[Discussion] Hope to Remember The Trump Administration Thread as being 'transparent and honest'

Let's follow and discuss what our newest presidential administration gets up to, the good, the bad, the lawsuits, and the many many indictments.

BadKen wrote:

....the crazed and incompetent Mayor of San Juan have done such a poor job of bringing the Island back to health. 91 Billion Dollars to Puerto Rico, and now the Dems want to give them more, taking dollars away from our Farmers and so many others. Disgraceful!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2019

$91B is a lie. Nobody knows where Trump came up with that number.

According to the Washington Post, FEMA has spent $5B on debris removal, road repairs, and restoring power. HUD has been *approved* to spend less than $10B, but has not even spent all of the $1.5B they were originally authorized last summer.

So... $91B is off by at least an order of magnitude.

Also, Puerto Rico is not "them." Puerto Ricans are US. Americans.

We kinda know where Trump came up with the $91 billion figure.

WaPo wrote:

Officials told The Fact Checker that the president was referring to an internal Office of Management and Budget estimate of the potential liabilities over the life of the disaster that would need to be committed under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988. The estimate was described as a high-end estimate subject to change year by year.

Currently, the estimated Stafford liabilities amount to $50 billion. Adding the $41 billion in announced funding to the $50 billion in Stafford liabilities gets you to $91 billion.

Notice that we said the additional $50 billion was “over the life of a disaster.” That means it’s a long-term figure, beyond the traditional 10-year budget horizon. Indeed, one congressional aide estimated that Stafford payments will continue for 20 years in Puerto Rico. The government is still paying for the damage from Hurricane Katrina almost 14 years after it struck New Orleans.

Of that $41 billion in announced funding only $11.2 billion has actually been delivered and used on the island (and $9.9 billion of that was FEMA outlays). The rest will take years and years to be spent.

And the $50 billion Stafford liabilities is an early rough estimate only a portion of which will be paid out over the coming decades.

Trump's an absolute POS for repeatedly insinuating that the federal government's already cut PR a check for $91 billion.

He's very likely doing so because there've been several news reports that say he's upset that he's being blamed for the poor disaster response and he wants to throw out as big as dollar amount as he can to prove he's doing something about it. Then his racism kicks in and he acts like Puerto Ricans are running a con that would make David Mamet proud and stealing the tax dollars that he needs to give to farmers who were devastated by his trade wars because he desperately needs their vote in 2020.

The only reason that it may not be technically a lie is because his sick brain's lack of discipline and attention span means that he drops crucial words from sentences (even the freaking subject a lot of the time) on a regular basis. As part of that he frequently doesn't provide tense information in his speech, leaving it to the listener (or the poor, poor, overworked translators) to decide whether the thing he is talking about is in the past, future, or the default present tense that is his simplest go-to.

In this case he's talking about Puerto Rico LIKE he means the past tense, and they already have the money, but his senile brain cells didn't actually use the past tense, so he's in the clear to say "oh, yeah, that was, uh, Future Perfect tense, obviously."

I think if we continue to follow this logic to its conclusion then nothing he says is technically a lie because his sick brain is incapable of accurately describing facts at all.

Also somewhat related, is it technically a lie if someone really believes it to be true? Trump’s capacity for self delusion is staggering.

How far we have fallen that he still enjoys so much passionate support. Even lukewarm ambivalence toward this is a tragedy.

gewy wrote:

Also somewhat related, is it technically a lie if someone really believes it to be true? Trump’s capacity for self delusion is staggering.

For example, Fred Trump was born in the Bronx, but Donald appears to believe that his father was born in Germany.

Gremlin wrote:
gewy wrote:

Also somewhat related, is it technically a lie if someone really believes it to be true? Trump’s capacity for self delusion is staggering.

For example, Fred Trump was born in the Bronx, but Donald appears to believe that his father was born in Germany.

If someone cannot meaningfully tell when they're telling the truth and when they're lying, perhaps they shouldn't be the President.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

If someone cannot meaningfully tell when they're telling the truth and when they're lying, perhaps they shouldn't be the President.

We have mechanisms in place to enact your radical agenda. The most notable of which is called "voters".

Gremlin wrote:
gewy wrote:

Also somewhat related, is it technically a lie if someone really believes it to be true? Trump’s capacity for self delusion is staggering.

For example, Fred Trump was born in the Bronx, but Donald appears to believe that his father was born in Germany.

