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Ocelot II

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Hometown: Minnesota
Member since: Mon Oct 27, 2003, 12:54 AM
Number of posts: 96,408

Journal Archives

Trump's fear that the Russians' involvement in getting him elected would become known

is at the core of all of his behavior relative to the investigation. Putin wanted him to be elected, and whether or not there was a prosecutable conspiracy between Russians and the Trump campaign, there's no question that the Russians made the effort and Trump accepted it. This, of course, leads to the question of why Putin wanted Trump to win. We know he hated Hillary because of her adversarial position as SoS, but it's more than that. Putin has Trump by the short hairs for financial reasons. Whether Trump's financial involvement in Russia was or is criminal is not yet known, but maybe this is the subject of some of the redacted case referrals. In any event, we do know that Trump wanted very much to build a hotel in Moscow (the tallest building in Europe!), and his son Beavis (or was it Butthead?) bragged about how much money was coming in from Russia. Putin's fundamental goal was and is to disrupt and weaken the U.S. and NATO, which he could do by installing a president who was motivated by money to do pretty much anything Putin wanted. So he did what he could to make that happen.

But as much as he wants to give Putin what he wants so he can keep riding the oligarchs' money train, Trump hates it that he is being accused of winning the presidency with the help of the Russians and not solely on his own merits. His monstrous black hole of an ego can't stand that, even though it now appears to be indisputable. The Mueller report contains many references to his fear that his presidency would be considered illegitimate because of the Russians' involvement. That is precisely why he tried so hard to kill the investigation. That's why his mantra is "No collusion!" But "collusion" was never even necessary. The Russians wanted him to be president and he knew it. He just didn't want anyone to find out.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Sun Apr 21, 2019, 02:01 PM (0 replies)

Here's why I now think Barr pulled the plug before Mueller was finished with the investigation:

Prosecutors investigating a scheme involving multiple potential defendants almost start with the small fish first and work their way up to the capo. So far, Mueller has bagged a bunch of Russians (who will never be prosecuted here), small fish Papadopulous, van der Zwaan and Pinedo, larger fish Butina, Flynn, Gates, Manafort and Cohen; and Roger Stone will be tried for charges arising from his alleged involvement with Wilkileaks in November if he doesn't plead first. Witnesses who have spoken with investigators include Alan Weisselberg, who probably knows even more than Cohen. When Stone was busted, the FBI seized an enormous amount of data from his home and devices, and Flynn, Gates and Cohen are still cooperating.

This means there must be more evidence still being collected and evaluated that was not included in Mueller's report - because Barr stopped the OSC investigation. The reason the report didn't find evidence of "collusion" or a conspiracy with the Russian government (at least according to Barr's letter, which he probably wrote three weeks ago before he even saw what Mueller had discovered) was because Mueller was shut down before he could find enough of it to warrant more indictments, particularly those of Trump Jr. and Kushner. What he'd have done if he'd found evidence that Trump himself was involved still isn't clear.

The investigations are continuing with other prosecutors, and if there is prosecutable evidence of "collusion" (more accurately, conspiracy) on the part of any of the big fish, it will eventually be found, but it will not have the political impact of Mueller's report, and in the meantime Trump is free to twist and poison the media narrative - which is what he wanted all along.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Thu Mar 28, 2019, 04:00 PM (0 replies)

I care about whether he can beat Trump.

Trump is an existential threat and he has to be gotten rid of or we're screwed. Quibbling over whether a candidate checks all the proper progressive boxes is nothing but narcissistic ideological navel-gazing right now, and it will be useless if not downright destructive. I will support the candidate who can pants Trump, steal his lunch money and stuff him in his locker. If that's Beto, great. If it's Harris or Warren or Biden or Sanders or Booker or... or... that's great, too. Fuck ideology. We can worry about that after we reclaim the White House.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Thu Mar 14, 2019, 06:01 PM (4 replies)

So often these discussions of candidates' "faults" devolve into stupid arguments

about what somebody might have done or said or written forty years ago. Unless there's solid evidence that a candidate was the Zodiac Killer (allegedly Ted Cruz, lol), I don't give a rat's ass about what somebody might have done or said or written forty years ago. I want to know what they've done or said or written recently, relevant to currently important issues. I don't want to see thinly-veiled attempts at character assassination, backstabbing, or accusations without evidence that a candidate or their supporters are trolls, Republicans or Russian sympathizers. I do not want a replay of 2016 on DU. I want an understanding that all candidates have faults and none are perfect, but regardless of their imperfections they will be exponentially better than Trump, who is an existential threat and not just a bad president.

