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2020 American Political Scene

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  • JRT
    Looks like Trump is setting up the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to knock it down hard, and thereby hobble the incoming administration. Because he can.

    Note the timing, 19 January 2020.

    Originally posted by Federal_Executive

    OMB Reportedly Designates 88% of Its Employees for Schedule F

    One former official said the decision will make it harder, not easier, for presidents of both parties to implement their policy agendas in the future.

    by Erich Wagner
    23 November 2020

    The leadership of the Office of Management and Budget reportedly plans to reclassify the vast majority of its workforce into a new employment category, removing job protections and effectively making them at-will employees.

    Last month, President Trump signed an executive order creating a new Schedule F within the excepted service for employees “in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making and policy-advocating positions” and instructing agencies to identify and transfer competitive service employees that meet that description into the new job classification, an initiative that could strip hundreds of thousands of federal workers of their civil service protections.

    The order has been widely derided by stakeholders and experts as an effort to politicize the civil service that would allow the president to purge agencies of employees viewed as disloyal and to instill partisans throughout the federal government. Agencies’ preliminary reviews of their workforces to determine who should be moved into Schedule F are due to the Office of Personnel Management by Jan. 19.

    On Saturday, Real Clear Politics reported that OMB Director Russell Vought has determined that 88% of the agency’s workforce, or 425 employees, should be converted to Schedule F, according to an internal memo.

    An OMB spokesperson confirmed to Government Executive that Vought has submitted the agency’s preliminary review to OPM and is awaiting approval to move forward with implementation, although they declined to provide a copy of the memo.

    Vought told Real Clear Politics that the decision will improve federal workers’ “accountability.”

    “Under President Trump’s leadership, we are committed to full accountability of policy-making officials, as Congress intended, and implementing merit principles,” he told the news outlet. “This is another step to make Washington accountable to the American people.”

    But Robert Shea, a former associate director at OMB during the George W. Bush administration and a national managing principal for public policy at Grant Thornton, said if anything, the opposite is true.

    “I think it erodes a lot of the trust that one should have in the advice that OMB’s spectacular workforce provides,” Shea said. “You know, the OMB staff are charged with doing the analysis, and making recommendations, to the most effective way to implement the president’s policies that are sometimes unpopular. Those folks often have to tell you, ‘You can’t do something you want to do,’ or, ‘The way to get something done that you want to do is harder than you might want it to be.’ If those employees fear retribution for providing tough love analysis, they’re likely to give a second thought before providing it.”

    If the Trump administration chooses to fire even a portion of the 425 employees slated to lose their civil service protections, the damage to the ability of presidents of both parties to implement their policy agendas could be vast, Shea said.

    “Education, national security, housing and public health, these folks have been helping to oversee the administration of these organizations and development of policy in these important areas, and if they are somehow removed . . . you would certainly lose that institutional expertise,” he said. “I think you’ll see an acceleration in the proposal of policies likely to be ineffective. Policies will be proposed that are likely to be met with not only resistance among stakeholders in Congress, but also in the courts. They will be inconsistent with current law and therefore challenged in the courts, and that will put inordinate delays in the implementation of a president’s policies.”

    A wide array of federal employee groups, good government experts and other stakeholders continued their plea for Congress to step in and block the executive order from being implemented. A coalition of groups, including the Partnership for Public Service, the Volcker Alliance, the Senior Executives Association and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, sent lawmakers a letter last week urging them to include language in their next appropriations package to nullify the executive order.

    “Our nonpartisan civil service has served as a model for other countries for more than a century,” they wrote. “Since the passage of the Pendleton Act of 1883, civil servants have been hired based on their qualifications, and have been protected from removal based on political affiliation. These protections do not exist for the sake of the civil servants themselves, but rather to ensure the government delivers services insulated from undue political influence.”

    The executive order has been particularly harmful in light of the presidential transition, the groups wrote. Trump and his lieutenants could remove employees responsible for key government services just ahead of President-elect Biden’s inauguration, or they could hire a cadre of unqualified partisans to sabotage the new president’s administration.

    “The need for Congress to act is urgent, especially as we are in the midst of a transition,” they wrote. “Failing to act will set a dangerous precedent, signaling congressional indifference to a substantial expansion of executive power . . . If Congress remains silent, it indicates acceptance of not just this [executive order], but of future administrative actions to dismantle the legislative framework supporting a nonpartisan civil service.”

    Originally posted by Federal_Executive

    Executive Order Would Politicize Civil Service

    President Trump signs directive that would potentially pull thousands of federal employees in "policy-making" positions out of the competitive service, making them at-will employees.

    by Erich Wagner
    22 October 2020

    President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order creating a new classification of “policy-making” federal employees that could strip swaths of the federal workforce of civil service protections just before the next president is sworn into office.

    The order would create a new Schedule F within the excepted service of the federal government, to be composed of “employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions,” and instructs agency heads to determine which current employees fit this definition and move them—whether they are members of the competitive service or other schedules within the excepted service—into this new classification. Federal regulations stating that employees hired into the competitive service retain that status even if their position is moved to the excepted service will not apply to Schedule F transfers.

    Positions in the new Schedule F would effectively constitute at-will employment, without any of the protections against adverse personnel actions that most federal workers currently enjoy, although individual agencies are tasked with establishing “rules to prohibit the same personnel practices prohibited” by Title 5 of the U.S. Code. The order also instructs the Federal Labor Relations Authority to examine whether Schedule F employees should be removed from their bargaining units, a move that would bar them from being represented by federal employee unions.

    “Except as required by statute, the civil service rules and regulations shall not apply to removals from positions listed in Schedules A, C, D, E, or F, or from positions excepted from the competitive service by statute,” the order states.

    The order sets a swift timetable for implementation: Agencies have 90 days to conduct a “preliminary” review of their workforces to determine who should be moved into the new employee classification—a deadline that coincides with Jan. 19, the day before the next presidential inauguration.

