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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
March 31, 2019

Buttigieg has 'enormous respect' for Hillary Clinton, says she was 'ill-served' by strategy...


Buttigieg has 'enormous respect' for Hillary Clinton, says she was 'ill-served' by strategy, media environment in 2016
By Kate Sullivan, CNN
Updated 4:56 PM ET, Sun March 31, 2019

Washington (CNN)South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said Saturday he has "enormous respect" for Hillary Clinton, and said in her 2016 presidential campaign she was "ill-served by a strategy and media environment."
Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential hopeful, was asked by CNN affiliate WSBT in Indiana, about the backlash he received on Friday about comments he made in January about Clinton's campaign.

"Just to make this clear, I think America would be a much better place if she were President," Buttigieg said. "That's why I voted for her and that's why I campaigned for her, and I have enormous respect for Secretary Clinton."

On Friday, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill slammed Buttigieg for comments he made in January about Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Buttigieg told The Washington Post magazine in an interview that published in January, "Donald Trump got elected because, in his twisted way, he pointed out the huge troubles in our economy and our democracy." He added, "At least he didn't go around saying that America was already great, like Hillary did."

Merrill called Buttigieg's comments "indefensible," and tweeted, "@HillaryClinton ran on a belief in this country & the most progressive platform in modern political history. Trump ran on pessimism, racism, false promises, & vitriol. Interpret that how you want, but there are 66,000,000 people who disagree. Good luck."

When asked by WSBT on Saturday about Merrill's tweet, Buttigieg said in the industrial Midwest, people perceived the 2016 Democratic candidate "as basically saying that everything was just fine, and we should just believe in the system. And that was unconvincing."

"And so even though people knew that the President was not a great character, I think a lot of folks voted for him just to kind of burn the house down because the system had let us down in so many ways," he continued.

"That's the point that I'm concerned with," Buttigieg said. "It's not a knock on any individual. It's a concern about how we can take the lessons of the last election and apply them to get a better outcome in the next election."

The mayor, who is 37, has formed a presidential exploratory committee, and if elected would be the youngest president in US history, and the first married gay president.
March 31, 2019

Richard North Patterson: I Used to Write Novels. Then Trump Rendered Fiction Redundant.

I Used to Write Novels. Then Trump Rendered Fiction Redundant.

The president is a fiction writer run amok, the hero of his own impermeable drama.
6:00 AM ET
Richard North Patterson
Author of more than 20 novels


I’ve written several psychological novels. Unavoidably, I view Trump in psychological terms, as a character whose inner life dictates his actions, often for the worse. Others have been more circumspect. Many psychiatrists cite their profession’s “Goldwater Rule,” which bars them from diagnosing individuals they haven’t examined in person—including presidential candidates. Most journalists argue that objectivity requires them to report statements and behaviors as they occur, leaving readers to reach their own conclusions about the source of Trump’s solipsism.

No doubt their professional scruples are, in themselves, admirable. But by putting Trump in the usual analytic boxes—populist, businessman, exemplar of reality TV—most commentators have missed what is truly distinctive and dangerous about Trump. In fiction and in life, there is no question one person can ask about others more important than why they behave as they do, and how this prefigures how they’ll behave in the future. The media’s acquiescence in Trump’s fantasies—parsing his positions, pontificating about his strategy, and marveling at his intuition—has turned Trump’s inability to distinguish fiction from reality into a form of political genius.


To me, Donald Trump was more than the prototypical protagonist of a psychological novel—he was a fiction writer run amok, the hero of his own impermeable drama, resentful of editors who would prune his imaginings. He feels little need to heed advice, or to learn anything much from anyone. Most of what he says is provisional, ever subject to change, and based on nothing but his transient and subjective needs.

But the crucial difference between Trump and a novelist is that his fancies are not confined to the page, and Americans can’t put them back on the shelf.


For millions of Trump’s followers, this fantasy world is too pretty to relinquish. Relentlessly, Trump has induced the sine qua non for any successful novelist: the willing—indeed, willful—suspension of disbelief. On some level, Trump’s followers know that he is lying, and choose not to care. For them, his false narrative is so emotionally enveloping that it sublimates truth to what Coleridge called “poetic faith.”

He engenders this enthrallment by a classic fictional device: pitting himself, as the protagonist, against an imaginary world filled with pitfalls and peopled by antagonists who evoke fear, hatred, and contempt—the deep state, the media, Muslims, immigrants, minorities, freeloading Europeans—as well as fictionalized versions of real people such as Robert Mueller. In turn, Trump’s blustery pretense of intuitive expertise on subjects as varied as climate change, trade, counterterrorism, and geopolitics licenses the angry and insecure to spurn the expertise of a despised elite, whether they be economists, globalists, environmental scientists, in favor of bogus nostrums that corroborate what they wish to believe. By governing through seductive fictions, Trump has substituted fancy for objective fact as a basis for political discourse.



March 31, 2019

" We live in a strange world..."

Found on FB~

Greta Ernman Thunberg (Swedish pronunciation: [²ɡreːta ²tʉːnbærj]; born 3 January 2003) is a Swedish political activist seeking to stop global warming and climate change.
20 hrs ·

My speech tonight at Goldene Kamera in Berlin. There is no recording available without me dubbed into German yet...so here it is:
I dedicate this award to the people fighting to protect the Hambach Forest. And to activists everywhere who are fighting to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.

We live in a strange world. Where all the united science tells us that we are about 11 years away from setting off an irreversible chain reaction way beyond human control that will probably be the end of our civilization as we know it.

