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2020 American Political Scene

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  • #31
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    Mike Pompeo Doubles Down On NPR Reporter Attack. No One Buys It.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came out swinging — again — Saturday in yet another attack on a National Public Radio host, indicating she mistook Bangladesh for Ukraine in his map challenge.

    But no one is buying it.

    Pompeo exploded in a profanity-laced tirade at “All Things Considered” host Mary Louise Kelly after she dared to ask him questions about Ukraine in an interview Friday. He led her to a private office after the interview and yelled at her, using the “F-word and many others,” said Kelly. “He shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself,” which was 10 minutes. Pompeo also asked: “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” Kelly recounted.

    He then challenged her to find Ukraine on a blank map, which Kelly did.

    On Saturday, Pompeo appeared to indicate that she mistook Bangladesh for Ukraine, which is 3,600 miles away. “It’s worth noting that Bangladesh is not the Ukraine,” he scoffed in his statement. He also claimed that the ugly confrontation was off the record, which NPR denies (and stands by its report), and that Kelly “lied,” was “shameful” and violated the “basic rules of journalism and decency.”

    Some observers speculated that it was Pompeo who made the geographical goof in his attempt to call out Kelly — by confusing Bangladesh with Belarus, which borders Ukraine.

    The Washington Post blasted Pompeo’s tale as a “blatant gaslighting attempt.”

    There is “absolutely no way” Kelly mistook Bangladesh for Ukraine, the Post declared. To mention just a couple of issues, the countries are on different continents, and Bangladesh clearly doesn’t share a border with Russia, so it would be difficult to engage in a border war with that nation, something a journalist would know.

    In addition, Kelly is a former national security reporter who has traveled extensively abroad and has a master’s degree in European studies from prestigious Cambridge University. “The mere fact” that Pompeo challenged Kelly to begin with suggests he didn’t “know who he was dealing with,” the Post wrote.

    Former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub blasted Pompeo’s statement as possibly the “most breathtakingly childish” ever issued by a secretary of state in “over two centuries.”

    Pompeo's been hanging around Trump too much, he's got most of Trump's idiocy and raging sociopath routine down pat.

    Either that or he crawled out of the same sewer as Trump.

    Probably both.
    I liked this short video on CNN where Don Lemon loses it as a GOP strategist tells how Trump wouldn't be able to find Ukraine on a map even if the map had a big U and the picture of a crane next to it. Of course the Secretary of State saying Americans don't care about Ukraine will surely be noted in Kiev and Moscow.

    One should also note this is the third time he has attacked a reporter and all three have been women. Seems he takes his lead from Trump on that. Why aren't you in your place?
    Last edited by tbm3fan; 27 Jan 20,, 22:36.


    • #32
      Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
      One should also note this is the third time he has attacked a reporter and all three have been women. Seems he takes his lead from Trump on that. Why aren't you in your place?
      Can't be having reporters asking those embarrassing questions, now can we. Especially not some uppity woman.


      • #33
        I really can't think of a better campaign to get Trump re-elected than CNN's. :-)

        "He's just trying to demean her, and obviously it's false. He also knows that deep in his heart that Donald Trump couldn't find Ukraine on the map if you had the letter 'U' and the picture of an actual, physical crane next to it," Wilson said.

        "He knows that this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world," Wilson said as Lemon's face hit the desk. "That's partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience of the credulous boom rube demo that backs Donald Trump that wants to think that (in Southern accent) Donald Trump is the smart one and y'all elitists are dumb."

        "You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling," Ali chimed in.

        "Your math and your reading," Wilson continued.

        "Yeah, your reading, your geography, knowing other countries, sipping your latte," Ali said.

        "All those lines on the map," Wilson said.

        "Only those elitists know where Ukraine is," Ali finished.
        In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



        • #34
          Do you believe that more ignorant a candidate is the more electable they are?


          • #35
            Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
            I really can't think of a better campaign to get Trump re-elected than CNN's. :-)
            "He knows that this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world...That's partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience of the credulous boom rube demo that backs Donald Trump that wants to think that (in Southern accent) Donald Trump is the smart one and y'all elitists are dumb."

            I wonder where they could've possibly gotten that idea.

