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2 hours ago, Pariah said:

There is also the matter of the $100B+ in Saudi defense/weapons contracts that the President proudly declared won't be going to the Russians or the Chinese.

 

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by avarice.

 

Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that money is one of only two measures of success, and motivators for action, that he recognizes. Not economics, which he clearly doesn't understand; only bottom-line figures.

 

His other measure, of course, is the adulation he receives.

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17 hours ago, BoloOfEarth said:

 

LOCK HER UP!  LOCK HER UP!  LOCK HER UP!

 

Sorry, just couldn't stop myself.

 

As long as she doesn't send more than 30,000, it's no big deal.  Or so I was told two years ago.

 

Edit: After the way the media treated the Clinton e-mail, I have absolutely no use for their fake outrage, now.

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10 hours ago, Badger said:

 

As long as she doesn't send more than 30,000, it's no big deal.  Or so I was told two years ago.

 

Edit: After the way the media treated the Clinton e-mail, I have absolutely no use for their fake outrage, now.

 

The big difference here is that the law Ivanka broke was not a law when Clinton was using her private server. The only even potential illegalities found in the entire ridiculously long investigation into Clinton's emails were mishandling of classified materials, which were mostly classified after the fact.

 

On the other hand, Ivanka's use of a private server, when combined with the fact that she has not provided those emails as directed by the law, constitutes a clear felony violation.

 

And the news media covered Hilary's emails more than all policy issues combined during the 2016 election. Every detail was belabored again and again. For something that wasn't even a crime.

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15 hours ago, Pariah said:

There is also the matter of the $100B+ in Saudi defense/weapons contracts that the President proudly declared won't be going to the Russians or the Chinese.

 

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by avarice.

 

Yeah, those arms sales. Which, I am assured on All Things Considered by someone who tracks these things, are not $100 billion. More like $14 billion. Still a big chunk o' change by a private citizen's standards, but, well, Trump can't help exaggerating. Or possibly including sales that were actually negotiated during the Obama administration (I've heard that as an explanation, too).

 

It was also pointed out that Saudi Arabia can't just switch to other suppliers. Military hardware is not all interchangeable. You have to buy American parts for your American planes, and American missiles for your American launchers. Supposedly, if the US stopped the pipeline of materiel to Saudi, their war in Yemen would grind to a halt within a week. And they's be stuck for months, maybe years, while they replaced everything.

 

I would enjoy seeing that happen. 1) The Saudi war in Yemen is an atrocity; even worse, an atrocity that cannot achieve its stated goal of blocking Iran. At least, it sure hasn't done so yet. 2) The Khashoggi case reminds me once more that Saudi Arabia is not a friend of the US or any other Western democracy. It may be an ally of convenience, but Saudi values are not the values we claim to uphold. Not among the royal family, anyway. And I haven't forgotten that most of the 9-11 hijackers were Saudi, and that Jihadism is largely a product of Wahhabist madrasas set up with Saudi and other Gulf Arab money. It would be good, I think, to remind these absolute monarchs that this alliance has limits, and they are not in a position to decide what those limits shall be.

 

What can I say. I don't like despots, I don't like religious fanatics, and I really, really don't like false friends. Pretty strong issues, in fact. I should probably seek therapy.

 

Dean Shomshak

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Quote

 

In 1991, as Mr. Trump was teetering on personal bankruptcy and scrambling to raise cash, he sold his 282-foot yacht "Princess" to Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal for $20 million, a third less than what he reportedly paid for it.

Four years later, the prince came to his rescue again, joining other investors in a $325 million deal for Mr. Trump's money-losing Plaza Hotel.

In 2001, Mr. Trump sold the entire 45th floor of the Trump World Tower across from the U.N. in New York for $12 million, the biggest purchase in that building to that point, according to the brokerage site Streeteasy. The buyer: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

 

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-and-saudi-arabia-deep-business-ties-spark-new-scrutiny/

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4 hours ago, Dr.Device said:

And the news media covered Hilary's emails more than all policy issues combined during the 2016 election. Every detail was belabored again and again. For something that wasn't even a crime.

 

I've heard several journalists muse that they might have gone overboard in trying to be "balanced" in their coverage of both candidates during the last presidential election. With all the things Trump had said and done constantly making the news, they felt pressure to keep returning to the Clinton email issue so they wouldn't be accused of biased reporting. But in doing so they might have created a false equivalency between that and Trump's antics in the minds of the electorate.

