[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.

ruhk wrote:

Fleeing the country is an admission of defeat. Assuming the country survives the election, he’ll just go back to Trump Tower and tweet angrily about the Dems stealing the election. He will die at a ripe old age sitting on his golden toilet, having eluded any serious legal or financial repercussions for his actions, just like he’s managed to for everything else he’s done up to this point.

The most likely scenario by far.

I don't know that his ego can survive going back to anything less than wall-to-wall coverage and endless toadying as the most powerful figurehead in the world.

When he's no longer got power that others need, they're going to just... disappear. Sure, the MAGA folks will remain but they don't give him the status he craves. They're the rubes he resents because they're everything he despises (poor, non-powerful) and what he really wants is the acceptance of the real power brokers who won't have anything to do with him after he's done.

Assuming he loses, he's going to sell out the Greater Bismarck Arena? I mean, maybe, but he won't have the US Treasury backing him and he clearly doesn't have an org that can maintain a travelling carnival show.

Him going back to that 2014 life is gonna be ROUGH.

Top_Shelf wrote:

I don't know that his ego can survive going back to anything less than wall-to-wall coverage and endless toadying as the most powerful figurehead in the world.

When he's no longer got power that others need, they're going to just... disappear. Sure, the MAGA folks will remain but they don't give him the status he craves. They're the rubes he resents because they're everything he despises (poor, non-powerful) and what he really wants is the acceptance of the real power brokers who won't have anything to do with him after he's done.

Assuming he loses, he's going to sell out the Greater Bismarck Arena? I mean, maybe, but he won't have the US Treasury backing him and he clearly doesn't have an org that can maintain a travelling carnival show.

Him going back to that 2014 life is gonna be ROUGH.

I think he’s going to push hard on the stolen election narrative and portray himself as a government in exile if he loses, and conservative media will be all over that sh*t. Even the outlets that are starting to get a little tired of him would eat it up solely to attack the new administration. Trump’s rhetoric will also encourage violence and targeted attacks by MAGAs and organized hate groups which conservative media will paint as Biden losing control of the country, further justifying Trump’s claims.

But I guess we’ll have a clearer idea of how screwed we are by this time next week.
Fingers crossed, but anything short of a Biden landslide and I think things are going to get really, really bad.

ruhk wrote:

Even the outlets that are starting to get a little tired of him would eat it up solely to attack the new administration.

They’ll push it for the clicks and likes, for sure.

ruhk wrote:
Top_Shelf wrote:

I don't know that his ego can survive going back to anything less than wall-to-wall coverage and endless toadying as the most powerful figurehead in the world.

When he's no longer got power that others need, they're going to just... disappear. Sure, the MAGA folks will remain but they don't give him the status he craves. They're the rubes he resents because they're everything he despises (poor, non-powerful) and what he really wants is the acceptance of the real power brokers who won't have anything to do with him after he's done.

Assuming he loses, he's going to sell out the Greater Bismarck Arena? I mean, maybe, but he won't have the US Treasury backing him and he clearly doesn't have an org that can maintain a travelling carnival show.

Him going back to that 2014 life is gonna be ROUGH.

I think he’s going to push hard on the stolen election narrative and portray himself as a government in exile if he loses, and conservative media will be all over that sh*t. Even the outlets that are starting to get a little tired of him would eat it up solely to attack the new administration. Trump’s rhetoric will also encourage violence and targeted attacks by MAGAs and organized hate groups which conservative media will paint as Biden losing control of the country, further justifying Trump’s claims.

But I guess we’ll have a clearer idea of how screwed we are by this time next week.
Fingers crossed, but anything short of a Biden landslide and I think things are going to get really, really bad.

The militias aren't going to just fade back into the woods. Biden will have to be careful combating them and subversive propaganda without alienating a large percentage of Americans. A domestic terrorism awareness campaign and large FBI operation needs to happen immediately or this could get away from him.

ruhk wrote:
Top_Shelf wrote:

I don't know that his ego can survive going back to anything less than wall-to-wall coverage and endless toadying as the most powerful figurehead in the world.

