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Thread: 2020 American Political Scene

  1. #211
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    Donald Trump Violated First Amendment by Blocking Critics on Twitter, Appeals Court Affirms

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit denied the White House’s request for en banc review of a ruling that Donald Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking critics of the president on Twitter.

    The Trump administration had appealed for a review of the unanimous three-judge ruling by the 2nd Circuit in July 2019 finding that Trump’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter account constitutes a “public forum” under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

    That upheld a 2018 U.S. District Court judge’s ruling that Trump’s blocking of individual accounts on Twitter was unconstitutional, rejecting the argument from the president’s lawyers that Trump’s own First Amendment rights would be abridged if he was disallowed from blocking users. The district court ordered Trump to unblock the plaintiffs’ accounts on Twitter, and barred him from blocking speakers on the basis of political views.

    In considering the request for a rehearing, two dissenting circuit court judges contended that Trump’s use of his personal @realDonaldTrump to conduct official business does not amount to state action. But Circuit Judge Barrington D. Parker, in a statement regarding the 2nd Circuit’s decision Monday (March 23), wrote that “This argument is refuted by even a cursory perusal of examples of the tweets in question.”

    The dissenting opinion “misconstrues the applicable law and overstates the scope of the panel’s holding,” Parker wrote in part. “The critical question in this case is not the nature of the account when it was set up a decade ago. The critical question for First Amendment purposes is how the President uses the account in his capacity as President.”

    The lawsuit against Trump was filed in 2017 by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute and seven individuals who said Trump blocked them from the @realDonaldTrump account after they criticized him in comments.

    “We’re pleased that the full appeals court will leave the panel’s original ruling in place,” Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute’s executive director, who argued the case before the 2nd Circuit, said in a statement. “The ruling is an important affirmation of core First Amendment principles as applied to new communications technology.”

    The 2nd Circuit’s order denying the Trump administration’s en banc petition is at this link.

    The lawsuit also named White House social-media director Daniel Scavino and former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as defendants.
    ____________

    Trump violating the US Constitution...must be a day ending in "y"

    I love how it took only a glance for the judge to tell Trump's lawyers: "Yeah, you're as full of shit as your client"

    Poor little crybaby must be throwing yet another temper tantrum right about now.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  2. #212
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    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/0...-target-147401

    christ.

    ====

    Anthony Fauci becomes a fringe MAGA target
    The cues from right-wing media, as split as they are, could influence how much Trump listens to his infectious disease expert in the coming weeks.

    By TINA NGUYEN

    03/24/2020 08:48 PM EDT

    The far-right’s most zealous Trump supporters have set their sights on Dr. Anthony Fauci.

    To the vast majority of Republicans, the entire medical community and the country at large, Fauci is the government’s leading infectious disease expert, respected for providing Americans with consistent, factual information about the coronavirus pandemic — even if it means contradicting President Donald Trump while he hovers feet away.

    But to a vocal minority of ring-wing blogs and pro-Trump pundits, Fauci is the embodiment of the establishment forces that have been arrayed against the president since he came to Washington. And those voices are getting louder amid rumblings about Fauci’s standing with Trump as the president itches to get the economy restarted in the coming weeks.


    “A Deep-State Hillary Clinton-loving stooge,” read a Saturday headline on the American Thinker, a far-right website, latching on to a WikiLeaks-released email that showed Fauci praising Clinton for her Benghazi testimony as secretary of State.

    “Guy was a Hillary mole,” pro-Trump podcaster Bill Mitchell tweeted on Monday.


    Bill Mitchell

    @mitchellvii
    Fauci needs to go. His love letters to Clinton are all the proof I need the guy is a Hillary plant.

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    “Disrespectful,” read a Monday headline on the right-wing Gateway Pundit, comparing Fauci to ousted general Stanley McChrystal.

    The narrative has even started to migrate to Fox News, a key source of information for the president.

    “He’ll still have a job at the end of this, whatever happens,” Fox News host Steve Hilton argued during his Sunday night monologue on “The Next Revolution.” “Our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces whipping up fear over this virus, they can afford an indefinite shutdown.”

