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But Trump’s attack on Griffin was a bridge too far for her colleagues, seven of whom took to Twitter over the weekend to defend her.
“Jennifer @JenGriffinFNC is a great reporter and a total class act,” wrote Baier, the network’s chief political anchor.
“Jennifer Griffin is the kind of reporter we all strive to be like,” said national correspondent Bryan Llenas. “She’s courageous, smart, ethical, fair and a class act. She’s earned the trust of viewers throughout a distinguished career and is credibile.”
“@JenGriffinFNC is a terrific reporter and a wonderful colleague,” State Department correspondent Rich Edson wrote.
“I’ll forever stand by @JenGriffinFNC,” said senior news producer Rocco Aloe.
“Jennifer Griffin is all you want in a journalist and a friend,” wrote senior field producer Yonat Friling. “She’s smart, courageous, she strives for professionalism and the truth. I am so proud to be her colleague.”
................Griffin, who joined Fox News in 1999, is one of the network’s most prized and distinguished journalists. In October 2019, after news anchor Shepard Smith, a frequent critic of the president, abruptly resigned, the network cited Griffin as evidence that a robust journalistic corps remained, despite external skepticism. “Tell that to Jennifer Griffin, whose report just went viral this week,” a spokesperson said at the time. “Or Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum or Catherine Herridge, who have all done outstanding journalism.” (Herridge soon left the network for CBS News.)
“Jennifer is a straight shooter and always pursues reporting with the goal of uncovering the truth,” former Fox News foreign correspondent Conor Powell, who worked with Griffin, told The Washington Post on Saturday. “Unlike a lot of ‘news people’ at Fox News, she never was worried about being on the wrong side of a story and angering the opinion shows.”
Anchor Neil Cavuto then endorsed her work. “Jennifer, you are a very good reporter,” he told her. Then, addressing his audience, he said, “She’s pretty scrupulous when it comes to making sure all the i’s are dotted, all the t’s are crossed.”
The copydesk wanted to focus on QAnon for this issue of Quibbles & Bits to emphasize that there’s more to the convoluted entity than the average reader might realize. The term we’ve decided to use — a mass or collective delusion — is not ideal; delusion could be interpreted as too sympathetic to Q believers, or as taking away their agency. (The word could also be related to a mental disorder, though that is not the context in which we’re using it here.) And, fair warning, you might still see conspiracy theory in a BuzzFeed News headline about QAnon since headlines and tweets aren’t conducive to nuance.
But delusion does illustrate the reality better than conspiracy theory does. We are discussing a mass of people who subscribe to a shared set of values and debunked ideas, which inform their beliefs and actions. The impact of QAnon is an example of “the real-world consequences of our broken information ecosystem,” the New York Times recently wrote. The proliferation of this delusion is in part a media literacy problem — which has become a reality problem.
Between the lines: Immigration has slipped significantly from 2016 in terms of Americans' priorities heading into the election — and most Americans do not support the construction of a physical border wall or hard-line immigration policies, per an NPR-Ipsos poll from late July.
- Immigration fell to 12th place in terms of most worrisome topics, the poll found. COVID-19 commanded a clear lead, followed by health care, political polarization, racial injustice and crime or gun violence.
- Still, the generic idea of a barrier that can protect people from elements they fear can provide comfort to people, which could potentially be converted to loyalty and votes.
Fox News correspondent confirmed story on Trump’s comments about troops on Twitter (below)— but then broadcast on-air that it was ‘debunked’
We should appreciate good people interpreting Trump’s word-salad in good faith. But truth demands less generosity. This president was a serial draft dodger. Everyone knows about the “bone spurs” that kept him from fighting in Vietnam. To him, failing to get out of doing something you don’t want to do means you’re a loser. Genuinely believing in values like patriotism, duty, and honor means you’re a sucker. All that matters is money and power. Anyone telling you different is trying to scam you. Spending a day at Arlington paying respects to the dead was surely confounding to someone who has never once experienced the ennobling uplift of moral action.
Trying to understand Trump risks giving him too much credit, though. I don’t think Trump cares. I don’t think he cares enough to expend the energy to wonder why people would behave with no expectation of constant praise or instant reward. My most skeptical take is the hardest to swallow, because it’s so hard to imagine a grown man being so petty, but here it is: Goldberg said the president cancelled his visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery because “he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain” and because American war dead are “losers” and “suckers.” That’s two causes, simultaneously. I don’t think that’s right. I think Trump’s first and only concern was his hair. I think he knew his hair would not be a good enough reason to cancel, so he searched for a “good” reason—and decided to malign fallen heroes. I suspect, to his way of thinking, fallen war heroes are nothing compared to his hair. That’s so petty as to be so inconceivable that no one is seeing the truth in plain sight.
Even for those of us who are all too wearily familiar with President Donald Trump’s disdain for journalists, his administration’s latest attack on the free press is a bit of a jaw-dropper.
In a heretofore unpublicized recent memo, the Pentagon delivered an order to shutter Stars and Stripes, a newspaper that has been a lifeline and a voice for American troops since the Civil War. The memo orders the publisher of the news organization (which now publishes online as well as in print) to present a plan that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” by Sept. 15 including "specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide.”
“The last newspaper publication (in all forms) will be September 30, 2020,” writes Col. Paul Haverstick Jr., the memo’s author.
Lurid fantasies about urban hellscapes are all he has left.
Conclusion: The president’s intense focus on these matters during the final stretch of the 2020 presidential race—and at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is still raging, the U.S. economy is still gutted, and racial and civil unrest continue to swell around the country—has mystified some longtime Republican operatives, even as many of Trump’s own top advisers have given up on attempting to rein in their candidate’s excesses.
“It’s not a wise use of time, no,” said Doug Heye, a veteran GOP strategist and a former top official at the Republican National Committee who has publicly noted his antipathy for the president. “But I think we’ve seen several years ago that Donald Trump is not going to pivot… We said all these things wouldn’t work for Trump, but he won. Proving that negative is hard to do a second time around. His answer to everything is, ‘You said I shouldn’t do these things and I wouldn’t win if I did these things, and I won.’”
Still, some of Trump’s own senior staffers seem ready to turn the page on the president’s recent tantrums. Reached for comment on this story Wednesday night, the Trump campaign’s communications director Tim Murtaugh sent along a 122-word comment. However, none of it addressed the mental-health-related nature of the inquiry, and instead stayed on what was supposed to be Trump’s message this week: mainly, blasting the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee for being “too weak” in the face of “riots staged by left-wing criminals in Democrat-run cities” and “the radicals who are in charge of his party and his campaign.”
From Christianity Today: Excerpt - A pro-life spokeswoman quit her job rather than endorse Donald Trump for another term in the White House.
Trump has called himself the most pro-life president in history. But Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director for Ohio Right to Life, decided she couldn’t support him and couldn’t keep working for the prominent pro-life group as it prepared to help him win re-election.
She resigned June 30. The next morning, she woke up and felt like she could finally breathe again.
“You learn to hold certain things in tension, and for me it came to a point where I couldn’t anymore,” Krider said. “I’ve been grateful for the things Trump has accomplished and skeptical of his pro-life views.
“Always, there has been this undercurrent where he just does not respect women and he does not like black and brown people. I can’t look at any of his behavior and see evidence of the Holy Spirit in his life. Nothing about his words or actions are kind or gentle or faithful or full of self-control.”
The Trump crime family:
‘The president just committed a felony’: Trump slammed for encouraging supporters to vote fraudulently
In that context, “deepfakes” such as the one Scalise posted aren’t missteps. They’re disinformation test balloons that should put every single one of us on alert. If they can without consequence make it seem as though I said something I didn’t, what else can they do? What else will they do? What fearmongering words can they put in Biden’s mouth in a video doctored to tip the election?
I’m not sure I know how to solve this problem. The collective outrage that got the video stricken from Twitter is a good place to start; that must not let up. Another might be looking at the polarizing effects of Facebook, where the video remains, gathering views.
That’s just the beginning, though. We need far more aggressive action across the board to identify and stop the spread of false information, because more is coming. But I can’t do that on my own. Every letter I’m typing here is difficult, each sentence its own hurdle, and my words aren’t enough. What we desperately need is others ready to speak their own — not speak false ones for me.
And then there's Donald Trump:
It is telling that Trump’s strategy for winning reelection doesn’t seem to be a new message or a new plan for controlling the coronavirus or restarting the economy. Instead, he’s running a racialized campaign against protests, riots, and disorder — even though that disorder is happening on his watch as president. “The GOP has no policies so they deal entirely in grievance and identity,” says Lilliana Mason, a political scientist at the University of Maryland. That has been enough for Trump to hold a bit more than 40 percent of the electorate. But a bit more than 40 percent of the electorate is not a winning coalition, and it is far less than a capable leader might now hold.
So perhaps, compared to a hypothetical Trump response that was commanding and competent, the political cost of the path Trump followed has been significant, and it may lose him the presidency and discredit him in history. It’s worth remembering that even Herbert Hoover got 40 percent of the vote in the 1932 presidential election — more than three years into the Great Depression and not far off from where Trump is polling now. Sometimes it’s easier for the country in general, and partisans in particular, to admit a leader’s failures after he’s lost than it is when he — and they — are still fighting to keep power.
But still: Forty-two percent of Americans look at Trump and believe he’s doing a good job, or at least a good enough one. And nothing they’ve seen over the past year has shaken that view.
During the first night of the Republican National Convention, the word "cocaine" started to trend on Twitter, and not because there was any breaking news about the infamous party drug. No, it's because many of the speakers at the convention brought a hyperactive bombast to the proceedings that was highly reminiscent of the effects of cocaine and other illegal stimulants. Watching some of the speeches, in fact, felt quite a bit like sitting through that scene in "Boogie Nights" where a menacing half-naked cocaine dealer brandishes a gun while pacing and ranting to 1980s hits like "Sister Christian" and "Jessie's Girl." The only thing missing was a dude in the corner setting off fireworks randomly to keep people even more on edge.
