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2019 American Political Scene

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  • Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
    It wasn't the youth that got the Orange Idiot elected,nor are they the ones supporting him. It was/is the people of "back In the good old days"
    Gunny,

    True, but it IS the younger folks who are sitting out elections, including primaries. Here in Virginia the State Democratic Party has made a concerted effort to turn out younger voters and the results of the past 5 or 6 years has shown that success...Virginia is now a Blue state. Part of this has also been a renewed push on civics curriculum in our school system. Turn out by younger voters in the Rust Belt has been abysmal...no sense of civic responsibility apparently.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

    Comment


    • BF,

      Deval Patrick to throw his hat into the Dem ring. he strikes me as a better option than any of the frontrunners, but that doesn't mean he will win. In theory he should be able to take bites out of all the major players and possibly end the runs of a few more, but that assumes a bunch of stuff that may not happen. Wish he had been in from the start, though that might not have helped.

      SIGH!
      that guy has zero name recognition, and thus will die on the vine.

      out of all the candidates starting out with zero name recognition, only two have gotten any headway-- Buttigieg and Yang.

      i'm not too worried or consumed with the hand-wringing going on now, a perpetual Democratic hobby that is quite absent from the Republican side. i just laugh at the idiots throwing their names in the ring now, which i consider utterly futile and a waste of money. the billionaire set has really just been BEGGING for a President Warren to come down on them like a bunch of rocks recently. i mean...Bloomberg?? Bloomberg??! i thought he had more self-awareness than that.
      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

      Comment


      • IRS Whistleblower Cites Pressure on Trump Tax Audit

        WASHINGTON — Senate Finance Committee staff members met this month with an Internal Revenue Service whistleblower who has alleged that senior Treasury Department officials tried to exert influence over the mandatory audit of President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a congressional aide said Monday.

        The whistleblower contacted the staff of the House Ways and Means Committee over the summer and accused political appointees in the Treasury Department of improperly involving themselves in the audit and putting pressure of some kind on senior officials in the IRS.

        The Ways and Means Committee has been reviewing the allegations, which were included in a complaint, and in early November the staffs of Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Finance Committee, and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the panel’s top Democrat, interviewed the IRS employee.

        The details of the allegations remain unclear, though a person familiar with the complaint has said that it did not directly implicate Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the political meddling.

        Representatives for Grassley and Wyden declined to comment on the meeting with the whistleblower, citing taxpayer privacy laws.

        “We generally do not comment on whistleblower meetings, their contents or even if they happened,” said Michael Zona, a spokesman for Grassley. “Additionally, federal law prohibits the discussion of protected taxpayer information.”

        Grassley has been a strong proponent of the rights of whistleblowers. In September, he introduced bipartisan legislation to extend protections to more people who report violations of securities and commodities laws.

        The Washington Post first reported the Senate meeting.

        House Democrats have sought to obtain six years’ worth of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Mnuchin has refused a congressional request to release the returns and Trump has declined to release them, citing a continuing IRS audit.

        The review of the whistleblower’s complaint in the Senate comes as Trump is locked in a protracted legal battle with Congress over the release of his tax returns. The complaint could potentially buttress the case that House Democrats need access to the tax returns as part of their inquiry into how presidential tax returns are audited.

        Two other investigations seeking Trump’s financial information for other matters are headed to the Supreme Court.

        On Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked an appeals court ruling that required Trump to turn over financial records to a House committee. The brief order gave no reasons and served to maintain the status quo while the justices decided how to proceed.
        __________

        Not even going to bother commenting on this one.
        TwentyFiveFortyFive

        Comment


        • snapper,

          if you want to see how badly the American right has been co-opted by Trump, read this interview with National Review editor Rich Lowry.

          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...rst-rich-lowry

          for context, under his editorial direction, the National Review published an entire magazine issue titled "Against Trump", in December 2015, and the National Review figured prominently in the ranks of the "never-Trumpers" whom popped up around that time.

          now see what he says:

          Sean Illing

          I have to say, it’s strange that you were so staunchly anti-Trump a few years ago, even publishing an entire collection of essays trashing his worldview, and now you write in this book that Republicans should “thoughtfully integrate his nationalism into the party’s orthodoxy.”

          What changed?

          Rich Lowry

          A couple of things. We ran our “Against Trump” issue in December 2015 prior to the Iowa caucuses. We desperately wanted to defeat him. We thought there were 16 better alternatives. But fast-forward to today, he’s now the president, and we’ve seen how he’s governed and I’ve been surprised in two ways.

          I’ve been surprised how on some really important matters of substance to conservatives of long-standing, he’s been a rock, like on pro-life stuff, on conscience rights, on judges. That was one of the deep concerns we had about him but he’s basically delivered.

          My other surprise is I thought he would attempt to tone it down in terms of his personal conduct once he took office, but he absolutely hasn’t. The office has made no impression on him whatsoever. The huge downside is that he doesn’t respect the separation of powers in our government, he doesn’t think constitutionally, and says and does things no president should do or say. And I and my colleagues call him out on that.

          But at the end of the day, we’re asked to either favor Trump or root for Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden or Mayor Pete, who oppose us on basically everything. So it’s a pretty simple calculation.

          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

          Comment


          • Navy secretary 'fired' for proposing 'secret agreement' with White House in SEAL case, senior defense official says
            (CNN)In an extraordinary move, the Pentagon chief "fired" the Navy secretary for going outside his chain of command by proposing a "secret agreement with the White House," according to a senior defense official.

            The agreement that led to Defense Secretary Mark Esper forcing Navy Secretary Richard Spencer's resignation involved the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.
            The official said Spencer had proposed to the White House a review with a secret guarantee that Gallagher would be allowed to keep his status as a SEAL. That would go counter to the ongoing review underway by the Navy to take away Gallagher's status.

            Gallagher was earlier convicted of bringing discredit to the armed services after posing next to a dead ISIS fighter's body, which is against regulations. He was then demoted in rank -- a decision President Donald Trump a week ago reversed in a move that went against earlier guidance from Esper and angered military officials. Military officials then moved ahead with the process to review Gallagher's status in the elite group.
            Esper decided Gallagher would now keep his status because he "has little confidence that Gallagher would get a fair shake now from the Navy," the official told CNN. Gallagher is now expected to retire from the Navy on November 30.

            Spencer, the official said, was not "fired" for failing to carry out Trump's wishes, because the President had not wanted a review at all.

            Spencer went around his own chain of command -- namely Defense Secretary Mark Esper -- and straight to the White House, a violation of military policy, the official said.

            Esper on Sunday asked for Spencer's resignation after "losing trust" and "confidence in him," according to a statement released by Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman. Spencer's private request to restore Gallagher's rank and allow him to retire with his Trident pin directly contradicted his public position, according to the statement.

            "I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official," Esper said in the statement. "Unfortunately, as a result I have determined that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well."
            When asked for comment, a spokesman for Spencer directed CNN to the Pentagon's statement. Spencer on Sunday submitted a letter -- which CNN has obtained -- to Trump that acknowledged his termination.

            The Washington Post first reported on Esper asking for Spencer's resignation.

            The senior defense official said Esper first learned of Spencer's conversations with the White House on Friday, but that Spencer's proposal was never approved.
            When Spencer then spoke over the weekend at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada, Esper felt "his public statements did not match up" with what he had been doing privately, according to the official.

            Last week, Trump tweeted that he wouldn't let the Navy punish Gallagher, saying, "The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"
            The Trident Pin, which is worn by Navy SEALs, is awarded following their completion of an intense qualification course and symbolizes membership in the elite military community.

            The President's decision not only restored Gallagher's rank but also pardoned two other service members, and in doing so he ignored advice from Esper and other top military officials.

            The New York Times reported Saturday that Spencer and Rear Adm. Collin Green, the admiral overseeing the SEALs, threatened to resign over the possible intervention by Trump. Spencer denied later Saturday that either he or Green made any such threat.
            ______________

            And another bites the dust...remarkably enough, it looks like this was wholly a justified action by SecDef Mark Esperanto
            TwentyFiveFortyFive

            Comment


            • i'm disappointed by the way it turned out.

              initial reports were that SECNAV and a few others in the navy chain of command (CNO? i forget) were gonna bite the bullet rather than allow for interference in the military justice system.

              this talk about trying to "negotiate" with the WH is terrible in every way. theoretically because SECNAV is in no position to negotiate with his boss's boss.

              practically because the offered...quid quo pro...was a terrible trade.

              should have stuck to his guns and just resigned early, instead of being forced out. the letter he wrote was good...had he just resigned without the shenanigans.

              https://news.usni.org/2019/11/24/sec...-acting-secnav
              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

              Comment


              • An illuminating article on Joe Biden for those who think his cognitive abilities are suspect. I have not actually listened to him much as I haven't seen one of the debates but had I then I might have recognized it since I have had a few in my exam chair over the decades. Too long to really paste the whole article in.

                https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...rofile/602401/

                Comment


                • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                  i'm disappointed by the way it turned out.

                  initial reports were that SECNAV and a few others in the navy chain of command (CNO? i forget) were gonna bite the bullet rather than allow for interference in the military justice system.

                  this talk about trying to "negotiate" with the WH is terrible in every way. theoretically because SECNAV is in no position to negotiate with his boss's boss.

                  practically because the offered...quid quo pro...was a terrible trade.

                  should have stuck to his guns and just resigned early, instead of being forced out. the letter he wrote was good...had he just resigned without the shenanigans.

                  https://news.usni.org/2019/11/24/sec...-acting-secnav
                  Yeah, trying to go around Mark Esperanto was just a really really bad idea. Ah well, it would've been extremely satisfying to see a mass-resignation in protest of Trump's idiocy and devotion to crimes of any kind.

                  I'm sure the resigned officials would've been dismissed as Never-Trumper Deep-Staters anyway.
                  TwentyFiveFortyFive

                  Comment


                  • yeah, Fox News is calling -Sondland-, the Trump bundler and political appointee, a deep-state never-Trumper bureaucrat now.
                    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

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                      yeah, Fox News is calling -Sondland-, the Trump bundler and political appointee, a deep-state never-Trumper bureaucrat now.
                      And Kennedy backwalked his Ukraine claims on CNN not where he said it...on Fox News.

                      One wonders.
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                        yeah, Fox News is calling -Sondland-, the Trump bundler and political appointee, a deep-state never-Trumper bureaucrat now.
                        Hilarious. A man who gave a million dollars, who was never in government so he can't be a bureaucrat, and ergo not deep state. Very sad for me to see so many dump integrity, ethics, and principles so easily nowadays...

                        Comment


                        • And Kennedy backwalked his Ukraine claims on CNN not where he said it...on Fox News.

                          One wonders.
                          and it wasn't even a complete backwalk at that. he said 1.) he misheard the question, and 2.) that Ukraine could have interfered in other ways past hacking the DNC computer, saying that there was "proven and unproven" evidence.
                          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

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                            and it wasn't even a complete backwalk at that. he said 1.) he misheard the question, and 2.) that Ukraine could have interfered in other ways past hacking the DNC computer, saying that there was "proven and unproven" evidence.
                            Another version of "Alternative Facts" I see. How do you prove evidence? You use evidence to prove or disprove a hypothesis. "Unproven evidence" == Bunch of shameless lies.

                            Comment


                            • In a huge blow to Trump, DOJ watchdog found no evidence to support the claim that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign


                              The Justice Department's inspector general reportedly found no evidence to support President Donald Trump's claim that the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign while investigating whether the campaign was conspiring with the Russian government to interfere in the election, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

                              The Times article builds on reporting from the Washington Post, which initially broke the story last week.

                              Trump has repeatedly and baselessly alleged that the FBI inserted covert agents into his campaign. Trump and his allies dubbed this purported scandal "Spygate."

                              He also alleged, without evidence, that former President Barack Obama ordered US intelligence officials to tap his phones, a claim the IG's report is also expected to undercut.

                              After taking office, Trump ordered the DOJ to investigate his claims. The inspector general, Michael Horowitz, will release his full report on the matter on December 9.

                              While the report undermines the president's most extreme claims, it also finds fault with how the FBI handled its surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, according to the Post.

                              Specifically, Horowitz found discrepancies and bureaucratic mistakes in how the FBI applied for a warrant seeking the wiretap. The IG also found evidence that an FBI employee may have altered an email connected to the Page wiretap, but concluded that the employee's conduct had no effect on the overall validity of the application or on the bureau's overarching investigation.

                              However, Horowitz has reportedly requested that federal prosecutors look into the FBI lawyer's alteration of the email.

                              Broadly, the IG report finds that the surveillance of Page was legally justified and not driven by political bias, as Trump claims.

                              Trump recently predicted the anticipated IG report would reveal "perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country."
                              __________

                              Which comes as a surprise to absolutely NO ONE with a functioning brain.
                              TwentyFiveFortyFive

                              Comment


                              • It does not matter what an objective inquiry says anymore; all the US Intelligence agencies said Muscovy interfered in your 2016 election to help Trumpkin, but they still spout "could have been Ukraine".

                                Comment

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