Author Topic: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)  (Read 926885 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16080 on: May 13, 2019, 04:20:33 PM »
he gibbers, and cannot give a speech. he can only crow at rallies.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16081 on: May 14, 2019, 02:38:04 PM »
A riddle in New England: A casino, 321 acres of Indian tribal land and a presidential tweet.

"Between a boast about bringing jobs to Ohio and a statement of sympathy for victims of a school shooting in Colorado, President Trump last week found time to tweet about an obscure House bill that would assure a Massachusetts Indian tribe control of 321 acres of land it wants to use for a gambling casino.

The president was against the bill, he wrote, because it was “unfair and doesn’t treat Native Americans equally!”

Presidents don’t usually get involved in local tiffs over a planned 900-room casino hotel. And even though this president has a four-decade-long record of slamming American Indian casinos as scams that pose unfair competition to other gambling enterprises, notably his own, Trump’s decision to weigh in on a measure that had strong bipartisan support seemed unusual for a chief executive who doesn’t like to be bothered with the little stuff.

But a closer look at House Bill 312 and the favor it would do for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe reveals a sprawling network of Trump-related interests, from the National Enquirer to a Rhode Island casino company — a small but strikingly intricate example of the ways this president’s business dealings, personal bonds and political alliances can complicate and color the ordinary doings of government.

On the surface, the matter is a simple dispute over who wants a casino and who doesn’t. The Mashpee Tribe seeks to build a casino in southeastern Massachusetts. If the federal government decreed the land to be the tribe’s sovereign property, the casino would be exempt from many taxes.

But some residents of the town where the casino would be built sued over the project, and after the tribe broke ground, a federal judge sided with the residents, ruling that, because of the history of that parcel of land, the feds didn’t have the authority to guarantee it to the tribe.

So far, no Trump connection. But the tribe’s site is about 18 miles from Rhode Island, and that state’s politicians aren’t keen to have a new competitor go up against their two casinos, both of which are run by Twin River Worldwide Holdings, a public company with strong Trump ties.

Twin River’s president, George Papanier, was a finance executive at the Trump Plaza casino hotel in Atlantic City earlier in his career, and Twin River’s chief marketing officer, Phil Juliano, also lists experience at a Trump casino on his résumé."

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16082 on: May 14, 2019, 02:42:26 PM »
Judge grills Trump attorney in subpoena case

"Mehta spent the early portion of the hearing grilling Trump's lawyer William Consovoy about why Congress' interest in investigating possible foreign payments to the president — known as emoluments — isn't valid or whether Congress has legitimate investigative interest into a president's potential financial conflicts of interest.

"Say for example if a president had a financial interest in a particular piece of legislation that was being considered … in your view Congress could not investigate whether a president has a conflict of interest?" Mehta wondered.

"It would lack legitimate legislative purpose," replied Consovoy, who argued that any attempt by Congress to determine whether a president was acting outside the law was improper because it's the job of law enforcement, not lawmakers.

Mehta questioned, however, whether the Whitewater investigation of the Clintons or the Watergate investigation of President Richard Nixon would have passed muster under Trump's current legal theory.

Trump's attorney said he was arguing only on the facts of the subpoena case, not previous investigations.

Consovoy urged Mehta to grant Trumps’ legal team “a week or two” to gather documents from the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee — Rep. Jim Jordan — that might support their case. Consovoy said he’s particularly interested in obtaining a memorandum of understanding between the Oversight Committee and the Intelligence and Financial Services Committees, which he said could support the argument that Democrats are pursuing Trump from a law enforcement — not legislative — perspective.

Consovoy acknowledged that he'd have no authority to compel production of that document from committee Democrats, including Chairman Elijah Cummings, but he said Jordan might be willing to provide it voluntarily.

House Counsel Doug Letter, however, said Trump is essentially arguing that Congress is a “nuisance” and that he shouldn’t have to submit to its investigations.

“The problem with that is this is a total and basic and fundamental misunderstanding of the system that was set up by the Constitution,” he said.
Letter said the House’s investigations have been supported by a previous Supreme Court ruling determining that such probes only need to have a conceivable legislative purpose, not necessarily an explicit one.

[...]

On Monday, ahead of the hearing, Trump’s attorneys telegraphed those concerns in a new court filing and asked Mehta to cancel the hearing altogether and set a trial date.

“While Plaintiffs understand the Court’s desire to decide this case efficiently, resolving it in this way—and on this schedule—will severely prejudice Plaintiffs,” Consovoy wrote in a Monday filing.

