Trump presidency

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The Great Hippo
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:26 am UTC

KnightExemplar: Pardon, I misread your post to mean all democrats, rather than all democrats on the committee. That makes much more sense, yeah.
cphite wrote:Their response was to publicly fire the National Security Adviser... not exactly a shrug. When the president asks for your resignation, he isn't really asking...
I thought the president fired Flynn in response to the leak, not in response to the DoJ. The DoJ informed Trump weeks ago; Pence apparently wasn't even told about this by Trump (he himself found out from the leak). It sounds like the White House didn't do anything until the leak happened.

Did anyone else see that press conference? I believe the press has been guilty of a lot of hyperbole regarding Trump, but... Holy crap, that was agonizing.

This guy's supposed to be a showman?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:28 am UTC

cphite wrote:Both the IC and the DOJ have stated publicly that Flynn didn't break the law. Without seeing the actual transcripts, you and I will probably never know for certain if he did or not. But the persons who leaked the SIGINT absolutely did break the law, irregardless of what Flynn did or did not do, or what the various agencies did or did not do.

Cphite: You are being painfully naive - both in terms of the pressure the IC and DOJ would be under not to put their careers at risk with the 'wrong' verdict - and in terms of the what happens to whistleblowers who do things 'by the book'.

This very long and detailed article may help you to understand why anonymous leaking is the only sane option:

By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet. When this newspaper began publishing the NSA documents in June 2013, it ignited a fierce political debate that continues to this day – about government surveillance, but also about the morality, legality and civic value of whistleblowing.

But if you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you have to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed.

Drake was fired, arrested at dawn by gun-wielding FBI agents, stripped of his security clearance, charged with crimes that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life, and all but ruined financially and professionally. The only job he could find afterwards was working in an Apple store in suburban Washington, where he remains today. Adding insult to injury, his warnings about the dangers of the NSA’s surveillance programme were largely ignored.

“The government spent many years trying to break me, and the more I resisted, the nastier they got,” Drake told me.

Drake’s story has since been told – and in fact, it had a profound impact on Snowden, who told an interviewer in 2015 that: “It’s fair to say that if there hadn’t been a Thomas Drake, there wouldn’t have been an Edward Snowden.”

But there is another man whose story has never been told before, who is speaking out publicly for the first time here. His name is John Crane, and he was a senior official in the Department of Defense who fought to provide fair treatment for whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake – until Crane himself was forced out of his job and became a whistleblower as well.

His testimony reveals a crucial new chapter in the Snowden story – and Crane’s failed battle to protect earlier whistleblowers should now make it very clear that Snowden had good reasons to go public with his revelations.

During dozens of hours of interviews, Crane told me how senior Defense Department officials repeatedly broke the law to persecute Drake. First, he alleged, they revealed Drake’s identity to the Justice Department; then they withheld (and perhaps destroyed) evidence after Drake was indicted; finally, they lied about all this to a federal judge.

The supreme irony? In their zeal to punish Drake, these Pentagon officials unwittingly taught Snowden how to evade their clutches when the 29-year-old NSA contract employee blew the whistle himself. Snowden was unaware of the hidden machinations inside the Pentagon that undid Drake, but the outcome of those machinations – Drake’s arrest, indictment and persecution – sent an unmistakable message: raising concerns within the system promised doom.

<snip>

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:41 pm UTC

I read the transcript of the press conference. I got halfway through the Q and A before I couldn't take it. He's really gotten into the whole "fake news" thing.

I'm vaguely concerned about what the big reveal is going to be next week.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:11 pm UTC

@elasto: While I wholly agree with the sentiment behind protecting anonymous whistleblowers, I think their importance is relative to the stakes involved. If the leak had been about collaboration between Russian operatives and the Trump administration to win the election, sure; I could see it. But this?

Yes, it undermines the president's authority; yes, it's just another event in a long chain demonstrating this administration's incompetence. However, I'm not certain a leak was necessary; it seems like firing a rocket at an anthill.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby speising » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:22 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:it seems like firing a rocket at an anthill.

Wouldn't that be the Trump Way? As i recall, he wanted to carpet bomb syria to solve the IS problem.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:58 pm UTC

speising wrote:Wouldn't that be the Trump Way? As i recall, he wanted to carpet bomb syria to solve the IS problem.
I think Trump's solution to an ant hill would be to fire rockets at Muslims (because they should have dealt with the ant hill in the first place; they knew the ant hill was there). But, yeah.

