OT: Trump/Russians/Robert Mueller

sp4149
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One key aspect of American foreign aid is that it consists not of humanitarian aid like food, medical supplies, infrastructure projects but instead is military aid to buy American-made military weapons. The trouble is that several members of NATO also have capable military weapons producers and that increased NATO spending could force a shift from buying American made weapons systems to buying NATO weapons; costing the American war machine hundreds of millions is sales and tens of thousands of jobs.

Unit2Sucks;842842081 said:

Exactly. We should enforce maximum spend not minimum spend. You would think the prior arms race would have taught us a lesson. Unless of course you subscribe to my theory that the military is welfare for republicans.
BearChemist
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Now Putin gets what he wants again: driving a wedge between US and other NATO members. Explain to me again Trump doesn't work for Russians?
sycasey
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BearChemist;842842303 said:

Now Putin gets what he wants again: driving a wedge between US and other NATO members. Explain to me again Trump doesn't work for Russians?


It's possible he doesn't actively work for them and is just their useful idiot. Not that that's any better.
BearNIt
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I can't believe this administration is trying to sell this foreign trip as a success and the conversation between Flynn, Kushner, and Kyslyak, as an attempt to open a back channel. Trump has pissed off every ally we have in Europe. The European Union has taken the view that they are on their own. Russia and Puty are doing a jig. I said it once and I'll say it again, this is a F-ing CLOWN SHOW! By the way, his single accomplishment (SCOTUS) may be his only accomplishment for the foreseeable future. The healthcare plan is a joke, the tax plan is laughable with no concrete details, and his Muslim ban has been stopped by the courts. How much more damage is Trump going to cause? Oh and I forgot the sh*tstorm of investigations into the Russians, Flynn, Manafort, Page, Kushner, Nunez, and anything else that floats to the top. Everybody is lawyering up and the best part is it has only been approximately 130 days since he took office.
BearChemist
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It is definitely NOT a home run success, not even in pee wee rules.
GB54
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BearChemist;842842345 said:

It is definitely NOT a home run success, not even in pee wee rules.


Who knows? He may be using the climate change agreement as a chip to make them pay more and maybe they will.

Fact is, they should be largely responsible for their own security instead of we being in charge. With Britain leaving, the whole European security issue needs to be re-evaluated. What is happening may be less Trump's doing than an inevitable process. It's too early to evaluate
BearNIt
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GB54;842842373 said:

Who knows? He may be using the climate change agreement as a chip to make them pay more and maybe they will.

Fact is, they should be largely responsible for their own security instead of we being in charge. With Britain leaving, the whole European security issue needs to be re-evaluated. What is happening may be less Trump's doing than an inevitable process. It's too early to evaluate


We derive many benefits from our alliance in NATO that I have seen first hand throughout Europe which have been outlined in this article. One of the biggest is our ability to stage troops and equipment as we engage in deployment after deployment not only in the Balkans, but also all over the Middle East and Africa. The below articles provide some context.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/08/natos-a-deal/496952/

http://www.factcheck.org/2016/04/u-s-foreign-military-support/
OdontoBear66
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GB54;842842373 said:

Who knows? He may be using the climate change agreement as a chip to make them pay more and maybe they will.

Fact is, they should be largely responsible for their own security instead of we being in charge. With Britain leaving, the whole European security issue needs to be re-evaluated. What is happening may be less Trump's doing than an inevitable process. It's too early to evaluate


What doesn't sit with me is that we have a "North Atlantic Treaty Organization", and we are the only ones paying our defined share coupled with the idea that we pay more than all the other countries combined. Germany, for one, is not exactly hurting. Now, if Merkel is that p***ed I can see she may move toward the Bear, but doubtful. Must we roll over to our allies to have them as allies? Things are evolving, this being part of it.
GB54
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BearNIt;842842382 said:

We derive many benefits from our alliance in NATO that I have seen first hand throughout Europe which have been outlined in this article. One of the biggest is our ability to stage troops and equipment as we engage in deployment after deployment not only in the Balkans, but also all over the Middle East and Africa.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/08/natos-a-deal/496952/


The fact that we are using Europe as a staging area for fighting or bombing 7 countries is not something I consider a benefit
GB54
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OdontoBear66;842842383 said:

What doesn't sit with me is that we have a "North Atlantic Treaty Organization", and we are the only ones paying our defined share coupled with the idea that we pay more than all the other countries combined. Germany, for one, is not exactly hurting. Now, if Merkel is that p***ed I can see she may move toward the Bear, but doubtful. Must we roll over to our allies to have them as allies? Things are evolving, this being part of it.