Douglas Letter, general counsel for the House of Representatives, backed Mehta’s plan to rule from the bench, saying in a court filing that Consovoy’s “complaint lacks merit and an expeditious resolution of the subpoena’s validity is necessary for the committee’s investigations to continue.”

Mehta later formally denied Consovoy’s request, writing in a brief order Monday night: “The hearing will proceed tomorrow as scheduled.”

Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) issued the so-called friendly subpoena to Mazars, which asked for the subpoena so that it could comply with the request. He issued it just days after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and fixer, provided documents to the Oversight panel purportedly showing that the president artificially inflated and deflated the value of his assets in order to benefit financially.

Cohen in February disclosed several of Trump’s financial statements which were submitted to Deutsche Bank in 2014 as Trump was seeking a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills NFL team. Cohen told lawmakers that the documents showed that Trump inflated the value of certain assets in order to secure the loan.

The committee says it needs Trump’s financial records from Mazars as part of its efforts to corroborate Cohen’s allegations.
Trump’s lawyers argue the subpoena is defective because it relies so heavily on Cohen’s testimony.

“Chairman Cummings requested this information because Michael Cohen—a felon who has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress—told the House Oversight Committee that the President had misrepresented his net worth while he was a private citizen,” Trump’s attorneys wrote, calling it “one of the worst examples of the House Democrats’ zeal to attack President Trump.”

[...]

If Mehta, an appointee of President Barack Obama, rules in favor of House Democrats, it may be House Republicans’ previous court battles that helped provide the road map. In 2017, House Intelligence Committee Republicans successfully sued Fusion GPS — a research firm hired by Democrats that commissioned the so-called Steele dossier alleging a vast Trump-Russia conspiracy to influence the 2016 election — for the firm’s financial records.
In that case, Judge Richard Leon — a George W. Bush appointee — indicated that Congress had broad authority to define the legitimate “legislative purpose” of its demands for information.

“This court will not — and indeed, may not — engage in a line-by-line review of the committee’s requests,” Leon wrote at the time."

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16083 on: May 14, 2019, 03:05:14 PM »
Elizabeth Warren Turns Down Fox News Town Hall, Calling the Network a ‘Hate-for-Profit Racket’

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is declining to participate in a Fox News town hall, a move that comes after a number of her fellow 2020 Democratic competitors have agreed to engage with the network’s audience.

“I love town halls. I’ve done more than 70 since January, and I’m glad to have a television audience be a part of them. Fox News has invited me to do a town hall, but I’m turning them down—here’s why,” she wrote Tuesday morning in a series of tweets. “Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life & death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class."

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16084 on: May 14, 2019, 03:51:49 PM »
Mueller's report makes a normal election possible in 2020
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will032619.php3#GekQ2g4lgSL3JXWB.99
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16085 on: May 14, 2019, 11:31:15 PM »
I own the Red Hen restaurant that asked Sarah Sanders to leave. Resistance isn’t futile.

By Stephanie Wilkinson, May 14 at 9:22 AM

Stephanie Wilkinson is the co-owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Va.

“Hello Intolerant, intellectually-challenged, psychotic, socialists!

Your so-called business is in jeopardy. Rest assured this is not a threat but simply a warning that predicts your downfall. . . . When your treasonist hypocrite lowlife Obama took our nation into despair (for 8 yrs) we didn’t do or say the things you do. Get over it, before it’s too late! BTW, there are a lot more of us than there are of you.’’


I’ve been getting hate mail for almost a year now, ever since I asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave my Lexington, Va., restaurant, the Red Hen, last June.

At the time, the country was in turmoil over the Trump administration’s heinous practice of separating children from their parents at our southern border. In our tiny 26-seat restaurant, the horror felt simultaneously immediate and far away.

Faced with the prospect of serving a fine meal to a person whose actions in the service of our country we felt violated basic standards of humanity, we balked. We couldn’t do it.

I took Ms. Sanders aside and politely suggested she leave. She agreed, equally politely. She may or may not have expected this day would come, but she never showed any sign of outrage, or even much surprise. We’d drawn a line; she’d accepted it.

I’m pretty sure both of us thought that was the end of the matter.

When I awoke the next morning, social media was on fire. The incident had gone from a Facebook post to a tagged tweet to nationally trending news with the whoosh of lighter fluid to a flame.

The blowback was swift and aggressive. Within 24 hours, the restaurant’s phone line was hacked, my staff and I were doxxed, and threats to our lives and families and property were pouring in through every available channel. Protesters colonized the streets around the restaurant. Thousands of fake Yelp reviews torpedoed our ratings, and dozens of people attempted to lock up our tables with reservations they had no intention of honoring. Pundits lamented the prospect of “red restaurants” and “blue restaurants.” In less than three days, President Trump had mocked us on Twitter.