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            • #36
              Site That Called Impeachment a 'Jew Coup' Got Passes for Trump Trip

              To coordinate coverage of President Donald Trump’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the White House provided press credentials to the usual mix of American news organizations, including Fox News, Reuters and The New York Times.

              One media outlet stood out: TruNews, a website aimed at conservative Christians whose founder, a pastor named Rick Wiles, recently described Trump’s impeachment as “a Jew coup” planned by “a Jewish cabal.”

              Five employees of TruNews, which is based in Florida, received formal credentials from the White House to cover the president’s trip, Wiles said in an interview last week from his hotel room in Switzerland — a room in a ski lodge reserved by the Trump administration for traveling members of the American press. (Like other media organizations, TruNews paid for its flights and lodging.)

              White House officials, in this and previous administrations, tend to be flexible in choosing which news organizations receive press credentials: Reporting is a form of free speech and there are no legal restrictions on who can declare themselves a journalist.

              But Wiles’ ability to secure credentials after his anti-Semitic remarks — which prompted a formal rebuke from two members of Congress — has left civil rights groups deeply troubled.

              “It’s a validation of their work,” said Kyle Mantyla, a senior fellow at the progressive group People for the American Way, which has tracked Wiles’ work. TruNews, he said, “sees it as the White House being on their side.”

              TruNews was not granted special access to the president in Davos, nor did its members travel on Air Force One. But one of Wiles’ colleagues, Edward Szall, asked a question of the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump during a news conference.

              “We want to thank President Trump and the White House for extending the invitation to be here,” Wiles said in a video from Davos. “We are honored to be here, representing the kingdom of heaven and our king Jesus Christ.”

              It was not the first time TruNews has gotten close to Trump and his family.

              The president took a question from Szall at a 2018 news conference in Midtown Manhattan. In March 2019, a TruNews correspondent filmed an interview with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, after a rally in Michigan. (A spokeswoman for Donald Trump Jr. told The Washington Post that the interview was impromptu and that Trump was unfamiliar with the site.)

              TruNews, which Wiles founded as an online radio program in 1999 called America’s Hope, has a history of spreading conspiracy theories and proclaiming an imminent apocalypse. It drew more scrutiny in November after Wiles, in an online video, accused Jews of orchestrating Trump’s impeachment.

              “That’s the way Jews work,” Wiles said. “They are deceivers. They plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda. This ‘Impeach Trump’ movement is a Jew coup, and the American people better wake up to it really fast.”

              Wiles also warned his listeners that “when Jews take over a country, they kill millions of Christians.”

              Afterward, Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida and Elaine Luria of Virginia wrote to the White House asking why TruNews had been allowed to attend presidential events. They did not receive a response.

              The White House declined to comment for this article. In the past, the administration has faced lawsuits after revoking press credentials from reporters from CNN and Playboy.

              On the phone from Switzerland, Wiles explained how his Davos trip had come about.

              “We’re on a list of media organizations at the White House and from time to time they send out notices that there are events taking place,” Wiles said, adding that his team had also covered Trump’s visits to NATO summits and Group of 20 gatherings. He said that he received an email from the White House about the Davos trip and that his request to attend was approved.

              The team from TruNews — three correspondents and a two-person production crew — stayed at a hotel where the White House had reserved a block of rooms for the use of American journalists. (As with a wedding block, those who used the rooms paid the hotel directly.) Reporters spotted Wiles at the breakfast buffet at the hotel, the Privā Alpine Lodge.

              Asked in the interview if he understood why his “Jew coup” comments prompted charges of anti-Semitism, Wiles replied: “I coined a phrase. It came out of my mouth: ‘It looks like a Jew coup.’ All I pointed out was many of the people involved were Jewish.”

              Pressed if such rhetoric could be reasonably interpreted as anti-Semitic, Wiles said: “It’s hard to say. I don’t know. I can tell you from my heart there is no ill will toward the Jewish people, with all sincerity.”

              His critics disagree. Deutch, the representative from Florida, learned of TruNews’ presence in Davos while on a congressional trip to Jerusalem to commemorate the Holocaust.

              “I can’t believe the day before I attend an event at Yad Vashem marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, anti-Semites were given WH credentials to broadcast from European soil,” Deutch wrote on Twitter. (Yad Vashem is the Israeli Holocaust memorial.)

