[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.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

A list no but one thing he did is sign a EO to ban bump stocks.

He's also been accidentally and indirectly responsible for the decline in gun sales that have led to bankruptcies and the possibly imminent demise of the NRA.

He fired/forced out a bunch of corrupt politicians. Of course, he hired them first, and hired more to replace them, so it breaks even.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:

A list no but one thing he did is sign a EO to ban bump stocks.

He's also been accidentally and indirectly responsible for the decline in gun sales that have led to bankruptcies and the possibly imminent demise of the NRA.

Once a Democrat is back in office the gun industry will boom like crazy. But the NRA needs to be forcibly dissolved for being an anti-democracy foreign agent. They’ve been laundering money for Russia and harboring Russian spies, under the pretense of being a pro gun political lobby.

I’m FOR the 2nd amendment. I’m NOT a gun owner. I’m FOR gun Law reform, but lots of research needs to be done before we make a decision about how that might look.

UP with democracy. DOWN with the NRA.

If you want to quote the law and argue it in good faith, start with the actual applicable law. Don't bring up one that sounds vaguely related and then argue it instead. That is bad faith.

Here is the actual law he broke.

52 USC 30121: Contributions and donations by foreign nationals

(a) Prohibition
It shall be unlawful for-

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, from a foreign national.

Which Trump did. Multiple times. But, hey, what's a few felonies when there's white people that need to get richer.

Trump's turning people against religion as they see the hypocrisy of evangelical support for him.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Trump's turning people against religion as they see the hypocrisy of evangelical support for him.

That’s a nice sentiment. I wish it were true.

Mixolyde wrote:

If you want to quote the law and argue it in good faith, start with the actual applicable law. Don't bring up one that sounds vaguely related and then argue it instead. That is bad faith.

Here is the actual law he broke.

52 USC 30121: Contributions and donations by foreign nationals

(a) Prohibition
It shall be unlawful for-

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, from a foreign national.

Which Trump did. Multiple times. But, hey, what's a few felonies when there's white people that need to get richer.

And that's just for starters.

For example, here's a proposed list of laws that were violated:

The Intercept: THE ACTUAL LAWS TRUMP HAS BROKEN, JUST WITH THE UKRAINE AND CHINA AFFAIRS, COULD LAND HIM 10 YEARS IN PRISON

Take 18 U.S. Code § 872: “Extortion by officers or employees of the United States.” It’s not hard to grasp:

“Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

In the meantime, Trump has said that he will refuse to cooperate with lawful subpoenas — itself a prima facie violation of 2 U.S. Code § 192, “Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers,” punishable by a year in prison.
If Taylor felt coerced into helping with “a political campaign,” that implicates 18 U.S. Code § 610, which covers that crime rather clearly under the title: “Coercion of political activity.”
It’s also illegal, according to 18 U.S. Code § 595, when a government official, “in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President.”
A prosecutor who wanted to stack charges against Trump could ding him for 18 U.S. Code § 607, “Place of solicitation,” and 52 U.S. Code § 30121, “Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.” Essentially, it’s illegal to solicit contributions to your presidential campaign from the Oval Office and illegal to solicit from foreign nationals no matter where you do it from

I could add a lot to this--the entire administration is apparently in continual violation of the Presidential Records Act, for one example--but that's a start.

Jayhawker wrote:
ranalin wrote:
ElectricPi wrote:
tweeder459 wrote:

Everyone does realize that the Biden/Ukraine scandal is an actual thing, right?

We realize that it isn't an actual thing.

Actually it's borderline unethical and deserves to be looked at.

I'd love to hear why you think this.

It smells. At the least it's an obvious case of nepotism and at the level of access to the VP it does deserve to be looked at to see it there was an ethical breach. I think there's been enough due diligence to determine that he did nothing illegal.

ranalin wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
ranalin wrote:
ElectricPi wrote:
tweeder459 wrote:

Everyone does realize that the Biden/Ukraine scandal is an actual thing, right?

We realize that it isn't an actual thing.

Actually it's borderline unethical and deserves to be looked at.

I'd love to hear why you think this.