In the days following, I tried to balance fears for the safety of my family and staff against the reality of being well-protected in a small, loving community. Overhanging it all was a sense that I’d seen this show before; don’t we all have ringside seats to the outrage circus these days? But there was plenty I couldn’t predict or assess: How likely was it, really, that the guy texting me from a Minneapolis area code was really going to come to town to set fire to our restaurant? It felt impossible to know.

When the mail started pouring in, things got weirder. For the first few days the rubber-banded bundles fit into my letter carrier’s shoulder bag. But soon he was forced to heft large white plastic totes overflowing with letters and packages up to my door.

Staring at it all made my stomach clench. It’s one thing to set filters on your email, reset your privacy settings on Instagram and block callers on your phone. It’s a whole different feeling to face a mountain of mail dwarfing your living-room sofa, not knowing which contain abuse (or worse) and which appreciation.

The realness of that mail struck me. Paper correspondence carries all the marks of genuine humans, people who feel strongly enough about the whole event that they take on all those little tasks of letter writing — tracking down paper or card, composing their thoughts, handwriting or printing it out, locating our address and getting it into the mail.

In more than 4,000 painstakingly typed letters, hastily scrawled postcards, and feces-smeared notebook pages, I was branded a racist, a bigot and a hypocrite. A victim of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” I was an idiot, or worse, and a lousy manager. Sure, I’d 86’d Sanders, but it was my business that was going down the drain.

Yet, as I kept opening the letters, I saw a pattern. For every hateful message, there was one of gratitude. For every angry accusation that our actions were driven by the inability to accept Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, there was a note of thanks from someone lamenting Trump’s rollback of protections for marginalized people. What’s more, for every wish that our business die a painful death, there was a dollar bill or a generous check or an order for a gift certificate.

When we opened after a 10-day hiatus, our dining room was full. In the following weeks, people who had never been to the Shenandoah Valley traveled out of their way to eat with us. Hundreds of orders for our Red Hen spice blend poured in. And the love spread far beyond our door, as supporters sent thousands of dollars in donations in our honor to our local food pantry, our domestic violence shelter and first responders.

After nearly a year, I’m happy to say that business is still good. Better than good, actually. And besides the boost to our area charities, our town’s hospitality and sales revenue have gone up, too.

Our haters may have believed that there were more of “them” than of “us,” but it turns out we have more than enough to keep us cooking. And to everyone who might be fearful about taking a stand, I say don’t be. Resistance is not futile, for you or your business."

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16086 on: May 15, 2019, 03:22:02 PM »
Ignoring Trump’s Orders, Hoping He’ll Forget

"On March 29, during a weekend jaunt to Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump announced a major policy decision that surprised top-ranking officials within several government agencies. The United States was cutting off aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, the president said. Never mind that Trump lacked the authority to unilaterally scrap and redirect the funds in question; his decision was sure to please supporters such as Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who had previously argued that one of the only ways to stop the “border crush” is to threaten a “foreign aid cut-off.”

Stunned State Department officials hurried to put together a statement that evening. The letter promised to “[carry] out the president’s direction and [end] FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.” A similar situation played out in January 2017, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection was sent into a frenzy trying to implement Trump’s Muslim ban seven days after he took office.

A month and a half has passed since the president’s Central America announcement, and according to lawmakers and aides, the administration is not advancing the issue. Senator Patrick Leahy, who serves as the ranking member of the subcommittee that funds foreign aid, told me that this was the inevitable result of an “impulsive and illogical” decision by the president. “It caught the State Department and USAID by surprise, and they have been scrambling to figure out how to limit the damage it would cause,” Leahy said.

“We have heard nothing so far,” a senior Democratic official on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which must sign off on any funds that State wants to reallocate, told me. “What money are we talking about? For what purposes? What’s the timeline for this? It’s been weeks now, and we’ve asked multiple times, and we know nothing.” (The State Department did not respond to my request for comment.)

In the Trump White House a month and a-half is more like a lifetime, meaning that many officials, voters, and reporters—not to mention Trump himself—have long since moved on from the momentary chaos. (Indeed, one outside adviser to the president’s 2020 campaign told me he didn’t even recall that Trump had pledged to cut off the aid.)

This routine has both drawbacks and benefits for the president. But for American taxpayers and citizens of other countries, the effects can be devastating. By impulsively announcing a policy, Trump often harms his chances of actually seeing it brought to life, given a directive’s typical lack of vetting. But because so much of the news cycle is driven by Trump’s off-the-cuff statements and tweets—and not necessarily the follow-through—his supporters are often left with the image of a president who has, in fact, slashed aid to Central America, even if the money is still flowing into the three countries in question. (It is.) As one senior Trump-campaign official told me last week, the president’s appeal is about “the fight,” not “the resolution.”

