[News] Trump, Russia, and the 2016 Election

All news related to Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia and to the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. New details should be cited to reputable sources.

I think the reason we even have Trump is because Democrats refused to hold the banks accountable for the crash and refused to hold the Bush administration accountable for the lies that got us into the Iraq war.

If you keep telling people that the rich and powerful can break the laws what they're going to hear is that this isn't a country of laws. So why not just pick the guy you like that hurts the people you hate and allow him to get away with anything?

This doesn't feel like 12D chess to me.

Jayhawker wrote:

The goal is to turn the tide away from populism/fascism, not just rid ourselves of Trump. And this is not some RPG in which we can find the "good ending." We really can lose this entire country to fascists. We need those that are pushing for impeachment to continue to push for impeachment. But they need to do more than yell it, they need to find out how to move moderates to impeachment, and you don't do that by telling them that moderates suck. And right now, that seems to be where a lot of folks are stuck.

I don't know that they need to move moderates. Or, rather, the question is whether it is more effective to bring moderates on board versus firing up left/liberal voters and elected officials.

The naive position is that voters are evenly spread along the political spectrum and gaining more support means including more moderates (because moving to the center expands your window). But it's not an even spread, and moving to the right risks the left side of the window cutting off strong supporters.

If, say, the distribution has two high peaks and a nearly empty valley between them, then moving to the center doesn't gain you all that much until you start overlapping with the other peak...which risks losing your own base. Because why should I vote for a Democratic Senator who gives me the exact same results as a Republican Senator? The Republican is better at being a Republican. The Democratic Senator just waffles a bunch and then decides that Kavanaugh is going to lose.

Spoiler:

(Really, it's not a 1D or 2D political spectrum, and is instead a complex high-dimensional cloud of voters, but we'll pretend that linear regression gets us close enough to the conditions on the ground.)

I don't know what the actual distribution is. The way that gerrymandering has developed over the past decade suggests that the voters are further to the left than their elected representatives (Republican suppression of votes both wins for more R candidates and drags D candidates to the right.) How to translate that into actual winning campaigns is the problem. There's some evidence that firing up the left-leaning base works (AOC) and some that it isn't enough (Beto).

Gremlin wrote:

I don't know what the actual distribution is.

From Pew Research:

IMAGE(https://www.people-press.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/06/PP-2014-06-12-polarization-0-04.png)

IMAGE(https://www.people-press.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/06/PP-2014-06-12-polarization-0-01.png)

Reaching moderates probably isn't the solution because moderates are much less politically engaged, which makes a lot of sense because there's not a lot of voters out there who are extremely passionate about sticking to the middle of the road. They just don't care one way or another.

IMAGE(https://www.people-press.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2014/06/PP-2014-06-12-polarization-5-01.png)

It's taking way longer than it should, but we are getting there.

IMAGE(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D9R76BNXsAATPdx.jpg:large)

MEDIAite:Shock Fox News Poll: 50 Percent of American Voters Want Trump Impeached

As recently as yesterday the division between the leadership of the party, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the more visible new progressive members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is, in AOC’s words, “very real.”

But in AOC’s favor, a new Fox News poll of registered voters released Sunday showed 43 percent favor of impeaching President Trump and removing him from office. Among those who responded that they do not want him removed, 12% still said they favored impeachment. That represents a further 7% overall, or as the image below from the poll breakdown shows, a total of 50% who favor impeachment.

IMAGE(https://am13.akamaized.net/med/cnt/uploads/2019/06/impeached-removed.jpg)

The result has steadily increased each time the poll has been conducted, and one year ago this month the number of respondents who favored impeaching and removing from office was 39%, with 51% opposed. That shows that the number has not only increased in favor, but the position in the majority has switched.

That's great that so many want him impeached and removed, but there's no way the Senate will remove him. I'd like to see a poll that focuses on whether they'd still favor impeachment if removal wasn't an option.

Mormech wrote:

That's great that so many want him impeached and removed, but there's no way the Senate will remove him. I'd like to see a poll that focuses on whether they'd still favor impeachment if removal wasn't an option.

I think the calculus is changing. As the number people that support impeachment increases, and Trump's actions become more disturbing, you are going to find Senate Republicans willing to break with him. For one, as more and more comes out, the odds of Trump winning is in a free fall. As the hearings and such begin to roll out, some Senators will realize that Trump may not only lose, but take down the their Senate seats with him.

I still say that Trump leaving office is predicated on the legal jeopardy he feels he will be in when he leaves office. If he thinks he is going to convicted, he will try to make a deal.

