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  • The pictures of people crowded together for the Nevada Trumpet Sighting, without even masks, suggests that there won‘t be a lot of right-wing voters able to get to the polls in November.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

    Comment


    • Originally posted by DOR View Post
      The pictures of people crowded together for the Nevada Trumpet Sighting, without even masks, suggests that there won‘t be a lot of right-wing voters able to get to the polls in November.
      I'm with you...

      Comment


      • The People v. Donald J. Trump

        The criminal case against him is already in the works — and it could go to trial sooner than you think.

        The defendant looked uncomfortable as he stood to testify in the shabby courtroom. Dressed in a dark suit and somber tie, he seemed aged, dimmed, his posture noticeably stooped. The past year had been a massive comedown for the 76-year-old former world leader. For decades, the bombastic onetime showman had danced his way past scores of lawsuits and blustered through a sprawl of scandals. Then he left office and was indicted for tax fraud. As a packed courtroom looked on, he read from a curled sheaf of papers. It seemed as though the once inconceivable was on the verge of coming to pass: The country’s former leader would be convicted and sent to a concrete cell.

        The date was October 19, 2012. The man was Silvio Berlusconi, the longtime prime minister of Italy.

        Here in the United States, we have never yet witnessed such an event. No commander-in-chief has been charged with a criminal offense, let alone faced prison time. But if Donald Trump loses the election in November, he will forfeit not only a sitting president’s presumptive immunity from prosecution but also the levers of power he has aggressively co-opted for his own protection. Considering the number of crimes he has committed, the time span over which he has committed them, and the range of jurisdictions in which his crimes have taken place, his potential legal exposure is breathtaking. More than a dozen investigations are already under way against him and his associates. Even if only one or two of them result in criminal charges, the proceedings that follow will make the O. J. Simpson trial look like an afternoon in traffic court.

        It may seem unlikely that Trump will ever wind up in a criminal court. His entire life, after all, is one long testament to the power of getting away with things, a master class in criminality without consequences, even before he added presidentiality and all its privileges to his arsenal of defenses. As he himself once said, “When you’re a star, they let you do it.” But for all his advantages and all his enablers, including loyalists in the Justice Department and the federal judiciary, Trump now faces a level of legal risk unlike anything in his notoriously checkered past — and well beyond anything faced by any previous president leaving office. To assess the odds that he will end up on trial, and how the proceedings would unfold, I spoke with some of the country’s top prosecutors, defense attorneys, and legal scholars. For the past four years, they have been weighing the case against Trump: the evidence already gathered, the witnesses prepared to testify, the political and constitutional issues involved in prosecuting an ex-president. Once he leaves office, they agree, there is good reason to think Trump will face criminal charges. “It’s going to head toward prosecution, and the litigation is going to be fierce,” says Bennett Gershman, a professor of constitutional law at Pace Law School who served for a decade as a New York State prosecutor.

        Here, according to the legal experts, is how Trump could become the first former president in American history to find himself on trial — and perhaps even behind bars.

        You might think, given all the crimes Trump has bragged about committing during his time in office, that the primary path to prosecuting him would involve the U.S. Justice Department. If Joe Biden is sworn in as president in January, his attorney general will inherit a mountain of criminal evidence against Trump accumulated by Robert Mueller and a host of inspectors general and congressional oversight committees. After the DOJ’s incoming leadership is briefed on any sensitive matters contained in the evidence, federal prosecutors will move forward with their investigations of Trump “at the fastest pace they can,” says Mary McCord, the former acting assistant attorney general for national security.

        They’ll have plenty of potential charges to choose from. Both Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee — a Republican-led panel — have extensively documented how Trump committed obstruction of justice (18 U.S. Code § 73), lied to investigators (18 U.S. Code § 1001), and conspired with Russian intelligence to commit an offense against the United States (18 U.S. Code § 371). All three crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison — per charge. According to legal experts, federal prosecutors could be ready to indict Trump on one or more of these felonies as early as the first quarter of 2021.