Since assuming office, Trump has issued many private demands to aides that have either been slow-walked or altogether ignored. But when the president dictates those spontaneous orders publicly, officials are suddenly accountable to a much broader audience—at least in theory—to make them a reality."

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16087 on: May 15, 2019, 03:32:19 PM »
Skeptical U.S. Allies Resist Trump’s New Claims of Threats From Iran

"As the Trump administration draws up war plans against Iran over what it says are threats to American troops and interests, a senior British military official told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that he saw no increased risk from Iran or allied militias in Iraq or Syria.

A few hours later, the United States Central Command issued an unusual rebuke: The remarks from the British official — Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, who is also the deputy commander of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State — run “counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region.”

The rare public dispute highlights a central problem for the Trump administration as it seeks to rally allies and global opinion against Iran. On Wednesday, the State Department ordered partial evacuations of the American embassy and a consulate in Iraq, despite skepticism from Iraqi officials over American intelligence showing a heightened risk.

Over the last year, Washington has said Iran is threatening United States interests in the Middle East, encouraging aggression by Shiite militias in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria, shipping missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen and allowing its naval forces to behave belligerently in the Persian Gulf.

All are concerns that have been leveled against Iranian forces for years.

“We are aware of their presence clearly and we monitor them along with a whole range of others because of the environment we are in,” General Ghika said.

But he said, “No, there has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria.”


Donald Trump declares national emergency over telecoms threats

"Donald Trump has signed an executive order declaring a national emergency and barring US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms officials say pose a national security risk, paving the way for a ban on doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

The executive order invokes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the US. The order directs the commerce department, working with other government agencies, to draw up a plan for enforcement within 150 days.

The order, which has been under review for more than a year, is aimed at protecting the supply chain from “foreign adversaries to the nation’s information and communications technology and services supply chain”, said the commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, Americans will be able to trust that our data and infrastructure are secure,” he said."


Michael Wolff releasing sequel to Fire and Fury

"Michael Wolff, whose book Fire and Fury lifted the lid on the Trump administration last year, is releasing a sequel in three weeks’ time.

Siege: Trump under Fire will be released on 4 June, publishers Henry Holt and Company announced on Wednesday.

Like its million-selling predecessor, Siege promises a juicy, behind-the-scenes look at the current White House and a president who is “volatile, erratic, and exposed”.

The book will focus on tensions amid the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged ties between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign.

According to Holt, Wolff spoke to more than 150 sources, although the publisher declined to say whether any are currently in the administration."
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 04:38:13 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16088 on: May 16, 2019, 03:30:16 PM »
Flynn told Mueller people tied to Trump and Congress tried to obstruct probe

"Former national security adviser Michael Flynn told investigators that people linked to the Trump administration and Congress reached out to him in an effort to interfere in the Russia probe, according to newly-unredacted court papers filed Thursday.

The communications could have "affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation," special counsel Robert Mueller wrote in the court filings.

Flynn even provided a voicemail recording of one such communication, the court papers say. "In some instances, the (special counsel's office) was unaware of the outreach until being alerted to it by the defendant," Mueller wrote.

No other details were provided in the filing, but the Mueller report noted that President Donald Trump's personal lawyer left a voicemail message for Flynn in late November 2017 that addressed the possibility of him cooperating with the government.

"It wouldn't surprise me if you've gone on to make a deal with ... the government," the attorney said in the voicemail message, according to Mueller.

If... there's information that implicates the President, then we've got a national security issue, . . . so, you know, . . . we need some kind of heads up. Um, just for the sake of protecting all our interests if we can .... Remember what we've always said about the President and his feelings toward Flynn and, that still remains."

In a separate court filing, Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered federal prosecutors to file a transcript of the voicemail message, as well as transcripts of any other recordings of Flynn including his conversations with Russian officials."


Trump Pardons His Friend Conrad Black, Who Wrote Glowing Trump Biography Last Year

"Trump has granted a pardon to former media mogul and society figure Conrad Black, who was convicted of fraud in 2007. Black is also a friend of the president and frequently praises him in his newspaper columns. Last year, Black published a biography of Trump, titled Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other."
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 03:33:38 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16089 on: May 17, 2019, 03:53:52 PM »
Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Have No Idea How Women’s Bodies Work

"Last night, the Alabama Senate voted to make abortion illegal from the moment of conception, punishable by 99 years in prison, with no exceptions for rape or incest. It will be the most extreme anti-abortion law in the nation, voted into effect by men who had trouble articulating the most basic facts about women’s biology, conception, or even how the law itself would function.

