Impeachment Hearings Highlight More Trump Phone OPSEC Failures

from the ill-communication dept

Plenty has been made of the President's unwillingness to adhere to anything close to reasonable security when using his mobile phones. Whereas the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the National Security Agency usually work in concert providing state leaders with "hardened" devices that are heavily encrypted, routinely updated, and frequently swapped out, Trump has refused to use these more secure DMCC-S devices (effectively a Samsung Galaxy S4 device utilizing Samsung's Knox security architecture) because they apparently infringe on his ability to Tweet.

Just a few months ago, Senators sent a letter expressing concern that Trump's mobile phone practices were leaving the President open to potential hacking by foreign entities:

"The President of the United States stands alone as the single-most valuable intelligence target on the planet. Given the apparent lack of progress the Administration has made since initial reports in 2016 of the President’s poor operational security, it appears the only thing standing between the Office of the President and the next national security nightmare is a combination of President Trump’s personal restraint and sheer luck."

Eventually, the President was convinced to use two iPhones: one locked down specifically for Twitter, and the other specifically tasked with making phone calls. Even here reports have suggested that Trump has struggled to adhere to these restrictions, often making personal calls on his unsecured Samsung Galaxy III.

This week in testimony before the House Intel Committee, diplomat William Taylor testified he had recently learned of a call between US/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland and President Trump while at dinner at a restaurant in Kiev. The conversations regarded Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to help him dig up dirt on Biden, though security experts were more concerned by another aspect of the revelation; namely the idea that the President was openly discussing sensitive issues -- in public -- on foreign cellular networks:

"There are a ton of risks there, but some of the biggest involve the fact that the call is traversing the foreign country's telco,"said Jake Williams a former National Security Agency operator and founder of Rendition Infosec. "Even if you trust that country not to spy on their own telcos, others probably have. There's a non-zero chance that some country (or multiple countries) are getting call data records (CDR). This definitely would have made for increased targeting on Sondland and his contacts. Honestly, if I saw that in CDR collection, my first thought would be, 'That has to be a troll, right?' That would be immediately followed by, 'Get full voice coverage on his phone (and everyone around him). These guys don't understand OPSEC."

Needless to say, having phone calls in public restaurants over foreign cell networks is considered a no no in security circles:

"During that call with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Trump spoke so loudly about “the investigations” that someone in the restaurant who was not on the phone could hear his words, according to Bill Taylor, the senior American diplomat in Ukraine.

It is highly likely that others were listening too. Russia’s intelligence services have previously demonstrated the capability to intercept the phone calls of American diplomats in Ukraine and make recordings that can be used to compromise or embarrass those officials."

Granted there's a universe of other ways that foreign and US intelligence can and do spy on public officials even if you're using an encrypted connection, from the use of IMSI catchers to the exploitation of the longstanding SS7 flaw we've long noted nobody seems interested in fixing:

Like so many tech issues, the stupidity will get lost in partisan fisticuffs, with the President's supporters taking such deep offense at the idea the President is terrible at security that they'll mindlessly discount this as just more unfair partisan criticism they don't have to pay attention to. But reality doesn't care, and report after report has made it pretty damn clear the President of the United States has garbage-level OPSEC that no level of hand holding appears capable of mitigating.

Filed Under: donald trump, gordon sondland, op sec, phone calls, security, ss7, william taylor


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 4:32am

    Big fuss over nothing

    Come now, you frame making damning calls on insecure phones on foreign networks loud enough for other people to hear him sound like a bad thing, when has something like that ever backfired and caused any problems for Trump?

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    • identicon
      Dave P., 16 Nov 2019 @ 3:23am

      Re: Big fuss over nothing

      Disagree. Putting it bluntly, this viewpoint is rubbish. How would anyone know if his calls are being eavesdropped on by ne'er-do-wells? Are you privy to some exclusive information that nobody else has? Any hacking perpetrators (especially foreign powers) aren't exactly going to shout out about their misdemeanors from the rooftops. That's what spies are for. Keep it secret, which is more than that orange idiot Trump is doing. He just likes to be the centre of attraction. It's "me, me, me" all the time: "Look what I've got. Look at me and what I can do with my power! The best president there's ever been". Twaddle. The man is a danger to the entire world, with his lax security practices (amongst many other things!) and needs to be deposed forthwith.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 4:08am

        Re: Re: Big fuss over nothing

        Yes. It is possible to secure the telephone call and detect hacking attempts.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:16pm

        Re: Re: Big fuss over nothing

        Poe's law strikes again?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 5:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Big fuss over nothing

          From what I know of That One Guy, I can confidently assert he is being sarcastic. He hates Trump.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 8:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Big fuss over nothing

            I'm never sure if I should be entertained or depressed when I go out of my way to be as overly deadpan sarcastic as I possibly can and someone still takes it seriously because it sounds like the sort of thing other people might(or have) said entirely serious.

            He hates Trump.

            I probably phrase it more 'hold extreme disgust and contempt for', but I suppose that works too.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 19 Nov 2019 @ 2:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Big fuss over nothing

              "I'm never sure if I should be entertained or depressed when I go out of my way to be as overly deadpan sarcastic as I possibly can and someone still takes it seriously because it sounds like the sort of thing other people might(or have) said entirely serious."

              You should read up on Poe's Law.

              Basically, you can't parody a clown because anything you try to say in sarcasm will only sound like something the clown in question would actually say.

              Try this one on for size:

              Trump parodist: "I could shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters!"

              Trump himself (yes, really): "I could shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters!"

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 6:38am

    He had phone OPSECs?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 6:55am

      'Zero' is technically an amount

      From what I've gathered from articles like this it was fairly minimal, he had a tendency to undermine what was there, and he basically had to be pressured to adopt what little there was, rather like a petulant child being forced to eat their veggies before they can leave the dinner table.

      All that and he still managed to make it worse though, it's almost impressive, albeit for all the wrong reasons...

