US discussion – Wednesday

If there’s news or issues from the USA worth discussing today you can do it here.

97 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  February 15, 2017

    The DONALD OF THE UNITED STATES Twitter rants so far today:
    ……
    Wonderful meeting with Canadian PM ‪@JustinTrudeau‬ and a group of leading CEO’s & business women from Canada and the United States
    ……
    Congratulations Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin! ‪#ICYMI‬- watch here:
    (link: https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/posts/10158646970740725)
    facebook.com/DonaldTrump/po…
    ……
    Congratulations to our new ‪#VASecretary‬ Dr. David Shulkin. Time to take care of Veterans who have fought to protect our country!
    ……
    The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?
    ……
    There is a current, somewhat disappointing trend of a reduction in ranting. Could this be sign of growing presidentiality? 😳 watch this space … [Ed.]
    ……
    More tweets may be found here: https://mobile.twitter.com/realdonaldtrump
    ……
    Wednesday 15 Feb 2017. 0610 hours

  2. Gezza

     /  February 15, 2017

    Well, well, well ? General Flynn resigns as National Security Advisor, three and a half weeks in. Hat tip Pete Kane.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/13/michael-flynn-resigns-quits-trump-national-security-adviser-russia

    • Gezza

       /  February 15, 2017

      (Oops – soz, I see from yesterday’s US thread this is oldnews.)

      • Pete Kane

         /  February 15, 2017

        “Coburn: We’re getting ahead of ourselves on Russia
        Tom Coburn, former Republican senator, and Matt Schlapp join Morning Joe to discuss Michael Flynn’s resignation and why individuals are always innocent until proven guilty.”

        Are they what!

        • Gezza

           /  February 15, 2017

          Dunno about anybody else but 97% of the time, I usually am.

          • Pete Kane

             /  February 15, 2017

            I meant getting ahead of themselves re the poor old Bears.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Soz. I suppose I should probably watch it, maybe after I’ve done the 11am welfare handout down in the stream.

        • Gezza

           /  February 15, 2017

          Good discussion I thought PK. Mika’s a bit annoying but at least she gets nicely told to shut up & let the guest speak. See, Al misses all these sorts of calm, rational exchanges of view with sensible, articulate Republican commenters because he’s too busy looking for polemical articles that fit his fixed ideas to watch videos.

    • Missy

       /  February 15, 2017

      Sorry, not sure how to get the image up. I am a little bit of a dunce on this kind of thing. :/

    • Conspiratoor

       /  February 15, 2017

      Meanwhile back in the big house the big guy pulled the wraparound and gave the boy a bit of a finger squeeze. I could hear the bones crack from here…

      • Gezza

         /  February 15, 2017

        Blond guy on the right. Left hand. Photoshopped? Fingers look longer than usual. 😳

        • Conspiratoor

           /  February 15, 2017

          G, I can’t wait till he lays one on wee xi. There’s the start of a shooting war right there!

          “Public displays of affection are frowned upon. Do not back slap, hug or put your arm around someone’s shoulder, which will make a Chinese feel uncomfortable, since they do not like to be touched by strangers.”

          • Gezza

             /  February 15, 2017

            They don’t come much stranger than The Donald either.

            Very interesting watching the smooth moves of all three. Pretty clear they’re divvying the place up, or trying to. Dunno whether The Vladimir’s really got something on The Donald apart from whatever else is in The Dossier, but I’m wondering if The Donald & The Vladimir might get into a bit of conspiring against The Jinping.

            Interesting times, seeing The Donald has now confirmed recognising the One China remains the US official policy position, but both TV & TJ are keeping the pressure on the US military to cost the US money maintaining their aggressive defensive stance wherever those two are generating pressure points.

      • Blazer

         /  February 15, 2017

        oh for a Justin Trudeau in NZ ,instead of the detritus of the last 8 years.

        • Gezza

           /  February 15, 2017

          In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful, don’t say that. The place would be full of Middle Eastern Muslim refugees!

  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  February 15, 2017

    *BREAKING*

    Last night, *Hugh Hefner’s* son Cooper, tweeted Wayne with the news “that Playboy will once again be featuring *fully naked women*, starting with the March issue” 😛

    No doubt even *DOTUS* will be ecstatic with this news…..here he is photographed in *2005*, flanked by centerfold Vicky Silvstedt, and his then girlfriend *Melania Knauss* (now FLOTUS), attending *Playboy’s 50th Anniversary* celebration….