    Fauci’s portrayal in conservative media circles could play a crucial role in the coming days as the country comes to the end of a 15-day period of social distancing and business closures intended to slow the coronavirus outbreak. While public health officials like Fauci have cautioned that the country will likely have to extend that period, Trump and his team are signaling that they want to get people back to work soon, by mid-April if possible. The cues from right-wing media, as split as they are, could influence how much Trump listens to Fauci.

    “He obviously has the backing of the president right now, but a lot of people on the right in the grass roots are extremely skeptical of this entire coronavirus thing,’” said Lee Stranahan, the host of “Fault Lines” on Sputnik Radio, a Russian government-backed media outlet. The coronavirus has killed hundreds in the United States and almost 20,000 worldwide, according to researchers and government officials, overwhelming hospitals and straining global medical supplies. Cases and deaths are expected to keep rising in the coming days.

    For the moment, Fauci — director of the National Institute Of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 — still has the respect of large swathes of Trump’s supporters, reflecting the unique fissures that have emerged in the MAGA movement during the coronavirus. Trump supporters who praise Fauci also tend to believe the president should employ swift, severe measures — and keep the economy shuttered — as long as necessary to keep coronavirus under control.

    In past, non-pandemic times, the right would have likely unified in rallying against a government official publicly quibbling with the president. But this time, reliable Trump boosters like Breitbart and the majority of the Fox News stable are leaving him alone.

    “I think he’s obviously excellent at his job, and I think he’s aware that he’s on that stage to offer detail and help finesse language, and he seems cool with it,” said Raheem Kassam, the former editor of Breitbart London and host of the podcast "War Room."

    Fauci’s criticism of palace intrigue reporting on his relationship with Trump has endeared even more to this crowd.

    “Mainstream media and several journalists, especially as it pertains to the White House press corps, are purposely trying to get Fauci to contradict Trump for a juicy conflict in the middle of a pandemic,” said Stephen Miller, a conservative media columnist who contributes to The Spectator USA, the American division of the long-time conservative British outlet.

    The New York Times published an article Monday suggesting the president was losing patience with Fauci’s willingness to oppose him in public and in interviews, even as the NIAID director has gone out of his way to praise Trump to more conservative outlets.

    “Mainstream media and several journalists, especially as it pertains to the White House press corps, are purposely trying to get Fauci to contradict Trump for a juicy conflict."

    Miller noted Fauci had implicitly rebuked reporters for asking questions that Fauci said were “pitting one against the other,” calling it “just not helpful” in the middle of the pandemic.

    Fauci, Miller said, “doesn't appear to want to take the bait.”

    Instead, it’s the right-wing fringe that has been going after Fauci, largely due to the fact that he tamps down Trump’s excitement over quick-fix solutions, such as the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, his desire for stringent restrictions on gatherings and his publicly dire predictions about the potential death toll that are at odds with Trump’s more optimistic outlook.

    These figures have been latched on to Fauci for weeks, even if their comments weren’t initially gaining much traction.

    “The guy has been around for 50 years yet never thought to prepare for something like this?” griped John Cardillo, a pundit for the Trump-friendly Newsmax, in a March 13 tweet. “Every time he speaks he makes things worse. Maybe he is the problem, not the solution.”

    “I think a lot of people at this point are looking for an explanation for the very confusing, unprecedented events going on in the world,” said Stranahan, who vehemently opposed attacking Fauci.

    Trump on Tuesday tried to quell any rumors of dissatisfaction with Fauci, who was noticeably absent at Monday’s White House coronavirus briefing and a Tuesday afternoon virtual town hall on Fox News.

    But then Fauci was there again, at the president’s side, Tuesday night during the latest coronavirus briefing. And Trump praised Fauci early in the day, calling his performance as “very good,” and even appearing to make light on Twitter of a much-shared meme showing Fauci facepalm as the president jokingly used the term “deep State Department.”

    Regardless, Trump does have a history of sidelining administration officials who disagree with him, from former White House counsel Don McGahn to ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  3. #213
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    Fauci Won’t Take Bait as Ingraham Goads Him on Trump-Touted Drug


    Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci refused to be baited by Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday night when she appeared to try and get him to confess that he’d take an unproven drug touted by President Trump if he were stricken with coronavirus.

    In recent days, President Donald Trump has described the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential “game changer” in treating the novel coronavirus. Fauci, however, has attempted to temper expectations of the drug’s effectiveness, noting that its promise as a treatment for the disease is purely “anecdotal.”

