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Old 12-09-2016, 08:59 PM   #5781
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Sessions is a heavy weight politician.
He is now, thanks to Trump, but before he was very much a backbencher.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:16 PM   #5782
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He is now, thanks to Trump, but before he was very much a backbencher.
Jeff Sessions? Um, no, he's pretty senior Republican Senator.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:39 PM   #5783
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More stuff is coming out about connections between Russia and Trump.
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Old 12-10-2016, 12:56 AM   #5784
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More stuff is coming out about connections between Russia and Trump.
Interesting. 'High confidence', too, so ~80%+ in their view.

Republican reactions have been similarly interesting in their willful denials, especially Trump's. His categorical distrust of anything that disrupts his view of the matter will be problematic, as it would tend to promote 'yes-man-ship' in the people around him.

I wonder if, once he's President and is appointing the highest ranking intelligence officials, will they only give him what he wants to hear? If so, he's going to be ripe for manipulation by the more cunning world leaders, especially everybody's favorite bogeyman, Putin.
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Old 12-10-2016, 03:42 AM   #5785
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The Trump team's response.
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Old 12-10-2016, 08:21 AM   #5786
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Jeff Sessions? Um, no, he's pretty senior Republican Senator.
... That's what I get for believing the Washington Post. I stand corrected.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:57 PM   #5787
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Republican reactions have been similarly interesting in their willful denials, especially Trump's. His categorical distrust of anything that disrupts his view of the matter will be problematic, as it would tend to promote 'yes-man-ship' in the people around him.
Yeah, I find that really frightening. The mishandling and politicizing of intelligence got us into the Iraq war. The thought of another president willing to completely ignore his intelligence reports and just do whatever he wants really scares me. I don't like the idea of getting into another misguided and mishandled war.

---------- Post automerged at 02:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:55 PM ----------

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The Trump team's response.
The original source of that tweet is great
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:38 PM   #5788
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Sorry, how is Trump working class? He wasn't born into poverty, or even just into comfort. He was born into wealth. His father was born into wealth. His grandfather was the one who made the family fortune. And he died nearly 40 years before Trump was born, so there was no opportunity for him to pass on any working class ethos.

I don't deny he's appealing to the working classes with his choices, but don't try to claim he's working class himself. He's not even particularly new money, at least in the US context.
It's a little confusing before you remember that by this use of "working class", we are actually referring to a segment of the American "middle class." We're talking 50-120k annual salaries. It's an umbrella of people who, money aside, have always had elements of insecurity about their social standing in America.

Then yeah, there's the marginal working class that liberals like to speak of, the <35k group who do benefit from policies like $15/hr min wage and paid sick leave. That's where you end up getting statements from the likes of MTV correspondent Ana Cox: "Most working-class people are people of color." Premature, this will be true when the country flips majority-minority in 2032 (but even then the definition of working class in this study are workers without a college degree, clearly not our usage).

Again, trying to identify class via income is a messy affair. You pointed out that it was Trump's grandfather who made the original fortune; Trump himself grew up in an ostensibly upper-middle neighborhood. Well, Dr. Fussell (from his seminal and quite humorous work on class in '80s America) once said it takes three generations to produce a middle class person, and many more to reach the upper class, let alone the top-out-of-sight.

Trump definitely has his middle class anxieties. It seems a younger, hungrier Donald once displayed an ethos that stood him out from all the other young real-estate heirs who worked with Roy Cohn. A testimony from one of Cohn's former employees from another forum:

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Interestingly enough I met Trump a few times at Roy Cohn's office in the early 1970s. I was a glorified go-fer for Cohn's firm, and I met Trump there. He was a very aggressive, young, very ambitious New York RE developer, and Cohn was his Lawyer/fixer. Even then, when he was young Trump stood out.

There were many young RE "heirs" like Trump in NYC. Not many, if any, could have done that Commodore Hotel deal, or built Trump Tower at that time, at 27. Occasionally, Trump's Dad Fred would come to the office, and it was clear that Donald ( then about 27 yrs old ), was in charge of the Manhattan stuff.

I say this because Cohn often remarked how he had met so many people and that Trump stood out to him. Again, I was just a go-fer, but I saw and mixed with many of Cohn's friends and clients. People like Ari Onassis, SI Newhouse, and Fat Tony Salerno among others. It was an interesting group, yet Trump seemed to be Cohn's favorite. Nobody would have guessed Trump was going to be President in 43 years, but I don't think anyone would have been shocked.

