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2020 American Political Scene

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  • ‘Bad things are going to happen to him’: Trump threatens unmasked ‘Anonymous’ whistleblower at Florida rally

    Donald Trump appeared to threaten a former mid-level Department of Homeland Security official who two years ago penned an op-ed under the alias "Anonymous" slamming the president, saying "bad things are going to happen" to Miles Taylor.

    "There should be major criminal liability for some scum like this. ... He should be prosecuted. Are you listening to me back in Washington? He should be prosecuted" the president said in a message to his own Justice Department....Along with the New York Times."

    "Bad things are going to happen to him" he added of Mr. Taylor, who has been roundly criticized for panning his former boss while playing a role in the Trump administration's migrant child separation program.

    Mr. Trump's threat is questionable, however. He has fired others who crossed him, including some who testified in House Democrats impeachment hearings.

    But Mr. Taylor has left the government, leaving Mr. Trump few options.

    The whistleblower responded in real-time after contenting during a Wednesday night CNN interview he did not reveal himself for financial gain.

    "The state of open dissent in America: the President derides critics as "traitors" and "treasonous"; threatens to "prosecute" & "lock them up"; and ominously warns "bad things" will happen to them. Is this who we are?" Mr. Taylor tweeted.

    The president also boasted about his coronavirus response, saying up to 2m people might have died in the United States. With cases and deaths rising quickly once again, that could still happen.

    He again downplayed the severity of the virus: "If I can get better anybody can get better," he said of his own bout with Covid-19 that landed him in a Washington, DC-area military facility for parts of four days.

    On "Anonymous," the president back in September 2018 vowed to find the author, who described themselves as a then-current official who was part of a "two-track" government, with Mr. Trump doing is own thing while rank-and-file employees did another." The dilemma which (Trump) does not fully grasp is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations," Mr. Taylor wrote under the alias. "I would know. I am one of them."

    "But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic," the no-longer-anonymous author wrote in 2018. "That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office."

    On Wednesday night, a rally crowd in Goodyear, Arizona, cheered as Mr. Trump called Mr. Taylor a "sleazebag."
    __________
    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

    Comment


    • QAnon Isn’t Going To Take Over Congress In 2020. But It’s Found A Home In The GOP.

      Marjorie Taylor Greene has not been shy about her support for QAnon — a conspiracy theory that alleges the existence of a widespread child sex trafficking ring run by a cabal of satanic and cannibalistic elites, whom only President Trump can stop. She has tweeted “#GreatAwakening” to Alex Jones, called Q “a patriot” and has even hosted videos detailing the evidence she believes proves Q is “the real deal.” When she won the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 14th District, academics called her win a “bellwether” for the movement and for American politics, and media outlets wondered if Greene’s win signified a wider trend. Was there about to be a Qaucus in Congress?

      Not likely. Greene, who has since tried to distance herself from the conspiracy theory, may very well be the only candidate with ties to QAnon who actually wins her race, according to FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast. But the dozens of Republicans who have voiced support for at least some elements of QAnon show how GOP leadership has allowed QAnon to become a part of the party, even if the GOP hasn’t explicitly embraced it.

      Fringe candidates with unusual beliefs can be found in every election, of course, but this cohort of QAnon followers on the ballot is somewhat unique.

      “People with crazy beliefs run for Congress all the time, it’s just a question of whether there’s a unifying force among candidates of their crazy beliefs,” said Kyle Kondik, the managing editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

      There’s no master list of QAnon-linked candidates, but some organizations and news outlets have compiled running tallies. Media Matters, a liberal media watchdog group, has put together a list of 31 candidates with active campaigns for Congress whom it links to QAnon, but a “link” is a term with broad interpretation. Some candidates, like Derrick Grayson, a Republican running in Georgia’s U.S. Senate special election, have simply tweeted the #WWG1WGA hashtag.1 Others, like Jo Rae Perkins, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Oregon, have been more explicit about their QAnon beliefs.

      “Some of those links are somewhat tenuous,” said Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami who studies conspiracy theories. “I would prefer my candidates to have no connections or links at all to QAnon, but that phrase ‘linked to QAnon’ is often taken to mean that they’re true believers. Some of them are true believers, but not all of them.”