    The White House argued that the executive order is a necessary reform to ensure that federal officials can more efficiently remove “poor performers.”

    “Effective performance management of employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making or policy-advocating positions is of the utmost importance,” the order states. “Unfortunately, the government’s current performance management is inadequate, as recognized by federal workers themselves. For instance, the 2016 Merit Principles Survey reveals that less than a quarter of federal employees believe their agency addresses poor performers effectively.”

    But federal employee groups and government observers described the executive order as a “stunning” attempt to politicize the civil service and undermine more than a century of laws aimed at preventing corruption and cronyism in the federal government.

    “The [1883] Pendleton Act is clearly in the sights of this executive order,” said Donald Kettl, the Sid Richardson professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. “It wants to undo what the Pendleton Act and subsequent civil service laws tried to accomplish, which was to create a career civil service with expertise that is both accountable to elected officials but also a repository of expertise in government. The argument here is that anyone involved in policymaking can be swept into this new classification, and once they’re in they’re subject to political review and dismissal for any reason.”

    American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley said in a statement on Thursday that the executive order is “the most profound undermining of the civil service system in our lifetimes.”

    “This executive order strips due process rights and protections from perhaps hundreds of thousands of federal employees and will enable political appointees and other officials to hire and fire these workers at will,” Kelley said. “Through this order, President Trump has declared war on the professional civil service by giving himself the authority to fill the government with his political cronies who will pledge their unwavering loyalty to him—not to America.”

    Kettl said that the order could be far reaching in scope. Not only would high profile employees who publicly disagree with a president be targeted for removal, but lower level employees tasked with collecting the data and evidence underlying much of what the federal government does could be affected.

    “If you think about examples of how this could play out, Dr. [Anthony] Fauci could be fired, as well as individuals at the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] who are producing analysis about the spread of the coronavirus, social distancing and the importance of masks,” Kettl said. “You could have people within the State Department raising questions about the administration’s expansion of efforts to engage in crackdowns and change other policies who could be fired. The people counting the number of immigrant children who cannot be reunited with their parents could be fired. There’s no end to it because the biggest risk is that anyone who says anything that would be in opposition to the administration’s policy could be viewed as in a policy-making position, put in Schedule F and fired.”

    Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee's subcommittee on government operations, blasted the administration's efforts to remove workers' civil service protections.
    “This executive order is yet another attack on federal employees that addresses absolutely none of the issues that can hinder effective federal recruitment and hiring," Connolly said. "It’s a cheap ploy to let the Trump administration replace talent and acumen with fealty and self-dealing.”

    Originally posted by Trump_White_House_Executive_Orders

    Executive Order on Creating Schedule F In The Excepted Service

    Issued on: October 21, 2020

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 3301, 3302, and 7511 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section 1. Policy. To effectively carry out the broad array of activities assigned to the executive branch under law, the President and his appointees must rely on men and women in the Federal service employed in positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character. Faithful execution of the law requires that the President have appropriate management oversight regarding this select cadre of professionals.

    The Federal Government benefits from career professionals in positions that are not normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition but who discharge significant duties and exercise significant discretion in formulating and implementing executive branch policy and programs under the laws of the United States. The heads of executive departments and agencies (agencies) and the American people also entrust these career professionals with non‑public information that must be kept confidential.

    With the exception of attorneys in the Federal service who are appointed pursuant to Schedule A of the excepted service and members of the Senior Executive Service, appointments to these positions are generally made through the competitive service. Given the importance of the functions they discharge, employees in such positions must display appropriate temperament, acumen, impartiality, and sound judgment.

    Due to these requirements, agencies should have a greater degree of appointment flexibility with respect to these employees than is afforded by the existing competitive service process.

    Further, effective performance management of employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, the Government’s current performance management is inadequate, as recognized by Federal workers themselves. For instance, the 2016 Merit Principles Survey reveals that less than a quarter of Federal employees believe their agency addresses poor performers effectively.

    Separating employees who cannot or will not meet required performance standards is important, and it is particularly important with regard to employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions. High performance by such employees can meaningfully enhance agency operations, while poor performance can significantly hinder them. Senior agency officials report that poor performance by career employees in policy-relevant positions has resulted in long delays and substandard-quality work for important agency projects, such as drafting and issuing regulations.

    Pursuant to my authority under section 3302(1) of title 5, United States Code, I find that conditions of good administration make necessary an exception to the competitive hiring rules and examinations for career positions in the Federal service of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character. These conditions include the need to provide agency heads with additional flexibility to assess prospective appointees without the limitations imposed by competitive service selection procedures. Placing these positions in the excepted service will mitigate undue limitations on their selection. This action will also give agencies greater ability and discretion to assess critical qualities in applicants to fill these positions, such as work ethic, judgment, and ability to meet the particular needs of the agency. These are all qualities individuals should have before wielding the authority inherent in their prospective positions, and agencies should be able to assess candidates without proceeding through complicated and elaborate competitive service processes or rating procedures that do not necessarily reflect their particular needs.

    Conditions of good administration similarly make necessary excepting such positions from the adverse action procedures set forth in chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code. Chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, requires agencies to comply with extensive procedures before taking adverse action against an employee. These requirements can make removing poorly performing employees difficult. Only a quarter of Federal supervisors are confident that they could remove a poor performer. Career employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy‑making, and policy-advocating positions wield significant influence over Government operations and effectiveness. Agencies need the flexibility to expeditiously remove poorly performing employees from these positions without facing extensive delays or litigation.

    Sec. 2. Definition. The phrase “normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition” refers to positions whose occupants are, as a matter of practice, expected to resign upon a Presidential transition and includes all positions whose appointment requires the assent of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

    Sec. 3. Excepted Service. Appointments of individuals to positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character that are not normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition shall be made under Schedule F of the excepted service, as established by section 4 of this order.

