Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

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jeanV
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Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by jeanV » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:09 am

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Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

An agnostic's guide to our president’s strange conduct.

My official pundit’s opinion on Donald Trump, Russian election interference, collusion, kompromat and impeachment is that I’m waiting for the Mueller investigation to finish before I have a strong opinion. This allows me to cultivate the agnostic’s smug superiority, but it also leaves me without a suitably en fuego take after something like the immediately infamous Trump-Putin news conference — not because the president’s behavior wasn’t predictably disgraceful, but because the nature and scale of the disgrace can’t be assessed without a certainty about Trump’s motives that’s somewhat out of reach.

So maybe this is a good time to step back and sketch out the three main ways to understand Trump’s relationship to Russia and Putin and the 2016 hacking of his Democratic rivals, the three major theories that make sense of our president’s strange conduct before and since. I’m not going to formally choose among them, but for people interested in betting I will offer odds for each.

Scenario 1: Trump Being Trump

In this theory of the case, you can explain all of Trump’s Russia-related behavior simply by finding him guilty of being the person we always knew him to be — vain, mendacious, self-serving, sleazy and absurdly stubborn, with a purely personalized understanding of allies and adversaries, a not-so-sneaking admiration for strongmen and the information filter of an old man who prefers his own reality to the discomforts of contrary information.

Thus Trump is friendly to Putin for the same reason that he praised the Chinese Politburo after Tiananmen Square and now praises Xi Jinping; (..) Trump simply likes authoritarian rulers, that he admires their supposed toughness and doesn’t give a fig about their cruelty, (..)

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If Trump seems to have a more intense affinity for Putin than for other autocrats, two further explanations may suffice. First, his history of doing business deals with Russians makes him particularly inclined to seek geopolitical deals with Russia (..)

At the same time, his vanity and amour propre, joined to his rage against his doubters, makes it impossible for Trump to admit that anyone else helped him win the White House — so he cannot bring himself to fully acknowledge and criticize Russian election meddling (..)

And what about the election-season contacts with suspicious Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, the Don Jr. meeting and the Roger Stone forays? In this theory they’re indicators that Trump, a shady guy surrounded by shady guys and professional morons, might well have colluded given the opportunity — but they don’t prove that any such opportunity presented itself. (..)

Overall it’s a theory that fits Trump’s personality extremely well, fits the available facts reasonably well, and doesn’t require any new revelations or heretofore-hidden conspiracies. So I continue to give it a … (consults extremely scientific methodology) … 65 percent chance of being the truth.

Scenario 2: Watergate With Russian Burglars

But in outlining the previous scenario I’ve conceded that people around Trump, including his own family members, did show a willingness to collude with dubious figures — and this concession alone means I can’t go along with Trump apologists and anti-anti-Trumpers who insist that collusion theories don’t have any evidence behind them. At the very least, they have the evidence of Don Jr.’s obvious enthusiasm and Stone’s conspicuous maneuvering. (..)

(..) there’s always the possibility that this characterological analysis is a form of overthinking, and that when the truth comes out we’ll look back and say that his guilt should have been obvious all along.

And what kind of guilt would it be? There are various possibilities, but the latest Mueller filing supplies one possible answer: In addition to the email leaks, we now know that the Russian hackers also accessed Democratic campaign analytics, a prize that (far more than the emails) would have been hard to fully weaponize if they weren’t shared directly with the Trump campaign.(..)

So a Watergate-style endgame with a Russian twist is hardly a paranoiac’s fantasy: If the Trump campaign got stolen campaign data and Trump knew enough about it to inform his firing of Comey, that’s collusion and a case for impeachment wrapped into one scenario. And the odds that something like this is the truth I boldly place at … (calculates) … 25 percent.