When he's no longer got power that others need, they're going to just... disappear. Sure, the MAGA folks will remain but they don't give him the status he craves. They're the rubes he resents because they're everything he despises (poor, non-powerful) and what he really wants is the acceptance of the real power brokers who won't have anything to do with him after he's done.

Assuming he loses, he's going to sell out the Greater Bismarck Arena? I mean, maybe, but he won't have the US Treasury backing him and he clearly doesn't have an org that can maintain a travelling carnival show.

Him going back to that 2014 life is gonna be ROUGH.

I think he’s going to push hard on the stolen election narrative and portray himself as a government in exile if he loses, and conservative media will be all over that sh*t. Even the outlets that are starting to get a little tired of him would eat it up solely to attack the new administration. Trump’s rhetoric will also encourage violence and targeted attacks by MAGAs and organized hate groups which conservative media will paint as Biden losing control of the country, further justifying Trump’s claims.

But I guess we’ll have a clearer idea of how screwed we are by this time next week.
Fingers crossed, but anything short of a Biden landslide and I think things are going to get really, really bad.

I think you're about right.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/walmart...

Top_Shelf wrote:
ruhk wrote:
Top_Shelf wrote:

I don't know that his ego can survive going back to anything less than wall-to-wall coverage and endless toadying as the most powerful figurehead in the world.

When he's no longer got power that others need, they're going to just... disappear. Sure, the MAGA folks will remain but they don't give him the status he craves. They're the rubes he resents because they're everything he despises (poor, non-powerful) and what he really wants is the acceptance of the real power brokers who won't have anything to do with him after he's done.

Assuming he loses, he's going to sell out the Greater Bismarck Arena? I mean, maybe, but he won't have the US Treasury backing him and he clearly doesn't have an org that can maintain a travelling carnival show.

Him going back to that 2014 life is gonna be ROUGH.

I think he’s going to push hard on the stolen election narrative and portray himself as a government in exile if he loses, and conservative media will be all over that sh*t. Even the outlets that are starting to get a little tired of him would eat it up solely to attack the new administration. Trump’s rhetoric will also encourage violence and targeted attacks by MAGAs and organized hate groups which conservative media will paint as Biden losing control of the country, further justifying Trump’s claims.

But I guess we’ll have a clearer idea of how screwed we are by this time next week.
Fingers crossed, but anything short of a Biden landslide and I think things are going to get really, really bad.

I think you're about right.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/walmart...

That's a publicity stunt. There's been a run on ammo since March. They don't have ammo to pull because it's been bought up already.

JLS wrote:

The militias aren't going to just fade back into the woods. Biden will have to be careful combating them and subversive propaganda without alienating a large percentage of Americans. A domestic terrorism awareness campaign and large FBI operation needs to happen immediately or this could get away from him.

I think you mean 'local police departments'. Not sure where the FBI is supposed to find enough non-white-supremecist manpower to tackle nearly every PD in the country.

Mixolyde wrote:
JLS wrote:

The militias aren't going to just fade back into the woods. Biden will have to be careful combating them and subversive propaganda without alienating a large percentage of Americans. A domestic terrorism awareness campaign and large FBI operation needs to happen immediately or this could get away from him.

I think you mean 'local police departments'. Not sure where the FBI is supposed to find enough non-white-supremecist manpower to tackle nearly every PD in the country.

The low-hanging fruit are the Proud Boys and similar openly-declared hate groups. Everyone that responded with violence to Trump's racist dog whistles needs to be put down hard.

Tackling systemic racism in our PDs is going to take years and require local grass-roots effort.

Mixolyde wrote:
JLS wrote:

The militias aren't going to just fade back into the woods. Biden will have to be careful combating them and subversive propaganda without alienating a large percentage of Americans. A domestic terrorism awareness campaign and large FBI operation needs to happen immediately or this could get away from him.