    Sec. 4. Schedule F of the Excepted Service. (a) Civil Service Rule VI is amended as follows:

    (i) 5 CFR 6.2 is amended to read:
    “OPM shall list positions that it excepts from the competitive service in Schedules A, B, C, D, E, and F, which schedules shall constitute parts of this rule, as follows:

    Schedule A. Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to examine shall be listed in Schedule A.

    Schedule B. Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which it is not practicable to hold a competitive examination shall be listed in Schedule B. Appointments to these positions shall be subject to such noncompetitive examination as may be prescribed by OPM.

    Schedule C. Positions of a confidential or policy-determining character normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition shall be listed in Schedule C.

    Schedule D. Positions other than those of a confidential or policy-determining character for which the competitive service requirements make impracticable the adequate recruitment of sufficient numbers of students attending qualifying educational institutions or individuals who have recently completed qualifying educational programs. These positions, which are temporarily placed in the excepted service to enable more effective recruitment from all segments of society by using means of recruiting and assessing candidates that diverge from the rules generally applicable to the competitive service, shall be listed in Schedule D.

    Schedule E. Position of administrative law judge appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105. Conditions of good administration warrant that the position of administrative law judge be placed in the excepted service and that appointment to this position not be subject to the requirements of 5 CFR, part 302, including examination and rating requirements, though each agency shall follow the principle of veteran preference as far as administratively feasible.

    Schedule F. Positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character not normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition shall be listed in Schedule F. In appointing an individual to a position in Schedule F, each agency shall follow the principle of veteran preference as far as administratively feasible.”

    (ii) 5 CFR 6.4 is amended to read:
    “Except as required by statute, the Civil Service Rules and Regulations shall not apply to removals from positions listed in Schedules A, C, D, E, or F, or from positions excepted from the competitive service by statute. The Civil Service Rules and Regulations shall apply to removals from positions listed in Schedule B of persons who have competitive status.”

    (b) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (Director) shall:

    (i) adopt such regulations as the Director determines may be necessary to implement this order, including, as appropriate, amendments to or rescissions of regulations that are inconsistent with, or that would impede the implementation of, this order, giving particular attention to 5 CFR, part 212, subpart D; 5 CFR, part 213, subparts A and C; and 5 CFR 302.101; and

    (ii) provide guidance on conducting a swift, orderly transition from existing appointment processes to the Schedule F process established by this order.

    Sec. 5. Agency Actions. (a) Each head of an executive agency (as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, but excluding the Government Accountability Office) shall conduct, within 90 days of the date of this order, a preliminary review of agency positions covered by subchapter II of chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, and shall conduct a complete review of such positions within 210 days of the date of this order. Thereafter, each agency head shall conduct a review of agency positions covered by subchapter II of chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code, on at least an annual basis. Following such reviews each agency head shall:

    (i) for positions not excepted from the competitive service by statute, petition the Director to place in Schedule F any such competitive service, Schedule A, Schedule B, or Schedule D positions within the agency that the agency head determines to be of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character and that are not normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition. Any such petition shall include a written explanation documenting the basis for the agency head’s determination that such position should be placed in Schedule F; and

    (ii) for positions excepted from the competitive service by statute, determine which such positions are of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character and are not normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition. The agency head shall publish this determination in the Federal Register. Such positions shall be considered Schedule F positions for the purposes of agency actions under sections 5(d) and 6 of this order.

    (b) The requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall apply to currently existing positions and newly created positions.

    (c) When conducting the review required by subsection (a) of this section, each agency head should give particular consideration to the appropriateness of either petitioning the Director to place in Schedule F or including in the determination published in the Federal Register, as applicable, positions whose duties include the following:

    (i) substantive participation in the advocacy for or development or formulation of policy, especially:

    (A) substantive participation in the development or drafting of regulations and guidance; or

    (B) substantive policy-related work in an agency or agency component that primarily focuses on policy;

    (ii) the supervision of attorneys;

    (iii) substantial discretion to determine the manner in which the agency exercises functions committed to the agency by law;

    (iv) viewing, circulating, or otherwise working with proposed regulations, guidance, executive orders, or other non-public policy proposals or deliberations generally covered by deliberative process privilege and either:

    (A) directly reporting to or regularly working with an individual appointed by either the President or an agency head who is paid at a rate not less than that earned by employees at Grade 13 of the General Schedule; or

    (B) working in the agency or agency component executive secretariat (or equivalent); or

    (v) conducting, on the agency’s behalf, collective bargaining negotiations under chapter 71 of title 5, United States Code.

    (d) The Director shall promptly determine whether to grant any petition under subsection (a) of this section. Not later than December 31 of each year, the Director shall report to the President, through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, concerning the number of petitions granted and denied for that year for each agency.

    (e) Each agency head shall, as necessary and appropriate, expeditiously petition the Federal Labor Relations Authority to determine whether any Schedule F position must be excluded from a collective bargaining unit under section 7112(b) of title 5, United States Code, paying particular attention to the question of whether incumbents in such positions are required or authorized to formulate, determine, or influence the policies of the agency.

    Sec. 6. Prohibited Personnel Practices Prohibited. Agencies shall establish rules to prohibit the same personnel practices prohibited by section 2302(b) of title 5, United States Code, with respect to any employee or applicant for employment in Schedule F of the excepted service.

    Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

    (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

    (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    (d) If any provision of this order, or the application of any provision to any person or circumstances, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of any of its other provisions to any other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

    (e) Nothing in this order shall be construed to limit or narrow the positions that are or may be listed in Schedule C.


    October 21, 2020.

    POTUS-45 Donald J. Trump is still hustling his hats at the White House Gift Shop, now at a discounted sale price:

    Last edited by JRT; 30 Nov 20,, 04:11.

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  • tbm3fan
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
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    Sure looks like Fox is now the propaganda arm of Trump, Inc. not that there was any doubt. Josef Goebbels would be proud of them and that journalist using the principles of propaganda he pioneered. Fortunately a slight majority of Americans haven't fallen for it.

