[Discussion] The Individual 1 Administration Thread 2

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

Clumber wrote:

That President Trump walked away from the deal rather than signing something horrible in a flawed attempt to come home with a "win" so as to bolster his image as a strong man and the best deal maker deal maker, as well as bump Cohen's testimony off the front page, is very much a surprise.

One of Trump's favorite negotiating tactics (he tried this during the shutdown, too) is to setup a meeting, walk in, make big demands, then storm out when he doesn't get whatever he demanded. He thinks it makes him look like a tough negotiator because he's willing to walk away.

But really, whatever the reason he's doing this, it looks transparently like he's scuttling home to do damage control after Cohen's testimony. He was already having to disinvite the press from events to keep them from asking him about it.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Clumber wrote:

That President Trump walked away from the deal rather than signing something horrible in a flawed attempt to come home with a "win" so as to bolster his image as a strong man and the best deal maker deal maker, as well as bump Cohen's testimony off the front page, is very much a surprise.

One of Trump's favorite negotiating tactics (he tried this during the shutdown, too) is to setup a meeting, walk in, make big demands, then storm out when he doesn't get whatever he demanded. He thinks it makes him look like a tough negotiator because he's willing to walk away.

But really, whatever the reason he's doing this, it looks transparently like he's scuttling home to do damage control after Cohen's testimony. He was already having to disinvite the press from events to keep them from asking him about it.

Whatever the reason, I'll take him running away (BraveSirRobin.gif) over signing something bad for the country.

JeffreyLSmith wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:
Clumber wrote:

That President Trump walked away from the deal rather than signing something horrible in a flawed attempt to come home with a "win" so as to bolster his image as a strong man and the best deal maker deal maker, as well as bump Cohen's testimony off the front page, is very much a surprise.

One of Trump's favorite negotiating tactics (he tried this during the shutdown, too) is to setup a meeting, walk in, make big demands, then storm out when he doesn't get whatever he demanded. He thinks it makes him look like a tough negotiator because he's willing to walk away.

But really, whatever the reason he's doing this, it looks transparently like he's scuttling home to do damage control after Cohen's testimony. He was already having to disinvite the press from events to keep them from asking him about it.

Whatever the reason, I'll take him running away (BraveSirRobin.gif) over signing something bad for the country.

True. It's still kind of amusing that President Deals is so terrible at negotiating.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

As much as I hate to admit it, walking out of the talks may be a decent negotiating tactic if there isn't sufficient movement on NKs side.

North Korea is now disputing Trump's claims that he walked because Kim demanded that all sanctions be lifted in exchange for concessions on North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

They're saying that they only demanded partial sanctions relief in exchange for shutting down their main nuclear complex and the talks broke down because the US demanded further disarmament steps.

It's literally come down to who do you trust more to tell the truth about why the talks collapsed: a murderous tyrant who's executed dissenters by strapping them to anti-aircraft cannons or a lying narcissist who was 8,000 miles away from Congressional hearings that threatened him, his family, and his business.

OG_slinger wrote:

It's literally come down to who do you trust more to tell the truth about why the talks collapsed: a murderous tyrant who's executed dissenters by strapping them to anti-aircraft cannons or a lying narcissist who was 8,000 miles away from Congressional hearings that threatened him, his family, and his business.

We'd be fools to trust either one.

JeffreyLSmith wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

It's literally come down to who do you trust more to tell the truth about why the talks collapsed: a murderous tyrant who's executed dissenters by strapping them to anti-aircraft cannons or a lying narcissist who was 8,000 miles away from Congressional hearings that threatened him, his family, and his business.

We'd be fools to trust either one.

This.

I don't trust either, but if you're going to force me to take one at his word, it'd be Kim in a heartbeat. There's at least some thoughts behind his.

Oh heavens. Americans don't want to be known as fools!

JeffreyLSmith wrote:

Whatever the reason, I'll take him running away (BraveSirRobin.gif) over signing something bad for the country.

