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21 minutes ago, downzy said:

EU Ambassador Sondland is laying waste to the Republican defence of Trump and his administration:

- It was a quid pro quo orchestrated by Giuliani at the best of Trump
- Secretary of State Pompeo and VP Pence were in the loop of what was going on
- Trump didn't even care that investigation of Biden actually happened, but only really wanted the appearance of an investigation
- Believed that a visit with Trump by the Ukrainian President and the release of foreign assistance funds was conditioned to the "investigation."

So what's Republicans defence going to be now? 

Even Kenneth Starr, famed special prosecutor of the Clinton impeachment, remarked this morning on Fox News that Sondland's testimony might result in Republican Senators traveling to the White House asking for Trump's resignation.  I seriously doubt that in this climate.  In normal times a sitting President getting caught committing such infractions would have already started packing.

It will be interesting to see if Giuliani and Trump try to sell each other out.  

I hope Trump decides to be questioned before cameras. That's my wet dream. I'd skip work to watch that. Schiff vs Trump. 

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4 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

I hope Trump decides to be questioned before cameras. That's my wet dream. I'd skip work to watch that. Schiff vs Trump. 

It would be great, but it would never happen. Trump is too big of a coward to do something like that. Plus he would commit perjury in a matter of minutes. 

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11 hours ago, -W.A.R- said:

"Because this is America...here, right matters" My eyes almost rolled out of my head. I also don't like the cold war mindset that blankets this whole thing. Trump tried to leverage the Javelins to get an investigation into Biden and should be impeached (one in a long list of things he should be impeached for) but yeah these live hearings have been pretty repelling to me.

Yeah, it's a little hokey, but I get the reason for Vindman laying it on thick when he's been accused of being a spy or an agent for the Ukraine.  

I do agree that some of the hearings are difficult to sit through.  I find myself turning it off whenever Jim Jordans or Devin Nunes starts spewing nonsense.  It's like listening to really bad stand up comedy - it makes me cringe.  They are being completely disingenuous, often failing to address much of what is discussed or revealed by the witnesses.  They are simply the worst.  

 

 

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Why having Hunter Biden testify would be pointless:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/11/sondland-testimony-trump-never-wanted-biden-investigation.html?via=taps_top

This testimony is incredibly damning. As the substantive facts of the quid pro quo deal that Trump has denied for weeks have become harder and harder to deny, the president’s defenders have leaned into a version of Nunes’s argument that Trump was just very interested in rooting out Ukrainian corruption. According to this line of argument, Trump’s interest only coincidentallyhappened to dovetail with an investigation of his possible chief political rival in the 2020 election and in a conspiracy theory that might damage the results of the Mueller investigation.

Sondland’s testimony, though, demonstrates that even if you wanted to accept this absurd premise, the evidence and testimony don’t show Trump seeking any sort of genuine investigation. Instead, according to Sondland, he strictly wanted the announcement of one.

From Trump’s point of view, then, as described by the ambassador, it would be pointless for the impeachment inquiry to subpoena Hunter Biden. The president was never trying to unearth any facts about the substance of Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine, only to get the Ukrainians to announce that they were suspicious about it all.

That public announcement—that Ukraine was investigating the company that for monthsGiuliani had been linking to the Bidens and claiming pointed to potential corruption on the part of the former vice president—would clearly have benefited Trump politically, even if no investigation were conducted afterward.

It may seem strange that Trump would risk his entire presidency for something that seems so small. But there is an entire conservative eco-system ready to amplify the message that Ukrainians were investigating “stone-cold crooked Joe Biden” the same way they had amplified Trump’s message about “crooked Hillary Clinton” and her emails during the 2016 election. As was demonstrated in 2016, more mainstream outlets would take this investigation credibly and offer legitimate signal boosts that Biden may be a shady character. We know this because it already happened. In May, the New York Times published an article that presented Biden as potentially having acted improperly in the Burisma affair and noting that a Ukrainian investigation had been announced once:

But new details about Hunter Biden’s involvement, and a decision this year by the current Ukrainian prosecutor general to reverse himself and reopen an investigation into Burisma, have pushed the issue back into the spotlight just as the senior Mr. Biden is beginning his 2020 presidential campaign.

