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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16481 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-08, 18:50

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump required personnel at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to sign nondisclosure agreements last year before they could be involved with treating him, according to four people familiar with the process.


I have an NDA for Donald Trump to sign - it says after Jan. 20, 2021, he will no longer be able to tell anyone anywhere in the world that he is the president of the United States.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16482 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-09, 05:40

Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns at NYT said:

Trump’s Struggles Ripple Across the Sun Belt, Endangering G.O.P. Stronghold

President Trump is fading nationally as he alienates women, seniors and suburbanites, polls show. But private G.O.P. surveys show he is in close races in solidly red states, too.

Nate Silver said:

Really more polls are coming in showing Biden up double digits than not at this point. He's up to +9.8 in our national polling average, his largest lead of the campaign. https://projects.fiv...neral/national/

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#16483 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-09, 06:06

People do not like chaos.
Trump brings us chaos.
Chaos like I have never before seen.
This might be reason enough to send him packing,

Most people, including me, have at best a limited understanding of national economics and world affairs. We can recognize chaos when we see it. We are seeing it. And it's not coming from Biden.
Ken
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#16484 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-09, 09:22

Timothy Egan at NYT said:

Somewhere under the cornfields and backyard hoop courts of Indiana is a small black box holding the conscience of Vice President Mike Pence. He buried it four years ago, when a tape emerged of Donald Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women.

Pence and his wife, Karen, whom he reportedly calls “Mother,” had rushed home to pray during the biggest campaign crisis of 2016. Ever since an evangelical conversion in college, Pence had been a beacon of Hoosier holiness, using his talk radio show and his political perch to preach biblical values in the public sphere.

But, of course, he buried them in a heartland moment. And by 2017, Pence would have this to say about Trump to religious conservatives: “This is somebody who shares our views, shares our values, shares our beliefs.”

As we saw in Wednesday night’s debate, Pence is not just the great enabler of Trump’s awfulness, but the man who puts a godly sheen on it. In that sense, he’s more dangerous, and arguably more evil, than Trump.

You have to think that he knows better, that he knows the man he serves is rotten to the core. But his sycophancy is not all connivance and cunning. No — he’s simply playing his role in God’s plan.

It’s taking potshots at a three-legged moose to note that if God planned to put kids in cages, to destroy much of creation with wildfire and flooding, to send more than 210,000 Americans to an early grave from a pandemic, such a plan would call for some dissent with the master architect.

Not from Pence. In the earthly realm, nobody expects the vice president to stand up to his president. Nor, even, to not do his bidding in the dark arts of Trumpism. But it’s putting a moral — and to Pence, religious — gloss on this American nightmare that makes his deep complicity so chilling.

His task on Wednesday was to lie and dodge with civility and aw-shucks earnestness. With his flat Midwestern accent and his silver-haired gladhandedness, Pence is the silk to Trump’s sandpaper. He has the mien of a man trying to sell you dog food laced with Ambien. By the grace of God, both you and your pet will sleep soundly!

Trump is bulldozer blunt about violating norms, decency and the truth. He may not honor election results if they don’t go his way. He wants to put his political rivals in jail. Household disinfectants are good for Covid-19. Pence is the one to say, Gosh and gee willikers, he doesn’t really mean this stuff. He’s cleanup on the aisle of atrocities at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Indiana gave us Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman and was a cradle for early African-American jazz recordings. But for a time in the 1920s, no state had more members of the Ku Klux Klan than Indiana — nearly one in three native-born white males. And this uniquely American domestic terror group was soaked in the rituals and piety of rural conservative values.

Pence doesn’t seem like a hater or a race-baiter, but he certainly makes his boss, who is one, more palatable to those who profess to live by godliness. When Trump gave the neo-Nazis at Charlottesville a pass, Pence was quick to the rescue, saying that under Trump, “We’re going to continue to see more unity in America.”

When the world was appalled at the cruelty of family separation at the border, Pence paid a visit, and said nothing to see here, because “We spoke to cheerful children who were watching television, having snacks.”

And just before the pandemic took a huge swing for the worse, Pence penned an essay in The Wall Street Journal in June saying no second wave was coming, because “the progress we’ve made is remarkable” and was “a cause for celebration.”

Since then, another 100,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the United States. And a White House that refused to follow the basic medical advice expected of every other American has produced more new cases of the coronavirus over the last week than entire countries in that same period.

Pence, as head of the White House pandemic task force, should be crawling under a rock in shame. Instead, he’s all bromides and excuses. That “super spreader” event in the Rose Garden, with all the hugs and only a handful of people wearing masks? Well, it was outdoors, Pence said. Tell that to the wedding planners now going under because they couldn’t have their own special rules.

