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Thread: 2020 American Political Scene

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Caucuses are a joke. More so in a state like Iowa. Caucuses remind me of Boss party politics from back in the day only a little more sanitized. Well at least no one is smoking cigars. People should just go into a booth, mark their ballot, and then turn it in.
    That they do not utilize lower case "d" democratic methods in choosing candidates is for some a justification for referring to them as "The Democrat Party" rather than "The Democratic Party", a difference in nomenclature that many Democrats seem to consider to be depreciatory political epithetical, and it is, but only because it holds some truth.
    Last edited by JRT; 04 Feb 20, at 18:19.
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  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Four more years of Donnie Dementia, here we come!
    More nearly five.

    With that, if Republicans can hang onto the Senate, that might include more Trump appointees to the SCOTUS, perhaps replacing Democrat appointees Ginsburg, age 86, and Breyer, age 81. A lot of the pro-life and pro-gun electorate will hold their noses and vote for Trump just to get that.
    Last edited by JRT; 04 Feb 20, at 18:32.
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  3. #78
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    Iowa results

    Share of Iowa’s state delegates (note the second column means nothing in terms of delegate count, but reflects appeal among a more urban population)

    Candidate _ _ Iowa wide _ _ Polk Co (Des Moines)
    Buttigieg _ _ _ _ _ _26.8% _ _ _ _ _ _ 25.9%
    Sanders _ _ _ _ _ _ 25.2% _ _ _ _ _ _ 25.9%
    Warren _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 18.4% _ _ _ _ _ _ 20.9%
    Biden _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 15.5% _ _ _ _ _ _ 15.0%
    Klobuchar _ _ _ _ _ _12.6% _ _ _ _ _ _ 11.5%

    Yang _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 1.1% _ _ _ _ _ _ 0.1%
    Steyer _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0.3% _ _ _ _ _ 0.1%
    Uncommitted _ _ _ _ _ 0.2% _ _ _ _ _ _ 0.3%
    Gabbard _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0%
    Bloomberg _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0%
    Bennet _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0%
    Delaney _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0%
    Patrick _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0%
    Other _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 0.1% _ _ _ _ _ _0.1%

    https://results.thecaucuses.org/
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  4. #79
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    So I will freely admit I've been paying scant attention apart from the new-media meme wars, but where did this Buttigieg character come from?
    He has apparently jumped 10% overnight to overtake Bernie, and Joe Biden has plummeted even more.
    It would help if they published the last main Iowa poll, but as already noted the results were cancelled, at Buttigieg's insistence.
    Now the actual Iowa count is being revised again and again and again, each revision showing another net gain to Buttigieg and a net loss to the other main contenders, though Joe drops the most each time.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

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    Typical leftie procedure.

    Recount or re contest everything, until the desired result is obtained.

    Indulge in personal attacks & character defamation if anyone disagrees.

    It is amusing watching them eat each other, though.

    Would be quite the event if Buttigieg became #46.

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    It would help if they published the last main Iowa poll, but as already noted the results were cancelled, at Buttigieg's insistence.
    the poll was cancelled by the pollster because a Buttigieg campaign worker complained, apparently with some justification, that Buttigieg's name was omitted due to formatting issues.

    not as if Buttigieg has some sort of leverage over the pollster to fake results, if that is the implication here.

    the Iowa count is being "revised again and again" as more data flows in slowly from the counts, not that the counts are being fixed.
    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

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    Mitt Romney; the last GOP Senator. Sad.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Mitt Romney; the last GOP Senator. Sad.
    I hope he enjoys eating alone. A party of one.

  9. #84
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    5 Whoppers From Trump’s State of the Union Address

    President Trump delivered a polarizing, reality-show tinged State of the Union address Tuesday in which he claimed credit for three years of solid economic growth while making more than 30 “dubious statements” about everything from blue-collar employment to American energy independence, according to the fact checkers at The Washington Post.

    As Politico’s John F. Harris summed it up, “President Donald Trump likes his superlatives, and you have to give him credit: He definitely earned them this time. This was the most defiant, most boastful, most ostentatiously theatrical, most overtly campaign-oriented, most am-I-hearing-this-right? outlandish—the most flamboyantly bizarre—State of the Union Address of All Time.”

    With the economy in its 11th year of growth, unemployment at a 50-year low and the stock market at record highs, Trump certainly had plenty of facts at his disposal to tout his record. But in typical Trumpian fashion he deployed numerous exaggerated or entirely fictional assertions in an effort to back his claim that the economy is “the best it has ever been” and is growing at an “unimaginable” pace.

