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Messages - meepmeep

1
If they remove the essential benefits but keep the subsidies, expect to see useless catastrophic coverage plans that cover jack shit and have insanely high deductibles but which cost as much as the subsidy or less so they can be marketed as FREEEEEEE! to gullible morons and to people who unfortunately can't afford actual coverage.

On the other hand, death is a sweet release and is the one true state of being completely free, so... :hmm:
2
Hey, guys, remember when Giuliani went on TV and gloated about some stuff they had up their sleeve that was going to turn this thing around?

And remember when Chaffetz leaked the Comey letter that originally wasn't public? And when the assholes at the NY FBI office quickly went to the NYT to plant a story that the FBI found no evidence of any ties between Trump's campaign and the Russians?

Boy, ha ha, what good times and what laughs we had!
3
http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/politics/us-officials-info-suggests-trump-associates-may-have-coordinated-with-russians/index.html

Quote
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign, US officials told CNN.

This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, according to one source.

The FBI is now reviewing that information, which includes human intelligence, travel, business and phone records and accounts of in-person meetings, according to those U.S. officials. The information is raising the suspicions of FBI counterintelligence investigators that the coordination may have taken place, though officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.
4
But yeah. This shit makes me feel like goddamn Glenn Beck in front of a fucking chalkboard, but the nature of business in Russia in recent years is that if you do business in Russia at a higher level, like Trump, you're automatically dealing with the mafia and the government, even if you don't want to. It's hard for some people to really understand how extensive corruption is in a place like Russia, but jumping into bed with some very unsavory characters is basically unavoidable if you want in. It's really the nature of the Russian economy at that level of corrupt oligarchs that you end up with these weird tenuous connections and meetings and handshakes and back room deals and shell games. It all looks like insane conspiracy theory because none of it is above board or honest, and it then becomes impossible to separate actual conspiracy theory lunacy and legitimately complicated shady dealings.

I wonder if this is different from any organized crime investigation, though. I'm sympathetic to wanting to keep clear of baseless speculation, but it's also not like you'd expect to see smoking guns from mafia-like criminal collusion.

Right, it's all murky, and everything is so complicated that even if there are smoking guns out there, they may be hard to find.

One thing to note is that Trump Taj Mahal recently settled on a $10 million fine with the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for:
Quote
for willful and repeated violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). In addition to the civil money penalty, the casino is required to conduct periodic external audits to examine its anti-money laundering (AML) BSA compliance program and provide those audit reports to FinCEN and the casino's Board of Directors.

Trump Taj Mahal, a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, admitted to several willful BSA violations, including violations of AML program requirements, reporting obligations, and recordkeeping requirements. Trump Taj Mahal has a long history of prior, repeated BSA violations cited by examiners dating back to 2003. Additionally, in 1998, FinCEN assessed a $477,700 civil money penalty against Trump Taj Mahal for currency transaction reporting violations.

https://www.fincen.gov/news/news-releases/fincen-fines-trump-taj-mahal-casino-resort-10-million-significant-and-long

And if you go digging into the Bayrock story, there is a whole mess of allegations and counter allegations. Jody Kriss, a former finance director for Bayrock, has an outstanding lawsuit against Bayrock that names Trump as a material witness. Kriss alleges that the company was used for tax evasion and as a front for Russian mafia money-laundering. Oh and he's pissed that he didn't get the cut of the profits from Trump SoHo that they said they'd give him. But Kriss himself is a crook and scammer who's been accused of all sorts of scheming, and nothing has been resolved yet, so who the fuck knows?

It is quite apparent though that when Trump was in financial trouble and got cut off by US banks, he got more deeply involved with Russian backers who either willingly or unwillingly pulled him into all sorts of shady things. It's very easy to believe he's been directly involved in money laundering for the mafia.

The part that's harder to figure out is the shit related to the election, but given the most recent information about Manafort, Stone, and Flynn, that seems to be a direct connection, too. Whether Trump's people asked for help or not, we know that the Russian government used Wikileaks to dump DNC data even though both parties were compromised and that Guccifer 2.0 was in direct contact with Stone, who was in direct contact with Trump and his people. That's fucking bad enough on its own. But so is the Manafort story and so is the Flynn story.

Anyway, just think of all the prosecutors who may be able to make a career out of all this material! :meeps:
5
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/03/22/white-man-traveled-to-new-york-to-kill-black-men-and-make-a-statement-police-say/

Quote
A white man from Maryland who told police he traveled to New York to kill black men turned himself in on Wednesday, about 24 hours after he fatally stabbed a man he encountered on the street, officials said.