Scenario 3: The Muscovite Candidate

That leaves 10 percent for the most dramatic theory, which is that any collusion wasn’t just something Trump’s team stumbled into during the campaign but something connected to a much longer-running Russian intelligence operation, and that Trump’s relationship to the Russian state is not just a personal or ideological affinity or a campaign-season alliance but a partnership forged through blackmail or bribery or both.

Most of that 10 percent covers the narrow version of this theory, in which Putin and Co. are blackmailing Trump with damaging financial information from his recent Russian dealings or with the mythical-or-is-it pee tape. (..)

The first two narratives I’ve offered seem far more parsimonious, Trump seems like too brazen a sinner to be effectively blackmailed, and his worldview seems very palpably his own. (..)

But one of the vows I took after Trump's stunning political ascent was to refuse to be that surprised again, to refuse to simply laugh at scenarios that seem outlandish or unlikely — because, as they say, that kind of reflexive laughter is how you got Trump. (..)

Don’t fit me for that #Resistance shirt just yet; my money is still on the strange-but-not-that-crazy explanations for our president’s behavior. But in the age of Donald Trump, everyone should hedge their bets.
Benedict Arnold Trump is a conceited idiot: Lock him up!!

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LeJizzOfMatoub
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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by LeJizzOfMatoub » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:18 am

I see that your Trump Derangement Syndrome is hitting hard this week, here's a few pics to rile you up

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jeanV
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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by jeanV » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:37 am

LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:18 am
I see that your Trump Derangement Syndrome is hitting hard this week,

Image
Why should I be riled up by your PTSD (Pro-Trump Syndrome of Derangement)?

• the Iran deal, imperfect as it might have been, was more solid than Kim's empty promises
• Trump tax "turbo" prolonged on debt credit Obama's recovery = demagogic vote buying.
• Exiting the Paris Accord, EPA scuttling = more growth on debt (for the future generations)
• Secure borders? Where's the wall? I thought it would be tall, beautiful and easy to build fast?

That leaves Trump with very meager accomplishments indeed.

All this at the cost of being a Russian agent attacking NATO and the EU for Putin?

Nice P&L. :roll:

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Benedict Arnold Trump is a conceited idiot: Lock him up!!

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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by WilyB » Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:18 pm

I fucking loved it when Vladimir asked for the GRU to be allowed to investigate on Clinton's stoel $400M of Russian money.
Moreover, we can meet you halfway. We can make another step. We can actually permit official representatives of the United States, including the members of this very commission headed by Mr. Mueller, we can lead them into the country and they will be present at this questioning.

But in this case, there's another condition. This kind of effort should be a mutual one. Then we would expect that the Americans would reciprocate and that they would question officials including the officers of law enforcement and intelligence services of the United States, whom we believe have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia. And we have to request the presence of our law enforcement.

For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder in this particular case. Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over one and a half billion dollars in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States and yet the money escaped the country, they were transferred to the United States.

They sent a huge amount of money - 400 million - as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Well, that's their personal case, it might have been legal, the contribution itself, but the way the money was earned was illegal.

So we have a solid reason to believe that some intelligence officers accompanied and guided these transactions. So we have an interest of questioning them. That could be a first step and we can also extend it. Options abound.
L.O.fucking.:L

Note this is NPR, a commie radio. https://www.npr.org/2018/07/16/62946240 ... conference

Oh so surprisingly, almost NO newspaper commented on this, but oh boy, did commie Brennan went unhinged!

brennan.jpg
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JohnB
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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by JohnB » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:22 pm

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The author of JohnV’s article, Ross Douthat.

:lol:
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John Frum
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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by John Frum » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:28 pm

Aliens.jpg
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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by jeanV » Thu Jul 19, 2018 4:20 pm

JohnB wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:22 pm
The author of JohnV’s article, Ross Douthat.
For once, we agree, Douthat is not very bright.

He's a Roman Catholic.


But even Catho-niggers can occasionally come up with a good article.

Such as this one.

:P
Benedict Arnold Trump is a conceited idiot: Lock him up!!

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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by LeJizzOfMatoub » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:55 am

jeanV wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:37 am

• the Iran deal, imperfect as it might have been, was more solid than Kim's empty promises
• Trump tax "turbo" prolonged on debt credit Obama's recovery = demagogic vote buying.
• Exiting the Paris Accord, EPA scuttling = more growth on debt (for the future generations)
• Secure borders? Where's the wall? I thought it would be tall, beautiful and easy to build fast?

Dear disciple of the Red Dawn,

1. Iran and North-Korea were empowered by weak globalist governments, what kind of solidity can you have with muslim lunatics?

Look what really happened with your turbaned friends:
Papers stolen in a daring Israeli raid on Tehran archive reveal the extent of Iran’s past weapons research
New details from a trove of Iranian nuclear documents stolen by Israeli spies early this year show that Tehran obtained explicit weapons-
design information from a foreign source and was on the cusp of mastering key bombmaking technologies when the research was ordered halted 15 years ago.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/na ... story.html

2. Your Obama recovery is over, deal with it!

3. Yeah sure, escaping the payment of trillions to China and Euro dorks is abd for the debt, we must burn money to appease the Global Warming.

4. I already told you how voting fundings could be difficult with democrat dorks and RINOS, but it's like explaining quantum mechanics to my horse.
House panel would provide $5 billion for Trump border wall

A House spending bill would provide $5 billion next year for building President Donald Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico.

That's well above the $1.6 billion the Senate version of the measure provides, suggesting that a budget battle lies ahead.

Mr. Trump's budget requested $1.6 billion for 2019 for the wall.

A Republican congressional aide says that in conversations, the president has since asked GOP lawmakers to provide $5 billion.

Democrats have enough votes in the GOP-run Senate to block any spending they oppose. Without naming a figure, Mr. Trump said in April that he would "have no choice" but to force a government shutdown this fall if he doesn't get the border security money he wants.

The money is part of the House appropriations bill financing the Homeland Security Department.
http://www.kwtx.com/content/news/House- ... 57911.html
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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by jeanV » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:03 am

LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:55 am
1. Iran and North-Korea were empowered by weak globalist governments,
what kind of solidity can you have with muslim lunatics?
Very simple comparison: Trump got nothing, nada, zero from Kim. NK nuclear program ON.

Obama + Russia/China/EU got an Iran deal that put Iran's nuclear program OFF.

See the difference?
LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:55 am
2. Your Obama recovery is over, deal with it!
Yes. We now have its continuation fueled by tax cuts paid with debt.

Tea Party anyone?
LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:55 am
3. Yeah sure, escaping the payment of trillions to China and Euro dorks is abd for the debt, we must burn money to appease the Global Warming.
Who is we? And I was referring to the ecological debt.

Rising temperatures will have massive societal costs.
LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:55 am
4. I already told you how voting fundings could be difficult with democrat dorks and RINOS, but it's like explaining quantum mechanics to my horse.
Except that this political situation pre-existed the election. Trump knew it.

Yet he repeatedly campaigned on the ease and speed with which he would build a wall.

GWHB said it best: Trump is a blowhard.

And a Russian agent.

:oops:
Benedict Arnold Trump is a conceited idiot: Lock him up!!

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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by LeJizzOfMatoub » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:59 am

jeanV wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:03 am
LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:55 am
1. Iran and North-Korea were empowered by weak globalist governments,
what kind of solidity can you have with muslim lunatics?
Very simple comparison: Trump got nothing, nada, zero from Kim. NK nuclear program ON.