    Trump, who came to power decrying the “carnage” imposed on the U.S. economy by elites in both parties, sought to portray his administration as delivering a decisive break from President Obama’s — a dramatic turnaround that revived the country and justifies a second term. "If we had not reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration,” Trump said, “the world would not now be witnessing this great economic success."

    But most economists say that while there is plenty for the president to crow about, the economy is largely following a path that was established during the initial recovery from the Great Recession.

    As the Post’s Tory Newmyer put it, “many key economic indicators — GDP growth, the unemployment rate, the stock market — show gains in the Trump era have simply continued along their trajectories from the Obama years.”

    While Trump’s questionable claims were wide-ranging and worthy of extensive review, here are a few that touched on fiscal matters, along with brief fact checks:

    1. Claiming the biggest tax cuts in history.
    “From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy … enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts,” Trump said Tuesday. The president has been exaggerating the size of the 2017 tax cuts for years, but the passage of time hasn’t made the claim any truer.

    Here are The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Sarah Cahlan: “Trump constantly claims he passed the biggest tax cut in U.S. history, but that’s Four-Pinocchios false. The best way to compare tax cuts (or spending plans) over time is to measure them as a percentage of the national economy. The Trump tax cut, according to Treasury Department data, is nearly 0.9 percent of GDP — compared with 2.89 percent of GDP for Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, the actual largest tax cut. When measured as a share of the U.S. economy, Trump’s tax cut is the eighth-largest in the past century.”

    2. Claiming to protect people with pre-existing conditions.
    “We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions," Trump said Tuesday, and not for the first time. But his administration has taken steps that would do the opposite, including ongoing efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which first established consumer protections for pre-existing conditions during the Obama administration.

    Bloomberg’s Max Nisen: “The reality is, [Trump] came close to replacing the Affordable Care Act in 2017 with policies that would have gutted consumer safeguards for sick people and cut coverage for millions. The president continues to support a lawsuit that could eliminate the ACA, this time without even bothering to say how he'd replace it.”

    3. Claiming unprecedented success for Opportunity Zones.
    Trump touted the Opportunity Zones program, which was created as part of the 2017 GOP tax reform and provides tax breaks for investors in about 9,000 low-income areas. “This is the first time that these deserving communities have seen anything like this,” he said. “It’s all working.”

    But The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin says it’s too early to reach any conclusions about the program: “Local governments and investors across the country have been excitedly touting opportunity zones and trying to encourage development. But it’s far from clear yet how well the program is working. There isn’t any official data on how much money is being invested or how much would have been invested without the incentive, and the law doesn’t require detailed disclosures.”

    4. Claiming that drug prices are falling.
    Repeating a talking point the White House has been using for months, Trump said, “I was pleased to announce last year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.”

    Kaiser Health News’ Shefali Luthra says the claim is based on data that provide a misleading picture of what’s going on with drug prices: “We’ve examined this claim twice before, rating it Mostly False. But prescription drug prices are a major voter concern. So we wanted to take another look, in case things had changed. Experts told us the data remains essentially unchanged. Drug prices are still not going down.”

    5. Claiming to protect Medicare and Social Security.
    Trump ran for office in 2016 promising to not cut popular entitlement programs, and he repeated that claim Tuesday: “We will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security.” But Trump recently said he would be open to entitlement cuts if he were to win a second term. Asked if entitlement reform would be on his agenda, Trump said that “[a]t some point they will be.”

    More broadly, Trump’s budget requests have proposed substantial cuts to entitlement programs. His 2019 budget, for example, outlined $554 billion in Medicare cuts and up to $250 billion in Medicaid cuts over 10 years. And his 2020 budget called for more than $3 billion in cuts to the Social Security Disability Insurance program over four years.

    “Not only has President Trump failed to strengthen Medicare and Social Security, but the financial outlook for both trusts has not improved or worsened, Linda Qiu says at The New York Times. “That is at least partly the result of Mr. Trump’s tax law, which has left the Treasury Department to collect fewer taxes from Americans and, in turn, invest less money into each program. Last April, the government projected that Medicare funds would be depleted by 2026, three years earlier than estimated in 2017. The report noted that less money will flow into the fund because of low wages and lower taxes.”
    ___________

    And Cult 45 continues to lap it right up and beg for more, lie after lie after lie.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  10. #85
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    "State of Trumpkins mind" speech.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by ofelas View Post
    Typical leftie procedure.

    Recount or re contest everything, until the desired result is obtained.

    Indulge in personal attacks & character defamation if anyone disagrees.

    It is amusing watching them eat each other, though.