              The president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, Jonathan Karl of ABC News, has asked the Trump administration why TruNews was credentialed for the trip.

              “It’s puzzling that a known hate group would get press credentials from the same White House that revoked the credentials of a correspondent for a major television network,” Karl said Sunday, referring to Jim Acosta of CNN, whose credentials were revoked — and then restored after a lawsuit — in 2018.

              “We have asked why this happened and if the White House intends to issue credentials to this group in the future,” Karl said. “We have not received an on-the-record response.”

              Wiles, in the interview, said that he had been unfairly attacked by “the self-appointed gods and goddesses of the news media, who do not think we should be permitted to attend any event.” He went on to blame George Soros, the Jewish financier often cited in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, for coordinating a campaign against him.

              “I don’t think anybody can find fault with our news coverage at these events,” Wiles said. “They may not agree with our analysis and conclusions. But our behavior at these events — we’re professional, we’re respectful.”

              He added: “And we’re able to get interviews with prominent people.”

              Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is the kind of people that support Donald Trump and he supports them and enables them right back. But, you know, "TDS", right?


              • #37
                That above just about describes an elite WASP businessman in New York during the late 40s in New York. Guess who sees himself as an "elite" businessman (and he is not Gregory Peck) from New York despite what he says. Of course, he is the elitest of the elite.

                Like I say when you play with dirt you eventually become dirt yourself both ways...


                • #38
                  Same pattern we saw in the last election, amplified.

                  In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                    I really can't think of a better campaign to get Trump re-elected than CNN's. :-)
                    And sure enough

                    For 'smart people' they sure do provide a lot of ammunition
                    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                    • #40
                      If the Senate Doesn't Hold Trump Accountable, the Damage Will Go Far Beyond This Presidency

                      On Sunday morning, the President of the United States tweeted: “Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!” You may have forgotten about it already, given ensuing developments in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump.

                      If anyone else threatened a sitting congressman, the head of the House Intelligence Committee, federal law enforcement would have taken it seriously. It certainly wouldn’t have been forgotten overnight. Why isn’t that the case when the threat is issued by the President?

                      With Trump, behavior that would be shocking from any other President is routinely written off as a joke or hyperbole. Remember that time he wanted to buy Greenland? His comment that deceased Representative John Dingell might be in hell? Or his suggestions he could remain in office longer than the two four-year terms mandated by the Constitution? “It’s just Trump,” people say over and over. The people in the best position to set limits on this President’s misbehavior, the people in his own party, have shown no inclination to do so. In the case of the recent tweet directed at Schiff, no Republican in Congress condemned or even questioned Trump’s threat.

                      Trump’s conduct is not just shockingly inappropriate for the leader of our country, it’s also dangerous. The President of the United States speaks with a loud megaphone, whether he intends to or not. The country learned that when Cesar Sayoc, a Florida man, mailed 16 pipe bombs to people he thought were Trump’s enemies. Thankfully those bombs weren’t operational and no one was injured, but Sayoc’s reaction to Trump’s rabble-rousing should have been sufficient to put the President and those around him on notice that his words and behavior have power and deploying them in an irresponsible manner poses a real risk to the targets of his tweets and comments.

                      Accountability is essential to our system of government. The Founding Fathers created checks and balances to keep any one branch from growing too powerful. We learn this in grade school. So why isn’t President Trump held accountable?

                      Sometimes, it feels like we’ve lost our common sense. Republicans in Congress voted along with Democrats to provide much-needed security aid to Ukraine. How could they subsequently acquiesce in the President’s scheme to extract an announcement from Ukraine that it was investigating Vice President Biden and/or his son Hunter for corruption before Ukraine would receive that aid?

                      What if a future Democratic President did something like that? What if she held up critical aid to an ally that had been invaded to extract political leverage? It seems unlikely that any future Democratic President would be given the same sort of leeway. Instead of holding Trump to the standards we have historically expected of a President, Republicans have lowered their standards to his level.

                      That’s a dangerous mindset, and it has landed us in our current constitutional predicament. But perhaps it also offers an opportunity to address and correct the level of accountability we expect from a President.