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1 hour ago, Ternaugh said:

 

The thing that gets me is, none of this news. Trump's ties to the Saudis have been known for years, as well as the Russians and others. And the mere whiff of such a scandal would sink the career of any other American politician. I just can't understand how we could have gotten to the point where anyone so compromised could even have run for President, much less won.

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To me, this specific situation is symptomatic of a larger problem: out ridiculous dependence on hostile foreign governments. I've said it before, of course, but I think we spend way too much money on countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and Iraq,  just because they happen to have petroleum. Our supposedly trusted ally Pakistan was harboring Osama Bin Laden for who-knows-how-long. Our crushing national debt is owed in large part to China, who are rivals at best. And so on.

 

We've done a remarkably poor job of choosing who we get in bed with politically, and if it hasn't already started, very soon I fear it's going to come back and bite us in the butt.

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Since at least the 19th Century the major international powers have used the globe as their chess board. At times the "great game" has been cloaked in concerns over security, or promoting ideology; but at its heart it was always about competing for advantage, profit, dominance. The playing-pieces of other nations and peoples were taken up or dropped depending on their benefit to the player, not whether they were pristine or rotten to the core.

 

And yes, it's already come back to bite America in the butt, numerous times. Sadam Hussein. The Nicaraguan Contras. The Shah of Iran. Manuel Noriega. Just to name a few.

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Counterterrorism Expert Says He Thinks Trump Made A ...

www.npr.org/2018/11/21/670142144/counterterrorism-expert...

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with counterterrorism expert Daniel Benjamin, a Dartmouth researcher and former State Department official, about U.S.-Saudi relations, and which country needs the other more.

 

From All Things Considered today. TL;DR: Saudi Arabia has very little leverage on the US; the US has a great deal of leverage over Saudi Arabia; and in his defense of Prince MBS, Trump projects weakness to Saudi and to the world.

 

I also recommend the story after it, in which reporter John Itsty (sorry, I'm guessing at the spelling) analyzes the US-Saudi relationship from the petroleum perspective. For decades, Saudi has pressured the US by throttling back its oil production to raise prices. In 2014, however, the result was vast expansion of US shale oil production. If Sudi does this again, it makes shale oil profitable once more. So their great cudgel to use against the US... isn't.

 

Dean Shomshak

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 I don’t claim to be any kind of an expert, but based on what I’ve read, we have both the resources and technology to be energy independent if we chose to be. It’s going to be more expensive short term, of course, but in the long run I feel the benefits in terms of international entanglements, as well as pollution, would be well worth the investment. What we need is a speech like Kennedy’s “Man on the moon by the end of the decade” speech.

 

We’re not going to get such a speech from this administration, obviously.

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The momentum in political movements in the Western world right now appears to be toward short-term gain in exchange for long-term pain, because the benefits are more immediate and hence easier to sell to voters. OTOH China is pouring billions of state dollars into all aspects of alternative energy development, and has the potential to become the leader in that technology.

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56 minutes ago, Cygnia said:

 

To be fair, this particular insensitivity was set in motion under the Obama administration. And it's not like the American government has ever been shy in making paternalistic decisions for Native Americans.

 

But Trump quoted as testifying, "They don't look like Indians to me..." This is the guy who thinks Middle Eastern terrorists could be hiding among Central American migrants. Because, hey, they're all brown, right? :rolleyes:

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So...

 

How will Trump attempt to denigrate, isolate, and discredit the government's own report, fundamentally saying climate change is already causing major problems, and that it is largely man-made.  

 

Well, let's start with the fact that it was released today...when everyone is still in a tryptophan daze, or hung over, or coming down from the zoo that is Doorbuster Black Friday Sales.  Or just watching football and basketball....  But real news?  Nah.

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Most of the news media which doesn't try to spin everything to favor Trump will cover the report. Trump will probably call them tools of the liberal democratic deep state, as he usually does. He'll ignore his government's report, or call it questionable and then ignore it, as he has every government report he doesn't like. In this regard Trump has become quite predictable.

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It's ridiculous to me that we're discussing climate change in the Politics thread. Since when did leaving the planet a habitable place for future generations become a partisan issue?

 

YMMV, of course.

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10 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Most of the news media which doesn't try to spin everything to favor Trump will cover the report. Trump will probably call them tools of the liberal democratic deep state, as he usually does. He'll ignore his government's report, or call it questionable and then ignore it, as he has every government report he doesn't like. In this regard Trump has become quite predictable.

 

You left out the Trump Organization asking to build a seawall to protect a golf course in Ireland from rising tides and storm damage associated with global warming, which was mentioned in the application.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/22/trump-wall-gets-permission-on-irish-golf-course.html

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