OT: Trump/Russians/Robert Mueller

BearChemist
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AunBear89 said:

Wow! Not only did he drop the "venality" bomb, but "moral turpitude" as well. The gloves are off!
Shoud've put "virtue signaling" in there.
Another Bear
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Trump's Lawyer: It's Time to End the Mueller Probe


This is how you tell the traitors from the patriots. The Traitors want the Mueller investigation to end now. Patriots want to see the process finished properly.
Another Bear
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Trump Is Taking Out His Enemies And Turning Toward Robert Mueller


Quote:

A history professor of mine once attempted to explain to our class why Adolf Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, when the virtual impossibility of a land invasion of a country as vast as Russia was already well known in 1941. The answer, he concluded, was that Hitler was put on earth to invade Russia. His loathing of Bolshevism, his twisted Darwinian mania for the acquisition of land and resources, and his fixation with his own military genius all led him to a decision that was both inevitable and impossible.

This is a good way to think about President Trump's approach toward the Robert Mueller investigation. Trump is not a Nazi or a fascist, and I am not drawing any moral parallel between the two. The similarity, rather, lies in the way an apparently irrational decision can be made logical and necessary by a certain kind of twisted internal logic that can escape outsiders. I have long believed Trump is headed toward a confrontation with Mueller, and those who doubt he will finally take the plunge are making the mistake of judging Trump by the standards of a normal president and not his own demonstrated pathologies. The sacking of FBI staffer Andrew McCabe for alleged unauthorized leaking to the news media, and comments by Trump's lawyer John Dowd calling for the firing or Robert Mueller add to an ominous drumbeat.



Another Bear
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The "Death of Stalin" is by the producers of Veep...and it's been banned in Russia because, while a parody, the story line is very much Putin. Looks hilarious.
BearNIt
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Watching Mike Conway from Texas and one of the leading Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee answer questions about their investigation and its conclusions was laughable. When asked about his and Devin Nunes' comments regarding that there was no collusion, he replied that the committee did not investigate the collusion question, Then why the statements indicating that there was no collusion? When asked if the testimony from Andrew McCabe to his committee was ever given to the white house he said it would not have been given to the White House unless voted on. Does anybody for a minute not believe that Devin Nunes the head of the House Intel Committee did provide that testimony to the White House given his previous actions regarding his work with the White House during this investigation? When asked if they ever interviewed Papadopoulos, one of the main reasons that the FBI investigation was started and FISA warrants were issued, he replied no. He said that Papadopoulos was already part of the Mueller investigation, fair enough.

The interviewer, Sleepy Chuck Todd ,then asked about the new revelations regarding Cambridge Analytics and Facebook. It appears that Cambridge Analytics a political consulting firm financed by the Mercers who were patrons of Steve "Let Them Call You A Racist" Bannon and former head of Breibart, was working with Facebook for the Trump Campaign. Cambridge Analytic obtained personal information on 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge, Data Breach? It appears that Facebook knew about this and did nothing and has made little to no comments about this. My question is, who had access to this information? Seems like the information that Cambridge Analytics had could have been used to target certain areas of the country not only by the Trump campaign, but by more nefarious actors which we have come to know in the past election. One would think that a committee that was tasked with finding out what happened during the 2016 election might be curious about this new revelation, but nothing, only silence.


okaydo
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Unit2Sucks
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More fodder for Mueller: Cambridge Analytica filmed acknowledging use of bribes and sex workers
Another Bear
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Just reading about that. Jesus Christ, no longer just Russkie hackers.

I know the Libertarians will have a brain seizure upon hearing this...but so what. Frankly they deserve it when you look at Brownback in Kansas and Honduras' experiment with Libertarian rule.

It's time to regulate social media. If the Russkies and an American data firm can hack the election, IT'S TIME. Media in the past has been regulated in the Fairness Doctrine and the Equal Time Candidates TV time.
Unit2Sucks
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Yeah I don't think Zuckerberg has much of an argument that FB doesn't need to be regulated and can take care of this on their own. This is a clear failure of private industry failing to police itself.
Anarchistbear
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I guess this means speculation about Zuckerberg running for President has been put on hold- unless Putin decides otherwise.
sycasey
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Unit2Sucks said:

Yeah I don't think Zuckerberg has much of an argument that FB doesn't need to be regulated and can take care of this on their own. This is a clear failure of private industry failing to police itself.
I'm trying to think of a time when private industry claimed they could "self-police" something and was actually proven right about it. Having a hard time coming up with examples.
okaydo
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bearister
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List of Guilty Pleas in Special Counsel Investigation (2017 to Present):

Rick Gates

Michael Flynn

George Papadopoulos

Richard Pinedo

Alex R. van der Zwaan
Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
Another Bear
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Facebook security chief said to leave after clashes over disinformation


Quote:

Facebook's chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, will leave the company after internal disagreements over how the social network should deal with its role in spreading disinformation, according to current and former employees briefed on the matter.