        But prosecuting Trump for any crimes he committed as president would face two significant and perhaps fatal hurdles. First, on his way out of office, Trump could decide to preemptively pardon himself. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he issues a broad, sweeping pardon for any U.S. citizen who was a subject, a target, or a person of interest of the Mueller investigation,” says Norm Eisen, who served as counsel to House Democrats during Trump’s impeachment. Since scholars are divided on whether a self-pardon would be constitutional, what happens next would depend almost entirely on which judge ruled on the issue. “One judge might say, ‘Sorry, presidential pardons is something the Constitution grants exclusively to the president, so I’m going to dismiss this,’ ” says Gershman. “Another judge might say, ‘No, the president can’t pardon himself.’ ” Either way, the case would almost certainly wind up getting litigated all the way to the Supreme Court, perhaps more than once, causing a long delay.

        Even if the courts ultimately ruled a self-pardon unconstitutional, another big hurdle would remain: Trump’s claims that “executive privilege” bars prosecutors from obtaining evidence of presidential misconduct. The provision has traditionally been limited to shielding discussions between presidents and their advisers from external scrutiny. But Trump has attempted to expand the protection to include pretty much anything that he or anyone in the executive branch has ever done. William Consovoy, one of Trump’s lawyers, famously argued in federal court that even if Trump gunned someone down in the street while he was president, he could not be prosecuted for it while in office. Although the courts have repeatedly ruled against such sweeping arguments, Trump will continue to claim immunity from the judicial process after he leaves office — a surefire delaying tactic. “If federal charges were ever brought, it is unlikely that a trial would be scheduled or start anytime in the foreseeable future,” says Timothy W. Hoover, president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. By the time any federal charges come to trial, Trump is likely to be either senile or dead. Even if he broke the law as president, the experts agree, he may well get away with it.

        But federal charges aren’t the likeliest way that The People v. Donald J. Trump will play out. State laws aren’t subject to presidential pardons, and they cover a host of crimes beyond those committed in the White House. When it comes to charging a former president, state attorneys general and county prosecutors can go places a U.S. Attorney can’t.

        According to legal experts, the man most likely to drag Trump into court is the district attorney for Manhattan, Cyrus Vance  Jr. It’s a surprising scenario, given Vance’s well-deserved reputation as someone who has gone easy on the rich and famous. After taking office in 2010, he sought to reduce Jeffrey Epstein’s status as a sex offender, dropped an investigation into whether Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump  Jr. had committed fraud in the marketing of the Trump Soho, and initially decided not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein despite solid evidence of his sex crimes. “He has a reputation for being particularly cautious when it comes to going after rich people, because he knows that those are the ones who can afford the really formidable law firms,” says Victoria Bassetti, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice who served on the team of lawyers that oversaw the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. “And like most prosecutors, Vance is exceptionally protective of his win-loss rate.”

        But it was Vance who stepped up when the federal case against Trump faltered. “He’s a politician,” observes Martin Sheil, a former IRS criminal investigator. “He’s got his finger up. He knows which way the wind’s blowing, and he knows the wind in New York is blowing against Trump. It’s in his political interest to join that bandwagon.”

        Last year, after U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District dropped their investigation into the hush money that Trump had paid Stormy Daniels, Vance took up the case. Suspecting that l’affaire Stormy might prove to be part of a larger pattern of shady dealings, his office started digging into Trump’s finances. What Vance is investigating, according to court filings, is evidence of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” potentially involving bank fraud, tax fraud, and insurance fraud. The New York Times has detailed how Trump and his family have long falsified records to avoid taxes, and during testimony before Congress in 2019, Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen stated that Trump had inflated the value of his assets to obtain a bank loan.

        Crucially, all of these alleged crimes occurred before Trump took office. That means no claims of executive privilege would apply to any charges Vance might bring, and no presidential pardon could make them go away. A whole slew of potential objections and delays would be ruled out right off the bat. What’s more, the alleged offenses took place less than six years ago, within the statute of limitation for fraud in New York. Vance, in other words, is free to go after Trump not as a crooked president but as a common crook who happened to get elected president. And the fact that he has been pursuing these cases while Trump is president is a sign that he won’t be intimidated by the stature of the office after Trump leaves it.