BTW: IMO, in 1973 Trump was probably the same Trump but not as developed. He was not the Orange caricature of today, and in fact was a good looking guy with great presence and assurance. He was a BSer, but not on today's scale. And it was apparent he was thinking of doing big things.

Finally, on a personal basis he was aware and gracious. I told him that I had many friends that lived in Trump Towers on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, and that I had once met his Dad at the New Deal Democratic Club in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. He seemed genuinely interested and always remembered it.
Fascinating, to hear of others' personal, human quirks. But hunger, as you know the Donald wears so well, is an unattractive class quality.




Back to the current subject matter. Between Romney and Giuliani, Trump was definitely favoring Romney but broadened his search because the outcry from his base wasn't dying down anytime. As a result it looks like we'll have Rex Tillerson for SoS with Bolton as his #2. They've been asking around the Senate to see if they'll be confirmed. As the first hearing, it'll be an embarrassment if they don't go through. Bolton's experience and anti-Putin views are meant to balance out Tillerson's Russian ties.

Trump is likely to nominate Romney's niece for RNC chair as consolation.

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Old 12-10-2016, 07:15 PM   #5789
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So what's Trumps strategy with appointing all these people? Get his before the public turns on him?
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:18 PM   #5790
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So what's Trumps strategy with appointing all these people? Get his before the public turns on him?
As best I can tell, the main thrust of Trump's appointments is throwing bones to the Republican establishment. The only one that hasn't been, to the best of my knowledge, is Mattis. Honestly, I think Trump's realized he himself is going to be a terrible President and is appointing his cabinet based on who he's being told would be best for the job, and by extension who the Republican leadership finds most agreeable.

I could easily be wrong though, if anyone's got some deeper insight into it.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:22 PM   #5791
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Get his before the public turns on him?
Since Trump's said he wants to "win NY" in 2020 (yeah, wishful thinking on his part), doubt it.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:25 PM   #5792
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Since Trump's said he wants to "win NY" in 2020 (yeah, wishful thinking on his part), doubt it.
Yeah, but he mostly says shit he doesn't mean.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:31 PM   #5793
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Yeah, but he mostly says shit he doesn't mean remember.
FTFY.

Nah, the fact that NY's turned against him so strongly hurts. He hasn't had much of a business presence here, most of his "power-broking" was in the '80s and early '90s, but I think he truly does want to win over NY and its institutions.

He just doesn't have a clear view of how to get there (he doesn't plan, remember?).
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:35 PM   #5794
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As best I can tell, the main thrust of Trump's appointments is throwing bones to the Republican establishment. The only one that hasn't been, to the best of my knowledge, is Mattis. Honestly, I think Trump's realized he himself is going to be a terrible President and is appointing his cabinet based on who he's being told would be best for the job, and by extension who the Republican leadership finds most agreeable.

I could easily be wrong though, if anyone's got some deeper insight into it.
It seams unlikely that the Establishment would want someone like Ben Carson filling a post. Or the CEOs of various companies that have nothing at all to do with governance.

Or, to be honest, Mike Flynn, who I think must have had a psychotic break at some point, because he's gone mad.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:08 PM   #5795
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It seams unlikely that the Establishment would want someone like Ben Carson filling a post. Or the CEOs of various companies that nothing at all to do with governance.

Or, to be honest, Mike Flynn, who I think must have had a psychotic break at some point, because he's gone mad.

Mike Flynn always disappoints me, because he was brilliant as Director of Intelligence for JSOC back in the 2000s. He and his team were the ones who ran down and killed Zarqawi, and the folks I know who worked for him during that time gave effusive praise. And these are Democrats too, or at the very least folks who mainly if not entirely vote Democratic.

Sad to see how far he's fallen from then. Still, even if he does nothing good for the remainder of his life (as I fully expect), he'll have some respect from me for killing Zarqawi, if not for anything else.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:07 PM   #5796
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I came across this analysis, and I was wondering what our resident minds might see in it.

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To some, any involvement in Russia inevitably makes one beholden to Putin. Consider this from one of the lead hysterics, Julia Ioffe:

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What does that kind of friendship mean? Past experience suggests it is not a relationship of equals. It means that, at the drop of a hat, the Kremlin might discover serious environmental violations at your Sakhalin plant and drive you out of the country, as it did to Royal Dutch Shell, and then give the lucrative access to a better, domestic ally. It might decide to harass you with lawsuits to force you out, as it did to BP. And it might even throw you in jail, as it did to powerful Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov in order to take a small oil company, Bashneft, away from you and give it to Sechin. Putin would even arrest his largely popular economics minister, as he did on November 15, to help Sechin retain it.

