39
   

Turning The Ballot Box Against Republicans

 
 
coldjoint
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 01:43 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
Trump's Harsh Words For NATO Meet With Pushback From Republicans And Democrats

Considering Trump has already said what they object to what exactly is going to be accomplished by bitching about it? Bringing more attention what they consider an insult is stupid.
Quote:
Trump made the same demand of NATO allies at last year's summit.

Looks like they did not listen. Quotes from your link.
firefly
 
  4  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 01:49 pm
Trump’s administration can’t clean house because its leader is too soaked in scandal
It’s party time for grifters in today’s GOP

By Matthew Yglesias--July 11, 2018

The ethical and moral standards inside the White House have dropped so low that even on the way out the door, conservatives are painting the comically corrupt former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt as a martyred hero victimized by the hysterical liberal media.

“I am just so disappointed in the president’s failure to support Scott against the angry attacks from the loony left,” Republican donor Doug Deason told Politico. “Nothing he did amounted to anything big. He was THE most effective Cabinet member by far.“

Presidential administrations are large, and it’s impossible to build one that’s entirely scandal-free. But you can vet people properly, you can drum-out malefactors who slip through the cracks, and you can build an institutional culture in which team members are rewarded for exposing impropriety rather than rewarded for covering it up.

But inside the Donald Trump White House, grifters, abusers, racists, and harassers still get hired; they lurk around the Oval Office after they’ve been found out; and even in the rare instance where they’re forced out, it’s only grudgingly.

Bill Shine, for example, came on board last week to run White House communications. He got fired from his last job as president of Fox News for his role in orchestrating a massive, multi-year cover-up of widespread sexual harassment and sexual assault of employees. The White House didn’t note this in the press release.

His wife, Darla, meanwhile, has a habit of tweeting inaccurate anti-vaccination memes and a ton of racist stuff, but leading conservative commentators take the view that, since they are nice to their friends, quoting her accurately amounts to a liberal smear campaign.

Then there’s White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who was eventually forced out once it came to light that he’d beaten up a couple of his wives but the White House could never quite get its story straight on exactly what happened, seemingly because Chief of Staff John Kelly had known the facts and tried to cover them up. About a month later, Trump decided he missed Porter and wanted him back, which didn’t happen, but Kelly obviously wasn’t punished for the coverup.

Jim Jordan, a leading House conservative, stands accused by a half-dozen former Ohio State University wrestlers of turning a blind eye to routine sexual abuse of young athletes. And both President Trump and his colleagues are rallying behind Jordan with the preposterous theory that it’s all a conspiracy cooked up by the “deep state” to shield a former FBI agent from their calumnies.

And this is the really striking thing about the current state of Republican Party politics — not the handful of crooks and spouse abusers who’ve been forced out of their jobs, but the petulant and foot-dragging manner in which they’ve been cashiered, the continued tolerance for so many apparent malefactors, and the evident lack of desire to even attempt anything resembling a proper house-cleaning.

The situation is an embarrassment to dignified political and policy professionals who happen to believe in low taxes and restricting the legal availability of abortion. And it’s obviously a drag on the Republican Party’s approval ratings, which remain dismal for a party presiding over peace and prosperity.

But nothing can realistically be done about it because there’s no way to hold your team to any kind of normal standard of conduct when Donald Trump is captain of the ship. According to his accusers, Trump is personally guilty of all these misdeeds and more. He simply can’t do anything about it even if he wanted to.

Trumpworld is a huge mess of scandal

The sheer volume of negative stories about Pruitt eventually made his position untenable, since he was clearly facing what amounted to a revolt from his own staff.

But it’s clear that Trump is very far from taking a “zero tolerance” approach to Cabinet corruption. Indeed, though the sheer quantity of Pruitt stories was unparalleled, the most egregious case of corruption probably lies with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose family is deeply invested in companies with a direct stake in Ross’s decision about tariff exemptions. Ross even found a way to profit financially from journalistic exposure of one of his conflicts of interest. Not coincidentally, Ross, unlike most of the Cabinet, is a personal friend of Trump’s and had a preexisting relationship with the president.

On a more petty scale, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tried to take an expensive military jet on his honeymoon, and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke billed taxpayers for a series of expensive trips, including one to deliver a pep talk to a donor’s hockey team. Meanwhile, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is embroiled in controversies regarding both overspending on office furniture and, more consequentially, the use of the HUD office to promote his family’s business interests.