        In writing up an indictment against Trump, Vance’s team could try to string together a laundry list of offenses in hopes of presenting an overwhelming wall of guilt. But that approach, experts warn, can become confusing. “A two- or three-count indictment is easier to explain to a jury,” says Ilene Jaroslaw, a former assistant U.S. Attorney. “If they think the person had criminal intent, it doesn’t matter if it’s two counts or 20 counts, in most cases, because the sentence will be the same.”

        There are two main charges that Vance is likely to pursue. The first is falsifying business records (N.Y. Penal Law § 175.10). During Cohen’s trial, federal prosecutors filed a sentencing memorandum that explained how the Trump Organization had mischaracterized hush-money payments as “legal expenses” in its bookkeeping. Under New York law, falsifying records by itself is only a misdemeanor, but if it results in the commission of another crime, it becomes a felony. And false business records frequently lead to another offense: tax fraud (N.Y. Tax Law § 1806).

        If Trump cooked his books, observes Sheil, that false information would essentially “flow into the tax returns.” The first crime begets the second, making both the bookkeeper and the tax accountant liable. “Since you have several folks involved,” Sheil says, “you could either bring a conspiracy charge, maximum sentence five years, or you could charge each individual with aiding and abetting the preparation of a false tax return, with a max sentence of three years.”

        To build a fraud case against Trump, Vance subpoenaed his financial records. But those records alone won’t be enough: To secure a conviction, Vance will need to convince a jury not only that Trump cheated on his taxes but that he intended to do so. “If you just have the documents, the defense will say that defendant didn’t have criminal intent,” Jaroslaw explains. “I call it the ‘I’m an idiot’ defense: ‘I made a mistake. I didn’t mean to do anything.’ ” Unfortunately for Trump, both Cohen and his longtime accountant, Allen Weisselberg, have already signaled their willingness to cooperate with prosecutors. “What’s great about having an accountant in the witness stand is that they can tell you about the conversation they had with the client,” Jaroslaw says.

        Through appeals, Trump has managed to drag out the battle over his tax returns. The case has gone all the way to the Supreme Court, back down to the district court, and back up to the appeals court. But Trump has lost at every stage, and it appears that his appeals could be exhausted this fall. Once Vance gets the tax returns, Eisen estimates, he could be ready to indict Trump as early as the second quarter of 2021.

        Sheil, for one, believes Vance may already have Trump’s financial records. It’s routine procedure, he notes, for criminal tax investigators working with the Manhattan DA to obtain personal and business tax returns that are material to their inquiry. But issuing a subpoena to Trump’s accountants may have been a way to signal to them that they could face criminal charges themselves unless they cooperate in the investigation.

        Once indicted, Trump would be arraigned at New York Criminal Court, a towering Art Deco building at 100 Centre Street. Since a former president with a Secret Service detail can hardly slip away unnoticed, he would likely not be required to post bail or forfeit his passport while awaiting trial. His legal team, of course, would do everything it could to draw out the proceedings. Filing appeals has always been just another day at the office for Trump, who, by some estimates, has faced more than 4,000 lawsuits during the course of his career. But this time, his legal liability would extend to numerous other state and local jurisdictions, which will also be building cases against him. “There’s like 1,037 other things where, if anybody put what he did under a microscope, they would probably find an enormous amount of financial improprieties,” says Scott Shapiro, director of the Center for Law and Philosophy at Yale University.

        Even accounting for legal delays, many experts predict that Trump would go to trial in Manhattan by 2023. The proceedings would take place at the New York State Supreme Court Building. Assuming that the judge was prepared for an endless barrage of motions and objections from Trump’s defense team, the trial might move quite quickly — no longer than a few months, according to some legal observers. And given the convictions that have been handed down against many of Trump’s top advisers, there’s reason to believe that even pro-Trump jurors can be persuaded to convict him. “The evidence was overwhelming,” concluded one MAGA supporter who served on the jury that convicted Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman. “I did not want [him] to be guilty. But he was, and no one is above the law.”