In particular, Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, along with his girlfriend, former Fox News host and current Trump campaign factotum Kimberly Guilfoyle, delivered speeches that caused widespread speculation on social media about the use of chemical assistance.
"Don't let the Democrats take you for granted. Don't let them step on you. Don't let them destroy your families, your lives and your future. Don't let them kill future generations because they told you and brainwashed you and fed you lies that you weren't good enough," Guilfoyle ranted in a speech so hyperventilating and ridiculous that Mother Jones paired it with North Korean propaganda music.
Donald Trump told Sarah Sanders she would have to “go to North Korea and take one for the team”, after Kim Jong-un winked at the then White House press secretary during a summit in Singapore in June 2018.
“Kim Jong-un hit on you!” a delighted Trump joked, according to Sanders’ new memoir. “He did! He fucking hit on you!”
Trump Spouts New Conspiracy Theories In Bizarre Fox News Interview....... and more:
Trump labeled ‘elderly relative and worse in tweet replies in cognitive decline’ after ‘delusional’ Fox News interview, and yes, flks, there's even more:
Excerpt: The claim about the flight matches a viral Facebook post from June 1 that falsely claimed, “At least a dozen males got off the plane in Boise from Seattle, dressed head to toe in black.” The post, by an Emmett, Idaho, man, warned residents to “Be ready for attacks downtown and residential areas,” and claimed one passenger had “a tattoo that said Antifa America on his arm.”
One post claimed that “Antifa has sent a plane load of their people” and that the Payette County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it. Within days, that version of the rumor picked up enough steam in Idaho Facebook groups that the Payette County Sheriff’s Office had to release a statement insisting that the viral rumor was “false information.”
Full-blown paranoid: Even Laura Ingraham knew this was Cray-cray
“Right-wing attacks and plots account for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of right-wing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years,” the Center for Strategic & International Studies concluded after examining terror plots in the United States from 1994 to May of this year. “Right-wing extremists perpetrated two-thirds of the attacks and plots in the United States in 2019 and over 90 percent between January 1 and May 8, 2020.”
The anti-fascist protesters known as antifa have committed violent acts but aren’t known to have ever killed anyone, while right-wing extremists have killed hundreds. Just a few days ago, a Trump supporter, Kyle H. Rittenhouse, allegedly shot two protesters dead in Kenosha, Wis. One can’t help wondering if Rittenhouse, an impressionable 17-year-old living in Illinois, was galvanized to take a gun and drive to Kenosha because of panic promoted by Trump and Fox News.
After fulminating about threats from Black Lives Matter protesters, Tucker Carlson of Fox News seemed to defend the Kenosha killings, saying, “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
At the Republican convention, Vice President Mike Pence warned voters, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” and cited a federal officer, Dave Underwood, “killed during the riots in Oakland.” But the man charged with killing Underwood was Steven Carrillo, a follower of the extremist right-wing Boogaloo movement.
“It’s a huge responsibility, and I really like trying to help the people,” Sheskey said. “We may not be able to make a situation right, or better, but we can maybe make it a little easier for them to handle during that time.”
When former neighbor Debbie DeShong heard Sheskey was the officer at the center of the case, she thought of the boy who joined her daughter on hands and knees in her suburban Wisconsin driveway, drawing together in bright-colored chalk as preteens.
She pored over every video of the incident she could find, trying to understand why her daughter’s best friend when they graduated from high school 13 years ago might be the lone officer to open fire into Blake’s back, as his young children watched. He must’ve been protecting someone, she reasoned.
“The person didn’t stop,” DeShong said of Blake. “When I see four officers pull their gun at the same time, I know something’s going on that people didn’t see. If there were kids in the car, any chance of that man hurting those kids, I could see him doing anything he could to protect those kids. He’s not going to let somebody hurt somebody.”
DeShong, who lives several doors down from Sheskey’s childhood home in nearby Waukesha, Wis., said Thursday that she believed Sheskey had already been convicted of being a violent racist in the court of public opinion and worries that legal consequences could soon follow for him. That description of the 31-year-old officer as racist couldn’t be further from the truth, said DeShong, who worked in the attendance office at Sheskey’s high school.
“He wanted to be a cop so he could serve,” DeShong said, adding that he worked part time as a lifeguard in high school. “I’ve known him his entire life, and it’s just not him to be a racist. It’s not his family. It’s just how they are. He’s not a cruel person, not at all.”
Asked whether she feared Sheskey would soon be arrested for his actions, DeShong began to cry and turned toward her home, waving her hands above her head as if to say, “Enough.”
My thought: This woman could be presenting what may be the likely defense for the shooting. If the officer that shot him believed that he was endangering the children in the car he could claim the shooting was justifed. HB
When it comes down to it, her primary concern is finding a place that’s suitable for Barron Trump. “Melania is thinking about where would be the safest place to live for her and Barron and how she will enjoy a more quiet life,” our source went on to say. “Divorce is very much a real option, and Melania is holding her breath until his term is over so she can make all the best decisions about her and Barron’s future.
The worst case scenario for Melania involves Donald getting voted into another term in office, a prospect that she can barely stand. “However, if Donald gets re-elected, she will be devastated,” our source continued. “Melania simply can not stand another four years under this pressure, and scrutiny.” We reported earlier how Melania was upset with Donald over how he handled John McCain’s death. “Donald’s pettiness and ability to hold a grudge are probably the characteristics Melania dislikes the most about him,” a source close to the first lady told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “Donald thinks it makes him appear strong when he never wavers and always holds firm in his opinion, but she believes the exact opposite and thinks the way he handled the John McCain situation is the perfect example.”
It usually happens in the dark of night, local Democrats say, but sometimes in daylight. Sometimes entire streets or neighborhoods are cleared. Pro-Biden Facebook groups have devoted long threads to strategies for deterring sign snatchers — one suggestion involves clear hair gel and pesky glitter, another electrifying the metal frame with a car battery..........
The easiest option, many have advised, is to put the sign inside a window or bring it in at night — or order a flag or banner that can be mounted high off the ground. Others have invested in motion-activated cameras or have placed signs within sight of doorbell cameras. One woman stapled her sign to a porch railing, and another positioned hers in a poison ivy patch.
And then there are suggestions about what to spread or spray on their signs to prevent theft or punish the thief: ground-up ghost peppers that irritate bare skin. A mixture of peppermint oil and Vicks. Fox, deer or coyote urine purchased at a sporting goods store. Slippery olive oil or grease. Vaseline and cayenne pepper. Vaseline and glitter. Vaseline, Tabasco sauce and glitter. Vaseline and pink glitter. Honey and glitter. Dog poop and glitter.
Excerpts: As long as the Trumps were hijacking the White House for their convention finale, they may as well have built a golden escalator from the Truman Balcony to the South Lawn.
That way, Ivanka could have made her power move with true Trumpian flair. In every other sense, she went for it. With her blond mane rippling, she was full-on MAGA, shoving the amped-up Don Jr. and fortissimo Kimberly Guilfoyle out of the way and positioning herself as the heir to her father’s political dynasty.
Ivanka must realize now that she and Jared can never go back to their life as New York society darlings. So why not double down on Washington and lay the groundwork for a presidential run of her own?
Her speech Thursday night was about him but it was also pointedly about “I.”
Yes, there she was, daddy’s little girl, on her imaginary escalator. The pungent aroma of the S.N.L. Ivanka perfume, “Complicit,” wafted across the lawn on the balmy night. All the dynamics that make Donald Trump’s administration, and the way he runs the country, so chaotic — the backbiting, the warring factions, the grifting, the neglect, the power grabs — were echoed in the family portrait on display this past week.
The most dramatic tableau Thursday night was not the president’s somniferous speech, but Ivanka’s scorching moment with the Day-Glo-garbed Melania.
After her speech, the first daughter strode past the first lady to greet her father. Melania, who had first smiled broadly at Ivanka, suddenly went stony.
The exchange was particularly loaded given the context: Melania’s former BFF and aide, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, is beginning to dish on her new tell-all about the first lady, which includes accounts of conversations in which Melania mocks Ivanka.
It has been reported that Melania calls Ivanka “the princess” — Trump singled out his favorite child in his convention speech — and Ivanka has reportedly called Melania “the portrait.”
After many tugs of war, Melania has resigned herself to the fact that Jared and Ivanka run the White House. The basic view in the building is that Ivanka has wrestled Melania to a draw.
On Ivanka’s other flank is Don Jr., who was never as favored by their father but who has morphed from family dunce to one of Trumpworld’s most effective battering rams.
The Trump kids’ speeches could have been given by anyone, they were so devoid of humanizing anecdotes.
With hilarious euphemisms, the family also painted the potty-mouthed patriarch’s outrageous behavior and degrading language as simply colorful.
“We all know Donald Trump makes no secrets about how he feels about things,’’ Melania said. “Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking.’’ And that, she said with a straight face, is because he’s “an authentic person.”
Ivanka chimed in: “Dad, people attack you for being unconventional, but I love you for being real.”
It was impossible for this to ring true, given that the president’s own sister was heard describing Trump in secret recordings made by his rogue niece, Mary Trump, as “a brat” and a liar with “no principles.” (Or, as Trump’s children would say, a totally honest people’s champion with strong convictions.)
In New Hampshire on Friday night, the president considered his dynastic possibilities. “I want to see the first woman president also,” he said, but called Kamala Harris “not competent.”
“They’re all saying, ‘We want Ivanka,’’’ he said.
Above: Notice how just the way he tries to cover when his misspeaks he pretended that his losing his balance was an act.
