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  1. #11
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    Yes, there is absolutely nothing in those indictments indicating the election was unaffected, although I have little doubt right-wing media has told their listeners that is the case, knowing full well their listeners will never actually read them. In fact, it would be almost impossible for it not to have had some influence. The largest effect would not have been making intelligent people vote for Trump, but making them not vote at all. This is only 13 of the indictments, I'm sure there are more to come.
    Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. Mark Twain

    You can't fix stupid, but they are useful tools. Convince them you value their ideas and they will hate whoever you say.





  2. #12
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    I certainly hope there are more indictments!

  3. #13
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    LW: "In fact, it would be almost impossible for it not to have had some influence."

    I disagree. It would be ENTIRELY impossible for it not to have had some influence.

    I know people, friends I love and admire in many ways and not otherwise dim thinkers, who believe the NYTs is fake news, but don't bother checking the veracity of any report that favors Trump or denigrates his detractors aka enemies (The "source" for one particular bombshell, tip of the iceberg expose of Obama's crimes one friend cited turned out to be a blog hosted by Tyler Durden. Tyler. Durden. Right there at the top of the page: Tyler Durden. And it wasn't a one time failure to check a source. If it were, I wouldn't have hit my head against the wall so hard when I saw: Tyler Durden)

    Hell yeah, I have no doubt that people hold political opinions that resulted in votes (or not voting at all) that were manufactured for them by trolls. The Russians sure spent money as if they thought they could have an affect on something.

    I can't prove it. But just because I can't, it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Being sure, in my gut, that the election was affected won't persuade anyone who thinks any challenge to Trump's storyline is driven by irrational, libtard hate. And frankly, nobody, not even me should take my gut as the final arbiter of truth.

    So I'm sitting still, waiting for evidence of what can be proved. If it can't be proved that the election was affected, at least we can find evidence of who tried, how hard they worked at it, who knew about it, and get real legal on any American who was complicit. When all the evidence rolls in, I'll accept the conclusion it arrives at, even if it doesn't satisfy my gut.

    But when the evidence does start rolling in, and it turns out to be us, ourselves, not some Russian troll, turning it inside out, torturing it and rebranding it for propaganda to use against ourselves like this:

    Pence said “the universal conclusion of out intelligence communities that none of those efforts had any impact on the outcome of the 2016 election.”

    Or this: "Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians states that the actions of the Russian trolls to cause discord on both sides of our election process, did not succeed in affecting the elections."

    It makes me wonder if there's no Russia story after all. Or if there is, the real story is that they overpaid for a job we could do just fine on our own, and a whole lot cheaper.
    Last edited by Murphette; 02-26-2018 at 12:06 AM.
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  4. #14
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    I can't speak one way or the other about the fake or real news, since I've lost faith in all of it, including our local newspapers and Geekfest. I only know how politics have affected my life personally. That is how I vote. I wish I could change or save the world, but it is hard enough just hanging on from day to day, and being true to myself. My Mom was a democrat, her father a republican (Attorney General of Colorado during the four years of WWII) and my Dad a republican. I was always a democrat, as most of my generation was, until I spent a lifetime working in a business that reflected the ups and downs of different administrations. Eight years of Obama were the most anti-business years I witnessed. Suddenly, the moment the 2016 election was over, business boomed. There has got to be a middle ground somewhere. I don't have the time to dance down the street after some troll or even someone with a good heart and motives. I just gotta move on. I pay my taxes and am finally receiving some of the social security and medicare benefits that I paid into for 50 years. We will see how it works out. Don't forget, there are still term limits on the presidency, just as there has been since the death of Franklin Roosevelt. This is not the end of our republic, although it is true that no civilization, great or otherwise, has ever survived the long run. Everybody be true to yourselves, and you will be OK.

    Buddha spent a lifetime searching for the answer to the world's suffering. In the end, he just said, "Hey, don't worry about it!"

  5. #15
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    Just when I think it’s no use, people like the kids in Florida prove it’s still possible for we the people to get attention for what many of us actually want.

    The Russians. Remember when the biggest threat to democracy was “black box voting?” That problem has not actually changed; it has just been replaced. Before that, backroom deals were replaced with super delegates. Before that, the lobbyists we now despise were the cure for patronage systems like Tammany Hall.

    People who manipulate us rubes in order to get both fists in the candy jar have always been among us; I suspect they always will be. It’s a constant hum in the public discourse that’s only interrupted, every now and again, by people like the kids in a Florida, the people who eventually got tired of politicians manipulating the Terry Schaivo tragedy, the people who said, “Adam & Steve? So what? Gimme a job!” Daniel Ellsberg. Emmett Till. If there’s a common thread here, I think it is that we the people are pretty well content to let the power mad nutballs do whatever they want until somehow, somebody forces us to look at the result of our indifference.

    The economy always seems like a tricky one to me because, when we say, “the economy” what do we mean? Mostly, though, presidents always get rewarded or punished for decisions they played no part in. I was in accounting school when Reagan ballyhooed the “tax reduction and simplification act” that, in fact, raised taxes and made them more complicated. Years later, Clinton got the credit for the resulting “surplus.” Obama took the heat for bailouts passed in the Bush v2.2 administration.

    Trump gets the public benefit of Obama-era policy and the personal benefit of Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush “go ahead; sell the machinery and outsource” policies. By the time the full, deadly effects of the latest “tax cuts” hit, nobody (besides the occasional history wonk) is going to blame Trump. It will be the “fault” of the president at the time when, in reality, congress would be more to the point.

    I voted for Clinton. Under duress. Actually, I wasn’t going to vote the presidential line at all. Then I stood in line for hours ...and finally voted after Arkansas was already called for Trump. I really didn’t want Trump; but I really didn’t want Clinton either. Or Bernie. Or Jill. I didn’t need the Russians to tell me that. I’ve followed, and carefully considered, politics all my adult voting life.