It smells. At the least it's an obvious case of nepotism and at the level of access to the VP it does deserve to be looked at to see it there was an ethical breach. I think there's been enough due diligence to determine that he did nothing illegal.

Oh, no doubt the position was so that the Company had access to the Senator. Unfortunately, that’s business as usual and a form of lobbying. It absolutely needs to be changed - as do all of our laws on lobbying.

BlackSheep wrote:
ranalin wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
ranalin wrote:
ElectricPi wrote:
tweeder459 wrote:

Everyone does realize that the Biden/Ukraine scandal is an actual thing, right?

We realize that it isn't an actual thing.

Actually it's borderline unethical and deserves to be looked at.

I'd love to hear why you think this.

It smells. At the least it's an obvious case of nepotism and at the level of access to the VP it does deserve to be looked at to see it there was an ethical breach. I think there's been enough due diligence to determine that he did nothing illegal.

Oh, no doubt the position was so that the Company had access to the Senator. Unfortunately, that’s business as usual and a form of lobbying. It absolutely needs to be changed - as do all of our laws on lobbying.

I can agree with this. But the inference is that Joe Biden did something, when he didn't do anything. The only issue is that Hunter Biden had a seat on the board of a Ukraine energy company. That is questionable, and was worth looking at. And if there was one shred of evidence that even hinted that Biden or Obama acted inappropriately with Ukraine, the entire GOP would be screaming.

Instead, Giulani was the guy digging up dirt, dirt that could not be verified by anyone that gives a crap about their reputation. The only reason to bring this up is activate pro-Trumpers, who will bite on anything. It had been debunked long before this.

Anyone claiming this needs to be looked at over the multitudes of far worse, and more blatant, corruption among Trump's inner circle and cabinet are just carrying Putin's water. Democrats are not special, and can be corrupted like anyone else. The issue is that Trump is enabling and protecting massive corruption on many fronts.

But some want to hold up on impeachment, because of something the GOP has been aware of and moved on from while they held power in both Houses. But whataboutism is the GOP brand.

Jayhawker wrote:
BlackSheep wrote:
ranalin wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
ranalin wrote:
ElectricPi wrote:
tweeder459 wrote:

Everyone does realize that the Biden/Ukraine scandal is an actual thing, right?

We realize that it isn't an actual thing.

Actually it's borderline unethical and deserves to be looked at.

I'd love to hear why you think this.

It smells. At the least it's an obvious case of nepotism and at the level of access to the VP it does deserve to be looked at to see it there was an ethical breach. I think there's been enough due diligence to determine that he did nothing illegal.

Oh, no doubt the position was so that the Company had access to the Senator. Unfortunately, that’s business as usual and a form of lobbying. It absolutely needs to be changed - as do all of our laws on lobbying.

I can agree with this. But the inference is that Joe Biden did something, when he didn't do anything. The only issue is that Hunter Biden had a seat on the board of a Ukraine energy company. That is questionable, and was worth looking at. And if there was one shred of evidence that even hinted that Biden or Obama acted inappropriately with Ukraine, the entire GOP would be screaming.

Instead, Giulani was the guy digging up dirt, dirt that could not be verified by anyone that gives a crap about their reputation. The only reason to bring this up is activate pro-Trumpers, who will bite on anything. It had been debunked long before this.

Anyone claiming this needs to be looked at over the multitudes of far worse, and more blatant, corruption among Trump's inner circle and cabinet are just carrying Putin's water. Democrats are not special, and can be corrupted like anyone else. The issue is that Trump is enabling and protecting massive corruption on many fronts.

But some want to hold up on impeachment, because of something the GOP has been aware of and moved on from while they held power in both Houses. But whataboutism is the GOP brand.

I’m not inferring anything at all. I don’t believe the allegations are remotely true. It’s just another instance of conspiracy theory dictating public perception because if Trump says it confidently enough, loud, and repeatedly, then it must be true to his oblivious base.