On health care, perhaps the biggest of the Big Lies of Trumpism, Pence said, “President Trump and I have a plan.” In fact, they have never unveiled a plan and are currently in court trying to dismantle Obamacare and its protections for pre-existing conditions. As with the pandemic, this is no mere policy difference, but blatant disregard for human life by an administration that professes to be “pro-life.”

As important as it will be in the coming months to purge the country of Trump’s dehumanizing legacy — the hatred of “others,” the normalizing of lying, the rejection of science and reality — it will be equally important to confront the enablers and collaborators.

And when historians go looking for answers as to how this country could go so bad so quickly, they will find all they need in the words of the 45th president’s chief enabler and collaborator.

All vanity. No pride.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16485 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-09, 12:52

Flora Graham, senior editor, Nature Briefing said:

Trump vs. Biden: what's at stake for science?

This week, the Nature Podcast speaks to Lauren Wolf, the US bureau chief of Nature’s news team, and our US-based reporter Jeff Tollefson about why Nature must cover politics and what’s at stake in the upcoming US presidential election. “I think the short answer is: everything,” says Tollefson, who wrote a feature on how Trump damaged science, and why it could take decades to recover. The coronavirus pandemic has put a harsh spotlight on the connections between science, politics and policy, he says. “This touches on public health, it touches on just how science is used across the US government, it touches on issues of scientific integrity — and frankly it touches on issues of democracy.”

Plus, the podcast explores whether maternal behaviours are learned or innate, and I drop in to chat about the Nobel winners.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16486 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-09, 13:29

Matthew Yglesias said:

The Trump Era in a nutshell is that where senate republicans finally put their foot down and say no is at the idea of preventing huge cuts to schools, police departments, and other front line services.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16487 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-10, 09:49

Olivia Nuzzi at NYMag said:

Posted Image
Art: Eric Fischl

Nine months into the pandemic and one month away from Election Day, the president considered for the first time that the disease killing him in the polls, threatening his political future, might just kill him, too. On the phone he remarked sarcastically, “This change of scenery has been great.”

He asked for an update on who else in his circle had contracted the virus, though he expressed no regret, no indication that he understood his own decisions could have led to the infections. Unable to process the irony of his own misfortune, he tried his best to find the Trumpiest spin. Looked at one way, he was having the greatest and most important illness of all time. He had the best care in the world, and he raved about the virtues of the drugs the doctors had him on, including dexamethasone, a steroid pumping up his lungs that can induce euphoria. He was awed by the wonders of modern medicine. He said he was feeling really good, and it didn’t sound like he was lying. Then he admitted something scary. That how he felt might not mean much in the end.

“This thing could go either way. It’s tricky. They told me it’s tricky,” the president said. “You can tell it can go either way.”

Statistically, the coronavirus is more likely to cost Donald Trump the White House than his life, though the threat to the latter isn’t helping the former. A little more than three weeks before the election, potentially contagious and freaking everybody out, Trump faces what looks like the end of his presidency. “He’s mishandled the coronavirus, he’s never been popular, and he’s gonna lose badly. I think it’s pretty simple,” a senior Republican official said. “Of course he was going to say, ‘Oh look, I feel great! Look how badly I beat this puny little virus!’ Meanwhile, it touches every American’s life every day in multiple different ways, and he’s handled it badly and people don’t forget that.” Or, as ex–Trump adviser Sam Nunberg put it, “Everything has just completely gone to *****.”

https://nymag.com/in...hite-house.html

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#16488 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-10, 15:54

For the promises made, promises kept file:

Draining the swamp
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16489 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-10, 20:55

Cindy McCain for Joe Biden
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#16490 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-11, 05:33

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In a major blow to President Trump, a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Saturday emphatically rejected the Trump campaign’s attempt to limit the availability of drop boxes, saying that Republicans had failed to make the case that their use could lead to fraud.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican and a Trump ally, is expected to appeal a separate federal court ruling that halted his plan to limit the number of drop boxes used to collect ballots to one per county.

Quote

In a 138-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan, who was appointed to bench by President Trump, also rejected the Trump campaign’s effort to obtain a federal ruling to circumvent state requirements mandating that poll watchers prove they live in the area near the sites they are monitoring.

Judge Ranjan ruled that “the problem” with the case brought by the plaintiffs — the Trump campaign — was that their allegations of fraud were “not concrete,” which gave them no standing in federal court.

“While plaintiffs may not need to prove actual voter fraud, they must at least prove that such fraud is ‘certainly impending,’” he added. “They haven’t met that burden.”

The judge also rejected the Trump campaign’s effort to reverse the state’s directive that county boards of elections not reject ballots “where the voter’s signature does not match the one on file.”