    Leave a comment:

  • JRT
    Click image for larger version  Name:	origin.jpg Views:	0 Size:	38.8 KB ID:	1569276
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    Originally posted by CNN

    Fox News' Maria Bartiromo gave Trump his first TV interview since the election. It was filled with lies.

    by Alexis Benveniste
    Sunday, 29 November 2020

    (New York)President Donald Trump on Sunday spoke with Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo -- his first TV interview since the election. The conversation was riddled with lies and conspiracy theories.

    Bartiromo opened the interview with a question about election fraud, telling Trump, "The facts are on your side." Trump responded, falsey saying, "This election was a fraud; it was a rigged election." The Fox anchor then reflected the president's anger, saying, "This is disgusting and we cannot allow America's election to be corrupted."

    The interview highlighted that Trump is "unable or unwilling to accept reality," CNN's Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter said on "Reliable Sources" Sunday.

    Trump spewed misinformation throughout the conversation.

    False allegations of voting issues
    "We had glitches where they moved thousands of votes from my account to Biden's account," Trump falsely told Bartiromo as he continued to bash mail-in voting and incorrectly claimed "dead people were applying to get a ballot."

    In addition to Trump's unwillingness to acknowledge Joe Biden won the election, Bartiromo's unchallenged acceptance of Trump's false narrative also presents a danger to American democracy, said CNN's Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy on "Reliable Sources."

    "News organizations — and I think Fox claims to be one — have a responsibility," Darcy said. "The president of the United States is trying to overturn the election. ...Frankly, there is not much daylight between Maria and [Infowars conspiracy theorist] Alex Jones."

    Bartiromo's journalism career goes back more than 25 years. She created a name for herself when she launched CNBC's morning show "Squawk Box" and anchored "The Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" and "On the Money with Maria Bartiromo." In 1995, she made history as the first reporter to broadcast live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    But much of the media world has shifted its perspective on her after she went to Fox News.

    "Maria Bartiromo, once a feared and acclaimed journalist, best known for working the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, forcing CEOs to tell the truth, now sits behind a desk and invites the president to lie and lie and lie," Stelter said.

    Trump's disinformation campaign about the election is less a cohesive strategy and more about throwing spaghetti at the wall in the hope that something sticks, said Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution said,

    "What he's running right now is a classic Russian-style disinformation campaign," Rauch said.

    He added that Trump's intention is to "flood the zone" and "confuse people" by pushing out conspiracy theories, lies and half-truths.

    The fact that his conspiracy theories have gained so much traction shows that Trump's strategy has been effective at gaining support from Republicans -- if not for overturning the election result. When it comes to Trump's skills in this area, Rauch said, "I think he's better than Putin."

    Rauch added that President-elect Joe Biden has done a good job of "not rising to the bait of every single conspiracy that's thrown out there."

    'I came up with vaccines'
    Nearly an hour into the interview, Trump finally discussed the coronavirus pandemic that continues to spiral out of control.

    Although America continues to hit new records for coronavirus infections, Trump claimed that the United States is more in control of the pandemic than other nations, a fact belied by America's higher infection rate than many countries.

    "We're doing better than the rest of the world," Trump told Bartiromo, speaking about the way the coronavirus has been handled in the United States.

    As of Sunday, there are more than 13 million Covid-19 cases in the United States and more than 266,000 people in the United States have died from Covid-19 complications.

    Trump also took credit for drug companies' vaccine trials, which have resulted in far-better-than-expected efficacy rates. The Trump administration's "Operation Warp Speed" funded some pharmaceutical companies' research, development and eventual distribution of the vaccine, but some companies with successful vaccine trials -- such as Pfizer (PFE) -- did not participate in the administration's program.

    "I came up with vaccines that people didn't think we'd have for five years," Trump said. In fact, pharmaceutical companies -- including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novavax -- created the vaccines.

    Sunday's interview came after a long streak of silence for Trump. People who work closely with the president have avoided answering questions about the election, avoiding questions about the president's efforts to overturn the election.

    Last edited by JRT; 29 Nov 20,, 22:20.

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  • Julie
    I plan on early voting in Georgia as I'm sure others will as well.

    Leave a comment:

  • JRT
    Originally posted by USNews

    Air Force Accused of Influencing Georgia Runoff Election in Favor of Republicans

    by Paul D. Shinkman, Senior Writer, National Security 
    25 November 2020

    The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is accusing the civilian political appointee who oversees the Air Force of attempting to influence the hotly contested Senate runoff election in Georgia, saying the timing of an announcement to station new, sophisticated aircraft at a base in Savannah "inherently politicizes" the process.

    "The timing and decision to include Savannah, Georgia, in the announcement, when Georgia is focused on Senate runoff elections, raises questions about the secretary's motives," Rep. Adam Smith said in a statement late Tuesday. "The Air Force did not need to make this decision now – plain and simple – and should delay moving forward with these basing actions."

    The Democrat from Washington state was concerned about the Air Force's announcement earlier in the day of preferred locations for a new fleet of C-130J Super Hercules, the newest version of the storied cargo planes. He said the process for determining where the planes will be based is still under review and that Congress may nullify the Air Force's announcement in its upcoming military funding bill. Smith also seemed unaware that the service was considering adding a fourth installation for the C-130s that would accommodate its plans for the Georgia Air National Guard Base and the 165th Airlift Wing there.

    "I am disappointed that the Air Force rushed today's announcement, a decision that could mar the service's historically repeatable, transparent, and deliberate strategic basing process, which until now has helped insulate basing decisions from political influence," Smith said. "If the Air Force plods ahead, the service runs the risk of undermining the strategic basing process and may force Congress to take action to protect the basing process from being used to potentially influence congressional action or election outcomes."

    A spokeswoman for the air service and for Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett declined to respond to questions about Smith's concerns regarding the timing of the announcement but said the base in Savannah had been added to three other installations set to receive the C-130s because Congress has hinted at buying more of the aircraft in the future.

    "Naming the preferred alternatives now allows us to move forward with the environmental impact process without delay, enabling the timely beddown of these C-130Js," Ann Stefanek said in an emailed statement.

