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Tags donald trump , lying charges , Russia conspiracies , Trump controversies , Trump-Russia connections , US-Russia relations , vladimir putin

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Old 13th January 2019, 12:27 AM   #561
Aridas
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
There's nothing that's surprising anymore. Speaks for itself:
Seriously, why, exactly, would this be surprising? Trump has horribly violated diplomatic protocol fairly consistently. Especially when it comes to matters related to Russia.

I would expect an honest President with nothing to hide to have accessible records of all meetings with foreigners. Classified where necessary, of course. This is Trump, though. The kind of guy who openly admitted to working with the mob. Given that his campaign is up to over a hundred publicly known contacts with the Russians now despite the vehement denials of having any contacts with the Russians and the corruption and outright crime that he's publicly engaged in, no, this isn't surprising behavior from Trump at all.

Trump is NOT NORMAL. Even among the scummier of the Republicans.
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Old 13th January 2019, 09:10 AM   #562
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From Liverpoolmiss over in badscience

Subject: Trump of the Day

Originally Posted by liverpoolmiss
As threatened, here's my lengthy write up of what I think happened and the stages leading to Donald Trump becoming a Putin agent. Much will never be proved, and Mueller & Co aren't investigating because it's so old, but I am pretty sure the history books will tell the narrative something like this. One thing to note: I've had a professional interest in money laundering since studying it in the mid-90s, so I might have a tendency to over-observe this aspect of Trump's life.

Stage 0

This stages is the background of Trump's childhood. Fred Trump had various links to the mafia - the good old 5 families world of New York's Cosa Nostra, straight out of the Godfather. To be fair, to be a housing developer in New York you'd need to have these links - they controlled labour, concrete and the rest.

Fred Trump also built Trump Village in the Coney Island/Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn in the 1960s. This area of the city became the centre of Russian emigres - "Little Odessa" - and the operating base of the Russian/Ukrainian criminal gangs. Donald Trump himself worked here as a teenager - tasked with collecting coins from the laundromats. Famous names in the later story like Michael Cohen and Felix Sater grew up near here and mingled with the Russian gangs.

The point of this background is to show that Trump grew up comfortable with mafia-type operations. Not like you and I encountering gangsters - we'd all be frightened, intimidated and out of our depth. Trump knew what they were about and learned from his father how to do business with them. In his first 20 years of property development, Trump is known to have various contracts with mob-controlled construction companies and almost certainly got accustomed to dealing with standard bribes/pay offs to the Italian mafia. Any property developer would likely have done the same.

Originally Posted by liverpoolmiss
Stage 1

The first known money laundering Trump did for New York's Russian Mafia is 1984.

By this stage, Trump had pretty close ties to the Italian gangs via Roy Cohn - Trump's "second father" who made him the man he is today. Roy Cohn represented the great old names of the mafia: Tony Salerno, Carmine Galante, and John Gotti. It's likely Trump was recommended to the New York Russians by these gangsters, who had various Italian-Russian joint ventures. One venture in particular was the Red Daisy gas fraud. (Basically this was a sophisticated scheme to defraud the government of the tax on a gallon of gas, building up into a large gas bootlegging and distribution network.) A key player was David Bogatin, a Soviet army veteran who emigrated to New York.

Bogatin needed to launder and invest his millions. Trump was recommended to him as a useful idiot who wouldn't ask questions. Trump allowed shell companies to purchase condos in Trump Tower, something no reputable developer would do. Bogatin was to find the owner to Trump Tower to be so accommodating he didn't just buy one condo, he bought five for a total of $6 million. Bogatin might have expected a quiet deal under the counter; he got a surprise when an eager Trump personally attended the closing meeting.

I believe this the moment when Trump became the Russian mafia's useful idiot. He knowingly laundered money for them. And I think he was becoming more and more attracted to crime - it was much more profitable than legitimate business. I think he loved the thrill, admired these wealthy men outside the law, enjoyed their flattery. He has the fundamental character of a weak man who wants to be an autocrat, as shown by his frustrations at the restraints on his presidential powers. His insatiable greed for whatever money he can take effortlessly overwhelms whatever ethic self-control he has - this is a man who once used the Trump Foundation to pay a $7 scout registration fee.
The thread continues but I won't spam this any more
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Old 13th January 2019, 11:53 AM   #563
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
From Liverpoolmiss over in badscience...
The thread continues but I won't spam this any more
Interesting. Thanks!
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Old 13th January 2019, 12:36 PM   #564
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Interesting. Thanks!
I will add her conclusion:

Subject: Trump of the Day

Originally Posted by liverpoolmiss
Stage 6 is, I admit, speculative.

There is no evidence for it, and probably never will be. But given what we know about Putin and Trump, it must have happened.

