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There is the adventure set in Sasserine which was not part of the Savage Tide campaign, called War of the Wielded in Dungeon Magazine #149. That is designed for 5th level NPCs and will work well for 5 4th level PCs.


I don't think they ever got permission, but I also don't think they check this area of the messageboards often, so I would recommend emailing customer service and asking them.


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Toys R Us isn't going away, at least not anytime soon. Yes, they declared bankruptcy, and that is because of the ridiculous amount of debt they have incurred, $5.2 billion.

But they are doing chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to load up on $2 billion more debt to keep going. Will they get it? Of course they will, big corporation debt is where big money is made. Deficits don't matter as long as you can keep borrowing more money.

Will this catch up and destroy the company eventually? Of course it will. But it won't be this year, and it won't be next year. You will still be able to buy Christmas presents at Toys R Us in 2018.


I found the problem originated with X1 The Isle of Dread, which didn’t specify the elevation levels between dungeon levels except to state that the drop from location 8 to location 33 in the Savage Tide Taboo Temple(corresponding to locations 34 and 40 in X1) was 1d6hp of falling damage, thus implying a ten foot drop. But it had the same error, as the staircase on dungeon Level 1 is present while the two locations on dungeon Level 2 are at the same elevation. In fact, the error is even worse in X1, as the staircase itself would be enough to go from dungeon Level 1 to dungeon Level 2 if there is only a ten foot elevation between those two levels.

So to fix this, here are my recommended elevation levels for each level of the dungeon, where a 0 ft elevation level corresponds to the water level on the surrounding lake.

65 foot elevation level : Locations 4-7, as well as the hiding place in the wall behind the carved face above the eastern passage at location 3.

50 foot elevation level : Locations 3 and 8, as well as the highest shelf on the eastern edge of location 2. This means the drop from location 8 to location 33 is about 46 feet.

30 foot elevation level : Locations 9 through 24. This means the drop from location 10 to location 31 is about 34 feet.

10 foot elevation level : Locations 26 and 27 and the raised platform in the passage of Location 34. These are the highest elevation points for Dungeon Level 2.

4 foot elevation level : Locations 33 and 37 as well as the passage north of location 33 which gradually slopes down to a level of -2 foot elevation at the north end by the door, which is why the rat holes in the passage don’t flood these areas.

-2 foot elevation level : Locations 28 and 34.

-4 foot elevation level : Location 29, 31, 32, 35, 38, 39 and the passage section south of the platform near Location 34.

-8 foot elevation level : Location 30.

The well opening on Dungeon Level 2 at location 36 drops 65 feet to a pool of boiling water, which connects to dungeon Level 3 by a fifteen foot long U shape tunnel that extends down, across and up. This pool on Level 3 is on a terrace, and we can assume that terrace is roughly five feet high. So the base elevation for the lowest level of stable ground in location 40 of Level 3 would be about -69 feet or approximately 70 feet below the lake level.


In Dungeon Magazine #145, the main chamber at location 3 and surrounding environs are a bit confusing in matching up the text with the map.

Location 1 is at water level and the water level roughly corresponds to Level 2. Location 2 has the stairs which ascend and thus we get into the complex and enter the main chamber at location 3 which has the stairs and balconies to either side and an exit passage to the east along with two secret doors.

One secret door leads to location 6, which is the lookout position keeping an eye on the lake and location 2. The other secret door leads to location 8. My confusion is the following sentence in Location 3...

"The two secret doors on the balconies..."

I don't think the secret doors are actually at the balcony level. Location 8 is a room with a steep stairs in the nw corner which lead up to what I presume is the cubby hole where someone can sit and overlook Location 3 from the hollow face in the wall above the eastern passage. Putting the secret door at the balcony level means you wouldn't need a steep staircase presumably. Unless the eastern passage way opens at the balcony level of Location 3 instead of ground level at Location 3. But that doesn't seem right as the balconies seem to end rather than connect to the east passage.

Location 6 could be up higher at the balcony level, but seems to make sense to open at the ground floor of location 3.

Location 9 also implies that Location 10 is further below Location 8. "A flight of steps descends to...a makeshift wall."

That means that you walk out of location 3 and descend stairs...and Location 10 is 20 feet above Location 31 which is partially flooded, while Location 8 is 20 feet above Location 33 and room 33 is dry.

Am I correct?


I noticed that for location 13 in this adventure, you can't give the players the image on page 72.

Because it has the solution on it!

Helpful for the DM to visualize, terrible to print out and hand to the players.


Snowblind wrote:
Dare I ask, what prompted the ban on politics? Was it anything in particular?

Trump.


Hitdice wrote:
What in God's name are you talking about? How is a Presidential Pardon remotely connected to the investigation of the Trump campaign?

The presidential pardon is a major power of the executive branch and can be used to end an investigation, stop a trial, or release a prisoner. Ordering an investigation to be stopped is a lesser power of the executive branch.


Coriat wrote:

One, that story is eight or nine months old and the info has gone bad. I'm sure that the value of that guy's pesos went down significantly after the election, when the peso fell from 18.5 to the dollar to 22 to the dollar - down almost 4 - but as of this writing the peso is back up to 18.21 to the dollar - up 0.29 compared to pre-election. The article you linked suggests that the peso fall was a major contributor to the fallen balance sheet, and that has reversed itself.

The other cited factor was a drop in international stocks. I can't say what stocks this guy might own, but so far the Mexican stock market has made up all its post-election losses and more.

Addendum to the first point - after the post above I realized that there was a simpler way to go about it than looking at raw economic data. The Forbes article you linked cites a bloomberg billionaires list as its source.

I went and looked at that list, which as of this writing shows this guy at +$11.6 billion (+23%) year-to-date, suggesting that whatever tide receded for your $5.8 billion loss has rolled back in and more.

Two, so one billionaire loses money to other billionaires. At some point during a pre-election discussion I remarked to you that I thought you were mistaking a factional struggle within the elite for a struggle against the elite. This doesn't convince me otherwise.

I do remember that and I think it is time to take a step back and review that with what we knew then compared to what we know now.

At the time I decided to support Trump, I did so knowing there was a great deal of uncertainty in what he might actually do should he win office. He is unpredictable and impulsive, he will say one thing and then do another.

I suspected he had good intentions but for all I knew once he got into office he might get bored and delegate everything to Pence, or he might get cozy with the establishment and not change anything, especially if the press started feeding his ego and praising him.

But one thing I did know is that if Trump won it would upset the applecart and a lot of very rich people were going to see some serious disruption. I couldn't know for sure if Trump was really going to build a wall, but I did know that if he won some billionaires were going to be feeling some pain. So I emphasized that when I argued for Trump.

Now with Trump in office and the battle currently being waged, I have a better view of Trump's actions and his opponents. And I will say this Coriat, you are absolutely right...it IS a factional struggle within the elite, rather than a struggle against the elite.

And I am still very happy that I supported Trump, because that fractional struggle is between those elites who favor globalism, and those elites who favor nationalism. Zuckerberg confirmed this with his saying that the fight against nationalism is the struggle of our time.

That is his perspective, mine is that the fight against globalism is the struggle of our time, and if us ordinary joe shmoes want to have any hope of NOT being global production units that are shuffled from country to country without any home, culture or family to call our own, than we have to stop Zuckerberg, George Soros, Carlos Slim and Jeff Bezos, among others.

Speaking of Carlos Slim, yes he did recover from that black eye Trump gave him last November, but those two are still at war. All you have to do is check Carlos Slim's blog each day for another hysterical accusation against Trump. The title of Carlos Slim's blog is The New York Times.

There are any number of ways this fight between Trump and Slim will end, but an amicable peace is just about the least likely. Much more likely is one of them losing big time.

Quote:
The billionaires I really care about right now are the ones Trump has stuffed the cabinet with.

The ones I care about so far are Rex Tillerson and Wilbur Ross. Mostly I worry that they are going to be stabbed in the back by their bureaucratic underlings.


MMCJawa wrote:

Well...clearly I don't agree with most anything NPC Dave says, but he does have a point that things have on many, many an occasion looked bad for Trump with him skating through unharmed.

As horrible as the last few weeks have been for him, so far poll numbers don't really show much of any consistent shift. People who approved of the Trump Admin back in January largely still approve of him. Granted, 538 analysis does show the number of STRONGLY approving folks is on the decline, but those folks still overall approve. I don't think we are going to see congress turn on him until post 2018 at the earliest...maybe not even then.