It’s just another smokescreen meant to muddy the issue and take media minutes away from the real issues at hand.

tweeder459 wrote:

There's definitely some conflicting stories. In the sworn affidavit filed by the prosecutor after being fired, he stated that he was pressured by Joe Biden due to investigations into Burisma. Other investigations were in open inquiry at the time of his firing, but one British-based inquiry was closed due to a technicality involving a time-frame with paperwork submissions. More can be found here if you're interested (https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign...)

The sworn affidavit was dated September 4, 2019 and wasn't made because Viktor Shokin was trying to set the record straight about why he was fired. Shokin made swore the affidavit to help the lawyers of Dmitry Firtash (more on those lawyers later).

Who's Firtash? He's a Ukrainian oligarch, described in Department of Justice court filings as an “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime,” who's been desperately fighting both extradition to the US on bribery and racketeering charges and to return to the Ukraine because he's been under house arrest in Vienna since 2014.

In April 2018 Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., wrote a letter to then Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for an update on Firtash's extradition. In the letter Wicker stated that Firtash acted as "direct agent of the Kremlin" and that Firtash played a central role in the corruption that was endemic in Ukraine at the time. Wicker also stated that "This corruption undermines Ukrainian reform efforts that the United States strongly supports."

Firtash came into power with the help of Semyon Mogilevich, a renowned Russian mob boss who was later put on the FBI's most-wanted list. He used Mogilevich to set up a venture with Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas giant, to import cheap natural gas from Turkmenistan and resell it in Ukraine at massively marked-up prices. He then used those profits to buy up a wide range of Ukrainian businesses and become one of the most powerful people in the country.

Firtash used his money and power in 2010 to help put Viktor Yanukovych, the head of the Russian-leaning Party of Regions political party, in power as Ukraine's President. He did so because in 2009 Ukraine's then-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko cut a deal with Putin to buy gas directly from Gazprom instead of Firtash's company, a move that deeply hurt his finances.

But under Yanukovych Firtash's businesses boomed.

Tymoshenko, though, was punished by Yanukovych. She was arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for various abuses of power, including the 2009 gas deal, in 2011. The EU considered Tymoshenko's legal troubles as "selective prosecution of political opponents" by Yanukovych's administration. The US also considered it a "politically motivated prosecution" and called for her release.

In late 2013/early 2014 the Euromaidan protests--Ukraine's biggest public protest since 2004's Orange Revolution--kicked off. The protests were brought about by the Yanukovych administration suspending the signing of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement and instead choosing to cozy up with Russia and ended with yet another revolution. The Ukrainian parliament removed Yanukovych from power in February 2014 and he fled, with the help of Russian soldiers, to Russia. And the backdrop for all of this was Russia's illegal military invasion and annexation of Crimea, which was considered an autonomous part of Ukraine.

At the same time--March 2014--Firtash was arrested by Austrian authorities on behalf of the US for bribery, racketeering, and money laundering. Since then he's been under house arrest, fighting extradition to the US, trying to get back into Ukraine, and remotely running his business empire.

So you have to ask yourself why someone who was Ukraine's Special Prosecutor, who claimed he was fighting corruption, would do an oligarch--described by former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst as "... arguably the most odious, or one of the most odious oligarchs in Ukraine"--a solid like spreading the completely uncorroborated rumor about Biden? And do so in a legal affidavit whose sole purpose was to help Firtash get back to Ukraine, a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US.

If you really want a conspiracy to dig into then you should consider that Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort is chilling in jail now because he was hired by Yanukovych to help him burnish his public image and to help him win the 2010 election. Manafort was paid $60 million by Yanukovych and other Ukrainian oligarchs, money that he desperately tried to hide from the IRS.

Manafort also has direct ties to Firtash. The two joined forces in a failed $850 million deal to buy and renovate The Drake, a famous New York hotel.

That real estate deal is also interesting because Tymoshenko claimed that Firtash took the profits from his gas company and laundered them by buying real estate in Manhattan. If only there was someone linked to all this mess who was also involved in buying and selling real estate in Manhattan, perhaps someone who has gone through extraordinary steps to make sure that nobody can see his finances or taxes and who's trying to make Ukraine all about the Bidens.