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  February 15, 2017

      The Smickers family still hasn’t caught on to the fact that being on someone’s list of followers doesn’t mean that that person knows them and sends them messages.

      • Blazer

         /  February 15, 2017

        try a ..snickers then Kitty.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 15, 2017

          As a snicker is another word for a snigger, I would guess that there are a few people having these at the Smickers family’s expense.

          If you mean a Snickers bar, which is a proper-if damned odd- name, then no thank you-sickly sweet things, I dislike them heartily.

          • patupaiarehe

             /  February 15, 2017

            You’re mean when you’re hungry, Kitty… 😀

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 15, 2017

              I would never be hungry enough to eat such a sickly sweet thing as a Snickers.Once was enough.

              But I am glad to think that I ate all the Toblerones that my old man gave me, starting when he used to bring one home from the Channel Ferry if he crossed alone, and never said that I didn’t like them. Eating Snickers would have been a real sacrifice, I loathe them and Mars bars.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 15, 2017

              Each to their own, I guess. I’ll take a pie over a chocolate bar any day 🙂

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 15, 2017

    Trump will need to fire a few people lower down the ranks to plug the leaks from the government. Obviously there are a lot of political opponents holed up there.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 15, 2017

      Trumpy:(note to self) must eliminate all independent thought from my administration. Surround myself with sycophants. So sad!

      Yeah, that’ll work. No need for any transparency or whistleblowers in a dictatorship is there?

      • God thats a worn out meme already….. if they actual put something solid and legitimate out there it would be ok Bloggsy…

        But they don’t its just whiteanting and trying to destabilise a legitimately Government. Something US intelligence agencies are pretty effective at.

        Don’t whine when the next Allende gets kneecapped – because your applauding the exact same thing right now…

    • Gezza

       /  February 15, 2017

      Obviously there are a few opponents who probably weren’t initially opponents. 😕

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 15, 2017

        Not obvious at all.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 15, 2017

          Everyone loves Trump in Al-town, and those that don’t are ‘Loony’, you should know that by now Gezza.

        • Gezza

           /  February 15, 2017

          Well, naturally, Al. They’d have to keep their heads down wouldn’t they. 😐

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 15, 2017

            Doesn’t make them obvious.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Exactly. 👍

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              (I just won that one, btw. I’ll keep it quiet.)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              Load of crap from you, Gezza. Look at my links in the Flynn thread. The enemies within are long-standing.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              No, no – this was about my exploiting the dual meaning of obvious & getting you to post it again, not realising I was just messing with your head.

              About your main point, I dunno, I’ll have a read & get back to you. 👍

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              I know. That’s why I turned the bazooka onto you.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Sure, sure, but you have say that now, eh. I’ll let you have the last word if you want to – because otherwise you’ll go on forever trying to say you won, but I’m quite happy to let patu be the judge on this one. Good track record there.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              Facts trump words, G.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 15, 2017

              Lets just call it a draw. You both think you are right, & I know who I think has won, but I’m reserving my judgement for now.

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 15, 2017

    Flynn’s firing (his second in 3 years for managerial incompetence) raises more questions that it answers:

    What did Trumpy know about Flynn’s compromising calls in December with the Russian ambassador? In those conversations, Flynn allegedly told the Russian to disregard the Obama administration’s imposition of new sanctions, because Trump would lift them once he assumed office.

    Is it credible that Flynn had those conversations with the Russian ambassador and not told Trump about them?

    Was Trump really flying blind when he praised Putin for not reacting to those sanctions?

    Who else in the White House knew about Flynn’s conversations?

    With Flynn gone, who will be national security adviser? Will the role still matter? Will the CIA, which considered Flynn a security risk all along, be placated?

    What did Bannon and Tillerson know and when did they know it? And what have been their dealings with Russia?

    Trumpy has said that he has no loans from Russia or Russians. Really?

    Why did trumpy say that Flynn’s scandal is less important than “the real story” about who leaked information about him to the press?

    The White House has known about Flynn’s scandal for a month (it was told by Sally Yates who was subsequently fired by Trumpy), so why didn’t it act sooner?

    The White House released a strongly worded statement saying Yates had “betrayed” the administration. Will it do the same about Flynn?

    Now that Flynn isn’t covered by executive privilege, what else will come out about the present administrations dealings with Russia?

  6. The leaks are likely delliberate, who cares, gets things done quicker, America great again . .

  7. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 15, 2017

    and another question:

    Is Flynn a sacrificial lamb or the first domino to fall over Trumpy’s Russia-linked scandals?

