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Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
#1
It's time for the end of season 2 of the Trump Presidency, and wow, were there some twists and turns over the year.  But now, the cliffhangers keep piling on.  It's like Trump saw the season 1 ender for Twin Peaks, and thought hey, I can do more cliffhangers than that.  And then he told Theresa May, "You call that a shambles?  I can show you a better shambles, I'm the most shambolic person I know, believe me."

Key highlights of this week's episode:
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, will be out after this season, gave a great Farewell Monologue, where he blamed everyone else for not cooperating, and how his leadership has ballooned the federal budget deficit to $1 trillion.  Guy still looks good though, I think he's doing a David Caruso with his "retirement".
  • Interior Secretary and man under ethics investigation Ryan Zinke announce his surprise retirement from government.  Just like Game of Thrones, once you get to know these characters, they're gone.
  • A federal judge in Texas struck down the entire Obamacare law, sending the health care markets into a tailspin.  No one really knows what will happen this time, as the verdict seems prima facie dumb, but we have a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court.  Will we have health care?  Will some of you die?  No time to find out now, because...
  • Michael Flynn was scheduled to be sentenced for lying to the FBI and both sides said "no jail time, please."  Then the judge threw this out the window, talked about how General Flynn arguably disrespected what the flag stood for.  He asked the prosecutor if Flynn could have been charged with treason; the prosecutor wasn't sure, and asked to look up the statute!  (Spoilers: no it's impossible, there's no statute it's in the Constitution).  But we flew well past the "courtroom actually considers treason charges for respected general who served as National Security Adviser" waterline...
  • The U.S. Congress shows a rare bipartisan chops, by passing a criminal justice reform bill to reduce sentences (First Step Act) and a huge Farm Bill.  Hemp is now legal!  It looks like we can finally get along and work together.  Until...
  • After Trump promised to take credit for a government shutdown, we all thought that Congress would just pass a 6 week bill to fund the government.  But Trump is not having it, and threatened to veto and shut it all down unless he gets $5 billion to pay for part of his border wall.  Will they or won't they -- will the government shut down for good?
  • Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker asked for an informal opinion on whether he could oversee the Special Counsel.  They said that he should recuse himself, informally.  He said, OK, I guess I'm not going to ask for a formal opinion and I'm totally going to oversee the Special Counsel.
  • Robert Mueller looks to be in the final stages of charging Roger Stone of lying to Congress.  Will he flip?  Sexy spy Maria Butina did flip -- but is she a double-flipper?  Leaked court filings suggest that Mueller's not taking any chances, leaving a gag order in place.  Sexy redheads with gags... uh, moving on.
  • The Interior Department moved to open all of the North Shore of Alaska to oil drilling.  Public comment is now open.  Will they listen to the public?  (Spoilers: no)
  • Trump announced to the Defense Department (and incidentally the rest of the world at the same time) on Twitter that the U.S. would withdraw all soldiers from Syria.  Vlad and Bashir gave two thumbs up.
  • Trump directed DoD to come up with a plan to remove all troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible.
  • Defense Secretary Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis, the last of the so-called "adults in the room", resigned in protest.  Obviously upset about military withdrawals, he penned a letter saying in essence that he believes in alliances and using our military to protect others through partnerships instead of authoritarian intimidation.  He resigned because Mr. Trump does not share those values.
  • With the government in freefall, will Trump head to Mar-a-Lago tomorrow to vacation with unpaid Secret Service protecting him?  Find out tomorrow!
"Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
Reply
RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
#2
(12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote: It's time for the end of season 2 of the Trump Presidency, and wow, were there some twists and turns over the year.  But now, the cliffhangers keep piling on.  It's like Trump saw the season 1 ender for Twin Peaks, and thought hey, I can do more cliffhangers than that.  And then he told Theresa May, "You call that a shambles?  I can show you a better shambles, I'm the most shambolic person I know, believe me."

Key highlights of this week's episode:
  • Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, will be out after this season, gave a great Farewell Monologue, where he blamed everyone else for not cooperating, and how his leadership has ballooned the federal budget deficit to $1 trillion.  Guy still looks good though, I think he's doing a David Caruso with his "retirement".