I couldn't resist...

Brave Sir Donald ran away.
Bravely ran away away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
he bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, Brave Sir Donald turned about
and gallantly he chickened out.
Swiftly taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat.
Bravest of the brave! Sir Donald!

Clumber wrote:

There's a reason no other modern president has met with North Korea.

This. The correct answer is that the president (any president) should not even be there in the first place. As was stated and restated the first time around, Individual 1 fell into Kim's trap of legitimizing North Korea's status with a top-level meeting. He was a sucker to do so.

I'm not sure how much I buy into that. Decades of sanctions and the diplomatic isolation of North Korea haven't exactly been roaring successes either. Maybe a new approach could have brought about better results.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

I'm not sure how much I buy into that. Decades of sanctions and the diplomatic isolation of North Korea haven't exactly been roaring successes either. Maybe a new approach could have brought about better results.

Did it?

I said "Maybe...could have" implying it was at least worth a shot. Especially with someone more capable attempting it.

While true, there's a difference between trying a new strategy and throwing sh*t against the wall and declaring a win.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

I'm not sure how much I buy into that. Decades of sanctions and the diplomatic isolation of North Korea haven't exactly been roaring successes either. Maybe a new approach could have brought about better results.

America has restricted trade with North Korea since 1950 largely because of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 which, as the name implies, allows the government to restrict trade with anyone it's currently fighting. We are technically still at war with North Korea.

The UN and international sanctions didn't kick in until 2006 and were in direct response to North Korea's nuclear weapons program. It's hard to say those sanctions don't work because they certain did/are with Iran.

North Korea also isn't diplomatically isolated. 24 countries have embassies in Pyongyang. Those diplomatic missions were why things like the Six-party Talks went on for six years in the 2000s until North Korea pulled out of them.

At the end of the day there's only one way things can move things forward with North Korea: Kim himself has to decide he wants to.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

I'm not sure how much I buy into that. Decades of sanctions and the diplomatic isolation of North Korea haven't exactly been roaring successes either. Maybe a new approach could have brought about better results.

I guess claiming that you're in love with a vicious dictator could be considered a "new" approach.

I missed this little tidbit that came out last night which pretty much confirms that Kim doesn't really want to get rid of his nuclear program.

It also shows how much of a hypocrite (and bad negotiator) Trump is. He pulled out of the Iran deal--a deal in which Iran gave a full accounting of its nuclear weapons program as well as placed everything under international monitoring--because he said it was bad, but was fully willing to back a half-assed deal with North Korea just as long as he could have a signing ceremony.

U.S. drops demand for full accounting of N. Korea nuclear program ahead of talks

NBC News wrote:

U.S. negotiators are no longer demanding that North Korea agree to disclose a full accounting of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs as part of talks this week between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, according to current and former senior U.S. officials.

The decision to drop, for now, a significant component of a potential nuclear deal suggests a reality that U.S. intelligence assessments have stressed for months is shaping talks as they progress: North Korea does not intend to fully denuclearize, which is the goal Trump set for his talks with Kim.

Disclosure of a full, verifiable declaration of North Korea’s programs is the issue over which the last round of serious negotiations between Pyongyang and world powers, including the U.S., fell apart a decade ago.

OG_slinger wrote:

fully willing to back a half-assed deal with North Korea just as long as he could have a signing ceremony.

Yeah that's my read too. He just wants some big positive newsworthy thing to put his name on. He was doing the same thing when he asked if Nasa could put a man on Mars within a few years with an unlimited budget.

Yeah this is a man who is desperate for some sort of win no matter how fake it is. I just pray they don't let him start a war.

lunchbox12682 wrote:

While true, there's a difference between trying a new strategy and throwing sh*t against the wall and declaring a win.

Quit insulting chimpanzees. They have more class than trump.

TheGameguru wrote:

Yeah this is a man who is desperate for some sort of win no matter how fake it is. I just pray they don't let him start a war.

