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Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

 
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2021 04:06 pm
This zealotry the right is having about VP Harris going to the border is so very bogus. It strikes me as about exactly as relevant as all their ranting and raving about Obama saying the words “Radical Muslim Terrorism”. What the hell would VP Harris DO at the border, besides have a photo op to say she was there? Isn’t it more important for her to be at the source countries of southern migrants, trying to fix the roots of why they leave?
Below viewing threshold (view)
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2021 06:17 pm
@snood,
Quote:
Feb 16, 2018 · Vice President Mike Pence travels to the Texas-Mexico border on Friday in his first visit to the area as ...
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/politics/mike-pence-border/index.html

That is about 13 months after being inaugurated. This was also a much touted, primary plank of tRump election platform.
snood
 
  0  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2021 06:26 pm
@BillW,
Okay, and?
BillW
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2021 09:51 pm
@snood,
Comparisons are there to behold wondrous dichotomies in a parallel universe!
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2021 10:15 pm
@oralloy,
I think a better use of bye bye would be bye bye Ollie.
BillW
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Jun, 2021 10:17 pm
@RABEL222,
Bye-bye Cold Roy!
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 01:03 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

Given her sexual history, what wouldn't she do at the border? Shocked


Why is it that you overlook Trump’s long sordid sexual history of affairs and whores and pornstars, but continuously harp on Harris’ one affair?
snood
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 01:41 am
When I heard that Merrick Garland and the DOJ filed a brief that defends Trump in his rape allegation case, a couple of thoughts came to mind.
This is the same Merrick Garland who was chosen by Obama as an appointee to the SCOTUS. Same guy who was shamefully snubbed by Mitch McConnell and the senate republicans. Same person who they refused to even let be considered or to even meet privately with him.

I know the Biden DOJ is trying to show themselves as fairly wielding the rule of law; trying to be pure defenders and upholders of the constitution.

But sometimes (oftentimes... always?)Democrats and liberals and progressives and the people appointed to office by them sure seem weak when it comes to fighting.

They are like a straight laced, Puritan boxer who goes into the ring with an opponent known to use head butts, finger gouges and knees to the groin, and still tries to fight according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules.

Gets his ass handed to him every time.

But by god he stays pure.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 02:13 am
@snood,
snood wrote:
Why is it that you overlook Trump's long sordid sexual history of affairs and whores and pornstars,

Because I think it's no big deal.


snood wrote:
but continuously harp on Harris' one affair?

Because of the way Mr. Trump was and is attacked by the left. I'm just treating her the same way that the left treats Mr. Trump.

In truth, so long as everyone involved is a consenting adult, I couldn't care less what the VP or anyone else does or used to do in their sexual lives.

But I think it's fair to give the left a healthy dose of their own medicine.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 07:07 am
https://michaelpramirez.com/uploads/3/4/9/8/34985326/mrz032221-color-800kb_orig.jpg
0 Replies
 
Jsorel
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 05:34 pm
@snood,
The Biden Administration made a very big deal out of putting her in charge of the Border Situation . The flood of illegal immigrants there has badly overloaded the capabilities and assets of our border authorities. Hundreds of unaccompanied children are being held in marginally adequate facilities. In view of all that it is a bit hard to understand her apparently studied and deliberate absence from it.

Could it be that the situation there is an embarrassment to the Administration and that the esteemed VP sees it as a political liability she would like to avoid .... and instead deal with supposed "root causes" outside the country. The irony here is that her awkward recitation of a prepared script bombed rather badly in Honduras and Guatemala, where both Presidents told her the situation at our Southern border was a self-inflicted wound administered by our inept president.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 08:07 pm
From Josh Marshall at TPM. Pay attention particularly to the Sartre quote.

Probably unwisely, I have waded back into the ‘media got it wrong about a lab leak’ debate with my friends Matt Yglesias and and Jon Chait. They’re not the worst on this. But as is often the case in life you’re most ticked by people you think should know better but apparently don’t. As I’ve noted, it’s a complicated question because the informed consensus has shifted a bit. Just not that much. The best informed discussion of the state of play is here.

To the extent there’s a problem with the media coverage on this topic from last year it’s that some commentators went from saying this was a claim with zero evidence, that actual experts didn’t agree with it, that it was very unlikely to calling it a ‘conspiracy theory’ which had been ‘debunked’. These aren’t the same things. But they aren’t terribly far apart either. That is especially so when the people making the claims have a history of being chronic liars.