        Trump’s conviction would seal the greatest downfall in American politics since Richard Nixon. Unlike his associates who were sentenced to prison on federal charges, Trump would not be eligible for a presidential pardon or commutation, even from himself. And while his lawyers would file every appeal they can think of, none of it would spare Trump the indignity of imprisonment. Unlike the federal court system, which often allows prisoners to remain free during the appeals process, state courts tend to waste no time in carrying out punishment. After someone is sentenced in New York City, their next stop is Rikers Island. Once there, as Trump awaited transfer to a state prison, the man who’d treated the presidency like a piggy bank would receive yet another handout at the public expense: a toothbrush and toothpaste, bedding, a towel, and a green plastic cup.
        ___________

        I don't think for one minute that Donald Trump will actually wind up behind bars. Oh sure I would absolutely love to see that. It's where he's belonged for decades.

        But he's got a lot of things going for him that were mentioned in the aricle: His age and failing health, his army of well-paid lawyer$, etc etc

        (Of course, being really rich isn't always a guarantee that you won't end up in the slammer.)

        One thing is for certain: If he loses in November, he's going to spend the rest of his worthless life battling in state courts to stay out of prison.
        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

        Comment


        • A Fire Hose of Lying

          Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump got a rare grilling at an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

          He responded to a series of tough questions from Pennsylvania voters, and some more from moderator George Stephanopoulos, much like he responds to easy questions from his favorite conservative television hosts -- with a barrage of dishonesty.
          Trump made at least 22 false or misleading claims over the hour-and-a-half event, according to our preliminary count.

          The coronavirus pandemic

          Downplaying the virus
          Trump was asked why he downplayed the coronavirus. He responded, "Well, I didn't downplay it. I actually -- in many ways I up-played it in terms of action."
          Facts First: This is ridiculous spin. Trump admitted to journalist Bob Woodward in a recorded March 19 interview that "I always wanted to play it down" (he claimed he did so to keep the public calm). And we didn't need Woodward's tape to know Trump had downplayed it; this was obvious even back in February and March, when Trump kept wrongly claiming that the situation was under control and that the virus was akin to the flu.

          Trump's praise of China
          Pressed about how he had initially said China was doing a good job handling the virus, Trump suggested he had not issued such praise: "No, I didn't say one way or the other. I'm not saying one way or the other."
          Facts First: Trump repeatedly and effusively praised China and leader Xi Jinping for their handling of the virus situation earlier this year. You can read a list of examples here.

          Seniors
          Trump said: "So I didn't say anything bad about President Xi initially, because nobody knew much about the disease. Nobody knew the seniors are susceptible."
          Facts First: It's just not true nobody knew seniors were susceptible to the virus at the time of Trump's praise. Chinese officials emphasized in January that elderly people with chronic diseases were at the highest risk of serious illness. January media reports around the world talked about the risk to seniors; a January 23 report in the New York Times was headlined "Coronavirus Deaths Are So Far Mostly Older Men, Many With Previous Health Issues." Beginning in February, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, had one of the first known outbreaks of the virus in the US.

          Biden and the pandemic
          Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden said in March that the pandemic was "totally over-exaggerated."
          Facts First: We could not find any evidence of Biden saying anything like this in March.
          Biden did say in late February and early March that people shouldn't "panic" about the virus, but even conservative Breitbart News noted that Biden added in his February comments that "coronavirus is a serious public health challenge" and in March that people shouldn't "downplay" the situation. In other words, he wasn't saying that it was being overblown.
          On March 12, Biden delivered a sharp rebuke of Trump's handling of the pandemic and introduced his own plan for addressing the crisis.