The lesson of Putin’s 16-year tenure is a lesson that all businesspeople, foreign and domestic, have learned: to do business in Russia, you have to be on good, personal terms with Putin and Sechin. And you have to understand that those two gatekeepers to Russia’s riches are fickle and sadistic, and, as former KGB operatives, know little of real friendship. To do business in Russia—both for Exxon Mobil and for Tillerson’s own massive retirement fund whose fortunes would rise significantly if a Trump White House lifted sanctions—you have to dance to Putin’s tune, and take whatever favors and humiliations he sends your way. Putin may act a friend and pin state medals on your breast, but he is, ultimately, a cynic. And to play ball with him, you have to be a cynic, too. Forget your honor, your rule of law, your independent judiciary, your human rights, your international law, and focus on the gold coins he throws to your feet. And forget looking dignified as you gather them up.
Note that none–NONE–of Ioffe’s examples involve ExxonMobil. Consider Shell’s travails in Sakhalin. ExxonMobil had a project in Sakhalin as well–Sakhalin I. Gazprom tried for years–years–to muscle its way in on that the way it muscled in on Shell’s Sakhalin II. It failed miserably. XOM swatted them away. And note that Gazprom and the Russian government didn’t pull the crap with Exxon that they pulled with Shell, or with BP in Kovytka or with TNK-BP. That’s a very big dog that didn’t bark. You think the Russians were just being nice to Exxon? Hardly. They respond to strength, and knew better than to confront Exxon.

...

In other words, Tillerson is a man who understands Russia well, is intimately aware of its dysfunctions, understands relative power, and is willing to negotiate from a position of strength in order to obtain positive outcomes that limit the risk of exposure to these dysfunctions.
This as counterpoint to concerns that Tillerson's amorality and inexperience may lead him to poorly navigate the grey diplomatic areas. As one friend observes from a reading of Steve Coll's history of Exxon, "an odd combination of an engineer's mindset as well as a moral compass lifted from his time at the Boy Scouts that leaves him categorizing all things as good, bad, or (surprisingly frequently) not relevant for moral consideration."

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Old 12-11-2016, 09:51 PM   #5797
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And he'll still be their president. History will remember Donald Trump where most of his "betters" won't even be a footnote.

I don't see him losing sleep over it.
You haven't been paying much attention to Donald Trump, then.

He desperately wants to be accepted by the high-society types. You don't even have to look that hard to see how much it gnaws at him.

Personally, I find that to be a singularly unattractive personal trait; he's more of a fake than a three-dollar bill is.

But there are lots of people out there who can empathize with that- after all, it's not that hard to shift the "elite" to the "liberal elite" in the minds of people he's appealing to. It happens all the time in right-wing political media, and the media shapes the way people think about things.
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:54 AM   #5798
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Meanwhile, Bolton (alleged second man on State) has hedged his bets regarding the DNC (and RNC, apparently?) hacking by saying that it could have been a false flag.

At least Rand Paul is on the case. Sadly, when one of the Pauls is one of the few visible opponents, that's very much not a good sign for anyone advocating anything remotely left of centre...
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:39 PM   #5799
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Apparently Newsweek is going to drop a big story on Trump's businesses tomorrow. That might be interesting.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:42 AM   #5800
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Apparently Newsweek is going to drop a big story on Trump's businesses tomorrow. That might be interesting.
I assume it's this story.

The story lists a lot of Trump's conflicts of interest and one of note is that Erdogan has jailed a business associate of Trump and could very well be asking for the extradiction of a person from US soil in exchange for the freedom of the business associate.

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Erdogan is frustrated in his efforts to grab Gülen; Trump praises a Turkish executive who works with his business partner there, Dogan. A few weeks later, a senior Dogan executive is detained on threadbare allegations. If Erdogan’s government puts more pressure on the company that’s paying millions of dollars to Trump and his children, revenue flowing from the tower complex in Istanbul could be cut off. That means Erdogan has leverage with Trump, who will soon have the power to get Gülen extradited. The financier with contacts in the Turkish government explained the dynamic to Newsweek: “Erdogan has something he believes Trump wants, and Trump has someone Erdogan desperately wants.”
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