I suppose my point though is that the appropriate response to Trump is not to try and out-Trump him.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby cphite » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:37 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
cphite wrote:Both the IC and the DOJ have stated publicly that Flynn didn't break the law. Without seeing the actual transcripts, you and I will probably never know for certain if he did or not. But the persons who leaked the SIGINT absolutely did break the law, irregardless of what Flynn did or did not do, or what the various agencies did or did not do.


Cphite: You are being painfully naive - both in terms of the pressure the IC and DOJ would be under not to put their careers at risk with the 'wrong' verdict - and in terms of the what happens to whistleblowers who do things 'by the book'.


Snowden was revealing illegal activity that spanned multiple agencies over decades.

This was a single phone call, known about for weeks but made public at exactly the right moment to embarrass the Trump administration over a public statement that Pence made.

Not really even remotely the same thing.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:37 am UTC

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... story.html
Due to Trump's family doing business, and doing business separately, the cost to taxpayers to protect Trump has exceeded in a few months, what the average president has incurred in 8 years. Roughly a hundred million dollars. The most galling things is that Republicans are turning a blindish eye to it, (they don't want to tarnish Trump), and Trump's family continues to bill the government so that the Trump family can pursue more business deals for their personal gain.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:45 am UTC

"Low morale", and such, in the Secret Service doesn't sound good. Well, not in general. Doubtless it would excite some people.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Lazar » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:49 am UTC

And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:46 pm UTC

I'd expect some 1984 references in his tweets, but that assumes he's competently literate.


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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:12 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:I'd expect some 1984 references in his tweets, but that assumes he's competently literate.
Oh, Trump is literate all right. He just thinks America isn't.

And he's right.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Xeio » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:16 pm UTC

Close your eyes and imagine there was an entire political party that identified with the bad guys from Captian Planet.

Then open your eyes and realize you didn't even need your imagination.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby thunk » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:06 pm UTC



It's a sign of a delightfully symbiotic relationship; Trump gets to bolster status by antagonizing the media, and the media get attention, improved ratings, and the chance to look bold and heroic for standing up.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:24 pm UTC

thunk wrote:It's a sign of a delightfully symbiotic relationship; Trump gets to bolster status by antagonizing the media, and the media get attention, improved ratings, and the chance to look bold and heroic for standing up.
While it's certainly true that bullies give you a chance to look bold and heroic by standing up to them, I suspect most people in the media would much rather just not have a bully for a President.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:30 pm UTC

Not like it matters but:

With thousands of supporters gathered in an aircraft hangar in Melbourne, Florida, Trump used his speech to talk about migration in Europe and linked it to terror attacks in Brussels, Nice and Paris. He then added Sweden to the list, incorrectly stating that an attack had happened there on Friday.

Trump told supporters: “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.”

“Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible. You look at what’s happening in Brussels. You look at what’s happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris.”

There were questions about whether Trump had confused Sweden with Sehwan in Pakistan, where more than 85 people were killed in a suicide bombing at the Sufi shrine on Friday.

Some Swedes were baffled by the comments. One of Sweden’s official Twitter accounts, controlled by a different citizen each week, currently a school librarian, said: "No. Nothing has happened here in Sweden. There has not been any terrorist attacks here. At all. The main news right now is about Melfest. "

The source of Trump’s remark is unclear, but it came after Fox News aired an interview with film-maker Ami Horowitz, whose latest documentary examines whether high crime rates in areas of Sweden is linked to its previous open-door policy on people fleeing war and persecution.

According to the 2016 Swedish Crime Survey, crime rates in Sweden have stayed relatively stable over the last decade, with some fluctuations. In 2015, there were 112 cases of lethal violence in Sweden, an increase of 25 cases compared with 2014, but assaults, threats, sexual offences, car theft, burglary and harassment all reduced compared to the previous year – as did anxiety about crime in society.


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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:12 pm UTC

There's a lot of evidence that shows Trump will watch Fox News specifically, and then use their daily topic as a talking point. It's even more incestuous than the Bush era conservative news fear triangle.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Angua » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:25 pm UTC

I love the fact that the Swedish government has reached out to ask about this supposed terrorist attack that they've missed.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:35 am UTC

A n interesting take on younger Trump supporters.