Trump supporters and Democrat supporters watch completely different news channels and read completely different articles. And each side believes almost nothing that the other side sources.

While Orframay's rhetoric was over the top, there was a fundamental kernel of truth in there about Trump supporters. If CNN reported that Trump had just murdered someone in cold blood, Trump's support would not drop much.

That isn't because Trump supporters want him or like him killing people in cold blood. It would be because they would never hear about it, or if they did hear about it they wouldn't believe it because it was on CNN. Barring actual video of course.


CBDunkerson wrote:

I see.

So... Richard Nixon, as head of the executive branch, had "the power to decide" that the FBI should not be investigating the crimes he committed

That is correct, he does have that power.

Quote:
and thus it was perfectly ok for him to start firing people in an effort to end the investigation.

Perfectly ok? That is up for Congress to decide whether it is ok or not.

Quote:

Welcome to fascist dictatorship America.

Fortunately, not found here on the actual Earth planet.

Because of Article I, Section 5 of the US Constitution

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Not the key words, "sole Power" They don't share that power with the FBI.

Quote:

When Obama did the same thing publicly last year in April that Trump did according to Swampey Comey's diary, it wasn't illegal or unethical.

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Never happened. Obama never even suggested that the investigation in to Clinton should be ended...

Instead he told us all how the investigation should end.

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let alone directly asking officials to do so. Just another lie that conservatives accept automatically.

Not a lie, it is the absolute truth. Obama publicly stated his own conclusions on the Hillary investigation in April 2016 on TV, and, in doing so, directed his officials to come to the same conclusion, because that is exactly what Swampey Comey did three months later. When Comey claimed that the FBI needed to be independent of the President, what he really meant was that he wanted it to be independent from Trump.

When your boss states on TV that A is true, that is an even stronger signal to your underlings to find A to be true than stating "I hope you can see your way clear to letting A be true. I hope you can let A be true." in private.

And once again, I will reiterate that I have absolutely no problem with what Obama and Trump did. An abuse of power is when someone uses power they are not authorized to use, not when someone uses power they are authorized to use.


Rednal wrote:

@Dave: ...I'm not sure I understand your position here. You said that "If there is a real crime then it should be investigated and prosecuted", but in many cases, the only way to actually know if a crime occurred or not is to perform an investigation. There were reasonably credible allegations about Flynn that suggested a robust examination was necessary... and it's generally the Federal government that does that for allegations like the ones made about Flynn, and for people in Flynn's position.

There's a reason some parts of the government are considered to be more independent than others - a fair and impartial investigative team is critical for ensuring justice is done. Sometimes that means investigating the rest of the Executive branch. If the Executive or Legislative branches want to be sure government resources are used properly, they can nominate/confirm an Attorney General (etc.) who they trust to do that - but they should not be allowed to dismiss investigations into their own alleged wrongdoing. That's not the appropriate check on the agency's power, since it would be all too easy to hide corruption if they could simply tell the FBI to stop investigating things that would be... inconvenient... for them.

No part of the Government should have the authority to shut down investigations into their own wrongdoing, or that of their close supporters. It's not about political party, it's about having real limits in place so those who might be tempted to abuse their power are far less able to do so.

If no part of the government should have the authority to shut down investigations into their own wrongdoing, then the US Constitution is fundamentally flawed.

Article 2, Section 2 of the US Constitution
The President shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

If the President chooses to pardon someone, that is it. Any ongoing investigation is over, any trial ongoing is over, any prison sentence being served is over. That person is free. While we could debate the theoretical concept on whether the power of the pardon should be available and if so, who should have it, we can't lose sight of the fact that Trump does, in fact, have that power, as Obama did before him.

Because Trump has the power of the pardon, any attempt to accuse him of committing the crime of obstruction of justice because he exercised that power(at full or in part) is completely absurd. It is the equivalent of accusing a police officer, who arrested and jailed a bank robber, of kidnapping. This is why I say what Trump did is in no way illegal.

The reasons I think what Trump did is in no way unethical is because first, I think the individual that was acting unethically here was Swampey Comey, not Trump. Second, like Trump, Obama also expressed his opinion on the FBI investigation into Hillary well before it was over, and saw no need to wait for the investigation to be over before reaching his conclusion and letting his FBI director know that conclusion. That isn't unethical, if the boss of the boss of the FBI has seen enough to reach a conclusion, that is his prerogative.


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
My own take... Swampey Comey's statement is as expected. Trump did nothing illegal or unethical but his actions are dressed up as much as possible to maintain suspicion that he is up to something.

I do think that Trump was trying to simply conduct "business as usual" as Trump understands it, and that Trump likely believes he did nothing illegal or even unethical. That has little to no impact on what is objectively unethical and illegal though.

But this isn't a trial in a court of law, and Trump and his associates don't have to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or even with a preponderance of evidence. If Trump and his associates sufficiently jeopardize the Republicans losing significant seats in Congress and/or state races in 2018, then he very likely risks being impeached, which is entirely a political process. And I'm pretty sure Congressional Repubs aren't going to go down with Trump if they can help it.

NPC Dave wrote:
This is to help the Democrats save face and give a bone to those media outlets that want to keep maintaining the facade that Trump was obstructing justice.
I'm not sure how a Trump PAC running ads attacking Comey during Comey's testimony tomorrow shoehorns into this anti-Dems and anti-media narrative... but it certainly isn't a good look for Trump.

When was the last time anything looked good for Trump? It didn't look good for Trump in the Republican primaries, it didn't look good for Trump in the general election, it didn't look good for Trump in the electoral college, it didn't look good for Trump's Supreme Court nominee, and it doesn't look good for Trump now.

I hereby predict that it won't look good for Trump in 2018, it won't look good for Trump in 2019 and it won't look good for Trump in 2020. It may also not look good for Trump in 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024.

But what I won't predict is Trump being impeached. He might, might die in office. I certainly hope not. But it is possible. But if you think or hope Trump is going to be impeached, I think you are only setting yourself up for disappointment.


Orville Redenbacher wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

The Senate Intelligence Committee has just released Comey's opening statement for tomorrow. It's pretty good reading.

...

Edit 4: And here's Josh Marshall's (of TPM) annotated notes on the Comey statement. Also very interesting reading.

My own take... Swampey Comey's statement is as expected. Trump did nothing illegal or unethical but his actions are dressed up as much as possible to maintain suspicion that he is up to something. This is to help the Democrats save face and give a bone to those media outlets that want to keep maintaining the facade that Trump was obstructing justice.
When is Trump going after your enemies instead of filling his cabinet with them?

He already started, even before he took office.

Carlos Slim loses $5.8 billion thanks to Trump.

Say it with me. $5.8 BILLLLLLLLLLLIONNNNNNNN dollars. Eat that loss Carlos Slim. I love it!!!

I am a Trump supporter and I am not tired of winning yet.


Orfamay Quest wrote:


Nope, it's completely objective -- in NPC Dave's view. If a Republican did it, it's neither illegal nor unethical, irrespective of the actual law. Trump could kill a baby, roast it on a spit, and eat it in front of its parents, and NPC Dave would consider it praiseworthy.

Similarly, it would (in his view) be illegal and unethical for a Democrat to attempt to prevent Trump from killing that baby.

So the fact that NPC Dave doesn't think that Comey's testimony shows any indication of illegal conduct on Trump's part is not surprising, as there is literally no sequence of words in the English language that NPC Dave would consider to be such an indication.

I can easily prove your claim false in the following manner.

When Obama did the same thing publicly last year in April that Trump did according to Swampey Comey's diary, it wasn't illegal or unethical. It wasn't illegal, unethical or obstruction of justice to...

The Washington Post
The New York Times
CNN
ABC/CBS/NBC
Everybody posting at Paizo, including me.

In fact no one really commented or cared about it, except some grousing Republicans who groused almost every time Obama spoke. And even the most over the top grousing never suggested what Obama was doing was illegal or unethical.

So there we go, when Obama, who is a Democrat, did it, I didn't consider it illegal or unethical either.


CBDunkerson wrote:


We're in the territory where 'illegal' becomes completely subjective. For example, torture was still "illegal" when it came out that soldiers had engaged in it at Abu Ghraib... but a year later when it came out that a GOP president had explicitly authorized everything they did then it was no longer illegal... or even torture. Though strangely all the soldiers remained in jail for the thing that was no longer illegal.

