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Thread: The American Politics thread

  1. #15931
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    So Trump's communications were monitored but the word "wiretapping" may have been a stretch is my understanding of the Nunes thing. In other words he shot his mouth off too quickly but he wasn't lying.
    Incidental collection is not even remotely the same as a wiretap though, and very clearly not what Trump meant.
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  2. #15932
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Uh, there's an open FBI investigation. That's a bit more than "not a shred of evidence", and unless you have TS/SCI clearance then you aren't in a position to say otherwise.

    In any case, it's completely impossible for me to have any sympathy for Trump whatsoever given that someone concerned about fairness and truthful depictions of fact would logically go to the extra effort to not waste a week everyone's time with complete bullshit like "Obama tapped my phone!" and continuously doubling down on it.
    There is no proof and the investigation is based on their wire-tapping of Trump's associates in their contact with the Russians (which in itself is not illegal). And even on those grounds they've still found nothing, as Clapper himself admitted. The real issue is over whether NSA/FBI/CIA, etc, were wiretapping those guys illegally or whether they got caught up while they were using surveillance on the Russian actors - which is a grey area of legality. The worst you could say about the ordeal is that it has been leaked (not a good look for the intelligence agencies) that they talked to the Russians and weren't honest about it, there's no proof yet that anything that threatens national security was happening. They had been using surveillance against them since late July last year. If there was anything, we'd know about it. We've now gone 2 months with nothing but innuendo.

    Trump hasn't wasted anyone's time with it. The Ds/media are being hysterical over the accusation because there is no direct evidence Obama wiretapped Trump. But the suggestion Obama knew nothing about it is incredulous. In fact, I've read there are provisions where Obama doesn't even need to go to FISA to initiate surveillance. In the real world where people are more worried about the abuse of powers rather than partisan politics, it is pretty obvious that someone like Obama, especially because of his animosity with Trump (who was running for President) was in the purvey of Obama. The wikileaks not short afterwards opened people's eyes towards the real rabbit hole.

    Quote Originally Posted by wpdavid View Post
    I suppose it depends on how you define 'the right', but in the UK most of the UK media is unquestionably right leaning, and anyone suggesting otherwise hasn't been following it for a whole lot more than 16 years.

    As for Trump, the extent and regularity of the lies emanating from his team are a matter of unarguable fact, and no objective observer would suggest otherwise. Obviously that excludes Fox and over here the Daily Express & Daily Mail, but any sane person already knows that.
    We're talking about America and Trump so the definitions of the right are pretty clear.

    Trump hasn't lied as much or as blatantly as the media or the Ds, yet they're still getting the benefit of the doubt from people in this thread. At this point, the double standards show that people are more concerned with faux outrage than actual problems which is why they reason with the perception of Trump being a danger rather than the actual fact that he is a danger or has done something to suggest danger.

    They have manufactured the perception that he could be hitler which people here use to justify their overreach and lies. A lie feeding into another lie. If danger and war was a concern, Obama was worse and Hillary (if she had own) would have been much worse.
    Last edited by Ikki; 22-03-2017 at 09:45 PM.
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  3. #15933
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    Ok thanks ewws.
    I think I was missed a bit on accounts.

    Will wait to hear some goss before posting it.(on cricket).

    I don't have a left or right wing view of Trump.
    I am a christian sure,but not sure if I want him or not,on the fence.
    Rather I just hope he boosts the economy,and have NO trade wars.

  4. #15934
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    There is no proof and the investigation is based on their wire-tapping of Trump's associates in their contact with the Russians (which in itself is not illegal). And even on those grounds they've still found nothing, as Clapper himself admitted.
    And yet people (Schiff etc) are saying now that Clapper is wrong. I would say that the fact that there's an open investigation would suggest that saying "they've found nothing" is not correct. It's about as plausible as it would have been (I forget if she actually did, though I think she did) if HRC claimed that there was no evidence there was anything wrong about her email server because no one had found anything wrong about it (whilst the investigation was still open).

    The real issue is over whether NSA/FBI/CIA, etc, were wiretapping those guys illegally or whether they got caught up while they were using surveillance on the Russian actors - which is a grey area of legality.
    No it isn't, where on earth did you read this?

    The worst you could say about the ordeal is that it has been leaked that they talked to the Russians and weren't honest about it, there's no proof yet that anything that threatens national security was happening.
    Yes, yet. That's why there's............an investigation. Which is where you find out these things.

    Trump hasn't wasted anyone's time with it. The Ds/media are being hysterical over the accusation because there is no direct evidence Obama wiretapped Trump. But the suggestion Obama knew nothing about it is incredulous.
    Incredulous that he knew nothing about something... he didn't do?