Still, they’re not precisely the same.

One of the dynamics about the early version of this story is that a mix of China hawks and people trying to distract from President Trump’s failures first claimed that COVID might be a bioweapon engineered by China and either intentionally or unintentionally unleashed on the world. When this claim ran into strong genomic evidence against it they made a tactical retreat to a ‘lab leak’. Over the course of 2020 these claims always played fast and loose with hints of bioweapons research or intentional leaks in the background.

This is one reason it’s so important to keep tabs on the discussions in right wing media. Today they’re not pushing the ‘lab leak’ idea. They’re on to something much more advanced: the idea that Anthony Fauci was behind the research that caused the alleged lab leak and then conspired with China to cover up the origins of virus. That’s why he should definitely be fired and possibly imprisoned, they say. Look at what Rand Paul and Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley are arguing now when they demand Fauci resign and be investigated. Most reporters don’t know the storyline so the hints and accusations fly over their heads.

But this gets us to a more general point that Jeet Heer helped clarify for me in a conversation we had this afternoon. Part of this is a bigger challenge of fact-checking in the Trump Era. If one side is constantly flooding the zone with disinformation – with a mix of straight up lies, baseless claims, highly unlikely scenarios and various kinds of defamation and character assassination – it’s actually pretty hard to keep up with that if you’re doing journalism or fact checking. It’s difficult to be litigating where each claim falls on the spectrum from willful lies, baseless claims, highly unlikely things that are presented as obvious fact. As I said above, this is the one place where I think the ‘lab leak’ contrarians have a small point – that some journalists collapsed the distinction between claim for which you have no evidence but are presenting as true to ‘conspiracy theory’. So people are going to make mistakes like that, as you’re trying to process for people what’s true and what belongs in the bucket of Trump BS.

This is even more the case because for the authoritarian right, high velocity lying is not only a tactic. It’s strategic. John-Paul Sartre captures some of this in a passage from his 1946 book Anti-Semite and Jew.

Quote:
Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.


Right-wing authoritarians are not identical to anti-Semites. But they’re closely related. There’s a reason for the overlap. People who care about making sense of ideas, who have a basically empirical approach to the world around them, who care about language are at some inherent disadvantage against people who don’t. Not everyone uses language to understand the world as accurately as possible and then convey that understanding to others. This is the essence of Trumpism. We know this. Lying isn’t a failure of Trumpism. It’s the essence of it: a high velocity of lies and nonsense to generate confusion and demoralization, talking as a weapon.

This all gets pretty abstract. We’re back to a basic point. Trump backers made confident and aggressive claims for which they had no evidence. They did so because it was helpful politically to do so. They confused the matter by making a range of assertions ranging from the possible but unlikely to the defamatory and nonsensical. Reporters trying to make sense of this for their readers discounted these claims because experts said they were very unlikely and the accusers were known as habitual liars.

None of this is terribly surprising. And yes, some of those people got a bit over their skis by not making clear enough – I guess? – that one version of these claims with no evidence could possibly turn out to be true even though there was no evidence that it was true. There is definitely a tendency among some media commentators – having dealt with the bullshit avalanche of Trumpism – to be hyped up and on the hunt for all the things that come from the Trump bullshit mill and get them stowed away in the Trump bullshit basket. But this again is sort of par for the course when fallible people are charged with making sense of and litigating the work of liars who by design use a high volume of lies to overwhelm people and confuse them. Sometimes they’re bound to say something that is at least connected to something that might turn out to be true.

Even now they’ve managed to give a lot of people the idea that is all but proven when it at best something that knowledgable are deeply divide over and which there remains very little real evidence. It’s hardly some big black eye for the ‘liberal media’ unless you have some deep need for it to be.

At the end of the day it no seems more possible that COVID’s origin could have been through a lab and an accidental leak. There’s still very little evidence for it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. It could be true. And if it is true there’s a good chance we’ll never know because the Chinese government would almost certainly resist disclosing the information and in all likelihood has already destroyed it.