This isn't the first time he's had problems reading birth certificates.

Jonman wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

If someone cannot meaningfully tell when they're telling the truth and when they're lying, perhaps they shouldn't be the President.

We have mechanisms in place to enact your radical agenda. The most notable of which is called "voters".

And the 25th Amendment, if it's more clear to people who work daily with the President that he or she is no longer fit for office. But you said something about enacting radical agendas, and I think that phrase probably comes up here, too.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

But you said something about enacting radical agendas, and I think that phrase probably comes up here, too.

Having a functional government IS a radical agenda today.

Chinese woman carrying thumb drive with malware arrested at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort

WaPo wrote:

Secret Service agents arrested a woman at President Trump’s Florida resort this past weekend after she was found carrying two Chinese passports and a thumb drive with malicious software on it, according to court documents.

Prosecutors allege the woman, Yujing Zhang, first approached a Mar-a-Lago security checkpoint on Saturday shortly after noon and told security officials she was there to go to the swimming pool.

“Zhang was asked if the true member . . . was her father, but she did not give a definitive answer,” according to the criminal complaint filed by Secret Service special agent Samuel Ivanovich. “Zhang additionally did not give a definitive answer when asked if she was there to meet with anyone. Due to a potential language barrier issue, Mar-a-Lago believed her to be the relative of member Zhang and allowed her access onto the property.”

...

“During the second interview of Zhang, she claimed her Chinese friend ‘Charles’ told her to travel from Shanghai, China to Palm Beach, Florida, to attend this event and attempt to speak with a member of the President’s family about Chinese and American foreign economic relations. Agents were unable to obtain any information more specifically identifying Zhang’s purported contact, ‘Charles’,” the complaint said.

Zhang also told the agents that she had never claimed she was going to the pool.

After Zhang was stopped and questioned, a search of her belongings turned up four cell phones, a laptop, a hard drive, and a thumb drive which contained “malicious malware,” according to the criminal complaint. Authorities said that despite her initial claim to be headed for the pool, she was not carrying a swimsuit.

Trump was at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend.

Nothing like a poignant reminder that any foreign intelligence agency or anybody, really, with enough cash to become a Mar-a-Lago member can get close to the president. And, apparently, you can just lie and say you're related to a member and they'll let you in, national security be damned.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Jonman wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

If someone cannot meaningfully tell when they're telling the truth and when they're lying, perhaps they shouldn't be the President.

We have mechanisms in place to enact your radical agenda. The most notable of which is called "voters".

And the 25th Amendment, if it's more clear to people who work daily with the President that he or she is no longer fit for office. But you said something about enacting radical agendas, and I think that phrase probably comes up here, too.

That's not how the 25th works. The President could just state that he is fit to serve again at any time. The 25th is a temporary change of control for an emergency that incapacitates the President, not a removal method. There is no precedent for invoking the 25th as a coup against the President's will while he is conscious.

Edit: You need a two-thirds approval from both houses that the President is unfit for office to override the President saying he is fit. That is NOT going to happen.

Rat Boy wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
gewy wrote:

Also somewhat related, is it technically a lie if someone really believes it to be true? Trump’s capacity for self delusion is staggering.

For example, Fred Trump was born in the Bronx, but Donald appears to believe that his father was born in Germany.

This isn't the first time he's had problems reading birth certificates.

So you know how he calls Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" every time he talks about her because she said she had some Native American blood?

Well, now that Trump is claiming his father was born in Germany maybe we should pick someone famous from Germany and make that Trump's new nickname! Hmmm, but no name in particular is coming to me right now... Give me a moment... There's gotta be a good one...

The wacky thing is following those links, his father was conceived in Germany.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

The wacky thing is following those links, his father was conceived in Germany.

Oh, so he just merely swapped where his father was born with where his grandparents had sex. I knew there had to be a reasonable explanation.

Life starts at conception.

quote not edit, etc.

So Trump has flipped and no longer wants the Mueller Report released. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the entire thing was leaked on Wikileaks?

Nomad wrote:

So Trump has flipped and no longer wants the Mueller Report released. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the entire thing was leaked on Wikileaks?

It'd get Assange arrested and extradited real quick.

I don't think Assange is going to do anything that may make his current situation any more tenuous.

Rat Boy wrote:
Nomad wrote:

So Trump has flipped and no longer wants the Mueller Report released. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the entire thing was leaked on Wikileaks?