    At least one of the Republican politicians involved in January's runoff election almost immediately claimed credit for the announcement as a part of his service to his home state.

    "This is extremely exciting news for Savannah's airmen and the entire coastal community," Sen. David Perdue, who faces Democrat Jon Ossoff in the runoff election on Jan. 5, said in a statement. "As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and proud senator for Georgia, I continue to focus on making sure our women and men in uniform always have the tools they need to carry out their missions, and that our state is at the forefront of that effort."

    The statement from his office also included statements from Maj. Gen. Thomas Carden, adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, touting "the unwavering support and leadership from Sen. David Perdue" who added that the new plans "put us in a position to take on this new equipment and make our country safer," as well as from the executive director of the Coastal Georgia Military Affairs Coalition, retired Col. Pete Hoffman, who said the decision "was driven in large part by Sen. Perdue."

    Hoffman also extended his thanks to Sen. Kelly Loeffler, another Republican who faces a tough runoff race against Democrat Raphael Warnock.

    Only 24 of the aircraft are currently ready to deploy, so the Air Force currently plans to send eight C-130Js to each of the three bases previously approved to receive them in Kentucky, Texas and West Virginia, pending the outcome of standard "environmental assessments."

    "Georgia will receive new aircraft if they become available in the future," the Air Force said in a public statement on Wednesday.

    Paul D. Shinkman, Senior Writer, National Security



    Leave a comment:

  • JRT
    Where is the metal foil lined red hat and white bed sheet outer garment ???

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  • JRT
    Originally posted by NewsWeek

    Trump Supporters in Georgia Ask RNC Chair Why They Should Vote in Runoffs When System Is 'Rigged'

    Frustrated supporters of President Donald Trump in Georgia challenged Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on why they should even vote in the upcoming Senate runoffs if "rigged" elections are "already decided."

    by Benjamin Fearnow
    28 November 2020

    McDaniel's Saturday campaign stop in Marietta, Georgia, appeared to backfire as Trump supporters who have adopted the president's conspiratorial accusations about "voter fraud" asked why their vote even matters. The scene doesn't bode well for Republicans as they look to hang onto a thin U.S. Senate majority that hinges on prevailing in two January 5 runoff elections. Both incumbent Georgia GOP senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, face stiff challenges from Democratic candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.

    One baffled Trump supporter at the event asked how Republicans turned out in such "crazy numbers," but somehow Joe Biden still defeated the president. He claimed "machines are switching the votes," a baseless accusation lifted directly from Trump.

    McDaniel was forced to defend the U.S. election system despite Trump's unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud. The GOP chairwoman found herself pushing back against the Republican president's messaging, telling state GOP voters to worry about election fraud issues "later," or at least to hold their concerns until after the all-important U.S. Senate runoffs.

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    "Why should we vote in this election when we know it's already decided?" asked one demoralized Marietta voter.

    "It's not decided. This is the key—it's not decided," McDaniel told the irate crowd of Republican Trump supporters. The president lost the state by more than 12,000 votes in the November 3 election against Biden. "So if you lose your faith and you don't vote and people walk away—that will decide it," she warned attendees.

    McDaniel was hit with a barrage of questions directly pertaining to Trump's ongoing accusations of voter fraud, which he has extended to several other states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania, where he lost by tens or even hundreds of thousands of votes. Trump supporters present at the event appeared apathetic about the upcoming vote, saying the expansion of "money and work when [the election] is already decided" seems pointless.

    Trump warned Americans that "a lot of things" are set to change in terms of the presidential election outcome, despite state after state rejecting his campaign's legal challenges. McDaniel's appearance in Marietta on Saturday occurs in the same Cobb County where the local GOP chairman said Thursday they had not even signed on to attorney Sidney Powell's typo-filled lawsuit contesting the election results.

    Nonetheless, Trump has lashed out against several Georgia state lawmakers including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who he called "the enemy of the people," a phrase used frequently in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union.

    "Kemp is a crook!" one upset Trump supporter shouted at McDaniel Saturday, a reference to the state's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, who is also a very public backer of the president.

    Biden holds a sizable electoral vote margin of victory, and he is pushing ahead with his transition into the White House on January 20. McDaniel's visit to Georgia in support of Republican senators Loeffler and Perdue comes as Trump himself announced his own visit to the state ahead of the runoff races. The president said Thursday he plans to visit the state this coming week to campaign for Perdue and Loeffler.

    Longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove noted on Fox News Saturday that if Democrats capture the seats, they "don't need to change the rules" in order to undo Trump's 2017 tax cuts, which were written into law by the GOP majority. Instead they can use the Budget Control Act of 1974 and a move labeled "budget reconciliation" in order to do it with the simple majority of 50 senate votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris.

    McDaniel pointed out to campaign stop attendees that Perdue was leading Ossoff by more than 88,000 votes, urging GOP voters to ensure they get out and vote in such a close race. Under Georgia state laws, a two-person runoff is held when no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, which occurred in the November 3 contests.

    Newsweek reached out to the RNC and the Trump campaign for additional remarks Saturday afternoon.



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  • JRT
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    ... Trump administration removes experts from Defense Policy Board ...
    Upside: That may free those experts to advise the incoming administration during and after the transition, if they so choose.

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  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by Julie View Post
    What is up with Trump purging the Pentagon Advisory Board? Don't they "advise" the DOD?
    Just a continuation of Trump's version of the Nacht der langen Messer : Get rid of competent people and replace them with sycophants of sufficient loyalty to The Leader.

    Although given that Trump has 52 days left in office, this is completely gratuitous. However it's also completely in line with his sociopathic personality: Burn everything to the ground. His psychologist niece predicted this

    Trump administration removes experts from Defense Policy Board

    (CNN)Several high profile members of the Defense Policy Board were removed on Wednesday by the Trump administration, in yet another purge of longstanding foreign policy experts and national security establishment figures in the final days of the Trump era, according to three defense officials.