But the connections don't stop there. Both Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two Ukrainian-born business associates of Rudy Giuliani who were arrested last week on their way to Vienna, are directly tied to Firtash. Both worked for Firtash in unspecified roles and Firtash was said to be “financing” the activities of the two. Also interestingly Parnas and Fruman were arrested right before getting onto a flight the city where Firtash is under house arrest. Giuliani said that the two had traveled to Vienna three to six times in the last two months alone. Hell, Giuliani himself was going to get on a plane to Vienna the day after his business associates were arrested, a trip he then cancelled.

In recent months Parnas was hired by Firtash’s US law firm, DiGenova & Toensing, LLP, to act as a translator between Firtash and lawyers Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing.

DiGenova and Toensing are well-known conservatives and, all together, the two have made over 90 appearances on Fox News this year alone. Those appearances were primarily to defend Trump.

Back in March 2018 it was announced that Trump was hiring DiGenova and Toensing to be part of his legal team to help with the Mueller investigation. At the time DiGenova was on going on Fox News promoting the conspiracy theory that Mueller's investigation was "a brazen plot [by the DOJ and FBI] to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn't win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime."

A few days later DiGenova and Toensing were "unhired" from Trump's legal team. Internal sources said that the two had significant conflicts of interest and "represent[ed] clients who are connected to the special counsel probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller."

It was DiGenova & Toensing who had Shokin make the September 2019 sworn affidavit saying he was fired because of Biden and Burisma.

But wait, there's more. Six months before John Solomon penned The Hill op-ed you linked to he published another based on an interview with the then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko claiming that U.S. government had pressured Ukrainian prosecutors to drop a probe of a group funded by the Obama administration and liberal billionaire George Soros.

Hours before that story was published, though, Solomon emailed it to Lev Parnas as well as DiGenova and Toensing. That email was part of packet of information--one that also included unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. envoy to Ukraine--that was mysteriously delivered to Mike Pompeo and then circulated widely through the State Department. They were finally turned over the to the Senate earlier this month. Giuliani has since confirmed that he was the source for "several" of the documents.

The explosive claims of Solomon's article--like then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch handed Lutsenko a list of Ukrainian officials and told him not to prosecute them--have both been denied by the State Department and retracted by Lutsenko.

According to the Ukrainian Anticorruption Action Centre, Lutsenko himself is "a very discredited person, with almost zero trust from the citizens of Ukraine." Additionally, earlier this year a coalition of 20 Ukrainian nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations sent a request to the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control that sanctions be placed on Lutsenko under the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the United States to impose asset freezes and visa bans on people suspected of involvement in human rights abuses or corruption overseas.

Solomon, on the other hand, tweeted that "I stand by my stories 100 percent, all of which are completely accurate and transparent."

At the end of September Solomon announced that he was leaving The Hill to start his own media company and has already secured a contract with Fox News as a contributor.

tweeder459 wrote:

You just said that Biden got the corrupt prosecutor fired for not investigating the corruption inside Burisma.

You can check the link I gave earlier to see that there were still two open inquiries into Burisma at the time of the prosecutors firing as well.

Also, Biden directly threatened Ukraine with US aid loans for something he wanted to happen. No matter what way you want to spin it, US assets were leveraged for a specific outcome in a foreign country. That is textbook quid-pro-quo.

Nope.

Shoken became Ukraine's Prosecutor General in February 2015.

Back in May of this year Shokin's former Deputy Prosecutor General, Vitaly Kasko, said "There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky. It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.” Zlochevsky refers to Mykola Zlochevsky who co-founded Burisma in 2002 and also served as the country's Ecology and Natural Resources Minister. He fled Ukraine in 2014 under allegations of unlawful self enrichment and legalization of funds.

Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Ukraine from 2013 to 2016 called Kasko “a champion for change”. Kasko resigned February 2016, calling the prosecutor's office a “hotbed of corruption”

If there's one thing you should take away from this thread it's that Shokin was not the good guy and a whole sh*tload of countries and organizations wanted him removed from office precisely because he *wasn't* going after corruption.