These matters are now being sent back to state courts, which have thus far also rejected some of the Republican fraud allegations as unproven.

“Trump had such a low bar to get over in terms of showing any evidence, and he couldn’t even do that,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who represented the state in the case, said in an interview. “He can file an appeal, but he’s just going to lose again.”

This is what cheating at golf leads to.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16491 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-11, 08:47

Noisy weakling or budding autocrat?

Ross Douthat at NYT said:

... Yes, Trump could theoretically retain power if the final outcome is genuinely too close to call.

But the same would be true of any president if their re-election came down to a few hundred votes, and Trump is less equipped than a normal Republican to steer through a Florida-in-2000 controversy — and less likely, given his excesses, to have jurists like John Roberts on his side at the end.

Meanwhile, the scenarios that have been spun out in reputable publications — where Trump induces Republican state legislatures to overrule the clear outcome in their states or militia violence intimidates the Supreme Court into vacating a Biden victory — bear no relationship to the Trump presidency we’ve actually experienced. Our weak, ranting, infected-by-Covid chief executive is not plotting a coup, because a term like “plotting” implies capabilities that he conspicuously lacks.

OK, the reader might say, but since you concede that the Orange Man is, in fact, bad, what’s the harm of a little paranoia, a little extra vigilance?

There are many answers, but I’ll just offer one: With American liberalism poised to retake presidential power, it needs clarity about its own position. Liberalism lost in 2016 out of a mix of accident and hubris, and many liberals have spent the last four years persuading themselves that their position might soon be as beleaguered as the opposition under Putin, or German liberals late in Weimar.

But in reality liberalism under Trump has become a more dominant force in our society, with a zealous progressive vanguard and a monopoly in the commanding heights of culture. Its return to power in Washington won’t be the salvation of American pluralism; it will be the unification of cultural and political power under a single banner.

Wielding that power in a way that doesn’t just seed another backlash requires both vision and restraint. And seeing its current enemy clearly, as a feckless tribune for the discontented rather than an autocratic menace, is essential to the wisdom that a Biden presidency needs.

https://www.nytimes....itarianism.html

Trump is not an autocratic menace? Trump is too incompetent to be menacing but William Barr isn't. I don't think it takes any wisdom to see this clearly.
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#16492 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-11, 19:33

https://www.lawfareb...sification-game

Quote

Weighing everything together, there is simply no defense for Ratcliffe's actions. It's one thing for the director of national intelligence to engage in overtly political conduct. But it's another to engage in activity that primarily benefits Russia while harming U.S. intelligence capabilities, and to do so in order to damage a U.S. leader who may have been spied on by a hostile intelligence service. The intelligence community deserves better from the director of national intelligence, and so do the American people. Unfortunately, it appears that Ratcliffe is just getting started.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16493 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-October-11, 23:59

View Postcherdano, on 2020-October-08, 16:21, said:

I still can't get over this...
All year we have been making these jokes on how the 2020 screenwriters are really overdoing it, it's all just toooo dramatic. And THEN the ACB rose garden ceremony turns into the highest profile superspreading event we had all year.

I guess the good news is this can only mean we have just been through the penultimate episode, so we can all relax now as we await the denouement.

The creator and main cast of "The West Wing" were on Stephen Colbert on Friday night (promoting a staged reading of one of the original episodes, which will be on HBO Max later this week). When Colbert asked Sorkin if he could have gotten away with a script like what we've been through, Sorkin said that the Trump show has already jumped the shark.

#16494 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 08:05

View Postbarmar, on 2020-October-11, 23:59, said:

The creator and main cast of "The West Wing" were on Stephen Colbert on Friday night (promoting a staged reading of one of the original episodes, which will be on HBO Max later this week). When Colbert asked Sorkin if he could have gotten away with a script like what we've been through, Sorkin said that the Trump show has already jumped the shark.

Or just see it for yourself here.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16495 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 16:55

Is this really what you guys are in favor of? Really? God (or whomever) help us all.

#16496 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 17:04

JB and many other leading Democrats have made it perfectly clear that they do not support violent protest and to suggest otherwise is just misinformation. This particular protest clearly has nothing to do with the BLM movement and were organised by a native American group. They will have to answer for their part in the violence; the rest of America, both Left and Right, will surely not be supportive of their tactics.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16497 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 17:36

NYT said:

Few of President Trump’s constituencies have gotten more help than the agriculture sector.

Federal payments to farmers, many of whom were hit by the double whammy of Mr. Trump’s trade practices and the coronavirus pandemic, are projected to hit a record $46 billion this year as the White House funnels money to the rural South and Midwest ahead of Election Day.

