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*** the DONALD J TRUMP IS OFFICIALLY A CONVICTED FELON thread ***

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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    Goebbles would be proud. Very proud.

    Which Trump lies stick? Republicans believe some falsehoods more than they did six years ago, our poll finds.

    Fictions, misleading claims, wild exaggerations, lies — former president Donald Trump dispenses untruths of one variant or another relentlessly. The falsehoods range from the inconsequential, like the crowd size at his inauguration, to the democracy-shaking, like the “stolen” 2020 election.

    With Trump barreling toward November, when Americans will have a chance to choose him to lead the nation again, The Washington Post Fact Checker sought to get a sense of the staying power of his lies — whether people are more or less likely to believe them over time and which lies prove the stickiest — as well as measure the value Americans place in a president’s honesty, however they define it.

    Midway through Trump’s presidency, in 2018, we documented through a poll that most Americans, including Republicans, did not believe many of his most repeated claims.

    A fresh Washington Post-Schar School poll shows that remains largely the case, with an average of 28 percent of Americans believing Trump’s false claims tested in the poll.

    But Trump has made significant inroads in convincing Republicans that his lies are the truth. That applies to election integrity especially — the basis of Trump’s “big lie.”

    Even more significant, Americans appear to have diverged on the meaning of honesty itself. Among Republicans, fewer now say that Trump regularly makes misleading statements. Slightly more view him as more honest than they did in 2018, despite an extraordinarily large amount of evidence that Trump often does not tell the truth. During Trump’s presidency, The Fact Checker documented more than 30,000 misleading or outright false claims, and since he began his second campaign for the White House against Joe Biden, he’s introduced new falsehoods to his catalogue: Inflation is “almost 50 percent” under President Biden; “nearly 1 million jobs held by native-born Americans” have been lost to immigrants. In a single December interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump made 24 false or misleading claims in five minutes — one every 12.5 seconds.

    The Post-Schar School Fact Checker survey included 10 pairs of opposing statements — one true, one false — without identifying who made the statement. Seven questions gauging belief in false claims by Trump, including four measured in 2018, were mixed among a false claim by Biden and two other factual questions.

    Six years ago, just about 1 in 4 Republicans (26 percent) agreed that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election. Now, 38 percent of Republicans — and 47 percent of strong Trump supporters — believe that is the case. Among all Americans, belief in this false claim hardly changed because Democrats moved sharply in the opposite direction from Republicans. Trump often made this claim to justify his loss of the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016, when the electoral college propelled him to the Oval Office.

    Relatedly, in 2018, a little more than a quarter of Republicans, 27 percent, said they believed Trump’s claim that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, benefiting Trump, despite substantial evidenceassembled by intelligence agencies that it did interfere. Today, more Republicans, 37 percent, say they believe the false claim, despite the addition of a bipartisan Senate report concluding that Russia interfered, and criminal indictments of a dozen Russians. Overall, just about 1 in 5 Americans believe this.

    Trump has convinced 70 percent of Republicans — and 81 percent of his strong supporters — that Biden won the 2020 election because of voter fraud, though not a single allegation has been proven. Slightly more than one-third of Americans overall believe this.

    He has even convinced 51 percent of Republicans — and 58 percent of his most fervent supporters — that some cities tallied more votes than registered voters. This ludicrous claim is disproven simply by checking the statistics. Yet Trump has repeated it in rally after rally, often identifying Democratic strongholds like Detroit and Philadelphia.

    False claims about election integrity are not the only ones that have taken hold.

    While Biden has pushed forward with significant investment in green energy to combat climate change, the poll finds that Trump’s argument that global temperatures are rising mainly because of natural causes has gained traction with Republicans. Whereas one-third believed this in 2018, now nearly half (46 percent) think this is the case. As a result, the share of Americans overall saying human activity had little to do with climate change has climbed to 26 percent, from 19 percent in 2018.

    Only one Trump false claim tested showed some slippage in support among Republicans — that the United States funds a majority of the NATO budget. (The United States provides 15.9 percent of the NATO budget for military-related operations, maintenance and headquarters activity — the same percentage as Germany.) More than half of Republicans believed this in 2018 (53 percent); now the percentage ticked down to 46 percent. Just over one-third of Americans overall believe this. Trump’s rhetoric has had to contend with news reports of NATO allies rushing to send weapons to Ukraine as it fends off a Russian invasion, focusing new attention on the share of the load they shoulder for NATO.