    Ingraham, meanwhile, has been a loud proponent of the drug’s use and has repeatedly hyped it as a possible cure that can quickly stem the tide of the growing pandemic. Interviewing Fauci on her primetime show Tuesday, the pro-Trump host pressed the White House coronavirus task force member on whether he himself would use it.

    “A lot of people are messaging me during the day about hydroxychloroquine and other antivirals that are now being prescribed by treating physicians in the United States and beyond,” she said. “So heaven forbid something happened to you, you got a positive coronavirus test and you fell ill, would you feel comfortable taking one of these new antivirals such as hydroxychloroquine?”

    Fauci noted that he is a “believer in a clinical trial” and while he may want to “help myself” he also wants to “get an answer” on whether the drug is actually effective. (There are several clinical trials underway.)

    “So I might take one of those drugs, but I would do it within the auspices of a controlled clinical trial,” he continued. “I’ve always felt that way.”

    Ingraham continued to press, asking the doctor if he would take one of those drugs due to the “positive results” we are seeing, adding that “this is wartime” and not “all button-down and controlled” so, therefore, we “do what we can do with what we have.”

    “I’m not so sure, Laura, just to clarify, that I would necessarily take one of those drugs,” Fauci replied. “I would take a drug that was on a clinical trial.”

    He went on to let Ingraham know that it is possible that some of these drugs, like hydroxychloroquine, could probably be obtained by a physician “off-label” since they’re already approved to treat malaria and other diseases.

    “But myself, personally, I like to get some knowledge out of it, so if I had a situation where I needed a drug, I’d look around and see if there was a clinical trial that would give me access within the contours of a clinical trial,” he concluded.

    The exchange between Ingraham and Fauci comes as pro-Trump media, and reportedly Trump himself, have begun to turn on the universally admired National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director for publicly pushing back on Trump’s claims.

    On Monday night, for instance, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs—currently in self-quarantine after a Fox staffer tested positive for COVID-19—insisted that the “president was right and frankly Fauci was wrong” on the anti-malarial drug.
    ______________

    Not just the far-right idiots, it's also the right-wing mainstream media.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  4. #214
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    When this is all over, with Trump that is, the psychological community is going to need to do a clinical study on why so many Americans blindly followed an obvious imbecile of such magnitude as Trump.

  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    When this is all over, with Trump that is, the psychological community is going to need to do a clinical study on why so many Americans blindly followed an obvious imbecile of such magnitude as Trump.
    Simple. For starters, just dust off any study having to do with cults and cult leaders. Of course, a new study will have to be done as you said, to add "obvious imbecile" to the cult leader's primary trait(s).

    So far here on the WAB, we've got:

    "He's the anti-lefty"
    "He's against abortion"

    Apparently that's more than enough to get someone to blindly follow an obvious imbecile like Donald Trump.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  6. #216
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    Senate Coronavirus Bill Prohibits Trump's Hotels From Receiving Bailouts

    WASHINGTON ― The Senate’s $2 trillion package aimed at reducing the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic appears to ban businesses controlled by President Donald Trump and his family from receiving taxpayer assistance.

    A provision in the bill prohibits businesses controlled by the president, vice president, members of Congress, and heads of executive departments from receiving loans or investments from U.S. Treasury programs. The prohibition also applies to their children, spouses, and in-laws, according to a summary from the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

    The measure was added in the portion of the bill aimed at helping distressed industries with at least $450 billion in loans. The massive fund would be controlled by the Treasury Department and could include bailouts to hotels, casinos, cruise lines, and the oil and gas industry. Since earlier drafts of the legislation included virtually no restrictions on how the money would be distributed, Democrats feared it would allow properties owned directly by Trump or his family to receive bailouts.

    Asked about the matter on Sunday, Trump refused to say if he would bar his own company from receiving stimulus money to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    “I’ve learned, let’s just see what happens,” the president told reporters at the White House when asked about the Trump Organization. “Because we have to save some of these great companies.”

    Prior to assuming office, Trump announced he was leaving “total control” of his business to his children ― Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr. ― who would manage what he called a “blind trust.” The Trump Organization lists 11 hotel properties on its website.