    Would be quite the event if Buttigieg became #46.
    Typical right-wingnut procedure:
    • Suppress the right to register to vote for anyone not likely to vote the right (wing) way.
    • Rig the voting process to make it more time-consuming, more difficult, or just more annoying to vote for anyone not likely to vote the right (wing) way.
    • Shout loudly about states’ rights if anyone dares question such appalling tactics.



    It is disgusting to watch such antics by people who still claim to be Americans.
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  12. #87
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    Fox News Internal Document Bashes Pro-Trump Fox Regulars for Spreading ‘Disinformation’

    Fox News’ own research team has warned colleagues not to trust some of the network’s top commentators’ claims about Ukraine.

    An internal Fox News research briefing book obtained by The Daily Beast openly questions Fox News contributor John Solomon’s credibility, accusing him of playing an “indispensable role” in a Ukrainian “disinformation campaign.”

    The document also accuses frequent Fox News guest Rudy Giuliani of amplifying disinformation, as part of an effort to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, and blasts Fox News guests Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova—both ardent Trump boosters—for “spreading disinformation.”

    The 162-page document, entitled “Ukraine, Disinformation, & the Trump Administration,” was created by Fox News senior political affairs specialist Bryan S. Murphy, who produces research from what is known as the network’s Brain Room—a newsroom division of researchers who provide information, data, and topic guides for the network’s programming.

    The research brief is especially critical of Solomon, a former opinion columnist at The Hill whose opinion pieces about Ukraine made unsubstantiated claims about its government interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Solomon’s pieces for The Hill fuelled Giuliani’s efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine, which eventually helped lead to Trump’s impeachment. Trump has also frequently cited Solomon reporting on Twitter in his own defense.

    While Solomon is portrayed on Hannity’s show as a crusading investigative reporter, the Brain Room document accuses the contributor of taking part in a Ukrainian smear campaign. “John Solomon played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign,” the Fox briefing book notes.

    Those smears, according to the briefing, were driven by people like disgraced former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko and the allies of Dmytro Firtash, an indicted Ukrainian oligarch and accused high-level Russian mafia associate (an accusation he denies). Both Lutsenko and Firtash have been seen as forces driving Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump’s political enemies.

    Elsewhere in the internal brief, Murphy urges Fox News employees to focus on a wide range of alleged journalistic misdeeds from Solomon, including ”non-disclosure of conflicts, use of unreliable sources, publishing false and misleading stories, misrepresentation of sources, and opaque coordination with involved parties.”

    Despite Solomon’s reputation for questionable claims, he continued to be a fixture on Fox News even as impeachment inquiry witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman—who listened in on the infamous quid pro quo call between Trump and Ukraine’s president—testified that “all the elements” of the columnist’s supposed Ukraine reporting were “false.” The Hill announced it would conduct a full review of Solomon’s work. Though he has not appeared on Hannity’s show since Dec. 26, Solomon’s most recent Fox appearance came last Friday on Laura Ingraham’s primetime show.

    The existence of the briefing book was first publicly flagged by Marcus DiPaola, a former freelance Fox News producer. Solomon, who years ago wrote for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Giuliani, Toensing, and diGenova.

    “The research division of FOX News produces a briefing book for all major stories, which serves as a standing collection of extensive data on major topics for internal use by all those in editorial functions. The Ukraine briefing book is nothing more than a comprehensive chronological account of what every person involved in the Ukraine controversy was doing at any identifiable point in time, including tracking media appearances of major players who appeared on FOX News and in many other outlets,” Mitch Kweit, senior vice president of the Brain Room, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “The 200 page document has thousands of data points and the vast majority have no relation to FOX News—instead it’s now being taken out of context and politicized to damage the network.”

    The document also disputes the credibility of Trump personal attorney and frequent Fox News guest Rudy Giuliani. While the former New York mayor has regularly appeared on Fox to justify his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on Trump’s behalf, Murphy claims Giuliani is easily fooled by Ukrainian disinformation.

    Murphy writes that Giuliani has a “high susceptibility to disinformation” disseminated by Ukrainians like Lutsenko and Firtash. The document notes that two indicted Giuliani pals, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had “strong reported financial links to Firtash.”

    “Reading the timeline in its entirety—not a small task—makes clear the extensive role played by Rudy Giuliani and his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, in spreading disinformation,” Murphy writes.

    The brief also questions the credibility of diGenova and Toensing, a married pair of Washington lawyers and frequent Fox News guests who appeared across the network’s right-wing commentary shows.

