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downzy last won the day on February 28

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About downzy

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    Toronto, Canada
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    Politics, photography, snowboarding, golf, weight lifting, current events, television, running.

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  1. US Politics/Elections Thread

    There's some pretty absurd, hilarious, and downright insulting headlines from the Mueller Report: Mueller apparently decided Don Jr. was too clueless to be prosecuted https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/pajdqn/mueller-apparently-decided-don-jr-was-too-clueless-to-be-prosecuted?utm_medium=vicenewsfacebook&fbclid=IwAR2Zkty6lvYNz7EAemNRrfYAzOs4gGT-Cv-5fcWBn87xIuwWMJfoV9pBOsI Mueller Report States: ‘[Sarah] Sanders Acknowledged to Investigators that Her Comments Were Not Founded on Anything’ https://secondnexus.com/news/mueller-report-sarah-sanders-lied-fbi/?utm_content=inf_10_1164_2&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=GTAK&tse_id=INF_002eca20622111e9b433ab68d22425b2
  2. US Politics/Elections Thread

    7 Takeaways from the Mueller Report https://www.axios.com/mueller-report-takeaways-ee6cfae3-37e3-429e-b3c5-fcae8994b09d.html 1. The report doesn't find that Trump obstructed justice, but it also specifically doesn't exonerate him. Mueller's team compiled 10 different episodes where Trump may have potentially committed obstruction of justice. The report sets out from the start that the investigation accepted the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel's 2000 conclusion that a sitting president could not be charged or indicted with a crime. But it also notes that the it "recognized that a federal criminal accusation against a sitting President would place burdens on the President's capacity to govern and potentially preempt constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct." The final words of the document are most telling: "Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him." 2. There was always a reason the potential episodes of obstruction of justice were inconclusive. For example, the report says Trump told then-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and others not to disclose information about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between top campaign officials and a Russian attorney. But Mueller wrote that "the evidence does not establish" that Trump was specifically trying to prevent Mueller's team or Congress from obtaining the emails setting up the meeting — which is the only way his actions could have been considered obstruction. 3. Many of Trump's potential efforts to obstruct the investigations against him failed after staffers rebuffed him. Mueller's team found "multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations, including the Russian-interference and obstruction investigations." The report specifically cites one-on-one meetings between Trump and top-level staffers where the president directed them to curtail investigations. For example, he asked then-White House counsel Don McGahn to have Mueller fired and requested that former staffer Corey Lewandowski ask then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of the Russia investigation. The investigation ultimately found that Trump's efforts to influence it "were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests." 4. Congress can still act against Trump on obstruction charges. Mueller might have punted on concluding whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice, but he leaves the door open for Congress to do so, writing that it "can validly regulate the President's exercise of official duties to prohibit actions motivated by a corrupt intent to obstruct justice." That section of the report contains a lengthy constitutional analysis arguing that a congressional move against Trump wouldn't undermine his executive power outlined under Article II. 5. Mueller's team wasn't happy with Trump's written responses — and wanted an in-person interview — but ultimately believed their other sourcing was enough. Upon receiving Trump's written answers in late 2018, Mueller's team notified Trump's lawyers that they were insufficient, saying "that the President stated on more than 30 occasions that he 'does not recall' or 'remember' or have an 'independent recollection' of information called for by the questions." The investigators considered subpoenaing Trump, but ultimately decided that any benefits from an interview would be outweighed by fighting the lengthy lawsuit that would be sure to follow from the president's lawyers. The investigation ultimately "determined that the substantial quantity of information we had obtained from other sources allowed us to draw relevant factual conclusions on intent and credibility, which are often inferred from circumstantial evidence and assessed without direct testimony from the subject of the investigation." 6. The investigation did not establish that Trump campaign members colluded with the Russian government, but the president's actions still may have influenced Russian actions. Mueller's investigation established that although "the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, [it] did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities." But the report details how Trump's famous July 2016 statement — "Russia if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press" — could have been effective. It states, "Within approximately five hours of Trump's statement, [Russian intelligence] officers targeted for the first time Clinton's personal office." 7. The media got a lot right in real time. Thanks to reporting from media outlets throughout Trump's presidency, the main thrust of many of the events outlined in the report — in both its obstruction and collusion facets — were already public knowledge. This timeline from PBS gives a sense of the scope for the reporting — from the NYT's bombshell report on the 2016 Trump Tower meeting to WaPo's more recent report on Trump's concealment of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin — that provided the public's first glimpse at much of the information that forms the backbone of Mueller's report.
  3. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Pretty much... It's a matter of determining and interpreting intent. It seems as though neither Barr as AG nor Comey as FBI Director felt either were guilty due to the lack of proving intent. I do wonder why Trump was so adamant of railroading the investigation if he truly wasn't guilty of conspiracy. Coupled with the fact that the appointment of Mueller prompted him to question how long he had on the job, it raises the question of what Trump is truly worried about. Likely it's financial and if so, then his concerns and problems are still ongoing. Mueller was charged with investigating conspiracy and obstruction. I believe he directed other investigation that came as a result of his investigation to prosecutors at other districts (most notably the Southern District of NY). I guess not abiding and abetting a foreign country is a win for Trump (that's a hell of a low standard). But if I were Trump I'd still be worried.