Obama + Russia/China/EU got an Iran deal that put Iran's nuclear program OFF.
That's what the iranians said dummy, the muslims have this wonderful duty to lie to dumb foreigners it's called the Taquiya


As for North-Korea, you nigga be trippin'

1) U.S. concessions to North Korea so far are largely reversible.
If North Korea hasn’t yet given up a lot in negotiations, neither has the United States. Trump can’t retract his decision to hold a summit with and even speak admiringly of the dictatorial rule of Kim Jong Un, just like Kim can’t walk back his decision to release American hostages ahead of the summit. But Trump is right to state that while he has suspended upcoming U.S.-South Korea military exercises that he considers “provocative,” he can always reinstate the drills if nuclear talks collapse. Likewise, the Trump administration has refrained from imposing new sanctions on North Korea as diplomacy proceeds and, in engaging North Korea, has potentially weakened the resolve of countries such as China and South Korea to enforce existing sanctions. But here again, there’s been no easing of U.S. sanctions in exchange for North Korea’s vague, noncommittal promise of denuclearization in Singapore.

2) The United States and North Korea are now talking to each other rather than threatening war.
It’s hard to argue only half a year later that the Singapore summit and the flurry of direct, lower-level talks preceding it are meaningless or even reckless. Within months of Duckworth warning darkly that the U.S. military had “seen the writing on the wall,” Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un were signing a statement in which they pledged to jointly “build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula.” That’s astonishing.

3) Any North Korean denuclearization pledge is remarkable.
While North Korea had declared itself a nuclear power in 2005, it hadn’t yet tested a nuclear bomb. Thirteen years later it has tested six, including most recently a suspected thermonuclear weapon 17 times as strong as the bomb that devastated Hiroshima—plus last year’s successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles that may be able to carry nuclear warheads to the United States. The deficiencies in the language notwithstanding, it’s remarkable that a now nearly full-fledged nuclear power would agree in writing to anything involving the ceding of that status.
Also notable: North Korean state media has released a documentary on the Singapore summit that shows viewers the agreed-to language on denuclearization.

4) For the moment, some conditions for a realistic, halfway-decent nuclear deal with North Korea are in place.
As talks proceed it has resulted in a de facto freeze of the North’s tests of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, which Kim announced in April. That means that for the time being, North Korea isn’t experimenting (publicly at least) with its new intercontinental ballistic missiles, detonating nuclear devices, or test-firing nuclear-tipped missiles over the Pacific Ocean as it threatened to do last fall—all of which would signal advances in the North Korean nuclear program and bring the United States and North Korean closer to military conflict.

Tentatively suspending U.S.-South Korea military exercises while North Korea tentatively suspends its nuclear and missile tests is very far off from the “complete, verifiable, and irreversible” dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear program that the Trump administration has demanded. But it’s closer to what Perry has described as a workable outcome of negotiations.

5) Trump is experimenting with a promising politics-first approach to the North Korean nuclear crisis.
6) It’s possible this is the small start of something big.
https://www.theatlantic.com/internation ... ss/563012/


jeanV wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:03 am

Yes. We now have its continuation fueled by tax cuts paid with debt.

Tea Party anyone?
Because Obama Stimulus package to raise part-time employment costed nothing?

jeanV wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:03 am
Who is we? And I was referring to the ecological debt.

Rising temperatures will have massive societal costs.
The modern world has access to air conditioning, no big deal.
Alan should hire a real admin to fix the board and sack the commie mod.

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Re: Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories

Post by jeanV » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:06 am

LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:59 am
That's what the iranians said dummy, the muslims have this wonderful duty to lie to dumb foreigners it's called the Taquiya
Any amount of Taqiya (or taqiyya, but not taquiya) cannot cover on site inspections.

The Iran deal was controlled by outside experts. A distant dream in the NK 'deal'.
LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:59 am
As for North-Korea, you nigga be trippin'
Skipped your long and useless text. The NK deal, to this day, is an empty shell. Period.
LeJizzOfMatoub wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:59 am
The modern world has access to air conditioning, no big deal.
Stephen Hawkins said humanity was going to fry itself out of existence. no big deal.

:geek:
Benedict Arnold Trump is a conceited idiot: Lock him up!!

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