Classic Republican style that, blaming everybody else for their own failures.

Paul, my friend, you and your party held the national executive and legislative branch for two years now, and a large number of states all of the state executive, legislative and judicial branches. How the fuck did you not manage to do more?

(12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • Interior Secretary and man under ethics investigation Ryan Zinke announce his surprise retirement from government.  Just like Game of Thrones, once you get to know these characters, they're gone.

  • Arrests for corruption pending, but possibly not going to happen until the Trump Administration series concludes.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • A federal judge in Texas struck down the entire Obamacare law, sending the health care markets into a tailspin.  No one really knows what will happen this time, as the verdict seems prima facie dumb, but we have a new conservative majority on the Supreme Court.  Will we have health care?  Will some of you die?  No time to find out now, because...

  • Sucks to be Texan. But last I checked Texas is massively Republican so... I'm just going to point and laugh.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • Michael Flynn was scheduled to be sentenced for lying to the FBI and both sides said "no jail time, please."  Then the judge threw this out the window, talked about how General Flynn arguably disrespected what the flag stood for.  He asked the prosecutor if Flynn could have been charged with treason; the prosecutor wasn't sure, and asked to look up the statute!  (Spoilers: no it's impossible, there's no statute it's in the Constitution).  But we flew well past the "courtroom actually considers treason charges for respected general who served as National Security Adviser" waterline...

  • You see, the thing is, if you swear an oath to protect a country, it tends to be a bad idea to break that oath, especially if you keep trading on that time you publicly spend upholding that oath. For some reason people find it weighs more than never having sworn that oath and doing the same things that would've broken that oath.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • The U.S. Congress shows a rare bipartisan chops, by passing a criminal justice reform bill to reduce sentences (First Step Act) and a huge Farm Bill.  Hemp is now legal!  It looks like we can finally get along and work together.  Until...

  • Wait, a Republican Congress actually makes a sensible decision? Hell must be freezing. Or the Democrats have started blackmailing like the Republicans have been doing for oh, more than a decade now.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • After Trump promised to take credit for a government shutdown, we all thought that Congress would just pass a 6 week bill to fund the government.  But Trump is not having it, and threatened to veto and shut it all down unless he gets $5 billion to pay for part of his border wall.  Will they or won't they -- will the government shut down for good?

  • Congress will overrule him. The Democrats will probably successfully blame him and the Republicans.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker asked for an informal opinion on whether he could oversee the Special Counsel.  They said that he should recuse himself, informally.  He said, OK, I guess I'm not going to ask for a formal opinion and I'm totally going to oversee the Special Counsel.

  • Obstruction of Justice charges now pending.

    No I'm not saying he's going to get charged. I'm saying that any sensible Justice Department will now have a form letter ready to charge the AAG Matt Whitaker where they only need to fill in the dates and the reference numbers.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • Robert Mueller looks to be in the final stages of charging Roger Stone of lying to Congress.  Will he flip?  Sexy spy Maria Butina did flip -- but is she a double-flipper?  Leaked court filings suggest that Mueller's not taking any chances, leaving a gag order in place.  Sexy redheads with gags... uh, moving on.

  • And no tears were shed. Also Labster? Remember that she last guy she had a relation with is currently being charged for being a Russian spy and I think she'll hang him out to dry. You sure you want to get involved with that?

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • The Interior Department moved to open all of the North Shore of Alaska to oil drilling.  Public comment is now open.  Will they listen to the public?  (Spoilers: no)

  • Unless the public says 'great idea.'

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • Trump announced to the Defense Department (and incidentally the rest of the world at the same time) on Twitter that the U.S. would withdraw all soldiers from Syria.  Vlad and Bashir gave two thumbs up.

  • In other news, everybody has long since realized that under Trump at least the USA is a terrible ally. Alternative arrangements are being considered.

    This would explain why Vlad gave a thumbs up.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • Trump directed DoD to come up with a plan to remove all troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible.

  • DoD plan: Leave ehm there for at least another decade to root out terrorists.