I agree with you there. It is sad that illegality has even the possibility of becoming subjective, but it is the inevitable consequence when people in power ignore the law.

Quote:

NOW we've got Jeff Sessions in the AG position and when he insisted that there was no conflict/reason for recusal in him leading an investigation into possible lawbreaking by the Trump transition team... which he was a MEMBER of... the same republicans said it was fine... and now that Trump asking multiple officials to kill an investigation is NOT obstruction of justice. Two completely different standards.

However, saying there was 'nothing unethical' here is a whole other level. Even if we accept the redefinition of reality required to find that Trump pressing Comey, Coats, Sessions and others to kill the Flynn investigation was NOT illegal... it was certainly unethical. Ethical standards require him to stay completely out of it. He did not. Ergo... unethical.

Now here I disagree that ethical standards require Trump to stay out of executive branch business. The FBI is under the authority of the executive branch and derives its power from that executive branch. The President is in charge of that executive branch and is morally and legally obligated to oversee and review his employees and agencies.

The President has the power to decide what the FBI should and should not be doing. If investigating Flynn is a waste of government time and money, then ethically Trump or the FBI director should end the investigation. If there is a real crime then it should be investigated and prosecuted.


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

The Senate Intelligence Committee has just released Comey's opening statement for tomorrow. It's pretty good reading.

...

Edit 4: And here's Josh Marshall's (of TPM) annotated notes on the Comey statement. Also very interesting reading.

My own take... Swampey Comey's statement is as expected. Trump did nothing illegal or unethical but his actions are dressed up as much as possible to maintain suspicion that he is up to something. This is to help the Democrats save face and give a bone to those media outlets that want to keep maintaining the facade that Trump was obstructing justice.


thejeff wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:

Firing Comey is a smart move. Trump's enemies are on record as wanting Comey fired or disapproving of Comey's actions. Firing Comey accomplishes three things. First it is a necessary precursor if Trump wants to drain the swamp. Second, it rallies his base, who are no fans of Comey. And third, it gives Trump ammunition to portray his political opponents as flip-floppers. This lets him win a combat round while minimizing his losses and risks.

Of course, the harder part is finding the right person to replace Comey. Trump can still lose that combat round.

Sure. "drain the swamp". That's what he's doing. By firing the guy in charge of investigating his own team. Of course. How does that even work?

Comey himself is corrupted. So firing Comey makes it possible to drain the swamp. The FBI can’t investigate and arrest politicians and politically connected people who are committing crimes if the FBI director is playing defense attorney for those criminals.

Quote:


If he wants to portray his opponents as flip-floppers, maybe he should take a closer look in the mirror and remember his own earlier praise for Comey? Or the multiple stories this very week about why he fired him and on who's advice?

Of course Trump flip-flops and contradicts himself, he does it all the time. He doesn’t even care, and people expect it. But that is Trump’s advantage of low expectations. Trump wins when he drags everyone down to his level, especially when they profess to be appealing to higher motives. I read an attorney argued before a judge that Trump’s travel ban is unconstitutional, but that it might not be unconstitutional if the exact same travel ban was enacted, hypothetically, by a different president. I watched Maxine Waters on camera argue that if Hillary fired Comey it would be just fine, but if Trump does it that isn’t fine. Trump is showing that opposition to him(at least at the government level) isn’t based on principle or the US Constitution. It is just reflexive hatred. And all those Americans out there who voted for Trump see this for what it is…those government people hate them for voting for Trump.

Quote:

It's possible that firing Comey could have been a smart move - a month or so back or better yet, at the start of his administration. Now it's way too blatant. And it was so incredibly badly handled. Multiple different explanations and timelines. Contradicting reasons given and attempts to tie it to the Deputy AG's advice then taken back in favor of Trump the Decider.

Maybe it would have been better to fire Comey on his first day in office, but it had to be done at some point. Better late than never in this case.


Hitdice wrote:
I feel like we need a more specific definition of "drain the swamp" at this point. The way Trump praised Comey, I never conceived of Comey as a swamp-dweller. I mean, I was pretty sure Trump would fire Comey eventually, I just thought using Clinton's name as an excuse would,like, feel too obvious; oh well, live and learn . . .

That is a fair question because it is an open-ended statement. I can’t pin it down for anyone else, but draining the swamp for me means putting government people and politically connected people who commit crimes on trial and then put them in prison if convicted. Second on the list would be making things illegal that ought to be illegal, but aren’t. However, Trump doesn’t have the tools he needs to accomplish this second objective. I don’t expect Trump to maneuver much legislation through Congress, but one way for Trump to be successful is start investigating and prosecuting criminals at the federal level and expose their malfeasance.

As for Comey, we know he is corrupt because he testified to Congress that he must inform the congressional oversight committee for intelligence on a quarterly basis on any new counter-intelligence operations. He opened the probe into Trump in July 2016, yet he never told Congress. He deliberately hid that from the people who should be informed. That includes Ryan, Pelosi, McConnell and Schumer. Why was he intentionally hiding what he was doing? Why did he think he could hide the FBI’s activities from any oversight? Why did he wait until March 2017 to finally inform Congress?

Because he is a swamp dweller.


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Firing Comey is a smart move. Trump's enemies are on record as wanting Comey fired or disapproving of Comey's actions. Firing Comey accomplishes three things. First it is a necessary precursor if Trump wants to drain the swamp. Second, it rallies his base, who are no fans of Comey. And third, it gives Trump ammunition to portray his political opponents as flip-floppers. This lets him win a combat round while minimizing his losses and risks.

Of course, the harder part is finding the right person to replace Comey. Trump can still lose that combat round.


thejeff wrote:
NPC Dave wrote:
Also, none of those agencies are going to send him(or Sessions) a report admitting they spied on him or passed on intel they got from someone else spying on him. That would be like sending him a memo to please cut their budget and fire people.
Even the ones now run by his appointees?

I pointed out Trump would have this exact problem before the election...

All the appointments a President makes are found in the Plum Book. That amounts to between 4000-5000+ people, mostly heads of federal departments, directors and top deputies of federal agencies, members of federal commissions, and heads of regulatory agencies. First, it is impossible to know that many people, let alone manage them. If you appoint 10 people a day, it still takes over a year to fill all the positions. And once they have the job, it will take six months to get up to speed. So that means some departments won’t see anyone new until halfway through the first Presidential term.

And now we come to the biggest problem…the bureaucracy is entrenched to make sure it serves the interests of the bureaucrats who already work there…NOT the President or the Presidential appointee who just arrived and will be gone in a year or two or three.

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They're all keeping deep secrets about what they did (illegally and with no paper trail?) for the previous president? Maybe they're secretly still working for Obama?

Of course there is a paper trail and an electronic trail. The problem is finding it. It will take much longer than a week. "Sorry, we just had a computer crash." "Bummer, there was a small fire but we will do our best to find the surviving paperwork and get you that report as soon as possible."

I would equate it to the time when Ronald Reagan knew his own CIA was lying to him, and appointed a special investigative committee to get the bottom of it.

The US military/security complex did not want Reagan to end the Cold War, as the Cold War was the foundation of profit and power for the complex. The CIA told Reagan that if he renewed the arms race, the Soviets would win, because the Soviets controlled investment and could allocate a larger share of the economy to the military than Reagan could.

Reagan did not believe the CIA’s claim that the Soviet Union could prevail in an arms race. He formed a secret committee and gave the committee the power to investigate the CIA’s claim that the US would lose an arms race with the Soviet Union. The committee concluded that the CIA was protecting its prerogatives. I know this because I was a member of the committee.

So tweeting about it is more productive than asking for a report. Tweeting at least puts any of Trump's fans in the bureaucracy, and in a position to do something, on notice that he cares about it. If he follows that up by starting a special investigation, then he might get somewhere.

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Even Comey, who helped destroy Clinton's campaign and propped up Trump's by keeping the Russian investigation quiet while blabbing about the Clinton one.

If Comey had really wanted to destroy Clinton's campaign, he would have recommended she be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. He had two chances, and he never did. So I don't agree that he "destroyed" her campaign. I do agree that last minute announcement hurt her campaign, but if Comey had said nothing there was a good chance some pro-Trump FBI employees would leak it and damage her campaign even more.

Comey didn't choose to have Carlos Danger sext more under-age girls, and he didn't choose to have Carlos Danger hold on to Abedin's laptop with a bunch of Hillary Clinton classified email on it. Comey was dealt a bad hand right before the election and he re-opened and re-closed the investigation as fast as he could.

As for keeping quiet about the Trump investigation, there was a good reason for that. Even mishandling classified material(including email) accidentally is a federal crime*, talking to Russians is not.

*Not that I agree with the US federal government's use and interpretation of the Espionage Act, but government employees today are serving prison terms for violating it unknowingly. The Democrats could have pushed to change the law, or Hillary could have apologized and offered to pardon anyone convicted of making her mistake. They chose not to do so, so I don't have any sympathy that it may have cost them the election.


thejeff wrote:
Pan wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

I get it.

It doesn't make any sense to me... logically... but I grok the idea that that is how he is.

It was the number 1 reason why I couldn't take the wire tapping claims seriously. He was publicly calling for an investigation... into a group of agencies that all report to him. If he really wanted answers, he wouldn't go on twitter, he'd call Comey, Sessions, or Pompeo and tell them to give him a full report by the end of the day/week. It goes to show how little he understands his job.

Its not for him its for his hooplehead supporters. Gotta keep em whooped up.
It's not even that. He is one of those hoopleheads. There was a story on one of the cable "news" shows the night he first tweeted that. He saw it, believed it and started repeating it. He's not interested in answers form the formal agencies, he learned what he learned from his sources and that's that.

Also, none of those agencies are going to send him(or Sessions) a report admitting they spied on him or passed on intel they got from someone else spying on him. That would be like sending him a memo to please cut their budget and fire people.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Ronald Reagan is held up as this treasured icon to the neocons and the red-meat Republicans.

Yet...

...while we had forces involved in foreign operations, we weren't really 'at war' (No, I don't count Grenada, sorry).

In fact, there was scarce little 'war-war' going on with the Gipper in charge.

So how is it that ever since, it's gone from 'trust but verify' to 'bomb the bejesus outta 'em'... and 'wait, that did what? Well, Hit. It. Again.'?

Reagan was president during the Cold War, at that time the USA was more limited, or at least it perceived itself as more limited, because of the presence of the Soviet Union.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, US elites perceived it as the end of history, where they could now assert their dominance and US authority unchallenged.


China is suddenly leaning on North Korea - and it might be thanks to Trump.


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ulgulanoth wrote:
Well I think it may be financially motivated

Maybe, let's fact check it.

According to Snopes, Donald Trump has around $15K invested in Raytheon.

Checking the stock trade over the last few days, that missile strike caused the stock to jump from just over $150 a share to just over $154 a share. That works out to about a 2.5% increase in value.

So assuming Trump had about 100 shares of Raytheon stock, he raked in a whopping 250-300 smackaroos profit on April 7th...provided he sold his stock immediately after the price spike. If he didn't, then he will have to console himself with about 150 smackaroos of extra profit.

Of course, maybe Trump was hoping for a much bigger payday and the market refused to delver. Perhaps Democratic party short-sellers stepped in to thwart him, and forced him to go back to planning his next big pay day.

Or maybe Raw Story is just fake news.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Heck, even "the deplorables" are against this!

That is encouraging, Trump's base being vigorously opposed to this and regime change.


whew wrote:
Bush gave a bunch of reasons why we should invade Iraq. It's revisionism to pretend WMDs were THE reason.

It was the reason most heavily emphasized for justification, but you are correct, there were other reasons as well. One of those reasons was that Saddam Hussein supported terrorists.

Of course by invading and occupying Iraq, Bush succeeded in creating even more terrorists as the next generation of Iraqis grew up watching their family members get slaughtered. Some of them are now part of ISIS.

Another reason to invade Iraq was to get access to cheap oil. Considering the trillions of dollars the war has cost us so far, it would have been far, far cheaper to sign a deal with Saddam buying all of his oil in perpetuity at five times market value.


As someone who supported Trump and has been relatively happy with what he has done so far, I can say that Trump's action was reckless and dangerous and quite possibly stupid. If he drags the US any further into war with Syria it moves to definitely stupid. Listening to neocons is what made Bush the Lesser a colossal two-term failure.


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DSXMachina wrote:


Which is ironic since she supported the 'No-Burka's on the Beach' law. Thus showing she's a bit of a hypocrite, that other countries/cultures have to respect France - but she doesn't have to reciprocate.

She categorically rejects Islamic dress codes that require women cover up. That is perfectly consistent.


Wikileaks just released documentation on CIA espionage orders to influence the 2012 France election.


This nationalism/populism movement sweeping the US and Europe will be tested in Germany and the Netherlands this year as well as France. 2017 could be just as interesting as 2016 in that regard.

Populist scores
Brexit
Trump
Italian No vote on government centralization

Status Quo/Globalist scores
Austria
Spain

So the game is 3-2 and it is still the first half.


I remember Fruit Loops changing to Froot Loops. They did change it as far as I am concerned.

Berenstein Bears is what I remember. No idea if that is faulty memory or was a deliberate change.

I never heard that Mandela died in prison, I mostly recall him getting out of prison and then eventually getting elected.

Most importantly, Han shot first.


My PCs will soon be starting City of Broken Idols, and as they are a party of six, some of whom are highly optimized, I was looking at beefing up their opposition.

If I give the average Olman skinwalker two levels of fighter, he picks up one general feat (at 9HD) along with the two fighter bonus feats. I then assign him the feats Power Attack and Improved Critical(macuahuitl) and for the general feat I assign him Leap Attack from Complete Adventurer.

So now he can make a charging leap and use power attack to do 2x the damage of a normal power attack. Since he has pounce, that also means he can do a full attack.

My question is...does the power attack hit penalty and damage bonus apply to the bite and claw attacks of the skinwalker in addition to the macuahuitl weapon the skinwalker carries? Or does the power attack only work for the macuahuitl?


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The party learns the danger of the savage pearls in the full campaign during the second adventure when they visit Kraken's Cove and find it devastated.

I would suggest the campaign starts with the PCs seeking revenge for the destruction of the city of Sasserine or colony of Farshore(or any port city in your home campaign). In Sasserine, they had tracked down their enemy, Vanthus Vanderboren and his crew, within the city limits when Vanthus unleashed the pearl in desperation. Or the Battle of Farshore(in adventure #5) saw Vanthus unleash the pearl as the PCs had stopped the Crimson Fleet from conquering their colony.

So the PCs have arrived at Scuttlecove believing Vanthus is dead and blaming the pirates for the loss of life caused by the unleashing of the pearl.

The Nimbus Bow isn't necessary for the campaign, just the tooth of Ahazu. Picking it up in the Crimson Fleet lair should suffice.


There is an error in the statblock for the neh-thalggu/brain collector scion detailed on page 56-57.

It is listed as having an Initiative bonus of +1, but that is incorrect. It has the Improved Initiative feat, so it should have an Initiative bonus of +5.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Best cure was cool quiet room with cold ice pack and everything shut off.

While an ice pack won't solve every pain problem, it is worth trying each time. I have been surprised with how it can help with both healing and pain and it is inexpensive.


CrystalSeas wrote:

The rules for counting absentee ballots do not have exceptions for "so many other ballots have already been counted that these votes are irrelevant"

Those ballots were all counted by Dec 5, 2000

Aides to Jones said they expect most of the absentee and provisional ballots to be counted in the next week. Legally, counties have until Dec. 5 to present final tallies.

All of the votes counted by Dec 5th were indeed counted, but not all the votes cast for President were actually counted.

CrystalSeas wrote:

How about this

Are absentee ballots counted?

from these folks Vote.org

Vote.org are not election officials, they are a private organization and don’t make or enforce election law.

Irontruth wrote:
Just curious, can you link me a state statue that says absentee ballots don't have to be counted if there aren't enough to sway the election?

To answer your question...

GreyWolfLord wrote:

I don't know the rules in all the states, but California moved to close this gap in a proposition in 2001 and voted upon in 2002 called Proposition 43.

In it, they mandate that all votes count as long as they are done legally.

This includes absentee votes.

Many saw it as an effort to stop the same thing from happening in California as happened in Florida.

Whether this idea is true for all states, I don't know presently. In many ways, it could be that the traditional way of absentee which is accepted by many is no longer in effect and all states have taken a similar approach.