    Trump brought this up in the first place. He made this mess for himself.

    In fact, I've read there are provisions where Obama doesn't even need to go to FISA to initiate surveillance.
    Yes, of foreign governments. Not domestic citizens, and even then under very strict conditions.

    You need to read better sources. FISA is not immune from criticism, and reading much of that criticism a few years ago is why I know about this stuff, but "the president can order a wiretap of a political opponent, Watergate-style" is Alex Jones-style nonsense.

    https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/...D%20SP0018.pdf

    Read section 4. Notice how it's pretty clear that it's only to be collected if it's about a foreign power or FISA-related. Unless Trump is an (undisclosed) agent of a foreign power under this law, the AG clearly doesn't have the power to unilaterally order surveillance.

    In the real world where people are more worried about the abuse of powers rather than partisan politics, it is pretty obvious that someone like Obama, especially because of his animosity with Trump (who was running for President) was in the purvey of Obama. The wikileaks not short afterwards opened people's eyes towards the real rabbit hole.
    Ah, yes, wikileaks. True defenders of liberal democracy, in the form of autocrats everywhere.
    Last edited by Spark; 22-03-2017 at 10:11 PM.


  5. #15935
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    And yet people (Schiff etc) are saying now that Clapper is wrong. I would say that the fact that there's an open investigation would suggest that saying "they've found nothing" is not correct. It's about as plausible as it would have been (I forget if she actually did, though I think she did) if HRC claimed that there was no evidence there was anything wrong about her email server because no one had found anything wrong about it (whilst the investigation was still open).
    Clapper was the head of the FBI, and he's certainly not biased towards Trump. Schiff's reasoning also doesn't change the discussion much other than blow more smoke.

    They have found nothing, because they've found nothing. Until they find something, then we can talk. As I said, these investigations go back to July last year per Comey. Rep, Devin Nunes has also made a statement recently on the confirmations he's made with intelligence.

    “So first I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked. And fourth and finally I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.”

    No it isn't, where on earth did you read this?
    It's widely known that there are protections on US citizens re surveillance. Being caught up in the wiretapping of Russians is the excuse the intelligence bring up re it being legal. What's not legal is when the names of those Americans are then leaked, and the fact that they've been leaked itself is illegal.


    Yes, yet. That's why there's............an investigation. Which is where you find out these things.
    And since July last year...they've found nothing. So how long are we to suspend reality to be able to **** on Trump? Let's get real.


    Incredulous that he knew nothing about something... he didn't do?

    Trump brought this up in the first place. He made this mess for himself.
    Trump created the hubbub, but he won. The idea that it has hurt him is laughable. It is only promoted on the left. Now it has gone into semantics that Obama may not have actually wire-tapped (instead some other surveillance measure) him but it is clear they were using surveillance against Trump's team since July - they've admitted as such. The fiction that you have to entertain re Trump's tweets being disastrous is that somehow Obama didn't know several intelligence agencies (NSA, FBI, CIA, etc) were looking at Trump's team...and that makes Trump's claim false.

    It shows who is playing partisan politics and who is living in reality.



    Yes, of foreign governments. Not domestic citizens, and even then under very strict conditions.
    No, the POTUS may order the surveillance of anybody of the US upon the filing of a certification by the Attorney General that it relates to national security, a filing that no one can read, not even the judges with whom it is filed - per Judge Napolitano.


    You need to read better sources. FISA is not immune from criticism, and reading much of that criticism a few years ago is why I know about this stuff, but "the president can order a wiretap of a political opponent, Watergate-style" is Alex Jones-style nonsense.
    Since Bush, it's been widely reported that Presidents have the authority to initiate surveillance without warrants. Might want to look into this.

    Ah, yes, wikileaks. True defenders of liberal democracy, in the form of autocrats everywhere.
    Are you disputing what they said is true? That's all I care about.
    Last edited by Ikki; 22-03-2017 at 10:38 PM.

  6. #15936
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Clapper was the head of the FBI
    ...............................................

    I don't even know what to say.

    , and he's certainly not biased towards Trump. Schiff's reasoning also doesn't change the discussion much other than blow more smoke.
    Schiff didn't have reasoning though, he simply said Clapper was wrong.

    They have found nothing, because they've found nothing.
    Again, how would you know? All the evidence is TS/SCI. The unclassified report made it pretty clear that they found something, but they weren't at liberty to discuss the details.

    Until they find something, then we can talk. As I said, these investigations go back to July last year per Comey. Rep, Devin Nunes has also made a statement recently on the confirmations he's made with intelligence.
    I posted about that.