    Members who were suddenly removed include former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, former ranking member of the House Intelligence committee Jane Harman and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, two of the officials said.

    The Defense Policy Board is an outside advisory group of former high profile national security officials who "provide the Secretary of Defense and the Deputy Secretary of Defense, independent, informed advice and opinions concerning matters of defense policy in response to specific tasks from the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense," according to their website.

    "As part of long-considered changes, we can confirm that several members of the Department's Defense Policy Board have been removed. We are extremely grateful for their dedicated service, commitment, and contributions to our national security. Future announcements for new members of the board will be made soon," the third official said.The first two officials said the members removed also included former Chief of Naval Operations, retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief operating officer at the Pentagon Rudy De Leon and former Bush deputy national security adviser J.D. Crouch II.
    Foreign Policy first reported the removals.

    Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who made an unannounced trip to Bahrain and Qatar Wednesday nearly a week after announcing US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be further reduced, said in a statement Thursday, "I am grateful to the departing board members, many of whom have served for decades."
    "As we adapt the Department for great power competition, I look forward to naming new board members in the coming days," Miller said.

    After Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper earlier this month, the Pentagon made sweeping changes in leadership and removed several most senior officials, replacing them with perceived loyalists to the President. The move fueled alarm among military and civilian officials who were concerned about what could come next. The new appointments include retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, now a top Pentagon official, who once called former President Barack Obama a terrorist leader and suggested that a former CIA director was using a Cicero quote to activate a sleeper agent to kill Trump. Kash Patel, former aide to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, is chief of staff to Miller and leading Pentagon transition efforts with the incoming Biden-Harris administration.

    Ezra Cohen-Watnick was also named to a new post and will be the acting under secretary of defense for intelligence. Cohen-Watnick gained notoriety in March 2017 for his alleged involvement in providing intelligence materials to then-House Intelligence Chairman Nunes, who went on to claim that US intelligence officials improperly surveilled Trump associates.

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  • Julie
    What is up with Trump purging the Pentagon Advisory Board? Don't they "advise" the DOD?

    Leave a comment:

  • TopHatter
    Former security officials warn Donald Trump won’t keep state secrets

    American security experts are concerned that Donald Trump will be unable to keep state secrets when he leaves the White House, and should be barred from receiving future intelligence briefings, according to reports.

    The US president, who has routinely broken with precedent in the past and revealed American secrets, would be in line to receive briefings even when he leaves the White House.

    But, as security experts told NBC News this week, the president could also prove vulnerable to selling those secrets to the country’s adversaries, and on that basis, should not have access to anymore briefings.

    As well as a troubled personal brand and tax records under investigation, Mr Trump was also reported to owe $400 million in debt to unknown lenders.

    “Is that a risk?” said David Preiss, an ex-CIA agent who wrote The President's Book of Secrets, on intelligence and presidents. “If it were someone applying for a security clearance, damn right it would be a risk.”

    Mr Preiss, who briefed former president George H.W. Bush as a CIA agent, was among a number of security experts who raised concerns to NBC News.

    Jack Goldsmith, who served as a senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration said “it was easy to imagine” that Mr Trump would be refused further intelligence when he leaves office.

    "This is not something that one could have ever imagined with other presidents, but it's easy to imagine with this one," said the former official.

    "He's shown as president that he doesn't take secret-keeping terribly seriously. He has a known tendency to disrespect rules related to national security. And he has a known tendency to like to sell things that are valuable to him."

    Mr Trump was reported to have told Russia’s ambassador and foreign minister in 2017 about sensitive terrorism threat information that had not been shared with America’s allies, while on Twitter in 2019, he shared what experts said was a secret satellite photo of an Iranian nuclear installation.

    And, after he boasted about a new range of “super duper missiles” in May this year, Mr Trump appeared to force the The Pentagon and Department of Defense to reluctantly confirm they were “working on developing a range of hypersonic missiles to counter our adversaries.”

    According to NBC News, former presidents are given briefings before they travel overseas, or when the current president wants to consult them, but Mr Trump has not believed to have done so, with former president Barack Obama.

    Mr Trump’s overseas businesses and investments are among the most complicated of any president, with interests in a number of countries which include Russia and China.

    The solution is simple: After the Inauguration, don't tell this man a goddamn thing. He will be just another civilian and therefore entitled to knowing exactly zero about classified or sensitive information.

    Prior to the Inauguration, presumably someone will sit down with him and the rest of his morally bankrupt Family and brief them on the consequences of violating the Espionage Act.

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  • tbm3fan
    Originally posted by InExile View Post

    That something I still struggle to understand with Trump. He routinely exhibits behavior most people would never tolerate in their personal life. From the bullying and treating people like shit. Showing no loyalty to anyone and throwing them under the bus once they have outlived their usefulness. The constant lying; his immoral behavior and affairs and his comments about women. This is not someone one would tolerate as a friend, a co-worker, a boss or even a business associate.

    Yet as a leader he is considered a savior by perhaps 30-40% of the country.
    Which is pretty much the non-college educated people in this country. The thing about college is that it takes you out of your nice comfy closed box of a high school populated only by others from your neighborhood. That means you get exposed to other people, different people, different people with different cultures, different ideas, and on and on. Takes you out of your little box for once in your life and maybe see things through another lens rather than being narrow minded.

    I spent four years in two very small Catholic boys high schools ending up in San Diego in 1968 which was a very Navy town and not much else. I went to SDSU in 1971, despite my father suggesting Notre Dame, as I didn't want to leave the beaches. Lived at home my first year before my parents moved to the Bay Area. Second year was in a dorm where I ran into people from all over the state. Spent time on vacations exploring San Francisco day and night as I was bored when visiting. This was San Francisco in the 70s which was pretty cool. I traveled Europe for four months in the summer of 76. Then in 77 went to grad school at UC Berkeley.

