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Comment Re:not just cars (Score 2) 181

I've had bad luck with Harbor Freight, and I think it has to do with the Chinese model for selling stuff to the US.

Chinese factories can turn out stuff that is as good as anything made anywhere, but if the middleman thinks he can get away with selling Americans junk they'll gladly supply him -- because he's their customer, not you. It'd be different if the manufacturers owned the brands under which they sell. Then their reputation would be on the line with every tool you bought. But it's not; they stamp whatever name the middleman is selling under.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 298

Well, we'll see whether your first amendment interpretation stands up, but your understanding of first amendment law conflicts with case law.

Sure you can publish illegally obtained information that's thrown over the transom, but you can't solicit an illegal act, and US news organizations have been successfully convicted despite their right to publish the illegally obtained information.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 298

I refer you to the Campaign Act of 2002, also known as "McCain-Feingold", which forbids any foreign entity from providing "any thing of value" to a campaign, and

a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution
                or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph
                (1) from a foreign national.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 298

This is a good response. Just to be clear, something can be wrong or unpatriotic without being criminal. However your assertion that "collusion" is not a crime isn't correct. Collusion with foreign entities attempting to influence the outcome of US elections is against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. There are a number of other federal statutes under which people could be charged, but that law was written specifically to address this kind of thing.

It's still early in the investigation. The way a criminal investigation works is that you find the most vulnerable people, often small fry, and squeeze them for evidence until you've got the biggest fish you can find. We have a number of small to medium fish who have pled guilty to various infractions, the one that's actually most indicative of campaign wrongdoing is George Papadopolous's guilty plea to obstruction. You can read that pleading online, and in it he admits to doing things which are clearly illegal under the Campaign Reform Act, and informing the campaign. We know from other sources Paul Manafort, the campaign director at the time, was aware of these activities and approved of them as long as they didn't involve senior officials.

Given that, you've got at least probable cause to suspect a conspiracy to break a specific US law, which should meet your standard.

Comment Re:First shutdown ever for a majority administrati (Score 1) 195

Trump claims he wants Congress to pass a DACA deal. If funding the government is so important, then why let that stop you? Cut the deal, pass the budget, and move on.

Because then he'd be seen as backing down on the border wall. That's the real sticking point. DACA isn't really politically controversial -- the overwhelming majority of Americans want a deal for the Dreamers, including a majority of Republican voters. But the Freedom Caucus wants to couple that with funding Trump's border wall.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 5, Informative) 298

People engage in Bayesian reasoning all the time, even if they don't know what that is. Everyone does this. If you actually believe anyone in the Trump organization would never collude with Russians, then Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin appears entirely innocent to you, even though Trump Jr. has openly admitted he was seeking Russian government supplied dirt on Clinton.

Likewise the meeting between George Papadopolous and Joseph Mifsud in which Mifsud offered a Russian government trove of emails from the Clinton campaign was perfectly innocent. Papadoploous lying about that meeting to the FBI was also a perfectly innocent mistake.

And when in response to Papadopolous's attempt to set up a meeting involving Trump Paul Manafort complained "It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal," he really meant that nobody in the campaign should be doing it.

So given that people who believe there isn't a shred of evidence of collusion aren't impressed by these fairly well-established facts attested to by the participants, I think it's perfectly legitimate to what level of evidence in your opinion constitutes "a shred"?

Comment Re:Nope (Score 0) 298

Part of the difficulty here is what you would consider "collusion".

Would meetings by people in the campaign with what they believe to be people working for the Russian Government for purposes of obtaining favors rise to the level of collusion for you? Or does there have to be a specific quid pro quo?

Comment Re:Nope (Score 5, Insightful) 298

That doesn't work because what convinces me won't necessarily convince you. That's because of differences in Bayesian prior beliefs.

Some people also like to waste your time demanding you marshal information they have no intention of looking at. It's like playing a game where they don't tell you the rules, or are free to change the rules to suit themselves.

Comment Re:Who cares about their stupid toys? (Score 2) 195

Clearly you haven't been following this in detail.

The reason the Republicans need a supermajority is that they have not been able to keep enough of their own party together to get a regular appropriations bill passed. So they turned to a stop-gap parliamentary procedure called a "continuing resolution" in which both sides (a supermajority) agree to allow spending to continue while they work out their differences.

So this is all about making a deal with Democrats because they can't keep their own party together. In your system that would trigger an election.

Now as for immigration, a deal on the DACA program, which literally nine out of ten Americans favor, would bring enough Democrats over to pass the continuing resolution. But the Republicans added another condition to that: funding for the President's border wall, which if you recall Mexico was supposed to pay for.

So the Republican leadership has reached an impasse in which they can neither muster enough votes from their own party to pass a regular appropriations bill, nor enough votes from the opposition party to pass a continuing resolution.

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