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:21am

        Re: 'Zero' is technically an amount

        A petulant child on a mission could sit and stare at thise veggies on the plate into the morning until it was time to go to school!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 15 Nov 2019 @ 6:57am

    He pushed thru 25 people who were red-flagged for security clearances. I don't phone Sec isn't a high priority as much as tweeting about some other TV reality stars.

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  • identicon
    bobob, 15 Nov 2019 @ 7:52am

    I'm skeptical that this will surprise anyone. It could be worse, but fortunately he is the textbook example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Just imagine what it would be like if he were competent enough to carry out his ill-conceived ideas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Colin Ripley, 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:15am

    Trump's phones

    After three long years of having unsecured phones, how come nobody has hacked into them and gave us the goodies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:40am

      Re: Trump's phones

      After three long years of having unsecured phones, how come nobody has hacked into them and gave us the goodies.

      The Internet is already full of incoherent incompetent racist trolling, so why bother? It's not like full access to his phone (or being in his cabinet or being himself) could help you predict Trump's actions on the next day.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re: Trump's phones

        The up-side to Trump being ill-informed is that anyone breaking into his phones mostly gets access to stuff he's already tweeted, or stuff that's already been aired on Fox.

        Yes, there's a benefit to him not reading his briefings.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2019 @ 1:08pm

        Re: Re: Trump's phones

        If someone broke in and tweeted some unintelligible gibberish, would anyone notice?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:56am

      Re: Trump's phones

      How would we know they haven't already? It's not like Trump is gonna tell us, and I would suspect that those in his administration who would know would rather keep their jobs than tell.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 9:12am

      Re: Trump's phones

      After three long years of having unsecured phones, how come nobody has hacked into them and gave us the goodies.

      Because as-is, he continues to be a useful idiot. No need to hack him so that he shuts the fuck up - it's more useful to let him continue to run his big mouth.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Trump's phones

      Maybe cause they like having the inside scoop.... until he tweets it out

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Alphonse Tomato, 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:30pm

      Re: Trump's phones

      If your country is getting access to Trump's unsecured phones, that's going to be Top Secret or better internally. You do not want to kill the golden goose.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 6:41am

      Re: Trump's phones

      "After three long years of having unsecured phones, how come nobody has hacked into them and gave us the goodies."

      Cracker #1: "Guys, guys, I cracked the POTUS phone!!!"

      Cracker #2: "what was in it?"

      Cracker #1: "...50 MB's worth of tweet logs, and a gallery full of upskirt snap shots..."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:18am

    I would just like to point out that as far as I know, this is all we get out of democrat party for two or more years for our bucks. Impeach Trump. What else have they done except to run our country deeper into the ground and make our country look so pathetic. I wonder if this impeachment has sour grapes written all over it and the fact that Pres. Trump once stated in a public debate with Clintons present that they should be arrested.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      You're literally just lying.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re:

        No, you are lying.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 1:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That comeback is sadder that Trumps last erection. About as potent too bro.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            David, 15 Nov 2019 @ 1:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You mean, when he erected that wall?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 2:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              A 10 foot long wall along a 100 foot property line is pretty damned impotent. So yeah, like his wall.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 2:35pm

              The wall

              The border wall is penetrable by $100 of power tools. Climbing enthusiasts are making a mockery of how easy it is to scale. Even kids are doing it.

              The wall is being constructed with funds appropriated from other military projects (schools for kids in military families, repair of military facilities wrecked by hurricanes, an engineering center at a military academy and so on) further weakening the readiness state of the US armed forces, and driving potential recruits to rethink their career choices.

              The wall was long established as being a vanity project considering most undocumented immigrants simply fly in and overstay their visas.

              Considering all these factors, it surprises me we might still have people who think the border wall was a pretty keen idea. It only further demonstrates how Trump support is less a rationalist-based position and more like a religious ideology, something people take on faith because the bitter truth is too terrifying.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 4:14pm

                Trump support is less a rationalist-based position and more like a religious ideology, something people take on faith because the bitter truth is too terrifying.

                Considering how his largest voting base is White Christian evangelicals…

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 4:37pm

                  Re:

                  You say that a lot.

                  I have not seen evidence Trump has lost the catholic vote. Based on personal experience it seems split pretty well between him and his opponents among people I know personally.

                  That is a small sample size though.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 5:22pm

                    Evangelist ≠ Catholic

                    Evangelists are a set of protestant churches that are politically right-leaning, some of which believe in1 prosperity gospel which is the position of the Without Walls International Church of which Paula White is President Trump's personal minister (and serves as an unofficial advisory roll)

                    There are over 70,000,000 Roman Catholics in the US which is such an expansive group it should not be surprising that most of them disagree often with the Vatican, and (the even more conservative USCCB. Yes, 80% of Catholics did vote for Trump in 2016. All of the Catholics I know voted for Clinton to specifically vote against Trump in 2016, and are not any more inclined to vote for him in 2020.

                    Fun fact: 95% of adult Catholic women in the US have used birth-control at some time in their lives, and believe in using contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies. They also get abortions at a rate similar to the general population. A lot of 21st-century Catholics find their church to be radically conservative.

                    Catholicism is also suffering from an epidemic of apostasy, and a seminary shortage crisis. Few of the fallen actually go through the (lengthy) process of having themselves formally removed from the Church. As a result their membership numbers are -- as with all large churches -- inflated.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 5:25pm

                      Seminary crisis

                      Oh yes, even though the Church is suffering from a severe seminary shortage, that is not enough to allow them to welcome gay men or any women into the cloth.

                      Sometimes beggars insist on being choosers.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 5:41pm

                      Other numbers:

                      About 80 million Americans identify as Evangelist Protestant (which is a range of different churches).

                      However only about 32 million of them know the specifics of their faith (and whether or not it matches their church). Most evangelists haven't fully thought about what they believe.