The word "dossier" jumps out in this story: White House threatens journalist with a ‘dossier’ over report exposing Trump’s self-dealing
The most recent Lincoln Project ad:
Why only Joni Ernst of seven Republican senators in competitive races spoke at the RNC - well, who cares, he had these toadies. It inspired me to make this tweet:
Kellyanne loses it with CNN reporter who tries to get her to address why president didn't condemn pro-Trump killer
Trump had public meltdown over missed phone call from Putin, former British No 10 aide says
‘If Putin wants a call with me you just put him through,’ US president yelled according to Theresa May’s former chief of staff
Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality is concerned about environmental fallout from the frequent gassing
Three more positive reviews of #UNFIT - one is by the well known critic Richard Roeper.
We can’t help ourselves. No matter where we sit on the political and social spectrum, we can’t resist the urge to share certain articles or tweets or newscast footage with our friends on the other side of the fence, with a note attached saying something like, “If THIS doesn’t change your mind, nothing will!”
Spoiler alert: 99 times out of 100, nothing will.
I’m sure some viewers of the sharp and cohesive and illuminating documentary “#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump” will try to persuade their MAGA friends or associates to watch a film that makes a strong case President Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist plagued by narcissistic personality disorder, deep and rampant paranoia, decades of sadistic tendencies, and anti-social behavior. I’m not so sure any pro-Trumper who watches the film will actually have a change of heart about their man. Some might even sit through all the arguments and watch the presentations making the case Trump is unfit and react by saying: And that’s exactly why you’re all so scared of him and he’s the greatest president of all time!
But there's something incredibly creepy about the way Trump is using the grandeur and power of the White House itself (which is totally unethical, by the way — what else is new?) to greet average citizens so they can tell him to his face how wonderful he is and thank him for his greatness. These scripted episodes designed to make it seem like he actually has human feelings ended up being a loyalty ritual.
In Trump's meeting with frontline workers, a nurse was moved to say this:
I am so in awe of your leadership. Honestly, I know many people have said often interesting things but it takes a true leader to be able to ignore all that stuff and take what is right and not be offended by all the words being said. You really do show that positive spirit to us and as nurses I appreciate that.
The president smiled beatifically. In an earlier time he would have held out his hand for her to kiss his ring.
Even worse, in a similar meeting with a group of former overseas hostages who have been brought back to the U.S. during Trump's term, they went around in a circle to thank him for his benevolence in bringing them home. It wasn't about them. It was all about him as usual.
I couldn't help but be reminded of the meeting he took with victims of gun violence in which he had written notes reminding him to say, "I hear you"
Excerpt: Conway is almost as visible on television as Trump himself, and few members of the White House inner circle are more responsible for the hellscape we find ourselves in than she is. There's not a blurt, not a racist policy, not an unconstitutional trespass, not a crime against humanity that Conway hasn't managed to rationalize through her soulless, venom-spitting gift for toxic spin-doctoring.
And yes, Kellyanne Conway is a master at what she does — she's an expert at turning every brain-searing nightmare from the Trump firehose of destruction into something that sounds almost innocent and commonplace. Her job is to make the deeply abnormal normal. She knows exactly how to play the whataboutism game — the dictum that "if everyone's doing [insert wrong thing], then no one is," perpetually justifying Trump's most horrendous actions by round-pegging her "alternative facts" into the softened, pliable skulls of Trump's fanboys.
Even before assuming a role at the White House, Conway was one of the architects of Trump's 2016 campaign, alongside Steve Bannon, who was recently indicted on charges of defrauding Trump's Red Hats out of millions. In that respect alone, she's a charter member of a small rogue's gallery of Trumpers who facilitated the ascendancy of American idiocracy: a nation on the verge of collapse, with hundreds of thousands dead, overseas dictators on speed-dial and a recession so calamitous that it has shattered all previous records.
But then something weird happened.....
In January 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s former personal fixer Michael Cohen hired Liberty employee John Gauger to manipulate some polls to favor Trump ahead of his 2016 presidential campaign. Several high-level sources at the university told Politico that Gauger was accompanied by Trey Falwell when traveling to New York to collect payment from Cohen.
Cohen alleged he helped Jerry Falwell Jr. get rid of racy photos in someone else’s possession in 2015, Reuters reported in May 2019. Cohen said he then helped arrange Falwell’s endorsement of the president during his 2016 campaign.
But Trump said it was impossible for him to lose unless the election were rigged. That’s simply not the case.
Trump said, "So this is just a way they’re trying to steal the election, and everybody knows that. Because the only way they’re going to win is by a rigged election."
An actual conspiracy to rig the results of a national election would require hundreds or thousands of people working together to commit felonies across many critical jurisdictions. Experts do not consider this feasible, nor do we.
Meanwhile, Trump is an incumbent facing several ongoing challenges: a major pandemic, high unemployment, civic unrest and future uncertainty. Those are significant political hurdles that would be challenging for any president.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
Below: Click to enlarge (not a link)
This is what people in the U.K. are seeing: RNC ready! Ivanka Trump leaves her D.C. home in a $2,000 floral dress and matching face mask as she prepares to join her father at the opening night of the Republican Convention - Read story in The Daily Mail
- The 38-year-old was seen heading to work on Monday morning, wearing a white Lela Rose dress with a blue floral pattern
- She accessorized to match, donning a white face mask, white heeled sandals, and a $1,540 white Max Mara handbag
- Ivanka had her hair styled in chic waves, and modeled glamorous eye makeup
Here's a new review of #UNFIT (above) and another from Pakistan (below):
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Sunday that his former boss will display his "classic narcissism" by dominating the stage every night during this week's Republican National Convention.
In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Scaramucci explained that the president wanted to show that he was capable of running his campaign for reelection without the aid of other high-profile Republicans.
"But, knowing his personality, he thinks it's the right way for him to do it. He thinks it's all about him, him all the time," Scaramucci said. "The classic narcissism is to annihilate everybody around you and then show everybody that you can do it all alone, you can do it by yourself."
"It's all about me and watch me. I'm going to win this without your help," the former White House aide continued. "And so I'm sure he was advised by some smart, somewhat courageous people inside the campaign not to do that. That level of saturation is beyond ridiculous."
Attorney General William Barr called on Rupert Murdoch to “muzzle” Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News senior judicial analyst who has been highly critical of President Donald Trump, according to a new book by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter. The book, which dives into the relationship between Trump and Fox News, is set to be released Tuesday but the Guardian obtained a copy.
Barr and Murdoch met at the billionaire media mogul’s New York home in October 2019. Journalists reported on the meeting at the time and there was lots of speculation on what the two discussed considering it took place amid the impeachment inquiry. Stelter claims in his upcoming book, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth, that during this meeting the two talked about several issues, including media consolidation and criminal justice reform. But the meeting “was also about Judge Andrew Napolitano,” Stelter writes in the book.
Trump was once a big fan of Napolitano, who reportedly told friends the president had even considered him for a spot on the Supreme Court. But the New Jersey superior court judge who joined Fox News in 1998 later became a staunch Trump critic and he said that the way Trump tried to use the power of his office to get Ukraine’s leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden amounted to “both criminal and impeachable behavior.” When Trump was acquitted in the Senate impeachment trial, Napolitano called it a “personal victory” for the president but “a legal assault on the Constitution.”
Stelter, citing an unnamed source, says the president “was so incensed by the judge’s TV broadcasts that he had implored Barr to send Rupert a message in person … about ‘muzzling the judge’. [Trump] wanted the nation’s top law enforcement official to convey just how atrocious Napolitano’s legal analysis had been.” Although Barr’s plea to Murdoch “carried a lot of weight,” Stelter claims that “no one was explicitly told to take Napolitano off the air.” Napolitano did appear to suffer some consequences for his anti-Trump views though as he “found digital resources allocated elsewhere, saw a slot on a daytime show disappear, and was not included in coverage of the impeachment process,” notes the Guardian.
Above: How the mighty Falwell keeps falling.
Bad news: Researchers Document First Case of Virus Reinfection four months after recovered from first infection
Trump ‘Has No Principles’ And ‘You Can’t Trust Him,’ His Sister Reportedly Said On Tape - HuffPost summary
You don't really have to read this story because the title conveys the meaning (two states with pot on the ballot he only won by a slim margin in 2016), but click anyway since the illustration is a cool animation:
All four nights of the Democratic National Committee Convention featured the Pledge of Alliance. And all four nights the words “under God” were included.
But President Donald Trump on Saturday falsely claimed the phrase was omitted.
“The Democrats took the word GOD out of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democrat National Convention. At first I thought they made a mistake, but it wasn’t. It was done on purpose. Remember Evangelical Christians, and ALL, this is where they are coming from-it’s done. Vote Nov 3!” Trump tweeted early Saturday morning.
“That’s a misleading accusation. The central programming of the convention featured the entire pledge, complete with ‘under God,'” the Associated Press reported.
"In secretly recorded audio, President Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him’" It's worth a subscription to The Washington Post just for this.
Maryanne Trump Barry was serving as a federal judge when she heard her brother, President Trump, suggest on Fox News, “maybe I’ll have to put her at the border” amid a wave of refugees entering the United States. At the time, children were being separated from their parents and put in cramped quarters while court hearings dragged on.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary L. Trump. “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”
Barry, 83, was aghast at how her 74-year-old brother operated as president. “His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”
Lamenting “what they’re doing with kids at the border,” she guessed her brother “hasn’t read my immigration opinions” in court cases. In one case, she berated a judge for failing to treat an asylum applicant respectfully.
“What has he read?” Mary Trump asked her aunt.
“No. He doesn’t read,” Barry responded.