Stamos had been a strong advocate inside the company for investigating and disclosing Russian activity on Facebook, often to the consternation of other top executives, including Sheryl Sandberg, the social network's chief operating officer, according to the current and former employees, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

Quote:

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, Sandberg and other company leaders have struggled to address a growing set of problems, including Russian interference on the platform, the rise of false news, and the disclosure this past weekend that 50 million of its user profiles had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling company that worked on President Donald Trump's election campaign.

Facebook did not immediately have a comment.

#DeleteFacebook movement gains steam after 50 million users have data leaked

Profits or valuation or democracy? I believe I'll be joining #DeleteFacebook.

BearNIt
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bearister said:

List of Guilty Pleas in Special Counsel Investigation (2017 to Present):

Rick Gates

Michael Flynn

George Papadopoulos

Richard Pinedo

Alex R. van der Zwaan

More are coming. Is Hope Hicks next? Corey Lewandowski? Maybe Mueller wants to interview Facebook's chief information security officer, Alex Stamos.

mikecohen
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Another Bear said:

Facebook security chief said to leave after clashes over disinformation


Quote:

Facebook's chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, will leave the company after internal disagreements over how the social network should deal with its role in spreading disinformation, according to current and former employees briefed on the matter.

Stamos had been a strong advocate inside the company for investigating and disclosing Russian activity on Facebook, often to the consternation of other top executives, including Sheryl Sandberg, the social network's chief operating officer, according to the current and former employees, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

Quote:

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, Sandberg and other company leaders have struggled to address a growing set of problems, including Russian interference on the platform, the rise of false news, and the disclosure this past weekend that 50 million of its user profiles had been harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling company that worked on President Donald Trump's election campaign.

Facebook did not immediately have a comment.

#DeleteFacebook movement gains steam after 50 million users have data leaked

Profits or valuation or democracy? I believe I'll be joining #DeleteFacebook.

I've been trying to make a point relevant to this for a long time, without success. Starting with having (and continuing to have) the most negative feelings, opinions, etc., about Trumpians and its fellow travelers, and about Putin and all other totalitarians, I nevertheless can't help but to look for the truth; and, in terms of Russian influence on the American Election, I can't help but to ask the following:
Given: (1) The know-nothing, racist strain in the American body-politic (maybe more a pretty big river);
(2) That any American knows where those parts of the body politic can be found;
(3) Some of the troublesome features of Democracy have been around forever, and have been in process of being more and more weaponized, especially (but not exclusively) by electronic and scientific means - features such as:
(a) The primacy of prejudice
(b) The primacy of playing to those prejudices in order to get votes
(c) Shameless lying to play to those prejudices
(d) Demagoguery
(e) Etc.,
The question arises: Why do the lying, racist, authoritarian demagogues of the Republican Party need any Russian help to do what Russia is accused of doing, and what Cambridge Analytica is now being shown to have done the above, with (a) more money than god, (b) the kind of advancements in relevant technology that money can buy, and (c) probably the most inbred, instinctive, refined, sense of how to invigorate those pressure points and change them into votes (combined the ever-developing tactics of voter suppression)?
Don't get me wrong. Russians are masters of this kind of stuff, from the most major, evil, PR Coup in the history of the world (The Protocols of the Elders of Zion) written by the Czarist Secret Police in the 19th Century, through Stalinism (the father of the Cult of Personality), to the present day, continuing exploits of the Russian Secret Service success in Brexit, and other examples. But, I just can't imagine they could hold a candle to the American professionals who have been mining this strain in American politics to great effect since the Civil War, and have to be seen as having a much more accurate and deep understanding of it than any Russian ever could.
That's why I think that there had to be "collusion" with the Russians, because only Americans could have cut through to the quick in this strain with as much accuracy, precision and feeling as the 2016 hacking of the election had; and so, if the Russian efforts in this (and the scale of Cambridge Analytica's activities suggests that the size of the Russian effort was perhaps not so significant) had any success, it had to have been aided (even directed) by those home-growns who know the territory so much better.
BearNIt
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Today Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his victory in the fair elections as U.S., I mean Russia's President.
Anarchistbear
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The role of the tech industry in our collective embrace of tribalism, stupidity, surveillance, manipulation and propaganda is far worse than anything the Russians could have concocted.
okaydo
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mikecohen
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Anarchistbear said:

The role of the tech industry in our collective embrace of tribalism, stupidity, surveillance, manipulation and propaganda is far worse than anything the Russians could have concocted.
To add to a point I recently made on the board. It appearing now that Cambridge Analytica's relevant conduct was much more pervasive, and likely more effective, than whatever the Russians did, it is important to keep in mind that, questions about how they achieved the data aside, what Cambridge Analytica did (i.e., the calculated lying [fake news] to audiences targeted to the demands of the Electoral College) was LEGAL (whereas the same conduct by foreigners) is IL-LEGAL)
bearister
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Nothing has happened in real life to convince me that Zuckerberg is any less d@uchey than as he is depicted in Social Network.
Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
Another Bear
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Facebook has lost $52 billion in four days: Zuckerberg stays silent, regulators want answers

A clamor grows over Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg's public silence about Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica crisis

The next Yahoo...has arrived.
okaydo
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bearister said:

Nothing has happened in real life to convince me that Zuckerberg is any less d@uchey than as he is depicted in Social Network.


Another Bear
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1 in 5 CEOs are psychopaths, study finds

Considering the percentage of psychopaths in the general population is at 1%...corporate CEOs are 20 times more likely to be psychopath. I'd say that's more than significant.
dajo9
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I think most people who have spent a lot of time in corporate life can see that leadership generally consists of smart, driven people who don't give a damn about other people
blungld
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dajo9 said:

I think most people who have spent a lot of time in corporate life can see that leadership generally consists of smart, driven people who don't give a damn about other people


And yet it is THESE people and not the enterprise of providing for public good (the government) is whom the Conservative base mistrusts. It's because they've nvever worked in Corpirate America and don't know who they are talking about.
Unit2Sucks
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blungld said:



And yet it is THESE people and not the enterprise of providing for public good (the government) is whom the Conservative base mistrusts. It's because they've nvever worked in Corpirate America and don't know who they are talking about.


You really think politicians are different? I see a lot of people who are in it for themselves with helping constituents being an occasional positive externality. There are some good people in politics of course but there are good people running corporations too. I don't know that I have been given any reason to trust politicians to do the right thing. At least with corporations you know whose interests they are serving.

"Fine people on both sides"?
Another Bear
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At least politicians are elected, can be voted out and usually cede to public pressure. Corporate CEOs hire a bunch of lawyers and then go into HIDING.

Exclusive: Mark Zuckerberg AWOL From Facebook's Data Leak Damage Control Session
Anarchistbear
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Corporate America and Political America are mostly indistinguishable. One feeds the other; and in return the other feeds them back
Unit2Sucks
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Another Bear said:

At least politicians are elected, can be voted out and usually cede to public pressure. Corporate CEOs hire a bunch of lawyers and then go into HIDING.

Exclusive: Mark Zuckerberg AWOL From Facebook's Data Leak Damage Control Session
CEOs are appointed by and accountable to their boards of directors who have fiduciary duties to stockholders under applicable law. They are far more accountable than politicians who cannnot be removed without cause and generally seem to be re elected with very little regard to their performance, particularly with respect to legislators. Politicians seem to do a pretty good job hiding behind their lawyers when they want to as well. There are very few objective standards or duties applicable to politicians so they can spend decades deceiving their constituents as to their effectiveness.

I'm not making an argument that CEOs are somehow better than politicians, but I don't see any structural reason why I would trust a random politicians over a random CEO. The difference is most CEOs don't pretend to represent the average citizen.
okaydo
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sonofabear51
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I can tell you that the biotech corporation I currently work for absolutely sucks. I have been there for 20 years. I have seen the raises for hourly, and salary, going forward. Nothing compares to what the higher ups receive. The CEO now makes close to 20 million, and most of it is in bonuses. Wow. Does one individual REALLY need all that money? This all may fall on deaf ears, but this is apparently the new reality, and it ain't pretty.
mikecohen
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Unit2Sucks said:

Another Bear said:

At least politicians are elected, can be voted out and usually cede to public pressure. Corporate CEOs hire a bunch of lawyers and then go into HIDING.

Exclusive: Mark Zuckerberg AWOL From Facebook's Data Leak Damage Control Session
CEOs are appointed by and accountable to their boards of directors who have fiduciary duties to stockholders under applicable law. They are far more accountable than politicians who cannnot be removed without cause and generally seem to be re elected with very little regard to their performance, particularly with respect to legislators. Politicians seem to do a pretty good job hiding behind their lawyers when they want to as well. There are very few objective standards or duties applicable to politicians so they can spend decades deceiving their constituents as to their effectiveness.