    Many knock Berkeley as liberal nuts but of course they never spent time at the school or off campus. Well I spent four years there and I'm sure glad I did. At SDSU I had one Asian student in all my classes over five years while at Cal it was 50%. SDSU all blondes you could say and Cal some of everybody. I dated Latina, African-American, and Asian girls. My wife is Asian. While SDSU was great, Cal opened me up to an entire different world of people, ideas, and culture. I watched classmates from back east and the midwest transform over their four years at Cal and consequently the atmosphere and variety of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. Cal is just as hard to get into as Stanford, Harvard, and Yale but as an undergrad I would put Cal first because of the sheer variety you are exposed to which also includes economic backgrounds.

    Now I once knew someone who was an intelligent woman who edited papers for corporations. Her husband worked at Apple early on and decided to get his PhD from a university in Minnesota in the late 80s. The whole time she spent there was miserable for her as she knew no one and no one was prepared to admit a Californian into their tight knit group. She ran into many who had never been more than a hundred miles from their home in their life nor to college. I've been to Asia 51 times besides Europe. Those people she ran into are Trump people in the bolded print.

    I'm actually going over to Cal on Friday to spend the day shooting pictures of the architecture in B&W film.

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  • TopHatter
    'Loser': How a Lifelong Fear Bookended Trump's Presidency

    In the now-distant Republican presidential primaries of 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas handily won the Iowa caucuses. This was determined by a method that has lately come under attack but at the time was considered standard: elementary math.

    One of the losers in Iowa, developer and television personality Donald Trump, soon accused Cruz of electoral theft. He fired off several inflammatory tweets, including this foreshadowing of our current democracy-testing moment: “Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.”

    The episode vanished in the tsunami of political vitriol to come during the Trump presidency. Still, it reflects what those who have worked with Trump say is his modus operandi when trying to slip the humiliating epithet he has so readily applied to others.


    “The first thing he calls someone who has wronged him is a loser,” said Jack O’Donnell, who ran an Atlantic City casino for Trump in the 1980s. “That’s his main attack word. The worst thing in his world would be to be a loser. To avoid being called a loser, he will do or say anything.”

    Across his long career, he has spun, cajoled and attacked — in the press, in lawsuits and lately, of course, on Twitter — whenever faced with appearing as anything less than the superlative of the moment: the greatest, the smartest, the healthiest, the best. This has at times required audacious attempts to twist a negative into a positive, often by saying something over and over until it either displaces the truth or exhausts the audience into surrender.

    It is a matter of record that Trump has been a loser in many business ventures (Trump Steaks, anyone?). In fact, his greatest success flowed not from real estate but from the creation of a popular alternate-reality television persona — Trump, master of the boardroom — that he ultimately rode to the White House.

    But his famous aversion to the label of loser has now reached its apotheosis.

    Since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the Nov. 3 election — and Trump therefore declared the loser — the president has repeatedly trafficked in baseless allegations of a fraudulent and corrupt electoral process. What was once considered the quirky trait of a self-involved New York developer has become an international embarrassment, nearly upending the sacred transition of power and leaving the world’s leading democracy — grappling with a deadly pandemic and a teetering economy — with a leader who refuses to concede despite the basic math.


    On Monday, the Trump administration finally authorized a weeks-delayed transition process after Michigan certified Biden as its winner. Still, Trump continued to press quixotic lawsuits and tweet of fraud and defiant resolve.

    “Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight.”

    “This was a LANDSLIDE!”

    And for Thanksgiving: “Just saw the vote tabulations. There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!! This was a 100% RIGGED ELECTION.”

    The president’s tweets have succeeded in sowing doubt about the foundational underpinnings of the republic among his many millions of followers. In a recent Reuters/lpsos poll, about half the Republicans questioned believed that Trump had “rightfully won” reelection, and 68% expressed concern that the election was “rigged.”

    Such behavior by the president reflects a binary code approach to life that spares no room for nuance or complication. If a person isn’t a one, then that person is a zero.

    “You are either a winner or a loser,” Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, said in an interview last week. “Reality is secondary. It is all about perception.”

    Cohen, who was convicted in 2018 of tax evasion and campaign finance violations and who has since become a vocal critic of the president, provided several examples in his recent book, “Disloyal: A Memoir.”

    Cohen recounted how, in 2014, CNBC was preparing a poll of the 25 most influential people in the world. Trump, who initially ranked 187th out of 200, ordered Cohen to improve his standing.

    “Just make sure I make it to the top 10,” Trump said, according to Cohen.

    Cohen hired someone to assess the options. After that person determined that the poll could be manipulated, $15,000 was spent to buy discreet IP addresses through which votes for Trump could be cast. The scheme worked, with Trump elevated to ninth place when all the votes were counted.

    “Before long, Trump believed he really was rated in the top 10 and was regarded as a profoundly important business figure,” Cohen wrote.

    But CNBC removed Trump from the list without offering an explanation. The infuriated future president ordered Cohen to get the network to change course. This failed. He then ordered him to plant a story in the media about “the terrible treatment Trump had received at the hands of CNBC.” This also failed.

    Still, Trump managed to exploit the fake ranking before he was dropped from the list.

    “He had hundreds of copies made, and he added the poll to the pile of newspaper clippings and magazine profiles of himself that he would give to visitors,” Cohen wrote.

    This fear of being seen as somehow less than the very best is a recurring theme in the mountains of books and articles written about Trump. Many observers of Trump family history have reflected on the influence of the patriarch, developer Fred Trump, who had his own version of the binary taxonomy of humanity: the strong and the weak.

    The president flicked at this in his book “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” in which he recalled gluing together the blocks of his younger brother, Robert, effectively ensuring that he would not be outdone in any competition involving ... blocks.

    “That was the end of Robert’s blocks,” he wrote.

    A grown-up iteration of that episode came at a seminal moment in the man’s career: the opening of his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City in 1990.

    According to O’Donnell, who was deeply involved in the venture, Trump pushed to have the casino open prematurely because he feared the shame a delay would bring after promising the world a glitzy, celebrity-packed opening.