In the weeks since Mary Trump’s tell-all book about her uncle has been released, she’s been questioned about the source of some of the information, such as her allegation that Trump paid a friend to take his SATs to enable him to transfer into the University of Pennsylvania. Nowhere in the book does she say that she recorded conversations with her aunt.
In response to a question from The Washington Post about how she knew the president paid someone to take the SATs, Mary Trump revealed that she had surreptitiously taped 15 hours of face-to-face conversations with Barry in 2018 and 2019. She provided The Post with previously unreleased transcripts and audio excerpts, which include exchanges that are not in her book.
One of the most emotional conversations between Mary and her aunt occurred when they discussed the 1999 funeral of the family patriarch, Fred Sr., at Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City. During that ceremony, Donald spoke more about his own accomplishments than his father’s life, Barry said.
“Donald was the only one who didn’t speak about Dad,” Barry said. She told Mary that “I don’t want any of my siblings to speak at my funeral. And that’s all about Donald and what he did at Dad’s funeral. I don’t know. It was all about him.”
“I remember,” Mary responded.
Mary Trump said she has not talked to her aunt since the book was published. She said in the Post Live interview that she would not be surprised “if she never contacted me, and I think that’s fair. I understand why she would not want to.”
According to a report at the Washington Post, “The party is attempting to cast everything about Trump as chaotic and disruptive, from the way he runs the presidency to what appears on his Twitter feed, from his approach to the coronavirus pandemic to the speaking lineup for his nominating convention.”
With that in mind, Democrats will “release videos each day highlighting what they view as Trump’s biggest failures and showcasing the stark contrast between the president and his Democratic rival.”
As a clinical psychologist, I see these final weeks before the election as perilous for Trump — and all of us, By Alan Blotcky
He told POLITICO, “The first thing that I can never forget was how when you walked in, (Trump) name-drops all these Black celebrities and tries to give the illusion that they’re his friends.”
Inside Trump Tower, Trump told the group that he had “so many” Black friends who “are so incredible, and everyone knows that.” At the top of the meeting, he showed off NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal’s sneaker, world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s belt and Sugar Ray Leonard’s boxing glove. (He also flaunted Tom Brady’s Super Bowl helmet and his own chair from “The Apprentice.”)
And during the 45-minute meeting, Trump asked the attendees if they were “surprised that Hillary lost so badly” and boasted that he won 11 percent of the Black vote in 2016. Trump lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million and only won 8 percent of Black voters, according to exit polls, 81 percentage points behind Clinton. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, and John McCain, the 2008 GOP standard-bearer, won 6 percent and 4 percent of Black voters, respectively.
- At a White House signing ceremony this month, President Trump lamented the “deep-swamp things happening” in the nation’s “deep state.” Speaking to workers at a Whirlpool plant in Ohio a few days later, he promised to “drain the Washington swamp once and for all.” There’s just one niggling complication: More than 3 1 / 2 years into his presidency, Trump is the straw-haired avatar of the swamp..... Typically, presidents run for reelection on the achievements of their first term: the policies deployed, the gains notched, the victories achieved, the goals to fully realize in the next four years.
- But Trump has, from that first golden-escalator ride, campaigned, governed and wallowed in grievance, never once wavering from his outsider ethos.
- Yet the decision to position himself as a permanent outsider is less strategic than pathological, say people close to the president, reflecting a man who since childhood has lusted after an elite that never truly welcomed him.
- Trump's sense of himself — as an outsider with something to prove — doesn't just propel him. It also binds him to his core supporters, who also feel spurned by the establishment.
- But deploying the same argument against Biden that he used against Clinton is harder, even Trump's allies concede, now that he's been in office for nearly a full term. "I do find it kind of funny that he makes that argument that this is Joe Biden's America and the country is on fire," said one outside adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share a candid assessment. "Well you're the president, so I guess it's kind of your America right now."
- Recently, even in interviews with friendly media outlets, the president has struggled to articulate his top priorities should he win a second term. When Fox News's Sean Hannity asked him about this in June, Trump betrayed the difficulty of running against the establishment. He boasted about his "experience," explaining that while he had never even spent the night in the nation's capital before his election, "now I know everybody." He had come full circle, becoming the self-described politeratti he disdains.... Trump seems to know that his outsider ethos is a kind of performance.
- There is no clear historical example of a sitting president running as a total outsider, said Kathryn Brownell, an associate history professor at Purdue University and the author of “Showbiz Politics: Hollywood in American Political Life.” Even Richard Nixon — who, like Trump, campaigned in 1968 on the idea of law and order, offered a dark vision of American carnage and was “very anti-media, very suspicious of the bureaucracy” — ran for reelection presenting “a very cheery version of all of his accomplishments,” Brownell said.
Just imagine the answers Trump will give in the debates
Any number of his ridiculous assertions become fodder for the presidential debates, potentially launching him to spew one word salad after another. It is also possible that he will have a fit if asked perfectly reasonable questions. Alternatively, he might just confirm his crackpot ideas:
- Why didn’t you follow Obama’s pandemic road map?
- How did Obama manage to create more jobs than you?
- Why do you accept the support of QAnon, a conspiracy labeled by the FBI as a domestic terrorist threat?
- Would you withhold aid again to a foreign power to get damaging information on a political opponent?
- Do you think if everyone votes, Republicans will never win?
- Why would you file a lawsuit to take away Obamacare during a pandemic?
- Why did you let your daughter and son-in-law make millions of dollars and not liquidate their holdings when they worked in the White House?
- You said the police kill more Whites than Blacks, but aren’t Blacks killed at a rate disproportionate to their population? Do you think there is no systematic racism?
- What attracts so many convicted criminals to your campaigns? Or do you seek them out?
- Do you still think there were very fine people on both sides in Charlottesville?
- How do you reconcile paying off two women with whom you had extramarital affairs, separating families at the border by force and deporting parents of “dreamers” with “family values”?
- You promised the families of children killed in Parkland, Fla., that you would support tougher background checks. Why did you break your promise?
The topics are nearly endless; the opportunities for hilarious pratfalls plentiful. And that brings me back to my underlying suspicion that he might think up some excuse not to show up to all (or even any) debates. (Rigged! Biased moderators!) I for one hope he shows up. Biden might even let Trump have all his time.
To silence unknown callers:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Find and select Phone from the list of options.
- Scroll down until you find Silence Unknown Callers and slide the switch to the On position.
An explosive new report published in Vanity Fair claims that many staffers at Fox News feel they’re “trapped” in a “cult” surrounding President Donald Trump — and even Fox host Sean Hannity worries about the president’s mental state.
The report, which was written by CNN’s Brian Stelter, documents how Trump frequently talks with Hannity, who serves as an informal adviser and political strategist.
However, Trump’s erratic behavior has proven at times too taxing for Hannity, who has been one of the president’s most reliable defenders for the past four years.
“Hannity would tell you, off-off-off the record, that Trump is a batsh*t crazy person,” one person described as a Hannity associate tells Stelter.
Ten months ago, the Washington Post highlighted "the remarkable universe of criminality surrounding President Trump," and that was before the list grew longer.
Circling back to our earlier coverage, the number of criminals is important, but so too is the degree to which this dynamic conflicts with the message Trump has been eager to trumpet. As regular readers know, the president presents himself as being aggressively "tough on crime." which he frequently tries to incorporate into his agenda. Last year, for example, while making the case for a border wall, the Republican declared, "The Democrats, which I've been saying all along, they don't give a damn about crime. They don't care about crime.... But I care about crime."
Of course, given recent events, it's hardly unreasonable to wonder whether he cares about crime or about surrounding himself with people who've committed crimes?
The president's newest campaign manager, Bill Stepien, recently argued, "I think you need to judge Joe Biden by the people he's surrounding himself with." I'm curious whether he'd encourage voters to also judge Donald Trump by the criminals he's surrounded himself with.
One of the study’s authors, Alessio Fasano, a physician at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, said that because children tend to exhibit few if any symptoms, they were largely ignored in the early part of the outbreak and not tested. But they may have been acting as silent spreaders all along.
“Some people thought that children might be protected,” Fasano said. “This is incorrect. They may be as susceptible as adults — but just not visible.”
Joe Biden’s heretofore absence from the campaign trail, when there really was no campaign trail, will be forgotten. But what will not be forgotten is the image of Biden as a feeble-minded incompetent. That is who Trump’s supporters expect him to face.
Unfortunately for them, the Joe Biden who showed up to introduce his running mate Kamala Harris last week seems to have found a miracle drug to cure dementia, because he was on the money. The delivery of classic Biden lines like “as that old saying goes, give me a break” do not exactly suggest that he has jitters about debating Donald Trump, despite what Trump’s supporters might think.
No doubt that Joe Biden is gaffe-prone. It goes with the territory. But debates are a game of expectations, and by staying out of sight and perpetuating the image of “Sleepy Joe,” the Biden campaign has made useful idiots out of right-wing pundits who conditioned voters to expect Trump to make mincemeat out of a mentally compromised opponent. When they finally face off, should Biden score even a couple good zingers against Trump that put doubt in the minds of voters as to which candidate would best handle the economy, he will have exceeded expectations. Ergo, The Donald loses bigly.
The Trump campaign desperately needs to reset expectations for the coming debates. There are numerous ways to do this, which would be illuminated by the campaign’s internal polling indicating how undecided voters or waffling Trump supporters see the race. But we can offer educated guesses: for example, by positioning Trump to walk into the first debate as an obnoxious street brawler, the President could exceed expectations by showing showing his compassionate side, as he effectively did when he announced cancellation of the Republican convention due to Covid-19.