I've said all along that Pelosi is trying to get tump out of office or into jail, and she is not going to run an impeachment that comes off looking like it was a politically motivated fail. But as more information not only becomes public, but starts to be accepted as true, the reasons to impeach increase.

Right now the biggest barrier are the 41 Dem Representatives that won GOP seats in 2018. They are not ready, because they would lose their seats. And that is not just selfish on their part. If this doesn't go down right, it could not only result in Trump staying in office and the dems failing to take the senate, but they could lose the House.

That is not an insignificant downside. That would seriously force the left to consider revolution. Seriously.

if Pelosi was blocking hearings, I might be more troubled. But she is fully in favor of investigating all of Trump's activities. the real fail for Dems was not starting sooner. We all though the Mueller Report would be the document to kick this off. But, really, there are far more good reasons to impeach trump than his Russian ties and obstruction. We should have already had those hearings going.

I still think Trump fails to make to the end of summer. The polls are getting terrible for him. His on camera actions are making the case easier and easier to go forward. Wish it was happening quicker. I thought originally they could get him out before the first Dem debate. But Barr successfully pushed that off. But it sure looks like people are starting to figure out what the report said.

One thing I think is weird, and telling, is the number of Deplorables I've read that literals believe that Mueller said "no collusion" in his report. Seeing trump try the same tactic on Stephanopolis was actually kind of funny. That interview was one of the dumbest things he could have ever done. As one pundit I saw Sunday say, "No president should sit for a 30 hour interview. There is no chance anyone could get through that without saying something that needs to be walked back, and Trump said a litany of really stupid things that no one can justify.

Jayhawker wrote:

I still think Trump fails to make to the end of summer. The polls are getting terrible for him. His on camera actions are making the case easier and easier to go forward. Wish it was happening quicker. I thought originally they could get him out before the first Dem debate. But Barr successfully pushed that off. But it sure looks like people are starting to figure out what the report said.

Wild. And I still think he will be president in February 2025 if he's still alive. I have seen nothing from the GOP or his base that says they're willing to abandon him or follow norms.

DSGamer wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I still think Trump fails to make to the end of summer. The polls are getting terrible for him. His on camera actions are making the case easier and easier to go forward. Wish it was happening quicker. I thought originally they could get him out before the first Dem debate. But Barr successfully pushed that off. But it sure looks like people are starting to figure out what the report said.

Wild. And I still think he will be president in February 2025 if he's still alive. I have seen nothing from the GOP or his base that says they're willing to abandon him or follow norms.

There’s little path for him to win in the next go round, even if he makes it that far.

1. He doesn’t have the run up that he did last time, winning adulation for putting Republican primary candidates ‘in their place.’ It was huge for him to be able to sling mud at opponents directly. He won’t really have that now
2. He’s not running against Hillary, who had so much baggage and a really botched Democratic primary against Bernie that really put off others in her own party to not vote or feel disenfranchised and not vote for her. I don’t really see those voters pulling for Trump and/or staying home from the polls this time. That was also huge.
3. Everyone makes a lot of noise about his base, but it is comparatively small considering the entire voting base. They are energized, by in large; however, I certainly see a Democratic voter base that will also be energized.
4. Everyone knows his game now - it’s not new any more and the Dem candidates have already started a blueprint with dealing with Trumps bluster.
5. I can’t see anything that possibly drags Trump out of his long tailspin into ignominy as he continues to stick both of his feet in his mouth constantly. Not a war with Iran, not a suddenly Presidental Trump, nothing.

No big FBI news two weeks before the election this time?

Stele wrote:

No big FBI news two weeks before the election this time?

My money's on: "The Trump campaign didn't tell us about all the hacked info they gladly received, but it was leaked to us."

DSGamer wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I still think Trump fails to make to the end of summer. The polls are getting terrible for him. His on camera actions are making the case easier and easier to go forward. Wish it was happening quicker. I thought originally they could get him out before the first Dem debate. But Barr successfully pushed that off. But it sure looks like people are starting to figure out what the report said.

Wild. And I still think he will be president in February 2025 if he's still alive. I have seen nothing from the GOP or his base that says they're willing to abandon him or follow norms.

I have to hand it to Jay for staying so optimistic after 2+ years of insisting that Trump is just months away from a disgraced exit from office.

BlackSheep wrote:

5. I can’t see anything that possibly drags Trump out of his long tailspin into ignominy as he continues to stick both of his feet in his mouth constantly. Not a war with Iran, not a suddenly Presidental Trump, nothing.

I've long said he won't leave office. He'll declare the election illegal, activate his base to commit violence. Whatever it takes to survive another day. That's all he knows.