  4. I was fairly agnostic about it before the film, and to a certain extent, there's a portion of me that still is. No one call really know. I don't blame yourself or others for believing Jackson's innocence since it hasn't been proven and there's credibility issues with the five accusers. That said, I still don't know why people who defend Jackson get so angry and dismissive over the possibility that Jackson might have done it. It's not as though there's nothing there to warrant belief of his guilt. Claims like yours that dismiss everything that provides ground for suspicion and belief is hard to take with any seriousness. You claim that every thing I wrote was disproven. Really? It's been disproven that Jackson slept with children? If so, please provide a source. Is it not a fact that Jackson and his estate have provided more than one (and contradictory) rationales for why two accusers have been paid off? It's not debatable that he had a new favourite boy (and always boys) every year or so. It's not debatable that his sister also accused Jackson of sexual abuse. @Towlie makes the claim that the photos included in the film were from a real estate listing and Reed is lying that Safechuck provided the photos. Yet when asked for a source or proof that Reed is lying, none is offered. That film with Robson and Safechuck is a story of their accounts. But within their accounts include corroborating evidence that Jackson was creepy as fuck and not a great person, even if you don't think he was guilty of sexually abusing Robson and Safechuck. He bought Safechuck's mom a house when they played ball, that he bought them jewelry (that he told the jeweller they were for a girlfriend, when they were really for the kid), that he would send them bizarro love faxes and spend hours on the phone. Not in the documentary but included in court testimony in the 2005 trial was Robson's mom acknowledging that Jackson called her up at 1:30 in the morning and asked her to bring her son over, whereafter Robson was taken into Jackson's bedroom and returned in the morning. It's not a matter of convincing and it's been an interesting discussion about how and why people believe what they believe. As I said, no one should take issue with your belief that Jackson is innocent, but claims like "I've spent a long time researching this stuff" (especially when you won't elaborate) isn't sufficient to dismiss the beliefs of others.
  5. Fair enough, but literally nobody but you in this thread who has actually watched the film has the same response. You seem to view emotional and evocative expressions as being more truthful when there’s no basis in that determination. People telling the truth have a wide range of responses.
  6. Please explain how any of the points I raised were debunked. Everything listed is a fact. It’s not proof that Jackson was guilty of what he was accused of, but everything listed did in fact happen. Mans are you sure about joint legal representation? Care to provide a source on this matter. This seems to be an ongoing issue with Jackson defenders. Too often are claims made in Jackson’s defence that can’t be supported by legitimate sources. Look two posts up.
  7. I think Axl always operates with the intention of releasing what he's working on. I do know he likes to play for himself but with respect to what he records it's done on the assumption that it could see the light of day. The issue, it appears to me, is follow through.
  8. Yeah, that fax definitely changed my calculation. I remember thinking at the time, oh fuck, well, guess it won't be until '98 or '99 now. Then OMG came out, and I though 2000/2001. Then the 2002 tour, and I thought 2004 (thinking that would fall outside of the concept of soon). Then there was promises of new music in 2006 and a tentative date in 2007. It was at this point I started to seriously question whether we'd actually see an album. I always had faith that Axl didn't want to go bankrupt over it so we'd get something eventually. But yeah, it's amazing to think how many peaks and valleys there were during that 14 year stretch from my initial expectation to the album's release.
  9. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Whether you hate his politics or not, you have to respect Sanders for being part of a town hall on Fox News. Trump won't even be interviewed by anyone not named Hannity and Sanders walks into the lion's den and kills. People assume Trump is the favourite. I still have a hard time believing that despite the advantages of a strong economy and incumbency. That said, I think President Bernie Sanders gets as much done as Trump has accomplished. It's one thing to promise everything under the sun while running, it's another to work the wheels of Congress to get your agenda passed. I don't see Medicare for All or the Green New Deal coming close to becoming a reality unless the country is faced with an existential crisis.
  10. If you only started wanting a new album in '98/'99, you weren't really paying attention or stopped being a fan soon after the Illusions albums. Most fans who were around for the Illusion era had been waiting since '94. Man, I remember being 14 or 15 thinking we were only a year or two away from a new album. I was off by 11-12 years. I think there are a variety of reasons why the wait this time around is more tolerable. First, we got a new album. Prior to Chinese Democracy, it felt like it was never going to happen. So at the very least there's "new" music from that era. Second, we got a reunion of sorts. Third, the reunion lineup phase only formed three/four years ago. So if we start the clock from 2016, it hasn't really been all that long in GNR years.
  11. "It doesn't matter that he slept with children." "It doesn't matter that he paid off two of his accusers." "It doesn't matter that MJ was inconsistent as to why he paid them off." "It doesn't matter that Robson and Safechuck's accounts are incredibly detailed." "It doesn't matter that Jackson's own sister accused him of sexual assault in the early 90s." "It doesn't matter that Jackson had a favourite boy, and always a boy, almost every different year." Goes both ways.
  12. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on fire

    "[Victor] Hugo deplored the dilapidation of the structure but stood in awe of the palimpsest. There is “…often the universal history of humanity in the successive engrafting of many arts at many levels, upon the same monument,” he went on. “The man, the artist, the individual, is effaced in these great masses, which lack the name of their author; human intelligence is there summed up and totalized. Time is the architect, the nation is the builder.” In one way, then, the rebuilding that is surely to come is just one link in the long chain of additions and subtractions that preceded it. A big, big link that will take a long time to fill in. Late into the night in Paris, the lattice of scaffolding—part of ongoing work on the structure, and, perhaps, the source of the fire—stood high over the ruined church." https://slate.com/business/2019/04/a-piece-of-paris-goes-up-in-flames.html
  13. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on fire

    That's what the preliminary reports are saying. Some have suggested it might have been due to a spark from a blowtorch that sparked the fire. Apparently a fire can happen long after the initial spark. We'll just have to wait and see.
  14. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on fire

    No one knows as of yet, but they suspect it relates to the renovation efforts. That said, the construction company in charge of the renovation says that none of its personnel were on site when the fire started. Will likely know for sure in the next few days or week.