It’s hardly some big failure of ‘liberal media’. How to deal with lying and dissimulation at scale is still something that journalists are trying to get a handle on. We should seriously examine this possibility. I personally think it’s much more likely than I once did. But we’d be fools not to be cautious because the loudest voices are still the habitual liars.
BillW
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 08:16 pm
Where should the USA build it's Elba? Should tRump and Barr be jailed in the same prison? We have a good island somewhere? don't we?
BillW
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 08:45 pm
@BillW,
BillW wrote:

Where should the USA build it's Elba? Should tRump and Barr be jailed in the same prison? We have a good island somewhere? don't we?

Got it, build the prison on one of the Rat Islands in the Aleutian Island chain. Perfect for tRump and his cohorts in crime!
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 08:57 pm
@BillW,
Quote:
We have a good island somewhere? don't we?


Epstein island. Procurer of minors Bill Clinton visited 27 times accompanied by a "minor".
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 09:10 pm
@Builder,
I see builder, the Ollie clone is still here spreading Ollie's bull shyt
.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2021 09:47 pm
@RABEL222,
Nope. The only liar here is still you.

Shame on you for falsely accusing people of your own dishonesty.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2021 02:49 am
@blatham,
That Fauci-Wuhan crap has been circulating since Giuliani raised it in a Tweet on April 26 of last year, implicating Obama as well. It was clarified and debunked within a few days but, hey, that's no reason to bury a good story.

This is pretty disgusting:

The Republicans’ Wild Assault on Voting Rights in Texas and Arizona

What began as thinly veiled attempts to keep Democrats from the polls has become a movement to undermine confidence in our democracy itself.

Quote:
A few hours after Michael Flynn, the retired three-star general and former national-security adviser and convicted felon, told a group of QAnon conspiracists who met in Dallas over Memorial Day weekend that the Biden Administration should be overthrown by force, Democratic legislators in the Texas statehouse, two hundred miles away in Austin, did something remarkable: they stopped their Republican colleagues from passing one of the most restrictive voting bills in the country. Flynn’s pronouncement and the Republicans’ efforts rely on repeating the same untruth: that the Presidency was stolen from Donald Trump by a cabal of Democrats, election officials, and poll workers who perpetrated election fraud. No matter that this claim has been litigated, relitigated, and debunked. Based on data collected by the conservative Heritage Foundation, the incidence of voter fraud in the two decades before last year’s election was about 0.00006 per cent of total ballots cast. It was negligible in 2020, too, as Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, acknowledged at the time.

Senate Bill 7 was stymied at the last minute, when Democrats in the Texas House walked out, depriving Republicans of a quorum. The legislation is full of what are becoming standard suppression tactics—most of which burden people of color, who in 2020 overwhelmingly voted Democratic—and includes measures that would, for example, allow a judge to overturn an election result simply if a challenger claimed, without any proof, that fraudulent votes changed the outcome. Sarah Labowitz, of the A.C.L.U. of Texas, called the bill “ruthless.” Texas was already the most difficult state in which to cast a ballot, according to a recent study by Northern Illinois University. In 2020, voter turnout there was among the lowest in the nation. Even so, with nonwhites making up more than sixty per cent of the population under twenty, Texas is on its way to becoming a swing state. S.B. 7 is intended to insure that it doesn’t. Governor Greg Abbott has promised to call a special session of the legislature to reintroduce it.

Since January, Republican lawmakers in forty-eight states have introduced nearly four hundred restrictive voting bills. What distinguishes these efforts is that they target not only voters but also poll workers and election officials. The Texas bill makes it a criminal offense for an election official to obstruct the view of poll watchers, who are typically partisan volunteers, and grants those observers the right to record videos of voters at polling places. In Iowa, officials could be fined ten thousand dollars for “technical infractions,” such as failing to sufficiently purge voters from the rolls. In Florida, workers who leave drop boxes unattended, however briefly, can be fined twenty-five thousand dollars. In Georgia, poll watchers can challenge the eligibility of an unlimited number of voters.

Even before the pandemic, sixty-five per cent of jurisdictions in the country were having trouble attracting poll workers. The threat of sizable fines and criminal prosecution will only make that task harder, and that’s clearly the point. Polls can’t operate without poll workers. Voters can’t vote if there are no polling places, or if they can’t stand in hours-long lines at the sites that are open—not to mention if other means of casting a ballot, such as by mail, have been outlawed.