    The casino wasn’t ready; among other issues, only one-quarter of the slot machines were open, leaving the cavernous space quiet and empty.

    “It was just horrible,” recalled O’Donnell, who wrote a book about his experiences with the future president. “It didn’t look like a normal casino.”

    Privately, Trump was furious and blamed his brother Robert for some of the problems. (The younger Trump quit and did not speak to his brother for years.) Publicly, though, Trump boasted of the wonder that was the Taj Mahal.

    Appearing on CNN’s “Larry King Live” in April 1990, Trump said the only problem with the Taj Mahal’s opening day was too much success. Gamblers were playing the slots with such ferocity that the machines almost burst into flames.

    “We had machines that — they were virtually on fire,” Trump said. “Nobody’s ever seen anything like this.”

    The Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy the following year, which left Trump’s many lenders and bondholders in the lurch.

    Trump expounded on his worldview in a 2014 interview with author Michael D’Antonio.

    “You can be tough and ruthless and all that stuff, and if you lose a lot, nobody’s going to follow you, because you’re looked at as a loser,” he said. “Winning is a very important thing. The most important aspect of leadership is winning. If you have a record of winning, people are going to follow you.”

    Trump has often used the courts to try to crush anyone who might cast doubt on his Olympian standing in wealth and success. A standout in this category is the $5 billion lawsuit he filed against journalist Timothy O’Brien, whose 2005 book, “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald,” argued that Trump's net worth was no more than $250 million — that he was not, in other words, a billionaire.

    O’Brien reported that Trump attributed the chasmic discrepancy to envy.

    “You can go ahead and speak to guys who have 400-pound wives at home,” Trump said, “but the guys who really know me know I’m a great builder.”

    The lawsuit was dismissed.

    Of course, Trump’s need to be seen as a winner has informed his presidency. The self-declared superlatives cover all bases, from being the “best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico” to doing the most for Black Americans (with the “possible exception” of Abraham Lincoln). In anticipation of his eventual impeachment this year, Trump referred to himself as “our greatest of all presidents.”

    Perhaps the most famous moment in which this desire bled into public policy came in late 2018, when Trump used an approaching government shutdown to demand funding for one of his central fixations: a wall along the Mexican border.

    After Trump encouraged his fellow Republicans in Congress to reach a compromise, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, worked out a deal to avoid a shutdown and temporarily set aside negotiations over security measures, including a border wall.

    It appeared that Trump would sign the deal — that is, until conservative pundits accused the president of caving to Democrats, of breaking his “Build the Wall” promise, of effectively being a loser.

    The president reversed course, and so began the longest federal government shutdown in the country’s history — at an estimated cost to the economy of $11 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    After Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in January 2017, his administration asserted that the inauguration’s audience was the largest ever, despite all evidence to the contrary. But any suggestion otherwise would have rendered Trump a loser in some imagined contest about inaugural crowd sizes.

    Now, nearly four years later, the citizens have cast their ballots, baseless lawsuits alleging electoral fraud have been dismissed and states have certified the vote. Still, the loser of the 2020 presidential election continues to see crowds that the rest of the country does not.

    It ends as it began.


    1. a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

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  • TopHatter
    Lara Trump considering run for US Senate

    Donald Trump's daughter-in-law is considering a run for the US Senate in a move that could start a new American political dynasty.

    Lara Trump, 38, who became a prominent campaigner for her father-in-law, said it would be "incredible" to stand in her home state of North Carolina.

    If successful, she would be the first member of the next generation of the Trump family to be elected to national office.

    Donald Trump Jr, the president's eldest son, and his daughter Ivanka, have both also been touted as possible future political candidates.

    Mrs Trump, a former television producer and personal trainer, is married to Eric Trump, 36, the president's second eldest son.

    She told Fox News: "It would be an incredible thing. It's my home state, a state I love so much. And look, I think we need some strong Republicans in Washington DC.

    "We had a great run with the Senate and the House this go-round, but you know, let's see what happens. Let's get through this one and then we'll talk about the next one."

    During the last campaign Mrs Trump spoke at events and rallies around the country, including many in North Carolina, and had her own YouTube show. She backed her father-in-law's claims about voter fraud.

    Each state sends two senators to Washington and the next Senate election in North Carolina takes place in 2022.

    The Republican incumbent, Richard Burr, plans to stand down, which could lead to numerous candidates entering the party's primary race.

    Mark Meadows, Mr Trump's chief of staff, is also from North Carolina. But Mr Meadows said: In terms of my hat, it won't be in the ring."

    Donald Trump narrowly won North Carolina, by 1.3 per cent, in the 2020 election.

    Ivanka Trump, 39, the president's daughter, and adviser, has not indicated any plans to run for public office in the immediate future.

    She is reportedly still deciding whether to move her family from Washington to New York, New Jersey or Florida.

    At the president's golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey the "cottage" used by Ms Trump and her husband Jared Kushner has, for some time, been undergoing renovations including extra bedrooms and a veranda.

    It has led to speculation they may move there. However, the couple have kept their spacious former apartment in Manhattan.

    They are reportedly considering spending more time in both New Jersey and Florida, where Mr Trump is expected to be based after his presidency.

    This could possibly be where we see if the Trump brand has any staying power in politics. A better litmus test would be one of his three kids running but Lara's run can be instructional as well.

    2022 is a long way off though, effectively an eternity in political terms. It'll be equally instructional if she actually does run.

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  • TopHatter
    Originally posted by InExile View Post
    Yet as a leader he is considered a savior by perhaps 30-40% of the country.
    It's almost entirely Hatred.

    He hates the same people they hate: Liberals, Immigrants that aren't blonde haired and blue eyed, Black and Brown Americans etc, basically the usual white nationalist/white supremacist bogeymen.

    Trump and his followers hate what these people represent: Change.

    As for Trump's vile aspects, in many ways they're admirable qualities to his followers, or at the very worst, just lamentable but merely minor blemishes that come with the territory.

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