Every Vote counts in California proposition 43

We will start with the California law-

1. The Law Prior to Proposition 43
California law provides that a United States citizen of at least 18 years of age and resident in this State may vote. Cal. Const. art. II, § 2. California law also provides that the Legislature shall define residence and provide for registration and free elections. Cal. Const. art. II, § 3. However, while the California Constitution recognizes the right to vote if certain conditions are met, neither the United States Constitution nor the California Constitution expressly guarantee that those votes will be counted.

Specifically, this measure provides that if a post-election deadline imposed by the Elections Code prevents the proper tabulation or recounting of ballots, the county elections official may petition the superior court for an extension of that deadline sufficient to permit the tabulation or recounting of ballots. (Id.) The court may grant the petition if it finds that the time limitation would prevent the counting of all votes as required by the proposed amendments to the Constitution. (Id.)

Proposition 43 purports to create voter confidence in California elections by assuring California voters that their vote will not be bypassed due to time constraints and statutory deadlines. (Id.) Proposition 43 gives the process of counting ballots a higher degree of importance than other statutory deadlines and obligations.

Simply put, California proposition 43 was a measure to put higher priority to vote counting, which is a legal requirement, than vote reporting deadlines, which is another legal requirement.

The passing of that proposition, in and of itself, backs up what I initially said…that some votes are not counted because they don’t matter, for the additional specified reason which I did not mention…because of time constraints and to meet statutory deadlines.

Does every state have something like California’s Prop 43? No they don’t.

Moving on to the federal government…

In practice, elections for local, state, and federal office are conducted primarily by local election officials in the nation's counties, parishes, and independent cities or townships. These local election officials, in most states, exercise broad authority. Despite their relative autonomy, these local election officials are bound by their respective state statutes regarding the conduct of elections. These statutes include the manner in which votes are to be counted. At a minimum, the county’s obligation to count and report the vote accurately, and in an objective and impartial manner, is implicit if not explicit in law.

Note the key word accurately.

Definition

1) free from error especially as the result of care 2) conforming exactly to truth or to a standard 3) able to give an accurate result

Local election officials have “broad authority” and “relative autonomy”. The count and report of the vote must be accurate.

But the word missing from the federal government’s page that would incorporate counting every last vote even when it doesn’t matter is the word precise.

Definition

1) exactly or sharply defined or stated 2) minutely exact

A precise count is also an accurate count, but an accurate count is not necessarily a precise count.

The bottom line is, local election officials cut corners when it doesn’t matter. The vote has to be accurate, it doesn’t have to be precise. Although I will concede California has an explicit incentive to prioritize counting every last vote this year than it did in 2000, so Hillary and Donald’s California vote totals are going to be much more precise than the California totals in 2000.

If the popular vote for the Presidential election actually mattered, then the count for it would have to be precise. Since it doesn't matter, the popular vote is just accurate enough for each state to be correct for assigning those electors to a candidate. No one is checking up on local election officials to make sure their popular vote counts are precise.


CrystalSeas wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:


You don't have to count it in situations where, for your area, the absentee ballots would not overcome what the results already show.

No. Not at all true.

There is no jurisdiction in this country where it is legal to not count absentee votes, no matter what informal numbers show.

This is absolutely not true. While some states may have something more strict, in general the law requires that absentee votes must be counted, unless and until they no longer have any possibility to sway the outcome.

So if one candidate is ahead in a state by 20,000 votes, and there are 19,500 absentee votes yet to be counted...those 19,500 votes are not counted and added to the Presidential total. It won't matter.

I know for a fact that in 2000, when Al Gore lost to Bush 43 in the electoral college but was ahead in the popular vote by 500,000, there were two million uncounted absentee ballots in California alone. It didn't matter, because Al Gore was ahead by more than 2 million votes in CA. He had locked up those delegates.

The ironic thing is that historically, absentee ballots break 2 to 1 for Republican, so if someone had insisted on counting those 2 million absentee ballots for the Presidential election, Gore's lead would have likely evaporated.

So it isn't even true that Hillary Clinton "won" the popular vote. Instead she is leading the popular vote with millions of votes that were set aside and not counted, and if they had to be counted we may or may not yet know who won the popular vote.


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The Norv wrote:


I know this was a while ago, but I just have to point out: many of the Founding Fathers were major landowners in their states and wanted to make sure that they would have a significant say in how they ran their lives/land/businesses.

Really, why SHOULD it matter what the majority of the (empty of human inhabitants) landmass of the United States decides rather than what the majority of living human beings who have hopes, fears, and dreams decides?

Because the hopes, fears and dreams of the masses living in cities in California, Illinois and New York are not the hopes, fears and dreams of people living in rural Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Those people living in those empty landmasses will never have any effect on who will be President without the electoral college. But this time, in this situation, their voice was heard.

Quote:
Again, small states get representation (and as we've seen, overrepresentation by population) in the Congress. In a winner-take-all situation like the presidency, I'd prefer we bow to the will of the PEOPLE, not the will of the LAND.

Yes, they do get representation in Congress, but with the electoral college, they also get some opportunities for a President who reflects and represents their views as well.

That is how it should be.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

When one candidate complains that the system is rigged...

Both candidates claimed the election was rigged.

They just couldn't agree on who was rigging it and in whose favor.


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The Electoral College is a very effective and productive institution for keeping large majorities in a few states from gaining excessive influence in the outcome of Presidential elections.

The poor rural whites that Democrats and the journalist class abandoned in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Ohio had their voices heard this election rather than seeing their voices drowned out by California's swelling immigrant population.

It also prevents the temptation of states gaming the system by lowering the voting age in a close election to try and stack the deck. Lowering the voting age in a red or blue state doesn't help a candidate since it doesn't affect the number of electoral votes that candidate receives.

So I will fight just as hard to keep the Electoral College preserved as I fought to see Donald Trump elected.

But I completely agree that this winner take all nonsense has to stop. Anyone who pushes to have their state assign electoral vote by district rather than by state has my support. Places like Pennsylvania and Florida are divided in half, so let each district decide for itself and the two parties can split a state's electoral votes rather than one party come so close and get nothing.


Knight who says Meh wrote:
This is what he means.

No, this is what I mean.

With the election ending tomorrow(presumably), I am not planning on any more detailed replies going forward, since I won’t have time to answer it until later in the week when such questions and answers will lose urgency and relevancy. But I will keep my promise and post acknowledgements for anyone who wants to call me out with an end zone post-touchdown celebration that the NFL likes to penalize, and I promise to be a good sport about it even if Trump loses.

And for all you Trump supporters out there, be sure to thank Trump for working and competing so hard this election season. I will be sending my thank you tomorrow.


Coriat wrote:

Taxes): It seems we've mostly reached agreement that overall Trump is putting pro-rich stuff on the table here. I have a little more discussion about details, though.

Estate taxes - I think there's an error of fact here, about the upper middle class paying estate taxes. The estate tax cutoff is about $5 million individual or $10 million couple. Net worth by wealth percentile. "Top 1%" and "people rich enough to worry about estate taxes" don't exactly overlap (it might be top 1.5%?), and I'm not sure I totally understand the details, but it seems close enough for my lights.
Second, even if they currently have ways available to lessen or even dodge their estate tax liability, completely scrapping it is still a pro-rich move, and really nothing but a pro-rich move. Even the very article you linked about how the Waltons found ways around the estate tax also said that they were funding efforts to repeal it (I'm sure they would like to be free of the restrictions and trust limitations involved in getting around it).

Actually I argue the opposite. Estate taxes benefit the 1%. More specifically, it benefits the top 20% of the 1%, who use the estate tax to deprive those in the range of 1.01-1.5% of their source of wealth, along with any of the bottom 80% of the 1% who were dumb or unlucky enough to fail to protect themselves from the estate tax.

To explain, when someone has something of value, whether it is a brand or a business or a priceless collectible, and then estate tax has to be paid, the government gets half the value. So the item of value has to be sold so the tax can be paid. Why buys the item of value? The top 20% of the 1%...either directly, or through corporations. I have watched Warren Buffet accumulate many brands and businesses this way, no man has benefited from the estate tax more than Warren Buffet.

Corporations benefit immensely from estate taxes. They don’t die, so they never have to pay estate taxes. That means they have an enormous advantage over businesses with an owner who will die. The proprietorship has to lose half its value(assuming 50% estate tax) each time the owner dies. The equivalent to the estate tax in the National Football League would be the following rule:

In any cross-conference match up between an AFC team and an NFC team, at halftime the AFC team shall deduct half the points it has scored in the first half from its total, and of those points forfeited, half again shall be awarded to the NFC team and added to its total. Play out the rest of the game as normal.

