be elected by the electoral college, but based on the result of the national popular vote.

    Dave (1bb933) — 1/2/2020 @ 2:29 pm

    The constitutionality of such pact would be challenged and it would take one of those cases in each case to prevail. I think advocates of this plan is sorely underestimating the opposition of such plan.

    whembly (51f28e)

  87. Dave (1bb933) — 1/2/2020 @ 2:46 pm

    LOL

    Way to “mislead gullible Trump critics”, Dave.

    As usual, #NeverTrump is everything they accuse Trump supporters of being.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  88. Munroe (dd6b64) — 1/2/2020 @ 3:06 pm

    I provided a verbatim quote to back up what I said.

    Still waiting for a verbatim quote of Warren “saying she will abolish” the electoral college.

    Dave (1bb933)

  89. It will be difficult, but it does not require a constitutional amendment. States totaling 196 electoral votes have already passed legislation stipulating that their electors will go to the winner of the national popular vote as soon as 270 electoral votes are so committed.

    That is one aspect of a gamed system, but there are others.

    * Congress has to accept the vote. It might not.
    * Since interstate compacts (or other “agreements”) are specifically banned by the Constitution, the whole process is suspect and possibly criminal. There would be a lawsuit and the Supreme might throw out the Compact-driven vote in favor of the traditional one.
    * It is unknown what would happen if the “wrong” party won the popular vote and a signatory (aka Democrat) state refused to go along.

    And, last but hardly least:
    * A close popular vote would be a wellspring of confusion and mischief.

    Like most Democrat proposals (and it is that — not one Republican governor or Legislature has joined), it is unworkable, rife with opportunities for fraud and lawyers, and no better than the system it attempts to replace.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  90. New Mexico, a state that nearly doubles its clout in the Presidential election through the Electoral college, signed onto the Compact immediately after the Democrats elected a Governor.

    I cannot think of a better example of putting Party before the people who elected them than this.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  91. The constitutionality of such pact would be challenged and it would take one of those cases in each case to prevail.

    Probably (everything that somebody doesn’t like gets challenged) but on what basis?

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    The right of individual citizens to participate directly in election of the president is granted by each state, not the federal government. Less than half the states had any form of popular vote at all, in the first presidential elections, and nothing in the Constitution has changed since to require it.

    I think advocates of this plan is sorely underestimating the opposition of such plan.

    I don’t advocate it. Although if more presidential elections are won (in the electoral college) by candidates losing the popular vote by large margins, I might reconsider because I think that tends to delegitimize the government.

    Dave (1bb933)

  92. If the Popular Vote Compact has existed in 1960, the election would have been uncountable. There was enough obvious fraud in Chicago (that turned out not to matter) that a million midnight votes would have been questioned in an election decided by 100,000.

    Consider that before you replace something that works with something that just “feels good.” Fracking idiots.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  93. Dave:

    Article I, Section 10, Clause 3:

    No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  94. Of course, if both Houses of Congress OK it, then fine. But it is still an utterly moronic, if not actively seditious, idea.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  95. There are lots of other ways to count votes in easily countable districts. One idea was individual CDs, something that two states already do. Another was splitting the state ballot by popular vote total.

    Over the years I’ve analyzed these methods in detail. Neither performed better in 2000 or 2016 (although in some cases the GOP only wins in the House), and in 2012 the CD method has Romney winning 274-264.

    The framers chose not to use the popular vote for a number of reasons, such as “the small states wouldn’t sign the damn thing if that was the case”, but also the inability to detect fraud in other states. Not sure that’s changed all that much.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  96. Congress has to accept the vote. It might not.

    Existing law is very strict on what can and cannot be challenged.

    Since interstate compacts (or other “agreements”) are specifically banned by the Constitution, the whole process is suspect and possibly criminal. There would be a lawsuit and the Supreme might throw out the Compact-driven vote in favor of the traditional one.

    This is a red herring.

    It is a matter of settled law, as I understand it, that only compacts which usurp power from the federal government are forbidden. Selection of electors is a function explicitly and entirely delegated to the states.

    I find these sorts of arguments by people who claim to be originalists and federalists rather ironic.

    There are many persuasive arguments that the NPVIC is bad policy. Crying “unconstitutional” about laws democratically passed by the states (if it ever goes into effect) just because one disagrees with them, when they are unambiguously permissible under the plain wording of Article II, seems misguided.