Merkel is an East German with Polish roots who speaks fluent Russian. She is more than capable of handling Putin
sp4149
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I have a feeling that part of "our fair share" may have been imposed on our allies. For instance converting an American base to a NATO base transfer the cost to NATO and saves millions of US dollars; even if they don't pay their "fair" share. Also by dominating NATO we have forced the purchase of a lot of American, high-priced, weapons systems on our allies. If 'our NATO' allies have to contribute more they just might buy their own weapons systems, keep the money at home and get more bang for the buck. The big loser will be US weapons factories. Merkel left the NATO meeting telling her people that they must be prepared to go it alone, that they can no longer count on US support (article 5?). Grump ended the trip having pledged support to the supreme source of Shari'a law and refusing to commit to NATO. After all we established NATO so that Germany and France and Italy would not re-establish their military heritage; as always the US refuses to accept when other countries do what we direct.
We may still have England as an ally; but that may not help much in the rest of the world. At least the administration confirmed that Grump doesn't like listening to other people.

OdontoBear66;842842383 said:

What doesn't sit with me is that we have a "North Atlantic Treaty Organization", and we are the only ones paying our defined share coupled with the idea that we pay more than all the other countries combined. Germany, for one, is not exactly hurting. Now, if Merkel is that p***ed I can see she may move toward the Bear, but doubtful. Must we roll over to our allies to have them as allies? Things are evolving, this being part of it.
BearNIt
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The Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions, is reported to not have disclosed yet another meeting with the Russians. If this is proven to be true, should Jeff Sessions resign from his position as Attorney General of the United States?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/us/politics/jeff-sessions-russia.html

Again, if I met the Russian ambassador, I would remember that meeting, especially if it was in the Mayflower.
bearister
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At a time when he is under investigation for collusion with the Russians he is giving them their safe houses back? Does that meet the definition of being "owned" lock, stock and barrel? The pee tape must be EPIC.

https://apple.news/AhvQQDRRqTimfy-2k9fMRTQ
sycasey
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BearNIt;842842962 said:

The Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions, is reported to not have disclosed yet another meeting with the Russians. If this is proven to be true, should Jeff Sessions resign from his position as Attorney General of the United States?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/us/politics/jeff-sessions-russia.html

Again, if I met the Russian ambassador, I would remember that meeting, especially if it was in the Mayflower.


I know none of this is proof of any wrongdoing, but it is certainly weird how many current and former Trump associates conveniently "forgot" about meetings they took with the Russians.
BearNIt
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Would Session's denial of such meetings during confirmation hearings constitute lying to Congress? He signed his request for a security clearance under penalty of perjury and forgot to mention the first 2 meetings and later admitted to the 2 meetings with the Russians, and indicated it was just an oversight. Now it is alleged there was a third meeting with the Russians. Did he knowingly committed perjury or just another oversight?

Why give the Russians back the 2 properties that were taken away for interfering in our election? It looks bad to the public.
NYCGOBEARS
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Melania is a mole... and I ain't talking about her talent for burrowing into tight spaces.
bearister
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BearNIt;842843001 said:

Would Session's denial of such meetings during confirmation hearings constitute lying to Congress? He signed his request for a security clearance under penalty of perjury and forgot to mention the first 2 meetings and later admitted to the 2 meetings with the Russians, and indicated it was just an oversight. Now it is alleged there was a third meeting with the Russians. Did he knowingly committed perjury or just another oversight?

Why give the Russians back the 2 properties that were taken away for interfering in our election? It looks bad to the public.


"Republicans sold their souls to this devil and now are forced to defend as right what they know full well is wrong. They must defend his incessant lying, clear incompetence and dubious dealings. What was once sacrilege among Republicans is now sacrosanct." Charles Blow, NY Times

Donald Trump can demonstrate no level of incompetence, ignorance or classlessness that is too low for his supporters.
sycasey
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bearister;842843020 said:

"Republicans sold their souls to this devil and now are forced to defend as right what they know full well is wrong. They must defend his incessant lying, clear incompetence and dubious dealings. What was once sacrilege among Republicans is now sacrosanct." Charles Blow, NY Times

Donald Trump can demonstrate no level of incompetence, ignorance or classlessness that is too low for his supporters.


"New York Times is part of the liberal media and fake news." - Trump supporters
going4roses
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What's next?
bearister
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http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_592fa813e4b0540ffc847a0f
dajo9
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sycasey;842842987 said:

I know none of this is proof of any wrongdoing, but it is certainly weird how many current and former Trump associates conveniently "forgot" about meetings they took with the Russians.


It is perjury because he lied under oath to the Senate and he lied on his disclosure forms. Perjury is wrongdoing. He should be removed from office and prosecuted under the law.
sycasey
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dajo9;842843106 said:

It is perjury because he lied under oath to the Senate and he lied on his disclosure forms. Perjury is wrongdoing. He should be removed from office and prosecuted under the law.