Beyond the Cabinet, Trump’s bodyman was fired and is facing some kind of Secret Service investigation for “serious financial crimes” related to his proclivity for high-stakes gambling; he immediately landed with a cushy job at Trump’s reelection campaign. Corey Lewandowski, once upon a time Trump’s campaign manager, got fired over his violent behavior toward women but is now cashing-in as a lobbyist and is still very much in Trump’s good graces, and even travels with the president to campaign events.

This fish rots from the head

Corruption is not exactly new to American politics. But never before in American history has the president of the United States been a person whose entire career has been single-handedly devoted to enriching himself. Donald Trump is first and foremost a greedy person, and despite his campaign season promises to set avarice aside and “be greedy for the United States,” he has, in practice, relentlessly monetized the presidency.

He has refused to divest from his business, refused to engage in any meaningful financial disclosure, and clearly encourages businesspeople and others with interest in the policy process to cut him in on a piece of the action by holding events at his clubs and hotels. BuzzFeed News’s Tarini Parti even reported on Monday that members of his exclusive Florida beach club (annual membership fee: $200,000) have been getting choice tours of Air Force One.

Trump faces credible accusations of sexual assault from Summer Zervos and others, as well as a whole range of other creepy behaviors like peeping on teen beauty pageant contestants while they were changing backstage. Trump says racist stuff all the time, including in conversations with US senators, and spent years as a major proponent of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

This not only sends a signal to subordinates that bad behavior will be tolerated, it makes it essentially impossible for anyone in the broader conservative movement to attempt to insist on holding members of the Trump administration to a high standard of conduct.

Republicans hold a majority in the Senate at the moment and could easily confirm replacements for any officials who got fired in a house-cleaning. But nobody can articulate a plausible red line — on corruption, on sexual misconduct, on racism, on conspiracy theories, on honesty, or virtually anything else — that wouldn’t implicate the president and his family.

The result is a filthy White House that’s not going to be cleaned up any time soon.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/11/17546970/trump-pruitt-shine
firefly
 
  5  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 04:55 pm
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/a6/55/e0/a655e0590400640a8978fda087e63a22--stupid-funny-stephen-colbert.jpg
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  4  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 05:38 pm
@firefly,
It seems that previously good Americans get tainted once they become associated with the Trump administration. It's really a sad story when a person gives their life to this country honorably, then lose their good name once they get involved with Trump. It would seem people being considered for the Trump team would look at it like the plague. I wonder how many more honorable folks will lose out getting involved with Donald Trump? Seems they don't have very good judgment. It would seem after seeing so many people getting run over by the Trump bus, they would see the obvious conclusion to their career. Sad. As Trump would say.
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 07:07 pm
@coldjoint,
Yo bssically he was an asshole last ypear and hep still is and ao doangeroupps one at that.
coldjoint
 
  0  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 07:55 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
Yo bssically he was an asshole last ypear and hep still is and ao doangeroupps one at that.

Translator!!!
0 Replies
 
coldjoint
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 08:03 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
I wonder how many more honorable folks will lose out getting involved with Donald Trump?

I wouldn't worry about that because a lot of people do not think that way. And it is plain to see there is no honor in associating with intolerant crybabies, either, especially when they repeat unproven one-sided rhetoric, and nothing else.
coldjoint
 
  0  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 08:10 pm
Quote:
Study: Illegal Aliens Commit Crimes At Twice The Rate Of Americans

Study. Progressives like studies, not this one. Vote Democratic and push for 3 or 4 the rate of Americans. Keep that spark of divinity alive.
Quote:
The report, from the Crime Prevention Research Center, used a previously untapped set of data from Arizona that detailed criminal convictions and found that illegal immigrants between 15 and 35 are less than 3 percent of the state’s population, but nearly 8 percent of its prison population.

http://www.illegalaliencrimereport.com/uncategorized/study-illegal-aliens-commit-crimes-at-twice-the-rate-of-americans/
0 Replies
 
coldjoint
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 08:17 pm
Quote:
New York Times Article In 1984 Predicts Trump Could One Day Be A Great President

Hey! That makes it alright. The NYT is cool with it, or they were. How embarrassing. So people can stop making fools of themselves and get behind Trumps agenda.