The EU wanted Shokin gone. The International Monetary Fund wanted Shokin gone. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development wanted him gone. And the US wanted Shokin gone.

Why? Because they were all freaked out about Russia's annexation of Crimea and wanted to help shore up Ukraine after the 2014 revolution. To help do that they were going to shower the country with tens of billions of dollars in aid and loans. And they wanted to make sure that if they dropped a bunch of cash on Ukraine that it wouldn't end up in the pockets of politicians and oligarchs. Hence the push for someone who would go after corruption.

Both the EU and the US moved to get Shokin fired in April 2015--months before Biden got involved--because he had failed to follow through on any of the anti-corruption moves he made when he first took office. An EU diplomat involved in the push to fire Shokin said he "was not following any of the corruption issues" and that Shokin "was really bad news." A former US Treasury official involved with America's effort to get rid of Shokin said "I know how the idea to have Shokin fired came up, and it wasn't Biden. His direct involvement came late in the game.”

Getting rid of Shokin wasn't even a partisan issue here in America. In February 2016 Republican Senators Rob Portman, Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson and Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Murphy, Sherrod Brown, and Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to express their concern about "persistent corruption in the Ukrainian political system" that stemmed "from decades of mismanagement and cronyism," and urged him to "press ahead with urgent reforms to the Prosecutor General's office and judiciary."

At the time he was fired Shokin was deeply unpopular--he boasted a 3.5% approval rating--and many members of parliament wanted him gone. Ukrainians were upset that Shokin failed to convict anyone for the 100 people who were killed during the 2014 revolution. People who knew him said he was “lazy”, and uninterested in real investigations. Others noted a penchant for bonding with oligarchs over vodka in the bathhouse.

Shokin tenure as Prosecutor General was most noted for the "diamond prosecutor" scandal. Several prosecutors under Shokin got busted for taking millions of dollars in bribes (subsequent investigation broadened out into drugs and extortion). They got their nickname because when one of their homes were raided police found half a million in cash and 65 diamonds.

Vitaly Kasko and David Sakvarelidze, another reform-minded prosecutor, tried to investigate the "diamond prosecutors" in 2015. Sakvarelidze found out that Shokin also had "business ties" with the "diamond prosecutors." Five days after Sakvarelidze publicized this link Shokin fired him (ironically, an hour later Shokin himself was removed from office).

I get that "Biden got a Ukrainian prosecutor fired to protect his son's cushy job" is a simple and understandable story. But it's complete bullsh*t.

The reality is much, much more complex and involves the internal politics of a country and players we here in the States are pretty much clueless about.

What is absolutely bonkers, though, is that multiple close associates of Trump--his campaign manager, his personal lawyer, other lawyers he tried to hire to help with the Mueller investigation--are all one or two degrees of Kevin Bacon from a Ukrainian oligarch who's wanted by the United States for a whole heap of crimes.

It's also clear that someone has made a dedicated effort to spread the idea that Biden fired Shokin to protect his kid. And those efforts somehow all come back to Firtash. Including the Solomon articles you began this entire discussion with.

Gremlin wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

If you want to quote the law and argue it in good faith, start with the actual applicable law. Don't bring up one that sounds vaguely related and then argue it instead. That is bad faith.

Here is the actual law he broke.

52 USC 30121: Contributions and donations by foreign nationals

(a) Prohibition
It shall be unlawful for-

(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, from a foreign national.

Which Trump did. Multiple times. But, hey, what's a few felonies when there's white people that need to get richer.

And that's just for starters.