    As for that Russian invasion, Trump’s claim — without evidence — that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded if Trump had remained president has resonated with Republicans. Over 6 in 10 Republicans (63 percent) and 74 percent of strong Trump approvers say Putin wouldn’t have invaded if Trump was president; majorities of independents (51 percent) and Democrats (78 percent) say Putin would have invaded Ukraine regardless of whether Trump or Biden was president.

    One of the more striking findings in 2018 was that Republicans appeared to have grown less concerned about presidents being honest than they were a decade earlier. In 2007, an Associated Press-Yahoo poll found 71 percent of Republicans saying it was “extremely important” for presidential candidates to be honest, similar to 70 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of independents. The 2018 Post poll showed nearly identical shares of Democrats and independents prioritizing honesty in presidential candidates, but the share of Republicans who said honesty was extremely important had fallen to 49 percent, 22 points lower than what the AP-Yahoo poll showed.

    The new survey finds that Republicans now align more closely with the 2007 result, with 63 percent of them saying being honest is extremely important. (Democrats are essentially unchanged.) Having a Democrat in the White House — especially one who often mangles facts and repeats dubious stories — might account for the return to the 2007 finding, but there may be a more startling reason, too.

    In one of the clearest measures of how deeply Trump’s lies have pierced the public consciousness, slightly more Republicans now view Trump as more honest than they did in 2018. Asked whether Trump regularly makes misleading statements, the share of Republicans who say he does dipped by 10 percentage points, to 38 percent. The percentage of Republicans who say Trump usually makes flat-out false claims ticked down to 8 percent from 14 percent; he also made small inroads with independents, with the percentage saying he made flat-out false statements slipping by seven points, to 41 percent.

    Perceptions of Biden’s honesty weren’t measured in 2018, but the survey found that 56 percent of Americans said that Democrats in Congress regularly made misleading statements — and in 2024, an identical share say the same of Biden. Overall, 66 percent of U.S. adults say Trump regularly makes misleading statements, down slightly from 71 percent in 2018 because of the shift among Republicans.

    Both in 2018 and this year, respondents were asked whether unemployment was near a 50-year low. This was a true statement by Trump in 2018, when he was president — and it is true today, when Biden is president. The unemployment rate, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reached a low of 3.5 percent in 2019 under Trump and 3.4 percent in 2023 under Biden — levels not seen since 1969. The unemployment rate just before the 2018 poll was 3.8 percent; it was 3.9 percent just before the 2024 poll — both near 50-year lows at the time.

    Similar percentages — about 1 in 4 — rejected this fact in both surveys, but perceptions have splintered by partisanship. The share of Democrats rejecting the claim dropped from 33 percent in 2018 to 20 percent today, while the share of Republicans rejecting it grew from 19 percent to 37 percent. Among strong Trump approvers, rejection of the claim more than doubled, from 19 percent to 45 percent.

    Biden has frequently argued that Trump is a threat to democracy, citing his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election and his open admiration of autocrats. Trump has tried to turn the tables, claiming that Biden is the real threat to democracy. Without evidence, Trump claims Biden is responsible for the myriad criminal cases brought against the former president. About half of Americans say they are “extremely” or “very” worried about threats to democracy in the United States (52 percent), including majorities of Democrats (58 percent) and independents (54 percent) and almost half of Republicans (47 percent). Nearly 6 in 10 of those who strongly approve of Trump (57 percent) are at least very worried about democracy.

    Americans who say Fox News is one of their main news sources are 13 percentage points more likely to believe the average false Trump claim than the public overall (41 percent versus 28 percent of Americans overall). People who rely on Fox News as a main source of news also are more likely to say Biden won the election because of voter fraud (58 percent to 36 percent among the public overall), whereas a majority of people who rely on all other news sources with sufficient sample sizes, including social media, say Biden won fair and square.

    Meanwhile, college graduates are eight percentage points less likely to believe Trump’s false claims than those without college degrees, 23 percent versus 31 percent.