    The Senate bill also includes some oversight over the $450 billion fund aimed at propping up struggling industries. Under the terms of the deal reached on Wednesday, an independent inspector general and a congressional oversight board will be in charge of scrutinizing the lending provided to big businesses ― similar to what was done for the 2008 Wall Street bailout a decade ago.
    _________

    Huh...I wonder if this will actually work or not.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  7. #217
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    joe,

    Senate Coronavirus Bill Prohibits Trump's Hotels From Receiving Bailouts

    WASHINGTON ― The Senate’s $2 trillion package aimed at reducing the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic appears to ban businesses controlled by President Donald Trump and his family from receiving taxpayer assistance.

    A provision in the bill prohibits businesses controlled by the president, vice president, members of Congress, and heads of executive departments from receiving loans or investments from U.S. Treasury programs. The prohibition also applies to their children, spouses, and in-laws, according to a summary from the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

    The measure was added in the portion of the bill aimed at helping distressed industries with at least $450 billion in loans. The massive fund would be controlled by the Treasury Department and could include bailouts to hotels, casinos, cruise lines, and the oil and gas industry. Since earlier drafts of the legislation included virtually no restrictions on how the money would be distributed, Democrats feared it would allow properties owned directly by Trump or his family to receive bailouts.

    Asked about the matter on Sunday, Trump refused to say if he would bar his own company from receiving stimulus money to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    “I’ve learned, let’s just see what happens,” the president told reporters at the White House when asked about the Trump Organization. “Because we have to save some of these great companies.”

    Prior to assuming office, Trump announced he was leaving “total control” of his business to his children ― Ivanka, Eric and Don Jr. ― who would manage what he called a “blind trust.” The Trump Organization lists 11 hotel properties on its website.

    The Senate bill also includes some oversight over the $450 billion fund aimed at propping up struggling industries. Under the terms of the deal reached on Wednesday, an independent inspector general and a congressional oversight board will be in charge of scrutinizing the lending provided to big businesses ― similar to what was done for the 2008 Wall Street bailout a decade ago.
    _________

    Huh...I wonder if this will actually work or not.
    well, well, will you look at this.

    instead of concentrating on getting medical supplies to our governors, this is what Trump chooses to spend his attention on.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...ector-general/

    Trump takes immediate step to try to curb new inspector general’s autonomy, as battle over stimulus oversight begins
    In signing statement, he signals he could restrict new watchdog’s independence
    Trump signs $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill
    President Trump on March 27 signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus package, considered the largest economic relief in the nation’s history. (Reuters)
    By
    Jeff Stein
    March 28, 2020 at 1:44 p.m. EDT
    Immediately after signing the historic $2 trillion coroanvirus aid package, President Trump sought to curb oversight provisions in the bill by asserting presidential authority over a new inspector general’s office.

    The move could presage a major battle between the White House and Capitol Hill as the Trump administration moves to implement the new law.

    In a White House signing statement released Friday evening, Trump called “unreasonable” the law’s mandate that a new Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery notify Congress immediately if the White House doesn’t cooperate with an audit or investigation. The new inspector general is supposed to monitor how the Treasury Department extends loans and loan guarantees to businesses, among other things.

    Trump signs $2 trillion coronavirus bill into law as companies and households brace for more economic pain

    Under the legislation, the new inspector general’s office is required to tell Congress “without delay” whenever administration officials are unreasonably withholding crucial information from investigators. But the White House signing statement said the administration will not allow the inspector general to tell Congress without “presidential supervision,” calling it a violation of executive branch authority.


    “I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required by the Take Care Clause, Article II, section 3,” the White House statement said.

    The new inspector general is supposed to be nominated by the White House and confirmed by the Senate.

    Sign up for our Coronavirus Updates newsletter to track the outbreak. All stories linked in the newsletter are free to access.

    The $2 trillion spending law gives the Treasury Department broad discretion in how it sets up new lending programs. Trump has signaled he wants certain industries, such as hotels and cruise ships, to have access to the taxpayer-backed funding. The Treasury Department has not said so far how it will decide who receives money and what the terms will be. Trump said Friday night that his aides would be consulting with top Wall Street executives to make some of the decisions.

    The administration agreed to create the new inspector general’s office in response to Democratic lawmakers who balked at giving the Treasury Department wide latitude to disburse more than $400 billion in emergency loans to corporations, cities and states. Senate Democrats voted down the initial Senate Republican bill because of the lack of oversight measures over this pot of funding, only agreeing to approve the broader package after the inspector general’s office was added to the legislation.