      Few of the candidates Media Matters identified have any chance of winning their races. Of the 31 candidates identified by Media Matters, 26 of them have measurable odds according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Aside from Greene, only two other candidates of the 26 have better than a 1 in 100 chance of taking their races (and one of those two, Erin Cruz, who’s running in California’s 36th district, has just a 3 in 100 shot), according to our model.2 Greene is running against a Democrat who has withdrawn from the race but remains on the ballot. And another Republican candidate, gun rights activist Lauren Boebert, who’s running in Colorado’s third district, is currently slightly favored to win her race (she has a 59 in 100 shot of winning the seat). She previously appeared on two different YouTube shows hosted by QAnon believers, and said she was “very familiar” with Q and that she “hoped it is real.” More recently, Boebert has said she does not follow QAnon and does not believe in conspiracy theories.

      There’s one other Republican candidate not on Media Matters’ list who has a good shot. Burgess Owens, who is running in Utah’s 4th District, has appeared on a pro-QAnon podcast and YouTube channel and has said he thinks the conspiracy theory is worth taking a look at, though he also stated that accusations of him supporting QAnon are “silly.” FiveThirtyEight’s forecast gives Owens a 42 in 100 chance of winning the seat.

      Media Matters’ list shows 19 candidates who have at some point expressed support for QAnon and have won nominations around the country. Owens makes 20. All all of them are Republican nominees. For its part, the GOP has done little to distance itself from its QAnon-adjacent candidates, instead rejecting the fact that multiple Republican candidates for Congress have links to the group. Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, told ABC News it’s “a fringe group. It’s not part of our party.”

      President Trump, meanwhile, has been repeatedly asked about whether he denounces QAnon, and he consistently demurs, claiming ignorance of the movement and saying its followers “fight” against pedophilia and are people who “love our country.”

      “Trump has a track record for a decade where all he does is traffic in conspiracy theories,” Uscinski said. “Trump built a coalition on conspiracy theories. He started 10 years ago with birtherism, he pushed anti-vaxx ideas. This is his modus operandi.” Regardless of how many explicit allies QAnon has in Congress next term, a conspiratorial mindset has already taken root in the GOP.
      _____________

      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

      Comment


      • Some ‘Biden Republicans’ just keep talking about a new political party

        If Joe Biden wins the presidency next week, it will be with a coalition that spans figures from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all the way to Carly Fiorina, the former Republican candidate for president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

        Biden’s left flank has already made plenty of noise about how they’d seek to pull him leftward if he wins. His Republican supporters would be pulling in the opposite direction but – perhaps in an acknowledgement of the uphill climb they would face – the idea of a third party in 2021 keeps coming up.

        And the idea keeps coming up when discussing either scenario: as a check on Democrats or a rejection of Trump in a second term.

        Asked by Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit this week about different scenarios for the Republican party, Fiorina gamed it out, saying that “every single one of the alternatives” is on the table.

        “One of the things that I have said publicly and said to many of my colleagues is, we are not asked as citizens of this country to pledge allegiance to a party,” she said.

        Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who challenged Donald Trump in the 2020 primaries and already voted for Biden, predicted a new party in a recent interview. “I think in January and February, frankly, whether Trump wins or loses, you're going to see an effort by moderate Republicans, joined by moderate Democrats, some practical libertarians, many environmentalists, the old Green Party, come together,” he said. “It'll be a new party.”

        Another one of President Trump’s 2020 challengers, Joe Walsh, has said “the Republican Party is done. It’s breaking up before our very eyes.”

        ‘We don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy’
        The question will be how much interest a coalition would get behind figures like Fiorina, who dropped out in 2016 after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Weld, who dropped his challenge to Trump this year after winning just a single delegate.

        Trump’s opponents in the Republican party have also been talking about a third party for years. Evan McMullin even ran as an independent in 2016 for disaffected Trump supporters, but he came in fifth with 0.53% of the vote. This time around, he is voting for Biden.

        Throughout the campaign, Biden has been able to tout the support of former staffers of Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain, and President George W. Bush.

        But the statements leave plenty of wiggle room for these figures in 2021. Romney’s former staffers noted that “we don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy,” even as they think he’s better than four more years of Trump.

        Romney himself announced that he did not vote for Trump this year – like he did in 2016 – but didn’t say who he voted for instead.