    Interestingly, a majority of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, believe a false claim about the inflation rate — that it has increased for most products over the past 12 months. The annualized consumer price index was 6.4 percent in January 2023, compared to 3.1 percent for January 2024, the last release before the poll was conducted. Yet 72 percent of adults say the inflation rate has increased over the past 12 months, compared to 18 percent who correctly identified that the rate has fallen. Among Democrats, 63 percent say the rate has increased, compared to 85 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of independents.

    Trump’s false statements are central to some of the criminal trials he faces as the presidential election nears, but his advocates have signaled they will claim the truth doesn’t matter. In the case pending in Georgia, where Trump is accused of participating in a wide-ranging conspiracy to overturn the state’s 2020 election results, his attorney recently argued that false claims would be protected under the First Amendment. “Falsity alone is not enough,” said Trump’s lawyer, Steve Sadow. “Clearly, being president at the time, dealing with elections and campaigning, calling into question what had occurred — that’s the height of political speech.”

    For many of Trump’s supporters, however, his lies aren’t just protected political speech. They are true.

    Methodology
    The Washington Post-Schar School poll was conducted by The Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. The survey was administered online and by telephone March 7-12, 2024, among a random national sample of 1,017 U.S. adults through NORC at the University of Chicago’s AmeriSpeak Panel. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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    KatKat There's a lot to be said for nowhere. Posts: 4,794
    I have one question because of what is trending today.

    If it never happened, why was Stormy paid off?


    Falling down,...not staying down
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    PoncierPoncier Posts: 16,445
    2023
    Kat said:
    I have one question because of what is trending today.

    If it never happened, why was Stormy paid off?


    She was just a nice girl who needed some money?
    And our Orange Overlord (he of the countless billions and dozens of successful businesses like steaks, airlines, universities, vodka etc.) was just a nice charitable guy?
    This weekend we rock Portland
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    Who hires only the best people folks, only the best people. So much winning!

    Trump attorneys trolled after they subpoena wrong Jeremy Rosenberg for hush money trial: ‘I’m keeping the $15’

    Donald Trump’s lawyers have been trolled by a random man in Brooklyn after they subpoenaed him by mistake for the former president’s hush money trial.

    In a filing from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on Tuesday, prosecutors revealed that Mr Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche had tried to subpoena former District Attorney Supervising Rackets Investigator Jeremy Rosenberg in March, to seek files related to the Republican presidential candidate’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

    However, it transpired that Mr Blanche made an embarrassing mistake – sending the subpoena to a man from Brooklyn also called Jeremy Rosenberg.

    While the man shares the same name as the former DA’s office investigator, he has zero connection to the criminal case against the former president.

    Following the blunder, Mr Rosenberg decided to have a bit of fun with Mr Trump’s attorneys – and told them he’d be keeping the money they sent him.

    “I don’t have any files for you,” the apparently bemused Brooklynite wrote back, according to a filing from the former president’s legal team.

    He added: “PS - The phone number you provided was disconnected.

    “PPS - I’m keeping the fifteen dollars,” he added, referencing the money Mr Trump’s lawyers had sent him to help pay for sending the documents.

    Mr Blanche had complained earlier this week that the man that he believed the former investigator Mr Rosenberg had displayed a “flippant and dismissive approach” to his subpoena “despite ample experience with the criminal justice system that should have instilled in him respect for this process and a criminal defendant’s rights”.

    But in fact, Mr Trump’s lawyers had simply served court papers on the wrong man, prosecutor Matthew Colangelo wrote.

    “The people believe the defendant has served the incorrect person,” Mr Colangelo said in a court filing.

    “The people spoke with Mr. Rosenberg’s counsel, who informed the People that Mr. Rosenberg was not, in fact, served with the subpoena, that Mr. Rosenberg had not corresponded with defense counsel, and that Mr. Rosenberg does not have any connection to the Brooklyn address where the subpoena purportedly was served,” he added.

    Mr Trump is set to go on trial on 15 April on charges of falsifying business records in order to cover up payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and others to stop them from going public days before the 2016 presidential election about alleged affairs.

    Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, which each carry a potential prison sentence of up to four years.

    It marks the first time a US president will go on trial and is one of just four criminal trials he is facing at a time when he is campaigning to take back the White House in November.

    In recent days, the former president has made several unsuccessful attempts to have the case against him tossed – the latest of which came on Tuesday when a state appeals court judge rejected his 11th-hour bid to delay the trial while he fights the gag order in the case.