TL;DR : (among other points raised in the article, the main summary goes something like:) Politicians continually refer to a half-century old vision as though it's something for people to genuinely aspire to (1950's small business entrepreneurship, living in the suburbs) when a shrinking middle class and corporate malfeasance have shown that to be a promise never kept, so when none of the candidates are likely to actually promote policies that help, why not vote for the obvious train wreck, at least he'll be entertaining.

(Note, I don't necessarily agree with large chunks of the article, bit it does present an interesting line of thought.)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Angua » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:28 pm UTC

Where Melania Trump pretty much admits to the fact that being in the White House is a great business opportunity.

The timing of the story was particularly injurious, according to the lawsuit, considering that Mrs. Trump “had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multimillion-dollar business relationships for a multiyear term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.”
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:06 pm UTC

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/20/514290612 ... unters-say
The headline sums up the future of the EPA. I know this poisons wildlife and humans, but it costs too much to change.

Of course with the new head of the EPA, it will probably be "there's no proof this poisons wildlife or humans, And it costs too much to find out".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:49 pm UTC

Trump names H.R. McMaster New National Security Adviser

Yeah I'm feeling some relief. He sounds like a pretty great choice, and great guy.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:02 pm UTC

Several groups want to ban lead ammo in order to reduce that amount of lead poisoning among bird populations and advocate copper ammo as a replacement, even though copper poisoning can result from eating copper just like lead poisoning can result from eating lead. What am I missing? This just seems to change the heavy metal causing the problem instead of fixing the problem. Can birds filter copper out of their blood better than lead or is the TD-50 of copper less than that of lead? I am not saying that these groups are idiots who can be out smarted by some guy on the internet who spent <10 minutes researching the issue that they specialize in; I am asking for information I need to better understand the policy that they are suggesting.

EDIT: Yeah, General McMaster seems like a great chose for the position. Perhaps what I like best about him is his doctorate in history*. With a president so... renowned for going against well set trends, having someone with a thorough knowledge of historical precedents in such a high position will be a great help to everybody. Also, his name is General McMaster. That sounds like the name of the newest super-hero made by the writer of Ax-Cop.


*I view history the same as biology in that a degree in either one is pretty useless by itself. However, if you are also have a second degree of any kind, then it becomes a 10x multiplier.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Whizbang » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:06 pm UTC

Maybe a copper-lead mixture is needed to reduce both.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Liri » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:11 pm UTC

Chronic copper toxicity does not normally occur in humans because of transport systems that regulate absorption and excretion.


We also need copper in our diets. It is very different from lead.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:23 pm UTC

At least it isn't plutonium tetraflouride...

(This is the xkcd forum. And thus surely better to head upon a What-If bearing than the usually inevitable gun discussions that every other forum would doubtless be meandering towards about now...)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zooty » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:07 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:At least it isn't plutonium tetraflouride...

(This is the xkcd forum. And thus surely better to head upon a What-If bearing than the usually inevitable gun discussions that every other forum would doubtless be meandering towards about now...)


Clearly we should use Cobalt-60 for bullets. It decomposes naturally in nature!

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:31 am UTC

This is a weird one. A British Muslim school teacher was not allowed on a flight to the US. He wasn't even a dual citizen.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Chen » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:45 pm UTC

Angua wrote:This is a weird one. A British Muslim school teacher was not allowed on a flight to the US. He wasn't even a dual citizen.


There have been stories of Canadians as well being refused at the border, pretty much all Muslims. That said I haven't seen any follow-up articles for any of these to try and see what the official reason given is. I also need to wonder if this is actually new since the whole travel ban thing or not, since discrimination against brown people trying to get into the US has been a thing for a long time now. I had a Muslim friend refused entry years ago despite having all the correct paperwork. It seems the border guards don't seem to have to give you any particular reason for it and I'm not sure they even owe you one eventually.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:47 pm UTC

Well, "Llangatwg" is obviously an enemy transposition code for something. They'll try to tell you that it's a version of "Church of St Cadog", probably, but even that is a dubiously foreign name, right..? ;)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:34 pm UTC

Plus he was heard talking in an incomprehensible language, probably a made of terrorist code or something.