Authorities described the suspected attacker as someone who had long harbored feelings of hatred toward black men before violently acting on them this week. Police said he carried out the attack in a way that intended to draw attention.

"The reason why he picked New York is 'cause it's the media capital of the world," said William Aubry, assistant chief of the New York City Police Department. "And he wanted to make a statement."

New York police said they charged James Harris Jackson, 28, with murder. Police said Jackson encountered 66-year-old Timothy Caughman shortly after 11 p.m. on Monday and stabbed him multiple times. Caughman went to a police precinct for help and was brought to Bellevue Hospital, where he died, police said.
7
Politics and Current Events / Re: Trumpocalypse
https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2017/03/22/phil-ruffin-trump-las-vegas-emoluments-profits-constitution/#6b01ed5324d7

Quote
Two months ago Donald Trump's lawyer Sheri Dillon stood in Trump Tower and announced that the president would donate all profits from foreign governments at his hotels to the U.S. Treasury--part of an effort to resolve concerns that the he would be in violation of a little-known clause in the U.S. Constitution the day he took office. Now Phil Ruffin, who owns the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas in a 50-50 joint venture with the president, says that's not happening.

"I don't know anything about that," said Ruffin, sitting in his office inside the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, which he owns separately from the president. Is there a plan in place to hand over the profits at Trump's Las Vegas property eventually? "They have to pay like everybody else," Ruffin said. But if he did chop away the profits from foreign dignitaries, would that affect the value of the hotel? "They're not going to do that," Ruffin said, before repeating: "They're not going to do that."
8
Yeah, the special kidney diet is mainly formulated to be low protein (but still enough protein for an obligate carnivore to survive) and low phosphorus, so if you're mixing it with regular food that has higher levels of those things, it's kind of defeating the purpose. I mean, it'd technically be lower protein than feeding straight up over-the-counter wet food, but how much of a difference is that really making?
9
Seriously, Flynn was stupid, reckless, crazy, and/or arrogant enough to do the dumb shit he did, so...
10


Schiff has also said Nunes's actions make a strong case for an independent investigation.
11
he does a lot of business in russia and has business ties there that, already on their own, create ethical hazards and by the way look bad (which matters when you're president). 

furthermore, 2 or 3 of his associates (manafort, flynn, sater) have extensive and serious connections to sketchy people in russia, including putin.  then, he has a large number of weaker personal and business ties to russia and sketchy russians.

what's not clear to me is whether these connections are significantly greater or different than what you'd expect for any wealthy businessman doing a lot of business in russia, even if it were all perfectly legitimate (to the extent that is possible in russia).  I mean, given that russia is an oligarchic kleptocracy, with rampant organized crime and putin as a quasi czar, it would almost be surprising if any billionaire doing business there didn't have putin and some shady semi-mob guys on speed dial.

I'm so glad you're here to repeat the things I've already written.  :awgee:

I have not gotten the impression that he feels he has something significant to hide about russia.

:unsure:

he seems annoyed with the issue more than anything, and his responses to it have been sluggish and clumsy.  you would think a politician hiding something big and evil about themselves and russia would go out of his way never to mention them, and wouldn't have put people like manafort and flynn on his campaign or in his cabinet in the first place, and would have dropped them both like hot potatoes at the first sign of trouble.

:unsure:
12
Yeah, at the emergency hospital, we used to use kitten/puppy food to entice patients that weren't eating. And in both places I've worked, we'd try baby food as well, usually the meat based ones. You can also try warming food up in the microwave a little bit first. Sometimes the extra heat makes it smellier and that extra smelliness can help overcome some nausea. It's tough to balance all of these things. The kidney formula is ideal but it's not all that appetizing even to a lot of the healthier cats, so if your vet thinks you may be at the point where getting calories in her is more important, then it's worth taking out the roast beef and other stuff.
13
Yeah, yikes. Poor baby. :(

Mirtazapine can help. And it helps that you don't need to give it very often. Hopefully she'll enjoy her roast beef and other stinky food and be able to eat a bit more. Did they put her on aluminum hydroxide or anything else?
14
Damn, brugrogrgrgrgrgrgorgfil, I'm sorry. Kidney failure fucking sucks. I hope she gets more time with you guys. :(
15
Is there some resource summarizing/organizing the many dimensions  this whole Russia thing? Trump's ties to people who have shady Russian business interests/secret meetings with Russians/lied under oath about talking to Russians are so extensive that it's hard to keep track of them.