                      About 30 million (a different circle than the group above, with some intersection) believe in prosperity theology. A considerable number of those that don't vehemently disagree with prosperity theology, what with camels being threaded through the eye of a needle and all that.

                      Most evangelists (prosperity or otherwise) voted for Trump in 2016 believing that he would serve the interests of their church. To those of us on the outside, their willingness to forgive Trump of his questionable life choices has been conspicuous, especially when it has been inconsistent with their prior judgementalism.

                      Sins are a thing we accuse the other of doing. Evidently we forgive our friends no matter how heinous the crime.

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                      • icon
                        Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 5:48am

                        Re: Other numbers:

                        Confirmed correct on all counts.

                        One day when I was railing against the hypocrisy of Trump supporters someone had the brass neck to accuse me of attempting to impose my own brand of religion. I wasn't. My response: "I'm sick and tired of being tarred with the same brush as those who behave badly. If I can't complain about it or try to influence these people to change their ways, what can I do?"

                        It's the forgiving of "our friends" that's the problem. It's actually hit the church harder than any amount of atheist campaigning because it gives them a ton of ammo to use. As the Good Book says, you reap what you sow. That's why, when someone behaves badly, whether they're on "our team" or not, we need to call them out and hold them to account for it. Friends don't let friends behave badly.

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                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 19 Nov 2019 @ 5:11pm

                          Ot

                          It's the forgiving of "our friends" that's the problem. It's actually hit the church harder than any amount of atheist campaigning because it gives them a ton of ammo to use.

                          'Our church (claims to) support the poor, the disadvantaged, LGBTQ people, equal rights for women and minorities, and is staunchly against violence in all it's forms.'

                          'You also support Trump.'

                          'Well, uh...'

                          'Yeah, gonna go with a hard pass there.'

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2019 @ 1:10pm

                Re: The wall

                "The wall is being constructed with funds appropriated from other military projects (schools for kids in military families, repair of military facilities wrecked by hurricanes, an engineering center at a military academy and so on) further weakening the readiness state of the US armed forces, and driving potential recruits to rethink their career choices."

                And then we hear how much he honors the troops.
                It is enough to make one sick.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 2:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You would know all about Trump's last erection.. or is that election? Na..

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 10:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I heard about it from the porn star he raw dogged and paid off while his wife was pregnant bro.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 10:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            dickhead

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 12:29pm

        Re: Re:

        Lying about what? No lie here. Accuse yourself for playing kickball that day you missed that debate. Pres Trump ( not Pres yet) said he would have had Hillary arrested. And who else do you know that would have gotten away with selling a huge percentage of our raw uranium to our potential enemies? What lie do yoy speak of? What has the demacrats done in the last three years except complain about Teump? You make a list if you can or fuckoff.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:20pm

          "What [have] the Demacrats done in the last three years?"

          Resist the Trump agenda. Effectively, considering the first two years, the GOP had secured all three branches of the Federal Government.

          Need a refresher?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 4:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sigh

          Why has this misinformation about that deal not gone away yet? It’s been debunked many times starting soon after the claim was first circulated.

          Also, the Democrats only had the power to do anything for less than two years, not more than three like you claim. And even then it’s been pretty limited. Mitch McConnel (a Republican) has been stonewalling Democrats’ efforts to get anything done. There are a ton of bills passed by the House that Mitch refuses to allow the Senate to even consider debating about.

          Also, aside from that tax cut and some deregulation—which is unlikely to be a net positive and hasn’t actually encouraged investment or helped balance the budget—what exactly have Republicans done in the past three years?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 8:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Bro even foxnews backed off all those busted ass lies.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 6:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          At first glance, this NYT story looks bad. However, Politifact counters the accusations with a detailed explanation of what is wrong with the NYT story. Britain's Independent sheds more light on this:

          Plus, in order to add the uranium mined in the US to Russia's supply, they would need an export license, which is handed out by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Currently, Uranium One does not posses such a license.

          See more from factcheck.org.

          It's a right wing conspiracy theory, i.e. a pack of lies. Sorry, you're misled.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:34am

      The impeachment hearings are about whether the President abused his official powers to bribe a foreign government into investigating one of his political rivals ahead of the 2020 elections. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to grift you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:43am

        Re:

        Well, one was the last time he was eligible to being grifted by high-standing politicians in a manner he could follow?

        Trump stands for politics even a simpleton can comprehend. Sometimes only a simpleton.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 9:15am

      Re:

      Trump once stated in a public debate with Clintons present that they should be arrested.

      One has to wonder why, with full control of Congress for two years, along with a hand-picked DOJ, he was too impotent to actually do so. When you're in charge, it's not good form to ask the other side why you're not getting shit done.

      What else have they done except to run our country deeper into the ground

      But, I thought the economy was booming? Was he lying then or now?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 2:39pm

        Re: Re:

        The ones for whom the economy is booming is them. They have given themselves outrageous raises and slapped us in the faces. Those people who expect and demand from our sons and daughters to lay down their lives for our country and who would not they themselves lift a finger, and who trouble us with more undemocratic laws and incarcerate 20% of the incarcerated world's population, and who barely call off their dogs on America, enjoy $500 meals at our expense. Is it or could there possibly be any question why some of us are so incensed by them? And now they wish to stifle the platforms to restrict our speech!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 9:52am

      Re:

      Nunes?
      Is that you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 9:53am

      Re:

      Hint: It's not democrats making the country look pathetic. It's not even republicans in general. It's Trump.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 15 Nov 2019 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re:

        Hint: It's not democrats making the country look pathetic. It's not even republicans in general. It's Trump.

        Have you watched the public inquiry proceedings so far? Republicans in general (well, at least in the House) are certainly closing ranks with Trump concerning looking pathetic. I watched without the expectation to have my mind changed with regard to either Trump or the witnesses (so why even bother with public hearings?) and was right with that.