For example, here's a proposed list of laws that were violated:

The Intercept: THE ACTUAL LAWS TRUMP HAS BROKEN, JUST WITH THE UKRAINE AND CHINA AFFAIRS, COULD LAND HIM 10 YEARS IN PRISON

Take 18 U.S. Code § 872: “Extortion by officers or employees of the United States.” It’s not hard to grasp:

“Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

In the meantime, Trump has said that he will refuse to cooperate with lawful subpoenas — itself a prima facie violation of 2 U.S. Code § 192, “Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers,” punishable by a year in prison.
If Taylor felt coerced into helping with “a political campaign,” that implicates 18 U.S. Code § 610, which covers that crime rather clearly under the title: “Coercion of political activity.”
It’s also illegal, according to 18 U.S. Code § 595, when a government official, “in connection with any activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States, or any department or agency thereof, uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President.”
A prosecutor who wanted to stack charges against Trump could ding him for 18 U.S. Code § 607, “Place of solicitation,” and 52 U.S. Code § 30121, “Contributions and donations by foreign nationals.” Essentially, it’s illegal to solicit contributions to your presidential campaign from the Oval Office and illegal to solicit from foreign nationals no matter where you do it from

I could add a lot to this--the entire administration is apparently in continual violation of the Presidential Records Act, for one example--but that's a start.

Yeah, but Trump knows that these laws only apply to the 99%, not the 1% so he knows he'll mostly get away with everything.

He could shoot someone and wouldn't lose any votes...

But, really, Trump has a bazillion fall guys lined up. He may lose his Presidency but he won't go to jail or be fined. It's all Executive Privilege and if not, then it's someone else who will take the blame.

What’s hilarious is the Trumpers latch on to any even tiny bit of made up smoke to yell and scream about a fire. Meanwhile there’s not just smoke but a 40 alarm raging uncontrollable fire in their own back yard that they just blissfully ignore. Racism is a hell of a drug.

OG_slinger wrote:

......

That was an impressive amount of info, bravo. Seriously

garion333 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

......

That was an impressive amount of info, bravo. Seriously

“Okay, okay. I hear you. But Hunter Biden sat on the board of a Ukrainian company. Also, Uranium One. What say you about that, Sir?

Also, Democrats didn’t want Trump to win the election. Some FBI agents were Democrats. Facts.”

garion333 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

......

That was an impressive amount of info, bravo. Seriously

I'm just going to stop posting links and let him do it from now on.

Amoebic wrote:

~mod~

tweeder459, this forum is old, and many of it's users have gotten used to recognising patterns of behaviour that are cookie-cutter for sealioning accounts. You're not skirting it, you're diving in and swimming around. Those who've sealioned before and will sealion again are doing all the things you're doing right now.

If you actually wish to engage in good faith, I would suggest not diving head-first into the discussions & debates sector day-1 account engagement if you actually want to engage with the community and not get waved off as yet another sockpuppet. So, if you are not that, welcome! If you are, you will find we have little patience for it in the community as well as within the moderation team.

I'm not trying to troll, and I wasn't aware that participating in a conversation on day one of account creation would instantly get me labeled as a 'sock', 'loser', or some other iteration of judgment because people assume I have no genuine interest in the topic.

In the past couple of years I have become more attentive to the political scene, and while I do find myself leaning more toward conservative ideas, I respect the opinions of others. I've tried not to post anything that is patently false and I've chosen not to engage with others who choose to 'drag' rather than make counterpoints.

However, I can see that the info-bubble here is extremely strong and no amount of debating is going to get folks to view anything i say, or post, as anything other than incendiary. It's true what has been said; everyone is watching the same movie, but people are perceiving two different stories.

I joined this community on the advice of a friend because I was looking for more people to play Borderlands 2 with for some nostalgic fun. Having RL obligations, and finding a group that understands/lives through their own, is another reason I thought this community would be fun to engage with. I still love gaming when I can, and finding others that share the same interest has always been a driving point for me.

With that, I will be excusing myself from this particular forum to avoid causing any 'predicted' issues. I hope everyone the best and maybe we'll see one another in the gaming forums =D

Borderlands 2 thread. No posts since June but go for it.

Is OG an investigative journalist at a big newsmast? Because he should be.

Hey Twedder,

I appreciate the time and energy you put into writing that up. I still stand behind what I posted in regards to recognizing known patterns of behaviour. If new folks are going to come in and do some of those things, I still come into our spaces to keep tabs on that.

As a whole, you'll find the community pretty left of center, so if that doesn't feel comfortable to you, I understand if this won't work out. Feather's have been ruffled, and I think it'd be best if we put all this behind us and try again. Thank you for being gracious in your message and focusing on the positive.