    So I’m looking for what’s next. Tom Cotton v. Cory Booker? Or, BOB forbid, Oprah? (Because, if we haven’t figured out that celebrity is no substitute for policy chops by now, when will we?)

    It’s not that I can’t be seduced by some good, old fashioned, patriotic rabble rousing. I can. But, when I think of the kind of politics that inspire me, I think of the kids in Florida, Black Lives Matter, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ruth Bader-Ginsberg. Obergefell. Hodges.

    I prefer my patriotic rhetoric with a side of integrity and guts. I’ll leave the triangulating to Pythagoras.

  6. #16
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    oh my gosh, keep it coming... it is the kids, it is the voices of reason in a shit storm and you can say Ruth-Bader Ginsburg more than once.
    "They tried to bury us, but did not know we were seeds." Mexican proverb

  7. #17
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    The rumble and the roar ain't hands on enough to throw THE ignorant big mouth out the doors...and lock them.

    Although there is hope I believe in some younger thinkers under his thumb.....who might want to taste all of the different wine in this Immigrant Nation.

    Face it! The youngsters feel the finite size of the earth, feel no nationalist fervor in their heads, and desire a world to roam in peace.
    shuggie

  8. #18
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    I'm not crazy for anyone putting misleading or false information out there. Especially not when it influences voters. Doubly so when it comes from a foreign power with a history of upending governments. On principle, it isn't good for anybody anywhere. It shouldn't be what we do or put up with having done to us even if it didn't change one vote.

    In the grand scheme, though, this is like finding dog doo tracked into the house. When somebody points out poop prints, everybody needs to check their shoes and clean it off if it's on their shoe. Nobody has patience for people who won't check their soles and don't want anybody else checking for them. Nobody wants a stinky house or a ruined carpet.

    I'm convinced this President was at least somewhere near a turd or two. If it wasn't Russian dog poop, he'd have stepped in some pile of something sooner or later. But doggie doody isn't the worst he could've done.

    Still, Ben Franklin made a good case that success of self-government depends on a well informed electorate. He didn't go to the trouble to invent the public lending library to make reliable information easier to get (an information revolution in it's own right) so we could be more easily mislead. So while Russians spreading stupid or the campaign maybe being involved isn't the worst thing, both are squarely in the category of things that aren't good for us. I would hope any President would take it seriously.

    I'm not holding my breath for Trump to take it seriously, considering the deluge of misinformation that starts with him or he passes on. Most of it seems to me to underscore his unwillingness to set what's good for him or his pride aside for the more humbling job of devoting himself to our collective good with all the power he can muster.

    But that's the job description. If there's a choice to make between what's good for the person in office vs. what our founding principles spell out, the person has to choose the principles. We can hope for a leader that shows us how and enables us to live up to those principles, but it really is his job to refuse to empower us when we're ready to abandon them.

    Instead that, we're almost guaranteed that when this topic comes up, another round of (at best) pointless drama will follow. Commissions on voting headed by people who don't like not-white people voting. Muslims. Trans genders in the military. Trade wars. That's alot of effort spent at not wanting to talk about something.

    It's effort added to all the pile of other controversial, but less sensational bad hiring/appointing decisions, and the lack of concern to avoid the real or perceived possibility those hire/appointees might compromise government and policy for personal gain. Add to that pile, the people who were part of the campaign or administration with problematic ties to foreign money or governments. And then there's the pile of our worst instincts he models and inflames.

    Trump is not the first President I've disagreed with. Clinton has some of the qualities I don't like about Trump, only to a lesser degree. This isn't the first President who's arrogance drove him to stomp in dog poo with both feet.

    There's just not much that can be done about it. And it's disheartening to find that people I think should know better don't care to find out if they're being lied to so long as they hear what they want to hear. I may not like it, but having a fuzzy to nonexistent sense of public service or civic duty isn't illegal.

    Lying to the FBI is, though. So is unreported contact with foreign governments. Obstructing justice is, too. Disclosures need to be complete, forms need to be filed. The law has teeth to enforce these things. If an investigation of alleged canine caca on or around the the campaign's shoes is the the bone the law can sink those teeth in, I'm for it. That's the thing* That's why this matters.

    Candidate Trump may never be found to have defied all the rules against shortcuts offered by Russians bearing gifts. President Trump may dodge the bullet. Still. If Mueller's where investigation finds evidence of crime (not morally wrong, but technically legal deeds) in his enablers, their number is reduced. Indictments and convictions of make it easier for Congress to disagree with him publicly (or harder to give unqualified support) It reduces the credibility of people who lie for him. It makes it easier for the rest of us keep the wheel when a conversation threatens to take the Crooked H off ramp. Bigots and bullies and racism apologizers have a smaller Trump to hide behind. The number of people who'd vote for him again will be smaller.

    *That, and everything the President does, he does in my name. That gives me a responsibility to know what he's up to that I can't shirk even if I wanted to.
    Last edited by Murphette; 03-03-2018 at 03:02 PM.
    "I am not crazy and this is not normal" - me

    Michael Walsh! Michael Walsh! Michael Walsh! (it's worth a shot)

    "For every difficult and complicated question there is an answer that is simple, easily understood and wrong." H.L. Mencken


  9. #19
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    He is going to implode and none too so.

    they should have pinched his head off a birth.

    Harsh? Not as much as those granite asses 'Bublican Do Nuttin's.
    shuggie

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shuggie View Post
    they should have pinched hishead off at birth

    Harsh?.
    Hindsight is 20/20 - he had the potential of decency. So did Hitler.
    Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself. Mark Twain

    You can't fix stupid, but they are useful tools. Convince them you value their ideas and they will hate whoever you say.





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