    When the trial begins, Mr Trump’s lawyers plan to ask Mr Rosenberg for all records of communications he had with Mr Cohen from February 2021 until this May.

    Mr Rosenberg, who previously prosecuted Trump ally Steve Bannon, was suspended as an investigator for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in June last year over his contact with Mr Cohen.

    A law enforcement source told The New York Post at the time that Mr Bragg’s office was looking at how Mr Rosenberg shared communications about Mr Cohen with the office.

    Mr Cohen’s lawyer Lanny J. Davis has insisted that the interactions between himself, Mr Rosenberg, and Mr Cohen were “always professional and focused on Mr Cohen’s personal security”.

    Trump attorneys trolled after they subpoena wrong Jeremy Rosenberg for hush money trial: ‘I’m keeping the $15’ (msn.com)

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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    Speaking of winning, nice job POOTWH. More winning. Particularly if you like and want Iran to be closer to Putin on the ritz. Yea, not compromised, at all.

    Nuclear deal in tatters, Iran edges close to weapons capability

    Six years after the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear accord, Tehran is rapidly accumulating enriched uranium, some of it very close to weapons grade. Experts fear that a bomb could be a short dash away.

    VIENNA — For the past 15 years, the most important clues about Iran’s nuclear program have lain deep underground, in a factory built inside a mountain on the edge of Iran’s Great Salt Desert. The facility, known as Fordow, is the heavily protected inner sanctum of Iran’s nuclear complex and a frequent destination for international inspectors whose visits are meant to ensure against any secret effort by Iran to make nuclear bombs.

    The inspectors’ latest trek, in February, yielded the usual matrices of readings and measurements, couched in the clinical language of a U.N. nuclear watchdog report. But within the document’s dry prose were indications of alarming change.

    In factory chambers that had ceased making enriched uranium under a 2015 nuclear accord, the inspectors now witnessed frenzied activity: newly installed equipment, producing enriched uranium at ever faster speeds, and an expansion underway that could soon double the plant’s output. More worryingly, Fordow was scaling up production of a more dangerous form of nuclear fuel — a kind of highly enriched uranium, just shy of weapons grade. Iranian officials in charge of the plant, meanwhile, had begun talking openly about achieving “deterrence,” suggesting that Tehran now had everything it needed to build a bomb if it chose.

    Fordow’s transformation mirrors changes seen elsewhere in the country as Iran blows past the guardrails of the Iran nuclear accord. Six years after the Trump administration’s controversial decision to withdraw from the pact, the restraints have fallen away, one by one, leaving Iran closer to nuclear weapons capability than at any time in the country’s history, according to confidential inspection reports and interviews with officials and experts who closely monitor Iran’s progress.

    While Iran says it has no plans to make nuclear weapons, it now has a supply of highly enriched uranium that could be converted to weapons-grade fuel for at least three bombs in a time frame ranging from a few days to a few weeks, current and former officials said. The making of a crude nuclear device could follow in as little as six months after a decision is made, while overcoming the challenges of building a nuclear warhead deliverable by a missile would take longer, perhaps two years or more, the officials said.

    Iran recently has sought to dilute some of its highly enriched uranium, signaling, in the view of U.S. officials, that it is seeking to avoid a conflict by self-imposing limits on its supply of near-weapons-grade fuel. But Fordow’s machines are making highly enriched uranium at a faster rate than ever before, and the country’s combined stocks of uranium fuel continue to increase, records show. The trend is unmistakable: From interviews with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials at the nuclear watchdog’s Vienna headquarters and with more than a dozen current and former U.S. and European intelligence and security officials — many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters — the emerging view is one of Iran advancing slowly but confidently, accumulating the means for a future weapon while making no overt move to build one.

    The collapse of the deal, meanwhile, has sharply curtailed the IAEA’s ability to monitor Iran’s activity or investigate any reports of secret weapons activity, the officials and experts said. A U.S. official with knowledge of internal discussions at the IAEA’s governing board conceded that the nuclear watchdog is less capable now of detecting a nuclear breakout by Iran. Such an event could bring cascading consequences, from a Middle East arms race to a direct Israel-Iran conflict that could unleash a wider regional war, said the official.

    For now, the U.S. official said of Iran, “they are dancing right up to the edge.”