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On 18/11/2019 at 4:50 AM, Jakey Styley said:

What do you think the consequences of each will be? 

If I'm allowed to guess (a conservative guess is a bannable offense here), what happened before and in the aftermath of the 2016 election is one of the most serious abuse of power in US history.

First of all, Horowitz will be appearing before the Senate on December 11, about the FISA warrant for Carter Page in October 2016, as well as the three renewals (that allowed intelligence agents to spy on Donald Trump's campaign).

The Horowitz probe will likely prove all FISA warrants were fraudulent and that normal spying protocols were abrogated.

Take in mind that Horowitz is a democrat and a former Obama appointee.

The Horowitz probe builds into the Durham probe, a man described as apolitical (led probes on behalf of Democratic AG Janet Reno and Eric Holder).

Quote

 

According to the Justice Department, his mandate is to determine whether “intelligence collection activities by the U.S. government related to the Trump 2016 Presidential Campaign were lawful and appropriate.” 

Attorney General William Barr has traveled extensively as part of the investigation to introduce Durham to foreign counterparts, including to officials in Italy (Australia) and the United Kingdom. Barr has also enlisted Trump to call other foreign leaders about the matter.

 

The probe recently morphed into a criminal matter. Durham, unlike Horowitz, has the ability to issue indictments, subpoenas, and present evidence to a grand jury.

https://saraacarter.com/horowitz-report-will-be-damning-criminal-referrals-likely/

https://time.com/5693083/john-durham-justice-department-investigation/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/barr-went-to-rome-to-hear-a-secret-tape-from-joseph-mifsud-the-professor-who-helped-ignite-the-russia-probe

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78206687_10158128550431800_9018676322183

Apparently Sondland's hotels are getting destroyed on Yelp.

I would hope that most would question any motivation to attach themselves to Trump's wagon again.  

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Speaking of whistleblowers, this is going under the radar, but it shouldn't.

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/11/16/syria-scandal-new-whistleblower-claims-un-chemical-weapons-watchdog-buried-douma-evidence/

Quote

The official, a senior scientist who collected samples at the scene, is the second with the OPCW’s Douma team to allege that evidence was suppressed. His testimony raises new doubts about the claim that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack in Douma, which led to US-France-UK airstrikes — and with it, new concerns that the world’s chemical weapons watchdog is politically compromised.

 

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My feelings on the whole impeachment matter as encompassed by Jimmy Dore. 

Quote

There's a lot of ways to attack Trump, this may be the shittiest way to attack Trump. This is even lamer than Russiagate. I'm no Trump fan you know this. Trump is a symptom of a larger problem and we're living through that larger problem, your government is bought and doesn't want to have policies to make your life better and would rather have circus shows like this.

 

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12 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

My feelings on the whole impeachment matter as encompassed by Jimmy Dore. 

 

Completely disagree.  

You cannot have a sitting President using American foreign policy that sacrifices national interest for the political gain of the President.  Hell, removal from office should have been immediate after Trump acknowledged he asked a foreign power to investigate a domestic political rival.  That was what the Mueller investigation was all about: whether Trump colluded with Russia.  Here we have him admitting to colluding (or attempting to collude) but not as a candidate, but as a sitting President.  It's mind-blowing to me that not everyone gets the severity of this.  Almost everyone not named Roger Stone will acknowledge that Nixon deserved impeachment and removal of office for what he did.  What Trump did was significantly worse.  And yet half the country still feels he should remain in office. It makes me shake my head every time I think about it as this says more about the shitty condition of America's political wisdom than anything else.  

 

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18 minutes ago, downzy said:

Completely disagree.  