(It's unlikely he speaks Welsh, but whatever)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:52 pm UTC

(They don't have to not be speaking English to be unintelligible to non-locals, round that area. Although that isn't a purely South Walian thing (search for "hot fuzz translation scene"), nor even a UK thing (anywhere with prominent Local Yokels). Though this guy probably doesn't have the "500 years or more of sheep farming, barely even noticing the modern world happening around them" family background.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby reval » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:31 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:ban lead ammo

Waterfowl take up stones that they keep in their gizzards to grind up food. They are very vulnerable to pieces of lead in their environment, and do in fact die of lead poisoning. For many years now, waterfowl hunting in the US has been legal only with steel or other non-toxic shot. Lead is still used for fishing weights, and this still results in some waterfowl poisoning. Non-toxic shot is not required for upland bird hunting, or for deer hunting, etc. Lead poisoning is much less of an issue there, and the ban proponents come off as simply trying to restrict firearms by banning the most effective projectile material. The waterfowl issue, by contrast, was obvious to hunters as well.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:14 pm UTC

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wh ... trump-era/
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:58 pm UTC

http://blog.samaltman.com/what-i-heard- ... supporters

Its important to understand the side of Trump supporters.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby SDK » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:http://blog.samaltman.com/what-i-heard-from-trump-supporters

Its important to understand the side of Trump supporters.

While true, I'm not sure how you work with stuff like this at times:

"Based on Trump's history before politics I don't believe he is racist, sexist, homophobic or bigoted. If that were true it would supersede everything else since it would be even worse for individual liberty and freedom than any freedom of speech restrictions or increases in government size proposed by the Democratic Party."

An accusation of fake news is a tough thing to argue against.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:45 pm UTC

Under "What would convince you to vote against him" that I find extra irritating:

someone wrote:“If the Russia thing were true, I’d turn against him. Why don’t y’all focus on that instead of his tweets?”
We've been trying, the republicans control all the strings for holding him responsible, opening his tax returns, or even looking into it, and are sitting on their hands.

someone else wrote:“I don’t care if he’s corrupt. Y’all voted for Hillary and she was the most corrupt candidate of all time.”
I would end any conversation I would be having with this person, as I could see no value in communicating with them.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:59 pm UTC

The idea of the exercise is not to figure out what we don't like about Trump supporters, but instead find the common ground and potentially leverage that to better communicate with them. I mean, we're obviously not going to agree with them on the Trump v Hillary thing.

So we have a lot that we disagree with. Probably a lot of it is common to the 100 Trump supporters that the blog-writer interviewed. But finding the common ground, figuring out their general grievances and working to correct them is a core tenant of Democracy in any case.

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And it seems like the next quotes have a good idea of how to "translate" the meaning.

“I'm a Jewish libertarian who's [sic] grandparents were Holocaust survivors. Over the last few years the mainstream left has resorted to name-calling and character assassination, instead of debate, any time their positions are questioned. This atmosphere became extremely oppressive and threatening to people, like myself, who disagreed with many of Obama's policies over the past several years. Intelligent debate has become rare.”
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Diemo » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:29 pm UTC

You know I see that argument a lot lately, about intelligent debate become rare, but is it true? It was the Brexit people who said that they don't want to listen to experts, which is basically them saying that they prefer their own worldview to informed opinion.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:38 pm UTC

Diemo wrote:You know I see that argument a lot lately, about intelligent debate become rare, but is it true? It was the Brexit people who said that they don't want to listen to experts, which is basically them saying that they prefer their own worldview to informed opinion.


http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/0 ... ulos-talk/

Politics is less concerned about "true" and more concerned about "appearances". As long as riots break out when a popular right-wing person wants to speak (well... ignore the underage sex issue this weekend and place yourself in the mindset of Feb 1st) then the appearance of the "intolerant left" only grows stronger.

The fact remains that debate and discussion is easier today than it ever has been before. We have the internet. But the feeling of being "shut out" of debates and shut-out of universities remains.

--------

Another point: the shit that Peter Thiel has gotten from his peers speaking for and financially supporting Trump. True, people have the "right" to react to speech in any way they want to. But the current culture of the left has a "chilling effect" on legitimate free speech. If you disagree with the left, you are ostracized. Period.

http://www.recode.net/2016/10/16/133021 ... nald-trump

And now those people who were ostracized for years are now in power.
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