The breadth of the payments means that government support will account for about 40 percent of total farm income this year.

Quote

To some small farmers, hearing about the big government subsidies without seeing meaningful payments firsthand only makes matters worse.

Joel Greeno, a Wisconsin farmer who switched from dairy to raising cattle, said that despite the big headline aid numbers it was a myth that the Trump administration had really helped small farms stay afloat. He said that most of it is going to rich landowners and corporate agriculture companies.

“Even though society believes that these programs that help farmers, the money very rarely gets to farmers,” said Mr. Greeno, who is also president of the Family Farm Defenders organization. “Rural America is not seeing that money because it’s not getting here.”

In Deadwood (tv series), Commissioner Jarry is accused of siphoning off 96% of funds promised to Indians. When he claims that number is a rank exaggeration, his partner in crime, Silas Adams says, "if it was less than 90, you f***ed generations of Indian agents to come". Jarry and Adams have nothing on Trump.
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#16498 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 18:20

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-12, 17:04, said:

the rest of America, both Left and Right, will surely not be supportive of their tactics.

I would certainly hope not. But where, and how, does it end?

#16499 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 18:32

Nate Cohn at NYT said:

Joseph R. Biden Jr. holds a significant lead in the pivotal states of Michigan and Wisconsin, with President Trump so far failing to retain the overwhelming advantage he enjoyed among white voters there in 2016, according to surveys from The New York Times and Siena College on Monday.

Over all, Mr. Biden led Mr. Trump by eight percentage points in Michigan, 48 percent to 40 percent, among likely voters. His lead in Wisconsin was slightly larger, 51 percent to 41 percent.

The new results, along with recent Times/Siena surveys from elsewhere in the Northern battlegrounds, suggest that the president has not yet managed to reassemble his winning coalition across the region. He faces modest but significant defections among white and independent voters, while facing a groundswell of opposition from those who voted for a minor-party candidate or didn’t vote at all in 2016.

The president’s path to re-election is narrow if he doesn’t win either Wisconsin or Michigan. If Mr. Biden puts those two states in his column, along with the states carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016, he will hold 258 electoral votes, putting him on the doorstep of the 270 needed to win.

Nonetheless, the Trump campaign appears to recognize that the two states no longer represent his likeliest path to re-election. Over the last month, the campaign has reduced its television ad spending in the two states in favor of an apparent push to sweep Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania, where Times/Siena surveys conducted since the first debate show the president trailing by somewhat narrower but still significant five-to-eight-point margins.

Four years ago, Mr. Trump’s strength among white voters without a college degree helped him breach the so-called blue wall of traditionally Democratic Northern battleground states, including Michigan and Wisconsin. The new surveys show him well short of matching 2016 levels of support among white voters, leaving the president with a daunting deficit with just three weeks until the election.

Over all, Mr. Biden leads by eight points among white voters in Wisconsin and trails by just one percentage point among white voters in Michigan.

While Mr. Trump’s surprising victory in 2016 lent him an aura of political invincibility, an Upshot analysis of more than 5,000 respondents to Times/Siena results surveys in the Northern battleground states suggests that his winning coalition was always a fragile one. The president’s margin of victory was extremely narrow, and he failed to reach 50 percent of the vote in each of the decisive states. He also did so against an unusually unpopular opponent, Mrs. Clinton.

In the years after her defeat, Democrats agonized over whether their best path to the presidency was to lure back the white, working-class voters who’d defected to the president, or to increase turnout among Democratic voters who may have stayed home or supported minor-party candidates like Jill Stein. The Times/Siena surveys suggest that Mr. Biden is succeeding on both fronts, by at once peeling off a modest but crucial sliver of the president’s former supporters and benefiting from a significant advantage among voters who either backed a minor-party candidate four years ago or didn’t vote at all.

Over all, recent Times/Siena respondents in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio indicate that they backed Mr. Trump by a 2.6-point margin in 2016, the same as his actual 2.6-point margin of victory across the Northern battlegrounds. Now, they back Mr. Biden across all six states.


https://www.nytimes....n-election.html

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#16500 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-12, 18:51

View PostChas_P, on 2020-October-12, 18:20, said:

I would certainly hope not. But where, and how, does it end?

The most likely end at this point is the election of JB and a blue Congress, the removal of racist policies at national level, widespread and near unanimous condemnation of white supremacy groups and a government that starts actually caring about how many Americans die. If a JB administration were somehow to find a way of working together with moderate Republicans, even if he did not really need to, that would be even better but that would probably just be wishful thinking. A return of the Republican party to true conservative policies rather than straight-up racism and voter suppression would be very helpful here.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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