You cannot have a sitting President using American foreign policy that sacrifices national interest for the political gain of the President.  Hell, removal from office should have been immediate after Trump acknowledged he asked a foreign power to investigate a domestic political rival.  That was what the Mueller investigation was all about: whether Trump colluded with Russia.  Here we have him admitting to colluding (or attempting to collude) but not as a candidate, but as a sitting President.  It's mind-blowing to me that not everyone gets the severity of this.  Almost everyone not named Roger Stone will acknowledge that Nixon deserved impeachment and removal of office for what he did.  What Trump did was significantly worse.  And yet half the country still feels he should remain in office. It makes me shake my head every time I think about it as this says more about the shitty condition of America's political wisdom than anything else.  

 

It's not just Trump fans or Republicans who find this all nauseating, there are leftists who see it like Jimmy Dore sees it, a circus show and a distraction. Trump himself is a symptom of a rigged system. And never forget, not everyone is a political junkie who wants to pay attention to this daily slog. Or even if they are, they'd rather people hammer Trump on the economy, healthcare, regime change coups, an immigration crisis, etc.

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5 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

It's not just Trump fans or Republicans who find this all nauseating, there are leftists who see it like Jimmy Dore sees it, a circus show and a distraction. Trump himself is a symptom of a rigged system. And never forget, not everyone is a political junkie who wants to pay attention to this daily slog. Or even if they are, they'd rather people hammer Trump on the economy, healthcare, regime change coups, an immigration crisis, etc.

Both those are abstract concepts where longterm, pragmatic, and viable solutions are anethema to the political system that currently girds American society.

To use an analogy, the body politics is suffering from a chronic condition, say cancer.  No one is arguing that the over-arching issues need to be addressed, but they should be secondary to the gun-shot wound that is Trump's efforts to undermine foreign policy for his own personal political benefit.  Trump has clearly demonstrated he's willing to flout the norms, conventions, and values that serve as the foundation of American democracy.  Healthcare, economy, immigration - all important concerns, but ultimately inconsequential to the larger forces at play with respect to the rule of law and the ability of an elected official to misuse and abuse his or her authority bestowed by the voters.  

Voters should give more concern about the values and principles above all else otherwise the country is at serious risk of becoming akin to an authoritative regime.  

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27 minutes ago, downzy said:

Both those are abstract concepts where longterm, pragmatic, and viable solutions are anethema to the political system that currently girds American society.

To use an analogy, the body politics is suffering from a chronic condition, say cancer.  No one is arguing that the over-arching issues need to be addressed, but they should be secondary to the gun-shot wound that is Trump's efforts to undermine foreign policy for his own personal political benefit.  Trump has clearly demonstrated he's willing to flout the norms, conventions, and values that serve as the foundation of American democracy.  Healthcare, economy, immigration - all important concerns, but ultimately inconsequential to the larger forces at play with respect to the rule of law and the ability of an elected official to misuse and abuse his or her authority bestowed by the voters.  

Voters should give more concern about the values and principles above all else otherwise the country is at serious risk of becoming akin to an authoritative regime.  

What people should really be asking themselves is why is all of this media attention and political capital being used over Trump-Ukraine, and not the other overarching issues we both agree are deplorable.

And why is Washington arming Ukraine in the first place? Why don't I get a vote on this matter? Permanent Washington has it's foreign policy set to what it wants no matter who is in the President's seat. Now that, is the real crisis.

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42 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

What people should really be asking themselves is why is all of this media attention and political capital being used over Trump-Ukraine, and not the other overarching issues we both agree are deplorable.

And why is Washington arming Ukraine in the first place? Why don't I get a vote on this matter? Permanent Washington has it's foreign policy set to what it wants no matter who is in the President's seat. Now that, is the real crisis.

To your second question, one only needs a quick refresher on Russian aggression against neighbours and why a free and independent Europe requires assistance from not just America but all western-liberal democracies.  Some times foreign policy challenges require the same response regardless of who is in power.  Many of the witnesses called before the Intelligence committee have addressed this very point.  The threat from Russia is real as evidence by its incursion in many of its neighbours, and the only thing it responds to is pushback from a concerted force.  