    President Biden vowed early in his presidency to seek to restore or revamp the deal, but the administration’s efforts ran into a wall of political opposition at home and indifference from Iran. In December 2022, a video recording captured Biden acknowledging that the accord was “dead,” although the administration has not said so formally.

    White House national security spokesman John Kirby recently acknowledged what he called the “futility” of the effort to revive the deal, and said the administration had “stopped putting energy and effort into it.” He said Biden remains determined to stop Iran from acquiring the ability to make nuclear weapons, but he conceded that the United States has few fewer tools to achieve that end.

    “He would prefer — vastly prefer — to do that through diplomacy,” Kirby said in a White House briefing in September. “But that’s just not a viable option right now.”

    A broken pact spurs Iranian defiance

    The 2015 Iran nuclear accord — negotiated during Barack Obama’s presidency by the United States and five other world powers, plus the European Union, and known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — is technically still in effect, even if only as a shell. European countries continue to recognize the accord, and IAEA inspectors are allowed to visit Fordow and a few other facilities under preexisting agreements. But since the U.S. withdrawal, Iran has asserted its right to cancel any parts of the agreement it wants to ignore. In practice, that means almost all of it.

    Under the pact, effective in early 2016, Iran agreed to accept severe curbs on its ability to make enriched uranium or other fissile material that could be used to make nuclear weapons. In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran also agreed to intrusive monitoring and inspections and to tight limits on its total uranium stockpile, ensuring that Tehran could not accumulate enough enriched uranium to produce even a single bomb.

    But the agreement drew widespread criticism, including from congressional Republicans and some Democrats who opposed sanctions relief for Iran and expressed skepticism over Tehran’s intentions to honor the agreement. The Israeli government attacked the accord as broadly inadequate, criticizing in particular its “sunset” provisions that allowed several key restrictions to expire in just 15 years, by 2031.

    Donald Trump vowed as a presidential candidate that he would withdraw from the JCPOA and did so in 2018, calling the agreement a “horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”

    The Trump administration instead reimposed old sanctions and added new ones in an unsuccessful unilateral attempt to pressure Tehran. Iran’s response was to begin systematically flouting the accord’s major provisions while blasting the United States for negotiating in bad faith.

    Today, six years after the pullout, Tehran has bolted past nearly all the pact’s constraints on the amount and type of enriched uranium it can possess, IAEA documents show. Iran’s actions appear to have been emboldened, U.S. and European diplomats say, by its deepening alliance with Russia, a signatory to the JCPOA that has emerged as an important strategic and economic partner since Moscow’s full invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

    “The alliance with Russia makes a difference regarding how Iran feels towards the United States and the Europeans — you can see that they now feel very comfortable” about defying the West, said a senior European diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations at the IAEA’s 35-nation board of governors.

    Whether Iran will ultimately decide to make a nuclear bomb is unclear. Iran’s leaders have been cautious about risking a direct confrontation with Israel or the United States, as would almost certainly happen if a secret bombmaking program was discovered.

    Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who issued a fatwa — or religious edict — against nuclear weapons in 2003, repeated his official opposition in a June 2023 speech, declaring weapons of mass destruction to be “contradictory to Islam.” He said Western countries “know very well that we are not pursuing nuclear weapons.” Iranian officials frequently accuse Western governments of hypocrisy in focusing on Iran’s nuclear program while saying nothing about Israel, a nuclear-armed country that is not subject to IAEA oversight.

    Emails requesting comment from Iran’s mission to the United Nations were not answered.

    Freed of the deal’s restraints, Iran appears to believe that it has a legal, slow-but-sure path to becoming a threshold nuclear state — a country that possesses the means for making nuclear bombs but stops just short of doing so — without putting itself at risk of a military strike, intelligence officials and weapons experts said.

    “They’re not crossing red lines — they’re moving boundaries,” said Robert Litwak, a nonproliferation expert and senior vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington think tank. “Hedging is Iran’s sweet spot.”

    Continues next post

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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    Continued from previous  post.

    Iran’s nuclear inner sanctum

    One of the profound changes envisioned by the architects of the JCPOA was the transformation of the underground facility known formally as the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. Designed by Iran as a secret factory for making enriched uranium, it was built inside tunnels cut 300 feet into the side of a craggy mountain just northeast of Qom, an ancient city and pilgrimage site in arid north-central Iran. Western intelligence agencies detected the facility while it was still under construction, and Obama revealed the plant’s existence to the world in 2009.