Russia briefly had free elections until one day they didn't. Putin organized a terrorist attack against an apartment complex, blamed Chechens for the attack and he's had control ever since.

ruhk wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I still think Trump fails to make to the end of summer. The polls are getting terrible for him. His on camera actions are making the case easier and easier to go forward. Wish it was happening quicker. I thought originally they could get him out before the first Dem debate. But Barr successfully pushed that off. But it sure looks like people are starting to figure out what the report said.

Wild. And I still think he will be president in February 2025 if he's still alive. I have seen nothing from the GOP or his base that says they're willing to abandon him or follow norms.

I have to hand it to Jay for staying so optimistic after 2+ years of insisting that Trump is just months away from a disgraced exit from office. ;)

I’ve always said it was going to be around the Dem debates. I’ve never said it was just months away. I’ve always said it is a slow process that was going to frustrate a lot of progressives.

And we would be farther along if IBarr hadn’t played games for almost two months before releasing the report, resulting in an avalanche of Bernie Bros on Twitter declaring the investigation as a witch hunt that the media has to apologize for (see Matt Tabbai and Michael Tracy).

But I never saw anyone predict that Barr would lie and hold the report back. And I absolutely admitted I screwed up by thinking he was an institutionalization.

But it was still a scam, and it is unraveling. The polls that will move the GOP continue to move towards impeachment. This was always going to be how it worked out.

It could still fail, but it hasn’t yet. I thought AOC was spot on Sunday morning on ABC when discussing it. But she’s probably crazy, too, right?

DSGamer wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

5. I can’t see anything that possibly drags Trump out of his long tailspin into ignominy as he continues to stick both of his feet in his mouth constantly. Not a war with Iran, not a suddenly Presidental Trump, nothing.

I've long said he won't leave office. He'll declare the election illegal, activate his base to commit violence. Whatever it takes to survive another day. That's all he knows.

Russia briefly had free elections until one day they didn't. Putin organized a terrorist attack against an apartment complex, blamed Chechens for the attack and he's had control ever since.

I do believe that is Trump’s plan I just think it will fail in the end.

DSGamer wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

5. I can’t see anything that possibly drags Trump out of his long tailspin into ignominy as he continues to stick both of his feet in his mouth constantly. Not a war with Iran, not a suddenly Presidental Trump, nothing.

I've long said he won't leave office. He'll declare the election illegal, activate his base to commit violence. Whatever it takes to survive another day. That's all he knows.

Russia briefly had free elections until one day they didn't. Putin organized a terrorist attack against an apartment complex, blamed Chechens for the attack and he's had control ever since.

I see how one might come to that conclusion, but I absolutely believe that he’ll leave office, even if he’s forcefully removed. I don’t think anyone was surprised at all at what Putin did. It wasn’t a shocker because he controls and aids all of the oligarchs in Russia and has a secure power base. Trump.. doesn’t. He ha his deplorables, but they’re not politically connected enough to truly stage a coup. Though this in a interesting thought exercise - what if he stayed? I can imagine certain states completely breaking free of the union over something like that, citing a lack of true representation - and not just Blue ones, but those that are seesaw states or even fiercely independent ones such as Texas as being opposed to such measures. Heck you might even see the states convene and actually vote his ass out.

Jayhawker wrote:

It could still fail, but it hasn’t yet. I thought AOC was spot on Sunday morning on ABC when discussing it. But she’s probably crazy, too, right?

I'm not saying we shouldn't try, just that an impeachment attempt won't succeed.
It's highly unlikely enough republicans will get on board because despite how much of a public embarrassment he is, Trump is still making a lot progress towards the Republican agenda... and even if enough Republicans do flip there's basically no circumstances in which McConnell will and ultimately he has final say. The only way I see an impeachment being successful is if McConnell dies from a heart attack or Trump browbeats him into stepping down for some reason and someone slightly less sociopathic takes his place.
The best possible outcome from an impeachment attempt is that it forces everyone to choose a side and embarrasses the GOP enough to hurt them in 2020. But until then we are stuck with Trump. I would love to be wrong and am rooting for you, though.

DSGamer wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:

5. I can’t see anything that possibly drags Trump out of his long tailspin into ignominy as he continues to stick both of his feet in his mouth constantly. Not a war with Iran, not a suddenly Presidental Trump, nothing.

I've long said he won't leave office. He'll declare the election illegal, activate his base to commit violence. Whatever it takes to survive another day. That's all he knows.

Russia briefly had free elections until one day they didn't. Putin organized a terrorist attack against an apartment complex, blamed Chechens for the attack and he's had control ever since.

He certainly idolizes Putin enough

Yeah, I definitely don't see Trump's support dropping. The majority of Rs just can't admit they have been wrong all this time. They will run everyone right off a cliff to avoid it.

