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Old 03-12-2018, 04:11 PM   #311
Konata Fan
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I guess everybody who concerns about world politics know what is happening here in China.
So sad to my motherland.What's next? A new Cultural Revolution? I think it's possible.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:22 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by Konata Fan View Post
I guess everybody who concerns about world politics know what is happening here in China.
So sad to my motherland.What's next? A new Cultural Revolution? I think it's possible.
I think the interesting question will be what the long term effects are.

Long story short, I don't think Xi himself is going to be a major threat. His actions are very consistent with a "benevolent dictator". He (at least appears to be) attacking corruption and is trying to reform the economy to focus on internal generation as oppose to reliance on being the world's "factory". To that end, he really is looking out for the best in China and still garners healthy support because of it.

The problem will be if he begins to cling to power too long. There's a saying I've heard (often attributed to Mark Twain, but also often agreed that it doesn't sound like something that matches language at the time) that politicians, like diapers, must be changed regularly and for the same reason. Power corrupts. Even the most positive of individuals will eventually abuse the tools to keep them in power. Rarely do you have someone stay loyal to their cause endlessly. Not having term limits basically lets the garbage pile up.

I think the biggest issue will be if Xi either retains power by surrounding himself by yes men (thereby removing those who would be best at their job with those who just agree with him) or if he holds onto power for far too long (and therefore makes the eventual scramble for power in his wake that much worse). But if something happens, it'll be something that will rot and decay over years, not something that will happen anytime soon.

I will agree he's extremely restrictive on internet use (especially in the era of social media). However, I don't think an internal "cleanse" ala the Cultural Revolution will be likely. At least, anytime soon. The Cultural Revolution was built on consolidating power and an ill guided attempt at changing hearts and minds. The only way I see this happening today is if Xi passes away (and in the scramble for power, one of his successors decides to purge the country of his opposition) or if China decides to isolate itself ala North Korea and has to shut itself from all foreign travel and external internet access. Anything else is just asking for video to leak.
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:27 AM   #313
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Okay more bullshit:

They staged walk outs. First off, SCREW YOU to the people behind this. This is bull! You are having school children walk out..for what?

This is what I'm hearing. That these walk outs are to protest gun violence and understood by most people, against gun laws. So our country is this stupid. Here's the problem.

THey are using children, people who are undereducated in schools, to protest politics. Stop using KIDS to protest politics! The people in charge don't give a crap about the children who were gunned down in florida, they care about passing a damn gun law. They are trivializing those who were murdered and I find it insulting. These punks orchestrate a massive protest, a disruption, for the sake of politics which do not belong in schools. (as an aside, i find politics in schools to be overwhelmingly liberal due to the basic nature of teachers, government jobs, bias toward govt size, etc, its relatively known).

So this really is trivializing those who died for the sake of politics. Is nothing whole or sacred anymore? Stop this BS and look at the damn elephant in the room: Passing a law to make guns a little bit harder to get, or reducing the clip size, is NOT going to stop school shootings. WHy not actually focus on the killers. WHY they did it, not how. Any one of us on here can go buy a pistol on craigslist, this is not going to provide a safety net. Since Columbine, we've had shootings and what, now that they think a law can pass, NOW they wanna get the country involved. We need to focus on WHY these happen. If you take an angry person's gun away, are they gonna give up, or might they redouble their efforts harder to get one anyway? My point is that this is a wasted effort, people are shouting 'action now' as we americans do, but are focusing the wrong way. You need to look at why this happens, why these people are the way they are, and as school budgets get worse, we get faculty this stupid, our school years have more breaks and get shorter is it any wonder we are getting SO stupid as a country.


NOW to my point:

A high school student was given a suspension...being the only kid in his school not to participate in the MANDATED politically-charged walk out. He was alone and the teachers said he shoulda been supervised. so leave a teacher in there. Do you know what he said? He said he didn't want to get politically involved. Good for him, he should be applauded, not punished! I already went and found the email to the principal of this school and shouted far heavier at him/her for their stupidity at making national news for one kid who had the balls to say hey aren't we here to learn? Good for you kid, please run for president maybe.