    House passes coronavirus relief package
    The House of Representatives passed a $2 trillion stimulus package on March 27 to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus. (U.S. House of Representatives)
    On MSNBC Friday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized Trump’s signing statement as “indicative of the difference between Democrats and Republicans when it came to this bill.” Congress will also soon establish its own panel, as allowed under law, “in real time to make sure we know where those funds are," Pelosi said.

    Earlier in the week, when asked about oversight of the lending programs, Trump told reporters that “I’ll be the oversight.”

    AD

    Michael R. Bromwich, former inspector general at the Justice Department, wrote on Twitter Saturday that Trump’s “signing statement threatens to undermine the authority and independence of this new IG. The Senate should extract a commitment from the nominee that Congress will be promptly notified of any Presidential/Administration interference or obstruction.”

    It’s unclear what other steps Congress could take if Trump seeks to weaken the new inspector general. The nominee only needs to be confirmed with a majority in the Senate, so Republicans could attempt to push someone through without Democratic support. Democrats could attempt to file a lawsuit, but doing so would likely take months and potentially never reach a resolution, according to Steve Rosenthal, a legal expert at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank.

    Given the scale of the money involved, Congress is likely to push back against Trump’s demands for presidential oversight over the new inspector general’s office.

    “Whenever the government is trying to spend this much money, we should have good transparency and good accountability to the extent that we can,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan think tank.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    Trump takes immediate step to try to curb new inspector general’s autonomy, as battle over stimulus oversight begins
    In signing statement, he signals he could restrict new watchdog’s independence

    “I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required by the Take Care Clause, Article II, section 3,” the White House statement said.
    Shocking. Utterly shocking. The grifting continues unabated.

    "I do not understand..."

    Yeah yeah, we know. Anticorruption is just another word in the dictionary to Donald Trump...not that an illiterate like him can read in the first place.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  9. #219
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    White House chief of staff John Kelly had to 'overwhelm' president with information to stop him from acting impulsively

    While Trump's rhetoric of "fire and fury" did not result in direct military action with North Korea, Kelly was frustrated with his role, multiple news outlets reported at the time.

    Kelly was selected as Trump's chief of staff after Reince Priebus was ousted in July 2017. As a former general who spent most of his life as a US Marine, Kelly was long viewed as a choice to bring discipline to what had been a chaotic West Wing.

    Upon his arrival, Kelly drastically limited the White House staff's unfettered access to Trump, a move that reportedly included members of the president's own family — his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and his daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump.

    Kelly made several private and public comments about his frustration, including telling one White House visitor who was taking in the surroundings, "This is my hell," Karl wrote in the book.

    Karl said in the book that Kelly "agreed to allow me to quote this and other previously off-the-record remarks he made while he was chief of staff," a move that other Marine Corps generals previously on Trump's staff, including former Defense Secretary James Mattis, declined to do out of respect for the office of the presidency.

    Kelly was fired in December 2018, months after his relationship with the president reportedly grew sour. He was replaced by Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney.

    After he fired Kelly, Trump said he "was way over his head" in the job and that now he "just can't keep his mouth shut." The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Kelly's remarks as reported in Karl's new book.

    Shortly after President Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" during the first year of his presidency, then-White House chief of staff John Kelly explained one of the challenges to his position.

    Two weeks after Trump made the unexpected comment, in August 2017, Kelly privately said the president did not fully grasp the implication of his messages, according to ABC chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl's new book, "Front Row at the Trump Show."

    "He needs to understand that 18- and 19-year-old people are going to die," Kelly said in Karl's book. "This is big-boy and big-girl s---. You have to understand people will die because of these decisions."

    Kelly, a retired four-star general, is the father of Marine Corps 1st Lt. Robert Kelly. Robert, 29, died in a landmine attack in Afghanistan in 2010.

    To lessen Trump's impulsivity, Kelly developed a system to "overwhelm him with facts" in an attempt to counter the president's tendency to say things that were false, he said.

    Trump has given numerous anecdotes about his friends and business partners throughout his tenure in the White House and the Trump Organization. After Trump recalled a conversation about voter fraud with professional golfer Bernhard Langer, whom he referred to as a friend, Langer's daughter said her father was "not a friend of President Trump's" and that she did not "know why he would talk about him," The New York Times previously reported.