          Masks
          Trump claimed that "a lot of people think that masks are not good." Asked who these people are, Trump said "waiters" -- citing the example of a person he said had been serving him but also touching their mask, which "can't be good."
          Facts First: There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that masks help reduce transmission of the coronavirus. And there is no actual evidence that "waiters" generally disagree with this consensus; the example Trump cited did not involve even a single waiter expressing negative sentiments about masks.
          Trump was correct when he said that prominent experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, initially advised people against wearing masks. (Fauci later said that he had been worried about a shortage of protective equipment for health care workers.) But that doesn't mean there is a real debate now.
          "These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield testified to a Senate committee on Wednesday, urging "all Americans" to embrace them because of the "clear scientific evidence that they work, and they are our best defense." He argued that masks might even be a better defense against someone getting Covid-19 than taking a vaccine.

          Ventilators
          Trump repeated his familiar claim that the "cupboards were bare" of ventilators when he took office.
          Facts First: This is not at all true. Trump inherited more than 16,000 ventilators.
          A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN in late June that there had been about 19,000 ventilators in the national stockpile for "many years," including 16,660 ventilators that were ready for immediate use in March 2020. The spokesperson confirmed that none of those 16,660 were purchased by the Trump administration.
          As of June 23, the Trump administration had distributed 10,760 ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic, a smaller number than the administration inherited.
          You can read a longer fact check here.

          Testing and cases
          Told that the US has 20% of the world's coronavirus cases and deaths, Trump said, "We have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn't do testing, you wouldn't have cases. You would have very few cases."
          Facts First: Testing does not create cases; it reveals them. And testing is a tool used to help prevent the spread of the virus and reduce the number of actual cases. You can read a longer fact check here.

          Travel restrictions on China and Europe
          Trump claimed that he put "a ban on" China and "a ban on" Europe to address the pandemic.
          Facts First: While Trump did restrict travel from China and from much of Europe, neither policy was a "ban": both made exemptions for travel from US citizens, permanent residents, many of their families, and some others -- and the restrictions on Europe exempted entire European countries.

          Exemptions from the restrictions
          Trump said of his critics' comments about the travel restrictions: "They say that we allowed certain people in, it's true -- but they were American citizens."
          Facts First: Again, citizens were not the only people exempted. Also omitted from the prohibition were permanent residents; spouses of citizens and permanent residents; parents or guardians of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; unmarried siblings under age 21 of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; and various other categories of people.Health care


          Pre-existing conditions
          Trump claimed that he would be "doing a health care plan" that would "protect people with pre-existing conditions." He then said of the Democrats, "They will not do that."
          Facts First: This is a complete reversal of reality. Democrats created these protections for people with pre-existing conditions, in Obamacare; Biden was vice president at the time, and he is running on a promise to preserve and strengthen the law. Trump, conversely, has repeatedly tried to get bills passed that would have weakened the protections -- and, as Stephanopoulos pointed out, is currently in court trying to get the entirety of Obamacare overturned.
          Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put forward a "new health care" plan that would protect people. But he has never unveiled any plan that would offer protections equivalent to the ones in Obamacare -- and, regardless, his claim about Democrats is absurd.

          The existence of Obamacare
          Trump claimed he "essentially ended Obamacare" by repealing the individual mandate that required people to obtain health insurance.
          Facts First: The individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain health insurance, was indeed a key part of Obamacare -- but Trump didn't end Obamacare, essentially or otherwise; key parts of the law remain in effect. For example, Trump has not eliminated Obamacare's expansion of the Medicaid insurance program for low-income people, the federal and state marketplaces that allow people to shop for coverage, or the consumer subsidies that help many of them make the purchases.

          Biden's health care plan
          Trump suggested that Biden has agreed to adopt the "socialized" health care advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders: "He (Biden) agreed to the manifesto, as I call it -- the agreement with Bernie is that you're going to go to socialized medicine."
          Facts First: This is misleading. While "socialized" is a vague term, and while Biden does endorse a "public option" to allow people to opt in to a Medicare-like government insurance plan, Biden has not agreed to anything like the "Medicare for All" single-payer proposal Sanders is known for, which would eliminate most private insurance plans. Biden and Sanders clashed on the issue during the Democratic primary.
          After Sanders dropped out of the race, Biden and Sanders appointed a task force to make policy recommendations; this is what Trump calls "the manifesto." The task force proposed to try to achieve universal health care through the public option Biden was already running on; it did not endorse any Sanders-style single-payer plan. It says: "Everyone will be eligible to choose the public option or another Affordable Care Act marketplace plan, even those who currently get insurance through their employers, because Democrats believe working people shouldn't be locked in to expensive or insufficient health care plans when better options are available."Protests, race and policing

