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Old October 30th, 2017, 03:07 PM
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Default Conspiracy against the United States

Paul Manafort, long known foreign agent, has finally been charged by the FBI. Count one: conspiracy against the United States.

Why should we care? I mean, other than Manafort was also Donald J Trump's presidential campaign manager. Other than Manafort was the one to point Trump to name Pence as his running mate. Other than the fact that Manafort ties the Trump family and businesses to treason and conspiracy.

Yeah, why should we care?

Have the Trumps and the rest of their ilk made the US in any way great at any point in the past forty years? No, but they have, in the last two years, contributed greatly to undermine the country's democratic institutions, aided and abetted by a GOP dominated Congress that cares more about eliminating taxes for the rich and suppressing voters' rights, than about controlling a wannabe autocrat who has been openly enriching himself, his family, and his cronies, flaunting the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
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Old October 30th, 2017, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Conspiracy against the United States

Great story @ Wired magazine today about the Papadopoulos plea and speculation on how Mueller's prosecutorial team might move forward from it: https://www.wired.com/story/papadopo...ler-next-moves

It's interesting that the tactic of going after criminal organizations by trying to "flip" the so-called "small fries" has moved from being a tactic strictly used to go after gangs, la cosa nostro, and other strictly criminal organizations, is now being used to go after political corruption and a variety of "white collar crimes." I can't wait for the 1% to find out that the RICO statutes are an unconstitutional set of statutes that legalized guilt by association; i hope some special prosecutor grows a serious set of cojones and tries to indict the entire US Senate via the RICO statutes, it's a move that's seriously overdue.
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Old October 31st, 2017, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Conspiracy against the United States

(aside: whatever you do, do not ever mention RICO to Ken White of Popehat)

(you may also want to avoid the "yelling fire in a crowded theatre" bit)

Sarah Kendzior is an academic who has devoted her professional life to the study of autocracies. Anyone who has paid any attention to her, and other experts on this field, know that they have predicted, almost to the letter, pretty much every move and propaganda strategy from Trump and his cadre of traitors and grafters.

You can find everything she's written on Trump on her blog (link to selected pieces). Her reaction to today's indictments is here.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Conspiracy against the United States

The biggest problem with shit like RICO is that it effectively criminalizes the entire population of the country. Anybody who's ever talked to a criminal is now also a criminal, as well as everybody who ever spoke with those criminals, and everybody who ever spoke with those criminals, et cetera ad nauseum. Literally every citizen in the country is now a convictable criminal. Ergo, selective enforcement becomes everyday routine. "No, he didn't get arrested because he criticized the President's foreign policy! He got arrested because his third cousin's babysitter's boyfriend's uncle's golfing buddy downloaded kiddy smut! I hope they throw away the key and cut his dick off!"

An extreme example? Today, yes. But it's not at all outside the scope of the RICO statutes - they literally make every single person a criminal. And now that we're all criminals, it just comes down to who law enforcement wants off the streets and who they don't. It always makes me laugh bitterly when i see a bumper sticker railing against totalitarianism (which seem to be getting rarer and rarer every year), because the US is an authoritarian totalitarian state already, and the largest and most militarized police state in the history of humankind. The reality is that the guy arrested in the initial example of this post never needed to be tied to kiddie porn through some legal variation on the Rube Goldberg device. If the FBI wants him off the street, all they need to do is offer three convicts slightly shorter sentences, and that guy can go to prison for conspiracy charges based on the sworn testimony of people he's never met, never spoken to, never even heard of. And the charges will stick. His appeals will fail. Physical evidence? Motive? Actual detective work? None of it is needed anymore.
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Old November 15th, 2017, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Conspiracy against the United States

Part of Sessions' testimony yesterday:


What the whole exchange, it's absurd to an extreme.

"Did you lie to the Senate or are you now lying to the House of Representatives?"

And the GOP chair tries to protect Sessions from having to answer *that* question.

Then Sessions ends by, basically, trying to intimidate Lieu by saying "you can't be sued here"

If you watch the whole hearing, you'll see Sessions incredible racism and bigotry, and how differently he reacts to MoC who are people of color compared to how he responds to white men.

These are the people Trump put in charge of destroying democratic institutions--and boy, are they complying.
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