So this came out with tons of holes but I was pretty mad. I tire of this fake media, this daily bull. and when i see a kid doing exactly what i would have done get punished, yeah i guess I had to give my 2 cents. We have reached the point where every tragidy (did you hear about the bridge collapse in florida) is now focused on finding someone to blame...rather than saying we are sorry it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. currently its a blame game, theyre searching for a person to make a poster child. over what is probably an engineering accident (looking at the construction style however I coulda told you this would have happened). yet when it comes to mass murder, let's not focus on the horrible kid who did it, no, lets rally the country to change gun laws, blame his gun, not the trigger man. we shouldn't be rallying children to fight political crap, we could instead rally all the kids to do something like, i dunno, if you see a crazy kid posting death threat messages online, maybe tell somebody. this killer needed mental help, and if you try and take his guns away, what if he uses a knife, or piano wire, or x y and z. remember, guns dont kill people, people do. focus on that.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:24 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
They staged walk outs. First off, SCREW YOU to the people behind this. This is bull! You are having school children walk out..for what?
So...screw kids for...using kids?

This was a movement started by the high school students at the school's shooting enacted by high school students around your country.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
THey are using children, people who are undereducated in schools, to protest politics. Stop using KIDS to protest politics!
These "children" are 16-18. They are high school students who have enough life experience to understand the consequence of their actions (in the eyes of the law).

At this age, you're often punishable with adult sentences if you commit grave crimes. You are past the age of consent in many countries. Legally, you are mature enough to recognize the impacts of your actions. Hell, you're able to get married in many of the traditionally Republican states of the USA (parental consent given).

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The people in charge don't give a crap about the children who were gunned down in florida, they care about passing a damn gun law.
Why, yes, the students in Florida don't give a crap about the students in Florida.

It's not some grand conspiracy here. It's a grass roots movement given higher attention because the students refuse to let it go away. Something past movements in the last decade didn't have.

Simply put, the students have mobilized via social media. A tech savvy generation has made a strong push...all indicators every similar to why the Arab Spring movement had so much power (for a couple years) trying to instill greater democracy in their nations.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
These punks orchestrate a massive protest, a disruption, for the sake of politics which do not belong in schools.
And the students willingly made a choice. They were told the consequences and those who walked out agreed to them (some schools threatening punishments, some accepting the protest with consent of the parents).

High school students are given the right to free speech, the same as adults. And if they choose to use it to make a political point, knowing full well they have violated protocol, that's their prerogative. Same as if they chose to walk out because they felt abortion should be illegal. Or if they felt the Second Amendment was being trampled on.

Interesting point: the ACLU, which focuses on the civil liberties of the USA, noted that students cannot be punished specifically for their political actions.

Are they legally required to attend school? Yes. However, they can only be punished for that.

I bring this up as some schools have opted to threatened suspension for the students leaving for 17 minutes. And, unless the suspension was standard policy for anybody who skipped out of class for 17 minutes, it's illegal.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
So this really is trivializing those who died for the sake of politics.
This is not a trivialization. This is a push to get meaningful change enacted, with the protesters thinking that the best possible action is to put stricter enforcement on guns.

What has legally been done on this issue from a government standpoint? Near jack shit. No studies, a little talk, and basically just a piece of paper from Trump saying "let's look into bump stocks".

The government, and I'm sure you agree, exists to serve the people. And the people want change.

~70% want stricter gun legislation, ~90% want increased emphasis on background checks, ~85% want increased restrictions against those who have been diagnosed with mental illness. About 65% want restrictions on high capacity (and/or high rate of fire) weapons.

(Source - https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com...-polling-quiz/ . An aggregate of multiple polling stations)

These are all common sense legislation which are a slam dunk in terms of political points for any government which can enact them. Yet no administration has been able to make it happen. Even the strongest of pleading by Obama and a bipartisan push by Democrats and Republicans couldn't get the most watered down of bills passed.

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WHy not actually focus on the killers. WHY they did it, not how.
Because you're the only damn nation where this routinely happens and you're, shockingly (shockingly I tell you), the only country which has such an obsession with firearms.

And the only developed nation with such an insane firearm homicide rate.

And the only developed nation with such an insane firearm suicide rate.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
Any one of us on here can go buy a pistol on craigslist, this is not going to provide a safety net.
Which is why one of the biggest pushes has been for improving background checks to better encompass private sales.

That is, they would make it illegal to buy a pistol off Craigslist without having it processed and approved by government.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
NOW they wanna get the country involved.
They wanted something done after Sandy Hook.

The NRA kicked hard back and, despite an 80% support of people to get something passed, even the most watered down of legislation had nothing happen.

The difference this time is in the organization. Sandy Hook was organized and pushed for by Obama. This is a grass roots movement, utilizing social media to get things organized.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
We need to focus on WHY these happen. If you take an angry person's gun away, are they gonna give up, or might they redouble their efforts harder to get one anyway?
I'll just quote The Onion here: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

https://www.theonion.com/no-way-to-p...s-r-1819576527

Convenience isn't a factor to be ignored. Your case is similar to an argument in Canada made against Doctor Assisted Death. That is, anybody depressed is going to just keep pushing to die no matter how many blockades you put in the way of the legal suicide.