When Senator Clyde Chambliss, a Republican, for example, was asked if the law would allow for incest victims to obtain abortions, he responded: “Yes, until she knows she’s pregnant.”

He did not elaborate on how someone would have an abortion before she knows she’s pregnant, outside of claiming, “It takes time for all the chromosomes to come together.”

Women’s bodies, lives, and futures are quite literally in the hands of men who seemingly couldn’t pass a high school health class. That’s part of what’s so hard about watching these debates: It’s not just that women’s rights and autonomy are being legislated away, but that it’s being done by complete morons.

This lack of remedial understanding of women’s bodies is not limited to Alabama. Representative John Becker of Ohio, a Republican, for example, sponsored a bill to limit insurance coverage for abortions, but claimed that it would have an exception for ectopic pregnancies, when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. “That treatment would be removing the embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus,” he said, explaining a procedure that doesn’t exist and isn’t medically possible.

The politicians passing these arcane laws seem to have zero understanding of how the implementation of their legislation will impact real-life women.
There is also Texas state Representative Dan Flynn, a Republican, who believes abortion requires cutting into a woman’s uterus, or Vito Barbieri, the Idaho state Representative, a Republican, who thought you could give a woman a remote gynecological exam by having her swallow a tiny camera.

And who among us can forget former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, who once claimed that women can’t get pregnant if they’ve been raped because “the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down.” (Akin was not the only Republican congressman who believed this: In 1995, North Carolina’s former state Representative Henry Aldridge, claimed that when women are raped, “the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work, and they don’t get pregnant.”)

We cannot ask women to follow laws written by men who believe our bodies work like a game of Marble Run.

It’s not just that their science is so woefully wrong. The politicians passing these arcane laws seem to have zero understanding of how the implementation of their legislation will impact real-life women.

When asked how the state would treat women who have had miscarriages — how would they be able to prove they didn’t end the pregnancy? — Chambliss, the Alabama Senator, responded that the burden of proof would be on the prosecution. Does that mean that all miscarriages will be investigated? (If you think that’s out of the realm of possibility, consider that a Virginia lawmaker once tried to pass a bill that would require women to report their miscarriages to the police within 24 hours.)

Sometimes, though, lawmakers’ absolute ignorance over the laws they are passing provides necessary ammunition to American women. When Alabama Senator Bobby Singleton, a Democrat, pointed out that Alabama’s new law could punish those who dispose of fertilized eggs at an IVF clinic, Chambliss responded, “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.”

So much for “life begins at conception.” Chambliss proved what feminists have been saying all along — this isn’t about protecting fertilized eggs. It never has been. These laws are about men controlling women’s bodies. Even if they don’t know the first thing about how they work."


and:

(edit: oh wait, this is from 2017. meh...I'm keeping it posted as applies anyway):

« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 04:22:38 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16090 on: May 18, 2019, 12:25:43 AM »


I do not understand women who vote for the Republicans. I really don't. How much must the Republicans oppress women before women say this is too much? It's just amazing how much people vote AGAINST their own good.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16091 on: May 18, 2019, 04:47:55 AM »
After this week, all I can say is that I flat out love Billy Barr.  He's the best AG since Billy Barr.

And everyone's favorite wedge issue is making a roaring comeback in time for 2020.  Sweet!
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Offline BasilValentine

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16092 on: May 18, 2019, 07:08:06 AM »
After this week, all I can say is that I flat out love Billy Barr.  He's the best AG since Billy Barr.

Of course! A lying hack and weasel intent on subverting democracy. What's not to like!


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16095 on: May 19, 2019, 06:14:06 PM »
Deutsche Bank Staff Saw Suspicious Activity in Trump and Kushner Accounts

"Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.

But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees’ advice. The reports were never filed with the government.

The nature of the transactions was not clear. At least some of them involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, which bank employees considered suspicious.
[...]

But former Deutsche Bank employees said the decision not to report the Trump and Kushner transactions reflected the bank’s generally lax approach to money laundering laws. The employees — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve their ability to work in the industry — said it was part of a pattern of the bank’s executives rejecting valid reports to protect relationships with lucrative clients.

“You present them with everything, and you give them a recommendation, and nothing happens,” said Tammy McFadden, a former Deutsche Bank anti-money laundering specialist who reviewed some of the transactions. “It’s the D.B. way. They are prone to discounting everything.”

Ms. McFadden said she was terminated last year after she raised concerns about the bank’s practices. Since then, she has filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators about the bank’s anti-money-laundering enforcement.
[...]

