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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,218

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From now on I'm calling him "The Liar in Chief." I hope it sticks

I can think of plenty of uglier true things to call Trump, but I think this term has the capacity to do him the most harm with the broadest set of people. It isn't a turn off to those who insist on "civil" discussions because there is nothing crude or childish about calling Trump "The Liar in Chief". It simply underscores the basic truth about him in basic all American terms. If George Washington could not tell a lie about cutting down the cherry tree, Donald Trump can not tell the truth about anything. That is how he should be viewed by everyone all of the time.

False narrative. It was never a joke in poor taste. It was a racist insult and flat out vicious

Barr may be a comedian but not everything she says is automatically a joke. There was nothing funny in what she tweeted about Valerie Jarrett, just like there was nothing funny in what she tweeted about George Soros. Those comments were never intended as jokes. One was a bigoted put down, the other was a slanderous smear. Barr was venting her poisoned mind, that's all. People make jokes in poor taste, from both the Left and Right. People like Dennis Miller and Kathy Griffin will always sometimes cross lines. And then there are times when they each are simply speaking their minds, for good or ill. Yes Rosanne Barr sometimes makes jokes that are in poor taste. Not yesterday. That was the real Rosanne Barr speaking, and it wasn't comedy.

A Salute to "Never Trumpers"

To the likes of Jennifer Rubin, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, Nicole Wallace, and even Bill Kristol and Jeff Flake; a tip of the hat

I have political disagreements with all of them. I have severe political disagreements with most of them. I know that, with some notable exceptions usually regarding racism and xenophobia or "free trade", most of them actually support most of Trump's policy positions These people are not my allies in the larger political sense. Often they are my adversaries if not my literal enemies. In many ways over many years they either contributed to or turned a blind eye toward everything that led to the rise of Trumpism in America. It would be bad for most Americans if the likes of these people ever get to rule over American again. They supported wars that needlessly killed millions. They plundered the poor to pamper the wealthy. I know, I know...

Still I offer them this salute; because our nation is in an existential crisis, the ultimate response to which will determine whether we even retain an active Democracy, under the rule of law, that enables us to peruse freedom and justice for all through political means. If they will stand by our democracy during this profound test of it's ultimate resiliency, I will stand by them in acknowledging that stance. We all must live to fight another day and, should we succeed in our mutual struggle against Trump, fight again we most certainly will once this storm is passed. That is tomorrow, this is today.

I salute them for, under duress, standing by genuine convictions when it became more politically expedient to back down. I salute them for showing at least some elements of a refreshing lack of hypocrisy, when they condemn a Republican president for things that typical Republicans would eagerly attack only a Democrat for doing. Some "Never Trumpers" show greater courage than others, no doubt about it, but I will take what we can get so long as their resistance to Trump is genuine, and based on real democratic principles.

The American people will never achieve a perfect consensus on how our society should look, what laws should govern it, and what our priorities should be. That consensus did not exist when our Republic was founded and it never has since. We only come close during catastrophic times such as World War II, and even then differences remain. But people of relatively good will have, when the chips were down, been united against stark corruption by those trusted to govern us. For over 200 years our leaders for the most part heeded the warning implicit in the reply Benjamin Franklin gave to a woman's inquiry as to the type of government the Founders had created: "A Republic Madam, if you can keep it."

I salute all those who now acknowledge what fundamentally is at stake.

Trump does NOT keep his campaign promises. His claim that he does is another of his lies

During his 2016 campaign Trump promised he would self fund his campaign - a total lie.

During his 2016 campaign Trump promised he would release his tax returns when they were done being audited - a total lie.

During his 2016 campaign Trump promised he would work tirelessly for the American people - a total lie:
"If I win I may never see my property — I may never see these places again. But because I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go golfing, believe me. Believe me. Believe me, folks."


During his 2016 campaign Trump promised he would only hire the very best people - an easily demonstrable total lie.

During his 2016 campaign Trump promised he would make Washington work by bringing together leaders from both sides of the aisle through his advanced deal making skills - an easily demonstrable total lie.

During his campaign Trump promised he would protect Medicaid and Medicare from cuts - a total lie

During his campaign Trump promised that "Mexico will pay for the Wall!" - a total lie.