    Before the 2015 nuclear deal, Fordow’s gleaming production halls hummed with the sound of about 3,000 centrifuges. These slim cylindrical machines spin at supersonic speeds to create a form of uranium that contains higher concentrations of an isotope called U-235, the part of uranium that can be easily split to create a nuclear chain reaction. Even in the plant’s pre-JCPOA days, Fordow produced only low-enriched uranium with a U-235 purity of 3 to 20 percent, IAEA documents show. That’s typical of the uranium fuel used in civilian nuclear power reactors.

    Fordow now is a symbol of the nuclear deal’s collapse. Under the pact, most of Fordow’s centrifuges were mothballed, and the rest were allowed to make isotopes only for medical applications and civilian research. All fissile uranium was removed. Then, after the Trump decision in 2018, the plant slowly came back to life. Since 2018, IAEA inspectors have watched production of enriched uranium at Fordow go from zero to more than 700 pounds a month this past February, according to the latest IAEA report released to member states last month.

    The qualitative difference in the fuel is even more startling. Fordow’s most refined product today has a U-235 purity of 60 percent, IAEA reports show.

    “There is no reason to be at 60 percent,” said a second European diplomat privy to internal discussions of the IAEA’s governing board. “Sixty percent is very close to weapons grade. They could go there with the flip of a switch.”

    Fordow began making the highly enriched fuel in 2022, but the rate of production has steadily increased over the past two years. Iran’s largest uranium-enrichment plant, at Natanz, also now makes uranium enriched to 60 percent, and the combined stockpile of the fuel stood at nearly 270 pounds when inspectors visited in February, the reports show.

    Iran’s decision to dilute some of the high-enriched fuel has kept the total from climbing precipitously. But the fuel’s high purity gives Iran a pathway for making several bombs’ worth of weapons-grade uranium quickly, using Iran’s existing equipment, current and former U.S. officials and weapons experts said. Weapons-grade uranium is enriched to at least 90 percent U-235.

    Iran is believed to possess nearly all the technological know-how and equipment it needs to build a crude nuclear device. Documents stolen from a Tehran warehouse by Israeli operatives in 2018 confirmed what U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded years earlier: Iran launched a crash program on a nuclear weapons design in the early 2000s before apparently abandoning the effort in 2003, around the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Documents released by Israelis showed Iranians developing and testing components for a nuclear device in the early 2000s.

    “They have already taken most of the steps they would need to take,” said David Albright, an expert on Iran’s nuclear program and the president of the Institute for Science and International Security, who has analyzed many of the documents. Iran’s most significant challenge in the early 2000s was obtaining highly enriched uranium or plutonium for a bomb, and “they have solved that problem, even better than they expected. You can tell from their statements that they are well aware of what they have,” Albright said.

    A new boldness

    The enhanced capabilities are reflected in a new boldness in Iran’s public statements about its nuclear facilities.

    Earlier this year, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran used a provocative term, “deterrence,” in describing the purpose of Iran’s nuclear program. In a nuclear weapons context, “deterrence” refers to the threat that a country would use weapons of mass destruction in response to aggression by another power.

    Referring to Iran’s nuclear program in a January interview, AEOI Director Mohammad Eslami specifically said that “deterrence has been achieved with the help of God, without having to violate any rules or regulations.”

    “In terms of our national security, we do not want to do it,” Eslami said of Iran’s philosophy regarding nuclear weapons. But then he added: “It is not about the lack of capability. This is a very important point. … We should not underrate our current achievements, thinking that we are not there yet.”

    Eslami’s predecessor at the AEOI, Ali Akbar Salehi, summarized the state of affairs more colorfully in a February interview, likening Iran’s nuclear program to a collection of automobile parts that only need to be assembled. “Have you made a gearbox? I say yes. An engine? But each one is for its own purpose.”

    The comments drew an uncharacteristically sharp rebuke from the IAEA, an organization whose mission is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, assembled or not.

    “All this loose talk about nuclear weapons is extremely unhelpful, and I frankly deplore it,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in an interview. “If you are a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, you are not supposed to have nuclear weapons in any way — assembled, disassembled, in a drawer, in a cupboard, or whatever. You should not pursue it; you should not have it. Period.”