How long would it take for an AFC team to win the Super Bowl under those rule conditions? A long time, maybe never.

So if you are going to insist cutting corporate taxes benefits the 1% because it benefits corporations, then you have to also insist that keeping the estate tax benefits the 1% because that also benefits corporations. Logically speaking, you can’t have it any other way.

So Donald Trump getting rid of the estate tax is not a pro-rich move, it is just the opposite. It is a pro-middle class move. The only way to change that is if you make corporations pay estate tax every forty to fifty years or so.

I have been against the estate tax my entire adult life, precisely because it benefits the 1%.

Quote:

2) Some Google research suggests you might be working off bad information re: Wall street giving numbers. I'm not sure what the source for your numbers is, but I think it'd be worth you giving it a second look.

Old news, but it's nowhere near the above numbers.
In fact, I found reporting on a single fundraising dinner for Trump from Wall Streeters that raised more than that.
I found a second (later) WSJ article that stated numbers in the low thousands despite the first article's much larger numbers. Since the amount of money he's raised can't go down over time, it makes me think that there may be some creative accounting going on here. For instance, funneling Wall Street donations to an affiliated organization (such as a super PAC) so that they don't show up direct on the campaign's books. Maybe the first article was reporting on total pro-Trump donations and the second is reporting on an organization-specific line item.
I'm not sure what to make of it, except to think that it may be a case of lies, damned lies, and statistics.
I'd be willing to accept that Clinton has an advantage (although not that it is necessarily tied to bailout support - I'd probably link it most of all to Wall Street fears of a trade war, which means it should fall under issue 1). But it doesn't seem like those numbers are plausible. Depending on where you got them, it might be a case of a bogus source. Or possibly a real source credulously reporting statistics that were massaged further up the chain.
God knows there's a lot of ways to hide where political money comes from these days.

My source is the article I linked to before. Here is the link again.

And here is the paragraph which appears at the bottom…
Securities and investment firms have poured nearly $65 million into her campaign coffers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Goldman Sachs employees have donated $284,816 to Clinton and just $3,641 to Trump, who has received $716,407 from Wall Street.

Quote:

Subsequent closer reading indicates this is exactly what's happening.

Article from June that I linked earlier but didn't read closely enough until now wrote:
That is set to change. In recent weeks, Wall Street has emerged as a top source of cash to Mr. Trump’s campaign, donating at least $10 million this month to his joint fund with the Republican National Committee. Of that, a fraction will be transferred directly to his campaign because of federal donation limits.
In other words, Wall Street millions did head his way and were spent to elect him (even if not as many millions as Clinton, I'm not sure), but the source of the money can be obscured via accounting since one line item can be kept low (and pointed to) while the money actually flows into a different line item.

Now your article and mine are actually in agreement. Although $10 million was given to Trump, most of it went to the RNC.

And the RNC refuses to spend it on Trump.

The RNC is funneling the money to their Senate candidates and other races. They don’t want Trump to win. They want a wounded Hillary while they keep control of their own party. That is how $10 million went to Trump and the RNC but Trump was left with $716K.

Quote:

3) Hey, I thought you said you were going to try to take off the rose-tinted glasses! :p That list sure isn't!

I mean, you're saying stuff like "pulling money out of departments that have too much (like the Pentagon) and giving it to other departments."
Non-rose-tinted Trump isn't on the same page at all: Trump calls for massive military buildup.
Taking something that the candidate has said he wants to do, and replacing them with something very different that you'd want him to do, and proposing he could do that as a reason to support him... that's nothing but rose.

You misunderstood the final four paragraphs of my reply to you, so I am going to quote them again, this time emphasizing the conditionals in bold.

Quote:

So, to be fair, I need to come up with a substitute for what Trump can do to show he is on the side of Ordinary Joe Schmoes when he gets in office, and how he can get their input. What he has to do is keep his direct social media channels open with his voters, and keep them involved with his legislative initiatives. Now the President can’t legislate, he can only ask Congress to pass laws. So Trump will have to use his communication channels to get the people to lobby their congressional representatives for his legislative agenda. Those in Congress who give him a hard time will need to have their feet held to the fire. One thing true for all politicians, “when they feel the heat, they see the light.” First said by a very effective lobbyist.

And this also gives Trump feedback on what people really want. If he can’t get them pushing hard against their own congress rep, then that isn’t the law he should be pushing to have enacted. Congress can affect those entrenched bureaucrats, with budget cuts. Pulling money out of departments that have too much(like the Pentagon) and giving it to other departments will enable Trump to get the bureaucrats fighting for him instead of against him. If the Pentagon loses budget dollars to the National Park Service, those NPS bureaucrats will fight more savagely than Navy Seals to preserve their bigger budget even after Trump leaves office.

So that is what Trump has to set up and implement to show he is going to listen to Ordinary Joe Schmoes, if he wins. If he doesn’t do that, his presidency will likely end in failure. And if the voters lose interest, which is actually likely considering most Americans only like to get hyped up about politics once every four years, then Trump will still likely fail. He can’t succeed in office without the people who put him there continuing to help him succeed.

Is he going to actually do this? No idea, but that is how he can keep the promise he makes in that ad.

So to be clear,

1) This is my idea, not Trump’s. He has given no indication he would do this. It is entirely possible he doesn’t understand he has to do this.
2) This was my postulation in how Trump can actually realistically change the system if he wins. This was in contrast to your suggestion that the right cabinet appointees are how Trump can change the system.
3) The Pentagon losing budget dollars is purely a hypothetical example of how this postulation would work in practice. I used it because it has too much money IMO. I wasn’t coming up with anything else at the moment I wrote that so I went with it.
4) I thought my conditionals “like” and “if” would make it clear I was talking about hypotheticals, along with my disclaimer at the end that I had no idea if Trump would implement these hypotheticals.
5) I figured it would also be obvious this was an example since I included increasing the budget of the National Park Service, a department that almost never enters into a national election.

Does that make it clear I was in no way claiming that Trump wants to actually move money from the Pentagon to the National Park Service?

But lesson learned, I need to keep my hypothetical examples in line with Trump’s positions in order to avoid confusion. So let’s reverse it. Trump can’t realistically increase the size of the Pentagon’s budget, unless he follows a protocol like the one I suggested. He has to move money from one department budget to another. The ability of the government to increase revenue through taxation and borrowing is becoming more limited due to the size of the deficits and interest payments on the debt. So if he wants to take money from the NPS(example only) and move it to the Pentagon, he has to get Congress to work with him.


”BigNorseWolf” wrote:
There's the idea of it. You are not rules lawyering Donald Trump into a financial genius

That’s true. There is no need for me to claim he is a financial genius.

Quote:
or accusing others of bait and switch because you picked a definition that didn't have the EXACT term that someone else used

I am clearing up the confusion you guys have between what a businessman is and what an investor is. I am using standard English language definitions.

Quote:

even when YOUR OWN SOURCE has the idea there as plain as day.

Trump’s net worth has grown about 300% to an estimated $4 billion since 1987
Plugging that into a compound interest calculator shows that thats a 4% compound interest rate per year, which is terrible. Almost putting your money in the bank level bad.

Thank you for volunteering to do the math.

Now let’s try it again, but this time take into account the $916 million dollar loss suffered by Trump in 1995. So how about we calculate the compound interest rate per year for…

1) 1987-1994
2) 1995 (We know the negative compound interest rate for this year is going to be yuuuuuuuge).
3) 1996-2016

Those three rates should shed some light on how well Donald Trump does in a typical year.

Devon Northwood wrote:

Then what is a sucessful businessman for you? What are YOUR criteria?

Look, we can play the word-game all day long, but the fact of the matter is that everybody here knows what is meant. So since you do not accept my way of qualifying a good businessman, what is yours? Because it is your side that put the whole point on the agenda. Trump is the one who started the whole "sucessfull businessman"-meme.

What you refer to as word games is what Aristotle referred to as rhetoric. Dialectic argument is when we use logic and reason, facts and evidence, to come to conclusions. Rhetoric is when we use language and memes, if you will, to appeal to emotions to sway an audience one way or another. Arguing that Trump isn’t a good businessman because he should really have $9 billion instead of $4 billion is weak rhetoric. It is just a couple of steps above Irontruth’s kindergartner trolling comment.