Here was his “win” He popped off and said we have retaken 100% of ISIS controlled land in Syria which isn’t true.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump asserted on Thursday that the Islamic State group has lost 100 percent of the territory it once controlled in Syria, but U.S. officials in Washington and accounts from people in Syria said a sliver of land remains contested

I love the picture they chose for the article.

Cohen implicated Trump in at least 14 felonies today

IMAGE(https://i0.wp.com/media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/shutterstock_1319587934.jpg?w=1200&ssl=1)

OG_slinger wrote:

The UN and international sanctions didn't kick in until 2006 and were in direct response to North Korea's nuclear weapons program. It's hard to say those sanctions don't work because they certain did/are with Iran.

Ok my bad. I admit I made the claim of decades of sanctions without looking it up first. It certainly felt longer, but that's likely because I lived in the US until early 2007 and North Korea was always a "problem we didn't trade with" in my headspace. I just assumed it extended to other countries.

I still question what effect the sanctions have had other than having the population suffer even more (malnourishment for example) while the leadership class continues to party (90.000 bottles of vodka being smuggled to North Korea were just confiscated in the Netherlands).
One size doesn't necessarily fit all though. What worked in Iran didn't seem to work in Cuba until Fidel Castro began ceding power. I will concede to not being an expert in this area though.

OG_slinger wrote:

North Korea also isn't diplomatically isolated. 24 countries have embassies in Pyongyang. Those diplomatic missions were why things like the Six-party Talks went on for six years in the 2000s until North Korea pulled out of them.

True, 24 out of 195 isn't completely isolated, but it doesn't exactly mean they're the popular kid either. Germany has 160, and Libya 65. Even Syria had 62 before the war and 30 of them are still open today.

At the end of the day there's only one way things can move things forward with North Korea: Kim himself has to decide he wants to.

That we can absolutely agree on.

farley3k wrote:

I love the picture they chose for the article.

He is a popular motif for the Faschingsumzüge (Carnival parades) in Germany.

Trump Ordered Officials to Give Jared Kushner a Security Clearance

NYT wrote:

President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Trump’s decision in May so troubled senior administration officials that at least one, the White House chief of staff at the time, John F. Kelly, wrote a contemporaneous internal memo about how he had been “ordered” to give Mr. Kushner the top-secret clearance.

The White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, also wrote an internal memo outlining the concerns that had been raised about Mr. Kushner — including by the C.I.A. — and how Mr. McGahn had recommended that he not be given a top-secret clearance.

The disclosure of the memos contradicts statements made by the president, who told The New York Times in January in an Oval Office interview that he had no role in his son-in-law receiving his clearance.

...

Asked on Thursday about the memos contradicting the president’s account, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said, “We don’t comment on security clearances.”

Meanwhile the man who shouldn't have a security clearance was touring the Middle East this week. He met with leaders from the country whose sovereign investment fund saved his family's business from bankruptcy, met with his BFF who ordered the execution and dismemberment of Khashoggi, and met with leaders from Oman, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Turkey.

[Succession Theme Music]

Apparently Trump’s CPAC speech was the usual unhinged, incomprehensible, rehash. I just don’t understand how this idiocy is embraced by a significant amount of our population.

JC wrote:

Apparently Trump’s CPAC speech was the usual unhinged, incomprehensible, rehash. I just don’t understand how this idiocy is embraced by a significant amount of our population.

I read the Bulwark to be up on various parts of how the right/conservatives see things and their article about CPAC 2019 amused the crap out of me. It totally helps you understand how people loves Trump's spiel.

JC wrote:

Apparently Trump’s CPAC speech was the usual unhinged, incomprehensible, rehash. I just don’t understand how this idiocy is embraced by a significant amount of our population.

It reminds me of an experience I had seeing radio sports guy, Jim Rome. My brother-in-law wanted to see him and invited me along. I’m not a fan of Rome, but thought it could be interesting.