To your first point, do you honestly think the American people are really capable of having a frank and honest discussion of systemic matters?  They are extremely complicated and opaque issues that require a tremendous amount of education, knowledge, and insight in order to address properly.  Keep in mind, this is a small and anecdotal sample of who we're talking about:

 

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17 minutes ago, downzy said:

To your second question, one only needs a quick refresher on Russian aggression against neighbours and why a free and independent Europe requires assistance from not just America but all western-liberal democracies.  Some times foreign policy challenges require the same response regardless of who is in power.  Many of the witnesses called before the Intelligence committee have addressed this very point.  The threat from Russia is real as evidence by its incursion in many of its neighbours, and the only thing it responds to is pushback from a concerted force.  

To your first point, do you honestly think the American people are really capable of having a frank and honest discussion of systemic matters?  They are extremely complicated and opaque issues that require a tremendous amount of education, knowledge, and insight in order to address properly.  Keep in mind, this is a small and anecdotal sample of who we're talking about:

 

I could raise you the number of times Washington stuck it's nose in the affairs of other nations and prodded policy in it's direction or did an outright coup or invasion. I don't see most of this in a moral sense. Washington and the plutocrats who run it want to expand their influence, and the Russian version of that want to do the same. I'm just not very invested in Ukraine vs Russia as I don't see it in any real national interest. That is Russia's sphere of influence whether people like it or not. People got extremely butthurt over here when Russia tried to expand into Cuba, so it's understandable how they feel about Washington doing the same in their backyard.

Regarding your second point I do agree that the attention span of the average person is rather low, but that answers your own question about why you couldn't fathom why more people weren't into the Trump impeachment saga. It's a lot of info, it's pretty mundane in terms of conspiracies go, and it doesn't affect the bread and butter economics of the average American.

Edited by Basic_GnR_Fan
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1 hour ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

I could raise you the number of times Washington stuck it's nose in the affairs of other nations and prodded policy in it's direction or did an outright coup or invasion. I don't see most of this in a moral sense. Washington and the plutocrats who run it want to expand their influence, and the Russian version of that want to do the same

We're going to disagree on that front, to a certain extent.  I do find fault in American foreign policy with respect to the middle east and south America, but understand much of the world wants a strong American presence to offset foreign intervention.  In Europe and in Asia you will find nation after nation wanting a strong U.S. presence and support to offset the authoritarian regimes in those respective spheres (Russia and China).  American foreign policy is not always America imposing on other nations but as a request by those nations for support.  This isn't up to debate.  It's fact.  It's well known by people who study international relations.

1 hour ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

I'm just not very invested in Ukraine vs Russia as I don't see it in any real national interest.

This attitude is a result of not paying attention nor understanding the historical ramifications of not providing pushback against Russian aggression amongst neighbouring countries.  

1 hour ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

That is Russia's sphere of influence whether people like it or not

Absolutely not.  If other European nations are against Russian involvement in their politics, it's within their right to ask for assistance.  To simply say, "it's their problem" is to ignore the responsibilities of being the world's lone superpower.  History has taught us that a vacuum of strength in the international leads to chaos and war.  

Regardless, this all besides the point.  Even if you want to argue that American foreign policy is misguided and we should not concern ourselves with geo-political considerations in Eastern Europe, that doesn't mitigate what Trump did as a sitting President nor lesson the severity of his actions.  He abused his powers at the expense of stated national interests for his own political gain.  It does not matter whether you personally agree or disagree with stated national interest with respect to American-Ukrainian relations.  What matters is that you have a sitting President upending the will of Congress and sacrificing the bi-partisan agenda with respect to Ukraine for his own political gain.  Full stop.  To not see the severity of this is to accept Nixon's assertion that if the President does something it's not against the law.  This is a big fucking deal no matter how Republicans want to minimize it.  Otherwise why even bother with a House or Senate?  Why not do away with electing representatives and have one person, the President, dictate all matters.  Essentially people who see this issue as no big deal are essentially taking issue with the Constitution and the nation's system of checks and balances.  That is what's at stake.  Only a blind fool or a partisan hack, in light of all the evidence, refuses to see how serious this matter is.  That's not to say there aren't other concerns.  But whereas healthcare, the environment, immigration, and economy are messy and complicated matters that allow for much disagreement, this issue is not.  America is either a country that has core guiding principles about right and wrong, legality and justice, and corruption or it does not.  