I don't think he would be able to stay in office if he loses the next election and tried to "just not leave". I don't see any reason for secret service/high up military/ etc to group up with him if he tries that.

karmajay wrote:

Yeah, I definitely don't see Trump's support dropping. The majority of Rs just can't admit they have been wrong all this time. They will run everyone right off a cliff to avoid it.

I don't think he would be able to stay in office if he loses the next election and tried to "just not leave". I don't see any reason for secret service/high up military/ etc to group up with him if he tries that.

Many of the senior leaders who aren't zealots, religious fanatics, or blatently corrupt have been run out of office or quit?

DSGamer wrote:

I think the reason we even have Trump is because Democrats refused to hold the banks accountable for the crash and refused to hold the Bush administration accountable for the lies that got us into the Iraq war.

If you keep telling people that the rich and powerful can break the laws what they're going to hear is that this isn't a country of laws. So why not just pick the guy you like that hurts the people you hate and allow him to get away with anything?

This doesn't feel like 12D chess to me.

This part.

karmajay wrote:

Yeah, I definitely don't see Trump's support dropping. The majority of Rs just can't admit they have been wrong all this time. They will run everyone right off a cliff to avoid it.

I don't think he would be able to stay in office if he loses the next election and tried to "just not leave". I don't see any reason for secret service/high up military/ etc to group up with him if he tries that.

The pattern has generally been that people who stop supporting Trump tend to leave the Republican party entirely. I suspect his support with Republicans will remain high even as the number of people who identify themselves as Republican drops.

As for whether he will be able to effect a coup, I suspect it will come down to if it can be made de facto quickly enough. It'll be more of a slide into the situation rather than a clean break. There won't be a moment where he's suddenly holed up in the Oval Office. Instead it'll be political opponents arrested before the election on charges that pass muster enough to get the DOJ to sign off on it, disputes over the results, recounts, lawsuits, and somehow we'll get to February and he's still in office.

Schumer will say that we need to wait months down the road to decide what to do.

Drazzil wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I think the reason we even have Trump is because Democrats refused to hold the banks accountable for the crash and refused to hold the Bush administration accountable for the lies that got us into the Iraq war.

If you keep telling people that the rich and powerful can break the laws what they're going to hear is that this isn't a country of laws. So why not just pick the guy you like that hurts the people you hate and allow him to get away with anything?

This doesn't feel like 12D chess to me.

This part.

As far as I am concerned it isn't any more "democrats" fault that "republicans" - voters (a.k.a. the American people) refused to hold parties accountable. To me, people need to stop blaming some far off "other" for the problems and realize that in a democracy if it fails it is the people's fault. We need to work at it not someone else.

Let's be clear. The only reason Trump is still in office is McConnell. The only reason Garland isn't on the supreme court is McConnell. The only reason Kavanaugh is on the supreme court is McConnell.

See a pattern? We need to unseat McConnell. And I have to believe there is enough evidence being uncovered of corruption that we need to be sure to not overlook opportunities for that.

Takes a 2/3 vote to remove a senator. We have better luck of Mitch just dying of old age.

Stele wrote:

Takes a 2/3 vote to remove a senator. We have better luck of Mitch just dying of old age.

Especially since he's the one who would have to call for a vote on it.

He is up for re-election in 2020, so he could get removed that way, but nobody's announced that they're running against him yet and it'll be a tough race for Democrats to win.

Yes Louisville would vote him out but the rest of the state isn't worth saving.

Is Ashley Judd still eligible to run in Kentucky? I feel like everything that was seen as a weakness before would really resonate with where the energy the Democrats need to draw on is right now.

Mueller to testify in open session before two House committees on July 17th. Get your popcorn ready.

Rat Boy wrote:

Mueller to testify in open session before two House committees on July 17th. Get your popcorn ready.

I'm worried this is going to be a nothing burger... Mueller could simply walk in and answer every question with, "please see my report."

JC wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

Mueller to testify in open session before two House committees on July 17th. Get your popcorn ready.

I'm worried this is going to be a nothing burger... Mueller could simply walk in and answer every question with, "please see my report."

Last I knew that was his plan. Hopefully (but not likely) he'll get exasperated and flat out tell them that the answers they're looking for are beyond his authority to give and can only be answered through the impeachment process. That's thing that bugs me the most about Pelosi's reluctance to start the impeachment process. She's acting like once it's initiated it goes straight to a yes/no vote. What actually happens is that whatever complaints are made are sent to the House's Subcommittee on the Constitution who investigates them. That's where the stuff uncovered by Mueller's report can be looked into further without the limitations his investigation had.