Oh sure, there is that. And Trump firing Comey probably amounts to obstruction of justice.

I'm talking about the Russian collusion stuff. That hasn't been conclusively proven, but there are a lot of weird coincidences if it's not true.
sycasey
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So, other than politics (feeding the base), is there any justification for leaving the Paris Climate Agreement?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/trump-paris-climate-agreement.html

All but two other countries signed it (and Nicaragua only stayed out because they thought it didn't go far enough). U.S. businesses are virtually unanimous in being against this action. What say you, Trump supporters?
NYCGOBEARS
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sycasey;842843227 said:

So, other than politics (feeding the base), is there any justification for leaving the Paris Climate Agreement?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/trump-paris-climate-agreement.html

All but two other countries signed it (and Nicaragua only stayed out because they thought it didn't go far enough). U.S. businesses are virtually unanimous in being against this action. What say you, Trump supporters?

The Koch brothers are getting their moneys worth.
bearister
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Obama: "I'm confident our states, cities, and businesses will step up and...help protect for future generations the one planet we've got"

Sierra Club on Paris deal withdrawal: 'Congratulations President Bannon'

Jerry Brown:
"I'm on the side of the angels," the former Jesuit seminarian said in an interview before flying on Friday to China, where he will rally support for his climate policies next week. "I'm going to do everything I can, and people are going to join with me." Politico
Unit2Sucks
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sycasey;842843227 said:

What say you, Trump supporters?


We stand firm with Syria against the tyranny of science?

Seriously though, this is just Trump throwing another flare up to divert from his numerous scandals while also throwing a bone to his fading base. We aren't going to exit the Paris accord and can't even formally withdraw until after the 2020 election. Trump knew this would be a much bigger story (hence distraction) than announcing we weren't going to do something stupid. I would expect to see more of these types of noisy non-actions in the coming months.
sycasey
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Unit2Sucks;842843234 said:

We stand firm with Syria against the tyranny of science?

Seriously though, this is just Trump throwing another flare up to divert from his numerous scandals while also throwing a bone to his fading base. We aren't going to exit the Paris accord and can't even formally withdraw until after the 2020 election. Trump knew this would be a much bigger story (hence distraction) than announcing we weren't going to do something stupid. I would expect to see more of these types of noisy non-actions in the coming months.


Even this doesn't make a lot of sense. It's basically an attempt to distract the opposition by creating more opposition.
Cal88
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sycasey;842843227 said:

So, other than politics (feeding the base), is there any justification for leaving the Paris Climate Agreement?

All but two other countries signed it (and Nicaragua only stayed out because they thought it didn't go far enough). U.S. businesses are virtually unanimous in being against this action. What say you, Trump supporters?


Quick answer:



Even if you go by the IPCC's wildly alarmist projections above, abiding by the Paris Agreement would have a very marginal effect on temperature increase, and this would come at a huge economic cost. Whole industries would be hampered, and consumers affected through large increases in utilities cost and other costs including food and transport.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/31/in-one-graph-why-the-parisclimate-accord-is-useless/
calbear93
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Unit2Sucks;842843234 said:

We stand firm with Syria against the tyranny of science?

Seriously though, this is just Trump throwing another flare up to divert from his numerous scandals while also throwing a bone to his fading base. We aren't going to exit the Paris accord and can't even formally withdraw until after the 2020 election. Trump knew this would be a much bigger story (hence distraction) than announcing we weren't going to do something stupid. I would expect to see more of these types of noisy non-actions in the coming months.


Honestly, can someone explain to me what the Paris Agreement does (other than make some amorphous commitments) and why US departing is so horrible for the world? I honestly don't know. I am as concerned as anyone about global warming and the damage it will do to those who are vulnerable and to our future generation. However, I don't know whether we are beyond the point of no return, whether US being in the treaty would have made a difference, and what difference the Paris Agreement makes to the problem. My brain likes to work in determining the root cause, finding the most direct and efficient way of solving the problem, and not taking actions just on a hope and a prayer. For example, we can all agree that Stage 4 cancer is horrible. Or that even Stage 3 is horrible. That doesn't mean that someone should use their life saving to buy a supposed elixir that may not be a cure.