Putin has always been obsessed with controlling his oligarchs. He might be the richest man in the world with over $200 billion, but dozens of others in Russia are powerful billionaires. Being an autocrat is kind of stressful - any day could be your last, and what a prize in terms of wealth and power it would be to seize Putin's position. Putin has always wanted to know who is funnelling money out of Russia and to where. He hates the idea that these people can be independent – breaking away from his orbit and escaping to the West. Any attempt to overthrow him or steal from him would made less risky for an oligarch, if they had money stashed overseas.

Edited by zooterkin: 
<SNIP>
Edited for rule 4.
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Last edited by zooterkin; 14th January 2019 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 13th January 2019, 01:36 PM   #565
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Really interesting reading - thank you for sharing.
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Old 13th January 2019, 01:38 PM   #566
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Did you guys watch "Active Measures" yet?
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Old 13th January 2019, 02:26 PM   #567
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I will add her conclusion:



Subject: Trump of the Day
Putin doesn't control the oligarchs as such. He wanted to retire years ago.
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Old 13th January 2019, 02:34 PM   #568
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
Did you guys watch "Active Measures" yet?
Yes I did and I will watch again with my fiancée. Very well done but some scary stuff!
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Old 13th January 2019, 02:57 PM   #569
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Putin doesn't control the oligarchs as such. He wanted to retire years ago.
I'm not sure about the highlighted part.

Or rather I don't think Putin has ever been stupid enough to believe that one can retire and stay alive. It's pretty much straight out of The Prince in my view.
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Old 14th January 2019, 09:32 AM   #570
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Trump remarked, during an interview on Fox News, in reference to he and Putin, "We're beating everybody."

Let that sink in. Trump has provided verbal proof that he sees the world as a place in which he and Putin are beating everybody.

Now for the reality check:

Putin presides over a criminal oligarchy that is robbing the Russian people blind, resulting in a pathetic economy that is dwarfed by California's economy and barely measures up to Italy. A destabilizing, bullying aggressor that can't even take down Ukraine.

Trump inherited a thriving economy, shot it up with huge deficit-ballooning tax cuts favoring the filthy rich to give it an artificial boost, and now holds hostage a laughingstock non-functioning government. He hopes thereby to extort money from congress to fulfill an already failed campaign promise to "build a great wall and make Mexico pay for it", hoping to claim success because, as he said, "How can they impeach someone who is doing a great job?" He said that because he is afraid of being impeached. He is afraid of being impeached because he is the subject of multiple criminal investigations.

Their greatest claim to "fame" are their subversions of the non-proliferation treaties and the Paris Accords to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Putin and Trump are not beating anybody except their own countries.

Unless pushing civilization toward catrastrophe is some insane form of "winning".
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:02 AM   #571
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
Trump remarked, during an interview on Fox News, in reference to he and Putin, "We're beating everybody."

Let that sink in. Trump has provided verbal proof that he sees the world as a place in which he and Putin are beating everybody.

Now for the reality check:

Putin presides over a criminal oligarchy that is robbing the Russian people blind, resulting in a pathetic economy that is dwarfed by California's economy and barely measures up to Italy. A destabilizing, bullying aggressor that can't even take down Ukraine.

Trump inherited a thriving economy, shot it up with huge deficit-ballooning tax cuts favoring the filthy rich to give it an artificial boost, and now holds hostage a laughingstock non-functioning government. He hopes thereby to extort money from congress to fulfill an already failed campaign promise to "build a great wall and make Mexico pay for it", hoping to claim success because, as he said, "How can they impeach someone who is doing a great job?" He said that because he is afraid of being impeached. He is afraid of being impeached because he is the subject of multiple criminal investigations.

Their greatest claim to "fame" are their subversions of the non-proliferation treaties and the Paris Accords to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Putin and Trump are not beating anybody except their own countries.

Unless pushing civilization toward catrastrophe is some insane form of "winning".
I honestly believe that both Trump and Putin are adherents of the “whoever is sitting on the biggest pile of cash when the world ends is the winner” mentality.

Trump, bless his heart, is simply too stupid to realize that his pile is imaginary.
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:04 AM   #572
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
Putin and Trump are not beating anybody except their own countries.

Unless pushing civilization toward catrastrophe is some insane form of "winning".
It is. Fleecing the suckers = victory.

My Trumpish brother mentioned something about leaving the Republican party. Not to be a Democrat, though. And he's not super-political, more mainstream conservative.

He still thinks Trump "gets things done."

It must kill Trump not to be able to brag about how much richer his presidency is making him (even if it's not). Howard Stern would be a good one to troll him on that. "So, you've been able to negotiate wins not just for the U.S., but for the family business. What a coup! Why isn't the Fake News talking about how brilliant you are?"
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:27 AM   #573
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
Trump remarked, during an interview on Fox News, in reference to he and Putin, "We're beating everybody."
That's not correct. The "we" in question was obviously the United States, specifically our economy, and not "he and Putin." Right after the "beating everybody" reference he contrasts the US and Russian economies.