                      From the beginning, candidate Trump got away with behavior that was unimaginable for others. He got a pass for making fun of a reporter with a disability. He got away with calling Mexicans rapists and criminals. He was excused for attacking a Gold Star family because they were Muslim. His supporters even found a way to defend him when a videotape where he boasted about sexual assaults became public. But this conduct happened within the realm of politics*—it was up to voters to decide whether to countenance Trump’s behavior. They chose, at that point, to accept it.

                      After the election came the investigation into Russian interference in our election. No other President, whether there was available proof of a criminal conspiracy or not, could have avoided political censure at a minimum for welcoming Russia’s help in a U.S. election and obstructing investigation into it. Trump did. Special Counsel Robert Mueller conducted his investigation with the knowledge that long-standing DOJ policy prohibits indictment of a sitting president. Whether that policy is right or wrong, it means the federal criminal justice system is not a vehicle for holding a President accountable if his conduct rises to the level of criminality.

                      That, of course, brings us to impeachment. Recall the timeline. The day after he was “cleared” by Mueller, Trump got on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He asked for a “favor,” the now well-known exchange of aid and a White House visit for political dirt that is the subject of impeachment. The President has made little or no effort to contest the basic facts, resorting mostly to name calling, false equivalency, distraction and distortion. Yet the Senate is on track to let the President off without so much as a slap on the wrist here.

                      Trump’s unprecedented ability to avoid accountability for his conduct is at the core of the rot that has formed in his presidency. He is better at it than even a winsome 4-year-old caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Perhaps it is his sole political genius, this ability to distract and to shift attention onto others so that he avoids responsibility in all things. But it is not a good trait in a President. And it goes to the heart of why the Founding Fathers chose, after much debate, to add impeachment to the Constitution. They reasoned that elections alone were not enough. There had to be an option of last resort for holding a President who is off the rails accountable. The Founding Fathers placed that responsibility with the Senate.

                      Impeachment is not meant to be so expansive that the President serves at the pleasure of Congress, but Congress does have an obligation to check a President who, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, abuses or violates the public trust. We are meant to have three co-equal branches that keep each other in check, without permitting any one of them to seize the reins of power. Government is meant to serve the people and not the other way around.

                      The Senate now has a moment where it can hold the President accountable and, in doing so, create accountability for presidencies beyond this one. Seventy-five percent of Americans believe witnesses should be called in the Senate trial while 53% believe the President is not telling the truth. Having a trial that includes evidence – testimony from relevant firsthand witnesses and supporting documents – is hardly something new. It is how courts across the country operate every day, how every previous impeachment of a President or a federal judge has worked. There is no reason for the Senate to be consumed with the question of whether it needs evidence in a trial. Of course it does. It’s time to break Trump’s seductive hold on the country and return to a presidency whose power is not unfettered, as the President has claimed his power is.

                      Should the President emerge from impeachment, secure in the belief he has unlimited Article II powers of the presidency, we are headed for an unfortunate lesson about the absence of executive-branch accountability. What will Trump feel emboldened to do after an impeachment acquittal? What won’t he do to win the next election? Without accountability there is no reason to believe this President or future ones will conform their behavior to the restraints imposed by the Constitution. And this moment, where the Senate has the chance the Founding Fathers provides them with in the Constitution to restore the balance of power, will be lost.


                      • #41
                        AP Exclusive: Woman who says Trump raped her seeks his DNA

                        NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for a woman who accuses President Donald Trump of raping her in the 1990s are asking for a DNA sample, seeking to determine whether his genetic material is on a dress she says she wore during the encounter.

                        Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll’s lawyers served notice to a Trump attorney Thursday for Trump to submit a sample on March 2 in Washington for “analysis and comparison against unidentified male DNA present on the dress.”

                        Carroll filed a defamation suit against Trump in November after the president denied her allegation. Her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, then had the black wool coat-style dress tested. A lab report with the legal notice says DNA found on the sleeves was a mix of at least four people, at least one of them male.

                        Several other people were tested and eliminated as possible contributors to the mix, according to the lab report, which was obtained by The Associated Press. Their names are redacted.

                        While the notice is a demand, such demands often spur court fights requiring a judge to weigh in on whether they will be enforced.

                        The Associated Press sent a message to Trump's attorney seeking comment.