    What?

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • Defense Secretary Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis, the last of the so-called "adults in the room", resigned in protest.  Obviously upset about military withdrawals, he penned a letter saying in essence that he believes in alliances and using our military to protect others through partnerships instead of authoritarian intimidation.  He resigned because Mr. Trump does not share those values.

  • The only surprise in this is that Mattis resigned without arranging things ahead of time.

    (12-21-2018, 02:02 AM)Labster Wrote:
  • With the government in freefall, will Trump head to Mar-a-Lago tomorrow to vacation with unpaid Secret Service protecting him?  Find out tomorrow!

  • I'm sure it'll be a terrible accident when Trump falls from the airplane because he toyed with the loading ramp and the Secret Service agents were in the break room enjoying their unpaid leave.
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #3
    On the whole, this isn’t a great season. There are too many detours, too many balls dropped, and some insanely short memories.

    There are worse ways to end the season. Maybe over the winter break, the writers can figure out a way to use the newcomers talents to better effect.

    Season grade: C+
    ****************************************************************
    “When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. When you desire a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it.”
    ― Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory
    ——————————————————-
    What zombie movies got wrong about the actual apocalypse, part 1,487: they omitted scenes of people on the street demanding the right to be eaten by zombies.
    —Kelly Davio, Twitter, 4/19/2020
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #4
    The omnishambles shambles on: some GOP senators can't get into the White House for their meeting with Trump

    From CNN's Ted Barrett:
    Quote:As Senate Republicans head to the White House for a meeting with President Trump, a source, who asked not to be identified, tells CNN that “things are so chaotic at the White House that some Republican senators can’t get in because Secret Service didn’t even have time to clear them (or the staff who is driving them there!)”
    --
    ‎noli esse culus
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #5
    Oh, one more plot twist, straight out of a soap opera:
    • Supreme Court Justice and women's lib icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery for lung cancer today.  Will she recover and be back for next season, or is this the end for this beloved character?  Will Trump get to appoint another justice who thinks that the President is immune from obstruction of justice?
    I'm hoping that it was all just a dream.
    "Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #6
    And after hours of overtime play, it looks like a no-deal exit for Congress.

    Jennifer Haberkorn Wrote:@SenBobCorker advises reporters to go home and have a scotch.
    (source: The Guardian
    original tweet)

    And a very merry Christmas to all the Whos in government jobs, who won't need to worry about the Grinch stealing the roast beast off their tables this year. Hope you already got your furnace fuel tanks filled, but hey, on the bright side there's always global warming!

    ETA: Incidentally, the power went off for me right around the same time this happened. Engage tinfoil hats!
    --
    ‎noli esse culus
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #7
    The good news is that my agency got funded before. What I now see is 2019 - The year of living dangerously
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #8
    i almost started a thread "Are you ready for a shutdown?" because i saw this coming as soon as the election results came in. It's political hamstringing that is probably going to do the same thing to congress in two years that the Kavenaugh senate hearings did to the senate. Trump told them what he wanted, offered to negotiate ON CAMERA, and Pelosi and Schumer wanted to take it behind closed doors, i'm sorry but that doesnt make me (and probably those who think like me) anything but more likely to get rid of them. Anyone willing to take bets on the status of congress as of the election of 2020?
    Wolf wins every fight but the one where he dies, fangs locked around the throat of his opponent. 
    Currently writing BROBd

    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #9
    The thing about negotiating is that one side has to be willing to accept the other's priority items, and "build a big border wall" is not compatible with "don't spend billions on a big border wall." Sort of like the Brexiteers insisting on continuing to trade in the EU's free market being part of an exit deal, and the EU holding that as a privilege for current member states.
    --
    ‎noli esse culus
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #10
    Ravjik, I don't think you know how all-in Democrats are against the wall. If it means a 25 month government shutdown, that's what it will be. There was a chance about a year ago where we would have traded wall funding for DACA. But elections have consequences, and voter opinion has been moving away from funding the wall since last year. The Democratic base sees it as wasteful, racist, and futile. It's one of those things -- do you think a wall will keep rats from crossing the border? Are humans smarter than rats when confronted with obstacles?