Let's get back to the scope of the thread, here.

OG_slinger wrote:

Mutombo.gif

Well-researched, comprehensive debunking and rebuttal, with links to sources.

Thank you for that.

tweeder459 wrote:

With that, I will be excusing myself from this particular forum to avoid causing any 'predicted' issues. I hope everyone the best and maybe we'll see one another in the gaming forums =D

I am sorry you feel you have to go. I took the weekend off and felt a bit surprised. After I read OG_slinger's detailed post I was interested to see counter points to some of it but it seems that won't happen. Which kind of feels like how things often go. When presented with lot of information some people duck out instead of engage.

You call it an "info-bubble" which I kind of have to chuckle at. Damm use for expecting information! How dare we. We want facts? We want data? Personally I don't think that is a problem but to each their own.

To go back to an earlier point, when people were asking what "good" Trump has done, here's what is usually being talked about at least here in Alabama:

1. tax cut (they assume it benefits them, doesn't check to see who it benefits most)

2. conservative supreme court (to help undo all the liberal laws of years past and counter liberal activist judges)
more conservative federal judges (see above)

3. no more having to buy health insurance (freedom!)

4. withdrawing foreign aid from other countries (they were mooching off us)

5. securing the border and deporting illegal immigrants (they see fewer Hispanics at Walmart so assume it's working and that apparently all hispanics are soaking up all the federal and state benefits which of course is not true)

6. unconditional support for Israel (because the Bible tells us to)

7. paving the way to make abortion illegal (because life begins at conception)

8. threatening our allies (no one should tell the US what to do and they depend on us so we should be able to dictate what they do)

9. threatening our own government (it's all liberal bureaucracy and nothing gets done and they hate conservatives so we need someone to shake them up or tear them down)

10. threatening journalists (they're all liberal liars and all the news does is make fun of Christians and conservatives, Trump just wants honest reporting that talks about how much good these groups do)

11. withdrawing our troops from active war zones (they're not Americans, why are we dying defending them?)

12. threatening war and general saber rattling (the US has the strongest military in the world, why should we tolerate anyone threatening us? It feels good to see a POTUS swinging his nuclear appendage around screaming you wanna piece of this!? to the other, "lesser" countries.)

So yeah, lots of people are on board with all this "good" that's being done. To see it as good, however, you just have to have a certain filter on your world view. In general, for the international issues it seems that that world view is very insular and doesn't take into account how the world functions as an interconnected organism. If you want to see how a nation can function completely cut off from free trade, travel, and diplomacy with the rest of the world, just look at North Korea. And for internal issues you just have to buy into the belief that the government is a liberal body who does not reflect "American" ideals, and the nation should be run as a Christian nation and all that entails.

Kehama wrote:

10. threatening journalists (they're all liberal liars and all the news does is make fun of Christians and conservatives, Trump just wants honest reporting that talks about how much good these groups do)

Speaking of which...

CNN wrote:

A disturbing video of a fake President Donald Trump shooting, assaulting and stabbing his critics and the media was played at a conference held by a pro-Trump group at his Miami resort last week, according to footage obtained by The New York Times.

The video, which was shown at Trump's National Doral Miami during a three-day conference held by American Priority, includes the logo for Trump's 2020 reelection bid and showcases a series of internet memes, the Times reported. One part of the video, the Times said, shows a fake Trump's head edited onto the body of a man opening fire in the "Church of Fake News" on a group whose faces were edited to appear as a group of Trump critics and news organizations.

According to the Times, the clip ends with Trump driving a stake into the head of a person who has the CNN logo for a face before standing and smiling as he looks around. The clip appears to be edited from a church massacre scene in the 2014 movie "Kingsman: The Secret Service," the Times reported.

Donald Jr. and former press secretary Sarah Sanders were at the conference. Both claim to not have seen the video.

If you want to, you can watch the video here.