        I didn't expect that the real impact would be how far my respect for House Republicans dropped. I mean, make no mistake: this is sort of a rehearsed performance and not particularly suited to increase my respect for Democrat House members. But the Republicans were really disgusting. They apparently think they can smear their way out of any problem like their Líder Máximo.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:28pm

        "making the country look pathetic"

        It's the failure of the system to counter Trump. Europe, having gone through centuries of monarchies know what it is like to have a tyrant in power. But the US looks the fool for having voted one in, and then failing to remove him from office (by Electoral College, by 25th Amendment ouster, by impeachment or if necessary by assassination). It's an indictment of the system of checks and balances and an indictment of the capacity of the electoral system.

        But our two parties and their repeated race to the bottom during the 20th century continues to make our nation look pathetic. We claim to be a democracy, yet we've been run by oligarchs since the 19th century, and we can't care long enough to push reform through.

        That makes the US look really really sad. Sadder still that the institutions will have to be toppled before we can reform them into something better. It decreases the chances we'll actually do that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2019 @ 5:24pm

          Re: "making the country look pathetic"

          Fuck the electoral college. It should be abolished. Votes should be tallied by the most trusted group of people in the country. That is our school children. They have no agendas. Anyone caught fucking with their honest tallies should be immediately hung. That might begin to straighten our country out.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 6:03am

          Re: "making the country look pathetic"

          The system has been captured by oligarchs, who also control the mass media. As a result, the sheep are voting for the wolf.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      Since the Dotard in Chief believes that, it's been three years. Weakest president ever. Why's he so afraid of the Clintons?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      “What else have they done except to run our country deeper into the ground and make our country look so pathetic. I wonder if this impeachment has sour grapes written all over it“

      Soooooo much projection bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 8:51am

    He is bad at security in general.

    He was giving a press conference a few weeks ago to present his "new and improved border wall", and started discussing how they are "wired" and all.
    When asking one of his officials to give more details about the security features, he had to be told that it would be a bad idea.

    Add to this the guests at his golf resort, who can simply pay to access him and some of his international counterparts, listening in as he's loudly talking foreign affairs over "the most beautiful chocolate cake", and this latest reveal is not so new or surprising.

    All of this is several levels of stupid that we've never seen in a US president.

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  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 12:20pm

    Good minions are hard to find

    On one hand, assuming that we had a functional country with a functional government, yes, OPSEC is super important. I heard that long ago before in the days of the old republic before the dark time, the NSA was all about that, securing the entire communications system so it was safe for officials and businesses alike to communicate without fear of spies and saboteurs.

    These days, not so much. It's a great era for black hats.

    On the other hand, it is reassuring that tyrannical administrations can't bother themselves to cover their flanks and posterns. President Trump's inability to adhere to security protocols (combined with the misery he farts out like a geyser, stinking up all of Washington and anyone who has to engage the federal system) may well be his undoing.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 2:45pm

      Re: Good minions are hard to find

      What ever became of all the top secret emails on Hillary Clinton's home computer? No one gives a crap anymore. Before Trump took this job, he said everyone was going underground. Isn't that strange?

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 3:36pm

        Clinton's emails

        Clinton's secret server was, and continues to be, a problem, especially since the Trump administration also uses private servers to evade FOIA laws and accountability. Clinton learned it from principal members of the Bush administration. Yes. All the administrations do it, and it's wrong. They do it anyway.

        It's not only criminal to be evading public accountability, but it's doubly so for doing so sloppily and leaving classified emails vulnerable.

        And yes, given that we imprison whistleblowers for longer than we imprison some emails, and yet Clinton escaped the same crime thanks to a careful review by the FBI (technically, she didn't leak anything important that was classified), that she escaped indictment, trial and imprisonment reflects selective enforcement of bad law. (Particularly the Espionage Act, the CFAA and Conspiracy, which are used commonly to disappear enemies of oligarchs, officials and current administrations.) This is not to say Clinton deserved to go to jail for poor handling of classified information, but that we have numerous whistleblowers in prison (And Snowden exiled in Moscow) convicted of the charges that Clinton evaded. This is the problem behind Clinton's email server. Curiously, no-one outside the tech sector cares except how it's a talking point to discredit a rival. And curiously, they cease caring when their man is in office.

        We joke that the big NSA database of all the US user data is available (by black-hat means) to all of the US' enemies, but not to its public, thanks to the Federal government's lack of concern for security. Ironically, that used to be the job of the NSA before they decided to do espionage instead. Now our security depends on private companies and a lot of volunteers, and federal employees can barely be bothered to care.

        And yeah, the Trump administration is still doing it. The White House has leaky private servers which is one of the vectors of all the leaks to the press that they cannot repair even when they fire entire teams of staffers. When it comes to communication security, Trump's White House is doing no better than the Obama White House -- worse even since Trump himself is too incompetent and impulsive to adhere to protocols.

        And yes, it means we can safely assume that Russia and China are better versed in administration affairs than the US public is. Considering how Trump slighted the intelligence community, it wouldn't surprise me if some subdivisions are monitoring White House communications and relaying their take to the press.

        But yes, no-one in Washington cares, any more than they care about the levels of nepotism in Washington we can trace back to Reagan (if not before. Remember Bobby?) The system is so corrupt that countless practices that would be a scandal in the public sector are just accepted as normal in federal government. It is run like a mob.

        And yet, we care. The public that knows the risks that come with leaky security, be it the tech sector and the military sector, they all care. But yes, you're right that the general public doesn't understand the problem so it is difficult for them to care about the problem.

        It's why concern for end-user privacy took decades to become a relevant issue.

        It's why concern about mass surveillance took decades to become a relevant issue.

        Let's hope that federal communications security becomes a relevant issue before US soldiers get ambushed or another election gets thrown or the economy gets bought out by someone with insider information.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 12:25pm

          Ouch

          we imprison whistleblowers for longer than we imprison some murderers, and yet Clinton escaped the same sentence thanks to a careful review by the FBI

          My thought process runs faster than my sentence construction, sometimes.