Lenders typically use a layered approach to detect improper activity. The first step is filtering thousands of transactions using computer programs, which send the ones considered potentially suspicious to midlevel employees for a detailed review. Those employees can decide whether to draft a suspicious activity report, but a final ruling on whether to submit it to the Treasury Department is often made by more senior managers.
In the summer of 2016, Deutsche Bank’s software flagged a series of transactions involving the real estate company of Mr. Kushner, now a senior White House adviser.

Ms. McFadden, a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank’s Jacksonville office, said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government — in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.

Ms. McFadden drafted a suspicious activity report and compiled a small bundle of documents to back up her decision.

Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated — in this case, the private-banking division — according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.

That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden’s concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.

Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division’s strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.

After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.

Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump’s limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.

Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16096 on: May 20, 2019, 12:52:10 AM »
Trump Says Fox News Is Moving To ‘Losing’ Side By Covering Democrats

"President Donald Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade against Fox News on Sunday, taking shots at the outlet’s coverage of Democratic presidential candidates, namely South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“Hard to believe @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him,” Trump wrote, referring to one of the channel’s moderate hosts. “Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems.”

The scrutiny from the president is noteworthy given his reportedly cozy relationship with Fox News and his routine praise of its employees, which he’s offered on social media and in public.

Unlike some Democrats, Buttigieg has expressed an openness to Fox News appearances and held a town hall discussion with Wallace on the channel Sunday.

In March, the candidate stressed the need for his fellow party members to appear on the channel, pointing out that elections “are supposed to be about our whole country” and “we can’t just concentrate on those areas where people, for the most part, already agree with us.”

A handful of other 2020 Democratic hopefuls have also taken interviews on Fox News, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.). Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and entrepreneur Andrew Yang have also made appearances this year.

In April, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) participated in a town hall discussion with the outlet, taking the opportunity to speak out against Trump while talking to viewers.

However, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) refused to hold a town hall of her own on the outlet, and Harris reportedly opted out as well.

The willingness of Democratic candidates to engage in certain media opportunities with Fox News is at odds with the Democratic National Committee’s stance on the outlet, which it plans to bar from hosting or televising its party’s primary debates.

Presented with a chance to reconsider the decision in April, DNC Chairman Tom Perez declined, telling Bill Hemmer during an appearance on the network, “I don’t have faith in your leadership at Fox News at the senior levels.”
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 12:54:05 AM by SimonNZ »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16097 on: May 21, 2019, 11:50:17 AM »
Just This Week, Trump Has Already Committed 5 More Impeachable Acts

"At his rally last night, President Trump’s characteristic threats of vengeance against his enemies took an especially chilling turn. “There was treason!” he announced, summarizing the investigation into the Mueller probe. The crowd began chanting, “Lock them up! Lock them up!”

Trump initially returned to his prepared text, itself a creepily ethno-nationalist paean to his narrow Electoral College win. “You reclaimed your destiny, you defended your dignity, and you took back your country,” he read, in a passage that probably sounded better in the original German. But the “Lock them up!” chants persisted, and, with his showman’s gift for timing, Trump turned back to his audience and paused as the chants increased, then theatrically relented to the demands of the crowd that he had stoked. “We have a great new attorney general who will give it a very fair look, very fair look,” he promised.

It is difficult to fully describe what Trump conveyed in this line without watching the video. As Trump said “very fair,” he wore an arch expression. Trump of course does not use “fair” in anything like the dictionary definition of the term. Trump’s notion of “fairness” is purely positional, revolving entirely around his own self-interest. With his expression, Trump — unusual for him — brought the crowd in on the joke. “Very fair” was a punch line.

Trump’s notion of a “fair” attorney general, as he has stated many times, is one who loyally protects the president’s political interests. His frequent expressions of confidence in William Barr are therefore an important indicator. Barr conspicuously refused to answer a question about whether he had been ordered to investigate anybody, then announced a new, third, investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. Barr has also repeatedly prejudged the outcome of that probe in public. Trump “has told close confidants that he ‘finally’ had ‘my attorney general,’ according to two Republicans close to the White House,” reports the Associated Press. Every indicator suggests Trump believes, correctly or otherwise, that his attorney general shares his peculiar, mob-family sense of fairness.

In a pre-Trumpian world, this sequence of events would set off a political crisis. In the surreal landscape we inhabit, it barely registers. But it is worth noting that Trump continues to commit impeachable offenses at an unprecedented pace. Last night’s threats to make good on his “lock them up” promises are merely one more in another recent flurry. The space between Trump’s long-standing authoritarian rhetoric and the deployment of his powers of office is slowly collapsing on several fronts.