        This former wing of the Republican party is also clearly looking to be a political force long after the 2020 voting has ended. The Lincoln Project, a group of former Republican political operatives with a mission of “defeating Trumpism,” is already making moves to transition into a media company in 2021.

        ‘I am still a Republican’
        In her interview with Yahoo Finance, Fiorina backed Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic advisor, also reiterated he was fine with the corporate tax rate being raised to 28%, as Biden has proposed.

        But other Biden-supporting Republicans disagree even while they announce their support for him.

        When Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican party, announced his vote for Biden he said he did so even as they disagreed on many issues. “It is my fervent hope that he will pursue policies that will help our country heal,” he said.

        Rick Snyder, the former Republican governor of Michigan, said he’s voting for Biden. But “I am still a Republican who also will be publicly supporting Republican candidates at the local, state and federal level,” he said.

        Fiorina – while supportive of tax cuts – warned of Democratic pushes for even higher taxes and new regulations that could have the effect of “throttling business.”

        ‘Perhaps an interesting conversation’
        The final option for many of these “homeless” Republicans would, of course, be to regain influence in the Republican party if Trump loses.

        For Fiorina, rejoining the Republican party would clearly be a nonstarter during a second Trump term. But if Trump were to lose, “I think there is perhaps an interesting conversation” that will happen in the party about “the future of the Republican Party after Trump.”

        Not everyone agrees Trump will go away so easily, even if he comes up short next week. On Thursday, the New York Times unveiled its last magazine cover before Election Day which promised “Win or Lose, It’s Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”
        ___________

        A new party homeless Republicans disgusted at the surrender of the GOP to Trump? I'll believe it when I see it.

        On the other hand, it'd be amusing to see the once-mighty splinter of the Whig Party splinter yet again.
        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
          Some ‘Biden Republicans’ just keep talking about a new political party

          If Joe Biden wins the presidency next week, it will be with a coalition that spans figures from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all the way to Carly Fiorina, the former Republican candidate for president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

          Biden’s left flank has already made plenty of noise about how they’d seek to pull him leftward if he wins. His Republican supporters would be pulling in the opposite direction but – perhaps in an acknowledgement of the uphill climb they would face – the idea of a third party in 2021 keeps coming up.

          And the idea keeps coming up when discussing either scenario: as a check on Democrats or a rejection of Trump in a second term.

          Asked by Rick Newman at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit this week about different scenarios for the Republican party, Fiorina gamed it out, saying that “every single one of the alternatives” is on the table.

          “One of the things that I have said publicly and said to many of my colleagues is, we are not asked as citizens of this country to pledge allegiance to a party,” she said.

          Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, who challenged Donald Trump in the 2020 primaries and already voted for Biden, predicted a new party in a recent interview. “I think in January and February, frankly, whether Trump wins or loses, you're going to see an effort by moderate Republicans, joined by moderate Democrats, some practical libertarians, many environmentalists, the old Green Party, come together,” he said. “It'll be a new party.”

          Another one of President Trump’s 2020 challengers, Joe Walsh, has said “the Republican Party is done. It’s breaking up before our very eyes.”

          ‘We don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy’
          The question will be how much interest a coalition would get behind figures like Fiorina, who dropped out in 2016 after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and Weld, who dropped his challenge to Trump this year after winning just a single delegate.

          Trump’s opponents in the Republican party have also been talking about a third party for years. Evan McMullin even ran as an independent in 2016 for disaffected Trump supporters, but he came in fifth with 0.53% of the vote. This time around, he is voting for Biden.

          Throughout the campaign, Biden has been able to tout the support of former staffers of Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain, and President George W. Bush.

          But the statements leave plenty of wiggle room for these figures in 2021. Romney’s former staffers noted that “we don’t agree with Joe Biden on every policy,” even as they think he’s better than four more years of Trump.

          Romney himself announced that he did not vote for Trump this year – like he did in 2016 – but didn’t say who he voted for instead.

          This former wing of the Republican party is also clearly looking to be a political force long after the 2020 voting has ended. The Lincoln Project, a group of former Republican political operatives with a mission of “defeating Trumpism,” is already making moves to transition into a media company in 2021.

          ‘I am still a Republican’
          In her interview with Yahoo Finance, Fiorina backed Joe Biden’s plan to raise taxes. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic advisor, also reiterated he was fine with the corporate tax rate being raised to 28%, as Biden has proposed.