We haven't seen that. The use of it is extremely limited.

Bureaucracy is a force within and of itself. I've heard some medical schools even use it (by failing all first time applicants and only accepting those who have applied more than once) to ensure students who apply actually want to become doctors as oppose to those who want the "MD" in their designation.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
You need to look at why this happens,
I think the first question is "why are we the only people this (commonly) happens to? What makes you guys so special for school shootings? Or mass shootings of any variety?

The answer seems blindly simple given the rate of mental illness have never been demonstrated to be higher in the USA relative to elsewhere. The detection mechanisms aren't bad. So it's the actions that a mentally ill individual is capable of that becomes a problem.

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A high school student was given a suspension...being the only kid in his school not to participate in the MANDATED politically-charged walk out.
Incorrect.

The students were given two options: protest or go to study hall (study hall being a supervised environment). He refused both.

Source: https://m.theepochtimes.com/high-sch...t_2467890.html

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
did you hear about the bridge collapse in florida
Sure. I'll wait until the research findings come on it. My money would be on a company which cut corners (given their history), but lots of the story just seems strange. They were doing stress testing on it and let cars go underneath it. A structural failure that intense should have been accounted for in the factor of safety during the engineering design phase.

Again, it'll be interesting to find out the cause.

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Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
rather than saying we are sorry it happened and how to prevent it from happening again.
To prevent it from happening again, you need to find a root cause for these incidents and take action against it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
let's not focus on the horrible kid who did it, no, lets rally the country to change gun laws, blame his gun, not the trigger man.
Many have decided access to firearms is the issue. Not an undue conclusion given what I mentioned previously about rate of mental illness.

In fact, one of the "common sense" legislation which they provide is basically "the mentally ill have less access to firearms". Which is warped into "THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY' by special interest groups (especially the NRA. The same reaction was used when Congress attempted to invoke a change which expanded the cases requiring background checks).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane of Cawdor View Post
i dunno, if you see a crazy kid posting death threat messages online, maybe tell somebody.
They did. Didn't change the outcome.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:16 PM   #315
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I was pretty sure this wouldn't fit in the last post, so I made one more.

First is basically a note on how it seems like...well, just about everybody, is getting the boot these days in the White House.
Spoiler: show
In the last few days, the following (high ranking) individuals have been fired or are rumoured to be let go:

- Rex Tillerson (Secretary of State, think Minister of Foreign Affairs if you're looking for an equivalent)
- Andrew McCabe (Deputy Director of the FBI, fired 26 days before he was slated to retire)

- (Rumoured) HR McMaster (National Security Advisor...not sure there's an equivalent)
- (Rumoured to be just talked out of it) John Kelly (Chief of Staff...no equivalent elsewhere)

The big thing to take away from this is that the calls from Trump's camp have been growing louder and louder to end any investigation on Russian collusion. This signals to me that they are getting dangerously close to locking down something important (with Trump's personal lawyer seemingly gunning for the dismissal of Rosenstein, the man who could end the investigation, if he doesn't ask for an end it).

Given that it was only recently revealed that the Trump Organization had been subpoenaed by Mueller, I think we're hitting phase 2...it seems like there's something they're looking for and people are getting antsy seeing it happen.

This is legitimately the only time I've ever heard someone go to war with the ex #1 and #2 in their intelligence organization. It's a worrying sign if you support Trump, especially since both felt compelled to write detailed notes of their meetings with Trump. And both are free to divulge details to Mueller if they saw anything illegal.

Edit - It also turns out since then, former 4 star general Barry McCaffrey has also decided Trump is a serious threat to national security.


And, as I was typing this, it turns out that McCabe has turned over all his documentation (and correspondence with Trump) to Mueller.

---

Second is a...fun situation? Russia and UK are going at each other.

Spoiler: show
So not too long ago, a ex-Russian double agent and his daughter (living in the UK) were hospitalized. The cause of hospitalization was later found to be nerve agent made by the USSR.

Naturally, given Russia's previous antics related to their ex-agents (see Alexander Litvinenko and the use of Polonium 210), Russia was asked to clarify exactly how this happened (whether they supplied it or the nerve agent was lost or if they killed the guy themselves). As expected, no response.

So, Russia and UK have fired at each other by throwing the other's diplomats out of the country. Pretty much everyone sides with the UK on this one.