                        Carroll accused Trump last summer of raping her in a Manhattan luxury department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

                        In a New York magazine piece in June and a book published the next month, Carroll said she and Trump met by chance, chatted and went to the lingerie department for Trump to pick out a gift for an unidentified woman. She said joking banter about trying on a bodysuit ended in a dressing room, where she said Trump reached under her black wool dress, pulled down her tights and raped her as she tried to fight him off, eventually escaping.

                        “The Donna Karan coatdress still hangs on the back of my closet door, unworn and unlaundered since that evening,” she wrote. She donned it for a photo accompanying the magazine piece.

                        Trump said in June that Carroll was “totally lying” and he had “never met this person in my life.” While a 1987 photo shows them and their then-spouses at a social event, Trump dismissed it as a moment when he was “standing with my coat on in a line.”

                        “She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation,” he said in one of various statements on the matter, adding that the book “should be sold in the fiction section.”

                        Carroll sued Trump in November, saying he smeared her and hurt her career as a longtime Elle magazine advice columnist by calling her a liar. She is seeking unspecified damages and a retraction of Trump’s statements.

                        “Unidentified male DNA on the dress could prove that Donald Trump not only knows who I am, but also that he violently assaulted me in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman and then defamed me by lying about it and impugning my character," Carroll said in a statement Thursday.

                        Her lawyer, Kaplan, said it was “standard operating procedure” in a sexual assault investigation to request a DNA sample from the accused.

                        “As a result, we’ve requested a simple saliva sample from Mr. Trump to test his DNA, and there really is no valid basis for him to object,” she said.

                        Trump’s lawyer has tried to get the case thrown out. A Manhattan judge declined to do so earlier this month, saying the attorney hadn’t properly backed up his arguments that the case didn’t belong in a New York court.

                        The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted, unless they come forward publicly.

                        Carroll said she didn’t do so for decades because she feared legal retribution from Trump and damage to her reputation, among other reasons. But when the #MeToo movement spurred reader requests for advice about sexual assault, she said, she decided she had to disclose her own account.

                        Trump, a Republican, isn’t the first president to face the prospect of a DNA test related to a woman’s dress.

                        Former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, underwent such a test during an independent counsel investigation into whether he had a sexual relationship with onetime White House intern Monica Lewinsky and then lied in denying it under oath.

                        After Clinton’s DNA was found on the dress, he acknowledged an "inappropriate intimate relationship" with Lewinsky.

                        Clinton was impeached by the House in December 1998 and later acquitted by the Senate.

                        Yeah, pretty sure she won't be getting anything from Donald Trump. And Trump's apologists certainly don't care one way or the other if he raped a woman. They're already comfortable with his self-admission of being a serial sex predator.


                        • #42
                          As predicted, the whole impeachment farce has hurt Biden and lifted Bernie
                          In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                            As predicted, the whole impeachment farce has hurt Biden and lifted Bernie
                            We'll see how long it lasts. Certainly having Bernie on the Democratic ticket will guarantee another 4 years of Trump.


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                              We'll see how long it lasts. Certainly having Bernie on the Democratic ticket will guarantee another 4 years of Trump.
                              Probably, but I'm not quite sure. There's something weird about Bernie's support. I'm still half convinced he could have beaten Trump last time, he certainly pulled far larger crowds than Clinton. But with Trump as the incumbent and all the democrat attacks on him effectively backfiring, the polarization has only increased. It looks like a 49/51 split whichever side gets it and frankly you could put a monkey in as candidate and half the country would vote for it, just to not have trump.
                              In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                                I'm still half convinced he could have beaten Trump last time, he certainly pulled far larger crowds than Clinton.
                                See, I just can't imagine that at all. He was (and is) way too Left for the average centrist-independent...hell, even a good percentage of Dems.
                                I think Trump would've actually won the popular vote against Bernie by the same =~3 million votes that Clinton beat Trump with.

                                Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
                                and frankly you could put a monkey in as candidate and half the country would vote for it, just to not have trump.
                                Probably more than half. He's got some of the highest ratings in his presidency right now and it's still a 43.4% approval, vs 51.9% disapproval.
                                Pretty anemic for a president supposedly presiding over a roaring economy. Those numbers should be reversed, at the very worst.

                                And I prefer the comparison of "mummified corpse", myself.