          But yes, it's a clear example of how we treat American aristocracy far, far more gently than we treat the public, which is contrary to the point of our government by the people. The system of government prevalent through the states is outdated for the society.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 10:20pm

        Re: Re: Good minions are hard to find

        Please make sure you return that vintage butteremails back to the museum when you’re down with it bro.

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  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 1:14pm

    Primary security failure identified:
    Letting Trump anywhere near a phone.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 1:18pm

      User error

      Traditionally, between chair and keyboard

      84% of all data breaches fall into this classification.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2019 @ 2:47pm

        Re: User error

        Get rid of the data and you'll get rid of the breaches.

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Nov 2019 @ 6:51am

        Re: User error

        ...which is why no matter how much security theater you surround your goodies with, in the end PEBKAC gets you.

        If your user base has moderately good sense your security measures will usually hold up in the face of half-assed intrusion attempts.

        But this is Trump we're talking about. The only security he believes in at all is spouting so much outright bullshit no one can tell what, if any of his statements actually contained some truth.

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  • identicon
    Rhetorical Answer, 15 Nov 2019 @ 4:57pm

    The flaw in your premise here is that a foreign intelligence service having full access to all of Donald Trump's conversations would surely be less informed and more ignorant than one which had no access to his conversations whatsoever. I know from my own experience that 5 minutes of listening to Trump leaves me more confused afterward than before about whatever the hell it is he's talking about.

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Nov 2019 @ 5:07pm

      Trumps thoughts vs. Intelligence on US policy

      What Trump is thinking might influence US policy, but they aren't the same thing. Still, he does obsess on things and what he's obsessing on will inform what happens in the White House.

      Yes, it is dangerous to take Trump seriously, and if Trump talks about a thing it should never be regarded as informing regarding that thing. It may not affect policy according to any rational sense, but what Trump thinks will affect policy.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 3:06am

        it is dangerous to take Trump seriously

        Except the people in his administration have to do that because he is the President of the United States (and saying that hurts me every time). I mean, the impeachment proceedings are happening because people took Trump seriously when he said he wanted Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

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        • identicon
          David, 16 Nov 2019 @ 9:12am

          Re:

          I mean, the impeachment proceedings are happening because people took Trump seriously when he said he wanted Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

          No, the impeachment proceedings are happening because Trump continued firing people taking their oath of office more serious than his ego until he finally got some special ops team that would go forward telling the Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

          Even then it would appear that some people in the diplomatic corps told Zelenskij rather clearly that he'd be better off in the long term weaseling around Trump's wishes.

          The Mueller report concluded that there was no shortage of Trump wanting to commit crimes but his subordinates were sabotaging his efforts, resulting in no prosecutable offense at the level required for going against a sitting president.

          Frankly, the real story here, assuming that Trump gets away from the impeachment saga here, how many people prevented him against his will from completing the reckless acts he had intended doing, at the cost of sacrificing their own career.

          Those are the real heroes here, and basically unsung ones.

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 11:24am

            "The Real Heroes Here"

            No, they aren't. Rather they decided to hold onto the power they had rather than exercising the 25th Amendment, Section 4 and ousting the President for what's been obvious all along: diminished capacity.

            It means that some of the principal cabinet couldn't resist holding onto power while continuing to endanger the whole of the United States. And it's cost lives in the tens of thousands (maybe hundreds), mostly dead brown people.

            It still amazes me that there is anyone at all that can defend Trump or the Trump administration at this point. I assume it happens due to ignorance, perhaps willful ignorance, but it is an indictment of the human species and its ability to govern itself. We may be doomed to exist as feudal barbarians until we drive ourselves extinct.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 12:26pm

              Re: "The Real Heroes Here"

              The US government over time has a harder and harder time doing its job right because it has fallen down the slippery slope big government fascists insist doesn't exist.

              However Trump isn't even close to being on the list of our worst Presidents. Your opinion of him seems a little overly dramatized.

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:03pm

                "on the list of our worst Presidents"

                Trump isn't even close to being on the list of our worst Presidents. Your opinion of him seems a little overly dramatized.

                Oh, do elaborate. Especially the overly dramatized part. Do tell me how you find the Trump administration even tolerable.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:41pm

                  Re: "on the list of our worst Presidents"

                  No slaves. No exterminations. No eugenics. No additional wars. No joining a government similar to the confederate states of America (one of them did that). No depression. Most perceived prejudices seem to only be verbalized or written on social media so while I don't agree with everything he has said he isn't making a lot of additional people miserable. Real respect for at least some of the bill of rights. No or at least less torture (I don't know if they stopped it all and I don't trust them to tell us). Less whistle-blower retaliation. Really mixed record on small government but it's at least not worse.

                  I do not agree with all his policies but there is a discernible list of who the worst President's were and he's not close.

                  He also didn't build the surveillance state.

                  Most of his stupidest crap was blocked by the courts though I would like to have a new constitutional amendment about who is authorized to withdraw from a treaty because that is a long standing issue that doesn't seem close to being resolved properly.

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 5:09pm

                    Stuff Presidents might avoid doing / having...

                    No slaves

                    Trump is famous for not paying construction laborers and for underpaying servers and custodians at his clubs. And he pushes policies to continue to allow slave labor and under-compensation in the US economy. He also partook of Epstein's trafficked offerings and threatened the victims to keep them quiet. His federal worker pay freeze from 2017 continues to this day.

                    I'm going to assume this is a point of ignorance for you Anonymous Coward. I'm going to assume that you get slavery BAD but haven't bothered to educate yourself as to why it is bad, and the problems of peonage that persist to this day (and have been getting progressively worse since the Reagan era). I'm not going to assume you are willfully being intellectually dishonest and giving zero fucks for the well being of the most vulnerable among the public.