My image courtesy of Disney and DonkeyHotey - read story which prompted this below
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy donated big to GOP, Trump — his wife got ambassador post - DeJoy's donations appear to create conflicts of interest for senators who must confirm Aldona Wos for Canada post
People are taking Trump's USPS cheating seriously — and we have impeachment to thank. Amanda Marcotte in Salon
After impeachment, everyone knows Trump intends to steal the election — so the USPS scandal is sparking outrage
Even former President Barack Obama, who generally tries to stay out of the fray of day-to-day politics, spoke out about Trump's war on voting, denouncing Trump for trying to "to actively kneecap the Postal Service" and otherwise discourage voting at all.
Trump was able to coast for years on this implicit assumption that the office of the presidency somehow ennobles the occupant, and that it was therefore unfair to assume the president is a liar and a cheat just because his entire career before he became president was based on lying, cheating and defrauding people. Impeachment ended that presumption of good faith, by making abundantly clear that not only was Trump willing to "accept" cheating on his behalf, as he did with Russian election interference in 2016, but he actively sought out opportunities to cheat and actively participated in them.
So it's simply wrong to say the impeachment of Trump failed because the Senate acquitted him. The whole ordeal completely changed the national discussion around Trump's corruption. The question is no longer about whether Trump is corrupt, but more about whether or not voters care about that. Now that his corruption is threatening their ability not just to vote but to receive all the things ordinary people get by mail, there's good reason to believe it will finally come back to bite him.
Many patients are understandably apprehensive about coming back to the clinic or hospital. The American Heart Association has started a campaign called “Don’t Die of Doubt” to address the alarming reduction in people calling 911 or seeking medical care after a heart attack or stroke.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s been clear that people with heart disease or related conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure are at increased risk for severe Covid-19 illness. The C.D.C. recommends that the more than 30 million Americans living with heart disease practice extra precautions to avoid infection. Hospitals and clinics should work overtime both to ensure they are safe for patients and to bolster telemedicine services so that patients can be cared for without having to leave their homes.
Doctors and researchers should no longer think of Covid-19 as a disease of the lungs but as one that can affect any part of the body, especially the heart. The only way to prevent more people dying of heart disease, both from damage caused by the virus as well as from deferred care of heart disease, is to control the pandemic.
He also loves lawsuits so we might certainly expect him to file a lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results on basis of "fraud" if he loses.
While serving as interim president, Pelosi would undoubtedly order Trump's arrest and confinement in the Tower, the Trump Tower, under house arrest to await his treason trial.
Under such circumstances, despite the President's bluster about keeping his options open concerning presidential election fraud, Trump will pack his bags and head for his new low-tax Florida home if he loses the election.
In the world's oldest continuous democracy even a "stable genius" can't outsmart the US Constitution.
- President Trump has this bizarre notion that if he can show how chaotic, dysfunctional and dangerous things have become, Americans will reelect him. He sent federal law enforcement into Portland, Ore., seemingly with the purpose of stoking violent confrontations with protesters that could be used to create ad footage for his campaign. He is the only thing standing between you and carnage! Well, except that he caused it. This is on his watch. It is evidence of his inability to maintain order.
- So it is with the U.S. Postal Service. Trump has been attempting to discredit voting by mail and, to that end, seems intent on wrecking the most popular federal agency.
- The presidential sabotaging of the USPS — the one federal agency that touches the lives of virtually every American — fits Trump’s unique ability to wreak havoc on his fellow Americans. The pandemic that exploded and the economy that collapsed on his watch, and a revolt against racial injustice unlike any since the 1960s, provide the rationale for kicking out the incumbent president. Many schools are closed, and civic life has ground to a halt. Through incompetence or deliberate destructiveness, Trump has obliterated the case for giving him four more years. What will be left of America after four more years of Trump-induced devastation?
- When you hold the reins of government, you are tasked with its smooth running and navigation around obstacles. Trump has dropped the reins, jumped from the saddle and shot the crippled steed. He can holler that the vote this fall will be fixed, but responsibility for the path of destruction leading to November is obvious.
Thursday afternoon, Marla Maples, the television personality best known as Donald Trump’s second wife, shared an Instagram photo from notorious anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates cracking up like a cartoon villain. “We get rid of cash and coins,” the overlaid text reads. “We give you a chip. We put all your money in your chip. If you refuse a vaccine, we turn off the chip and you starve!”
“Education is key...Ask questions...Dig deeper…,” Maples wrote over the Instagram Story, which bore the vague header: “The digitalized economy?” If users dug deeper, clicking through to the original post, they could find two clips from an uncited video. The footage splices clips of Bill Gates talking about access to vaccination—playing, for unclear reasons, on a vintage IBM monitor—with disembodied commentary accusing the Microsoft co-founder of seeking “control over our identities...control over our transactions...and even control over our bodies.
The woman’s injuries were deemed not serious by local authorities, but, as the video shows, she took a beating so bad that it shook her right out of her Levi’s.
The bruised biker’s offense was simple: Getting too close to the bison’s nursing calf.
And the woman was just one of many bikers who were trying to mingle with the wild animal herd. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the kind of intellects who would both attend a massive rally with people from every corner of the country during a pandemic get in the personal space of a nursing mother who weighs a half ton and can be as tall as five feet at the withers.
Biden, who has devoted himself for decades to the goal of acquiring the ultimate political power in our system, manages to seem almost apologetic about it. His posture of reluctant aspirant may not gibe with his real record, but he knows it is one that voters want to see. Biden may be carrying it too far for the sake of avoiding typically terrible live interactions with reporters, but he certainly seems convincing as a reluctant candidate.
The more desperate Trump seems to maintain power, the more likely he is to end up with a bison horn where he won’t like it.
A reporter asked Trump at a Thursday news conference for his thoughts on a recent claim about Harris, who Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Tuesday tapped to be his running mate. Harris, who will be the first black woman and first Asian American on a major party ticket, now faces right-wing attacks on her eligibility to serve as vice president. Those attacks stem from her parents’ citizenship status when she was born in Oakland, California, and are akin to birthplace conspiracy theories Barack Obama confronted.
“I just heard that,” Trump said of the baseless legitimacy issue about Harris, published Wednesday in a Newsweek op-ed by a California-based law professor. “I heard it today, that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” Trump continued, adding, “And by the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.”
The following story is a deep dig into the complex relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden during the eight years when they worked together. It is a personality study of Obama more than it is of Biden. There were reasons not explored in the article about why Obama was closer to Hilary Clinton, that they had more of a comfort level with each other than Obama and Biden did. Venturing an analysis of this will be left to psychohistorians in the future. HB
The following story demonstrates that Pence is willing to jump onboard Trump's insanity train by promoting ridiculous lines of attack. Whether or not he knows he is taking advantage of the gullibility of Trump's low-information and low-IQ base remains to be seen. HB
Playing to the idoit base who will believe it, Mike Pence Says He’ll Keep Kamala Harris From Meddling With America’s Meat
I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is the word “sabotage” is being used more often and with more feeling by leading Democrats and liberals than I have witnessed since the president took office. This is an important development. Too few Americans appreciate the depth of Donald Trump’s malice. If there’s a way to betray the republic, he will find it. The more people understand this, the more prepared they will be when this chapter in our history comes to an end—if it comes to an end.
The bad news is people are seeing only one dimension of Trump’s multi-dimensional sabotage. However, that’s to be expected. It’s not every day a demi-despot blurts out his intentions the way Trump did Thursday on the Fox Business Network. He “explicitly noted two funding provisions that Democrats are seeking in a relief package that has stalled on Capitol Hill,” according to reporting by the AP. “Without the additional money, he said, the Postal Service won’t have the resources to handle a flood of ballots from voters who are seeking to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.” He told Maria Bartiromo: “If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.”
Trump, probably: “I’m gonna starve the post office to keep Americans from voting me out, even if that means taking the economy hostage, even if that means kicking meemaw and peepaw out of the nursing home and into paupers’ graves.”
This week Forbes broke the story that Jared Kushner, “de facto chief” of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, has been speaking “regularly,” “almost daily,” with Kanye West since West’s July 4 tweet declaring that he is running for president. “Regular” conversations between the head of one presidential campaign and an opposing candidate looks like coordination and is highly irregular. Depending on what they’re talking about, they may be breaking campaign finance laws.
A provision of federal law known as the “soft money ban” prohibits candidates and their agents like Kushner from soliciting contributions that exceed amount limits or come from prohibited sources (e.g., foreign contributions). Federal law defines “contribution” broadly to include “any gift … of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office” and “anything of value includes all in-kind contributions.” Contributions from one candidate committee to another are limited to $2,000. And the FEC by regulation defines “solicit” to mean “to ask, request, or recommend, explicitly or implicitly, that another person make a contribution, donation, transfer of funds, or otherwise provide anything of value.”
If Kushner has explicitly or implicitly requested or recommended that West spend money on West’s candidacy, with the motivation of having West siphon votes from Joe Biden, then Kushner has arguably violated federal law by soliciting in-kind contributions from West to Trump in excess of the applicable $2,000 contribution limit. Under this theory, every dollar West spends on his campaign with Kushner’s encouragement is an in-kind contribution. And West has spent well in excess of $2,000 on his campaign efforts to date, including, for example, payment of $35,000 filing fee to the State of Oklahoma to have his name on the ballot.
Kushner knows all of this; he’s been through this illegal solicitation business before. As I explained in a summary of a section of the Mueller Report, Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated Kushner and other members of the Trump campaign for possible illegal solicitation of an in-kind contribution from Russian foreign nationals at a 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Mueller concluded that team Trump’s solicitation of opposition research on electoral opponent Hillary Clinton could constitute an illegal solicitation of a contribution from a foreign national. But Mueller decided not to prosecute Kushner and others, in part, because of a lack of evidence that Kushner knew at the time that what he was doing was illegal (knowledge of the law is necessary for a criminal conviction in this area), and because of possible challenges proving the value of the solicited opposition research.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 77th consecutive night of protests in Portland took a sharp turn away from nightly clashes with law enforcement as just a few dozen people took to city streets and remained peaceful.