          But other Biden-supporting Republicans disagree even while they announce their support for him.

          When Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican party, announced his vote for Biden he said he did so even as they disagreed on many issues. “It is my fervent hope that he will pursue policies that will help our country heal,” he said.

          Rick Snyder, the former Republican governor of Michigan, said he’s voting for Biden. But “I am still a Republican who also will be publicly supporting Republican candidates at the local, state and federal level,” he said.

          Fiorina – while supportive of tax cuts – warned of Democratic pushes for even higher taxes and new regulations that could have the effect of “throttling business.”

          ‘Perhaps an interesting conversation’
          The final option for many of these “homeless” Republicans would, of course, be to regain influence in the Republican party if Trump loses.

          For Fiorina, rejoining the Republican party would clearly be a nonstarter during a second Trump term. But if Trump were to lose, “I think there is perhaps an interesting conversation” that will happen in the party about “the future of the Republican Party after Trump.”

          Not everyone agrees Trump will go away so easily, even if he comes up short next week. On Thursday, the New York Times unveiled its last magazine cover before Election Day which promised “Win or Lose, It’s Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”
          ___________

          A new party homeless Republicans disgusted at the surrender of the GOP to Trump? I'll believe it when I see it.

          On the other hand, it'd be amusing to see the once-mighty splinter of the Whig Party splinter yet again.
          The so-called Moral Majority was the first split in my lifetime, followed by the Tea Party, and now the Trumpeters.
          Trust me?
          I'm an economist!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by DOR View Post

            The so-called Moral Majority was the first split in my lifetime, followed by the Tea Party, and now the Trumpeters.
            I was thinking about actual political parties being formed
            My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

            Comment


            • joe,

              I was thinking about actual political parties being formed
              that would be the morally courageous choice, like Theodore Roosevelt bolting the Republican Party in 1912 after Taft outright stole the primaries.

              I do applaud the never-Trumpers/Biden Republicans for choosing country over party, but they are fundamentally deceiving themselves if they think the GOP base will return to Reaganite-style Republicanism anytime soon.

              Trump's not gonna disappear even if he loses in a landslide. he, and his entire grifting family, will be on the sidelines screeching about voter fraud and the deep state, desperately trying to get their supporters to pay off their enormous debts. the never-Trumpers/Biden Republicans are going to be blamed for being the "dagger in the back".

              the never-Trumpers don't really talk about it right now, but they really face two choices: either join the Democrats wholesale, or be prepared to create a third party to take down the GOP. they don't face any realistic prospect for re-taking their party.
              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


              • A National Day of Remembrance...
                https://www.theblaze.com/news/nation...gal-immigrants

                Comment


                • What we need as a nation is a day to remember the hundreds of thousands who needlessly perished this year, because of one man's ego.
                  Trust me?
                  I'm an economist!

                  Comment


                  • Damn that Wuhan Flu! China will pay for their Biological warfare.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                      Damn that Wuhan Flu! China will pay for their Biological warfare.
                      Try to be a least a little bit subtle about your trolling eh?
                      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                      Comment


                      • Somehow according to some here, Trump must be responsible for the 47k Covid deaths in the UK!?

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
                          Somehow according to some here, Trump must be responsible for the 47k Covid deaths in the UK!?
                          Now you're just flailing around, punching at mirages.

                          Have you been sleeping well lately?

                          My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                          Comment


                          • Trump adviser Scott Atlas apologizes for appearing on RT

                            President Trump's favorite coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas apologized on Twitter for appearing Saturday on Russia’s state-controlled RT network, where he insisted that the U.S. is turning the corner on the pandemic and that lockdowns are actually “killing people.”

                            Why it matters: RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is a Russian state-owned media outlet registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. This means that all of its content is labeled as propaganda attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy and laws.
                            • Atlas appeared on RT just hours after the Washington Post released an interview with Anthony Fauci, who criticized Atlas for his controversial views on the pandemic.
                            • “I have real problems with that guy,” Fauci told the Post. “He’s a smart guy who’s talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn’t make any sense.”
                            The big picture: Atlas, a radiologist, has drawn criticism for reportedly promoting "herd immunity" as a COVID-19 strategy and for casting doubt on the effectiveness of masks, which studies show can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
                            • “The public health leadership … they’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies,” Atlas said on RT.
                            • He also described lockdowns as an “epic failure of public policy by people who refuse to accept they were wrong.”
                            Driving the news: "I recently did an interview with RT and was unaware they are a registered foreign agent," Atlas tweeted. "I regret doing the interview and apologize for allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I especially apologize to the national security community who is working hard to defend us."
                            __________

                            So, an important advisor to the President didn't know that Russia Today is a registered foreign agent....Dumber than a box of rocks or willfully "ignorant"? Hey, why not both?