                    This is the zero fucks given era. Millions of Americans revel in their cruelty and apathy regarding the miserable poor and marginalized, as they drink coffee from their Liberal Tears mugs. I assume Anonymous Coward you don't have such a mug.

                    No exterminations

                    President Trump has pushed to extend drone strike programs into theaters other than Afghanistan and Pakistan. If he's succeeded, the existence of such programs would be highly classified, so we don't know if he's massacring civilians at a rate similar to what Obama did (and Bush before him justified by the War on Terror) or even more. That is to say about 45,000+ casualties a year Trump could end with a single signature.

                    He's also encouraged police brutality which continues to affect minorities and marginalized groups disproportionately, and has set up concentration camps to detain migrants in atrocious overcrowded conditions, sometimes without food, water, hygiene or medical care, which allows plagues to run rampant. Not quite Der Hungerplan, but no more than two steps away from it.

                    He also condones hate crimes and abuse by officials who treat marginalized groups with cruelty and contempt, and has even pardoned some, who were criminal in their brutality.

                    No additional wars

                    But for Mattis' council, and that's assuming that no secret theaters of war have been opened. Trump really wants to nuke someone. Since the war on terror and war on drugs both have no hard boarders, both can extend wherever the administration deems needs a sound bombing. And thanks to overclassification, the public may not know for years if our military campaigns have crossed a border.

                    No joining a government similar to the confederate states of America

                    You mean like the GOP which is trying to rule by circumventing democracy via programs like REDMAP and the Federalist Society court-stacking program? Again I'm going to assume it is out of ignorance that you do not realize the extent to which government by the people has been subverted. Trump wants Trump to rule like a king, which has been established multiple times during his Presidency. He's certainly no friend of democracy, foreign or domestic.

                    Real respect for at least some of the bill of rights

                    What, that he wants SLAPP cases to be the accepted method for chilling speech? Trump is only interested in the Bill of Rights when it applies to Trump. When it applies to rival colleagues or demographics he doesn't like, he's sad that it interferes with its authority.

                    No or at least less torture

                    More torture and worse torture than waterboarding were campaign promises he made in 2016. Again, we have Mattis to thank for disuading him from furthering the US enhanced interrogation programs, at least for the purposes of gathering intel. But Mattis is gone now. We still torture people for the pleasure of high-ranking officials and oligarchs, and Trump would also like that privilege. He's made no bones about it.

                    Less whistle-blower retaliation

                    Not for want of trying. This White House is the leakiest in modern US history, but if it weren't for its inadvertent outflow, it would be the most opaque White House in US history. Trump would personally like to bring ruin to the leakers, but in this case he hasn't been able to find them. This may correlate with his opprobrious relationship with the intelligence sector.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:22pm

                Re: Re: "The Real Heroes Here"

                "Trump isn't even close to being on the list of our worst Presidents."

                On what do you base your claim? Anything at all?

                I have looked thru several lists of the worst prez and I think that donny, at least, belongs in the top ten.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:50pm

                Trump isn't even close to being on the list of our worst Presidents. Your opinion of him seems a little overly dramatized.

                The administration of Donald Trump, with the blessing of Trump himself, has done the following:

                • Put migrants of color in concentration camps because of their ethnicity, regardless of whether they crossed the border illegally or legally applied for asylum

                • Separated children in those camps from their families, sometimes putting them up for adoption to American families, with several children dying as a result of inadequate medical care (willful or not)

                • Fought to ban transgender people from serving in the military despite literally no proof that transgender soldiers posed any threat to military cohesion

                • Proposed a so-called religious freedom rule that would allow religious/“faith-based” entities or programs that receive funds from the Department of Health and Human (e.g., foster care, adoption, STI prevention, elder care) to legally discriminate against people based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion and still receive federal funding

                • Tried to ban all Muslims from entering the country — twice

                • Stacked the federal courts with judges who are either unqualified or underqualified to serve as judges, all to advance a right-wing agenda that includes invalidating Roe v Wade

                • Passed a tax bill that gave tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans but did practically nothing to help everyone outside of that small subset of the population

                • Attempted to roll back the Affordable Care Act, which would have kicked millions off their health insurance plans and would most likely have killed an untold amount of people who could no longer afford health insurance

                • Worsened relationships with numerous longstanding U.S. allies while appearing to do things specifically for the benefit of Vladimir Putin

                • (Allegedly) used the power of the presidency to bribe the government of Ukraine into investigating a political rival of the president, which would count as at least indirect interference with the 2020 U.S. presidential election

                • Allowed Kellyanne Conway to violate the Hatch Act multiple times without censure/punishment

                • Gave credibility to Kim Jong-Un, the leader of a dictatorship known for human rights abuses and attempts to build a nuclear weapon that could hit the U.S., and received nothing in return from North Korea

                And that’s what I came up with off the top of my head in about fifteen minutes (and a little help of the Internets). Give me a day and I could easily create a much larger list. While Donald Trump may not be the worst president in the history of the United States (although it is debatable), he is a horrible president, the worst president in my lifetime, and by far the worst person to ever hold that office.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 2:35pm

                  Re:

                  Put migrants of color in concentration camps because of their ethnicity, regardless of whether they crossed the border illegally or legally applied for asylum

                  All administrations in my lifetime have been been sued several times for putting US citizen children and adults in detention for being supposed illegal aliens (usually brown people). They usually get paid a giant chunk of cash. The practice you stated isn't new.

                  Separated children in those camps from their families, sometimes putting them up for adoption to American families, with several children dying as a result of inadequate medical care (willful or not)

                  Inappropriate adoptions and bad medical care aren't new. I am in fact white and descended from a possibly partially genocided native American group due to inappropriate adoptions. (Their offspring were adopted out to white families and at least in my case intermarried with a lot of white people. I do not know the exact circumstances that lead my ancestor to be in the orphanage but I do know they were not good and don't reflect well on the US in history books.)