Adam Khan on twitter has been constantly posting about Trump's business ties using public information, but it's really hard to follow. There's just so much shit going back to the 80s. A bunch of his comments are speculation, but it's pretty incredible just how extensive Trump's connections to Russia are. You don't even need to add commentary or speculation to the mix.

But here's some of the more basic stuff:
http://www.politico.eu/article/all-of-trumps-russia-ties-in-7-charts/
Some of those connections seem strained, but the sheer amount of them... :ohdear: am I becoming a conspiracy theorist?

Some of it is already outdated. Like we know a lot more about Flynn, Stone, and Manafort now than we did when Politico published those charts. And some other things aren't really elaborated on because it's a chart. The thing on Sater doesn't even mention Bayrock Group, which was directly involved in the Trump SoHo project.

But yeah. This shit makes me feel like goddamn Glenn Beck in front of a fucking chalkboard, but the nature of business in Russia in recent years is that if you do business in Russia at a higher level, like Trump, you're automatically dealing with the mafia and the government, even if you don't want to. It's hard for some people to really understand how extensive corruption is in a place like Russia, but jumping into bed with some very unsavory characters is basically unavoidable if you want in. It's really the nature of the Russian economy at that level of corrupt oligarchs that you end up with these weird tenuous connections and meetings and handshakes and back room deals and shell games. It all looks like insane conspiracy theory because none of it is above board or honest, and it then becomes impossible to separate actual conspiracy theory lunacy and legitimately complicated shady dealings.

So, y'know. welp. v :mason: v
16
Is there some resource summarizing/organizing the many dimensions  this whole Russia thing? Trump's ties to people who have shady Russian business interests/secret meetings with Russians/lied under oath about talking to Russians are so extensive that it's hard to keep track of them.

Adam Khan on twitter has been constantly posting about Trump's business ties using public information, but it's really hard to follow. There's just so much shit going back to the 80s. A bunch of his comments are speculation, but it's pretty incredible just how extensive Trump's connections to Russia are. You don't even need to add commentary or speculation to the mix.

But here's some of the more basic stuff:
http://www.politico.eu/article/all-of-trumps-russia-ties-in-7-charts/
17
This story gets crazier with each fucking day.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-heck-devin-nunes-talking-about-guide-perplexed

Quote
Did Nunes publicly disclose anything classified?

Answer: We're not sure but it's a question well worth asking.

As Comey said at Nunes's hearing on Monday, "All FISA applications reviewed by the court and collection by us pursuant to our FISA authority is classified." Assuming that anything Nunes said was true, it appears to involve material obtained under FISA. Nunes confirmed as much in his White House press conference; when asked if the targets were subjects of surveillance "under FISA orders," he said "I appears so." Silly us, but we thought such material was classified until affirmatively declassified by the original classifying authority. Has NSA and FBI declassified the facts that Nunes publicly described today? Remember that Nunes apparently hasn't even spoken to Comey about this yet.

When asked whether the Justice Department authorized him to make the information public, Nunes said he thought the President "needed to know," presumably indicating he did not, in fact, have DOJ permission. Considering the focus on leaks of FISA material of Republicans at Monday's hearings, the question of whether Nunes himself has just improperly discussed classified FISA matters in public is one that deserves at least some attention.
18
I'm sorry about your kitty, brgurgogrogigrgiflil. :(

At least she has enough of an appetite to eat Purina garbage and roast beef. Hoping the bloodwork has been steady and that she's feeling comfortable. Enjoy the cat snuggles.
19
What, you don't like my new word? :sadcheer:
21
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trump-arrives-on-capitol-hill-to-sell-house-gop-health-care-package/2017/03/21/e8ede3d2-0e2b-11e7-9b0d-d27c98455440_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_acahouse-1025am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.257d30d32e11
Quote
Trump is putting his considerable weight behind a proposal crafted by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.)
hahaha Trump's fat

*writes 6,000 word thinkpiece on problematicity of fat jokes in the age of Trump :ohdear: *
22
Politics and Current Events / Re: The Fourth Estate
Glenn Beck/The Blaze has suspended Tomi Lahren for a week or possibly indefinitely.

Apparently over her mentioning that she's pro-choice and sees the issue as one of government overreach.

So much for the tolerant left.
23
Serious question, how is putting laptops with lithium batteries in checked luggage safer? And why is an iPhone 6 Plus allowed when a Kindle isn't?

If these devices pose a threat, why wouldn't you ban them outright?
25
Please diagnose your current head-up-ass condition and get treatment for it.  Thanks in advance.

:ironicat:

(also hi Pandora! :) )