Most of all I want us to forgo the usual circular firing squad, evaluate the issues and candidates on their merits and not on their warts, and eventually unite behind someone who probably won't be ideologically pure enough for anybody but who can and will defeat Trump.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Tue Mar 12, 2019, 09:22 PM (0 replies)

So I've got this wild-ass idea about Barr, and it's probably completely insane, but

what would be the best way to take down Trump from the inside of his administration? By becoming his Attorney General, that's how, and then you allow the Mueller report to become public and then disregard the previous OLC opinion that a sitting president can't be indicted.

But how do you get to be Trump's attorney general - a job that's been nothing but trouble for those who've had it, and at this point no sane, reputable lawyer would want? Say you're an old-line conservative who's been AG before and has held other high-level government jobs, and more recently has been making top dollar at a white-shoe law firm. You have perfect professional credentials but there are probably a lot of other, more reliable Trump-loving Matthew Whittaker-type stooges who'd take the job in a heartbeat. So what do you do?

What you do is, you write and send Trump a long, detailed, and completely unsolicited letter setting out your opinion that the Mueller investigation is legally invalid and the president has almost unlimited power over the executive branch. Given your exemplary professional credentials as well, which will make your Senate confirmation inevitable, Trump sees you as the perfect candidate. When he interviews you, you assure him that you would not recuse yourself like Sessions, convincing him that you'll protect him. At your confirmation hearing you come up with enough vague platitudes about following the law that even many Democrats vote for you.

And then the Mueller report comes out and it's full of bad shit about Trump and his family and other GOPers. Trump expects you to protect him, but being an old-fashioned institutionalist you don't. Instead, you make the report, except for a few classified bits, public. And then you decide that the DoJ won't be following the old OLC opinions, allowing Mueller to take Trump's case to a grand jury, which indicts him. In the meantime the House proceeds with his impeachment...

Yes, I know it's totally mad. But wouldn't it be awesome?

Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Sat Mar 9, 2019, 03:35 PM (0 replies)

Donald Trump's Funeral: A Subdued Affair with Few Mourners - The Washington Poot, 12/23/2023

On a cold December day in Queens, a small group of people gathered in a shabby 50s-era funeral parlor to pay their last respects to a man who was once the so-called leader of the free world – Donald J. Trump. Presidents and ex-presidents are entitled to state funerals, but after Mr. Trump choked to death on a piece of overdone steak in his cell at the federal prison in Otisville, New York last week, his few remaining allies and supporters encountered many obstacles when trying to arrange for such an event. The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., where services for many former presidents have been held, was unavailable; a representative of the church explained that the Archbishop had “serious theological concerns,” and expressed a strong desire that the funeral should be held at “an appropriate secular location.” Mar-a-Lago, which was once Mr. Trump’s Florida resort and residence, was also unavailable because it was taken in an asset-forfeiture along with most of the rest of his assets following his impeachment and criminal trials in 2020. Family members were unable to assist with final arrangements, since of his four adult children only daughter Tiffany remains unscathed and unincarcerated, and she suggested that “they should just double-bag him and put him out on the curb for next week’s trash pickup.” Ex-wife Melania and son Barron, 17, have sought asylum in Melania’s homeland, Slovenia, and could not be reached for comment.

The brief ceremony on December 20 included a eulogy by Roger Stone, delivered via Skype from an undisclosed location in Argentina, and a brief homily by Franklin Graham in which he compared Mr. Trump to Jesus Christ and warned that he would rise again from the dead to judge and punish his persecutors. A bystander, later identified as Michael Cohen, commented loudly that it although it has been three days Mr. Trump remains dead, Mr. Graham appeared not to have heard the remark. When asked why he was attending the funeral, Mr. Cohen, who was recently released from prison upon completing his sentence for election finance offenses, replied that he “wanted to be sure the fucker was really dead.” Others at the sparsely-attended event included former New York Mayor and Mr. Trump’s television lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Fox host Sean Hannity, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and former Senator Lindsey Graham, who was observed sobbing quietly on the shoulder of washed-up rocker Ted Nugent.

No presidents or vice-presidents, former or current, were in attendance. President Pelosi was in Brussels, Belgium at a NATO conference, and Vice-President Beto O’Rourke was opening a new federal center in El Paso, Texas, to welcome refugees from Central America. Former President Obama was entertaining children at a holiday party at a D.C. hospital, and 99-year-old former President Jimmy Carter was busy nailing shingles to a Habitat for Humanity house in Georgia. Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had just left for Africa to open three new AIDS clinics on behalf of the Clinton Foundation. Former President George W. Bush, reached at his home in Dallas, remarked that he’d “rather eat a bag o’ bees” than attend the funeral, and provided a photo of a recent painting he had done of Mr. Trump, which unfortunately is not suitable for publication in a family newspaper. Mr. Trump's vice-president, Mike Pence, was also unable to attend; prison officials declined to give him a day pass for the ceremony.