To be fair, Trump is hard to follow because he so often interjects unrelated talking points into the conversation like this. It's an obvious effort to distract, and also sign of a muddled thinker.

https://deadline.com/2019/01/donald-...ed-1202534306/

Originally Posted by trump on fox with Pirro
Think of it, I have a one-on-one meeting with Putin like I do with every other leader. I have many one-on-one — nobody ever says anything about it. But with Putin they say, oh, what did they talk about?

We talked about very positive things because — look, we are beating everybody. Our economy is the strongest in the world right now, Jeanine. Nobody even close. China’s down 38 president. Russia’s not doing well, its economy.

Most countries are not doing well. We’re doing phenomenally. Even though we’re paying interest rates because we’re normalizing. You know, Obama had zero interest. Anybody can do that.

And our economy’s now better than ever. We’re almost at our high with the stock market again. So, it’s really — can you imagine where they say that I met with Putin, I met with every leader just about individually. I meet with Modi, I meet with — in Japan, I meet with Abe. I meet with all of them, but nobody says anything.

But I meet with Putin, and they make a big deal. Anybody could have listened to that meeting, that meeting is up for grabs.
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:43 AM   #574
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
That's not correct. The "we" in question was obviously the United States, specifically our economy, and not "he and Putin." Right after the "beating everybody" reference he contrasts the US and Russian economies.

To be fair, Trump is hard to follow because he so often interjects unrelated talking points into the conversation like this. It's an obvious effort to distract, and also sign of a muddled thinker.

https://deadline.com/2019/01/donald-...ed-1202534306/
Quote:
...We talked about very positive things because — look, we are beating everybody. Our economy is the strongest in the world right now, Jeanine. Nobody even close. China’s down 38 president. Russia’s not doing well, its economy...

China's down to its 38th President?
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:56 AM   #575
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
It is. Fleecing the suckers = victory.

My Trumpish brother mentioned something about leaving the Republican party. Not to be a Democrat, though. And he's not super-political, more mainstream conservative.

He still thinks Trump gets things done.

It must kill Trump not to be able to brag about how much richer his presidency is making him (even if it's not). Howard Stern would be a good one to troll him on that. "So, you've been able to negotiate wins not just for the U.S., but for the family business. What a coup! Why isn't the Fake News talking about how brilliant you are?"
if that's the crazy game, then Putin and Trump are just two more faces in a YUGE "winning" crowd.

Lots of scoundrels get things done. That is a bogus measure of success. For example, a counterprod could grab an axe, jump in his car, drive to a national park, and take advantage of the shutdown by chopping down some Joshua trees. That's getting something done.
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:51 AM   #576
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
That's not correct. The "we" in question was obviously the United States, specifically our economy, and not "he and Putin." Right after the "beating everybody" reference he contrasts the US and Russian economies.
You're probably right, but anyone who changes subjects in the middle of a sentence like that does not deserve to have his meanderings accurately parsed.

I refuse to take responsibility for Trump's inability to stay on one subject for one entire sentence. If I misinterpreted his meaning, I'm glad of it. That's exactly what he deserves.
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Old 14th January 2019, 01:53 PM   #577
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
Lots of scoundrels get things done. That is a bogus measure of success. For example, a counterprod could grab an axe, jump in his car, drive to a national park, and take advantage of the shutdown by chopping down some Joshua trees. That's getting something done.
What a sad story that is.

Meanwhile, from marketwatch.com:
Trump denies being Russian sleeper agent

Quote:
President Donald Trump on Monday denied working as a sleeper agent for Russia, as he rejected a possible suggestion to end the record-setting government shutdown put forward by a Republican legislator.
I haven't found any quotes of his that include the "sleeper" part. That might be strictly a projection of the media, in which case I vigorously disapprove. If he did use the term, it could be read that he never slept on the job .
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Old 14th January 2019, 02:09 PM   #578
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Trump: ”I didn’t work for Russia! Not even Q’doba pro quo!”
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Old 14th January 2019, 03:30 PM   #579
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I'm not sure about the highlighted part.

Or rather I don't think Putin has ever been stupid enough to believe that one can retire and stay alive. It's pretty much straight out of The Prince in my view.
Honestly, it's straight out of real history. Russian history is not filled with retired supreme leaders, especially not for the past 6-7 generations. Lots of "they pried the state from his cold dead hands" situations.

And this does concern me: Putin is a monarch, but the line of succession and military allegiance is not clear. Civil war within a nuclear armed superpower is a huge danger.