DO NOT ALLOW TRUMP TO CLAIM THAT HE KEEPS HIS CAMPAIGN PLEDGES



I want a Just Society. Thank God for Black Lives Matter, cell phone videos and #TakeAKnee

I've been anti-racist all my life. But I've also been white all my life, and there was far too much that I normally did not see. I remember vividly a discussion I had on DU with a Black fellow member about police brutality. We had that discussion here before Black Lives Matter emerged.

Of course I "knew" then that there far too often was harshly unequal treatment by the police of those who are not white. But I also "knew" that policing is a hard job and that there are many individual white cops who do their best to do their job in a fair and unbiased manner. I still know the latter because it still is true. What I didn't sufficiently understand though is just how utterly and pervasively racism penetrates law enforcement (along with virtually every sector of our society.) And I didn't sufficiently realize what a literal threat to their very lives a routine encounter with the police can sometimes be to someone of color in America.

That was first driven home to me during a candid part of that DU discussion I reference above. To provide counterpoint at one point in our dialogue I pointed out something that seemed obvious to me. Namely that there are certain times when all of us might have need to call on the police in the face of a dangerous situation. Though that literally remains true (almost anyone of us would call 911 if there was an active shooter with an assault weapon at our place of work) - I didn't use that example at the time. I used the hypothetical example of a menacing person threatening violence to one's family at their doorstep. Surely all of us want police protection at such a time I naively wrote. But (as now is finally obvious to me) the answer came back "No". My partner in dialogue told me that they would literally fear harm at the hands of the responding police more than the threat posed at their doorstep.

That took me aback. I knew the response was sincere yet it was totally outside of my life experience to have that reaction. I would not hesitate to call the police due to fear of more harm from them than from a potential assailant. But then again I am white. It never occurred to me that any innocent person would feel differently than I did in the face of that scenario. Thanks to Black Lives Matter, cell phone videos and the moral courage of those who participate in high profile protests like #TakeAKnee , it has become impossible for well meaning whites like me to remain oblivious to what my non white sisters and brothers must confront on a daily basis, with their lives sometimes hanging in the balance. Thank you all for helping me to see.

And Fuck Donald Trump and all those like him who play to racism for their own political and personal gain.

Relevant lies: Cohen didn't need to mortgage his home, nor did he need Trump to reimburse him

If all had gone according to plan, there would have been no direct financial ties to Trump or his campaign from paying off Stormy with hush money. Trump was never expected to "reimburse" Cohen for the $130,000 "he" paid Stormy. If Trump never "reimbursed" Cohen, he never would have had to include that payment in his financial disclosures, avoiding the hot water that disclosure plunged him into. So clearly that was never a part of the plan. Just as clearly Cohen was never going to use a second mortgage on his home to pay off a porn star so a billionaire didn't have to. IF Cohen took out that loan at all, it was part of the grand cover up. The timing in telling.

Cohen set up a shell corporation and the first thing it did was pay out money for a non disclosure agreement with a woman Trump "cheated with". And so for all practical appearances to the world, should it ever come to light, that seemed to be the purpose of that shell corporation, small potatoes involving personal digressions. Maybe Cohen did take out a second mortgage and used that money to pay off Stormy - for a week or so before the real money started flowing in. If the hush money payment ever came to light Cohen would have a paper trail to back up the cover up, a loan agreement from some bank.

If a concerned "law-enforcement official" with personal integrity had not leaked the SAR that highlighted all the suspicious "influence peddling" (it could be much worse than that) that Cohen engaged in through that very same shell corporation after using it to pay off Stormy, the story might have stayed frozen with a lame, bogus but difficult to disprove falsehood. Namely, A) the shell corporation was only intended for funneling NDA payoffs, B) Cohen fronted the money for Stormy's payoff through refinancing his home expecting to be reimbursed from Trump and C) that Michael Cohen so loves Donald Trump that all he did was let leak his "disappointment" that Trump never paid him back for mortgaging his home.