Yeah. Remind me to not anger Russia. At least, if I'm a defector of theirs.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:46 AM   #316
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The (British) Empire strikes back, eh wot?

Speaking of Empires, the agony booth is a most effective means of discipline for overly ambitious Russians (cough*Putin*cough).
Spoiler: show

Hey, I can dream, can't I?


*******************

Spoiler: show


"I'll tell you what's happening! The chickens are coming home to roost!

No! NOT the chickens!

It's the EAGLES that are coming, you BASTARDS!


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Old 03-20-2018, 07:00 AM   #317
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So another woman dies from a self-driving car. As someone pointed out, technically the death ratio of self driving cars is triple that of person driving cars.

Then I see these 12 foot mechanical mech robot suits with a person in them, that also have "autonomous mode".

Then I remember the movie Terminator.

You guys remember how that series started? You remember how it ended? Think we need to tell these tech geeks that sometimes you need to get off your lazy butt and do things the old way as SOME new technology needs more testing.

Hacker drops a Skynet virus into uber, takes control of the dozens of driverless cars, you got a mass attack you could hide behind. Didn't Stephen Hawking warn us of this like JUST last week before he died??

PS: KC I didn't get a WORD of your last post, wanna translate for me? I like the pictures, not sure what the first one was or what you were sarcast-ing to ( <sure thats a word now)
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:48 PM   #318
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You remember how it ended?
With a series of increasingly mediocre sequels?

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Hacker drops a Skynet virus into uber, takes control of the dozens of driverless cars, you got a mass attack you could hide behind. Didn't Stephen Hawking warn us of this like JUST last week before he died??
Not really politics...but I don't think you really understand how driverless cars works or grasp what Hawking stated.

Hawking's fears are about superhuman AI - AI which is capable of outperforming people in raw intelligence. An order of intelligence is sentience, the understanding and recognition of a "self". Beyond that becomes the preservation of self. Without a desire to survive or to want to exist, AI is (in most theoretical situations) little more than a powerful tool which does what someone above it tells it to.

Driverless cars are more akin to a chess playing computer: an object which can process extremely quickly. Driverless cars do a lot of calculating and may even express creativity. We've been applying such learning and creativity to medical diagnosis already and it aids in the ability to identify diseases that the normal human brain might not notice.

We'll hit Ex Machina before we get to the fears of Hawking and Musk. You know what? Just watch Ex Machina. That's basically what Hawking and Musk are sounding the alarm bells on: artificial intelligence which begins to outwit humans while acting outside the constraints we give it.

The incident is more like a chess computer accidentally exposing its queen for an easy take than a Terminator coming to hunt down John Connor.

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PS: KC I didn't get a WORD of your last post, wanna translate for me? I like the pictures, not sure what the first one was or what you were sarcast-ing to ( <sure thats a word now)
Basically: Congrats to UK for standing up for itself against Russia.

And in the spoilers: The young voters (and those on the cusp of voting age) are organizing school walkouts far more than any "left". That is, the actions (or inaction) at the federal level is fuelling a shift in young voters...and one away from the Republicans.

---------

Of interesting note is the firestorm drawing around Cambridge Analytica, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Trump election campaign (which it backed and aided).

For those unfamiliar, it's an organization that claims to host a great amount of data on "humans" for use in election campaigns. Imagine it as a giant marketing company which focuses on elections by knowing about the age, gender, wage (etc) of the voters.

Story #1 - Not so bad.

Spoiler: show
So, long story short, the last two years have seen in drawing in millions of user's information via Facebook (something Facebook asked them to stop doing a couple years ago). Nope. So, they drew out ~50 million people off Facebook.

That itself isn't tremendously bad. They had to call in users who agreed to it. The problem is that it also drew information about people who didn't consent. For example, if I were friends with furball and I consented for their data sharing program, it would also collect all information that I had access to on furball (thereby collecting information on two people, one of which didn't consent to giving their information and could have possibly been set to "private" outside of friends).

Facebook has now had a whistle blower identify that they knew Cambridge used this technique and did nothing to protect the people who didn't consent.


That's all fine and evil...but this is where the story gets worse and worse.

Story #2 - Um...Bond villain level evil? Well, maybe not, but sketchy as all hell.

Spoiler: show
A UK public channel, Channel 4, did some investigative journalism into the company. Under the guise of a Sri Lankan politician, they got the company to open up on what it has done for some of its clients...including:

- Attempt to catch political opponents in bribes (by making the bribes themselves).
- Attempt to catch opponents in sex scandals (by hiring the women involved).
- Hire ex-spies to dig up dirt.
- Make actual fake news (that is, lies) online and spread them via social media.