The foreword for Michael Cohen’s book is out — and it contains allegations of deviant sex acts and a backchannel to Putin
Disloyal, The Foreword: The Real Real Donald Trump
The President of the United States wanted me dead.
Or, let me say it the way Donald Trump would: He wouldn’t mind if I was dead. That was how Trump talked. Like a mob boss, using language carefully calibrated to convey his desires and demands, while at the same time employing deliberate indirection to insulate himself and avoid actually ordering a hit on his former personal attorney, confidant, consigliere, and, at least in my heart, adopted son.
Driving south from New York City to Washington, DC on 1-95 on the cold, gray winter morning of February 24th, 2019, en route to testify against President Trump before both Houses of Congress, I knew he wanted me gone before I could tell the nation what I know about him. Not the billionaire celebrity savior of the country or lying lunatic, not the tabloid tycoon or self-anointed Chosen One, not the avatar @realdonaldtrump of Twitter fame, but the real real Donald Trump—the man very, very, very few people know.
If that sounds overly dramatic, consider the powers Trump possessed and imagine how you might feel if he threatened you personally. Heading south, I wondered if my prospects for survival were also going in that direction. I was acutely aware of the magnitude of Trump’s fury aimed directly at my alleged betrayal. I was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and I kept the speedometer at eighty, avoiding the glances of other drivers. Trump’s theory of life, business and politics revolved around threats and the prospect of destruction—financial, electoral, personal, physical—as a weapon. I knew how he worked because I had frequently been the one screaming threats on his behalf as Trump’s fixer and designated thug.
Ever since I had flipped and agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller and the Special Counsel’s Office, the death threats had come by the hundreds. On my cell phone, by email, snail mail, in tweets, on Facebook, enraged Trump supporters vowed to kill me, and I took those threats very seriously. The President called me a rat and tweeted angry accusations at me, as well as my family. All rats deserve to die, I was told. I was a lowlife Judas they were going to hunt down. I was driving because I couldn’t fly or take the train to Washington. If I had, I was sure I would be mobbed or attacked. For weeks, walking the streets of Manhattan, I was convinced that someone was going to ram me with their car. I was exactly the person Trump was talking about when he said he could shoot and kill someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it.
My mind was spinning as I sped towards DC. For more than a decade, I had been at the center of Trump’s innermost circle. When he came to my son’s bar mitzvah, a generous gesture that I found touching, he told my then thirteen-year-old boy that his Dad was the greatest and that, if he wanted to work at the Trump Organization when he grew up, there would always be a position for him.
“You’re family,” Trump said to my son and I.
And I fucking believed him!
Pulling over at a service plaza, I gassed up and headed inside for a coffee, black no sugar. I looked around to see if I was under surveillance or being followed; a sense of dread consuming my thoughts. Who was that FBI-type in the gray coat or the muscle-bound dude a few paces behind me? The notion that I was being followed or stalked may have seemed crazy; but it was also perfectly logical. I wasn’t just famous—I was perhaps the most infamous person in the country at the time, seen by millions upon millions as a traitor. President Trump controlled all the levers of the Commander in Chief and all the overt and covert powers that come with the highest office in the country. He also possessed a cult-like hold over his supporters, some of them demonstrably unhinged and willing to do anything to please or protect the President. I knew how committed these fanatics were because I’d been one of them: an acolyte obsessed with Donald J. Trump, a demented follower willing to do anything for him, including, as I vowed once to a reporter, to take a bullet.
On the eve of my public testimony, lying in the still of the night in my hotel room, taking a bullet assumed a completely different meaning. That was the level of ruination I had brought upon myself- complete and total destruction. I closed my eyes, wishing the nightmare would end. When I started working for Trump I had been a multi-millionaire lawyer and businessman, and now I was broke and broken; a convicted, disgraced and disbarred former attorney about to testify against the President on live television before an audience of more than 15 million Americans.
“Hey, Michael Cohen, do your wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends?” GOP Representative Matt Gaetz tweeted at me that night, to cite just one example of the juvenile idiocy and menace aimed in my direction. “I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot…”
Sitting in the green room on the morning of my testimony before the House Oversight Committee, I began to feel the enormous weight of what was about to happen. For some reason, after all that I’d been through, and all I’d put my family and the country through, waiting in that room was the moment when the gravity of what was about to happen truly hit home. The United States was being torn apart, its political and cultural and mental well-being threatened by a clear and present danger named Donald Trump, and I had played a central role in creating this new reality. To half of Americans, it seemed like Trump was effectively a Russian-controlled fraud who had lied and cheated his way to the White House; to the other half of Americans, to Trump’s supporters, the entire Russian scandal was a witch hunt invented by Democrats still unable to accept the fact that Hillary Clinton had lost fair and square in the most surprising upset in the history of American presidential elections.
Both sides were wrong. I knew that the reality was much more complicated and dangerous. Trump had colluded with the Russians, but not in the sophisticated ways imagined by his detractors. I also knew that the Mueller investigation was not a witch-hunt. Trump had cheated in the election, with Russian connivance, as you will discover in these pages, because doing anything—and I mean anything—to “win” has always been his business model and way of life. Trump had also continued to pursue a major real estate deal in Moscow during the campaign. He attempted to insinuate himself into the world of President Vladimir Putin and his coterie of corrupt billionaire oligarchs. I know because I personally ran that deal and kept Trump and his children closely informed of all updates, even as the candidate blatantly lied to the American people saying, “there’s no Russian collusion, I have no dealings with Russia…there’s no Russia.”
The time to testify nearing, I asked the sergeant-at-arms for a few minutes of privacy and the room was cleared. Sitting alone, my thoughts and heart racing, I had the first panic attack of my life. I struggled to breathe and stand. The pressure was too much; I had contemplated suicide in recent weeks, as a way to escape the unrelenting insanity. Reaching for a seat, I started to cry, a flood of emotions overwhelming me: fear, anger, dread, anxiety, relief, terror. It felt something like when I was in the hospital awaiting the birth of my daughter and son, with so many powerful and unprecedented emotions welling up in anticipation. Only now I was that child being born and all of the pain and blood were part of the birth of my new life and identity.
Trying to pull myself together, I went to the private bathroom and checked my eyes to see if they were bloodshot or puffy. To my relief, they weren’t. I splashed my face with cold water and felt a calm coming over me, and then a surge of confidence and adrenaline. I had pled guilty to multiple federal crimes, including lying to Congress, but I was there to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I knew that Trump and the Republican House members would want me to hesitate, falter, show weakness, even break down. They wanted me to look unreliable, shifty, and uncertain about the truth and myself. This was blood sport and they wanted me to cower. I wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction, I decided. I was going to nail it.
“Showtime,” the sergeant-at-arms called out, opening the door. “You’re on Mr. Cohen.”
One deep breath and I stepped into the hallway, into a crush of photographers and TV cameras and the craziness of wall-to-wall national obsession. I made my way alone through the jostle and shove of the surging crowd as I experienced the out-of-body sensation of seeing myself on television screens walking in to testify. It was truly bizarre to be at the epicenter of American history at that moment, to personify so many fears and resentments, to be the villain or savior, depending on your point of view, to speak truth to power in an age when truth itself was on trial. There I was, watching myself on TV, the Michael Cohen everyone had an opinion about: liar, snitch, idiot, bully, sycophant, convicted criminal, the least reliable narrator on the planet.
So, please permit me to reintroduce myself in these pages. The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that whatever you may have heard or thought about me, you don’t know me or my story or the Donald Trump that I know. For more than a decade, I was Trump’s first call every morning and his last call every night. I was in and out of Trump’s office on the 26th floor of the Trump Tower as many as fifty times a day, tending to his every demand. Our cell phones had the same address books, our contacts so entwined, overlapping and intimate that part of my job was to deal with the endless queries and requests, however large or small, from Trump’s countless rich and famous acquaintances. I called any and all of the people he spoke to, most often on his behalf as his attorney and emissary, and everyone knew that when I spoke to them, it was as good as if they were talking directly to Trump.
Apart from his wife and children, I knew Trump better than anyone else did. In some ways, I knew him better than even his family did because I bore witness to the real man, in strip clubs, shady business meetings, and in the unguarded moments when he revealed who he really was: a cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.
There are reasons why there has never been an intimate portrait of Donald Trump, the man. In part, it’s because he has a million acquaintances, pals and hangers on, but no real friends. He has no one he trusts to keep his secrets. For ten years, he certainly had me, and I was always there for him, and look what happened to me. I urge you to really consider that fact: Trump has no true friends. He has lived his entire life avoiding and evading taking responsibility for his actions. He crushed or cheated all who stood in his way, but I know where the skeletons are buried because I was the one who buried them. I was the one who most encouraged him to run for president in 2011, and then again in 2015, carefully orchestrating the famous trip down the escalator in Trump Tower for him to announce his candidacy. When Trump wanted to reach Russian President Vladimir Putin, via a secret back channel, I was tasked with making the connection in my Keystone Kop fashion. I stiffed contractors on his behalf, ripped off his business partners, lied to his wife Melania to hide his sexual infidelities, and bullied and screamed at anyone who threatened Trump’s path to power. From golden showers in a sex club in Vegas, to tax fraud, to deals with corrupt officials from the former Soviet Union, to catch and kill conspiracies to silence Trump’s clandestine lovers, I wasn’t just a witness to the president’s rise—I was an active and eager participant.