    Mostly likely, though, HR 1 in the next session just approves the Senate version without wall funding, and Trump caves in and signs it. Next most likely involves the same approach as above, but with the Congress overriding his veto. There aren't enough Republicans willing to die on this particular hill to make it happen. Sorry, Rajvik.
    "Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #11
    (12-25-2018, 09:11 PM)Rajvik Wrote: i almost started a thread "Are you ready for a shutdown?" because i saw this coming as soon as the election results came in. It's political hamstringing that is probably going to do the same thing to congress in two years that the Kavenaugh senate hearings did to the senate. Trump told them what he wanted, offered to negotiate ON CAMERA, and Pelosi and Schumer wanted to take it behind closed doors, i'm sorry but that doesnt make me (and probably those who think like me) anything but more likely to get rid of them. Anyone willing to take bets on the status of congress as of the election of 2020?

    Except that, you know, taking the negotiations out of the public eye would've most likely helped Trump a lot more than trying to do them on camera.

    Trump's just plainly a terrible negotiator, and Schumer and Pelosi both would've made him look terrible on camera and then walked out, successfully blaming him again except this time it's even more damaging to his standing in the public eye.
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #12
    You did see his attempt at ambushing them with a public interview, right? Where he declared he would own the shutdown?
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #13
    Why are the Democrats not giving an inch?  This tweet sums it up perfectly.

    https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status...6399824896

    He has the money for it already. He's just looking for a symbolic victory for something that is symbolic in and of itself.

    Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.
    "They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
    -Diane Duane, High Wizardry
    "If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
    -Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #14
    As of tomorrow, it will be the longest government shutdown on record. The negotiating positions so far:

    * Democrats: The wall is racist
    * Trump: The wall is necessary to stop an emergency

    Unfortunately, there's no give in either position. If a $5 billion wall is racist, a $1 wall will be racist too. Or if it's a national emergency, then anything less than full funding is an existential threat to the country. The narrative on immigration reform has been completely lost, as usual.

    The groundhog saw his shadow, looks like 6 more weeks of shutdown.
    "Kitto daijoubu da yo." - Sakura Kinomoto
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #15
    I still don't understand hjow you can have hundreds of thousands of people going unpaid. And not have a civil war. I still don't understand how a government can end up in a position where it wont pay its employees.

    European States have done quite fine without 'official' governments - sometimes for years - because the civil service kept getting paid and there was a balance to prevent these morons. The rules remained the same while everyone figured out what to do.

    One wonders if there isn't a case for making the Wall trumps Pyrrhic victory. Something he'll give anything to achieve - like real policy wins that have a positive effect, rather than something that'll be an unfinished joke in ten years. Either that or a compromise so unpallatable - like actual reform reforms. Use it as the noose to strangle him - the wall is built, the world recognises it as the folley it is, but some good comes of it.

    B

    I love the smell of rotaries in the morning. You know one time, I got to work early, before the rush hour. I walked through the empty carpark, I didn't see one bloody Prius or Golf. And that smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole carpark, smelled like.... ....speed.

    One day they're going to ban them.
    Reply
    RE: Cliffhanger: Trump Presidency Season Finale
    #16
    I doubt that Trump will make any sort of deal like that.

    Also, looks like you were only half-finished with that post, Dartz.

    Aside, but somewhat on-topic: Fox erroneously reports that every illegal immigrant that 'comes over the wall' costs American taxpayers $80,000 a year.

    Truth? That's actually the cost of resettling refugees. Which illegal immigrants aren't - they do their own 'resettling' so as to remain under the radar, thank you very much.

    Source: https://www.newsweek.com/fox-news-host-i...rs-1285581

    Yasuri Nanami is my number one waifu, if only because she would horribly murder all the others if they didn't shut up and toe the line.
    "They did not care about all the other attempts wizards had made on the Lone Power through history; as far as a computer is concerned, there is no program that cannot be debugged, or at worst, rewritten."
    -Diane Duane, High Wizardry
    "If our friendship depends on things like space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"
    -Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
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