    A nuclear ‘domino effect’

    In a region beset by war — both the hot war in the Gaza Strip and the long-running shadow conflict between Iran and Israel — Tehran’s progress is being monitored with growing unease. Israel’s military and spy services have a long history of covert action to slow Iran’s nuclear progress, from assassinations of Iranian scientists to cyberattacks on nuclear facilities, including the cyber-sabotage operations known as Stuxnet. Emerging evidence of an Iranian nuclear breakout effort could trigger Israeli airstrikes on Tehran’s nuclear facilities. A retaliatory salvo from Iran’s increasingly sophisticated missile or drone fleet could spark a wider Middle Eastern war.

    The specter of a nuclear-capable Iran could also prompt other countries in the region — including Saudi Arabia and Turkey — to reconsider their security choices. Grossi, in the interview, warned of the potential for a destabilizing “domino effect.”

    “More than one country has expressed, literally, that seeing Iran having a nuclear capability would trigger themselves to seek that capability as well,” he said. If that happens, he added, it could lead to “potentially unraveling the nonproliferation regime writ large.”

    Mindful of the growing danger, Grossi has called urgently for the 2015 agreement to either be reinstated or replaced with a new version, to give Iran’s neighbors more clarity about its nuclear intentions.

    “If we are left in limbo, bad things may happen,” he said.

    For now, prospects for restoring or revising the pact remain gloomy, as even ardent supporters of the JCPOA acknowledge. With no agreement in place, persuading Tehran to step back from the edge will probably be difficult at best, current and former U.S. officials said.

    “It’s going to be pretty awkward to get back to a place of confidence, where we know that Iran has not moved to within epsilon of having a nuclear device,” said Ernest Moniz, the physicist and former U.S. energy secretary who helped negotiate the 2015 accord.

    “Any real progress that might come in the future will almost certainly have to be part of a broader agreement” between Iran and the West, said Moniz, who is now CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington nonprofit. “And that will be very challenging and probably extremely difficult to reach.”

    Nuclear deal in tatters, Iran edges close to weapons capability - The Washington Post

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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    mickeyrat said:
    Will three times a lady be the charm?
    09/15/1998 & 09/16/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/27/2008, Hartford; 06/28/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield; 08/18/2009, O2, London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA; 09/08/2022, Toronto, Ont; 09/11/2022, New York, NY; 09/14/2022, Camden, NJ; 09/02/2023, St. Paul, MN; 05/04/2024 & 05/06/2024, Vancouver, BC; 05/10/2024, Portland, OR;

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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683

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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

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    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    pjhawkspjhawks Posts: 12,334
    mickeyrat said:
    i said this before, this case has teeth.  Cohen already did time for this.  If there is a sensible jury he is getting convicted. of course getting a sensible jury is always a crap shoot.  Bring him down Stormy :blush:
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    mace1229mace1229 Posts: 9,158
    Kat said:
    I have one question because of what is trending today.

    If it never happened, why was Stormy paid off?


    I'm not saying it didn't happen, but this means almost nothing. Rich people pay off accusers all the time. Michael Jackson paid off his accuser, so did Brittney Spears, Kobe, Axl Rose, Cuba Gooding Jr, and so on. 
    It probably did happen with Trump, but the fact that he settled has no weight at all.
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
    mace1229 said:
    Kat said:
    I have one question because of what is trending today.

    If it never happened, why was Stormy paid off?


    I'm not saying it didn't happen, but this means almost nothing. Rich people pay off accusers all the time. Michael Jackson paid off his accuser, so did Brittney Spears, Kobe, Axl Rose, Cuba Gooding Jr, and so on. 
    It probably did happen with Trump, but the fact that he settled has no weight at all.

    that part was not illegal and thats not what he was charged with.

    the cover up. its always the cover up.
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

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    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    mickeyrat said:
    mace1229 said:
    Kat said:
    I have one question because of what is trending today.

    If it never happened, why was Stormy paid off?