          Black communities and police
          Trump said: "So I just saw a poll where African Americans in this country, Black communities, are 81% in favor of having more police."
          Facts First: Trump wrongly described this poll result. In a survey conducted in late June and early July, Gallup found that 20% of Black Americans wanted the police to spend more time in their area; 61% said they wanted the police to spend the same amount of time they current spend. Those numbers add up to 81%, but it's not true that 81% said they want a larger police presence.

          Police reform
          Asked about how to achieve "common sense police reform," Trump said Republican Sen. Tim Scott had a compromise plan "that everybody pretty much agreed to" -- and that "a lot of Democrats agreed to it but they wouldn't vote for it."
          Facts First: It's not true that "everybody" agreed to Scott's proposal. While there was indeed some overlap between the policy proposals in Scott's bill and a bill written by House Democrats, there were also major differences on issues like chokeholds and qualified immunity for officers -- and many Democrats said the Scott bill did not go nearly far enough. Sen. Mazie Hirono called it "half-assed," and Sen. Richard Blumenthal called it "disastrously weak."
          The Senate voted 55-45 to begin debate on the bill, denying Scott the 60 votes needed. Just two Democrats and independent Maine Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, voted to begin debate.

          Seattle protesters
          Trump said of protesters in Seattle: "They took over a big chunk of the city -- 20% of the city."
          Facts First: Trump's figure was not even close to correct. In June, protesters set up a self-proclaimed "autonomous zone" covering six blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood -- a significant development, no doubt, but a tiny fraction of the whole city.
          The protest was cleared out by local authorities at the beginning of July.

          Minnesota and the National Guard
          Trump again took credit for the National Guard deployment in Minnesota to address violent protests following the killing of George Floyd, claiming that these protests "went on for a week or a week and a half" before the governor "allowed us to bring in the National Guard."
          Facts First: Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz, was the one who activated the Guard -- and Walz, a Guard veteran, did so two days after the violent protests began, more than seven hours before Trump publicly threatened to deploy the Guard himself.
          You can read a longer fact check here.

          Crime in New York City
          Trump said: "Look at New York. New York was a very safe city. Rudy Giuliani did a fantastic job. The city was safe and then, all of a sudden, we have a mayor -- who starts cutting the police force, and crime is up 100%, 150%. I saw one form of crime up 300%."
          Facts First: There is no major crime category in New York City that is currently up "300%," whether you are doing a weekly or monthly or yearly comparison, according to official data that is released on a weekly basis. And while there has been a major increase in New York City shootings this year -- as Trump alluded to, the number of shooting incidents has been up about 150% year-over-year -- the city remains safer than it was in Giuliani's final year in office, 2001, even after Giuliani presided over a major decline in crime.
          What Trump didn't mention was that the improvements continued under Giuliani successors Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio. So while the 2020 increases are concerning, they are increases from a relatively low 2019 level.

          For example, New York City had 319 murders in 2019, less than half the 649 murders of 2001; while 2020 is on pace to be worse for murder than 2019, with 305 murders as of September 6, 2020 is still on pace to be much better than 2001.

          Assorted topics

          Stock ownership
          When Stephanopoulos said that people at the top of the economic ladder, who own stocks, are doing well, Trump interjected and said, "George, stocks are owned by everybody."
          Facts First: Trump could fairly point out that it's not just the super-wealthy who own stocks, but it's also not true that stocks are owned by "everybody." In polling from March and April, Gallup found that 55% of American adults reported owning stock this year, the same percentage as last year. And wealthy people have long owned far more stock than people in lower income groups.