    "The president will say, 'I heard from a friend,'" Kelly said, according to Karl, "and we will say, 'That's not true.'"
    ______
    The President's Chief of Staff had to "overwhelm him with facts " in order to prevent him from telling lies. God Help Us All.

    As Steve Bannon (!) so aptly put it: "He's like an 11 year old child"

    I'd say Mr. Bannon was being extremely generous with his praise.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  10. #220
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    Trump Campaign Threatens Broadcasters FCC Licenses For Airing Anti-Trump Ads

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two top Democrats in Congress on Thursday asked Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to reassure broadcasters the agency will not revoke their licenses for airing advertisements critical of President Donald Trump.

    On March 25, Trump’s campaign sent letters to broadcasters in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin demanding they stop airing an ad critical of Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak and suggested continued airings "could put (the) station’s license in jeopardy."

    The states are all expected to be battleground states that could prove decisive in November’s presidential election. Such states are hotly contested because their populations can swing either to Republicans or Democrats.

    Democratic Representatives Frank Pallone, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Mike Doyle, who chairs the subcommittee overseeing the FCC, said the law prohibits the commission from interfering with programming decisions to air legally protected content.

    "At a time when autocratic governments around the world are using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to suppress press freedoms, we must reaffirm – not undermine – America’s commitment to a free press," Pallone and Doyle wrote. "By remaining silent, the FCC sends a disturbing signal that it sanctions these threats and that broadcaster licenses could be in jeopardy."

    Last week, Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, which created the ad, said it planned to expand its use despite the Trump's campaign's cease-and-desist letters.

    The ad plays verbatim quotes from the president, including "We have it totally under control," and "One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear" as a graph shows the rising number of coronavirus cases. In the opening, the ad includes his quote that "this is their new hoax."

    Trump’s re-election campaign said that quote was referring to Democratic "criticisms and politicization of the federal response to the public health crisis" and demanded the ad be taken down for falsely asserting he used the term to describe the coronavirus.

    Trump has faced criticism for initially playing down the seriousness of the coronavirus.

    The FCC declined to comment, saying it is reviewing the letter. The Trump campaign did not immediately comment. The White House declined to comment.

    In October 2017, Pai rejected Trump's suggestion that the FCC could challenge the license of NBC, a unit of Comcast, after Trump suggested it reported stories that were not true.

    The FCC, an independent federal agency, does not license broadcast networks, but issues them to individual broadcast stations that are renewed on a staggered basis for eight-year periods.
    _______________

    Censorship

    Blackmail

    Outright Thuggery

    Sure is nice when you have own Justice Department to ignore written evidence of criminal activity.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  11. #221
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Trump Campaign Threatens Broadcasters FCC Licenses For Airing Anti-Trump Ads

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two top Democrats in Congress on Thursday asked Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to reassure broadcasters the agency will not revoke their licenses for airing advertisements critical of President Donald Trump.

    On March 25, Trump’s campaign sent letters to broadcasters in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin demanding they stop airing an ad critical of Trump's handling of the coronavirus outbreak and suggested continued airings "could put (the) station’s license in jeopardy."

    The states are all expected to be battleground states that could prove decisive in November’s presidential election. Such states are hotly contested because their populations can swing either to Republicans or Democrats.

    Democratic Representatives Frank Pallone, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Mike Doyle, who chairs the subcommittee overseeing the FCC, said the law prohibits the commission from interfering with programming decisions to air legally protected content.

    "At a time when autocratic governments around the world are using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to suppress press freedoms, we must reaffirm – not undermine – America’s commitment to a free press," Pallone and Doyle wrote. "By remaining silent, the FCC sends a disturbing signal that it sanctions these threats and that broadcaster licenses could be in jeopardy."

    Last week, Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, which created the ad, said it planned to expand its use despite the Trump's campaign's cease-and-desist letters.

    The ad plays verbatim quotes from the president, including "We have it totally under control," and "One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear" as a graph shows the rising number of coronavirus cases. In the opening, the ad includes his quote that "this is their new hoax."

    Trump’s re-election campaign said that quote was referring to Democratic "criticisms and politicization of the federal response to the public health crisis" and demanded the ad be taken down for falsely asserting he used the term to describe the coronavirus.