    Paul Manafort and Carter Page were the first cracks… then there were the
    indications of collusion over trumpy’s election campaign and the operation, run by Putin himself according to intelligence agencies, to steer the election in Trump’s favour…. then there was the Steele dossier with its allegations of Russian leverage over trumpy… now this… plus Putin’s uncharacteristic lack of response to Obama’s sanctions…

    All leads me to suspect that there is much, much more to come out yet on trumpy-Russia ties… if only the GOP had the integrity to order a comprehensive investigation – but that’s unlikley to happen of course because the GOP is the Washington swamp that trumpy pledged to drain.

    • Gezza

       /  February 15, 2017

      You’re on fire again today Joe. Keep up the good work. 👍🕶

  8. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 15, 2017

    While the role of Russia in the US elections goes uninvestigated, and while key jobs in the administration remain unfilled, trumpy has ordered an internal investigation into the WH leakers! Poor prioritising. So sad. Loser.

    Let there be no mistake: government by chaos is not a recipe for success.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 15, 2017

      Before his post in the administration, Flynn was in charge of military intelligence in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was appointed to the highest levels within military intelligence, including as director of intelligence for the U.S. Central Command. After that, he was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

      President Barack Obama fired him as DIA director in 2014 after Flynn delivered testimony before Congress that was at odds with Obama’s contention that radical Islamic terrorism, including ISIS, was not a major threat. Since then, Obama administration officials have openly held low regard for him.

      Since Trump and Flynn entered the White House, anonymous sources have given select reporters information about telephone intercepts conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).

      The classified information secretly given to reporters purportedly showed that Flynn discussed sanctions on Dec. 29, when 35 Russian diplomats were being expelled that same day by the outgoing Obama administration.

      Other intelligence leaks have revealed Trump’s private discussions with heads of state soon after he became president-elect.

      In a Feb. 9 story, The Washington Post cited unnamed “current and former U.S. officials” who accused Flynn of violating the law in a Dec. 29 telephone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislvak.

      Flynn called the leaks of classified information against government officials “unprecedented,” and predicted those would be the focus of future congressional investigations.

      “Members of Congress are very concerned because these are leaks from classified systems. The House and Senate are looking into those things, as they should,” he told TheDCNF.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/14/exclusive-defiant-flynn-insists-he-crossed-no-lines-leakers-must-be-prosecuted/

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  February 15, 2017

        Sally Yates warned the White House in January about Flynn and his violation of the Logan Act

        Both former CIA director John Brennan and James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence agreed with her evaluation that Flynn was a prime target for Russian blackmail.

        As for Flynn’s previous firing under Obama, Business Insider observes:

        Flynn attempted to push DIA analyses and operators into the field and other high-intensity operations. This ran counter to how the DIA saw itself, leading many to believe that Flynn’s vision for the agency was disruptive. . . .his management style was chaotic and that his aggressive push for changes often did not include an adequate follow-through.

        http://www.businessinsider.com.au/michael-t-flynn-fired-from-dia-2014-4?r=US&IR=T

        ps. Daily Caller: an online publication with conservative leanings, known for its reporting on watered-down facts and its hype over substance
        http://www.politifact.com/personalities/daily-caller/

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 15, 2017

          The opposition to Flynn was political. Still is.

          • Gezza

             /  February 15, 2017

            Er … sounds more to me like it might be personal?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              He was dismissed after giving evidence that contradicted Obama’s politics.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Not this time.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              This time he was sand-bagged by his enemies from last time.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Can you post me a link to where they’ve identified the source of the leak Al, & where it shows that they weren’t a disaffected Republican voter?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              Multiple leaks and leakers, G. Probably organised from within and not far from the top. You can believe anything you want to of course but you can’t make anyone else believe it.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              So, no link? Just your opinion – not yet a fact?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              Not just my opinion as the links I’ve provided make explicit. Where is your source supporting your assertion that it might be a turncoat Republican? Or do we have to wait while you write one?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 15, 2017

              Not might be – probably is.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              I’m just peer-reviewing your result. It doesn’t stack up owing to the lack of the fact required to falsify it.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Yes I am. Just my way of introducing you to an alternative possibility you don’t seem to have given any consideration at all. Sit down please Alan & get on with your work.