Different topic, sorry.
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Old 14th January 2019, 08:49 PM   #580
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Honestly, it's straight out of real history. Russian history is not filled with retired supreme leaders, especially not for the past 6-7 generations. Lots of "they pried the state from his cold dead hands" situations.
....
Khrushchev, Gorbachev and Yeltsin all retired peacefully, if not cheerfully. Other post-Revolution leaders died in office, but they weren't overthrown. Bill Browder has estimated Putin's personal fortune at $200 billion (B). He can live wherever he wants and do whatever he wants.
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:42 PM   #581
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Khrushchev, Gorbachev and Yeltsin all retired peacefully, if not cheerfully. Other post-Revolution leaders died in office, but they weren't overthrown. Bill Browder has estimated Putin's personal fortune at $200 billion (B). He can live wherever he wants and do whatever he wants.
He has to answer to the rest of the mob. Money can't buy you everything. I doubt he is worth 200 billion. The Russian economy isn't that big.
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:55 PM   #582
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
He has to answer to the rest of the mob. Money can't buy you everything. I doubt he is worth 200 billion. The Russian economy isn't that big.
You are wrong.
But more importantly, Putin needs to stay in power if he wants to keep his money. The moment he leaves, factions within Russia will tear him apart to get a piece of the hoard.
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:08 PM   #583
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Big Macs and Pizza served to NCAA football champions at the White House............classy.
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:08 PM   #584
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
He has to answer to the rest of the mob. Money can't buy you everything. I doubt he is worth 200 billion. The Russian economy isn't that big.
Well, there's this. The claim is that Putin gets half of everybody else's deals, in exchange for not throwing them in prison.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...mittee/534864/
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:25 PM   #585
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Honestly, it's straight out of real history. Russian history is not filled with retired supreme leaders, especially not for the past 6-7 generations. Lots of "they pried the state from his cold dead hands" situations.

And this does concern me: Putin is a monarch, but the line of succession and military allegiance is not clear. Civil war within a nuclear armed superpower is a huge danger.

Different topic, sorry.
Yes, The Prince is real history, with a strong focus on Medieval Italian states.

Florence or Venice seem to be good analogues.
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:47 PM   #586
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Well, there's this. The claim is that Putin gets half of everybody else's deals, in exchange for not throwing them in prison.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...mittee/534864/

I don't care how powerful a mob boss is. No one is going to tolerate a 50% cut of every deal.
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:51 PM   #587
Bob001
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
I don't care how powerful a mob boss is. No one is going to tolerate a 50% cut of every deal.
Sez who? If your choice is half of a zillion dollars, or nothing plus prison, which way do you go? Putin isn't just a mob boss, he exercises all the power of the state. He decides who gets the deals. You can't just go across town and sign up with somebody else.
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Old Yesterday, 12:36 AM   #588
jimbob
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Sez who? If your choice is half of a zillion dollars, or nothing plus prison, which way do you go? Putin isn't just a mob boss, he exercises all the power of the state. He decides who gets the deals. You can't just go across town and sign up with somebody else.
Indeed, which is why I was comparing it to somewhere like Florence under Medici rule.

ETA, or another of Machiavelli's favourite subjects, the Roman Catholic church under the Borgias.
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OECD healthcare spending
Expenditure on healthcare
http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending

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Old Yesterday, 01:05 AM   #589
a_unique_person
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Sez who? If your choice is half of a zillion dollars, or nothing plus prison, which way do you go? Putin isn't just a mob boss, he exercises all the power of the state. He decides who gets the deals. You can't just go across town and sign up with somebody else.
It's not a dictatorship. It's a kleptocracy.
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For if a man pretend to me that God hath spoken to him supernaturally, and immediately, and I make doubt of it, I cannot easily perceive what argument he can produce to oblige me to believe it. Hobbes
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Old Yesterday, 01:54 AM   #590
The Great Zaganza
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Point is: Trump since the 80s has been thirsty for making money in a Russia, and Putin is the gatekeeper: unless you are on his good side, you don't get to make good deals.
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Old Yesterday, 03:50 AM   #591
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Big Macs and Pizza served to NCAA football champions at the White House............classy.
Cold Big Macs and Pizza. He had to spend a couple of hours posing with the food first, like it was some kind of accomplishment.
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Old Today, 08:12 AM   #592
varwoche
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I'm trying to keep track of the things Trump has said and done that inexplicably favor Russia:
  • change GOP platform re Ukraine
  • wave off journalists being killed in Russia as no big deal
  • deny that Russia meddled, in defiance of his own administration
  • no action to stop current/future meddling
  • subservient showing in Helsinki
  • hostility to NATO, considering withdrawal
  • re-write history of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
  • hostility to Montenegro
  • attempt to drop sanctions
  • share top secret info with Russia that may have compromised allies
  • constantly praise Putin
  • no response to Russia hostilities vs Ukraine
  • pullout from Syria
  • secrecy of meetings w/Putin, hostile to his own team
I'm sure I've overlooked a few.
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