To underscore that last crucial point, let me say now that I had agency in my relationship with Trump. I made choices along the way—terrible, heartless, stupid, cruel, dishonest, destructive choices, but they were mine and constituted my reality and life. During my years with Trump, to give one example, I fell out of touch with my sisters and younger brother, as I imagined myself becoming a big shot. I’d made my fortune out of taxi medallions, a business viewed as sketchy if not lower class. On Park Avenue, where I lived, I was definitely nouveau riche, but I had big plans that didn’t include being excluded from the elite. I had a narrative: I wanted to climb the highest mountains of Manhattan’s skyscraping ambition, to inhabit the world from the vantage point of private jets and billion-dollar deals, and I was willing to do whatever it took to get there. Then there was my own considerable ego, short temper, and willingness to deceive to get ahead, regardless of the consequences.
As you read my story, you will no doubt ask yourself if you like me, or if you would act as I did, and the answer will frequently be no to both of those questions. But permit me to make a point: If you only read stories written by people you like, you will never be able to understand Donald Trump or the current state of the American soul. More than that, it’s only by actually understanding my decisions and actions that you can get inside Trump’s mind and understand his worldview. As anyone in law enforcement will tell you, it’s only gangsters who can reveal the secrets of organized crime. If you want to know how the mob really works, you’ve got to talk to the bad guys. I was one of Trump’s bad guys. In his world, I was one hundred percent a made man.
Before I could read my opening statement to the Oversight Committee on the day of my public testimony, the Republicans started to play procedural games. It was clearly an attempt to rattle me, I thought, a spectacle that only demeaned them and the institution itself. As I started to answer questions, it was evident that the Republicans didn’t want to hear a word I had to say, no matter how true or how critical to the future of the country. For all the hard truths I spoke about Trump, I wasn’t entirely critical of him, nor will I be in these pages. I said I know Trump as a human being, not a cartoon character on television, and that means I know he’s full of contradictions.
“Mr. Trump is an enigma,” I testified to the committee. “He is complicated, as am I. He does both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.”
“Liar, liar, pants on fire,” one of the Republicans taunted me, perfectly expressing the stupidity and lunacy of his party’s antics. To drive this point home, they actually made a sign with a picture of me on it. In bold letters, the sign proclaimed, “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire.”
I recognized the childish games, replete with a Trump-like slogan, because I had played them myself. In the pitiful sight of Republicans throwing aside their dignity and duty in an effort to grovel at Trump’s feet, I saw myself and understood their motives. My insatiable desire to please Trump to gain power for myself, the fatal flaw that led to my ruination, was a Faustian bargain: I would do anything to accumulate, wield, maintain, exert, exploit power. In this way, Donald Trump and I were the most alike; in this naked lust for power, the President and I were soul mates. I was so vulnerable to his magnetic force because he offered an intoxicating cocktail of power, strength, celebrity, and a complete disregard for the rules and realities that govern our lives. To Trump, life was a game and all that mattered was winning. In these dangerous days, I see the Republican Party and Trump’s followers threatening the constitution—which is in far greater peril than is commonly understood—and following one of the worst impulses of humankind: the desire for power at all costs.
“To those who support the President and his rhetoric, as I once did, I pray the country doesn’t make the same mistakes as I have made or pay the heavy price that my family and I are paying,” I testified to Congress, exhorting them to learn from my example.
“Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” I concluded. “This is why I agreed to appear before you today.”
Representative Elijah Cummings had the final word, as chair of the Oversight Committee. I sat in silence, listening to this now deceased man with decades of experience in the civil rights movement and other forms of public service, who as a lawyer had represented disgraced lawyers like me. He understood that even the least of us deserve the opportunity to seek penance, redemption and a second chance in life. Cummings was the lone politician I encountered in all my travails who took an interest in me as a human being. When I reported to serve my sentence, he even took steps to ensure my security in prison. It was a selfless act of kindness for which I will always be grateful.
“I know this has been hard,” Cummings said to me and the nation, his words hitting me like a kick in the gut. “I know you’ve faced a lot. I know that you are worried about your family. But this is a part of your destiny. And hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Michael Cohen, a better Donald Trump, a better United States of America, and a better world. And I mean that from the depths of my heart.”
Representative Cummings concluded by saying, “We are better than this.”
Amen, I thought.
Now, sitting alone in an upstate New York prison, wearing my green government-issued uniform, I’ve begun writing this story longhand on a yellow legal pad. I often wrote before dawn so not to be disturbed in my thoughts when my fellow inmates awoke. I had to report to the sewage treatment plant where some of us worked for a wage of $8 a month. As the months passed by and I thought about the man I knew so well, I became even more convinced that Trump will never leave office peacefully. The types of scandals that have surfaced in recent months will only continue to emerge with greater and greater levels of treachery and deceit. If Trump wins another four years, these scandals will prove to only be the tip of the iceberg. I’m certain that Trump knows he will face prison time if he leaves office, the inevitable cold Karma to the notorious chants of “Lock Her Up!” But that is the Trump I know in a nutshell. He projects his own sins and crimes onto others, partly to distract and confuse but mostly because he thinks everyone is as corrupt and shameless and ruthless as he is; a poisonous mindset I know all too well. Whoever follows Trump into the White House, if the President doesn’t manage to make himself the leader for life, as he has started to joke about—and Trump never actually jokes- will discover a tangle of frauds and scams and lawlessness. Trump and his minions will do anything to cover up that reality, and I mean anything.
Watching Trump on the evening news in the prison rec room, I almost feel sorry for him. I know him so well and I know his facial tics and tells; I see the cornered look in his eyes as he flails and rants and raves, searching for a protector and advocate, someone willing to fight dirty and destroy his enemies. I see the men who have replaced me and continue to forfeit their reputations by doing the President’s bidding, no matter how dishonest or sleazy or unlawful. Rudy Guiliani, William Barr, Jared Kushner and Mike Pompeo are Trump’s new wannabe fixers, sycophants willing to distort the truth and break the law in the service of the Boss. All this will be to no avail. Trump doesn’t want to hear this, and he will certainly deny it, but he’s lost without his original bulldog lawyer Roy Cohn, or his other former pitbull and personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
During my testimony, Republican House members repeatedly asked me to promise that I wouldn’t write a book. I refused, repeatedly. It was another way of saying I shouldn’t be permitted to tell my story, in essence giving up my First Amendment rights. It was a clear sign of desperation and fear. I have lost many things as a consequence of my decisions and mistakes, including my freedom, but I still retain the right to tell this story about the true threat to our nation and the urgent message for the country it contains.
One last thing I can say with great confidence, as you turn the page and meet the real real Donald Trump for the first time: This is a book the President of the United States does not want you to read.
Otisville Federal Prison, Otisville, New York, March 11, 2020
Heather Cox Richardson has an excellent blog which I doubt you've seen. She is an American historian and Professor of History at Boston College, where she teaches courses on the American Civil War, the Reconstruction Era, the American West, and the Plains Indians. She previously taught at MIT and the University of Massachusetts.
Richardson has authored six books. Her sixth, titled How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America, was published in March 2020 with Oxford University Press.
She is also a founder and editor at Werehistory.org, which presents professional history to a public audience through short articles. Between 2017 and 2018, she co-hosted the NPR podcast Freak Out and Carry On. Most recently, Richardson started publishing "Letters from an American," a nightly newsletter that chronicles the 2019 Trump–Ukraine scandal in the larger context of American history.... more on Wikipedia
Did the Chinese stop Hongkonger's access to my blog over the past two weeks?
This is the first interview where a mental health professional interviews Mary Trump.
Lee: You mentioned in one interview that he could be charged with negligent manslaughter, and I would agree. In fact, I believe he meets the criteria for culpable homicide. Whether that is manslaughter or murder depends on “the guilty mind,” the mens rea, that we evaluate in forensic psychiatry or psychology. But we do have someone who is responsible for tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of deaths through wrongful conduct.
Trump: That is why, in the book, I do not come out and diagnose him because my point is, who cares what his diagnosis is? Look at what he is doing, and look at how his behavior is shaping the behavior of the people around him. That is the problem. If we had a patient who was an imminent threat to herself or others, we would be required by law to do something. This man is directly responsible, and I agree with you, there is culpability and purpose here. He is directly responsible for the death of thousands of Americans, which could have been avoided if he had just taken responsibility.
Lee: Would you like to give any last word?
Ttump: Listen to people who know. Listen to the professionals. Listen to the experts. Listen to the people with the expertise, who have spent years and decades of their lives, honing their skills as professionals, who understand these things, and pay attention to what he is doing, and look at those behaviors through the lenses we are offering.
Mary Trump to her Uncle Donald's supporters: If you care about him, get him out of the Oval Office - Psychologist and bestselling author says her uncle can't help being cruel — but his enablers should know better
Trump: As you just said, kindness was considered weakness, and weakness was an unforgivable sin according to my grandfather. My grandfather's opinion was the only one that mattered, honestly. It wasn't just kindness, it was illness. Physical illness or alcoholism was certainly considered a weakness. Admitting to your mistakes, apologizing — all of these things were considered weakness. We see the direct line from that to how Donald operates today.
But as far as the way cruelty functions, I think it functions on a couple of different levels. One, it distracts. If he needs to distract from some fiasco he's created, which happens many times a day at this point, he's going to do something so outrageous and cruel that it's going to draw people's attention away. It's also a way for him to exercise power over people who are weaker than he is, and I think part of that is also the function that it had for my grandfather, which is that he enjoys it.
Trump: First of all, don't back down. Don't be deferential. He insults reporters on a daily basis, it's kind of shocking to me that they keep showing up. The other thing, and this is not my original suggestion, I've been hearing this for a while, they need to team up. They need to have each other's backs. I know we can't expect that from Fox or OAN, but other mainstream outlets have to pick up where, if Donald shuts down a reporter, the next person has to ask the same question until he either answers it or storms out. That's it. I'm not entirely sure why they think that there's any purpose to continuing to do what they've been doing. They're basically showing up at campaign rallies now, and there needs to be pushback on that, otherwise I don't see the point.