          The departure of James Mattis
          As Trump did on Fox News earlier on Tuesday, he claimed at the town hall that he had fired James Mattis as defense secretary.
          Facts First: Trump did not fire Mattis; Mattis resigned in December 2018 because of policy differences with Trump,saying in a resignation letter that Trump deserved a secretary of defense whose views were "better aligned" with the president's.
          Trump forced Mattis to leave the government two months earlier than the departure date Mattis had chosen upon his resignation, but that is still not a firing.

          Mattis and ISIS
          Repeating more of the same sentiments he expressed on Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said at the town hall that Mattis "didn't do good on ISIS" and that "I took over 100% of the ISIS caliphate."
          Facts First: While the final remnants of the caliphate were eradicated in March 2019, more than two months after Mattis's departure, it's misleading for Trump to suggest this was his own accomplishment that Mattis had nothing to do with. Much of the progress in liberating the caliphate occurred during Mattis's tenure as secretary of defense between January 2017 and January 2019.
          There was also substantial progress in the battle against ISIS in 2016, under President Barack Obama. And Kurdish forces did much of the ground fighting.

          Churchill and Trump
          Defending his decision to conceal the severity of the virus from the American public, Trump again invoked the late UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill -- saying Churchill was "not so honest" when he stood on London rooftops during Nazi bombings and told the public "everything's going to be good," but that he was still a "great leader" by keeping people calm.
          Facts First: Churchill did not give speeches from the rooftops, though he sometimes did watch the bombing from rooftops, and did not say "everything's going to be good" or generally play down the Nazi threat. Rather -- as Churchill scholars have told CNN -- he was generally blunt about the threat of death and severe suffering, warning citizens repeatedly about hardships to come.
          _______________
          My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

          Comment


          • Most of these aren't lies, they are misrepresentations that politicians of all stripes typically make. The substantial difference is in the use of weasel words.

            For instance, Biden coming out and putting some bland nothing language about coronavirus being a "serious health concern" in late February while still holding rallies. That's an outright lie by Biden, a lie that costed lives, that is being hidden with weasel wording, and which a media outlet refuses to call out.

            These are also exceptionally poor quality fact checks designed to distort reality. A good example is Gallup's survey on Stock Ownership. There is actual academic research on this topic, and actual reporting from the Fed. Someone did a quick google search in order to discredit someone. This is not anything close to an actual fact-check, it's an obvious hatchet job, designed to generate clicks. You can, of course, point out that stock ownership is tilted towards the wealthy, but people all across the income spectrum hold stocks.

            You'll note that on the opposite spectrum, when Democrats claim that most Americans don't own stock, which is obviously false, great effort is expended to distort reality and throw as much squid ink as possible in order to achieve a Half True rating. https://www.politifact.com/factcheck...ns-own-stocks/

            Obviously these things are just blatantly untrue:
            [blockquote]THE PRESIDENT: I think that makes sense, perhaps. You know, perhaps it does. But, you know, I would say probably, but I think they’re all going to get well distributed. You know, if you remember where we started, we had no ventilators. We had to make them. And we became a very major manufacturer of ventilators. Now we’re helping countries all over the world with ventilators. We’re sending them to many countries all over the world. When we started, we didn’t have ventilators. We — I inherited nothing. I inherited practically nothing from the previous administration, unfortunately. [/blockquote]

            Though the ventilators turned out to be substantially less important than the general PPE shortage, much of which was not replenished after being used in prior crises.
            "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 GVChamp View Post
              Most of these aren't lies, they are misrepresentations that politicians of all stripes typically make. The substantial difference is in the use of weasel words.
              The difference is the sheer volume of blatant lies.

              The difference is this is a public health crisis that hasn't been encountered in a hundred years.

              Also, isn't Donald Trump "the guy that tells it like it is"?

              And wasn't one of Trump's biggest selling points was that he's NOT a politician?

              Stop trying to normalize Trump's systematic assault on the truth. It isn't 2016 anymore.
              My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

              Comment


              • "it's just a joke."

                "take Trump seriously, not literally."