                            Reminds me of Kelly Loeffler claiming that she's "not familiar" with the Access Hollywood audio recording of Donald Trump bragging about being a serial sex predator. You know the one, it goes something like this:

                            I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married. I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything. ~ Donald John Trump


                            My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                            Comment


                            • Was offline for several days so circling back about the new party discussion...

                              So are the Lincoln Project et al like the Dixiecrats? They stayed within the party after Truman won but almost all bolted to the GOP after Johnson's Great Society hit Congress.

                              Are these folks going to be the new right wing of the Democratic Party?
                              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                              Mark Twain

                              Comment


                              • Martha McSally’s Humiliation, and the Republican Party’s

                                If the degradation of the Republican Party were cast as a morality tale, the lead character might be Senator Martha McSally of Arizona. To say that McSally was once impressive undersells her biography. To say she is now humiliated undersells her shame.

                                In the highly likely event that McSally is defeated tomorrow by her Democratic opponent, former astronaut Mark Kelly, her electoral defeat will be an anticlimax. McSally had been sinking since the toxic dawn of Donald Trump’s presidency, but she hit bottom last week when she publicly debased herself before a man who could never equal her own service and accomplishments.

                                McSally served in the Air Force for two decades, leaving the service in 2010 as a colonel, and was the first woman to fly combat missions and command a fighter squadron. She was gutsy on the ground as well, at one point suing the Department of Defense over a policy that required servicewomen stationed in Saudi Arabia to cover themselves in an abaya outside military bases.

                                In addition to her degree in biology from the Air Force Academy, McSally has a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014, serving two terms before losing a Senate race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. In 2018, Governor Doug Ducey appointed her to fill the seat of John McCain after his death. On Tuesday, she faces voters in a special election to fill the two years remaining in her term.

                                In 2016, McSally, like many in her party, could still read a moral compass. She made it clear that she would not endorse Trump. She regarded his Russia-friendly attacks on NATO with skepticism. She expressed concern about the contempt with which Trump spoke of “veterans and Hispanics and women and others. That’s just not how leaders carry themselves.” When the “Access Hollywood” tape was made public in October, McSally responded on Twitter: “Trump’s comments are disgusting. Joking about sexual assault is unacceptable. I’m appalled.”

                                That was then. By 2020, McSally was supporting Trump’s position 90% of the time. She voted to exclude witnesses and evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial. She highlighted, for cheap applause from the MAGA crowd, her Trumpy assault on a respected journalist with a long track record of level-headed integrity.

                                Then, last Wednesday, the woman who fought her way to respect as a leader of men in the Air Force, who demanded respect for women in Saudi Arabia, and who respected herself too much in 2016 to endorse Donald Trump, appeared at a rally with the president in Goodyear, Arizona. Trump, having concluded that McSally is insufficiently popular to boost him in the state, didn’t even bother feigning respect; he treated McSally like, well, a dog.

                                “Martha, just come up fast. Fast. Fast,” Trump called, deploying his hand in rapid motion to emphasize just how quickly she should heel. “Come on. Quick. You got one minute! One minute, Martha! They don’t want to hear this, Martha. Come on. Let’s go. Quick, quick, quick. Come on. Let’s go.”


                                It was a grotesque performance, even by Trump’s standards. McSally made it worse. “I’m coming!” she said. “Thank you, President Trump!”

                                McSally has spoken publicly of being sexually abused by a high school coach. Her suit in Saudi Arabia specifically objected to women being subservient to men. Yet with her political career on the line, she proved no different than most of her fellow Republicans in her willingness to accept personal and public humiliation from the president of the United States.

                                It may be too late for the colonel and senator to reclaim her lost dignity. The rest of the country still has one last shot.
                                __________

                                The Republican Party: We Know What's Good For You Sweetie. Now Get Back In the Kitchen Where You Belong.


                                My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                                Comment

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