Consider some of the events of recent days. Sunday, the New York Times revealed that Deutsche Bank’s internal investigators raised concerns that the portfolios of Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner involved money laundering. Trump is suing Deutsche Bank to block it from complying with congressional investigators. The notion that the president is entitled to engage in red-flagged dealings with money launderers, and conceal it from Congress and the public, is a wild transgression of transparency norms.

The same day, the Times reported Trump is preparing pardons for several American war criminals. Trump has long fantasized about war crimes and human-rights violations as part of his idealized military, from repeating a fantasized historical account of General Pershing shooting Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood to proposing that the United States seize Iraqi oil as spoils of war. His prospective pardoning of war criminals are steps toward institutionalizing this vision as de facto law.

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Michael Cohen told a closed House panel that Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, encouraged him to lie to Congress in 2017. Cohen’s lie concerned his handling of a deal to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow. The subject of the lie is itself a massive scandal: Vladimir Putin, who habitually corrupts foreign politicians with bribes disguised as lucrative deals, was dangling a contract worth several hundred million dollars, with no financial risk or downside to Trump.

Cohen has testified that Trump encouraged him to lie by repeating, in his characteristic mobster code — “There’s no Russia” — a cover story both men knew to be false. (Trump of course signed the letter of intent for the Moscow Project.) The new report shows that Sekulow was involved in crafting his false testimony, and that, far from the president’s lawyer freelance ordering perjury, Cohen understood Trump to be working through Sekulow:[image in link]

The new disclosure fleshes out more evidence that the president suborned perjury to conceal evidence that he was deeply compromised by Russia during the campaign.

Also yesterday, former White House Counsel Don McGahn refused to appear at a House hearing to testify to yet another serious presidential crime. According to the Mueller report, Trump ordered McGahn to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller, an order McGahn refused. Trump later told McGahn to falsely deny Trump had ever told him this.

Trump has publicly insisted none of this has happened, a denial that makes McGahn’s testimony highly pertinent. There is no basis for refusing to let McGahn testify. It’s not executive privilege, a right McGahn already waived by discussing it with Mueller. Instead, the White House is advancing the novel and extreme argument that Congress can never compel testimony from a senior White House official. That precedent, if accepted, would negate vast swathes of Congress’s long-standing investigative powers.

What’s more, Trump is backstopping his demand with financial blackmail. The AP reports that “Trump has mused about instructing Republicans to cease dealing with the firm” currently employing McGahn, which relies on Republican connections for its business. So Trump, in short, is using financial blackmail in support of a fallacious legal argument in order to cover up a clear instance of obstruction of justice — a seamless garment of corruption.

What cynics had waved off as Trump’s cartoonish musings is slowly seeping its way into sanctioned government policy. The question of whether or not to impeach Trump has attached itself to the discrete drama of the Mueller report, which contains a large cache of Trumpian misconduct. But the misconduct is also an ongoing process with no clear endpoint. The impeachable offenses just keep coming."


also:

Merrick Garland, denied Supreme Court spot, on court set to consider Trump subpoena appeal
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 01:25:37 PM by SimonNZ »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16098 on: May 22, 2019, 11:51:47 AM »
Trump Walks Out on Pelosi and Schumer After 3 Minutes

"President Trump abruptly blew up a scheduled meeting with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday, lashing out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi for accusing him of a cover-up and declaring that he could not work with them until they stopped investigating him.

He then marched out into the Rose Garden, where reporters had been gathered, and delivered a statement bristling with anger as he demanded that Democrats “get these phony investigations over with.” He said they could not legislate and investigate at the same time. “We’re going to go down one track at a time,” he said.

The confrontation came on a day when pressure over a possible impeachment effort raised temperatures on both sides of the aisle. Ms. Pelosi arrived at the White House for a session with the president set to talk about infrastructure shortly after meeting with restive House Democrats on Capitol Hill to talk about impeachment. She emerged from that meeting with Democrats accusing Mr. Trump of a “cover-up.”

When she and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, arrived at the White House, Mr. Trump was loaded for bear. He walked into the Cabinet Room and did not shake anyone’s hand or sit in his seat, according to a Democrat informed about the meeting. He said that he wanted to advance legislation on infrastructure, trade and other matters, but that Ms. Pelosi had said something “terrible” by accusing him of a cover-up, according to the Democrat.

After just three minutes, he left the room before anyone else could speak, the Democrat said. From there, he headed to the Rose Garden, where a lectern had been set up with a sign that said “No Collusion, No Obstruction” along with statistics intended to show that the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was more than thorough.

“Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t do cover-ups.”

“I walked into the room and I told Senator Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi: ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. I’d be really good at that, that’s what I do. But you know what? You can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with,’” he said.