    It's widely known that there are protections on US citizens re surveillance. Being caught up in the wiretapping of Russians is the excuse the intelligence bring up re it being legal. What's not legal is when the names of those Americans are then leaked, and the fact that they've been leaked itself is illegal.
    Well, yeah, sure. No one's disputing that. But people are disputing the confected outrage of people who have likely done some leaking themselves.

    And since July last year...they've found nothing. So how long are we to suspend reality to be able to **** on Trump? Let's get real.
    Counterintelligence investigations typically take years from what I've read. Comey himself said that, compared to typical investigations of this kind, they're really just getting started.

    Is it frustrating? Yes. But to say "there's nothing there" is plainly false.

    Trump created the hubbub, but he won. The idea that it has hurt him is laughable.
    Then why do broad majorities of the public want an investigation?

    It is only promoted on the left.
    Yes, noted left-wingers John Schindler and Louise Mensch, who have broken a lot of this stuff.

    Now it has gone into semantics that Obama may not have actually wire-tapped (instead some other surveillance measure) him but it is clear they were using surveillance against Trump's team since July - they've admitted as such.
    Mere semantics between "perfectly defensible intelligence operation" and "Watergate-level political crime".

    The fiction that you have to entertain re Trump's tweets being disastrous
    I didn't say they were disastrous. I said they were bullshit.

    Is that somehow Obama didn't know several intelligence agencies (NSA, FBI, CIA, etc) were looking at Trump's team...and that makes Trump's claim false.
    He claimed it was Nixon/Watergate level, that's clearly false.

    No, the POTUS may order the surveillance of anybody of the US upon the filing of a certification by the Attorney General that it relates to national security, a filing that no one can read, not even the judges with whom it is filed.

    Since Bush, it's been widely reported that President's have the authority to initiate surveillance without warrants. Might want to look into this.
    I literally posted the official memo that defines what the AG can and cannot do wrt surveillance. Don't lecture me on something you clearly haven't read.

  7. #15937
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    In any case I don't think there's much need to go to the media for information about this. By far the most important and substantial stuff has come straight from the FBI or in the unclassified report in January.

  8. #15938
    Cricketer Of The Year Ausage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Incidental collection is not even remotely the same as a wiretap though, and very clearly not what Trump meant.
    Maybe. The house intelligence chairman briefing the president because he was caught up in a random sweep of however many citizens seems a bit excessive. I'd say it was a bit more targeted than that, but we'll have to see how it unfolds.

    Also I think Trump speaks so inexpertly it's hard to ever clearly know what he means.
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  9. #15939
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausage View Post
    Maybe. The house intelligence chairman briefing the president because he was caught up in a random sweep of however many citizens seems a bit excessive. I'd say it was a bit more targeted than that, but we'll have to see how it unfolds.

    Also I think Trump speaks so inexpertly it's hard to ever clearly know what he means.
    It's more that Nunes talked about the FISA process itself, which is definitely not something I thought you were allowed to do as a government official elected or not.

    Re: the time it takes for the investigation, this is what Comey said in the hearing the other day:

    [Himes]:THIS IS VERY EARLY IN OUR INVESTIGATION. IS IT FAIR TO SAY YOU ARE STILL RELATIVELY EASY -- EARLY IN YOUR INVESTIGATION?

    [Comey:]
    >> IT IS HARD TO SAY BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER IT WILL TAKE. WE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS INVESTIGATION SINCE LATE JULY. FOR A COUNTERINTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATION, THAT IS A FAIRLY SHORT TIME. >>
    Last edited by Spark; 22-03-2017 at 11:02 PM.

  10. #15940
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    ...............................................

    I don't even know what to say.
    Sorry, was thinking about Comey.

    Schiff didn't have reasoning though, he simply said Clapper was wrong.
    Yeah he did, when he marked on the circumstantial evidence. A lot of it doing with Trump's aids. What he hasn't actually shown is the evidence he is saying is more than circumstantial evidence.

    Again, how would you know? All the evidence is TS/SCI. The unclassified report made it pretty clear that they found something, but they weren't at liberty to discuss the details.
    They've leaked everything, even the visage of impropriety. Until they provide something, they have nothing. It's just that clear. The noise over this goes back before Schiff et al even got involved, what were they using then? Nothing.

    Well, yeah, sure. No one's disputing that. But people are disputing the confected outrage of people who have likely done some leaking themselves.
    The Russians?

