Dutch -- I will say it again. Amongst other deficiencies, it was well know that Trump knew shit about foreign affairs, cultures and governments other than bribing people at the top for real estate deals. He was called ignorant on foreign policies, but that didn't matter to the 63 million who voted for him because they too were largely ignorant...not to mention a bunch of bigots. I could cite sources on the internet that goes back way before the election that highlighted what was wrong with Trump, but it just didn't matter to a whole bunch of them. He was vetted and for many of the people who voted for him said, "so what". For others he was speaking their language.
He could win again in 2020 despite all the subsequent vetting by Mueller and others. For his most avid supporters it just doesn't matter.
Dutch -- The vetting of Trump did take place. As I wrote in my blog article on Trump being a bad businessman, everything was sourced from articles, video clips, and a long track record of cheating, lying, money laundering, suing banks, stiffing his workers, racism, narcissism, sociopathy, authoritarianism, and even the Russian collusion from BEFORE he was a viable candidate. He was called out for it repeatedly in the debates by his Republican opponents and by some segments of the media (not all). He was repeatedly called a narcissist and a con artist.
As psychologist, Joseph Burgo wrote about Trump in August 2015:
"But Trump’s narcissism actually constitutes a large part of his appeal to certain voters. I’m not referring to his over-the-top braggadocio, his unrelenting drive to trumpet his superiority. Narcissism means much more than having an inflated sense of self. Extreme Narcissists (as I refer to them in my forthcoming book) like Donald Trump rely on a characteristic set of defenses to evade painful truths about themselves and to shore up that inflated sense of self: righteous indignation, blame, and contempt. For voters who may feel small and helpless in the face of rapid change, who are worried about their economic future and social standing, or frightened by a complex world beset by seemingly intractable problems, Trump models a simplistic way to vanquish self-doubt and defend oneself against existential anxiety."
The fact is that 63 million voters voted for Trump, and if they had spent just a small amount of time fact checking and thinking critically, Trump would have been soundly defeated. The vetting had been thorough, but the ignorance, anger, fear and hate being promoted endlessly by Trump dominated the news. And that hasn't stopped. By some pollsters, if the election was held today, perhaps some 63 million Americans would vote for him again with the full knowledge what a sorry dishonest president he has been.
You cannot blame the vetting process. Just the stupidity and ignorance of 63 million voters, and a media that was fixated on Trump outrageous acts in a competition for ratings, ignoring the more worthy candidate.
"We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo
Dutch -- It looks like you have had a one way conversation on this topic. Actually the China trade is quite complicated if one looks at it from a global perspective in following the movement and monetary value of goods, services and investments around the world instead of just focusing on trade in manufactured goods between two countries. Yes, China could divest of it's treasury note holdings, but that would leave few options for them.
China’s Treasury holdings fell to a two-year low — here’s why investors shouldn’t worry
4 reasons why China won’t use ‘nuclear option’ of selling Treasurys to retaliate against U.S.
Besides the treasury notes, however, our negotiating ability to trade in the global market place is now highly hampered by our withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. And Wilber Ross seems like he should be spending time in a geriatrics ward instead of Commerce Secretary with his outdated notions on trade and tariffs.
Arizona -- Thanks for sharing. This is how much of the corruption with members of Congress works...a quid pro quo. And now the "untouchables" think they can get away with everything by stonewalling. Trump has taught them well.
This might help explain, in part, why Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham are Trump cheerleaders if they have something to hide. I have always felt that Steve Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs chief information officer turned hedge fund manager was brought in because he was adept at hiding white collar crime.
Wikipedia: Steve Mnuchin
And now he has become the protectorate-in-chief for Trump refusing to give up Trump's tax returns...another quid pro quo.
wwjd -- I agree. The swing voters which include independents and moderate Republicans and returning Dems are the key to success in 2020. Joe Biden certainly appeals to that group by name recognition now, but I still think that a younger dynamic candidate like Steve Bullock will be in the final stretch if he can just get by the crowded first turn.
There are 12 Democratic debates and Bullock presents himself very well. If he can make the first debate and all the qualifying rules, he'll be in the last debate...perhaps the last man standing, along with perhaps Elizabeth Warren, the last woman standing representing the left wing of the party. Sorry for the Bernie Sanders supporters. His stump speech is getting old, and some of his baggage is being revealed (footage of his honeymoon in Russia).
I don't think Kamala Harris will do well in the debates from what I have seen of her so far. Maybe she'll be prepared and sharper by doing her homework before then. I hope so. It takes more than a friendly smile to win.
Dutch -- This is called "vetting", flaws and all.
New York Times, May 17, 2019: Venezuela's Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say
"Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.
“It’s really hard to think of a human tragedy of this scale outside civil war,” said Kenneth Rogoff, an economics professor at Harvard University and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. “This will be a touchstone of disastrous policies for decades to come.”
While the incompetence of Chavez and Maduro are the driving factors, Trump's sanctions have made things worst. People are dying for lack of food and medicine and anarchy has set in in some towns controlled now by armed gangs.
Still Maduro stubbornly holds on blaming the United States for all their troubles. Maduro has the military behind him.
It is really difficult for me to watch. It was my last place of work before I retired.
That's a rather pessimistic outlook. Trump is in the process of "self impeaching" by his obstruction of Congress's mandate to do oversight. It might eventually get to the Supreme Court, but my expectation is that Justice Roberts will follow the Constitution and not rule with Trump and his fascist cronies.
Nadler said it right when he characterized the Trump legal team as basically saying that Congress has no authority to do oversight on the President because he cannot be indicted. That is a falsehood and every legal scholar knows that.
Justice will be served. You just gotta have hope.
I have to wonder as I watch the stock market go up and down based on the latest Trump Tweet, is he or someone taking advantage of these market swings, buying and selling to make a quick profit. Trump tells his buddies and family he's going to announce new tariffs on China, so they sell in the market right before he makes the announcement. Then he tells his buddies and family he's going to announce that he's going to reach an agreement with China, and they buy ahead of that announcement. Or maybe he himself is also profiting buying and selling on the side. He is untouchable...a sitting president cannot be indicted.
I think that might be the way it is working. Remember as a "businessman" Trump did not directly make money from his various ventures, but rather financed them in the market place using other people's money and then bailed before they went under saddling the investors with the debt.
Okay this is pure speculation with no substantive evidence on my part. Just thinking there might be a pattern here.
Reuters, May 14, 2019: Montana Governor Steve Bullock enters Democrats' 2020 White House race
"HELENA, Montana, May 14 (Reuters) - Democratic Governor Steve Bullock of Montana jumped into the 2020 presidential race on Tuesday, touting his ability to work with Republicans and promising to make campaign finance reform a signature issue."
"Bullock, 53, won re-election in conservative Montana in 2016, making him the only one of the more than 20 major Democratic presidential candidates to win statewide election in a state that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
"Bullock presents himself as a potential unifier in a party torn between those who prefer a pragmatist who can appeal to moderates and independents, and those who want a fresh face who can energize the party's increasingly diverse and left-leaning voters."
Bullock is a bit late to the game, but I think he deserves a place on the debate stage. That might be a tough mountain to climb.
This is what Republicans do in general. Look for dirt and then make a mountain out of a mole hill. Or if none exists, just make shit up that might seem plausible, and then spread it all over the internet through social media...two weeks before the election. Republicans are ruthless, but Giuliani is in a league by himself.
Remember what they did with the "fake Obama birth certificate".
Wikipedia: Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories