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  • Trump Makes A Bewildering Confession About Who's Paying For His Border Wall

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday seemed to finally admit that Mexico hasn’t paid to build the border wall as he has repeatedly vowed. Then he suggested yet another way he could get the cash: toll booths.

    “And you know, Mexico is paying for the wall,” he said at a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday. “Just so you understand, they don’t say that. They never say it. But we’re gonna charge a small fee at the border. You know, the toll booths.”

    “We’re putting a small toll on and maybe we’re going to do something with remittance,” Trump added. “All the money that we spent on the wall will be coming back.”

    Remittances refer to a tax or fee on payments sent overseas, such as when immigrants working in the United States send money home to family in Mexico, an idea Trump has floated in the past without much success.

    Trump’s promise to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it was a signature theme of his 2016 campaign, leading to chants from the crowd at his rallies. Since the election, USA Today noted, Trump has built 300 miles of wall, although much of that was a replacement for existing border fencing. Just 5 miles are new wall.

    Mexico hasn’t paid for it. Instead, Trump used U.S. taxpayer money for the segments of wall built during his administration and raided billions from his own defense budget to get the cash.

    He also claimed Mexico would pay via the benefits the United States may receive under a renegotiated trade deal, a claim that hasn’t held up to scrutiny. And he’s suggested that Mexico would pay “through longer-term reimbursement.” That also did not happen.

    Trump’s confession on Tuesday suggests he realizes that even his supporters know Mexico hasn’t paid a peso for the wall. Link
    __________

    You'd think he'd just quietly let this one die. Like his ACA replacement, his infrastructure proposal, and everything else he's reneged on.
    “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
    ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Comment


    • even worse.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...8EwmtB00frPauQ

      Woodward book: Trump says he knew coronavirus was ‘deadly’ and worse than the flu while intentionally misleading Americans

      President Trump speaks at a coronavirus news briefing at the White House on Aug. 13. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)By
      Robert Costa and
      Philip Rucker

      September 9, 2020 at 11:55 a.m. EDT

      President Trump’s head popped up during his top-secret intelligence briefing in the Oval Office on Jan. 28 when the discussion turned to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

      “This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien told Trump, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward. “This is going to be the roughest thing you face.”
      Matthew Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser, agreed. He told the president that after reaching contacts in China, it was evident that the world faced a health emergency on par with the flu pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

      Ten days later, Trump called Woodward and revealed that he thought the situation was far more dire than what he had been saying publicly.


      “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump said in a Feb. 7 call. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.”

      “This is deadly stuff,” the president repeated for emphasis.

      At that time, Trump was telling the nation that the virus was no worse than a seasonal flu, predicting it would soon disappear, and insisting that the U.S. government had it totally under control. It would be several weeks before he would publicly acknowledge that the virus was no ordinary flu and that it could be transmitted through the air.

      Trump admitted to Woodward on March 19 that he deliberately minimized the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said.
      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

      Comment


      • 'Play it down': Trump admits to concealing the true threat of coronavirus in new Woodward book

        Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and "more deadly than even your strenuous flus," and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book "Rage."

        "This is deadly stuff," Trump told Woodward on February 7.
        In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump revealed that he had a surprising level of detail about the threat of the virus earlier than previously known. "Pretty amazing," Trump told Woodward, adding that the coronavirus was maybe five times "more deadly" than the flu.

        Trump's admissions are in stark contrast to his frequent public comments at the time insisting that the virus was "going to disappear" and "all work out fine."
        The book, using Trump's own words, depicts a President who has betrayed the public trust and the most fundamental responsibilities of his office. In "Rage," Trump says the job of a president is "to keep our country safe." But in early February, Trump told Woodward he knew how deadly the virus was, and in March, admitted he kept that knowledge hidden from the public.

        "I wanted to always play it down," Trump told Woodward on March 19, even as he had declared a national emergency over the virus days earlier. "I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

        If instead of playing down what he knew, Trump had acted decisively in early February with a strict shutdown and a consistent message to wear masks, social distance and wash hands, experts believe that thousands of American lives could have been saved.

        The startling revelations in "Rage," which CNN obtained ahead of its September 15 release, were made during 18 wide-ranging interviews Trump gave Woodward from December 5, 2019 to July 21, 2020. The interviews were recorded by Woodward with Trump's permission, and CNN has obtained copies of some of the audio tapes.

        "Rage" also includes brutal assessments of Trump's presidency from many of his former top national security officials, including former Defense Secretary James Mattis, former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mattis is quoted as calling Trump "dangerous" and "unfit" to be commander in chief. Woodward writes that Coats "continued to harbor the secret belief, one that had grown rather than lessened, although unsupported by intelligence proof, that Putin had something on Trump." Woodward continues, writing that Coats felt, "How else to explain the president's behavior? Coats could see no other explanation."

        The book also contains harsh evaluations of the President's leadership on the virus from current officials.
        Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration's top infectious disease expert, is quoted telling others Trump's leadership was "rudderless" and that his "attention span is like a minus number."
        "His sole purpose is to get reelected," Fauci told an associate, according to Woodward.

        'The virus has nothing to do with me'
        Woodward reveals new details on the early warnings Trump received -- and often ignored.
        In a January 28 top secret intelligence briefing, national security adviser Robert O'Brien gave Trump a "jarring" warning about the virus, telling the President it would be the "biggest national security threat" of his presidency. Trump's head "popped up," Woodward writes.
        O'Brien's deputy, Matt Pottinger, concurred, telling Trump it could be as bad as the influenza pandemic of 1918, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 Americans. Pottinger warned Trump that asymptomatic spread was occurring in China: He had been told 50% of those infected showed no symptoms.
        At that time, there were fewer than a dozen reported coronavirus cases in the US.
        Three days later, Trump announced restrictions on travel from China, a move suggested by his national security team -- despite Trump's later claims that he alone backed the travel limitations.
        Nevertheless, Trump continued to publicly downplay the danger of the virus. February was a lost month. Woodward views this as a damning missed opportunity for Trump to reset "the leadership clock" after he was told this was a "once-in-a-lifetime health emergency."

        "Presidents are the executive branch. There was a duty to warn. To listen, to plan, and to take care," Woodward writes. But in the days following the January 28 briefing, Trump used high-profile appearances to minimize the threat and, Woodward writes, "to reassure the public they faced little risk."

        During a pre-Super Bowl interview on Fox News February 2, Trump said, "We pretty much shut it down coming in from China." Two days later during his State of the Union address, Trump made only a passing reference to the virus, promising, "my administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat."

        Asked by Woodward in May if he remembered O'Brien's January 28 warning that the virus would be the biggest national security threat of his presidency, Trump equivocated. "No, I don't." Trump said. "I'm sure if he said it — you know, I'm sure he said it. Nice guy."

        The book highlights how the President took all of the credit and none of the responsibility for his actions related to the pandemic, which has infected 6 million Americans and killed more than 185,000 in the US.
        "The virus has nothing to do with me," Trump told Woodward in their final interview in July. "It's not my fault. It's — China let the damn virus out."

        'It goes through the air'

        When Woodward spoke to Trump on February 7, two days after he was acquitted on impeachment charges by the Senate, Woodward expected a lengthy conversation about the trial. He was surprised, however, by the President's focus on the virus. At the same time that Trump and his public health officials were saying the virus was "low risk," Trump divulged to Woodward that the night before he'd spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the virus. Woodward quotes Trump as saying, "We've got a little bit of an interesting setback with the virus going in China."

        "It goes through the air," Trump said. "That's always tougher than the touch. You don't have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that's how it's passed. And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flus."

        But Trump spent most of the next month saying that the virus was "very much under control" and that cases in the US would "disappear." Trump said on his trip to India on February 25 that it was "a problem that's going to go away," and the next day he predicted the number of US cases "within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero."

        By March 19, when Trump told Woodward he was purposely downplaying the dangers to avoid creating a panic, he also acknowledged the threat to young people. "Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It's not just old, older. Young people too, plenty of young people," Trump said.

        Publicly, however, Trump has continued to insist just the opposite, saying as recently as August 5 that children were "almost immune."

        Even into April, when the US became the country with the most confirmed cases in the world, Trump's public statements contradicted his acknowledgements to Woodward. At an April 3 coronavirus task force briefing, Trump was still downplaying the virus and stating that it would go away. "I said it's going away and it is going away," he said. Yet two days later on April 5, Trump again told Woodward, "It's a horrible thing. It's unbelievable," and on April 13, he said, "It's so easily transmissible, you wouldn't even believe it." Link
        _____________

        The Soviet Union, in its wildest dreams, could never have imagined someone able to wreak as much havoc on the United States as Donald Trump.
        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

        Comment


        • Originally posted by astralis View Post
          even worse.
          You're talking about a man who can't remember his own tweets in a 24 hour span.
          Chimo

          Comment


          • Bob Woodward

            According to audio recordings from some of veteran journalist Bob Woodward's interviews with President Trump for his new book "Rage," Trump went into detail on Feb. 7 with Woodward about how airborne coronavirus was.

            He told Woodward, "It goes through air, Bob. That's always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don't have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that's how it's passed. And so, that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one."

            Despite that, he continued to hold sixmore rallies with thousands of people in indoor venues with no masks or warnings.

            He held one Feb. 10 in Manchester. Another Feb. 19 in Arizona. Colorado Springs on Feb. 20. Feb. 21 in Las Vegas. Feb. 28 in Charleston. And March 2 in Charlotte.



            "What you hear time and time again is the President forgetting about the national interest, selling out the national interest, minimizing the national interest, and putting in his own interest, that of his family, that of his own finances," he said.





            --https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-woodward-book-09-09-2020/index.html





            Trust me?
            I'm an economist!

            Comment


            • If Woodward truly sat on this information and believed the information should have been released. It would appear Saint Woodward is Complicit!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                If Woodward truly sat on this information and believed the information should have been released. It would appear Saint Woodward is Complicit!
                Click image for larger version  Name:	tony-stark-eye-roll.jpg Views:	0 Size:	12.1 KB ID:	1565636

                That is incredibly weak, even for you
                “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                Comment


                • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                  Check out the American Politics thread.It's been more than 24 hours and it's looking more and more like he said it.

                  Let's face it: Donald Trump has openly and publicly sneered at American POW's as a group, disparaging their status as heroes and saying that he "likes people who weren't captured". He's done it multiple times over the years. He's had no problem saying it. He truly believes it.

                  Is it really that much further down that same indefensible and repugnant road for him to disparage American war dead as well?

                  It's blindly obvious that Donald Trump is a narcissistic sociopath. He is simply incapable of understanding or appreciating the concept of sacrifice, much less the ultimate sacrifice.

                  His "alleged" remarks are fully in character with this man.
                  Possibly but right now my schedule involves waking up at 5 AM to work until 11 PM, except for the 3 hours of childcare/chores, and every time I dig into this stuff it seems exaggerated WAY beyond what it should be (even if the actual underlying story is bad).

                  For instance, now we are apparently rewriting history so that we all knew Coronavirus was horrible back in late January. Trump did not tell Italy to underplay coronavirus, Trump did not tell the CDC to say that Covid would primarily spread via surface contamination which turned out to be entirely untrue, Trump did not tell health experts to say both lockdowns and masks would actually be COUNTER-productive, and Trump did not tell my extreme-liberal news feed to say all concern about COVID is overblown and probably racist against the Chinese.

                  Trump may have, as he put it, "downplayed COVID," because he didn't want to tell everyone that we were going to be storing bodies in refrigerator trucks.
                  "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                    Click image for larger version Name:	tony-stark-eye-roll.jpg Views:	0 Size:	12.1 KB ID:	1565636

                    That is incredibly weak, even for you
                    Watching the cult memebrs defend this has been particularly fascinating. Some are refusing to even address the comments, others are gonig for distraction, others aer just attacking Dems, yet more are trying to claim it was perfectly fine. It is desperate and deserpately confused. While that is pretty standard for Trumpers before they get their talking points from right wing media, this has been even worse than usual.

                    When I was a kid I visited a farm during a mouse plague. There was a stack of hessian sacks in a shed. We would lift one and dozens of mice would scatter wildly around the shed, running into each other, machinery, walls etc. This reminds me of that.
                    sigpic

                    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                      If Woodward truly sat on this information and believed the information should have been released. It would appear Saint Woodward is Complicit!
                      Deflector Shields on Full!
                      Trust me?
                      I'm an economist!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                        If Woodward truly sat on this information and believed the information should have been released. It would appear Saint Woodward is Complicit!
                        Woodward defends decision to withhold Trump's virus comments

                        NEW YORK (AP) — Bob Woodward, facing widespread criticism for only now revealing President Donald Trump's early concerns about the severity of the coronavirus, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he needed time to be sure that Trump's private comments from February were accurate.

                        In Woodward’s upcoming book on Trump, “Rage,” the president is quoted saying the virus was highly contagious and “deadly stuff” at a time he was publicly dismissing it as no worse than the flu. Woodward, the celebrated Washington Post journalist and best-selling author, spoke with Trump more than a dozen times for his book.

                        “He tells me this, and I'm thinking, ‘Wow, that’s interesting, but is it true?' Trump says things that don't check out, right?” Woodward told the AP during a telephone interview. Using a famous phrase from the Watergate era, when Woodward's reporting for the Post helped lead to President Richard Nixon's resignation, Woodward said his mission was to determine, “What did he know and when did he know it?”

                        On Twitter and elsewhere online, commentators accused Woodward of valuing book sales over public health. “Nearly 200,000 Americans have died because neither Donald Trump nor Bob Woodward wanted to risk anything substantial to keep the country informed,” wrote Esquire's Charles P. Pierce.

                        The issue of daily journalists presenting newsworthy information in books isn’t new. The competition for attention is intense, and headlines help boost sales and guest shots for interviews. Reporter Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times recently attracted attention for his book, “Donald Trump v. The United States,” by reporting new details on an unannounced visit by Trump to Walter Reed military hospital in November 2019. Schmidt reported that Vice President Mike Pence was put on alert that he might have to briefly assume the powers of the presidency if the president had to undergo a procedure that required anesthesia.

                        Pence later said he didn’t recall being put on standby for the Reed visit, which the White House has said was part of the president’s routine annual physical. But Schmidt’s book renewed speculation about Trump’s health.

                        Political figures with book deals also have been chastised for holding back timely material. Former national security adviser John Bolton, whose scathing memoir “The Room Where It Happened” came out in June, declined discussing Trump's actions towards Ukraine while the impeachment hearings were being held earlier this year.

                        Woodward's book, which comes out next week, draws from 18 conversations with Trump between December and July. During his AP interview, Woodward said Trump called him “out of the blue” in early February to “unburden himself" about the virus, which then had few cases in the U.S. But Woodward said that only in May was he satisfied that Trump's comments were based on reliable information and that by then the virus had spread nationwide.

                        "If I had done the story at that time about what he knew in February, that's not telling us anything we didn't know," Woodward said. At that point, he said, the issue was no longer one of public health but of politics. His priority became getting the story out before the election in November.

                        “That was the demarcation line for me,” he said. “Had I decided that my book was coming out on Christmas, the end of this year, that would have been unthinkable.”

                        Asked why he didn't share Trump's February remarks for a fellow Post reporter to pursue, Woodward said he had developed “some pretty important sources” on his own.

                        “Could I have brought others in? Could they have done things I couldn't do?" he asked. “I was on the trail, and I was (still) on the trail when it (the virus) exploded.”
                        _________________
                        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Bigfella View Post

                          Watching the cult memebrs defend this has been particularly fascinating. Some are refusing to even address the comments, others are gonig for distraction, others aer just attacking Dems, yet more are trying to claim it was perfectly fine.

                          Well surfgun isn't in the group that says he never said it or that is not what he meant. No, he is in the group that indirectly admits Trump said it by the fact that they resort to deflection. Actually he uses deflection all the time which pretty much means he knows Trump did say all those things attributed to him like the virus and servicemen being losers. Quite the group...

                          Comment


                          • A Striking Reversal: Trump's Attacks on the Military and Defense Contractors

                            President Donald Trump mounted a public attack unusual even for him over the Labor Day weekend, accusing his military leadership of advocating war “so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

                            Even for a president who has never hesitated to contradict himself for political advantage, it was a remarkable shift. His questioning the patriotism and judgment of America’s military leaders, even accusing them of pursuing global conflicts to profit the military-industrial complex, marked an election-year shift in which he has turned against two of the remaining institutions he spent most of his first term embracing as pillars of his “America First” policy.

                            It was Trump, from the earliest days of his transition, who talked reverentially about his “great generals,” telling two interviewers that he surrounded himself with them because they conveyed the sense of toughness he wanted to mark America’s global role.

                            Nearly four years later, all of these generals have been banished from his inner circle.
                            Trump himself has consistently championed U.S. arms sales, forgiving Saudi Arabia for the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the high civilian death toll from the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen — justifying it because the country buys billions of dollars annually in American weapons.

                            “I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States,” Trump said just two weeks after Khashoggi, a Virginia resident, was killed by a Saudi hit squad. Trump’s defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, comes from Raytheon, a corporation at the heart of the military-industrial community. And Esper’s predecessor as acting defense secretary came from Boeing, and Trump’s Army secretary was at Lockheed Martin.

                            Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, responded to Trump’s tweets and comments during a furious round of phone calls to the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, according to administration officials.

                            The Pentagon’s senior civilian and military leaders were particularly incensed by comments the president made Monday at the White House, when he said “the top people in the Pentagon” wanted to “fight wars so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy,” according to these officials.

                            These officials described the calls on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitive nature of conversations with the president. Trump has harshly criticized the senior officer corps before, but in private.

                            On Tuesday, Meadows began a cleanup effort with White House reporters and on Fox News.

                            “Those comments are not directed specifically at them as much as it is what we all know happens in Washington, D.C.,” Meadows told reporters. He left unclear which “top people” the president was referring to if not the most senior civilian and military leaders.

                            It was the second time in three months that Trump found himself at odds with Milley and Esper: Both joined the president on his highly political walk across Lafayette Square during protests adjacent to the White House, and Milley later said he should not have been there. Both opposed Trump’s demand that the Insurrection Act be invoked to deploy active-duty military troops against protesters.

                            In interviews, both former and current Defense Department and administration officials said Trump was lashing out in large part because he was angry over an article in The Atlantic that said he disparaged American troops who were killed or wounded in war and because he was frustrated that the military would not serve him — and solely him — as he would like.

                            As one of these officials noted, Trump’s critique of the military-industrial complex was not an effort to embrace a warning that President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued in his famed 1961 farewell address — an apolitical moment, since Eisenhower was leaving office.

                            Trump was a teenager when Eisenhower delivered that stinging critique. But he made no reference to it in his remarks.

                            Instead, one former senior defense official said, Trump appeared angry at the Republican national security officials who last month publicly declared that he was a danger to the Constitution and especially at military contractors who were not donating more to his strapped campaign or, in his view, sufficiently grateful for how he has defended their sales. Trump never considered limiting sales to Saudi Arabia even after the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was implicated in international investigations of the Khashoggi killing.

                            “I tell you what I don’t want to do,” he said on “60 Minutes” in October 2018, pushing back on pressure to suspend or limit sales. “Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, all these com — I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that. There are other ways,” he said, to punish the Saudis — though there has been no punishment.


                            In recent months, the president has continued sales to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates despite the thousands of civilians killed by their coalition in Yemen. And he has proposed new sales to the Emirates, including F-35 stealth fighters made by Lockheed Martin and Reaper drones made by General Atomics.

                            His problem with the Pentagon leadership is more complex.

                            After embracing retired Gen. Jim Mattis as his first defense secretary — he delighted in calling him “Mad Dog,” a nickname Mattis despised — the two men split on a variety of issues, including Trump’s decision to leave Syria. Trump mocked the briefing style of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, his second national security adviser, and last week, reeling from accusations in the Atlantic article, he lashed out at his former chief of staff, retired Gen. John F. Kelly.

                            Trump was said to have been especially angered at the pushback on using the Insurrection Act, and he fumed when he thought the Pentagon was resisting giving him the kind of military parade he wanted after witnessing one in France. It took a huge lift at the White House to create a Space Force, which many in the Pentagon thought unnecessary. His campaign quickly began selling Space Force paraphernalia.

                            So it was no surprise that Trump’s comments Monday prompted sharp criticism from senior military officers still seething over the reports of the president’s disparaging comments about American war dead, and other veterans, including Sen. John McCain, who died in 2018.

                            Even officials who said they have become used to taunts from the president reacted angrily to Trump’s latest attack.

                            Officers currently serving must tread carefully, trying to avoid directly referring to Trump’s remarks while still making their point. The military is avowedly apolitical, sworn to uphold the Constitution and not to represent any political party or faction.

                            Gen. James C. McConville, the Army chief of staff, pushed back against the thought that private companies could influence decisions to take military action. He told a virtual event with news media outlet Defense One on Tuesday that he felt strongly that “senior leaders would only recommend sending troops to combat when it’s required for national security and a last resort.”

                            In interviews over the past two days that included a dozen current and retired generals and admirals, and other high-ranking active-duty personnel, several retired officers voiced outrage.

                            “Trump has lost the right and authority to be commander in chief,” said Anthony C. Zinni, a retired four-star Marine general who commanded American forces in the Middle East. “His despicable comments used to describe the honorable men and women in uniform, especially those who have given the last full measure, demonstrated the lack of respect for those he is charged to lead. He must go.”

                            Zinni noted that when he served as a director on the board of BAE Systems, a defense contractor, he publicly opposed the Iraq War. He also served in the Bush and Trump administrations as an unpaid special mediator to help resolve disputes between the Israelis and Palestinians, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states, and in Indonesia.

                            To assert that Pentagon brass sought to prolong endless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots around the globe to profit off weapons sales in those conflict zones was offensive, he said.

                            “I have too many friends resting in Arlington to allow his disgraceful comments to stand,” Zinni said.

                            Several senior active-duty officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid being punished for publicly criticizing the commander in chief, said Trump’s attacks on the armed services’ leadership and his ridicule of war dead had eroded his standing in the ranks and could affect his support among military families.

                            And with both supporters and detractors of Trump in the Pentagon’s senior echelons hardening their positions amid the uproar, many national security analysts voiced concern that the president’s remarks could divide the nation’s top officer corps at a critical time.

                            “At this point, he’s now into the ‘throwing spaghetti against the wall’ strategy,” said Derek Chollet, a former assistant defense secretary in the Obama administration. “It’s hard to divine the logic of what he’s doing because this is the same president who triumphantly championed major arms sales as if they were nothing more than a jobs program.”

                            At its heart, Trump’s relationship with the military and the Pentagon is one of deep misunderstanding, even four years into the job.

                            Echoing the main allegations in the Atlantic article, two senior U.S. officials said they had personally heard Trump question why troops go to war. The officials said Trump had said several times: “Why do these guys do this? With the kind of money they make?” The implication, the officials said, was that the monetary payment to troops did not justify the potential sacrifice.

                            Chollet, who is now executive vice president at the German Marshall Fund, said Trump simply did not understand the role of the U.S. military.

                            “Just as he is endlessly frustrated by a media that will not bend to his whim, he’s frustrated by a military that takes an oath to the Constitution and not to the president,” he said.
                            __________

                            Imagine having to defend this man, to explain or "clarify" his remarks....only to be cut off at your knees when he doubles and triples down on whatever despicable thing he's said.
                            “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                            ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                            Comment


                            • The Latest On Republican Efforts To Make It Harder To Vote

                              Perry Bacon Jr, Sept 9, 2020, fivethirtyeight.com https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...arder-to-vote/




                              About a month ago, we laid out five ways that Republicans are making it harder to vote and more generally undermining the electoral process in 2020. We focused on Republicans for two reasons. First, making it harder to vote is a more controversial and anti-democratic goal than making it easier to vote, as Democrats are aiming to do. And second, President Trump is playing a central role in these voting wars. Trump has publicly said that he is opposed to efforts in many states to make absentee voting and voting by mail (the two are functionally the same thing) available to virtually anyone who wants to vote that way. He has also suggested that higher overall voter turnout would make it harder for Republicans to win elections.

                              Over the last month, with the election approaching, Republican officials — from county-level election administrators to the president himself — have in some ways escalated their use of these tactics. So here’s an update on those efforts to complicate the voting process and oppose moves that would make it easier. These five categories, which we used in the last article, are generally ordered from least alarming to most alarming. (There is no formal system tracking every lawsuit concerning voting and the electoral process in all 50 states, so this article is based on our informal tracking, which means we might have missed a key development in a state or two.)

                              Here’s what’s happening:

                              1. Opposing changes to make it easier to vote amid COVID-19
                              • Opposing or limiting the use of ballot drop boxes. Recent U.S. Postal Service changes enacted by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a GOP megadonor, have slowed down mail delivery and likely increased the potential that some mail-in ballots will get to elections offices too late to be counted. (In most states, mail-in ballots must be received by Election Day.)
                                In response, to make sure that people don’t have to vote in person and to ensure that their ballots are received in time, Democrats have been pushing states and localities to expand the number of secure boxes where people can drop off their ballots so they can be picked up later by election officials. Republicans, though, are also opposing these drop boxes. In Ohio, the Republican secretary of state is blocking any county from having more than one ballot drop-off location — even though it would obviously make sense for counties with larger populations to have more than one. In Iowa, the Republican secretary of state is allowing such boxes only at government-owned buildings (as opposed to, say, outside grocery stores). Missouri, another GOP-dominated state, is barring the use of any drop boxes.
                              • Opposing moves to make it easier to vote by mail. The GOP-controlled board of commissioners in Gwinnett County, Georgia (that’s suburban Atlanta), rejected a proposal to have applications for absentee ballots sent to all registered voters in the county. In Arizona, the Trump campaign is opposing a push to count any ballot that is postmarked by Election Day (as opposed to received by Election Day).
                              • Limiting the use of NBA arenas as voting centers. After their brief strike in the days after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, NBA players successfully pushed the league to authorize using its arenas as voting centers. But despite owners offering the space to local governments, election officials in Miami (Florida) and Memphis (Tennessee) have opted against using those arenas. (Miami has a Republican mayor; the elections procedures in Shelby County, which includes Memphis, are set by a board whose members are appointed by the state’s GOP-controlled legislature.)
                              • Opposing early processing of absentee ballots. In Michigan, Republican lawmakers so far aren’t pushing forward proposed legislation to allow elections officials to start processing mail-in ballots (basically removing the outer envelope that they are contained in and verifying voters’ signatures) before Election Day. Even under this proposed legislation, election officials would not start reading the ballots and counting votes until Nov 3. But starting the process of opening up the ballots before Election Day would help officials speed up the count.

                              2. Seeking to invalidate laws that make it easier to vote amid COVID-19

                              This is different from the prior category (and more concerning) because in these instances Republicans are seeking to overturn decisions already made to ease the voting process.
                              • Pushing to get existing drop boxes removed. In Pennsylvania, Republicans are suing to prevent the use of drop boxes, as well as advancing legislation that would limit drop boxes to a few types of official sites, which would mean some existing boxes could no longer be used.
                              • Stopping local officials from making absentee voting easier. Republicans in Texas filed and won a lawsuit to bar officials in Democratic-leaning Harris County (the Houston area) from sending absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in the county. In Iowa, the Trump campaign filed and won a lawsuit stopping officials in one of the state’s more urban and Democratic-leaning areas from sending voters absentee ballot applications that already had some information (like the voter’s name and birthday) already filled in. In Montana, the Trump campaign and GOP officials have filed a lawsuit to block a policy implemented by the state’s governor, who is a Democrat, that would allow all counties to set up comprehensive vote-by-mail programs.