I am concerned deeply about US abdicating its leadership role and thinking that we can reverse the globalization. I am also concerned about pandering to special interest. But pandering to special interest goes both ways. I am not looking for a philosophical debate but more an enlightenment on why people think that the Paris Agreement was the solution and worth the cost.
calbear93
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Cal88;842843240 said:

Quick answer:



Even if you go by the IPCC's wildly alarmist projections above, abiding by the Paris Agreement would have a very marginal effect on temperature increase, and this would come at a huge economic cost. Whole industries would be hampered, and consumers affected through large increases in utilities cost and other costs including food and transport.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/31/in-one-graph-why-the-parisclimate-accord-is-useless/



Even though I am disgusted by Trump's incompetence, I do wonder if those who are claiming gloom and doom really believe it. I hear people preaching about immediate and drastic actions to reverse global warming but I don't see much change in the way people live their lives (including Hollywood actors, Bay Area citizens, and Al Gore). I am truly trying to conserve energy, whether in the form of driving electric cars / hybrids or minimizing the use of electricity (including getting on this board). I have been studying getting solar power. However, I guess if I truly believed everything I read about global warming, I would be living a different lifestyle. I would never ride in any car, whether Uber or Lyft or my own, that was powered by fossil fuel. I would not use natural gas or electricity powered by anything other than sustainable energy. I would never eat beef. I would live in a small place with minimal footprint, avoid getting on planes, etc. I know it would require financial and lifestyle sacrifices, but isn't saving the planet worth it? If we believe not making drastic changes would lead to the death of our planet, wouldn't we live differently irrespective of what the government does? Yet, I don't see anyone really living that way, which leads me to believe that people really don't believe that we are going to increase the temperature by 2 degrees or that we can actually do anything about it. If people believe the gloom and doom, why are we still living the way we do and just hoping and praying the government take all action and responsibility? Wouldn't our lives be dramatically different?
sycasey
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Cal88;842843240 said:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/31/in-one-graph-why-the-parisclimate-accord-is-useless/


Cal88 posts a lot of material from Anthony Watts. I just thought I'd post some info about this guy, so people can make up their own minds as to whether or not he's a credible source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts_(blogger)
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts
https://skepticalscience.com/Anthony_Watts_blog.htm
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Anthony_Watts
sycasey
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calbear93;842843263 said:

Honestly, can someone explain to me what the Paris Agreement does (other than make some amorphous commitments) and why US departing is so horrible for the world? I honestly don't know. I am as concerned as anyone about global warming and the damage it will do to those who are vulnerable and to our future generation. However, I don't know whether we are beyond the point of no return, whether US being in the treaty would have made a difference, and what difference the Paris Agreement makes to the problem. My brain likes to work in determining the root cause, finding the most direct and efficient way of solving the problem, and not taking actions just on a hope and a prayer. For example, we can all agree that Stage 4 cancer is horrible. Or that even Stage 3 is horrible. That doesn't mean that someone should use their life saving to buy a supposed elixir that may not be a cure.

I am concerned deeply about US abdicating its leadership role and thinking that we can reverse the globalization. I am also concerned about pandering to special interest. But pandering to special interest goes both ways. I am not looking for a philosophical debate but more an enlightenment on why people think that the Paris Agreement was the solution and worth the cost.


That's the thing: the Paris Agreement isn't even a particularly harsh or binding agreement. It basically just says that all countries who enter into it can set their own benchmarks for reducing greenhouse emissions, have them peer reviewed, and then agree to come back after a certain time frame and review whether or not they have met those benchmarks.

So Trump leaving the agreement doesn't accomplish much other than (1) scoring political points with a segment of his base and (2) abdicating US leadership on the global stage.
calbear93
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sycasey;842843343 said:

That's the thing: the Paris Agreement isn't even a particularly harsh or binding agreement. It basically just says that all countries who enter into it can set their own benchmarks for reducing greenhouse emissions, have them peer reviewed, and then agree to come back after a certain time frame and review whether or not they have met those benchmarks.

So Trump leaving the agreement doesn't accomplish much other than (1) scoring political points with a segment of his base and (2) abdicating US leadership on the global stage.


SO why the gloom and doom. It seems like it was a nothing agreement. If the people who are crying that this is now the end of the world would change their own behavior, we may actually have something.
calbear93
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sycasey;842843339 said:

Cal88 posts a lot of material from Anthony Watts. I just thought I'd post some info about this guy, so people can make up their own minds as to whether or not he's a credible source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts_(blogger)
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts
https://skepticalscience.com/Anthony_Watts_blog.htm
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Anthony_Watts


I think both sides have manipulated data to support a predetermined conclusion. What I do know is that people behave the way they really believe. If I believe the ground will not hold, I will not jump up and down on the floor. If I claim that the ground cannot support any weight and the government needs to reinforce it but I am still jumping up and down, I probably don't believe it as much as I claim to believe it. I admit that reading some of the effects and signs of global warming are frightening. But I look around, even in the coasts, and people are still only talking about it, blaming the government but live nothing like they would if they actually believed it. True belief will inevitably change behavior. Talk without corresponding action betrays lack of belief.
sycasey
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calbear93;842843345 said:

SO why the gloom and doom. It seems like it was a nothing agreement. If the people who are crying that this is now the end of the world would change their own behavior, we may actually have something.


I didn't ask if doom and gloom was warranted. I asked if it was defensible as policy.
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