1 hour ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

but that answers your own question about why you couldn't fathom why more people weren't into the Trump impeachment saga. It's a lot of info

It really isn't though.  The President attempt to extort a foreign leader in providing information on a domestic political rival.  That's it.  I'm not sure how that's complicated.  Granted, the story could be bigger than that, but the basic nuts and bolts are pretty simple.  If Americans can't understand and see this or what it is, a very simple and basic violation and corruption of a sitting President, how on earth do you really think they'll understand the intricacies of healthcare policy.  As someone who has studied both extensively, they are not even in the same area code with respect to complexity.   

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1 hour ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

I could raise you the number of times Washington stuck it's nose in the affairs of other nations and prodded policy in it's direction or did an outright coup or invasion.  

We were talking about this in my International Politics class this week. It's Basically every Latin American country  and Iran

 

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39 minutes ago, downzy said:

We're going to disagree on that front, to a certain extent.  I do find fault in American foreign policy with respect to the middle east and south America, but understand much of the world wants a strong American presence to offset foreign intervention.  In Europe and in Asia you will find nation after nation wanting a strong U.S. presence and support to offset the authoritarian regimes in those respective spheres (Russia and China).  American foreign policy is not always America imposing on other nations but as a request by those nations for support.  This isn't up to debate.  It's fact.  It's well known by people who study international relations.

 

I think you have delineate who is asking for Washington's interference and in what capacity. Does the world want to trade and make money off the US, sure. But do they want Washington arming rebels, fanning the flames of conflicts, or invading other nations...well I doubt you'll find widespread support for that. I think you being a little naive in thinking that Washington does what it does out of any moral leanings rather than just projection of power and expanding of influence of the plutocrats who run it.

 

Quote

It really isn't though.  The President attempt to extort a foreign leader in providing information on a domestic political rival.  That's it.  I'm not sure how that's complicated.  Granted, the story could be bigger than that, but the basic nuts and bolts are pretty simple.  If Americans can't understand and see this or what it is, a very simple and basic violation and corruption of a sitting President, how on earth do you really think they'll understand the intricacies of healthcare policy.  As someone who has studied both extensively, they are not even in the same area code with respect to complexity.  

Not when you get to the level of the people actually involved and what they are claiming. The average person has no clue the actual details, nor did they when it came to the Russian story. This is anecdotal, but everyone I talked to regarding Russian interference had never even seen one of the vaunted Russian facebook memes. Just because people generally don't know the details of something, doesn't mean they can't understand the big picture that their healthcare sucks or they're wages haven't kept up with cost of living, and that Trump and the Ukraine have nothing to do with anything they actually care about in their day to day lives. 

 

Quote

Absolutely not.  If other European nations are against Russian involvement in their politics, it's within their right to ask for assistance.  To simply say, "it's their problem" is to ignore the responsibilities of being the world's lone superpower.  History has taught us that a vacuum of strength in the international leads to chaos and war.

I've never claimed to want a hands off approach everywhere. I just don't see a national interest in Russia-Ukraine. But in terms of the middle east I see a national interest, I just support the opposite side that Washington does (Iran over Saudi Arabia and Israel). 

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29 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

I think you have delineate who is asking for Washington's interference and in what capacity. Does the world want to trade and make money off the US, sure. But do they want Washington arming rebels, fanning the flames of conflicts, or invading other nations...well I doubt you'll find widespread support for that.

You're conflating here without being specific.  Again, we're talking about Ukraine.  There are national interests in ensuring the country does not become (again) a satellite state of Russia.  It's independence is strategically important to Western Europe, and by proxy, American national interests.  Any expert on this matter (some testified today) have underscored this point.  Moreover, are we to revert back to an international system whereby any nation's sovereignty is negotiable should a stronger nation press its interests?  

29 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

I think you being a little naive in thinking that Washington does what it does out of any moral leanings rather than just projection of power and expanding of influence of the plutocrats who run it.