It'd get Assange arrested and extradited real quick.

So a win/win?

Mixolyde wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Jonman wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

If someone cannot meaningfully tell when they're telling the truth and when they're lying, perhaps they shouldn't be the President.

We have mechanisms in place to enact your radical agenda. The most notable of which is called "voters".

And the 25th Amendment, if it's more clear to people who work daily with the President that he or she is no longer fit for office. But you said something about enacting radical agendas, and I think that phrase probably comes up here, too.

That's not how the 25th works. The President could just state that he is fit to serve again at any time. The 25th is a temporary change of control for an emergency that incapacitates the President, not a removal method. There is no precedent for invoking the 25th as a coup against the President's will while he is conscious.

Edit: You need a two-thirds approval from both houses that the President is unfit for office to override the President saying he is fit. That is NOT going to happen.

That is nothing like how it works. It is the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet that can decide the President is no longer able to serve. Congress has no say in the 25th amendment. And they shouldn't, because it should not be a political act. The President appoints the cabinet, if a majority of them died to take oath president, it carries more weight. You don't want a congress of opposition party control to be able to nullify an election.

Nomad wrote:

So Trump has flipped and no longer wants the Mueller Report released. Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if the entire thing was leaked on Wikileaks?

I think there is a greater than zero chance that someone will leak the entire thing. It might be more than 50% chance if it contains items that would force the GOP to go along with impeachment.

At this point, the full report should already be in the hands of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, with zero redactions. The public should get a redacted version. That is exactly how it went down with Nixon and Clinton.

Jayhawker wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Jonman wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

If someone cannot meaningfully tell when they're telling the truth and when they're lying, perhaps they shouldn't be the President.

We have mechanisms in place to enact your radical agenda. The most notable of which is called "voters".

And the 25th Amendment, if it's more clear to people who work daily with the President that he or she is no longer fit for office. But you said something about enacting radical agendas, and I think that phrase probably comes up here, too.

That's not how the 25th works. The President could just state that he is fit to serve again at any time. The 25th is a temporary change of control for an emergency that incapacitates the President, not a removal method. There is no precedent for invoking the 25th as a coup against the President's will while he is conscious.

Edit: You need a two-thirds approval from both houses that the President is unfit for office to override the President saying he is fit. That is NOT going to happen.

That is nothing like how it works. It is the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet that can decide the President is no longer able to serve. Congress has no say in the 25th amendment. And they shouldn't, because it should not be a political act. The President appoints the cabinet, if a majority of them died to take oath president, it carries more weight. You don't want a congress of opposition party control to be able to nullify an election.

This is why 25th Amendment talk bugs me. No one knows how it actually works.
Section Four of the 25th Amendment:

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

So, VP and cabinet say he isn't fit.
P says he is fit.
VP and cabinet send letters to the House and Senate saying, no really, he is unfit.
House and Senate have to agree with a two-thirds majority.

Impeachment is actually easier.

Edit: On second thought, I don't think this conversation has any purpose.

Impeachment is always easier. The 25th amendment should have massive hurdles. I did not realize that the second part kicked in, where the president can try to get his seat back, forcing Congress to either reinstate him or keep him out. But that also seems fair.

And impeachment is not a walk in the park, either. Again, invalidating an election should have massive hurdles. Establishing peaceful transfer of power is key in promoting trust in the system by citizens. If we start going through 25th Amendment and impeachment threats every time, trust in the system will be lost, and things will get much worse, much faster.

Jayhawker wrote:

If we start going through 25th Amendment and impeachment threats every time, trust in the system will be lost, and things will get much worse, much faster.

On the other hand, if enough people believe that there's an obvious reason to impeach the president and it doesn't happen, that will also cause a loss of trust in the system.

We're not there yet--but I worry that the constant grind is causing a long, slow leak.

I agree 100%. You might even call this a constitutional crisis.

Gremlin wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

If we start going through 25th Amendment and impeachment threats every time, trust in the system will be lost, and things will get much worse, much faster.

On the other hand, if enough people believe that there's an obvious reason to impeach the president and it doesn't happen, that will also cause a loss of trust in the system.

We're not there yet--but I worry that the constant grind is causing a long, slow leak.

You shouldn't worry that people might lose trust in the system, they should lose trust in it! The system is broken garbage, there's no reason to trust it and as long as people do change for the better is all but impossible.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've already lost trust in the system.