                  Fought to ban transgender people from serving in the military despite literally no proof that transgender soldiers posed any threat to military cohesion

                  Transgender in the military is a new thing. Almost every president of the US did this.

                  Proposed a so-called religious freedom rule that would allow religious/“faith-based” entities or programs that receive funds from the Department of Health and Human (e.g., foster care, adoption, STI prevention, elder care) to legally discriminate against people based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion and still receive federal funding

                  Technically if he allowed all faith groups to participate equally that's supposed to be allowed, including them banning each other. I do not know what to say about the fact our Constitution says we get to be religiously bigoted against each other as long as everyone gets to be equally religiously bigoted.

                  Tried to ban all Muslims from entering the country — twice

                  He did not. Read the actual order it banned a few Muslim majority countries (not even close to all muslims), a catholic majority country and an atheist country.

                  Stacked the federal courts with judges who are either unqualified or underqualified to serve as judges, all to advance a right-wing agenda that includes invalidating Roe v Wade

                  All the presidents stack the courts with their preferred judges when they can.

                  Attempted to roll back the Affordable Care Act, which would have kicked millions off their health insurance plans and would most likely have killed an untold amount of people who could no longer afford health insurance

                  The AFA is new and is still in the courts from the various state's lawsuits. That is not a Trump only issue. Also, I agree the individual mandate was unconstitutional as it was originally intended.

                  The selective service act should also be unconstitutional under the third amendment unless the congress has actually declared war also. The government mandating you do things for them without giving you a legitimate way to opt out is an anathema to liberty.

                  Worsened relationships with numerous longstanding U.S. allies while appearing to do things specifically for the benefit of Vladimir Putin

                  We have too many actual allies to keep them all happy at once no matter what anyone does. I don't know what to say about Putin because I don't know if he's done anything to me.

                  (Allegedly) used the power of the presidency to bribe the government of Ukraine into investigating a political rival of the president, which would count as at least indirect interference with the 2020 U.S. presidential election

                  His actions don't seem very different than actions of previous presidents.

                  Allowed Kellyanne Conway to violate the Hatch Act multiple times without censure/punishment

                  That is minor and common. She is just under a bit more scrutiny than the large number of other people who clearly also violate the hatch act.

                  Gave credibility to Kim Jong-Un, the leader of a dictatorship known for human rights abuses and attempts to build a nuclear weapon that could hit the U.S., and received nothing in return from North Korea

                  Kim Jong Un is not his father. He does not have the same terrible record as his father. Every administration has negotiated with North Korea since the beginning of North Korea. North Korea almost never gives anything to the US and we keep them under sanctions for it. We also give almost nothing to North Korea. Trump didn't make Kim Jong Un the head of state of north Korea which is the thing that gives kim jong un legitimacy.

                  Trump's North Korea policy isn't that bad but it will probably be just as unsuccessful as every other President's North Korea policy in my lifetime.

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 3:09pm

                    (Preface: If I don’t address a specific point you made, consider that acknowledgement of a fair point.)

                    if he allowed all faith groups to participate equally that's supposed to be allowed

                    The point isn’t that. The point is that religious groups/programs would receive a privilege over their secular counterparts — that is, the privilege to discriminate against LGBT people only because the religious groups say “gay people are icky”.

                    The AFA is new and is still in the courts from the various state's lawsuits. That is not a Trump only issue. Also, I agree the individual mandate was unconstitutional as it was originally intended.

                    None of that addresses the fact that any rollback of the AFA at this point would most likely kill people who could no longer afford their health insurance because of the rollback. The Trump administration, in league with the GOP, tried to do exactly that. (And they failed, which is an unquestionably good thing.)

                    We have too many actual allies to keep them all happy at once no matter what anyone does.

                    Happy? No. But the government can at least try to keep those allies from looking at the U.S. in a largely negative light. Trump makes that impossible.

                    I don't know what to say about Putin because I don't know if he's done anything to me.

                    Russians interfered in the 2016 election, almost certainly with the blessing of Putin. If you don’t think tampering with American elections and democracy is worth getting pissed off about, perhaps you have more in common with Trump and the GOP than you might think.

                    His actions don't seem very different than actions of previous presidents.

                    Show me a previous U.S. president who held up financial aid to a foreign country on the condition that said country investigate one of his political rivals, thus interfering with an upcoming election.

                    I’ll wait.

                    That is minor and common.

                    It shouldn’t be. And the government, especially the president, shouldn’t let it go without censure/punishment.

                    Kim Jong Un … does not have the same terrible record as his father.

                    Kim Jong-Un is still the leader of a brutal dictatorship with a continuing and reprehensible history of human rights abuses. He shows no signs of ending this state of affairs, not even to earn a place on the world stage as something other than a nation that seems willing to use a nuke.

                    We also give almost nothing to North Korea.

                    Donald Trump gave credibility to Kim Jong-Un as a “proper” world leader by treating (and continuing to treat) Kim as such. In return, North Korea made empty promises about its nuclear program that it never intended to keep.

                    Trump's North Korea policy isn't that bad

                    His policy amounts to “kiss Kim’s ass and hope for the best”, sanctions be damned. He seems unwilling to push back against North Korea, its weapons testing, and its nuclear program. One has to wonder why.

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2019 @ 6:17pm

                      Re:

                      Most gay people are icky!

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2019 @ 10:52pm

                      Re:

                      Trump's North Korea strategy can be described as kissing Kim's ass... while also constantly antagonizing the one country that is possibly North Korea's only major ally and stopping Kim from dropping his nukes on the land of Blackpink.

                      Yeah, I don't fucking get it either.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous non- coward, 1 Dec 2019 @ 12:03pm

                  Re:

                  Tl;dr:
                  We should not have withdrawn out of the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

                  Main:

                  You forgot the fact that he withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) on May 8th, 2019. He called it a “ A horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made”.