I didn't say that.  I said that in many cases it's not Washington imposing its will on weaker nations.  In many cases, particularly in Europe and in Asia, it's as the behest of those nations that Americans offer military, political, and economic assistances.

29 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

The average person has no clue the actual details, nor did they when it came to the Russian story. This is anecdotal, but everyone I talked to regarding Russian interference had never even seen one of the vaunted Russian facebook memes.

I worked full time in advertising.  Most people couldn't tell you one advertisement they just saw in the previous commercial break.  But there's a reason why companies and brands spend billions of dollars a year on advertising.  It works.  So those who you speak of may not remember seeing one, it doesn't mean that they did not in fact see one.

The Mueller report details how extensive and proficient the Russian disinformation campaign was during the 2016.  That's not really up to debate.  I've always said that if Americans fell for such bullshit then that's really on them.  Ignorance of facts and being allowed to believe nonsense because a person is not politically savvy or interest is a recipe for an electoral disaster, which the Trump election in 2016 is a clear example of such.

29 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

Just because people generally don't know the details of something, doesn't mean they can't understand the big picture that their healthcare sucks or they're wages haven't kept up with cost of living,

Again, I completely disagree.  It's easy to understand and feel when a healthcare system is failing you or your family.  But if you allow right-wing talking points about the evils of socialized medicine and fear mongering to cloud your judgement, you're not going to be open and susceptible about how a change in the system would a benefit to you and your family.  This is what all non-Americans see when they look at Americans talk about healthcare system.  No one where in the developed world do citizens disagree about and suffer from their nation's healthcare strategy and systems like Americans.  In Canada we generally defer to the experts that do not have a financial interest in promoting one agenda over the other.  That's no the case.  So there's a layer of disinformation that exists in America that does not exist in the rest of the developed world.  Healthcare is a very complex issue and providing quality and universal care is a huge challenge.  The problem might be simple, but the solutions are not.  

That's not at all what we're seeing with the impeachment inquiry.  It's devastatingly simple.  Trump did this and that to get this and that.  There's really not much more to it.  Like anything you can colour in context and nuances, which is what they're attempting to do in the impeachment inquiry.  But the broad strokes of this affair reveals a very simple scheme that sought personal political gain at the expense of stated national interests. 

29 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

that Trump and the Ukraine have nothing to do with anything they actually care about in their day to day lives. 

And that's the problem with people only being concerned about what's right in front of them.  A nation is only as strong as its laws, principles, and values.  Their sacrifice shakes the foundation and nature of how a country functions and serves its citizens.  As the old saying goes, the fish rots from the head.  If you think it's possible to have a viable and functioning healthcare system within a country rife with corruption, you're in for a harsh lesson that history has taught us many times over.  

 

29 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

I just don't see a national interest in Russia-Ukraine.

Then I would suggest learning more about how important Ukraine is to safeguarding the rest of Europe.  As David Holmes said today during questioning in the impeachment inquiry, "Russia without Ukraine is just a country; Russia with Ukraine is an empire."

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I didn't say that.  I said that in many cases it's not Washington imposing its will on weaker nations.  In many cases, particularly in Europe and in Asia, it's as the behest of those nations that Americans offer military, political, and economic assistances.

No it's at the behest of the American Empire. Those countries are all satellite states of America and everyone knows it. If they ever elected a truly nationalist leader who wanted to go in a third position, they would be meddled with by the American Empire and experience economic sanctions and probably arming of opposition forces.

Quote

Then I would suggest learning more about how important Ukraine is to safeguarding the rest of Europe.  As David Holmes said today during questioning in the impeachment inquiry, "Russia without Ukraine is just a country; Russia with Ukraine is an empire."

Safeguarding Europe from what exactly? The era of the Soviet Union just coming in and bulldozing nations has long since passed. And also no, that would still only make Russia a regional power. Their relative lack of economic prowess and population demographics constrain them from being a world empire at this stage. Only the US and China can be players in that game.