    The pair were regularly deployed by Fox hosts like Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Tucker Carlson to criticize the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and attack Fox News analysts who questioned the president’s actions. DiGenova briefly stopped appearing on Fox after spewing on-air the anti-Semitic trope that liberal billionaire George Soros “controls” the U.S. State Department. And then he and his wife have altogether ceased appearing on the network since December.


    Fox News itself reported in September that diGenova and Toensing were working with Giuliani to dig up dirt on the Bidens. “Notable are the roles of Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing in spreading disinformation and their parroting of beneficial narratives while employed by Firtash,” the internal research brief adds.

    During their Fox appearances about the unfolding Ukraine scandal in 2019, diGenova and Toensing failed to note that they were working for Firtash, who is attempting to avoid extradition to the United States. The pair had billed the Ukrainian oligarch $1 million as of October, according to a Bloomberg report.

    Last year’s document urges Fox employees to consider diGenova and Toensing’s failure to note during their Fox appearances that they were employed by Firtash. It advises employees to focus on the pair’s “non-disclosure of financial motives and representation of Firtash while spreading false and misleading stories.”

    The briefing book is also seemingly critical of Fox’s own coverage, urging employees to note the role that unnamed “US Media” outlets played a role in the “amplification of disinformation stories from clearly unreliable sources and non-disclosure of conflicts by guests.” While Fox isn’t specifically named in the introduction, much of the timeline focuses on appearances made on Fox programs, and Murphy writes that the “most prominent” outlets who amplified the disinformation campaign are mentioned in the timeline—a possible reference to Fox News itself.

    The document notes omissions by Hannity, who frequently had Solomon, Toensing, diGenova, and Giuliani on his show. Murphy notes that the primetime star continued to refer to Solomon as an “investigative reporter” even after The Hill explicitly labeled his work to be “opinion.” The briefing also dings Hannity for failing to mention, in a segment Toensing and diGenova about an affidavit filed on behalf of Firtash, that the pair were working for the Ukrainian oligarch Firtash—an obvious conflict of interest.

    “At no time during the program does Hannity, Toensing, and diGenova mention who requested the statement nor do they discuss that they are Firtash’s attorneys,” the briefing book reads.
    _____________

    Keep watching that Fox News, it's a fountain of that fake news that Trump rails about constantly. (to the surprise of absolutely no one)
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Trump slammed the phone down on Boris Johnson after an 'apoplectic' call with the prime minister

    President Donald Trump reportedly hung up on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson after what officials described as an "apoplectic" call last week.

    Trump ended the call by "slamming the phone down," a source told the Evening Standard.

    The call, which one source described to the Financial Times as "very difficult," came after Johnson defied Trump and gave the Chinese telecoms company Huawei the rights to develop the UK's 5G network.

    Trump's fury was triggered by Johnson backing Huawei despite Trump and his allies' threats that the United States would withdraw security cooperation with the UK if the deal went ahead.

    Trump's threats reportedly irritated the UK government, with Johnson frustrated at the president's failure to suggest any alternatives to the deal.

    Following the call, US Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump administration had made its disappointment in the UK "very clear."

    The official UK account of the call hinted at the disagreement, saying Johnson "underlined the importance of like-minded countries working together to diversify the market and break the dominance of a small number of companies."

    The Sun reported on Friday that Johnson had pushed back a planned trip to Washington to March, adding that it "may be pushed back still further."

    A representative for Johnson declined to comment on the call.

    The prime minister and senior members of his administration have pointedly criticized Trump in recent weeks.

    On Monday, Johnson used his first major speech on foreign policy since the general election in December to launch a thinly veiled attack on Trump and his "protectionist" economic strategy.

    "Free trade is being choked," Johnson said, alluding to ongoing trade battles between Washington and China.

    "And that is no fault of the people. That's no fault of individual consumers. I am afraid it is the politicians who are failing to lead."

    In an apparent barb at Trump and his threats to launch a new trade war with Europe, Johnson added that "from Brussels to China to Washington, tariffs are being waved around like cudgels, even in debates on foreign policy where frankly they have no place."
    _______________

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a master dealmaker...um, makes "deals".

    How far the US has fallen if Boris Johnson is the 'voice of reason.'

    Somebody want to pass me the popcorn?
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    How far the US has fallen if Boris Johnson is the 'voice of reason.'
    Boris Johnson may look like Trump's long lost brother but that is where the similarity ends. Johnson's image of an uninformed, clumsy everyman is carefully cultivated to make him endearing to voters. On the other hand, Trump actually is as dumb as he appears.

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a master dealmaker...um, makes "deals".

    How far the US has fallen if Boris Johnson is the 'voice of reason.'

    Somebody want to pass me the popcorn?
    Would you like a little psychoactive mixed in with your popcorn...

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