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Unread 2018-11-27, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default New developments in the Russia investigation

Bob Mueller appears to be signaling some things to come.

Manafort cooperation deal fell through. What's interesting to think though, is that Mueller's team already knew enough about the subject matter to be prepared to detail to the court Manafort's lies. Interestingly enough, even though this was known in mid November, they chose to wait until after Trump submitted his answers to the questions before making moves on this. Additionally, why would Manafort, who was looking at significantly less than 10 years, risk opening himself up to be retried on charges with his admission of guilt admissible to the court? Hoping for the pardon?

The Guardian has reported that Manafort met with Assange in London in 2013, 2015, and 2016, just months before the leaks became public, while he was working with the campaign. Additionally, Manafort met with the Ecuadorian President in 2017, which could have involved discussions about Assange (who's housed in their embassy in London). The special counsel is investigating that as well.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/27/polit...ngs/index.html

If you recall, the Steele dossier implicated Manafort as the person at the center of cooperation between the campaign and Russia.
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Unread 2018-11-27, 04:48 PM   #2
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One more thing to add on, though I'd recommend everyone take this with a BIG grain of salt. The possibility that Manafort was a mole in the special counsel's office, and that Mueller knew about it.

https://www.salon.com/2018/11/27/thi...ation_partner/

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With the dissolution of Paul Manafort's plea deal this week, the former Trump campaign chairman's role in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation had been once again been thrown into doubt.

It's not clear, for instance, if Mueller's accusation that Manafort has been lying to the investigators marks a devastating blow for the probe or if it's a sign that the former campaign chairman has made a serious mistake.

But Marcy Wheeler, one of most astute Mueller watchers who once provided as yet undisclosed information to the FBI about the investigation, argued compellingly that Manafort has been acting as a mole within the investigation for President Donald Trump. Even more intriguingly, though, she believes Mueller knew this and may have used Manafort against the president.

The only sane reason, she claimed in a new blog post, that Manafort would lie to Mueller even after taking a plea deal, is that he's banking on a pardon from Trump, which would, in any case, cover only federal and not state crimes.

"Just about the only explanation for Manafort’s actions are that — as I suggested — Trump was happy to have Manafort serve as a mole in Mueller’s investigation," she wrote.

If this is right, it could be devastating for Trump. He finally turned in his answers to the special counsel's investigation last week — and he may have relied on Manafort's "insider knowledge."

"But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them," Wheeler explained. "That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all. It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test. Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies."

There are several reasons Wheeler's argument is compelling. First, as she previously noted, Manafort's plea agreement did not include a provision to limit him from speaking with outside parties about the investigations, even though Rick Gates, Manafort's deputy who also pleaded guilty in the probe, was forced to agree to such a provision. For some reason, Mueller wasn't worried about Manafort's lawyers communicating with Trump — which he has been doing.

At the same time, while Manafort's agreement allowed him to speak to outside parties about the probe, it set a relatively low bar for the special counsel to demonstrate that the former campaign chair had broken the agreement. While Gates' agreement required that prosecutors show that the preponderance of evidence suggests that he lied in order to overturn the deal, Manafort's agreement only requires that prosecutors show that he has violated the agreement by "good faith," a lower standard.

"They probably never really believed he was going to cooperate," Wheeler said.

There's another piece of evidence that Manafort was serving as a mole for Trump by becoming a cooperating witness.

On Nov. 15, Trump tweeted: "The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want."

As many pointed out at the time, this suggested Trump had some new insight into the investigation that he previously lacked. Some speculated that Trump's dubiously appointed Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker might have been the source, but Manafort could also have played this role.

A few days before that, ABC News had reported that there were "tensions" between Mueller and Manafort as investigators struggled to get the answers they wanted from him. As I reported at the time, this was most likely a leaked report from Manafort's allies. It appeared to be an attempt to make the investigators look desperate. In fact, the Mueller team might have been intentionally playing Manafort.

Wheeler also argued that the upcoming presentation of evidence that Manafort lied could be a key moment for the Russia investigation — it may be the much anticipated "report." The special counsel intends to submit a "sentencing submission" regarding Manafort to the court that "sets forth the nature of the defendant's crimes and lies."

If this submission is made public, it could be revelatory. By demonstrating that Manafort lied as part of his sentencing agreement, Mueller could answer any number of outstanding questions regarding the 2016 election, the Trump campaign and Russia — and potentially implicate even Trump, who may not be otherwise indictable.

It's an open question whether, if Wheeler's theory is right, there was an explicit deal that Manafort would act as a mole in exchange for a pardon. It's possible the scenario could have emerged somewhat organically as an alignment of interests, rather than a spelled-out quid pro quo. But many observers have noted that Manafort's moves seem exceptionally risky without a pardon guarantee (and even then, nothing is for sure). And if Trump made such an explicit promise, it would clearly be an impeachable offense.
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Unread 2018-11-27, 04:57 PM   #3
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I’m just ready to get this behind us so Trump can get on with the next six years of his term.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 09:04 AM   #4
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I’m just ready to get this behind us so Trump can get on with winning for the next six years of his term.
Fixed.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 09:12 AM   #5
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Fixed.
You call Dems picking up 40 seats in the house and getting +8% of the popular vote in the midterms winning?

Your standards for winning must be losing. And don't mention the Senate, everyone knows that Dems had the worst map possible for Senate pick ups, so that talking point is moot.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 11:00 AM   #6
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You call Dems picking up 40 seats in the house and getting +8% of the popular vote in the midterms winning?

Your standards for winning must be losing. And don't mention the Senate, everyone knows that Dems had the worst map possible for Senate pick ups, so that talking point is moot.
And the Dems didn't have the deck stacked for the House?

Trump will win in 2020. Look at the lefts top candidates. Killery, Cuomo, and Warren. I had originally bought in to the idea that Trump needed to find an additional 10MM votes to lock up 2020. But in reality he doesn't. He could more than likely receive less votes in 2020 and still pull it out.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 11:12 AM   #7
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And the Dems didn't have the deck stacked for the House?
please tell me how a race where literally every seat is up for grabs in districts that are gerrymandered to Republican advantage near or at historic levels is a stacked deck for Dems... (except Maryland because apparently Maryland is for morons)

do you not know how the House races work?
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Unread 2018-11-28, 11:51 AM   #8
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And the Dems didn't have the deck stacked for the House?
By flipping GOP held seats in mass volume?

And your field for 2020 is off. Hillary is not going to run.

Had Trump and any reasonable Democrat been on the ticket in 2018, Trump would've lost. He said as much that this election was a referendum on him (conveniently, he said that before the election, not since) and the Dem's won +8% because suburbia, which did have a lot of support for him in '16, overwhelmingly rejected him (through the GOP candidates) in '18.

He just can't accept defeat like a normal politician. It's everyone else's fault.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 01:01 PM   #9
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By flipping GOP held seats in mass volume?

And your field for 2020 is off. Hillary is not going to run.

Had Trump and any reasonable Democrat been on the ticket in 2018, Trump would've lost. He said as much that this election was a referendum on him (conveniently, he said that before the election, not since) and the Dem's won +8% because suburbia, which did have a lot of support for him in '16, overwhelmingly rejected him (through the GOP candidates) in '18.

He just can't accept defeat like a normal politician. It's everyone else's fault.
First and foremost: Every poll should be taken lightly as proven time and time again throughout the entirety of the presidential campaign of '16. The fact you even bothered bringing up 'poll(s)' raises questions regarding your overall awareness of the political climate we're in. Further, I'm not sure what poll (or polls) you're referring to with the 8% figure but I'm positive there is a threshold stated within how the result is both calculated and reported. At the very least - it's silly to place any clout on a poll result.

With that said, historically speaking; mid-terms almost ALWAYS have a massive exodus of said governing party officials. Look at Obama's 2010 and 2014 mid term results for the most recent example of what I'm referring to. There is nothing earth shattering going on here.

There is no blue wave and come 2020's election cycle we'll be on repeat of what happened in 2016.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 01:08 PM   #10
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First and foremost: Every poll should be taken lightly as proven time and time again throughout the entirety of the presidential campaign of '16. The fact you even bothered bringing up 'poll(s)' raises questions regarding your overall awareness of the political climate we're in. Further, I'm not sure what poll (or polls) you're referring to with the 8% figure but I'm positive there is a threshold stated within how the result is both calculated and reported. At the very least - it's silly to place any clout on a poll result.

With that said, historically speaking; mid-terms almost ALWAYS have a massive exodus of said governing party officials. Look at Obama's 2010 and 2014 mid term results for the most recent example of what I'm referring to. There is nothing earth shattering going on here.

There is no blue wave and come 2020's election cycle we'll be on repeat of what happened in 2016.
There are no polls involved. That's actual vote numbers.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/28/polit...018/index.html

Edit: Yes, most of the incumbent's party loses ground during a mid term. You're correct it happened with Obama. However, you're incorrect saying that it's not earth shattering. It's, by percentage, the largest mid term swing since at least 1994. 2018 swung Dem by 8.1%. Compare that to 2014 (R+5.7), 2010 (R+7.2), 2006 (D+8.0), 1994 (R+7.0). Yes, it was a BIG win for Dems. Which automatically means the GOP took a huge loss.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 01:27 PM   #11
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There are no polls involved. That's actual vote numbers.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/28/polit...018/index.html
I'm not going to harp on you in regards to the following point because you didn't lash out on me for my claim 'it' was a poll versus actual vote casted results; although you could have.

I will however point out the same aspect that I eluded to in my prior post. There is almost ALWAYS a mass exodus of turnover come any mid term election.

I'm not well versed as to which variable carries more significance; but I assume it has to do with existing party winners (i.e.: Republican voters) being too lazy/not motivated to get out and vote versus the current loser (i.e.: Democratic voters) that want to 'flip the script'. Other variables obviously exist but I believe the former to be the largest. The fact that there is so much anger and hatred towards Trump...or at least that's the picture the media loves to push and the results weren't even worse is quite telling in my opinion but I digress.

It's a different game altogether when the defending party can be replaced (i.e.: Trump versus whomever in 2020's cycle).

Again, the largest problem with the left is they have nothing to run on other than virtue signaling and the lust to oppose Trump. There isn't a single democratic candidate on anyone's radar that can beat Trump in my opinion other than Hillary. And that's rather laughable.

If Oprah were to run I think you'd have something. But that's a stretch and ain't happenin'.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 01:47 PM   #12
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I'm not going to harp on you in regards to the following point because you didn't lash out on me for my claim 'it' was a poll versus actual vote casted results; although you could have.

I will however point out the same aspect that I eluded to in my prior post. There is almost ALWAYS a mass exodus of turnover come any mid term election.

I'm not well versed as to which variable carries more significance; but I assume it has to do with existing party winners (i.e.: Republican voters) being too lazy/not motivated to get out and vote versus the current loser (i.e.: Democratic voters) that want to 'flip the script'. Other variables obviously exist but I believe the former to be the largest. The fact that there is so much anger and hatred towards Trump...or at least that's the picture the media loves to push and the results weren't even worse is quite telling in my opinion but I digress.

It's a different game altogether when the defending party can be replaced (i.e.: Trump versus whomever in 2020's cycle).

Again, the largest problem with the left is they have nothing to run on other than virtue signaling and the lust to oppose Trump. There isn't a single democratic candidate on anyone's radar that can beat Trump in my opinion other than Hillary. And that's rather laughable.

If Oprah were to run I think you'd have something. But that's a stretch and ain't happenin'.
As I edited in my previous post, this democratic midterm vote margin is more than any other in recent history.

You have to keep in mind, we're still two years out. The best thing Dems can do is pick a viable candidate and coalesce around them rather than having a muddied field like the GOP did in '16.

Obama won in 2012 despite losing a lot of ground in the 2010 midterms, however, I will say that Obama didn't continue to alienate everyone outside of his base, like Trump has. He'll need those suburbanites back to win in 2020 and unless he changes tactics, that isn't going to happen.

Plus, Obama didn't have an active investigation circling him prior to the 2012 election either, so there's that. Granted, Trump will never lose these guys, but he'll never gain the ones he needs to win.

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Unread 2018-11-28, 01:56 PM   #13
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in the largest vote gap since the midterm election after Watergate, your contention is that this is essentially normal because its a midterm?

this President was extremely involved in the midterm elections so either he effectively motivated his base and it simply wasn't enough to not get crushed or he worked harder than any President in recent memory to motivate them and Republicans just didn't care...

the fact that in 2016 60% of voting eligible people showed up (about on average for a Presidential) vs 2018 where 50% of them showed up (highest since 1914) means that to overcome the 8.8M votes his party is down to win the popular vote (not what counts but its symbolic and apparently important to Trump if no one else) he would need the missing 10% to split for him almost 66% which simply isn't realistic...

now maybe the Dems run a terrible candidate (because they're Dems) and the Russians have a solid strategy up their sleeves again but best case is he's likely looking at a 55/45 split which means he'd still lose by more than he did to Hillary so unless he can figure out how to reverse the direction of Virginia, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, he doesn't seem to have much of a prayer.



and that's not even getting into the fact raised by this thread that its looking very likely that his former campaign chair is going to go to prison for the rest of his natural born life for colluding with Wikileaks who were acting on behalf of the Russian intelligence service and possibly being charged with obstruction of justice for his assumed role in feeding Trump's legal team information on the Mueller investigation while under a plea agreement.

that's not conjecture but rather a realistic look at the pieces on the board presently. not even a puppet AG that should be recused himself can stop that from moving forward because its not a new indictment.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 02:14 PM   #14
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he doesn't seem to have much of a prayer.
I feel like I have heard this before..
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Unread 2018-11-28, 02:16 PM   #15
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I feel like I have heard this before..
And from the same people that gon learn again.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 02:39 PM   #16
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I feel like I have heard this before..
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And from the same people that gon learn again.
Except the pesky fact that we didn't know how people were going to vote in 2016, aside from polls. Now, we have actual voting data from both 2016 and 2018 and it shows that Trump has lost the people that helped him win. Again, not polling numbers, actual votes counted.

Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 and still won based on the electoral college. Based on voting data from 2018, he would lose most of those states that carried him to victory in 2016.

I like to think of it kind of like Brexit. Everyone was so fed up with the status quo that they went out and made their voices heard. Now that the reality has set in, many of those Brits wish they could go back and change their votes. Only those people that wish they could go out and change their votes on 2016, changed their votes in 2018.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 02:43 PM   #17
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Except the pesky fact that we didn't know how people were going to vote in 2016, aside from polls. Now, we have actual voting data from both 2016 and 2018 and it shows that Trump has lost the people that helped him win. Again, not polling numbers, actual votes counted.

Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 and still won based on the electoral college. Based on voting data from 2018, he would lose most of those states that carried him to victory in 2016.

I like to think of it kind of like Brexit. Everyone was so fed up with the status quo that they went out and made their voices heard. Now that the reality has set in, many of those Brits wish they could go back and change their votes. Only those people that wish they could go out and change their votes on 2016, changed their votes in 2018.

You could very well be correct.

I honestly hope he wins again, and I’ll cast my vote to help for sure, but in all honestly I’ll be amazed if he pulls it off again.

This country just needs a good 20 years of conservative leadership, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 02:53 PM   #18
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You could very well be correct.

I honestly hope he wins again, and I’ll cast my vote to help for sure, but in all honestly I’ll be amazed if he pulls it off again.

This country just needs a good 20 years of conservative leadership, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Well, I'll be honest with you. Barring any major revelation or change, I'll be surprised if he doesn't win again.

But, there's a lot of things that could go wrong for him between now and then. The investigation for one, and the economy slowing down for another. Even the slightest slow down of our economy could be perilous for him as the great economy was one of the things bolstering his support.
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and that's not even getting into the fact raised by this thread that its looking very likely that his former campaign chair is going to go to prison for the rest of his natural born life for colluding with Wikileaks who were acting on behalf of the Russian intelligence service and possibly being charged with obstruction of justice for his assumed role in feeding Trump's legal team information on the Mueller investigation while under a plea agreement.
He is going to jail because is will not lie for the Mueller team about Trump.

Mueller is the one who needs jail time for ruining so many lives trying to create a false story on Trump.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 03:12 PM   #20
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Except the pesky fact that we didn't know how people were going to vote in 2016, aside from polls. Now, we have actual voting data from both 2016 and 2018 and it shows that Trump has lost the people that helped him win. Again, not polling numbers, actual votes counted.
That is true and in the end you may be right, but just because he lost them today doesn't mean he won't get them back tomorrow. Far too many variables to tell at this point. The Democrats have a slice of power now, their actions over the next two years will determine whether Trump gets a second term.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 03:38 PM   #21
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Slight tangent here. But I don't believe it's much of a stretch if I were to say we can all agree Trump is fairly intelligent. Whether you want to chalk that up to actual intellect, manipulating the system, political/media strategy...the man has intellect.

And if we can come to a consensus on the above, I'd also propose that we could all agree that if Trump decides to run again in 2020...it will not be a landslide defeat. Trump simply wouldn't run again if that was even a possibility.

I am willing, reluctantly to propose that there is a chance (small, very small chance) that he could...hypothetically somehow be defeated in 2020. But if so, it will be very close.

Again, as stated by a few others...2020 is roughly two years away and much can change. But if Trump elects to run in 2020 - only a fool would bet against the guy.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 03:51 PM   #22
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Slight tangent here. But I don't believe it's much of a stretch if I were to say we can all agree Trump is fairly intelligent. Whether you want to chalk that up to actual intellect, manipulating the system, political/media strategy...the man has intellect.
I'd like to think he does, mostly at manipulation and playing the system. However, he also does some things that are completely bone headed. For example, his many gaffes of supporting white supremacists and failing to condemn clearly racist actions.

I also think that he has an artificially inflated view of his intellect. Take for example Don McGahn refusing to allow Trump to testify to Mueller because he's incapable of telling the truth. His hubris will be his downfall.

If there were any truth to the article I linked, I could see, hypothetically, the following scenario happening: Muellers team questioning Manafort on a question they already know the answer to, perhaps, Trump being told about the Russia meeting in advance. Perhaps Mueller already has evidence of that very thing happening, but they're pressing Manafort for the answer. Manafort refuses to admit it, Manafort tells Trump he denied it happened and that's what they want to know, then Trump testifying he was never told on his written answers, and Mueller team proves that to be a lie. Again, purely hypothetical, but not outside the realm of possibility.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 04:32 PM   #23
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I guess I have a different view of intellect... intellect is book smart for me. Trump isn't book smart, he may be the shining example of a new term of "book stupid". but he's decidedly street smart imo; he is a con man and he knows his audience well enough to pull it off. "saavy" is a far more accurate description for me than "intelligent".


but as far as if he runs it cannot be a landslide? absolute nonsense. as ForceFed points out his hubris far outpaces any intellect or saavy that he appears to have. his multiple failed businesses show that his hubris and self-belief repeatedly outshines any sense of better judgment no matter where you think it comes from.

Romney lost 206 to 332 and by 5M votes. McCain lost 175 to 365 and by 9.5M votes. I would argue that Romney outpaces Trump in book smarts and McCain was at least on his level in street smarts (though he didn't use it to defraud people)... being smart, in any form, doesn't really preclude someone from having the hubris to run for President no matter how it may well work out.
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Unread 2018-11-28, 04:42 PM   #24
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I guess I have a different view of intellect... intellect is book smart for me.
Speaking of book smart.

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Unread 2018-11-28, 04:54 PM   #25
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I feel like I have heard this before..
all that text that was the modifier on that statement that you had to delete in order to get that quote? that was the important bit.

unless he can stem and reverse the political tide in those states, he loses... and not by a little.

that doesn't mean he can't win but he basically needs all of those states to hold the electoral college coalition he got last time (minus Virginia).
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