The reason your argument is weak rhetoric is because well before you reach $1 billion you are talking about an absurd and unrealistic amount of money that most people can’t even wrap their heads around. Multiplying that absurd and unrealistic amount of money by 4 or 9 really doesn’t matter.

You may as well claim Tom Brady isn’t a great quarterback because he lost two Super Bowls.

If I had argued Donald Trump was a successful businessman, or a great businessman, or a terrific businessman, I would have already provided supporting arguments to that effect. I never claimed anything about how good or bad a businessman Donald Trump is. In contrast, Donald Trump does make such claims, because he loves rhetoric, and because when some 23 year old journalism major writing for a pittance claims Trump isn’t as rich as he should be, that journalist is only preaching to those who are already against Trump. All Trump has to do to counteract that rhetoric for his supporters and neutral parties is tweet a selfie from inside his personal jet.

I prefer dialectic argument myself, which is why, in the context of Donald Trump being a businessman, I stated that it is largely IRRELEVANT because the skill set for being President is different. Managing bureaucrats is a different skill set than managing people in private industry. Different outlook, different motivations, different perspective.

That is why I didn’t really respond to the initial reply about how terrible Donald Trump is at business other than to ask the question if it is Donald Trump’s fault he doesn’t have more money. And when you jumped in to say yes, I decided to fight the rhetorical fire with more rhetorical fire. All of your argument really just comes down to… Donald Trump could have had more money if he had been somebody else. Sure…and Eli Manning could have won more Super Bowls if he had been Tom Brady.

Quote:

The fact that you are talking about the financial side of the last few elections without talking about dark money and SUPER-PACs shows to me that you have not fully understood what the point of campaign finance reform is. See, you talk about Hillary Clinton being financed by Wall Street, and ... maybe she is. Maybe not. We. Don't. Know.

And the reason we don't know is Citizens United, something that Trump does not want to change. Indeed, as was pointed out before, his plattform is to double down on dark money and preventing transperancy in campain finances. How is that a good thing? How is the fact that social media helps you get elected, a trend starting with Obamas 2008 run, change the existence of dark money?

It reduces the influence of dark money by opening communication channels directly to the voter. Money is used to pay to get your message out. That cost is decreasing. Obama had the journalist class on his side as well as social media. Trump had the journalist class against him since he clinced the Republican nomination, and he is still close. That is how much more power social media has than it did eight years ago.

Quote:
”NPC Dave” wrote:
Donald Trump has permanently burned his bridges with the global elite and with the political establishment. They will never stop hating him for what he has done.
What does that even mean?

It means that if Trump gets elected, the people have an ally working for them in the Oval Office, instead of a billionaire flunky.

Quote:

So, he was a bully towards Jeb Bush. Does that change the fact that the Bush-family pays less taxes proportially then a cleaning lady? You might as well throw tomatoes at H.W. and tell yourself that he will never get the red stain out of his clothes, but that would not chance the SYSTEM. Tomorrow, there will be new rich men with new clothes.

Donald Trump has promised many things, but that is the entire point: He has not delivered. He wants to build a wall, yet he does not tell us how.

Not true, he already did.

Quote:
He wants to fight crime, but he does not let us see his "secret plan, from an anonymus police officer". What you are telling us is entirely what you WANT him to do. As Coriat already said: You tell us that he will pull money away from the military,

I did not tell you guys that. I will correct that misunderstanding in my next post.

Quote:
he says that he will give them more. Even if you believe that the rich don't pay taxes, why does he fight that problem by decreasing taxes for the rich? When people get away with crime, the answer is not "well, let's make crime legal".

What happened to George Bush 41 is not throwing tomatoes and ruining his suit, because he can just buy a new suit, whether he gets a tax cut or not. The historical legacy that Donald Trump deprived GB 41 from acquiring was unique and priceless.

But getting back to taxes, Trump is cutting taxes for everyone who pays taxes. What I have learned from these discussions is that a lot of you guys focus on the tax rate the 1% pay instead of looking at the bigger picture of just how much the 1% gain or lose if they no longer have access to the government trough. This is actually useful to know for the next guy who tries to do what Trump is doing. Should he offer a tax cut but leave the tax rate of the 1% alone, or raise it slightly, he might actually win some of you guys over.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Like many, the poster seems to ignore the free advertising and constant publicity that the media empires showered upon, nay fawned upon Trump, was easily worth more than a billion dollars of advertising.

Not true, I addressed it in a post two Fridays ago when you raised that objection the first time…

Exactly, they do it because Trump means ratings. That is how Trump accomplished the impossible feat of campaign finance reform without passing a law. He built up his brand and built a political message into the entertainment he provided. The media had no choice but to give him that publicity, their ratings would dive if he wasn’t on the screen.
You don’t get people to watch and listen to you without earning their attention. Trump earned their attention, he earned those ratings, and he earned that publicity.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
And yeah, he has his own billionaire backers too.

I already addressed that issue as well…

That Donald Trump is going to stick it to the billionaires after the election could very well be my hallucination. I could be wrong.
I will still support him, first and foremost, because, as you said, most of the other billionaires agree with me, whether it is a hallucination or not. If it is an illusion, it still makes Trump a thorn in their side for the duration of the election, and I like to see my enemies squirm. And, of course, Trump hitting the Bezos, Bush, and Koch families aren’t illusions, those hits are real, even if it will stop after the election.
For the record though, Peter Thiel is a billionaire who provides seed money to the company Legalist, which is an exciting idea that can help Ordinary Joe Schmoes fund their lawsuits when they have a legitimate claim against a big corp. Someone like Roger Kearns would have greatly benefited from Legalist. So Peter Thiel sees things my way, whether it is an illusion or not. I don’t know enough about the others to say, except that Adelson has always made Israel his top priority.

In fact, Peter Thiel backed up everything I said about him less than 12 hours after I said it at the National Press Club.


Spastic Puma wrote:

You're right! You don't need a billion dollars! You just need a fleet of your own private jets and a hotel empire you can stay at. For free! Oh, wait -- not for free. For profit!

Yeah, I really don't see where you're going with this. If your point is, "Hilary has spent more" than yeah, that's apparent to anyone. But my issue with your posts is that you are ignoring the context of the way he has run his campaign (and more importantly) how he came to be a public figure in the first place. His "free" media coverage stemmed from his celebrity status (a trait that isn't something you can simply acquire on a political track)

He has shown how anyone can acquire it. By building up their name and brand through social media outlets. The cost of doing this is only going to decline. The difficulty of doing it is quite large, but those people who have a message that resonates with a large audience are going to be able to do it.

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and by continually shocking the public with how bigoted he could be (a trait NO politician should ever have). No matter how you look at it, Donald Trump IS NOT suitable poster child for grass roots campaigning on any level.

So if your point is that Trump has proven that you don't have to look to billionaires to fund your campaign (even though they did) anymore, that point comes with a major limitation: You just have to be one.

It wasn’t Trump flying in his own jets and staying in his own hotels for profit that won him the Republican primaries. Looking back, it is obvious he had this planned for a number of years. What enabled him to win started with the following words-

Make America Great Again

Anyone could have come up with that slogan. It didn’t take a billion dollars to come up with it. The right rhetoric and a big enough audience is what you need. But it just happened to be a billionaire who used it, and it touched a chord across America. Donald Trump making a profit when staying at his own hotel just shows he is smart. But that slogan…pure genius.

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Oh, and you probably won't win. Just like McCain in the 2008 election who only raised half as much money. So the status quo of "who raises the most money, wins" still continues.

You mean probably still continues right? McCain lost by almost 10 million votes in 2008, and McCain did not badly damage Obama’s ability to govern before the election was even over. I expect this election to be a lot closer, we will know more in another day.

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The only trail that Trump is blazing is a frightening and, frankly, embarrassing one that I hope is never followed in the future of US politics.

It is good that you feel strong emotions over the topics that Trump raised this election. That shows we are fighting about real issues this election, and that this election is about real choices. Uncomfortable topics and truths should be discussed in the open and it is expected that will make people uncomfortable. We deserve to have this every four years, instead of declaring a whole number of topics taboo and off-limits, thus turning the election into national kabuki theater.


Paul Watson wrote:
Ok. What? What, precisely, has Trump done that is objectively good runnign for President?