I am glad it is finally over. Mr. Green

Quote:
The column then shifts to how this ability might translate on the biggest stage – negotiating with hostile countries as leader of the free world. The country they bring up at that time in Syria, but the task at hand remains the same, and the Times clearly believes he has the ability to become the negotiator-in-chief.

https://thepoliticalinsider.com/new-york-times-predicted-trump-presidency/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tpi
0 Replies
 
coldjoint
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jul, 2018 11:25 pm
Democrats doing good in Texas?
Quote:
Beto O’Rourke Flew to L.A. (AGAIN) to Fundraise for His Texas Senate Campaign

Doesn't look like it.
https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/07/beto-orourke-flew-to-l-a-again-to-fundraise-for-his-texas-senate-campaign/
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 01:04 am
What Jonathan Chait Gets Right About Trump and Russia

Thirty years of contacts with Russia are hard to dismiss as a series of disconnected events.

By TOM NICHOLS
July 10, 2018

Jonathan Chait has written a long piece on President Donald Trump’s myriad ties to Russia. The reaction is about what you’d expect: Trump’s most feverish critics see it as the indictment of a Manchurian Candidate who is now The Red President. Trump’s defenders have dismissed the piece (and Chait) as just another example of how the left can descend into the conspiracy theory fever swamps as quickly as anyone else.

Chait’s piece, however, deserves a fairer reading than it’s getting. Whatever else it may be, it is fundamentally a damning tally of the degree to which the Russian state has woven itself into the life of the current commander in chief.

I should note here that I do not write from any unique knowledge of the Trump case beyond what is available in the historical record. Rather, I am a specialist in Russian affairs with experience extending back to the Cold War, and neither Chait’s narrative nor his conclusions (with some exceptions) strike me as unreasonable.

This isn’t to say that the piece isn’t flawed in some important areas. (The title, right off the bat, suggests that Vladimir Putin is Trump’s “handler,” as though Putin is personally directing Trump. This is over the top.) Chait is also too willing to just accept “it might be true” as a good enough explanation of things like the infamous “pee tape,” which requires too much unsupported extrapolation.

There’s also the problem that the article grants far too much power and agency to the Russians, as though they merely imposed Trump on America as an act of magnificent tradecraft. The piece isn’t helped by a Glenn Beck-style chart—scores of multicolored lines connecting head shots of people in maze-like ways—which most people will likely not take the time to read. The overall effect is to encourage the view that the Kremlin installed its preferred candidate in the White House after grooming him for his big moment over the course of 30 years.

This is the wrong way to think about the entire issue. It helps instead to consider Trump not as a “recruit,” but as an investment. It is ridiculous to believe the Russians had a crystal ball, or a psychic who shook hands with Trump, like Johnny in The Dead Zone, and saw a future president. Rather, they took an interest in a wealthy American businessman with contacts throughout New York’s financial and political worlds. Indeed, as Chait notes, if the Russians hadn’t zeroed in on Trump—a man whose venality, vanity and vulgarity are like a menu of recruitable weaknesses—they’d have been guilty of intelligence malpractice.

That’s why Chait’s article is worth a careful reading: He has laid out the mind-numbing history and facts of Trump’s dealings with Russia in one place. From Trump’s first meetings with the Soviets (which apparently convinced him that he should become a voice on international security and nuclear affairs) to his numerous dealings with the world of Russian finance, to his jaw-dropping hire of Paul Manafort, a man whose résumé includes work aimed at keeping a Putin crony in power in Ukraine, the litany of direct and indirect contacts with the Kremlin exceeds all possible exculpatory explanations. Trump’s defenders over the past few years have gotten a lot of mileage by isolating each of these facts and treating them as insignificant. Chait, however, has gathered them together, and the picture they present is alarming, much in the way a lot of small debts don't look like financial ruin until you write them down and tally them up.

These facts, from the depth of Trump’s financial dealings to the personal connections of some of his top advisers and campaign staff to the Putin regime, are (or should be) undeniable. It is impossible to see the total picture and reach the conclusion that there is an innocent explanation behind it all. There’s simply too much to explain away.

In plowing through this history, three things should be kept in mind. First, the amount of contact Chait illustrates between Trump world and the Russians is simply staggering. Even by the standards of international business, this is an astonishing amount of interaction that involves not just Trump’s financial interests, but vertically deep ties that extend down into his family.

Second, too many Americans do not understand that Russia’s oligarchs, millionaires, business leaders, state officials and intelligence operatives are all part of the same ecosystem. It is not possible to shake hands with just one arm of this octopus without being enveloped by the others. If Trump was in deep with the Russian criminal and financial worlds, the Russian intelligence services knew it, and so did Russia’s top spook, Putin. Trump must know this as well.