  9. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 15, 2017

    A wonderful description of Bannon and the court of the Sun King:

    Cardinal Richelieu in cargo pants

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/04/trump-inner-circle-white-house-court

  10. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 15, 2017

    So…what else is happening in the alternative reality of US politics?

    Oooh, looky here, whether we choose to believe it or not:

    A new report by CNN indicates that important parts of the infamous spy dossier that professed to shed light on President Trump’s shady Moscow ties have been corroborated by communications intercepts. In other words, SIGINT strikes again, providing key evidence that backs up some of the claims made in that 35-page report compiled by Christopher Steele.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/russia-dossier-update/

    I said some time back that trumpy was playing with fire when he dissed the US intelligence community.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 15, 2017

      And I said he’ll need to show some of the fire-lighters the exit door.

  11. Kitty Catkin

     /  February 15, 2017

    Trump has ditched the badly fitting off the rack (?) suits that he probably wore to make the plebs think that he was like them (an old dodge, of course) in favour of the sort that one would expect a person with his income to have.

    • Gezza

       /  February 15, 2017

      Link?

      • Blazer

         /  February 15, 2017

        sounds like her personal observation..Gezza…are you up to your old tricks…link?…who?…when?…why/…smarten up…son.

        • Gezza

           /  February 15, 2017

          Sorry dad. 🙁

          You’re here early. Was dinner an easy find in the Macca’s trash bin tonite? 😳

          • Blazer

             /  February 15, 2017

            is that called…scraping..the barrel?

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Perhaps you should just try & focus a bit on the topics, dad? At least until dave you say dave turns up for your usual exchange of pleasantries? 😳

            • Blazer

               /  February 15, 2017

              take your own advice…btw..I’m not partial to ..duck…but can’t resist…turkey..always have the gun…ready.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Plenty of buckshot too, I see. 18 pellets in that last blast alone.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  February 15, 2017

        I don’t need one-just look. I don’t know that the others were off the rack, but they looked it, and what he wears now doesn’t.

        • Gezza

           /  February 15, 2017

          Tbh, I doubt that The Donald would wear anything off the rack Kitty. Probably not the sort of rack he’s usually interested in anyway.

          • by way of an inform – ciao nice talking to you Gezza, Al. I done with YNZ….. enjoy

            • Blazer

               /  February 15, 2017

              Dave,I say Dave ..no need to announce your departure…just go..quietly into the darkness…no bugles,no drums,….no regrets,and …no one …cares.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 15, 2017

              Really Blazer? Really? No need to do a ‘victory dance’ in public, just do it quietly in the darkness.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Czech Exit. Done with some class. Good man dave. 👍

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 15, 2017

              They all come back.

            • Blazer

               /  February 15, 2017

              yes Patu,really,we have really,really great people here at YNZ,tremendous people,wonderful posters,,we don’t need,losers,Daves ..a loser,……

            • Blazer

               /  February 15, 2017

              ..to…Brylcreem.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 15, 2017

              We have all sorts here Blazer, some of whom might consider you (or I) a ‘loser’.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Frankly anybody who swiches their hair oil product from their brand to another is a loser to Brylcream.

            • Blazer

               /  February 15, 2017

              quitters are always…losers…

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 15, 2017

              And only users lose drugs

            • patupaiarehe

               /  February 15, 2017

              And long distance pissing competitions are best had in primary school toilets… 😀

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 15, 2017

            ha ha. But really, he dresses much better now, so it could well be that he didn’t want to look too rich and too much of a contrast to the plebs who supported him. To anyone with an eye for the cut of good clothes, it’s obvious.

            • Gezza

               /  February 15, 2017

              Maybe he’s just changed his tailor, or lost weight or something Kitty. He’s always positively trumpeted his wealth & success, look at Trump Tower & the chopper, & being seen in all the ab fab restaurants & glitzy black tie & white tie events. Handing out expensive Executive Order-signing marker pens to his serfs, oafs & erks. If anything, it seems to have been a drawcard for the sodbuster & unemployed steelworker vote. He’s probably convinced them they too can one day have their own Reality TV show if they let him drain the swamp.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 16, 2017

              He had remarks made about his awful suits, it wasn’t just me. Now he looks much better. Yes, I know that he’s always been a blowhard about his money, which he says is double or treble what it actually is. But turning up looking as if his suits didn’t cost a fortune may well have been calculated to make him look like one of the blokes rather than someone whose suit cost more than an ordinary worker’s annual income.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 16, 2017

              When he was trying to appeal to Mr and Mrs Worker, I mean.