I think you mean 'local police departments'. Not sure where the FBI is supposed to find enough non-white-supremecist manpower to tackle nearly every PD in the country.

There’s been recent evidence of a fairly robust non-partisan anti-domestic-terrorism effort from the FBI.

Gov Whitmer story from 10/08/2020

And though I can’t find the source, I feel like I’ve read something about the CIA re-focusing on science and logic. Hopefully that means fewer programs in trying to develop mind control methods using LSD, and also fewer programs focusing on torture as a means of interrogation. I mean, if they’re going to continue to develop new horrific ways to treat our country’s enemies, they should at least make sure they have a proof of concept first.

RawkGWJ wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:
JLS wrote:

The militias aren't going to just fade back into the woods. Biden will have to be careful combating them and subversive propaganda without alienating a large percentage of Americans. A domestic terrorism awareness campaign and large FBI operation needs to happen immediately or this could get away from him.

I think you mean 'local police departments'. Not sure where the FBI is supposed to find enough non-white-supremecist manpower to tackle nearly every PD in the country.

There’s been recent evidence of a fairly robust non-partisan anti-domestic-terrorism effort from the FBI.

Gov Whitmer story from 10/08/2020

And though I can’t find the source, I feel like I’ve read something about the CIA re-focusing on science and logic. Hopefully that means fewer programs in trying to develop mind control methods using LSD, and also fewer programs focusing on torture as a means of interrogation. I mean, if they’re going to continue to develop new horrific ways to treat our country’s enemies, they should at least make sure they have a proof of concept first.

To be fair we've employed those methods against our 'friends' more often than our enemies.

thrawn82 wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

There’s been recent evidence of a fairly robust non-partisan anti-domestic-terrorism effort from the FBI.

Gov Whitmer story from 10/08/2020

And though I can’t find the source, I feel like I’ve read something about the CIA re-focusing on science and logic. Hopefully that means fewer programs in trying to develop mind control methods using LSD, and also fewer programs focusing on torture as a means of interrogation. I mean, if they’re going to continue to develop new horrific ways to treat our country’s enemies, they should at least make sure they have a proof of concept first.

To be fair we've employed those methods against our 'friends' more often than our enemies.

Are you CIA? I think you’ve just outed yourself with the “we’ve employed” bit. For me, CIA torturers are definitely a they.

Anyway, I feel like they tested MK Ultra and interrogation by torture on regular citizens, figured out that those things don’t work as intended, and then used those exact same methods on people that were deemed as enemies. So yeah, even a slightly more scientific approach to their methods would be a huge improvement.

Trump still has a zillion dollars in debt to deal with. He'll bring in an army of lawyers to delay any actions against him as long as possible while he builds the most bigliest Presidential Library ever. It's a building project and he won't be able to resist showing he's still got the mojo. Of course every dollar in that project that can be made to disappear will be. The resulting building will be held together by cheap imitation gold leaf and fall apart in ten years but he won't give a crap.

RawkGWJ wrote:

Anyway, I feel like they tested MK Ultra and interrogation by torture on regular citizens, figured out that those things don’t work as intended, and then used those exact same methods on people that were deemed as enemies. So yeah, even a slightly more scientific approach to their methods would be a huge improvement.

They work great at "hurting the bad guys" though, and that's all a lot of Americans are interested in. They don't care much if any particular individual is really a bad guy; he's one of them and surely is guilty of something.

qaraq wrote:

Trump still has a zillion dollars in debt to deal with. He'll bring in an army of lawyers to delay any actions against him as long as possible while he builds the most bigliest Presidential Library ever. It's a building project and he won't be able to resist showing he's still got the mojo. Of course every dollar in that project that can be made to disappear will be. The resulting building will be held together by cheap imitation gold leaf and fall apart in ten years but he won't give a crap.

Speaking of Trump's building mojo (and his campaign trail promises that he could construct the wall very cheaply because he was the best real estate developer ever)...