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47 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

No it's at the behest of the American Empire. Those countries are all satellite states of America and everyone knows it.

Not at all.  You say so but providing no evidence nor demonstrating any knowledge of the relationships between various nations.  Go ask Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Australia, New Zealand, if they would prefer America to pull back from the region.  Having spent years studying international relations I can tell you unequivocally that American foreign policy and relations with many nations isn't predicated on force or pressure.  

47 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

If they ever elected a truly nationalist leader who wanted to go in a third position, they would be meddled with by the American Empire and experience economic sanctions and probably arming of opposition forces.

The Philippines.  

47 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

Safeguarding Europe from what exactly? The era of the Soviet Union just coming in and bulldozing nations has long since passed.

You have to be kidding me.  You obviously haven't been paying attention to what's happening in eastern Ukraine or Crimea.  Or what has transpired in nations like Georgia or Chechnya.  

47 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

And also no, that would still only make Russia a regional power.

So we're to take your opinion over someone who is an expert on the matter.  Okay.

47 minutes ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

Their relative lack of economic prowess and population demographics constrain them from being a world empire at this stage. Only the US and China can be players in that game.

Russia is a failing state, no doubt, but failing states can wield considerable influence and post significant dangers to the region and the world at large.  The Soviet Union was still a third-rate power outside of its nuclear arsenal throughout much of the cold-war, but it still posed a threat to global stability.  

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For those in doubt or haven't been following along:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/11/trump-impeachment-ukraine-guide-evidence.html?via=taps_top

The House Intelligence Committee has finished its first round of public hearings regarding impeachment and will have to fight in court to compel the appearance of further witnesses. In the meantime, let’s make the case for impeachment for Ukraine-related “high crimes” as simply as possible.

Donald Trump ordered that congressionally authorized military aid for Ukraine and an invitation to the White House for Ukraine’s president be withheld unless Ukraine made a public announcement that it was “investigating” Joe Biden’s son and various 2016 election conspiracy theories. These investigations would have benefited Trump politically but would not have advanced any U.S. policy interest.

Now let’s break that up into provable chunks.

[Donald Trump] [ordered that congressionally authorized military aid for Ukraine] [and an invitation to the White House for Ukraine’s president] [be withheld unless Ukraine made a public announcement that it was “investigating”] [Joe Biden and his son] [and various 2016 election conspiracy theories.] [These investigations would have benefited Trump politically] [but would not have advanced any U.S. policy interest.]

Now let’s prove all the chunks!

Read the proof here:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/11/trump-impeachment-ukraine-guide-evidence.html?via=taps_top

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Took the quiz and discovered that Andrew Yang is my preferred candidate:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/quiz-which-candidate-agrees-with-me/?fbclid=IwAR0YcJG0JC6EmoS9QyF3g_g2PmC9vW8gYQuNdBrQwRm_BQ9zA25t4fo8tBM

Here's how the candidates ranked with respect to which candidate I agree with most on various issues:

1. Yang (8 out of 10)
2. Biden (6 out of 10)
3. Steyer (5 out of 10)
4. Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, Gabbard (4 out of 10)
8. Buttigieg (3 out of 10)
9. Sanders (2 out of 10)
10. Warren (1 out of 10)

Kind of interesting.  I thought I would agree with Buttigieg more.   

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9 hours ago, Basic_GnR_Fan said:

What people should really be asking themselves is why is all of this media attention and political capital being used over Trump-Ukraine, and not the other overarching issues we both agree are deplorable.

And why is Washington arming Ukraine in the first place? Why don't I get a vote on this matter? Permanent Washington has it's foreign policy set to what it wants no matter who is in the President's seat. Now that, is the real crisis.

The answer is always the same: Imperial expansion. The US/West tried to bring Ukraine into their orbit but ultimately Viktor Yanukovych balked and they overthrew him and installed a pro-western puppet - Putin responded by snatching Crimea.

Now its a proxy war over influence.

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I watched a good hour or so yesterday and that Sunderland fellow repeatedly said that president Trump told him no quid pro quo. Other than presumptions, where is the proof?

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