Third, Chait’s readers should not be looking for silver bullets that either doom or exonerate Trump. Rather, they should follow the argument about a pattern of interaction that would raise the suspicions of even the most amateur intelligence analyst. Chait does not assert that Trump is a foreign agent, instead calling him an “asset.” I am not sure I agree, at least not as an “asset” in the sense of someone who is knowingly trying to help the Russians, with their explicit guidance, against the United States.

Instead, what Chait presents, without having to get too far out on a ledge about agents or assets, is a plausible case that a U.S. president is compromised by a foreign power that has damaging information about him.

But how would such compromising work in practice? Chait’s critics might be watching too much television. This is not an episode of The Americans. No one issues orders, and anyone looking for such evidence is likely to be disappointed. Rather, over time, as relationships grow, favors are asked. Friendships are pressed into service. The key is to induce the target to do what you want without telling him to do it—to be a friend, helping out friends.

Later, there’s no need to receive instruction from a “handler” in the Kremlin. If the president is worried about what the Russians have on him, he may proactively be doing things he believes will keep him in good stead with Putin. A general sense of anxiety could well produce more cooperation than any direct order. This would explain why Trump always seems fearful and defensive whenever the subject of Putin is raised, and why he seems constantly eager to impress the Russian president at every turn. After starting a trade war with U.S. allies and questioning, as he has many times, the value of NATO, Trump has told Putin that his own staff is “stupid” for trying to keep him from getting too cozy with the Kremlin boss, and that he expects his summit with Putin to be the “easiest” of his many recent meetings.

But why, critics might ask, would Trump and his cronies risk everything in an election if they were in so deep with the Russians? The key to this apparent stupidity, I think, is that no one involved in the Trump campaign, including the president, expected to win.

Indeed, for Trump and his circle, losing would have been the best outcome: Trump would become the de facto leader of the GOP, his advisers would have a direct line to the majority in Congress, and they could operate as a shadow government, dogging Hillary Clinton around the country while making scads of money in everything from consulting to merchandising. People like Manafort and Michael Flynn could parlay their time in the campaign into access and credibility among Republicans.

Winning screwed all that up. Suddenly, all those Russian contacts were a problem. This was a nightmare for Team Trump, but an accidental windfall for Team Putin. The junk stock it invested in back in the 1980s was now a blue chip.

Victory therefore required a lot of quick mobilization to limit any possible damage, and to protect the new administration from revelations no one thought would matter after November 2016. If Chait’s narrative at times seems to lean on people acting strangely, bear in mind that these might have been the actions of people who never expected to be in the White House.

Finally, whatever one thinks of Chait’s piece, the attacks from Trump defenders are no more than a reflex that reveals the exhausting double-standard that pro-Trump Republicans must now carry like a cinder block around their necks. People who once wanted to imprison Hillary Clinton for a uranium deal approved by the U.S. government are now waving away 30 years of Moscow’s personal and financial investments in Trump as though it’s nothing more than a condo purchase on an overdrawn checking account.

I do not know how much pressure the president is under from the Russians. Neither does Chait. Neither do Trump’s defenders. We may never get the full story, unless it is revealed to us by Robert Mueller or found in a future tranche of declassified documents. But there is no way to read Chait’s story—or to do any judicious review of Trump’s dealings with the Russians over years—and reach any other conclusion but that the Kremlin has damaging and deeply compromising knowledge about the president. Whether it is using such materials, and how, is a matter of legitimate argument. That such things exist, however, and that they seem to be preoccupying the president, should be obvious.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/10/trump-russia-jonathan-chait-218966
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 01:13 am
Putin Has Already Won

Trump’s blowup at the NATO summit is exactly what Russia hoped would happen.
By EVELYN FARKAS
July 11, 2018

President Donald Trump’s long-awaited summit with Vladimir Putin hasn’t even happened yet — and the Kremlin strongman has already pocketed a win.

One of Putin’s strategic goals is dividing the Western alliance, which he views as a mortal threat. And sure enough, at Wednesday’s kickoff of the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump launched into a tirade against Germany, accusing the country of being a pawn of Moscow due to its heavy reliance on Russian natural gas. The comments shocked European diplomats, who are accustomed to gripes from American presidents about their defense spending and troop contributions, but expect to hear such complaints in private and delivered with a lot more diplomatic finesse. The Kremlin couldn’t have scripted it better.