What began as thinly veiled attempts to keep Democrats from voting has become a movement to undermine confidence in our democracy itself. How else to understand the “recount” under way in Maricopa County, Arizona (which gave Joe Biden the state), six months after the election was certified? Despite an audit in February that showed no malfeasance, Republicans in the Arizona Senate took possession of the county’s more than two million ballots and turned them over to a private Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, which has no election-audit experience. The firm’s C.E.O. had reportedly tweeted that he was “tired of hearing people say there was no fraud.” It’s unclear who is paying for the recount, which was supposed to have concluded last month. According to the Arizona Republic, recruiters for the project were “reaching out to traditionally conservative groups.” At least one of the recounters was at the January 6th Stop the Steal rally outside the U.S. Capitol. Some have been examining ballots for bamboo fibres, which would purportedly prove that counterfeit ballots for Biden were sent from South Korea. The official chain of custody has been broken for the voting machines, too, which could enable actual fraud, and may force the county to replace them.

It’s easy to joke about conspiracy hunters searching for bits of bamboo. But the fact is that more than half of Republicans still believe that Trump won, and a quarter of all Americans think that the election was rigged. Republicans in at least four other states—New Hampshire, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania—are now considering recounts. Soon, Trump will begin to hold rallies again and will use them to amplify his Big Lie lie; he has reportedly suggested that he could be back in the White House in August, after the recounts are completed. The real, and imminent, danger is that all the noise will make it easier for a cohort of Americans to welcome the dissolution of the political system, which appears to be the ultimate goal of the current Republican efforts.

Last Tuesday, in a speech commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Tulsa massacre, Biden vowed to “fight like heck” to preserve voting rights, and he deputized Vice-President Kamala Harris to lead the charge. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, said that he would bring the For the People Act to a vote this month. Among other provisions, the act mandates automatic voter registration, prohibits voter intimidation, and reduces the influence of dark money in elections. If it became law, and survived the inevitable legal challenges, it could stop much of the Republican pillage, and perhaps prove the most pivotal piece of legislation in a generation.

Nearly seventy per cent of Americans favor measures in the bill, but it’s unlikely to gain the support of Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative West Virginia Democrat, let alone of enough Republicans to clear the sixty-vote hurdle imposed by the filibuster. So far, to Biden’s evident annoyance, Manchin and another Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona, oppose eliminating the filibuster. It’s up to Democratic leaders to impress upon their colleagues that their legacies, and that of their party, are now entwined with the survival of American democracy.

nyer/halpern
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2021 04:22 am
During Trump's time in office, information from the government was repeatedly leaked to the media. According to a media report, Trump's Justice Department forced the tech company Apple to disclose data on two Democratic congressmen in order to track down suspected moles.

The two members of the House Intelligence Committee, the current chairman Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, are affected, reports the New York Times. Data on their staff and family members was also requested, including that of a minor.

NYT: Hunting Leaks, Trump Officials Focused on Democrats in Congress
Quote:
All told, the records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat and now its chairman, according to committee officials and two other people briefed on the inquiry. Representative Eric Swalwell of California said in an interview Thursday night that he had also been notified that his data had subpoenaed.

Prosecutors, under the beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, were hunting for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia. Ultimately, the data and other evidence did not tie the committee to the leaks, and investigators debated whether they had hit a dead end and some even discussed closing the inquiry.

But William P. Barr revived languishing leak investigations after he became attorney general a year later. He moved a trusted prosecutor from New Jersey with little relevant experience to the main Justice Department to work on the Schiff-related case and about a half-dozen others, according to three people with knowledge of his work who did not want to be identified discussing federal investigations.

The zeal in the Trump administration’s efforts to hunt leakers led to the extraordinary step of subpoenaing communications metadata from members of Congress — a nearly unheard-of move outside of corruption investigations. While Justice Department leak investigations are routine, current and former congressional officials familiar with the inquiry said they could not recall an instance in which the records of lawmakers had been seized as part of one.

Moreover, just as it did in investigating news organizations, the Justice Department secured a gag order on Apple that expired this year, according to a person familiar with the inquiry, so lawmakers did not know they were being investigated until Apple informed them last month.

Prosecutors also eventually secured subpoenas for reporters’ records to try to identify their confidential sources, a move that department policy allows only after all other avenues of inquiry are exhausted.

The subpoenas remained secret until the Justice Department disclosed them in recent weeks to the news organizations — The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN — revelations that set off criticism that the government was intruding on press freedoms.
0 Replies
 
 

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