Pallbearers included Corey Lewandowski, former Congressman Devin Nunes, who appeared to be wearing an ankle monitor, and four unidentified men in red MAGA caps. It was later determined that the men had been hired through a Craigslist advertisement; each was paid $50 in cash. Mr. Trump’s final resting place has not been determined.

Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Sun Dec 23, 2018, 06:26 PM (8 replies)

How embarrassing.

"OK, Mr. President, here's how it works. See this card? This is Jimmy. Jimmy lives in America and he builds cars. This card here is a picture of the cars Jimmy builds. Jimmy would like to sell more cars, but some mean people in Germany send their hoity-toity cars, like the BMW on this next card, to America and sometimes people buy them instead of Jimmy's cars. Isn't that terrible?

So what you do, Mr. President, to make Jimmy happy, is put a tariff on those nasty German cars when those nasty Germans send them to America! Do you know what a tariff is? It's a kind of a tax that makes those cars more expensive, and then people would buy Jimmy's cars instead. Isn't that nice? Here's a picture of Angela Merkel. She looks sad because those tariffs make Americans buy fewer German cars.

What is mean, sad Angela going to do? Why, she gets together with her friends at the EU and they do tariffs on things they import from America! Here's a picture of a soybean. And here's a picture of natural gas. There's nothing on the card because you can't see natural gas. But now, because of these tariffs, America's soy beans and natural gas are more expensive and the Europe people won't buy them. Farmers in America - here is a picture of a farmer - will be sad even though Jimmy the car maker is happy."

"What are you going to do now? Here is a quiz. You have 10 minutes to answer the questions."

1. If there are more farmers than car manufacturers in America, will you lift the car tariffs? What if there are more car manufacturers than farmers?

2. If the car tariffs make Angela Merkel sad, will you keep them even if Ivanka wants to buy an Audi?

3. Do you think Russian cars should be included in the tariffs? Why or why not?

4. Would you consider funding technology that would make it possible to make cars out of soy beans?

5. Beans cause gas. Should soy beans be used to make natural gas?

"Time's up... Oh, didn't you answer any of them? Would you like to look at the cards again?"

Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Thu Jul 26, 2018, 08:52 PM (0 replies)

At the bottom of his damned and blasted soul he must be miserable

because he spends all his time and energy trying to make himself feel good. He doesn't seem to enjoy anything except maybe golf, and the reason he likes golf is probably because he owns the golf courses and can get away with cheating and driving on the greens when nobody else can. He doesn't have any other hobbies; he doesn't go to concerts or plays or art galleries or museums or sports events; he doesn't swim or hunt or fish or sail or hike or dance or sing or play an instrument or paint or garden or play with his son or grandkids or read for fun or just sit outside and look at the flowers and the clouds. He doesn't have fun. He doesn't have a pet. He doesn't seem to love anybody. His whole life is about trying to better than everybody else in all ways so as to impress the rest of the world. Because that's impossible he'll always be unhappy. I'd feel sorry for him if he weren't such a vicious, destructive asshole.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Tue Jul 17, 2018, 10:15 PM (1 replies)

They want to resist and obstruct your treason, you maggot.

Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Mon Jul 16, 2018, 11:27 AM (1 replies)

I don't understand why you guys keep arguing about this stuff.

Religions and religious organizations are human creations that are only as good or as bad as the people comprising them. There have been obnoxious and destructive fundamentalist religious leaders like Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, but there were and are leaders like Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. The black churches, led by MLK and other pastors, were enormous forces in the civil rights movement. Desmond Tutu was instrumental in furthering the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. The Dalai Lama has been working for autonomy for Tibet since the '50s. Religions, which are far from a single monolithic belief system, can be a force for good or a force for evil; they can be very liberal or very conservative. Most importantly, we are all free to believe of not to believe. For my part, I'm an agnostic. I don't know whether there's a god and it doesn't bother me that I don't know. I care not at all what others believe (and therefore see little value in arguing whether there is or is not a supreme being, or whether people who believe in one are stupid and superstitious, or whether people who do not believe in one are arrogant and supercilious). I care only that it is not made the basis for legislation in our intentionally secular democracy, and that it is not used to justify hurting people. Beyond that, believe what you want, or not. It's just that nobody is ever going to convince or convert anybody by grumbling on an internet message board. That includes me, both as grumbler and grumblee.
Posted by The Velveteen Ocelot | Tue Mar 27, 2018, 06:31 PM (2 replies)
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