                  Source:
                  [Link]
                  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/world/middleeast/trump-iran-nuclear-deal. html

                  This restarted the tanker war (US placing sanctions on oil exports, Iran resorting to capturing oil vessels). Overall, we lost what little control we have over the major choke point of the strait of Hormuz. The Iranian nuclear deal was one sided towards us. Iran has to remove its stock of medium- enriched uranium and cut down it’s stock of low- enriched uranium by 98%. It also agreed not to build anymore heavy water facilities. The deal significantly lowered the chances of Iran creating nuclear explosives/ war heads. In return, Iran had US sanctions on oil coming out of the Strait of Hormuz lifted. This is beneficial towards us because gas prices all around the world will decrease. According to the US Department of Energy, the strait is responsible for over 21% of the world’a oil supply.

                  Source:
                  [Link]
                  https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=39932

                  Here are some graphs for your convenience:

                  ![Image]
                  https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/43CI7EB4 KFHILC72HBQFFUDBI4.jpg

                  ![Image]
                  https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/timelines/Hero.jpg

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2019 @ 3:10pm

                    Re: Re:

                    Yeah, I agree withdrawing from the JCPOA was legally dubious and a mistake.

                    There was a severe issue going on in my life at the time which overshadowed the events though.

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            • identicon
              David, 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:36pm

              Re: "The Real Heroes Here"

              No, they aren't. Rather they decided to hold onto the power they had rather than exercising the 25th Amendment, Section 4 and ousting the President for what's been obvious all along: diminished capacity.

              Whataboutism? You are talking about a completely disjoint set of people. Those who are tasked with overseeing the president and executive and actually would have the power to do so. I was talking about those who were tasked with obeying the president and didn't because it would have been harmful to the country and its laws.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2019 @ 1:52pm

                Re: Re: "The Real Heroes Here"

                Easy, no one tasked with obeying the president when it goes against the rule of law. No one in government swears an oath to follow unlawful orders.

                The military is the only branch of government that is supposed to follow lawful orders though civilians may get fired if they tell him to stuff it often enough.

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Nov 2019 @ 5:45pm

                "Those tasked with overseeing the President"

                Read section 4 again. The President's principal cabinet are those he appoints, those tasked with obeying the orders of the Executive (granted, with service to the Constitution in mind).

                Those are the ones who are capable of ousting the President when he (she) is unfit to serve.

                Those are the ones who, in the Trump administration, chose to leave Trump in power because that allowed them to stay in power, rather than put someone more fit into office at the expense of losing their jobs.

                It suggests to me the 25th amendment has demonstrated to be a weak safeguard against an unfit President, much like the Electoral College.

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                • identicon
                  Art Lee, 3 Dec 2019 @ 9:57pm

                  Re: "Those tasked with overseeing the President"

                  Please tell me what other than policy has he done that you think makes him unfit ? The electoral college serves a vital purpose and works as intended. Without not NYC and LA would dictate to the entire nation all policy.

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 3 Dec 2019 @ 11:39pm

                    Electoral College

                    Um, no. A straightforward popular vote would include everyone. LA and NYC are only Democratic strongholds due to the electoral college. California and Texas are both remarkably purple, which is reflected in the popular vote.

                    In the twenty-first century with technology to make ironclad voting machines, there is no need to round to the district winner by state votes.

                    You might argue there is cause to weight some votes over others, but I don't think it should lean towards rural voters. If anything, I'd argue voting parents who have underage children might have their votes weighted, since they're voting for their kids as well. (And despite all the will someone think of the kids rhetoric used to push given positions, actual children's interests are under-supported even at the community-level government.) But I digress. The way that the Electoral College weights small states over large states doesn't have any plausible public-serving rationale.

                    As for the college itself, the election of Trump was a fitting example of when the electors might try to change the end result of the election. We knew he was unfit for office even before he entered the white house. But the electors failed to organize and choose someone else. Granted that would have been a failure of American democracy, but not of the Electoral College as it was intended.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Dec 2019 @ 12:00am

                    Unfit to serve

                    During the Mueller investigation, President Trump's lawyers refused to let him be deposed by the special prosecutor despite Trump's willingness to be interviewed under oath. Ty Cobb (the one with the train-conductor moustache) was the lawyer communicating with, and negotiating with the special council investigation argued it was a perjury trap even though Trump was advised of all the facts and Mueller was willing to just hear Trump's version of the story. He was willing to forgive mistakes that a non-lawyer might make.

                    Cobb realized this wasn't going to work still, even though we expect any rational person can recount witnessed events without intentionally lying. Cobb realized that Trump is compelled to fib. He is internally driven to misrepresent facts in order to (as he sees it) paint himself in a better light. And this is commonly known by anyone who has worked with Trump in the White House.

                    Trump is incapable of telling the truth even when his life and liberty depend on it. As such Cobb realized Trump should be innocent based on diminished responsibility. But if that's the case, then he, and everyone else in the White House are responsible for letting a deranged halfwit stay in power so that they could stay in power.

                    If Trump is incapable of being president -- which he is -- his principle staff are obligated by duty to the country to intervene. And they have chosen not to, at this point at considerable cost to the United States and its people.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 17 Nov 2019 @ 10:00am

    "the single-most valuable intelligence target on the planet"

    ...if only the current one actually had any...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Art Lee, 3 Dec 2019 @ 9:53pm

    Intel community as trustworthy

    Please tell me what has the Intel community done that would make Trump trust them ? How was the approach to then Sec of State Clinton and her use of unsecure devices different ? No I am not referring to her server. What was the difference in approach to this problem? Then tell me how President Obama's continued use of a Blackberry is different. A search of this page shows no coverage on these problems. I really like this page and it provides a powerful tool much needed today. As a non partisan independent. Yes both a thinker and a voter. I would love to see an even handed approach. Call bullshit where ever it shows it's ugly face.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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