This is all classic Trump. It has always been his priority to profit off of everything he touches, and never spend a personal dime if he can somehow avoid it. He pays for his own privileges with other people's money. When Trump ran his own "charity" he took all the credit for anything it donated to while getting other people, firms etc. to donate all the money that it gave away, often at events held at his own properties which he collected rent from. When Trump ran for President, after boasting about his ability to "self fund", his major contribution to his campaign was the use of his own properties for office space and events - which got billed to the RNC and to the donors to his campaign. Do you think Donald Trump would spend his own money to silence women he fucked (both literally and figuratively) when he could tap other peoples money instead?

I have no doubt that Michael Cohen's personal "loan" was repaid many times over from money received through the same corporate shell that was used to pay off Stormy Daniels. I also have no doubt that Donald Trump personally profited from the millions that subsequently poured into it. Trump knows some of the best money launderers in the business. Money laundering can almost always be uncovered IF someone with the right tools goes digging for it. You know, tools like subpoenas. Until then though it usually remains safely hidden below the surface, buried along with his tax returns. And that is exactly where Trump (and Cohen) expected all of this to stay; before he encountered the full powers of a vastly competent Office of Special Prosecutor.

Maybe if Trump wasn't so cheap as to give Stormy only a paltry $130,000 (along with personal intimidation) to stay quiet, he could have side stepped much more serious matters from ever coming to light. Or maybe were Trump a little less vain and narcissistic, he could have quietly released Stormy from her NDA, suffered a few far less embarrassing hits than his pussy grabbing tape already brought him, and thus skated past the fast brewing storm that increasingly now engulfs him. But that would be behavior out of character for a man who boasts he could get away with shooting someone on Fifth Avenue.

Someone needs to give the ACLU twenty million dollars

Seriously. Or maybe Tom Steyer can do this on his own (except he's already tied in so closely with the impeach Trump effort that he might not be as effective).

This nation needs a national ad campaign on the theme of: "The U.S. Constitution: To Love Honor Cherish and Obey." OK, upfront I admit that using a phrase along those lines is meant to appeal to conservatives and "traditionalists" in general because they, IMO, should be the target audience.

I would hire Steve Schmidt as executive producer and screen writer for the series of ads to be aired, disproportionately, in red leaning states and districts. They should include historical vignettes that showcase why our Constitution was written as it was when it was; why there is a separation of powers, why there are checks and balances, and why Executive over reach was feared and what was done to restrain it. They should explore the role of the free press in keeping America free from tyranny. They should fully explain our Bill of Rights, all ten amendments, not merely the Second Amendment.

I am beginning to think it would be the best investment of mass media funds that anyone could make to help ensure that our Democracy is preserved, because too many people simply do not understand the fundamental underpinnings of it. It can be done in a fiercely non partisan manner, if anything I would love to see Republican voices for Constitutional integrity featured.

Donald Trump is laying the ground work with right wing insurrectionist conspiratorial thinking that can buttress and justify Republicans members of the U.S. Senate voting AGAINST removal of Trump from office. They will do so with a twisted rational claiming that they are the ones who respect the Constitution, opposing a "Deep State" "Establishment" and highly "partisan" coup against Trump's legally elected and "patriotic" government.

There is much for Americans to be proud of in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We should harness that in defense of our anti-tyrannical constitutional heritage. We should turn the tables on Trump, and appeal directly to a love of liberty as the basis for our fight to preserve the principle that no man is above the law, and that the fight before us now completely transcends mere partisan politics. Because a vote to remove a president from office requires a super majority in the U.S. Senate, this fight will ultimately be won or lost in a number of Red States where Trump is now furiously working to circle the wagons to ride out the storm. The rule of Law in America needs a media counter offensive now.

Trump's Strategy Part 2: Jury Tampering

This is a companion piece to my earlier OP:
Trump's strategy: Become the bullet lodged too close to the spine.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210549213

Start out with a simple common sense conclusion: Everything that seems so obvious is true, leave fake "confusion" to "mainstream" talking heads on television. It was never inexplicable why Trump has consistently been deferential to Putin. The reason has always been simple; Putin has the goods on Trump. And now Mueller has the goods on Putin having the goods on Trump, plus proof of multiple other illegal practices that Donald Trump has engaged in around the world for years, if not decades. Donald Trump is a guilty man.