First, like Trump rallies, the line in wrapped around a few blocks. But once inside, it just got creepy, partly because this in KC. Rome and his guests basicly used St. Louis as the villain, and folks got way more worked up Han made any sense.

As a St. Louis guy, I felt like a minority in a Klan rally. Seriously, had people been able to know I was a Cardinals fan, I might have been beaten. It got that hateful.

Trump is doing the same, but the stakes of national politics is so much higher. It’s the building blocks of fascism.

Jayhawker wrote:

First, like Trump rallies, the line in wrapped around a few blocks. But once inside, it just got creepy, partly because this in KC. Rome and his guests basicly used St. Louis as the villain, and folks got way more worked up Han made any sense.

As a St. Louis guy, I felt like a minority in a Klan rally. Seriously, had people been able to know I was a Cardinals fan, I might have been beaten. It got that hateful.

I also don't understand it for sports teams. I mean, I have teams I'm a fan of, but never to the point of violence. Or even hate against anyone, really.

Of course, history has plenty of examples of sports-rallies gone wrong, including one that burned down half of Constantinople, so the human impulse in that direction is a deep-seated one.

Gremlin wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

First, like Trump rallies, the line in wrapped around a few blocks. But once inside, it just got creepy, partly because this in KC. Rome and his guests basicly used St. Louis as the villain, and folks got way more worked up Han made any sense.

As a St. Louis guy, I felt like a minority in a Klan rally. Seriously, had people been able to know I was a Cardinals fan, I might have been beaten. It got that hateful.

I also don't understand it for sports teams. I mean, I have teams I'm a fan of, but never to the point of violence. Or even hate against anyone, really.

Of course, history has plenty of examples of sports-rallies gone wrong, including one that burned down half of Constantinople, so the human impulse in that direction is a deep-seated one.

The older I get the dumber sports are. Like I feel like at any moment I’ll be yelling, “get off my lawn” to a bunch of kids. I ended up just catching the Antonio Brown interview and was just in awe of his apparent self-importance and ego. One of the guys at the table even mentioned that it was good to take a stand and not sell your soul. Lol wut? Like, I genuinely don’t get it anymore. I halfway understand hooliganism, because it’s just an identification of a neighborhood, but here in the US (outside of Philadelphia) that argument just doesn’t seem to fly.

The Making of the Fox News White House

Jayne Mayer at The New Yorker put together one hell of an article that detailed how Fox News became a pro-Trump network and are now pulling double duty simultaneously influencing and defending him.

Our entire nation is basically at the whim of millionaire talking heads at Fox because there's good ratings in making white people angry and good ratings make Rupert Murdoch, a billionaire, even more money.

Some tidbits from the article:

-- A Fox reporter tried to break the Trump/Stormy Daniels story in October 2016 (and even uncovered the National Enquirer catch and kill story). Her editors spiked both stories and demoted her in January 2017. The reporter sued and Fox settled, but gagged the reporter with an NDA.

-- The guy at Fox who covered up Roger Ailes's and Bill O'Reilly's numerous allegations of sexual harassment and abuse with coverups, payoffs, and victim intimidation for years was made Trump's deputy chief of staff since July 2018.

-- Hannity's now considered the White House's shadow chief of staff. He and Trump talk everyday after Hannity gets off air.

-- Trump has called Fox Business hosts Pete Hegseth and Lou Dobbs during meetings to get their opinions.

-- Rupert Murdoch also talks with Trump frequently. If that's not bad enough Murdoch is rumored to have an even closer relationship with Jared Kushner, described as "filial" where they talk "like, every day."

-- A co-host for "The Five" would prepare for her show by emailing a fan from Georgia the topics she wanted to talk about and he'd send her back content he gathered from the Internet. Turns out the fan was also an avid poster on Gab, the Twitter alternative for Nazis, white supremacists, and right-wing extremists. That co-host is now working for Trump's 2020 re-election campaign and is dating Trump Jr.