1) Genuine campaign finance reform

2) Starting a national discussion about immigration
3) Helping to start a national discussion about voter fraud and whether or not the system is rigged
4) Putting an end to the Bush dynasty
5) Showing that Mitt Romney can actually get angry over something. If Romney had gotten that angry at Obama, he might have won in 2012.
6) Making Hillary Clinton work harder than she ever has before.
7) Inspiring CNN to abandon its former brand and proudly adopt a new brand, that being a SuperPAC for the Democratic party
8) Driving a stake through the vampiric wing of the Republican party that kept insisting the Iraq War was a net positive.
9) Exposing Faux News as being Faux Conservative as well.
10) Inspiring Glen Beck to commit career suicide.
11) Inspiring Vicente Fox to let us know how the Mexican 1% really feel about Americans.
12) Showing just how many lying empty suits there are in the Republican Party. (Ok, this last one is padding, we all knew that already.)

Rednal wrote:
@NPCDave From what I can tell... Trump's good at talking in a way that makes people believe he's saying what they want to hear, even when he's giving no specifics and his 'plans' are wildly unlikely even at best. He doesn't tell you WHAT he'll do, just that it will be "great", the "best ever". He slams people with those kinds of unsupported positive words over and over until they start believing him, often because they imagine what 'great' is like and assume that's what he means. He projects onto others, and in turn, gets his supporters to project onto him.

I completely agree, he is big on talk and he won’t succeed as President if he just keeps talking. I didn’t throw my support to him until that tape came out and he didn’t back down but fought back harder. That was action, taking a stand and refusing to bow to unbelievably intense political pressure. That convinced me he would do the same in office. We shall see if he gets the chance to prove me right or wrong.


Jaçinto wrote:
Has anyone here actually claimed Trump was any good? Hillary sucks but come on, so does Trump.

Yes, I am claiming Trump is good. Well, that he is doing some objective good running for President. If you are asking if I think Trump is a good person, I can’t exactly say that. But you can quote me in saying that I firmly believe Donald Trump is not 100% a…


Coriat wrote:

Taxes/proposed additional item: In my previous post I was not following the nomenclature that BNW/you advanced, apologies if that confused my point. Attempting to use that nomenclature, it seems I should say that his plan involves a tax cut for all, plus additional tax breaks (most pertinently elimination of the estate tax and an enormous cut to the corporate tax rate) for the wealthy (which obviously is in large part made up of those who collect corporate profits). I'm willing to use these names, but I'm not seeing how changing the name makes this anything other than a win for the rich.

The upper middle class pays estate taxes, but not the 1%. The 1% use trusts to completely evade estate taxes. When Sam Walton, founder of Wal-mart, passed away, the government thought it was going to get a big payday. It got nothing.

Now corporate taxes…you got me on that one. If Trump cuts corporate taxes, some of the 1% are going to benefit. That is unavoidable if Trump is serious about making America great again and bringing business and industry back into the USA. Currently the corporate tax rates encourage businesses to keep as much money and investment overseas where they don’t have to pay the US taxes. Even though the rate is nominally 35%, it is effectively lower with corporations keeping profits overseas. I won’t argue that trickle-down economics is going to help poor people, only that corporate tax reductions are one way of bringing back American jobs. But yes that one will help billionaires too.

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1) Not disputing.

2) While I tend to agree that there is a decent chance of a recession in the next four years (under any conceivable candidate), it's not clear that it will be the type of severe recession that would prompt such enormous bailout pressure. Most recessions are milder. That said, this is kind of a dodge, so assuming that it is a severe recession, it's not clear to me why we wouldn't expect Trump to cut a deal for a bailout. I don't see where you show there is a link between his behavior in personal feuds (when attacked, counterattack) and what he would or would not do when facing a bailout question that has little to do with personal feuds and where he hasn't tied himself strongly to any particular outcome in advance.

Wall Street is heavily invested in a Clinton victory

The donations to each candidate show where Wall Street thinks the candidates sympathies are..
Hillary $65,000,000
Trump $716,407

Trump has collected just 1% of the total Hillary collected from the traders and bankers. That is the most evidence I can show you, unless Trump wins. If so, his Treasury Secretary pick will either discredit or strengthen my claim.

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3) I think you've got rose-tinted glasses on and are interpreting those personal feuds with some wealthy/powerful people as a battle against wealth and power. I'm not sure you've presented a convincing reason to agree with you - on billionaires in the cabinet, for example, your argument seems to basically boil down to "I'll interpret him as being this way because this is the way I hope that he would be." If you take off the rose-tinted glasses, big tax breaks (to use correct nomenclature?) for the wealthy and billionaires in the Cabinet is a damn weird way to go about hobbling the billionaire class.

Yes I am wearing rose-tinted glasses when it comes to Trump, guilty as charged. We all have it for our preferred candidate, confirmation bias.

So let me try and take the glasses off as best I can, and address your point.

First his personal feuds have gone way beyond personal, he has established a stark contrast this election. It is Donald Trump and his supporters versus the “political establishment.” His latest ad can be viewed here, and it keeps hammering that message home. And the ad isn’t just attacking the Clintons and the Democratic party, it attacks Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve, it attacks George Soros, it attacks the G20 central bank governors, it attacks NAFTA, and it attacks TPP.

Donald Trump has permanently burned his bridges with the global elite and with the political establishment. They will never stop hating him for what he has done. Every single US presidential election since 1912 has had both the Democratic and Republican party candidates vetted and approved by the political establishment and the 1% with the sole exceptions of Barry Goldwater and Donald Trump. This may be the only election in our lifetimes where we can vote for someone whom the political establishment hates and despises that is in one of the two main parties.

Going back to the presidential cabinet, I should explain why I don’t consider it important beyond a few key appointments which symbolically(such as Treasury Secretary) show what direction Trump is going to take. That is because, IMO, it is impossible for the President to effect change with his(or her) appointments.

All the appointments a President makes are found in the Plum Book. That amounts to between 4000-5000+ people, mostly heads of federal departments, directors and top deputies of federal agencies, members of federal commissions, and heads of regulatory agencies. First, it is impossible to know that many people, let alone manage them. If you appoint 10 people a day, it still takes over a year to fill all the positions. And once they have the job, it will take six months to get up to speed. So that means some departments won’t see anyone new until halfway through the first Presidential term.

And now we come to the biggest problem…the bureaucracy is entrenched to make sure it serves the interests of the bureaucrats who already work there…NOT the President or the Presidential appointee who just arrived and will be gone in a year or two or three. Civil service law means the bureaucrats can’t be fired. How do you effect change when you can’t fire the entrenched bureaucracy if it refuses to change? You can’t. Oh, and anyone the President appoints has to be willing to move to DC for at least two years and presumably relocate their family and rent out their current house if they own it. Not many people want to do that, so you have a limited pool of people you can appoint, many beltway types already in DC who drift in and out of government their whole lives and are part of the problem.

So, to be fair, I need to come up with a substitute for what Trump can do to show he is on the side of Ordinary Joe Schmoes when he gets in office, and how he can get their input. What he has to do is keep his direct social media channels open with his voters, and keep them involved with his legislative initiatives. Now the President can’t legislate, he can only ask Congress to pass laws. So Trump will have to use his communication channels to get the people to lobby their congressional representatives for his legislative agenda. Those in Congress who give him a hard time will need to have their feet held to the fire. One thing true for all politicians, “when they feel the heat, they see the light.” First said by a very effective lobbyist.

And this also gives Trump feedback on what people really want. If he can’t get them pushing hard against their own congress rep, then that isn’t the law he should be pushing to have enacted. Congress can affect those entrenched bureaucrats, with budget cuts. Pulling money out of departments that have too much(like the Pentagon) and giving it to other departments will enable Trump to get the bureaucrats fighting for him instead of against him. If the Pentagon loses budget dollars to the National Park Service, those NPS bureaucrats will fight more savagely than Navy Seals to preserve their bigger budget even after Trump leaves office.

So that is what Trump has to set up and implement to show he is going to listen to Ordinary Joe Schmoes, if he wins. If he doesn’t do that, his presidency will likely end in failure. And if the voters lose interest, which is actually likely considering most Americans only like to get hyped up about politics once every four years, then Trump will still likely fail. He can’t succeed in office without the people who put him there continuing to help him succeed.

Is he going to actually do this? No idea, but that is how he can keep the promise he makes in that ad.

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