    Trump has faced criticism for initially playing down the seriousness of the coronavirus.

    The FCC declined to comment, saying it is reviewing the letter. The Trump campaign did not immediately comment. The White House declined to comment.

    In October 2017, Pai rejected Trump's suggestion that the FCC could challenge the license of NBC, a unit of Comcast, after Trump suggested it reported stories that were not true.

    The FCC, an independent federal agency, does not license broadcast networks, but issues them to individual broadcast stations that are renewed on a staggered basis for eight-year periods.
    _______________

    Censorship

    Blackmail

    Outright Thuggery

    Sure is nice when you have own Justice Department to ignore written evidence of criminal activity.
    If that isn't a hallmark of an autocratic leader I don't know what is...

  12. #222
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    talking about autocratic...of course he did this one on a Friday evening. wonder why.

    ===
    https://thehill.com/policy/national-...ral-says-he-no

    Trump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint


    President Trump has fired the inspector general for the intelligence community, saying he “no longer” has confidence in the key government watchdog.

    Mitchael Atkinson, who had served as the intelligence community inspector general since May 2018, was the first to alert Congress last year of an “urgent” whistleblower complaint he obtained from an intelligence official regarding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. His firing will take effect 30 days from Friday, the day Trump sent a notice informing Congress of Atkinson's dismissal.

    “This is to advise that I am exercising my power as President to remove from office the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, effective 30 days from today,” Trump wrote to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees in a letter obtained by The Hill.

    “As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as president, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General,” he added. “That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”

    Trump said he will submit to the Senate his nominee to replace Atkinson “at a later date.”

    Democrats were swift in their condemnation of the firing, saying Trump was retaliating against Atkinson for raising the whistleblower complaint that ultimately led to scrutiny over the president’s dealings with Ukraine, the focal point of the House’s impeachment investigation.

    “President Trump’s decision to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson is yet another blatant attempt by the President to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a vocal Trump detractor.

    “In the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the President is once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the intelligence community by firing yet another an intelligence official simply for doing his job," added Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "The work of the intelligence community has never been about loyalty to a single individual; it’s about keeping us all safe from those who wish to do our country harm."

    Trump railed against Congress’s impeachment proceedings for months, claiming he was the victim of a “witch hunt” and denying claims that he pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

    Atkinson came out against then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire’s decision to withhold the whistleblower complaint from Congress, pitting him against the White House’s desire to keep the complaint out of the hands of congressional investigators.

    Trump nominated Atkinson for his role in 2017 after he had served 16 years at the Justice Department. One of the focuses of his job was to probe activities falling under the purview of the Director of National Intelligence and reviewing whistleblower complaints from within the intelligence community.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #223
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    Here we have another appointment position now open for another stooge. Maybe someone along the lines of Nunes...

  14. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Here we have another appointment position now open for another stooge. Maybe someone along the lines of Nunes...
    There is an upside to that. The appointment would remove Congressman Devin Nunes from the House, causing a vacancy that would be filled by another. Nunes would cause a temporary problem at his new position, but if Trump loses reelection in November, then Nunes could be fired from that position by the next POTUS in late January 2021, solving that problem. Nunes would then fade into historical oblivion like a fart in the wind, perhaps returning to his earlier career in animal husbandry in the San Joaquin Valley where he can focus his efforts on pimping a small herd of dairy cows to a few bulls.
    Last edited by JRT; 04 Apr 20, at 18:54.
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  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRT View Post
    There is an upside to that. The appointment would remove Congressman Devin Nunes from the House, causing a vacancy that would be filled by another. Nunes would cause a temporary problem at his new position, but if Trump loses reelection in November, then Nunes could be fired from that position by the next POTUS in late January 2021, solving that problem. Nunes would then fade into historical oblivion like a fart in the wind, perhaps returning to his earlier career in animal husbandry in the San Joaquin Valley where he can focus his efforts on pimping a small herd of dairy cows to a few bulls.
    I like it. Now if we could only do something about those large farmers, no doubt some corporate, who complain about their lack of water. They get 80% of California's water and yet driving down US 5 you see signs saying build dams, water grows food, and damn Pelosi. They are growing almonds for export. So much for putting food on our tables at dinner time. They irritate the hell out of me.

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