    It's not difficult to see why intelligence organisations would use surveillance the point is leaking in a clearly partisan way as opposed to being concerned with national security. The media has used the surveillance on Trump's team to suggest all kinds of things. Clearly someone from the intelligence organisations is leaking these - illegally too. Just because the media is allowed to print it doesn't mean there is anything to be had. If it was of national security importance there would be more oncoming for the likes of Flynn than just losing their jobs.


    Counterintelligence investigations typically take years from what I've read. Comey himself said that, compared to typical investigations of this kind, they're really just getting started.

    Is it frustrating? Yes. But to say "there's nothing there" is plainly false.
    These weren't deep investigations that took years for it to take years to investigate. It's been less than a year. If there was anything it would be on every headline far and wide. America is still a country of laws and evidence. Until there is some shown, there is no case and evidence. Mind you, even if there is evidence, if it is weak and highly suggestive rather than probative, then it is still a bullshit case.

    Then why do broad majorities of the public want an investigation?
    Different portions of the public want it for different reasons. Trump supporters want it to see if they can connect Obama with any wrongdoing. We've gone from laughing at Trump re him being paranoid about being wiretapped to actually addressing the fact that, yes, all along, they were surveilling his team (and in high likelihood him).

    Yes, noted left-wingers John Schindler and Louise Mensch, who have broken a lot of this stuff.
    You're right, lazy generalisation. Almost all of the propaganda about it hurting Trump is coming from the left. Is that better?

    Mere semantics between "perfectly defensible intelligence operation" and "Watergate-level political crime".
    I'm pretty sure Obama kept his fingerprints off all this but if they found any connection it would be even worse than Watergate.


    I didn't say they were disastrous. I said they were bullshit.

    He claimed it was Nixon/Watergate level, that's clearly false.
    It's funny that without proof you are willing to pretend there is something re the investigation. Yet the fact that Trump/his team were being surveilled and all the intelligence agencies were ordered by Obama to share info isn't enough of a suggestion that maybe he was being surveilled under the President's orders. The fact that it was illegally leaked also doesn't seem to register any red flags.

    I literally posted the official memo that defines what the AG can and cannot do wrt surveillance. Don't lecture me on something you clearly haven't read.
    I haven't seen this (and so what if it was a memo?) but I know enough that they can surveil Trump even under the guise of surveilling foreign associates. It's the very thing Clapper lied under oath about re the NSA back when he was working under Obama

    I'm fine with you disputing what I say (which is based on other legal experts) because neither of us are legal experts in this regard, don't then presume to lecture me.
    Last edited by Ikki; 22-03-2017 at 11:18 PM.

  11. #15941
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    SCHIFF: Director Comey, just a couple follow-up questions before I pass it to Mr. Quigley to enter something in the record. You've been asked a number of questions today about is it enough to open an investigation because someone travels or is enough because they have their photograph taken or enough because they attend a conference. I would imagine that you get so many leads, so many people writing to you with information that they're convinced shows (ph) a crime that if you investigated everything that people sent you, you would be squandering your investigative resources in a way you can't afford to do.

    My understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that in order for you to open an investigation, you need to see credible information or evidence that someone has either committed a federal crime or become an agent of a foreign power. Is that an accurate understanding?

    COMEY: Yeah, that's a fair statement.
    And as you said, Mr. Schiff, we have to also choose which -- we get a lot of referrals, which ones align with the threats that the FBI is trying to prioritize because we have limited resources.

    SCHIFF: Exactly. So even when those criteria are met, that enough may not be -- that in and of itself may not be enough because you have so many other cases you need to investigate and you have to prioritize.

    COMEY: Correct.
    Make your own conclusions.
    Last edited by Spark; 22-03-2017 at 11:45 PM.
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  12. #15942
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    To be clear (although I thought I already was perfectly clear): I'm not saying that Trump will be impeached or the evidence is watertight or anything like that (as I keep saying, the only people who know that are the people who actually have access to the evidence, i.e. clearance). But there is evidence worthy of an investigation, or there wouldn't be an investigation, and there was no wiretrap ordered by the Obama WH against Trump specifically. If he got caught up in surveillance of Russian government and intelligence officials because his people kept talking to them, then that's his problem, although that information shouldn't be leaked to the media regardless (even presuming the leaks are accurate).

  13. #15943
    Hall of Fame Member Ikki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    Make your own conclusions.
    That may be for the FBI (and it still doesn't address what has been found) but not for all intelligence organisations. The NSA has a general scoop of all the stuff gathered from emails to phones to microwaves even when it includes Americans. Obama wouldn't even need to ask for specific surveillance for Trump.

    Credible information to start an investigation could simply be circumstantial or relatively weak. That's why I mention in my post before: "Mind you, even if there is evidence, if it is weak and highly suggestive rather than probative, then it is still a bullshit case."