And all this from a company which claims all it wants to do is offer strategic data and advice.

They then claim that they basically ran Donald Trump's election campaign (at least, from the advertisement side) and were the reason for his victory (garnering 40,000 votes in 3 swing states which won him the election). They attribute their success in the USA election to disregarding facts and only appealing to emotion. They would create shell companies from which to fire extremely negative messages (and basically smear campaigns).

For example, in the USA election, they had Trump spend his campaign money on positive messages ("Get out there and vote" type of stuff) while leaving the negative stuff ("Clinton is too crooked to lead") to an external organization of theirs (a shell company which received its money by the Trump campaign) which would unleash them online and let memes take over...Google, YouTube, Facebook...they let it run wild on those types of domains.

Now, the interesting part here is that:

- Funding via this technique (funding these "external organization") is illegal for an election campaign. Complaints were already filed that Cambridge Analytica broke the USA election rules (which have been doubled down on through this video).

- They have been under investigation for this link to the USA 2016 election. The state to the undercover individual that they are basically uncooperative with Mueller and the House Intelligence Committee barely understands what they're talking about (with the Republican individuals uninterested in talking to them)

- They utilize ProtonMail and have all e-mails destroyed entirely after 2 hours in their accounts.


The two-part feature is below. The first focuses on the company's power while the second looks at the company's influence in the USA election (in its own words)


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Old 04-16-2018, 04:48 AM   #319
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I've summed up american political bias stereotypes (without your sarcasm) that could be a comic strip:

Democrat: Gimme your money
Republican: Don't take my money

This I feel is a very good summary actually, you can analyze it, but it simplicates (screw you auto-correct; that is a word) how Democrats tend to want more taxes and more government programs while Republicans want less taxes and more security for their personal money.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:06 AM   #320
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Democrat: Throws your money to the poor.
Republican: Throws your money to the wealthy.
Corrected slightly for my "immensely cynical" version of an interpretation (completely 100% oversimplified and not really representative of the truth).

---

Incidentally, the last week in the USA has required me to get far too much popcorn to munch on. It's all fairly salacious stuff, so nothing terribly serious here. Just lawyers going crazy and some of the strangest legal Hail Marys I've seen.

I mean, this is my current mood right now:


Spoiler: show
Long story short, Trump's lawyer is under investigation for events related to Trump (that the lawyer, Cohen, has misappropriated funds and conducted financial frauds for his client, Donald Trump).

So, let's back up here as I don't think we've covered it on this forum:

- An adult actress (Stormy Daniels) has claimed that she has had an affair with Trump.

- Said adult actress claims that she was given a settlement to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) about the affair prior to the election of Trump.

- To make this payment, Cohen created a shell company to pay her.

This is where things take a legal turn:

- If you're spending collected funds to keep your reputation clean during an election, you have to report it. This payment didn't show up under any of his claims.

- Trump never signed the NDA (even under a pseudonym). This isn't (typically) a concern, but Daniels' lawyer is using it as leverage to sue and get her out of the NDA.

-----

So, since then, it has been revealed that the special council investigating claims of Russian meddling (under Robert Mueller) has referred leads to another prosecutor regarding misappropriation of funds by Cohen. And that prosecutor as conducted no-knock seizure of material from Cohen regarding his interactions with Trump.

Now, this is huge.

- The seizure was conducted under a search warrant. This means that the prosecutor (and the judge overseeing it) both agree that a regular request (subpoena) is not going to work as Cohen would destroy or damage evidence if asked to turn it over. And this is the personal lawyer of the President of the United States we're talking about.

- It is very rare to seize materials from a lawyer that is subject to which is typically given client confidentiality, which suggests that there is evidence enough to suggest that the client (again, the President of the United States) was aware and that the crimes committed were conducted on behalf of the client.

-----

Typically in this situation, what is defined as a third party "taint team" (probably the funniest name you can come up with for an investigation involving an adult actress) will review the material to ensure the prosecution only receives what is relevant and doesn't get anything which is not related to the investigation at hand (as to protect attorney-client privilege).

-----

Anyways, this is going over as well as you'd expect with Trump...with him randomly screaming about how unfair it is and sending a letter to the judge asking that he be allowed to oversee the material first instead of the "taint team" (a very unusual request as formal federal prosecutors have noted: https://twitter.com/renato_mariotti/...96333234401281 ).

Oh, and did I mention Comey's book is being released this week? What a fun week it must be if you're the President.
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