                              3. Advancing new practices and provisions that make it harder to vote
                              • Complicating the voting process for felons in Florida. Not much has changed in the last month in this category. But Republican officials in Florida are continuing litigation to keep in place a law they adopted in 2019 that requires convicted felons to pay all fees associated with their sentence before their voting rights are restored. The law, in effect, limits a 2018 ballot initiative adopted by Florida voters intended to restore felon voting rights. In continuing this litigation, Florida Republicans are likely to be successful in basically running out of the legal clock and keeping the 2018 provision from truly going into effect in the 2020 election cycle.

                              4. Anti-democratic rhetoric
                              • Misleading statements about voter fraud. Trump and Attorney General William Barr continue to argue that widespread mail-in voting will lead to a lot of voter fraud, often making outlandish and inaccurate claims to support their position. There is no evidence that voting by mail leads to increased fraud, and in states like Washington and Oregon, where most people have voted by mail for years, there has been no evidence of widespread malfeasance.

                              5. Fundamental changes to the electoral process
                              • Encouraging people to vote twice. Trump has recently been encouraging people who vote by mail to also go to vote at the polls on Election Day. If the election systems are working properly, he argues, they won’t be allowed to vote in person. It is very unlikely that anyone’s vote will be counted twice, but encouraging people who have already voted by mail to also show up in person will complicate election officials’ jobs. If some people actually do vote twice, that would, of course, undermine the entire voting process — and break the law.
                              • Downplaying potential Russian interference. Published reports suggest that Russian operatives are using measures similar to those they employed in 2016 to both boost Trump and increase political division in America. But the Trump administration has opted against clearly saying that Russia is engaged in such conduct or forthrightly condemning it. Instead, senior Trump officials have suggested that both Russia and China are trying to interfere, with China favoring Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Russia favoring Trump. But in reality, while the Chinese do favor Biden, according to published reports, there is no evidence that they are pursuing active measures to help him win, unlike Russia.

                              In addition, the Trump administration — apparently in retaliation for congressional Democrats publicly indicating that Russia is trying to tilt the election toward Trump — has opted to limit briefings to Congress on election security. In particular, top intelligence officials will now only submit written comments to Congress, instead of meeting in-person with leaders from both parties on the key intelligence committees.

                              There are plenty of Republican officials, even in some of the states listed above, taking steps to make it easier to vote. Texas, for example, increased the number of days in which early voting is available. So it’s not that all Republicans are trying to complicate the voting process. Rather, most of the officials trying to complicate the voting process are Republicans. Also, Republicans aren’t the only people filing a lot of lawsuits and pushing a lot of changes to the voting system — it’s just that Democrats’ extensive legal efforts are generally pushing to make it easier to vote.

                              So the most surprising aspect of the voting process is what we have laid out here: One party seems to be systemically making it harder to vote and taking other steps that undermine the integrity of the electoral process. The big question is whether these tactics will work, either by keeping anti-Trump ballots from being cast or counted, or by throwing the election results (whatever they end up being) into doubt.




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                              • Originally posted by DOR View Post
                                The Latest On Republican Efforts To Make It Harder To Vote

                                President Trump is playing a central role in these voting wars. Trump has publicly said that he is opposed to efforts in many states to make absentee voting and voting by mail (the two are functionally the same thing) available to virtually anyone who wants to vote that way. He has also suggested that higher overall voter turnout would make it harder for Republicans to win elections.
                                Well at least he's honest about it. (Ironic, no?)

                                And he's hardly the only GOP official to admit it: Republicans are the minority party in the United States and have been for years.

                                After the glory days of the 80s were over, the Republicans have scored exactly one popular vote victory in the last seven general elections..

                                Their only hope for victory is voter suppression. How very American of them....
                                “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                                ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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