Records Show Trump’s Border Wall Is Costing Taxpayers Billions More Than Initial Contracts

ProPublica wrote:

On the same day in May 2019, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a pair of contracts worth $788 million to replace 83 miles of fence along the southwest border.

The projects were slated to be completed in January 2020, the Corps said then. Four months into this year, however, the government increased the value of the contracts by more than $1 billion, without the benefit of competitive bidding designed to keep costs low to taxpayers.

Within a year of the initial award, the value of the two contracts had more than tripled, to over $3 billion, even though the length of the fence the companies were building had only grown by 62%, to 135 miles. The money is coming from military counter-narcotics funding.

Those contract spikes were dramatic, but not isolated. A ProPublica/Texas Tribune review of federal spending data shows more than 200 contract modifications, at times awarded within just weeks or months after the original contracts, have increased the cost of the border wall project by billions of dollars since late 2017. This is particularly true this year, in the run-up to next week’s election. The cost of supplemental agreements and change orders alone — at least $2.9 billion — represents about a quarter of all the money awarded and more than what Congress originally appropriated for wall construction in each of the last three years.

President Donald Trump made construction of the border wall a signature issue during his 2016 campaign, claiming that his skills as a builder and businessman would allow his administration to build the wall in a more cost-efficient way than his predecessors. “You know the wall is almost finished,” he told a crowd of supporters in Arizona recently, and they weren’t paying a “damn cent” for the border wall. It was “compliments of the federal government.”

Yet an accounting of border wall contracts awarded during his presidency shows that his administration has failed to protect taxpayer interests or contain costs and stifled competition among would-be builders, experts say. In all, Trump’s wall costs about five times more per mile than fencing built under the Bush and Obama administrations.

Experts say the frequent use of so-called supplemental agreements to add work or increase the price has amounted to giving no-bid contracts to a small group of pre-selected construction firms, many with executives who have donated to Trump or other Republicans.

Some contracts and add-ons have been handed out without press releases or announcements, making it harder for the public to track the expanding costs.

Charles Tiefer, a University of Baltimore contracting expert, said the contracting actions involving the border wall project are unusual for the normally restrained Corps, whose contracts aren’t typically characterized by massive price increases. Tiefer called the amount of money awarded through modifications “amazingly high.”

“These (border wall) modifications do not look like something the Army Corps of Engineers would get by competitive bidding,” Tiefer said. “The taxpayer is paying much more than if the whole contract were out for competitive bids.”

The Government Accountability Office told ProPublica and the Tribune that it was looking into the contract modifications as part of a broader review of the process the Corps has used to award border wall contracts using military funds. The report is expected to be released early next year.

Say it with me now, "Corporations don't exist to create value for the consumers, they exist to create value for the stakeholders."

Rat Boy wrote:

Say it with me now, "Corporations don't exist to create value for the consumers, they exist to create value for the stakeholders."

Looks like somebody went to school in Chicago.

RawkGWJ wrote:
thrawn82 wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

There’s been recent evidence of a fairly robust non-partisan anti-domestic-terrorism effort from the FBI.

Gov Whitmer story from 10/08/2020

And though I can’t find the source, I feel like I’ve read something about the CIA re-focusing on science and logic. Hopefully that means fewer programs in trying to develop mind control methods using LSD, and also fewer programs focusing on torture as a means of interrogation. I mean, if they’re going to continue to develop new horrific ways to treat our country’s enemies, they should at least make sure they have a proof of concept first.

To be fair we've employed those methods against our 'friends' more often than our enemies.

Are you CIA? I think you’ve just outed yourself with the “we’ve employed” bit. For me, CIA torturers are definitely a they.

Anyway, I feel like they tested MK Ultra and interrogation by torture on regular citizens, figured out that those things don’t work as intended, and then used those exact same methods on people that were deemed as enemies. So yeah, even a slightly more scientific approach to their methods would be a huge improvement.

Whether you like it or not, CIA is American, doing the will of the American Government, so if you're an American citizen like i am, they are us.