    Also, the idea that the President/his team could be foreign agents and/or have committed a federal crime may not get the requisite investigation because the FBI is stretched thin and has to prioritise cases is laughable. It's the kind of thing where you drop the other **** you are doing and concentrate on this one thing, that's how serious it is. The whole exchange is unbelievable and seems like hedging their bets an actual investigation is even happening - so that they can stoke hysteria without pause.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    To be clear (although I thought I already was perfectly clear): I'm not saying that Trump will be impeached or the evidence is watertight or anything like that (as I keep saying, the only people who know that are the people who actually have access to the evidence, i.e. clearance). But there is evidence worthy of an investigation, or there wouldn't be an investigation, and there was no wiretrap ordered by the Obama WH against Trump specifically. If he got caught up in surveillance of Russian government and intelligence officials because his people kept talking to them, then that's his problem, although that information shouldn't be leaked to the media regardless (even presuming the leaks are accurate).
    And I'm saying what we know until now is that they do not have anything that is really probative. Just because something passes the standard for investigation doesn't mean it is serious enough for impeachment which is the suggestion. The clearest red flag is that the leaks until now have been highly inconsequential to actually suggest criminality (even for Trump's associates) and that the leaks were clearly used for political games (that we even know who was surveilled shows someone in the intelligence organisations committed an illegal act). If there is a serious case you do not blow smoke for months on end about a possibility, which only serves to undermine the executive. The political actors that benefit from such an act are obvious, and obviously biased.

    So to bring this full circle back to my initial reply on this discussion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Spark View Post
    I don't quite get this logic. If there's a 10% tail risk of, say, nuclear war then that doesn't make nuclear war particularly likely, but that's something you should all yell about regardless.
    using suggestions to justify worries that Trump is an existential threat is using circular arguments because the people suggesting as such have been caught out lying too many times to take seriously any more. They pitch the fervour to worry us about that 10% so that they can keep pitching the apocalypse. As I said, this is not real journalism or reporting; this is propaganda. If people took a "wait and see" policy 90% of Trump stories wouldn't exist.
    Last edited by Ikki; 23-03-2017 at 12:55 AM.

  14. #15944
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    That was a hypothetical, as the "say" suggests.

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    I've been wondering why the Washington Post is pro-Globalism and so openly antagonistic toward the Trump administration - so I looked up the owner.

    Well, the owner is America's third richest person....


    Jeff Bezos
    CEO and Founder, Amazon.com
    REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/23/17

    $72.7 B
    Amazon's chief Jeff Bezos has soared to nearly the top of Forbes' billionaires ranks as his online retailer's stock has climbed, in part due to its booming cloud-computing unit, Amazon Web Services. He owns nearly 17% of Amazon. com. Bezos boasted at the 2016 shareholders meeting that Amazon is the fastest company ever to reach $100 billion in annual sales, which it cleared in 2015. Raised by his mom and stepdad, a Cuban immigrant who adopted him, he quit a lucrative New York hedge fund job in 1994 with the simple idea to sell books online. Now Amazon sells nearly everything a consumer might want. His other passion is space travel: His aerospace company, Blue Origin, is developing a reusable rocket that Bezos says will carry passengers. Bezos purchased The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million.

    https://www.forbes.com/profile/jeff-bezos/


    Amazon v Donald Trump? Jeff Bezos may soon face his biggest challenge yet

    .....Throughout the US presidential election campaign, Trump made disparaging comments about Amazon and Bezos, prompting a war of words that looks altogether more serious in the wake of the billionaire tycoon’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

    The battle started last December with a series of seemingly unprompted tweets from Trump. “The Washington Post, which loses a fortune, is owned by Jeff Bezos for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no-profit company, Amazon,” Trump wrote. “If Amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The Washington Post scam is saving it!”

    The Washington Post is owned through Bezos’s personal investment firm, rather than Amazon, and Trump did not provide any explanation for his allegation. Amazon’s tax policy is controversial and is already well-known around the world, including in Europe, where it agreed favourable tax arrangements with Luxembourg. Its profit margins are also notoriously thin. In 2015, Amazon recorded sales of $107bn but net profits of just $596m, a margin of barely 0.5%.

    Bezos responded to Trump’s tweets in a light-hearted manner, threatening to send him to space with his Blue Origin rocket business. “Finally trashed by Donald Trump,” he said. “Will still reserve him a seat on the Blue Origin rocket #sendDonaldtospace.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...rump-challenge

    If the Washington Post isn't the voice of Amazon's self-serving corporate power then I'll eat my hat.



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