    It is unknown what would happen if the “wrong” party won the popular vote and a signatory (aka Democrat) state refused to go along.

    I agree it would be awkward, but it’s unclear by what mechanism they could “refuse to go along”. The method of selection of electors is a matter of state law. I would think that *deviating* from state law to the detriment of some US citizen’s equal protection rights *would* implicate federal concerns (as in Bush v. Gore, where the decision essentially told the Florida courts that they had no authority to gainsay the legislature’s choices).

    Dave (1bb933)

  97. I think the compact is not a true compact. It’s each state passing a law saying that if enough other states who have between them sufficient electoral votes to amount to a majority of the Electoral College (now 270) choose their electors according to the plurality of the national popular vote – or according to such and such a procedure – this state shall too.

    I think a bigger obstacle

    Article 2, Section 1, Clause 4:

    4: The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

    If you have to wait for the election returns and recounts, are they really picked on Election Day? Well, you can say if the result is fixed, or supposed to be fixed, although unknown, you are.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  98. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3:

    Settled law for over a century:

    Virginia v. Tennessee, 148 U.S. 503 (1893)

    Dave (1bb933)

  99. You could have an alternate methos of selecting the president if the popular vote was too close to call.

    But then you could have a dispute about whether it was too close to call.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  100. I didn’t think about the National Popular Vote “compact”

    With that, Elizabeth Warren’s stated aspiration is a little bit more plausible.

    Although it wouldn’t be legally election by direct popular vote,. and you would still have teh Electoral Collge. And she spoke of wanting to be “the last American president elected by the electoral college.”

    It would still exist, and states could back out of the compact in advance of any election..

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  101. If you have to wait for the election returns and recounts, are they really picked on Election Day? Well, you can say if the result is fixed, or supposed to be fixed, although unknown, you are.

    ???

    I seem to recall waiting for election returns and recounts even without the NPVIC…

    There is no state, presently, that certifies its electoral votes on Election Day. I don’t really see how this is any greater obstacle for the NPVIC than it is for the present system.

    There are (in principle) 51 chances for a close race that leaves the overall outcome in doubt with the present system. There is only one total that matters with a popular vote. In 2000, for instance, the status of a few hundred ballots in Florida (or anywhere else) would have been completely irrelevant to the outcome.

    Dave (1bb933)

  102. Yes, yes, absolutely, State Assemblyman Snoutintrough is absolutely going to absolutely designate his state’s electors to B because B got the popular vote nationally when his constituents voted for A. Like totally, man!

    nk (dbc370)

  103. Battle for the soul of the nation is Joe Bidens new campaign slogan.
    No malarky. Honest.

    mg (8cbc69)

  104. Trump’s cover-up continues to unravel

    Exclusive: Unredacted Ukraine Documents Reveal Extent of Pentagon’s Legal Concerns

    “Clear direction from POTUS to continue to hold.”

    This is what Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), told Elaine McCusker, the acting Pentagon comptroller, in an Aug. 30 email, which has only been made available in redacted form until now. It is one of many documents the Trump administration is trying to keep from the public, despite congressional oversight efforts and court orders in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation.

    Earlier in the day on Aug. 30, President Donald Trump met with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the president’s hold on $391 million in military assistance for Ukraine. Inside the Trump administration, panic was reaching fever pitch about the president’s funding hold, which had stretched on for two months. Days earlier, POLITICO had broken the story and questions were starting to pile up. U.S. defense contractors were worried about delayed contracts and officials in Kyiv and lawmakers on Capitol Hill wanted to know what on earth was going on. While Trump’s national security team thought withholding the money went against U.S. national security interests, Trump still wouldn’t budge.

    Thanks to the testimony of several Trump administration officials, we now know what Trump was waiting on: a commitment from Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

    But getting at that truth hasn’t been easy and the Trump administration continues to try to obscure it. It is blocking key officials from testifying and is keeping documentary evidence from lawmakers investigating the Ukraine story. For example, this note from Duffey to McCusker was never turned over to House investigators and the Trump administration is continuing to try to keep it secret.

    Last month, a court ordered the government to release almost 300 pages of emails to the Center for Public Integrity in response to a FOIA lawsuit. It released a first batch on Dec. 12, and then a second installment on Dec. 20, including Duffey’s email, but that document, along with several others, were partially or completely blacked out.

    Since then, Just Security has viewed unredacted copies of these emails, which begin in June and end in early October. Together, they tell the behind-the-scenes story of the defense and budget officials who had to carry out the president’s unexplained hold on military aid to Ukraine.