    I'm not saying it didn't happen, but this means almost nothing. Rich people pay off accusers all the time. Michael Jackson paid off his accuser, so did Brittney Spears, Kobe, Axl Rose, Cuba Gooding Jr, and so on. 
    It probably did happen with Trump, but the fact that he settled has no weight at all.

    that part was not illegal and thats not what he was charged with.

    the cover up. its always the cover up.
    And writing it off as a business expense. You know, cheating on your taxes. Wonder if any of the other hush money payers did the same? Details, you know?
    09/15/1998 & 09/16/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/27/2008, Hartford; 06/28/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield; 08/18/2009, O2, London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA; 09/08/2022, Toronto, Ont; 09/11/2022, New York, NY; 09/14/2022, Camden, NJ; 09/02/2023, St. Paul, MN; 05/04/2024 & 05/06/2024, Vancouver, BC; 05/10/2024, Portland, OR;

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    gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,435
    2023
    mace1229 said:
    Kat said:
    I have one question because of what is trending today.

    If it never happened, why was Stormy paid off?


    I'm not saying it didn't happen, but this means almost nothing. Rich people pay off accusers all the time. Michael Jackson paid off his accuser, so did Brittney Spears, Kobe, Axl Rose, Cuba Gooding Jr, and so on. 
    It probably did happen with Trump, but the fact that he settled has no weight at all.
    jackson is probably not a great example here. there were many victims of him.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    pjhawkspjhawks Posts: 12,334
    Trial starts Monday look for some unhinged truth social posts this weekend.  Lots of caps coming.  
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    gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin Louis Posts: 22,435
    2023
    pjhawks said:
    Trial starts Monday look for some unhinged truth social posts this weekend.  Lots of caps coming.  
    i won't look for it, but i can't avoid it since everyone on the timeline shares his brain droppings.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
    adbook memory popped up.....



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    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    Ha, ha!

    When Donald Trump appears for his first criminal trial on Monday, he will be flanked by two veteran New York attorneys: Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles.

    Over the past year, the former president has shed some of the less experienced lawyers who had attached themselves to his politics and elevated his conspiracy theories, with lawyers like Blanche and Necheles taking their place as he fights charges in four criminal cases.

    People familiar with their work describe them as reputable lawyers who have the experience to effectively defend Trump in court — if their famously combative and fickle client allows them to do their jobs.

    Blanche left New York’s oldest law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, to start his own firm and represent Trump. In addition to the New York trial, in which Trump is accused of falsifying business records to conceal a hush money payment, Blanche is also Trump’s lawyer in his two federal criminal cases, in Florida and D.C.

    He has hired more than a half-dozen attorneys and staffers to work on the various cases.

    A graduate of American University and Brooklyn Law School, Blanche previously worked at the prestigious federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan. He has more experience as a prosecutor than a defense attorney, with few blockbuster trials as a defense attorney to his name. As a federal prosecutor, he worked alongside Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is now the top prosecutor in the state case against Trump.

    Blanche first caught Trump’s attention when he helped Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, avoid state charges of mortgage fraud after Manafort was convicted at trial on similar federal counts. Blanche also represented Trump aide Boris Epshteyn when Epshteyn was questioned in a Justice Department investigation involving the former president.

    Trump enlisted Blanche to help him find a lawyer to defend him in the New York criminal case. Blanche contacted former colleagues from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, a person familiar with the situation told The Washington Post recently. But their law firms said no, a nod to the fact that the nation’s most prominent white-collar practices have no interest in taking on such a controversial and combative client as Trump.

    So Blanche took on the job himself.

    Necheles, who attended University of Rochester and Yale Law School, has more experience than Blanche as a defense attorney in Manhattan. She has her own law firm and had previously defended the former president’s business, the Trump Organization, in a New York state tax fraud case. She also has represented politicians, real estate developers and mobster “Benny Eggs.”

    Necheles has sat alongside Blanche and their client at the defense table during the pretrial proceedings in the New York hush money trial, but has not yet argued much in front of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.

    Instead, it has been Blanche up on his feet in Merchan’s courtroom, deploying every legal strategy to get the trial delayed. Merchan has grown increasingly frustrated with these efforts and has expressed his displeasure with Blanche.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/04/15/trump-lawyers-todd-blanche-susan-necheles/


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    mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 36,683
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
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    Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 37,259
    2023
    Who hasn’t nodded off in a stuffy courtroom?

    29 min ago
    REPORTING FROM THE NEW YORK COURTHOUSE
    Return to menuNational political reporter

    As Justice Juan Merchan read extended instructions to the jury, Donald Trump closed his eyes and at times appeared to nod off, then would abruptly catch himself and stiffen his posture.

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