So far, my list of "decent" things that Trump has done includes:

*EO to ban bump stocks

*Accidentally and indirectly responsible for the decline in gun sales that have led to bankruptcies and the possibly imminent demise of the NRA. (I'd consider it decent only with the demise of the NRA. Otherwise, it's normal for gun sales to decline during Republican administrations.)

*Fired/forced out a bunch of corrupt politicians. Of course, he hired them first, and hired more to replace them, so it breaks even. (Speaks for itself!)

*Turning people against religion as they see the hypocrisy of evangelical support for him. (I'd need to see more sources for the truth of this one, but I would modify by replacing the generic "religion" with something more specific such as conservative Christian fundamentalism/evangelicism, prosperity gospel, etc.)

The above seems like a very paltry list as if people are trying to dredge the pond just hoping to come up with a small scrap of something. Have to wonder if this list would be a lot longer if anyone other than Trump had been in the office of president since 2016.

Kehama wrote:

To go back to an earlier point, when people were asking what "good" Trump has done, here's what is usually being talked about at least here in Alabama:

1. tax cut (they assume it benefits them, doesn't check to see who it benefits most)

2. conservative supreme court (to help undo all the liberal laws of years past and counter liberal activist judges)
more conservative federal judges (see above)

3. no more having to buy health insurance (freedom!)

4. withdrawing foreign aid from other countries (they were mooching off us)

5. securing the border and deporting illegal immigrants (they see fewer Hispanics at Walmart so assume it's working and that apparently all hispanics are soaking up all the federal and state benefits which of course is not true)

6. unconditional support for Israel (because the Bible tells us to)

7. paving the way to make abortion illegal (because life begins at conception)

8. threatening our allies (no one should tell the US what to do and they depend on us so we should be able to dictate what they do)

9. threatening our own government (it's all liberal bureaucracy and nothing gets done and they hate conservatives so we need someone to shake them up or tear them down)

10. threatening journalists (they're all liberal liars and all the news does is make fun of Christians and conservatives, Trump just wants honest reporting that talks about how much good these groups do)

11. withdrawing our troops from active war zones (they're not Americans, why are we dying defending them?)

12. threatening war and general saber rattling (the US has the strongest military in the world, why should we tolerate anyone threatening us? It feels good to see a POTUS swinging his nuclear appendage around screaming you wanna piece of this!? to the other, "lesser" countries.)

So yeah, lots of people are on board with all this "good" that's being done. To see it as good, however, you just have to have a certain filter on your world view. In general, for the international issues it seems that that world view is very insular and doesn't take into account how the world functions as an interconnected organism. If you want to see how a nation can function completely cut off from free trade, travel, and diplomacy with the rest of the world, just look at North Korea. And for internal issues you just have to buy into the belief that the government is a liberal body who does not reflect "American" ideals, and the nation should be run as a Christian nation and all that entails.

I didn't see your post when I posted mine just now, but I wouldn't really consider any of the above as 'decent' so I think I'm still good.

Trump, unfortunately, gets credit for ending Isis.

bekkilyn wrote:

So far, my list of "decent" things that Trump has done includes:

*EO to ban bump stocks

*Accidentally and indirectly responsible for the decline in gun sales that have led to bankruptcies and the possibly imminent demise of the NRA. (I'd consider it decent only with the demise of the NRA. Otherwise, it's normal for gun sales to decline during Republican administrations.)

*Fired/forced out a bunch of corrupt politicians. Of course, he hired them first, and hired more to replace them, so it breaks even. (Speaks for itself!)

*Turning people against religion as they see the hypocrisy of evangelical support for him. (I'd need to see more sources for the truth of this one, but I would modify by replacing the generic "religion" with something more specific such as conservative Christian fundamentalism/evangelicism, prosperity gospel, etc.)

The above seems like a very paltry list as if people are trying to dredge the pond just hoping to come up with a small scrap of something. Have to wonder if this list would be a lot longer if anyone other than Trump had been in the office of president since 2016.

Most of these aren’t things ‘done’ but unintended side effects of other things done.

There’s others:

1)had the NRA exposed as a Russian asset

2) may cause the dissolution of the current Republican Party.

I'm waiting for the day I can say that Trump brought down the Trump family.