The Democratic leaders returned to Capitol Hill and expressed disappointment, saying they were ready to make a deal with the president on a $2 trillion plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure.

“He just took a pass and it just makes me wonder why he did that,” Ms. Pelosi said. “In any event, I pray for the president of the United States and I pray for the United States of America.”

Mr. Schumer expressed shock at the outcome. “To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop,” he said.

Mr. Schumer said Mr. Trump’s eruption was hardly spontaneous, noting the preprinted sign on the lectern he used afterward to speak with reporters. Instead, he suggested the president staged it because he had not come up with a way to pay for such an enormous spending package."


also:

House Democrats subpoena ex-White House staffers Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson in obstruction of justice probe


Mnuchin Dismisses I.R.S. Memo Saying Treasury Must Release Trump Tax Returns


Trump financial records: New York judge won't block Congressional subpoenas


Trump turns on Fox News over 2020 coverage: 'What's going on there?'
President criticized Fox News at a rally on Monday for giving Democrats airtime after candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared on the channel
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 11:58:41 AM by SimonNZ »

Offline SimonNZ

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Re: Sound The TRUMPets! A Thread for Presidential Pondering 2016-2020(?)
« Reply #16099 on: May 22, 2019, 04:00:09 PM »
repeating information above, but I like the way it is written:

: Trump seems to be transparently mad

"President Trump stormed into the Cabinet Room 15 minutes late Wednesday morning and immediately proceeded to blow up a long-planned meeting with Democratic leaders about an infrastructure bill. He raged against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the terrible, horrible things she has said about him, and he vowed not to work on any legislation until Democrats stop investigating his administration. He stomped out of the room before Democrats had a chance to reply, then marched into the Rose Garden for an unscheduled news conference — or, more accurately, a 12-minute parade of paranoia.

Positively everybody was out to get him. They were out to get him in the third person: “They hated President Trump. They hated him with a passion,” he said. They were out to get him in the first-person plural: “These people were out to get us, the Republican Party and President Trump. They were out to get us.” What’s more, they have been after him “pretty much from the time we came down the escalator in Trump Tower.” And now they probably will impeach him because they “do whatever they have to do.”

He raged on. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has “been an enemy of mine for many years.” The “whole thing was a takedown attempt.” The assembled press “ought to be ashamed of yourselves for the way you report it so dishonestly.” And, even though he was the one who blew up the infrastructure meeting, he just knew that Democrats were “not really thinking they wanted to do infrastructure or anything else other than investigate.”

He ricocheted randomly among inchoate thought fragments: Infrastructure. WITCH HUNT! Unemployment. NO COLLUSION! Drug prices. HOAX! A special election in Pennsylvania. ONE-SIDED HORRIBLE THING! Tax cuts. DON JR. HAS GONE THROUGH HELL! I love the American people. IMPEACHMENT! Regulations. A DISGRACE! ABUSE!

Nobody seemed to know what to make of the explosion. White House officials reportedly said they tried to stop Trump from making the Rose Garden appearance. And for good reason: With Wednesday’s public announcement that he won’t negotiate with Democrats, the president has taken ownership of the lack of progress on infrastructure and other legislation — much the way he took ownership of the government shutdown.

And for what? The remark Pelosi made that apparently set Trump off — “we believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a coverup” — is something Democratic leaders have said before (Pelosi’s deputy, Maryland’s Steny Hoyer, accused Trump two weeks earlier of “the greatest coverup of any president in American history”) and something well supported both by the Mueller report and by Trump’s steadfast refusal to cooperate with congressional inquiries. Besides, if Trump doesn’t want to legislate while Democrats investigate, why did he launch infrastructure talks with them in the first place?

“Hello?” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) said after Trump’s tirade, “There were investigations going on three weeks ago when we met, and he still met with us.”

What changed, apparently, is the president’s state of mind. People often describe him as “unraveling,” but that implies he was once fully knitted. Whatever his mental starting point, those seeking the method in Trump’s madness lately have encountered less of the former and more of the latter."

-

"What’s more, they have been after him “pretty much from the time we came down the escalator in Trump Tower.”

Well yes, dear. You followed that Riefenstall-for-Dummies moment (God has descended from heaven!) with calling Mexicans rapists.

(seriously now: compare and contrast the opening sequence of Triumph Of The Will - "Glorious Leader" soaring above the clouds where only a lucky few, at that time, have been, then descending to intimate proximity - with the gormless buffoon rolling inertly down an escalator like a potato on a food packing line. And still they cheer. Fucking rubes.)

« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 04:05:06 PM by SimonNZ »