Donald Trump always assumed that he wasn't a big enough fish for the feds to ever go after him with their "A Team" full force, while he remained a private citizen. Bribes, payoffs, "celebrity status", book keeping slights of hand, out of court settlements and general pandering to corrupt officials both here and abroad had always been enough to keep him out of jail. Trump's corollary assumptions were that 1) the President of the United States is too big to jail, and 2) the President of the United States controlled the Department of Justice, and hence the off switch to any potential prosecutions.

There is not now, nor was there ever any plausible legal defense for Trump's numerous legal "transgressions" were the truth ever to be revealed about his actual nefarious activities, on multiple interlocking fronts. When Trump gave up the relative safety of his private citizen status, and then crashed against the limitations on his executive authority as President (especially after his Attorney General Sessions was forced to recuse himself), obstruction of justice became Trump's most viable legal strategy. Yes, a high risk gamble, but what other choice was left him? It was double or nothing, and now it increasingly appears as if Trump will lose that bet. Now Trump is vulnerable on two legal fronts, both the underlying crimes and the cover up of them.

Here is the bottom line. Trump is guilty of numerous crimes and Special Prosecutor Mueller, and now the Office of US Attorney for the Southern District of New York are, or soon will be, in possession of overwhelming evidence to establish his guilt beyond any shadow of doubt. Trump can not hurt his legal case further now, through his own actions or that of Rudy Giuliani or anyone else, because he is already mortally wounded in the court of law. Trump can pretend that evidence of his guilt does not exist, he can act as if evidence of that guilt does not exist, but it does. If investigations continue the evidence will be revealed. It likely will be revealed, one way or another, even if Trump somehow succeeds in shutting down Mueller. It really doesn't matter anymore if Trump or one of is agents says something that “hurts his case”, that legal case is already doomed. Trump will use every trick in the constitutional book, and then some, to avoid testifying in court as a sitting President. Trump would gladly trigger a constitutional crisis rather than be tried before any Judge or conventional seated jury. He will refuse to honor any subpoenas to appear.

Trump would rather take his chances with Congress and impeachment. After the House impeaches him (during the next Congress) his case will move to the Senate where Trump needs just 34 votes defending him to defeat the super majority needed to remove him from office. That is his chosen jury, a jury which he can legally tamper with through strong arm intimidation tactics. Trump will threaten the careers of Republican Senators who choose to vote against him by poisoning their support among home state Republican voters should they become disloyal. He already knows each of the jurors and how they can be gotten too. He just needs 34 Senators, from the reddest of red states, in order to stay in office. A 35 to 40 percent presidential approval rating is more than enough for Trump's plan to work, if most of that minority of voters is rabid enough to believe it's just a liberal and establishment plot, a coup to unseat their chosen leader, when his impeachment trial hits the Senate.

That is the belief set Trump is working to instill now in a select and strategic cadre of voters through all of his wild utterances and Tweets. Evidence has absolutely nothing to do with it, and the truth is irrelevant to his purpose. Whatever lies it takes, whatever extreme “deep state” conspiracy he needs to promote, if that can net Trump 34 votes in the Senate it's a win. Trump knows Nixon never faced a criminal court or a single day in jail. He knows if things get messy enough a Jerry Ford like pardon resolution might become his get out of jail free card. And he just might get away with that, in a bid to prevent a great unraveling, during the dark days that would follow a failed vote in the Senate to constitutionally remove Trump from the White House.

So Trump admits his willingness to pay off extortionists

"Mr. Cohen, an attorney, received a monthly retainer, not from the campaign and having nothing to do with the campaign, from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties...

...The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations".

That agreement is called a payoff.

Though clearly not his own words, since Trump released them on his own Twitter account, he owns them.
The man is President of the United States. One has to wonder what other types of extortion does he succumb to whether true or false? The whole world now knows that the President of the United States can be extorted. and that he will go to great lengths to hide his compliance with extortion from anyone's view. He said so himself.

If Trump had been President when the Barbary pirates were extorting tributes from America, our current Marines might be singing a different hymn.



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