Obeidallah: Do you think overall that the media has been too timid? One specific example is last week on Fox News when he called Black Lives Matter a Marxist organization. Weeks before that he called it a symbol of hate. He's got a horrific track record of demonizing African Americans. "You can't take a knee in silence, you should be fired for that," he said to black athletes. "If you march in the street, you're a Marxist and a symbol of hate." To me, he's a white supremacist. I have no problem calling him that. Reporters are restrained, to say the least, in doing it. Is that timidity hurting us?
Trump: Of course. It's awful, and it leads me to believe that no lessons have been learned since the horrific coverage of the 2016 election. It leads me to believe that they're more interested in access than they are in journalism or journalistic ethics. The fact that he's continuing to get away with making these broadsides without any follow-up. The follow-up question is: Define Marxism. He needs to be confronted squarely with his racism. He's a racist. His comments aren't "racially tinged." They're not "racial," whatever that means. They're racist. He's a racist. He's endangering the lives of Black Americans every single day in this administration. Why are people continuing to tiptoe around this? And I'm sorry, people I guess have to have respect for the office, but nobody has been more disrespectful to the office that Donald has been. So why should he be treated with respect? It's mind-blowing.
Link photo below embellished by me.
Below: Click photos to enlarge
This is echoed by Duncan Levin, formerly a senior staff member under District Attorney Vance and an ex-assistant U.S. attorney. Whether the president would actually be sentenced to prison is a political call, Levin said. “Can you imagine an ex-U.S. president actually being sent to prison?” he told me. “It’s inconceivable that Trump didn’t know about the hush money payments. But it’s highly unlikely that he’d be arrested on misdemeanor charges. They would have to be very serious felonies.” False statements to financial institutions would count.
More likely, he added, the DA may be zeroing in at this point on Trump’s inner circle. “Michael Cohen didn’t act alone. He collaborated with people within the Trump organization to cover up the hush payments just before the election,” Levin said. Look, at least initially, for indictments of Trump underlings.
The good news, though, is that Vance will not put off his investigation and possible indictments until after the November election. DA’s proceed on cases irrespective of extraneous events, including a general election, Levin said.
But the hope of many that Trump could finally be held accountable for his crimes may be remote. At most, one can imagine him behind bars at a white-collar correctional facility like that of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, as opposed to hard time at a penitentiary like Attica. For now, though, time will tell. The Americans who want to see justice carried out are more likely to watch this shamed crook-in-chief spending his remaining years out of office consumed in exhausting and financially draining legal battles, fully exposed for the criminal he’s always been.
Unfortunately, Trump felt the need to continue his press conference after he came back (after the Secret Service hustled him away due to the shooting), and sweet Jesus, what a fucking idiot.
Here is Donald Trump saying that in "1917" the Spanish flu (of 1918) "probably ended the Second World War," which was just a "terrible situation," how the "great pandemic" did that, and "probably ended the Second World War." Yeah, that was a total thing, just ask a historian like Dinesh D'Souza, he'll probably tell you how this is absolutely correct...................
................Also try not to laugh at Trump reaffirming his accusation that Joe Biden is hurting God and the baby Jesus. Trump said you just have to "look at the manifesto that they've come up," which ... yeah, we have no fucking idea. Trump either has dementia, or he plays a dementia patient on TV. He also said the "Bernie plan," which is apparently also the Biden plan, is something you just simply cannot put "in the realm of a religious group of people," because that's a good way to say a thing in English. Then he bragged about his poll numbers and talked the "manifesto" (still don't fucking know) and talked about Joe Biden thumping baby Jesus right behind his ears and .................... ............There is no aspect of this election Trump will not work to undermine, like the dumbfuck authoritarian shitheel he is.
Aren't you glad Trump didn't stay in the bunker hiding, allegedly, but instead came back to finish his press conference? Oh boy, what a treat.
Trump mocked in Twitter for revealing Gettysburg as potential RNC speech location: ‘The site of your base’s biggest defeat!’
Quote of the day from Digby's "Art of the tantrum: Trump's bewildering, doomed attempt to play savior"
The man who sold himself to America as the greatest dealmaker the world has ever known can't bargain his way out of a paper bag. He walks away, holds his breath until he turns blue and then lets the other side decide if they're going to let him take the country down with him. That's the art of the tantrum, not the art of the deal.
Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and several executives at the media company he founded have been arrested for colluding with foreign forces, the highest profile arrests thus far under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing just over a month ago.
Lai, 71, is the chairman and majority owner of the staunchly pro-democratic newspaper Apple Daily and its publishing company, Next Digital. Share prices for Next Media surged 300% within hours of his arrest as pro-democracy supporters urged each other online to support the company.
Lai's two sons Timothy Lai and Ian Lai were also arrested Monday morning after being accused, respectively, of conspiracy to defraud and collusion with foreign forces. Hong Kong police said a total of seven individuals — among them Next Media executives — had been arrested on Monday under the national security law for colluding with foreign forces.
"It's a combination of charges. Most are being arrested on some type of conspiracy to commit fraud charges ... but really it's just an effort to decapitate the management as they took out the top senior management with those charges," Mark Simon, a senior executive at Next Digital, told NPR.
Trump bragged to aides his disastrous Axios interview went well and was ‘great television’👀! According to one White House insider, the president felt he did better than presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would have fared, telling the Beast, “He said it went very well and that Biden could never stand up to that kind of questioning. He absolutely was not mad about it.”
Sane? Clinical psychologist George Simon said then that Donald Trump was such a textbook case of narcissism "that I'm archiving video clips of him to use in workshops." Without Trump, he said: "I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He's like a dream come true."
Informed? Trump imagined he could make Mexico pay for a border wall. Every time he addressed an issue, he made his ignorance obvious.
Competent? He had gone through multiple bankruptcies, while engineering such fiascoes as Trump Shuttle, Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks.
His televised interview this week with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan was an epic debacle, revealing Trump as an ignorant bumbler who has learned absolutely nothing about doing the job he was elected to do — and still may not realize that he has anything to learn.
He bragged about how he well his administration has handled the pandemic, oblivious to the human and economic devastation it has caused. He shuffled papers and cited numbers that failed to prove what he insisted — and may actually believe — they prove.
Most appalling was Trump's insistence that the pandemic is "under control." Reminded that a thousand Americans have been dying every day, the president had a blithe answer: "They are dying. That's true. It is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it."
"It is what it is"? Imagine George W. Bush saying that about 9/11, or Franklin Roosevelt about Pearl Harbor.
Trump walks out of press meet after Paula Reid fact-checks him, Internet says he 'hates strong women'
Amy Goodman is an American broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist, investigative reporter, and author. Her investigative journalism career includes coverage of the East Timor independence movement and Chevron Corporation's role in Nigeria. Since 1996, she has been the main host of Democracy Now!, a progressive global news program broadcast daily on radio, television and the Internet. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Thomas Merton Award in 2004, a Right Livelihood Awardin 2008, and an Izzy Award in 2009 for "special achievement in independent media".
In 2012, Goodman received the Gandhi Peace Award for a "significant contribution to the promotion of an enduring international peace". She is the author of six books, including the 2012 The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope, and the 2016 Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America. In 2016, she was criminally charged in connection with her coverage of protests of the Dakota Access pipeline. The charges, which were condemned by the Committee to Protect Journalists, were dismissed on October 17, 2016.
The clip that was posted to Twitter — and subsequently viewed over 1.2 million times — purports to show protesters invading a church, screaming “Black Lives Matter” and even abusing parishioners. One demonstrator is filmed calling a church member “a dumb fuck.”
The clip was uploaded by Charlie Kirk, one of the leading voices in the Trump Youth Movement, who added his own interpretation of events: “Christians have not been allowed to attend church for months,” Kirk tweeted, referring to coronavirus-related pauses in services. “But when they finally are, BLM inc. rioters are allowed to assault them. Christianity is now under physical assault by radical left wing terrorism. Where is the media coverage of this?”
Kirk, the founder of Talking Points USA, has 1.8 million followers. His chief creative officer, Benny Johnson — who also tweeted the video, has more than 315,000. The video was picked up by a who’s who of conservative and fringe media: Dinesh D’Souza, Nigel Farage, Laura Ingraham, OAN, the Daily Wire, the Blaze, PJ Media, and Mike Cernovich. The Republican candidate for US House District 20 — which includes Troy, New York, where the events in the clip took place — tweeted it. So did RT, the state-controlled Russian propaganda network. The message of the coverage was a variation on the same theme: This is the real BLM, and they’re coming for your churches next.
But like any piece of local media that goes viral on a national level, the video is missing years — in truth, decades — of context. “It’s wild that the national story is that there’s a bunch of Marxists attacking Christians in the street,” one local, who asked not to use her name because of her employment affiliation, told me. “Everyone here knows that this is our Westboro Baptist." (Grace Baptist Church and its pastor declined multiple requests for an interview).
The day of the video, the church was hosting its second AR-15 “raffle” in two days: In the middle of a neighborhood stricken with gun violence, the church was giving away one of the deadliest guns on the market. The Black Lives Matter protesters were invited inside by the church’s pastor, John Koletas, a self-proclaimed “bigot” who has preached against interracial marriage, defends the use of the n-word, and believes that black people, as descendants of Ham and Canaan, are cursed by God. He thinks Black History Month is “communism and Marxism month.” He calls Black Lives Matter protesters “savages.” He places a pork product — a ham or hot dogs — at the door, and requires all church attendees to touch it, supposedly to ward off would-be jihadists. He abhors feminists and gay people. He hates Catholics and thinks Muslims shouldn’t be allowed in the country. He mocks sexual abuse victims and the #MeToo movement. And videos of Koletas preaching these beliefs are readily available on the church’s Facebook and YouTube pages.