I'm not making an argument that CEOs are somehow better than politicians, but I don't see any structural reason why I would trust a random politicians over a random CEO. The difference is most CEOs don't pretend to represent the average citizen.
The reason that CEO salaries blew into the stratosphere (while the employees' salaries stayed level for decades) is that, although Boards of Directors have legal authority, their more than glaring lack of hands-on understanding of what is actually going on on the ground is such that they are, as a practical matter, as dependent on the CEOs (until some scandal horrible enough to justify negative action comes along) as the Russian Communist Party was dependent on Stalin
Another Bear
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Sorry to hammer this, but with CEO compensation now close to 1,000x the average employee, I'm not listening to any rationalization regarding corporations at this point. This is Manhattan Oil. The CEO makes close to 1,000x the average worker. Or put in perspective, the worker has to work close to 1,000 YEARS to earn what he earns in ONE YEAR. That's not healthy, or normal in any other country.
oski003
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Trump is right in saying that a special counsel should never have been appointed to investigate the so-called Russian connection. There was no evidence of any crime committed by the Trump administration. But there was plenty of evidence that Russian operatives had tried to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, and perhaps other elections, in the hope of destabilizing democracy. Yet, appointing a special counsel to look for crimes, behind the closed doors of a grand jury, was precisely the wrong way to address this ongoing challenge to our democracy.

The right way would have been (and still is) to appoint a nonpartisan investigative commission, such as the one appointed following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, to conduct a broad and open investigation of the Russian involvement in our elections. This is what other democracies, such as Great Britain and Israel, do in response to systemic problems. The virtue of such a commission is precisely the nonpartisan credibility of its objective experts, who have no political stake in the outcome.

Such a commission could have informed the American public of what Russia did and how to prevent it from doing it again. It would not seek partisan benefit from its findings, the way congressional committees invariably do. Nor would it be searching for crimes in an effort to criminalize political sins, the way special counsels do to justify their existence and budget. Its only job would be to gather information and make recommendations.

The vice of a special counsel is that he is supposed to find crimes, and if he comes up empty-handed, after spending lots of taxpayer money, then he is deemed a failure. If he can't charge the designated target - in this case, the president - he must at least charge some of those close to the target, even if it is for crimes unrelated to the special counsel's core mandate. By indicting these low-hanging fruits, he shows that he is trying. Maybe those lesser defendants will flip and sing against higher-ups, but the problem is that the pressure to sing may cause certain defendants to "compose," meaning make up or enhance evidence in order to get a better deal for themselves.

In this case, the appointment of a special counsel has done more harm than good. It has politicized our justice system beyond repair. The FBI deputy director has been fired for leaking and lying. His testimony appears to be in conflict with that of the former FBI director as to whether the leaks were authorized. Messages by high-ranking FBI agents suggest strong bias against Trump. A tweet by the former CIA director reveals equally strong negative views of the president. Perhaps these revelations prove nothing more than that law enforcement and national security officials are human and hold political views like everyone else.

But these views are not supposed to influence their decisions. In our age of hyperpartisanship, the public has understandably lost confidence in the ability and willingness of our leaders to separate their political views from their law enforcement decisions. This is not all attributable to the appointment of the special counsel, but the criminalization of political differences on both sides of the aisle has certainly contributed to the atmosphere of distrust in our justice system.

The public has lost faith in the leadership of the Justice Department and the FBI. They don't trust congressional investigative committees. They don't know whom to believe when they hear conflicting accounts. There are leaks galore followed by denials of leaks. It's a total mess. And what do we have to show for it? Just a handful of low-level indictments based largely on alleged crimes that are either unrelated or only marginally related to Russia's attempt to influence our presidential election in 2016.

It's not too late to try to repair some of the damage done. Let Congress now appoint a nonpartisan commission to conduct a transparent investigation of Russia's efforts to influence our elections. Let the special counsel suspend his investigation until the nonpartisan commission issues its report. If the report identifies crimes and criminals, there will be time enough to indict and prosecute. Right now, we need the nonpartisan truth, because we aren't getting it from the special counsel.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. He is the author of "Trumped Up: How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy" and "The Case Against BDS: Why Singling Out Israel for Boycott is Anti-Semitic and Anti-Peace." You can follow him on Twitter @AlanDersh and on Facebook @AlanMDershowitz. The Hill.
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