                "look at who he picked for advisors. Mattis, Kelly, Rex Tillerson..."
                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


                • Michael Cohen on Why Republicans Still Back Trump: ‘We’re Stupid’

                  Michael Cohen asserted Wednesday night that President Donald Trump is “looking to set himself up as an autocrat” and Republicans still support him because they’re “stupid.”

                  The president’s former attorney appeared on MSNBC’s evening program “The ReidOut” and told host Joy Reid that he is sure Trump will dispute the results of the Nov. 3 election against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

                  “What I gave to the American people — and it was an enormous number of people who were watching — what I gave the American people was a preview of this horror movie entitled ‘Donald Trump Presidency.’ In order to avoid a sequel, which would be the horror film of 2020, people really do have to vote him out,” Cohen warned, referencing his recent tell-all, “Disloyal,” and podcast, “Mea Culpa.”

                  He went on to say that won’t be “easy” because Trump will claim the election was “rigged” and he really won.

                  “He’s going to do everything possible in order to ensure that he remains president for another four years, but then it’s not four more years. The second that that happens, he’s already joking — and I tell this many times: Donald Trump doesn’t know what it is to tell a joke and he doesn’t understand what a joke is — When he says, ‘How about Trump 12 more years?’ he’s looking to set himself up as an autocrat in this country,” Cohen warned.

                  Reid pressed him then on why Republicans — including Cohen — have gone along with Trump for so long.

                  “Because we’re stupid,” Cohen answered simply. “You know, we’re a bunch of sycophants. He’s very much like a cult leader: When you’re in his good graces, you believe that you have this enormous amount of power — which you do — and he somehow manages to convince you to use that power for bad.”
                  ____________


                  My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                  Comment


                  • ^^^^^

                    Very Jim Jones/David Koresh
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                      ^^^^^

                      Very Jim Jones/David Koresh
                      Or this guy,

                      By November, he was posted to New York for training as an intelligence officer. On December 18, he was posted to the Philippines and set out for the posting via Australia. While in Melbourne awaiting transport to Manila, he was sent back to the United States. The U.S. naval attaché reported, "This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think he has unusual ability in most lines. These characteristics indicate that he will require close supervision for satisfactory performance of any intelligence duty."

                      What's my line?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

                        Or this guy,

                        By November, he was posted to New York for training as an intelligence officer. On December 18, he was posted to the Philippines and set out for the posting via Australia. While in Melbourne awaiting transport to Manila, he was sent back to the United States. The U.S. naval attaché reported, "This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think he has unusual ability in most lines. These characteristics indicate that he will require close supervision for satisfactory performance of any intelligence duty."

                        What's my line?
                        Another malignant narcissist: L. Ron Hubbard.

                        Prior to his service in the Navy:

                        On October 22, 1931, Hubbard received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps Reserve along with the annotation "not to be re-enlisted".



                        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                        Comment


                        • well, I said that this election might change due to a black swan event happening, and now we're getting yet another black swan event.

                          RIP, RBG.

                          If McConnell rams through another Trump appointee to the Supreme Court, then Dems should pledge to pack the court.
                          There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                            well, I said that this election might change due to a black swan event happening, and now we're getting yet another black swan event.

                            RIP, RBG.

                            If McConnell rams through another Trump appointee to the Supreme Court, then Dems should pledge to pack the court.
                            “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president." ~ Mitch McConnell 2016

                            As if Mitch McConnell ever gave a shit about what the American people want.
                            My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by astralis View Post
                              well, I said that this election might change due to a black swan event happening, and now we're getting yet another black swan event.

                              RIP, RBG.

                              If McConnell rams through another Trump appointee to the Supreme Court, then Dems should pledge to pack the court.
                              Can the dems just block it until the election?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                                “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president." ~ Mitch McConnell 2016

                                As if Mitch McConnell ever gave a shit about what the American people want.
                                As then and now the American People want a Republican Senate to rule in the matters of the Senate. Sorry, if that may leave a bad taste in your mouth? I thought you have stated previously, that you were a Republican, but just didn’t like Trump?

                                Comment

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