    The documents reveal growing concern from Pentagon officials that the hold would violate the Impoundment Control Act, which requires the executive branch to spend money as appropriated by Congress, and that the necessary steps to avoid this result weren’t being taken. Those steps would include notifying Congress that the funding was being held or shifted elsewhere, a step that was never taken. The emails also show that no rationale was ever given for why the hold was put in place or why it was eventually lifted.

    There’s much, much more and it’s all damning. Read the whole thing and marvel at how the creative redactions all try to conceal the truth of what was really going on and who was behind it all.

    Dave (f3d095)

  105. Reactions to Andy McCabe directly lying under oath to feds then retracting after he was found out?

    Any reason he shouldn’t be in prison?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  106. ”Any reason he shouldn’t be in prison?”
    NJRob (4d595c) — 1/2/2020 @ 6:25 pm

    Here’s one: Professional courtesy.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  107. Yes, yes, absolutely, State Assemblyman Snoutintrough is absolutely going to absolutely designate his state’s electors to B because B got the popular vote nationally when his constituents voted for A. Like totally, man!

    Well, letting State Assemblymen write the laws after the election would be a bad idea.

    But I don’t think anyone is proposing that.

    Dave (1bb933)

  108. Munroe, that’s why I expect him to get off. Not why he should be allowed to avoid prison stripes.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  109. Dave @104.

    The documents reveal growing concern from Pentagon officials that the hold would violate the Impoundment Control Act, which requires the executive branch to spend money as appropriated by Congress, and that the necessary steps to avoid this result [violating the Impoundment Control Act] weren’t being taken

    This is not what Donald Trump was impeached for. This is an interesting side issue. It concerns the legality of the hold regardless of the motives.

    They could have tried to impeach him for it, and the facts would have been much more on their side, but they probably would not have gained a majority in the House of Representatives, even if a majority had agreed he had no authority to do this. I mean, this is the political death penalty.

    The illegality isn’t so clear. As I wrote (not a quote) on another thread, citing this New York Times article:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/us/politics/trump-ukraine-military-aid.html

    White House lawyers believed they had a way around the limitations of the law by making brief holds on various grounds, and the only problem they foresaw was the possibility of running out of time.

    The holds did indeed eventually cause 12% of the appropriation not to be spent, (it did get re=appropriated) but, on Tuesday Sept. 10, the day before the hold was released, Michael Duffey, the associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), told Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon’s top budget official, that if the Pentagon failed to lay out all the money by Tuesday, September 30…

    …it would <b? their fault, and not the OMB (and the president’s) for having put a hold on the military assistance for so long, and she told him:

    “You can’t be serious. I am speechless.” (this was all by email)

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  110. Dave @101.

    There is only one total that matters with the Electoral College system, and if that is in doubt, the issue devolves to one or two r three almost randomly selected places.

    One problem with the compact is that state courts might disagree as to whether or not is in in effect.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  111. Just Security:

    Earlier in the day on Aug. 30, President Donald Trump met with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss the president’s hold on $391 million in military assistance for Ukraine.

    The New York Times did not give the date, saying only “late August” but I knew this had to be after August 28. The New York Times reported that ohn R. Bolton was also there. What is it? The writers of this article don’t read or don’t trust the New York Times? They could at least put in his presence as a possibility. Or do they feel a mere NSA Adviser doesn’t count?

    While Trump’s national security team thought withholding the money went against U.S. national security interests, Trump still wouldn’t budge.

    Thanks to the testimony of several Trump administration officials, we now know what Trump was waiting on: a commitment from Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

    That pretty much qualifies as a lie. The testimony is the opposite.

    Trump actually never made the reason clear to anyone, including the Ukrainians and the person who linked it to other things, United States Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland who was guessing and s testified and texted contemporaneously..

    Trump specifically denied it was tied to investigations (and by the way there were two things he was interested in and the Biden case was the lesser matter) both to Senator Ron Johnson and to Gordon Sondland. The Democrats like to say that by the time he told Sondland he was trying to avoid blame, because “he was caught” but he told that to Senator Ron Johnson a few days earlier, on August 31:.

    https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/e0b73c19-9370-42e6-88b1-b2458eaeeecd/johnson-to-jordan-nunes.pdf

    Read from the last paragraph on page 5.

    To the extent that he explained himself he said the Ukrainian government – any Ukrainian government – was corrupt.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)


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