CIA may be American but they are very far removed from the average citizen. Even the 1%ers of this country, arguably the folks with the most power, don’t have access to the CIA. They don’t represent me and I have zero ability to affect change in their policies. Hell! They are so secretive that we citizens hardly know anything about them. And sure, that’s the way it should be with the most covert arm of the military, but their past blunders indicate a lack of logic and reason that terrifies me.

RawkGWJ wrote:

And sure, that’s the way it should be with the most covert arm of the military, but their past blunders indicate a lack of logic and reason that terrifies me.

Does it help to think of them as espionage alchemists?

RawkGWJ wrote:

CIA may be American but they are very far removed from the average citizen. Even the 1%ers of this country, arguably the folks with the most power, don’t have access to the CIA. They don’t represent me and I have zero ability to affect change in their policies.

This is all true, but to be fair, they are still officially part of the government and we do still pay their salaries with our tax dollars, which does make them at least tangentially "ours".

And they (currently) dont come into (most of) our houses to round us up for no reason, or unduly seize (most of) our property. But they could. Which makes us at least tangentially "theirs".

We could probably do this all day

Like it or not, we pay their salaries, and they (supposedly) answer to the people we elect into government. Thinking of them as anything other than 'we' is abrogating our responsibility for the things we collectively do.

However, don't read anything into any specific use of 'we' versus 'they', because in trying to phrase that paragraph, I was mostly using 'they' and had to adjust the second sentence to say "what we collectively do" instead of 'what they do'. Even making the argument that the CIA is 'we', I was still using 'they'.

The grift continues

WASHINGTON (AP) — When the Trump administration gave a well-connected Republican donor seed money to test a possible COVID-19-fighting blood plasma technology, it noted the company’s “manufacturing facilities” in Charleston, South Carolina.

Plasma Technologies LLC is indeed based in the stately waterfront city. But there are no manufacturing facilities. Instead, the company exists within the luxury condo of its majority owner, Eugene Zurlo.

Zurlo’s company may be in line for as much as $65 million in taxpayer dollars; enough to start building an actual production plant, according to internal government records and other documents obtained by The Associated Press.

At the center of these deals is Dr. Robert Kadlec, a senior Trump appointee at the Department of the Health and Human Services who backed the Pepcid, Novavax and ApiJect projects. Records obtained by the AP also describe Kadlec as a key supporter of Zurlo’s company.
The AP reached out to more than a dozen blood plasma industry leaders and medical experts. Few had heard of Zurlo’s company or its technology, and would not comment.

The website looks like it took 5 minutes to make and Rick Santorum is on the team as well lol.

Double

I'm sick to my stomach thinking about all the things that can go wrong with this election. with republicans controlling the house, supreme court and presidency.... couldn't they just change the law and make trump life long dictator? or maybe they can change the electoral colleges points for all democratic states to 1?I don't understand how this stuff works apparently, but i thought it was all checks and balances. It seems there are now balances right now so it seems impossible to do anything.

this motorcade and all these trump supporters calling everyone sheep is killing me too. Behold the overwhelming power of ignorance in large numbers....

Checks and balances only work if both sides agree to follow them. The sad truth is that the majority of these things are just “norms” not laws.

FiveIron, anything that's in the Constitution and the Amendments, like the rules around the Presidency and the Electoral College, would need to be changed by a 2/3 majority of State Senates. Some aspects could be changed independently, but the big stuff takes years and years. The main worry with the judges is that they will change (or, more likely, ignore) precedent over time, and the worry about the President is that he will change policies via Executive Order, fire competent people, curtail transparency, and generally return the bureaucracy to the patronage model.

That, frankly, would be far worse than many of the Constitutional changes people worry about, because the bureaucracy represents the stable functioning of government. Mess with that, and we can end up like Russia, with all the pieces and parts of Democracy, but without the actual functions that ensure it works for everyone.

What one President does, another can undo. It may just take years to reassemble policies and get experts back, but it is reversible.

I have enjoyed all your company, but I'm looking forward to retiring this thread.