Even ahead of Wednesday’s fiasco, the meeting with Putin was causing great friction in the United States — including, reportedly, inside the Trump administration — and further eroding unity with the trans-Atlantic community. Trump will be sitting down with Putin in Helsinki on the heels of the disastrous NATO summit, and he seems eager — at almost any cost to alliances, U.S. democracy and national security interests — to build a positive, cooperative relationship with the longtime KGB agent, and Putin knows it.

Understanding the weakness of his target, Putin, who spent years as an intelligence operative in East Germany, will work to gain advantage for Moscow. He’s taken the measure of American presidents his mark before: Remember, during his first meeting with the deeply religious George W. Bush, Putin told a dramatic story about how a cross his mother gave him had survived a house fire. That bit of tradecraft led to the U.S. president’s statement about having looked into Putin’s eyes and seen his soul — a gullible remark Bush came to regret.

How will Putin try to outwit Trump? He will appeal to the president’s ego, flattering him, but also being careful to subtly show the American his place. Putin will not let Trump physically usher him into any room under the gaze of cameras, as Kim Jong Un did. He will be determined to stand his ground, at a minimum, as Trump’s equal. Putin will almost certainly try to assert dominance over the U.S. president in his usual fashion — by, for instance, keeping his counterpart waiting hours after the appointed meeting time for his arrival.

Putin will shower the vain and insecure Trump with lavish praise, acting all the while as if Russia is the full equal in power to the United States. Understanding that Trump vastly overestimates Russia’s power and influence, Putin will aim to convince the president that they can decide most important global issues between them....

continue reading here
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/11/putin-has-already-won-218968
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 01:37 am
Schumer, Pelosi: Trump's Germany comments an 'embarrassment'

By Jordain Carney - 07/11/18

Congressional Democratic leadership blasted President Trump on Wednesday after he called Germany a "captive" of Russia, saying his comment at a NATO meeting "is an embarrassment."

“President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment. His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the president is more loyal to [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin than to our NATO allies," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

Trump sparked a war of words with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after he said a gas pipeline deal with Russia made the country a "captive" to Moscow and urged NATO to assess the situation. Merkel fired back, saying that the country is "united in freedom."

The NATO meeting in Brussels comes ahead of a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for early next week. The meeting has sparked concerns in Europe, as well as with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who worry Trump could end up making major concessions.

Schumer and Pelosi added on Wednesday that if Trump leaves the Putin meeting without "ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy," it will be a "failure" and a "grave step backward for the future of the international order and global security."

“The president needs to remember that, as Commander-in-Chief, his duty is to protect the American people from foreign threats, not to sell out our democracy to Putin," they added.

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/396461-schumer-pelosi-trumps-germany-comments-an-embarrassment
coldjoint
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 09:12 am
@firefly,
Quote:
Schumer, Pelosi:

Are an embarrassment.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  5  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:15 am
@firefly,
Trump is a moron. Germany is free to purchase their energy from the best source available to them. It's called competitive advantage. Trump never understood economics, and how he ever graduated from Wharton is a mystery. The US imports from China, so what's the beef?
coldjoint
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:22 am
@cicerone imposter,
The economy is growing, people are working and trying to live their lives.
Quote:
so what's the beef?
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  5  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:22 am
@coldjoint,
FYI I am not a crybaby. I'm an observer of US politics and offer my opinion as a free speech American. Trump is a disaster to almost everything he touches. That includes his wall, tariffs, lies, bigotry and ignorance about most things. Even his so-called middle-class tax reform benefits the rich by over 80%. He has criticized our allies and have shown admiration for Putin and Un. He's a f......g moron. Tillerson was right all along.
revelette1
 
  5  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:25 am
@oralloy,
Quote:
I believe the reason why Trump is going to seek jail terms for illegal immigrants is because he believes that it will be a deterrent to illegal immigration, and he wants to deter illegal immigration.


Yes but there was no need to create such a harsh and expensive chaotic deterrent. The number of people crossing the borders have been going down for years; both illegally and legally.
coldjoint
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:28 am
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
I'm an observer of US politics and offer my opinion as a free speech American.

You don't think I know that? I have never said you were not entitled to say what you want, and I never will. I have only asked why you always say the same thing.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  4  
Reply Thu 12 Jul, 2018 11:29 am
@revelette1,
The fact the Trump used the separation of children from their parents to control the border only proves how crass, ignorant and inhuman Trump is. They separated over 2000 children from their parents, and didn't keep any records. He has two more years to screw up more things and there's almost a guarantee that he will.
 

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