We live in a strange world where children must sacrifice their own education in order to protest against the destruction of their future.

Where the people who have contributed the least to this crisis are the ones who are going to be affected the most.

Where politicians say it’s too expensive to save the world, while spending trillions of euros subsidizing fossil fuels.

We live in a strange world where no one dares to look beyond our current political systems even though its clear that the answers we seek will not be found within the politics of today.

Where some people seem to be more concerned about the presence in school of some children than the future of humankind.

Where everyone can choose their own reality and buy their own truth.

Where our survival is depending on a small, rapidly disappearing carbon budget. And hardly anyone even knows it exists.

We live in a strange world. Where we think we can buy or build our way out of a crisis that has been created by buying and building things.

Where a football game or a film gala gets more media attention than the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.

Where celebrities, film and pop-stars who have stood up against all injustices will not stand up for our environment and for climate justice because that would inflict on their right to fly around the world visiting their favorite restaurants, beaches and yoga retreats.

Avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown is to do the seemingly impossible. And that is what we have to do.
But here is the truth: we can’t do it without you in the audience here tonight.

People see you celebrities as Gods. You influence billions of people. We need you.

You can use your voice to raise awareness about this global crisis. You can help turn individuals into movements. You can help us wake up our leaders - and let them know that our house is on fire.
We live in a strange world.

But it’s the world that my generation has been handed. It’s the only world we’ve got.

We are now standing at a crossroads in history.

We are failing but we have not yet failed.

We can still fix this.

It's up to us.

March 30, 2019

AP FACT CHECK: Trump Twists Facts Of A Migrant Girl's Death

AP FACT CHECK: Trump Twists Facts Of A Migrant Girl’s Death
March 30, 2019 9:20 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is misrepresenting the circumstances of a 7-year-old migrant girl’s death as he seeks to steer any potential blame for it away from his administration.

Trump, after mockingly painting asylum seekers as a “con job” in a rally the previous night, asserted on Friday that Jakelin Caal Maquin was given no water by her father during their trek to a remote border area and that the dad acknowledged blame for his daughter’s death on Dec. 8. Those assertions are not supported by the record.

TRUMP: “I think that it’s been very well stated that we’ve done a fantastic job. … The father gave the child no water for a long period of time – he actually admitted blame.” — to reporters Friday.

THE FACTS: An autopsy report released Friday found that Guatemalan girl died of a bacterial infection just more than a day after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol. The El Paso County Medical Examiner’s office said traces of streptococcus bacteria were found in Jakelin’s lungs, adrenal gland, liver, and spleen, and she experienced a “rapidly progressive infection” that led to the failure of multiple organs.

Neither the autopsy report, nor accounts at the time by Customs and Border Protection, spoke of dehydration. And through family lawyers, Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz said after his girl’s death that he made sure she had food and water as they traveled through Mexico.

Moreover, the Border Protection timeline on her case said she was checked for medical problems upon her apprehension and: “The initial screening revealed no evidence of health issues.”


March 30, 2019

Trump's Treachery Goes Way Beyond Russia

Trump’s Treachery Goes Way Beyond Russia
He’s not working for Putin. He’s working for any dictator who flatters him.
By William Saletan
March 29, 20195:45 AM


Trump and his surrogates are lying. Mueller has indicted dozens of people. He has obtained multiple convictions and guilty pleas. He has proved or confirmed that Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Donald Trump Jr., and others in the Trump camp collaborated with Russian agents or intermediaries. According to the Justice Department, Mueller’s report also presents evidence that Trump may have obstructed justice.

Beyond the report, there’s plenty of evidence that Trump has collaborated with Russia against the U.S. government. He has shilled for Vladimir Putin, urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, defended a secret meeting to get Russian dirt on her, attacked U.S. intelligence agencies that documented Russia’s election interference, and fired the FBI director who was investigating that interference. All of these betrayals are recorded or acknowledged on video.

And Russia is just the beginning of the story. Trump’s treachery goes well beyond his service to Moscow. Transcripts, videos, and government records show that he has repeatedly collaborated with tyrants against our country. He has defended North Korea’s Kim Jong-un against U.S. intelligence that shows Kim is lying about his nuclear programs. He has defended Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, against American intelligence that exposes the crown prince’s role in the murder of a U.S. resident. He has sided with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, against American generals and U.S. law enforcement. He has declared that the Chinese government is more honorable than the American Democratic Party.

There’s a good reason why Mueller didn’t find proof that Trump is a Russian agent. It’s because Trump isn’t a Russian agent. Trump doesn’t particularly care about any country, just as he doesn’t particularly care about any of his employees or wives. And the list of countries Trump is willing to betray includes the one that elected him. He chooses his friends and enemies based on their utility to him, not based on their national allegiance. That’s how Putin turned Trump against the United States. And other governments have learned the same trick.

The lesson of the Mueller investigation isn’t that Trump is less treacherous than his critics feared. It’s that he’s more treacherous. He’s been selling out his country to a series of dictators. Don’t take it from me. Don’t even take it from Mueller. It’s all in the public record, one damning story after another. Here are four of them.


March 30, 2019

Maria Butina Seeks Speedy Deportation Back to Russia

I do believe Rachel predicted this.


Maria Butina Seeks Speedy Deportation Back to Russia
Maria Butina says she does not fear torture or persecution in Russia, even though she made a deal to cooperate with the FBI.
Betsy Woodruff
03.29.19 3:45 PM ET

Maria Butina has waived her right to try to stay in the United States after serving her sentence, according to new court filings.

In the filing, released on Friday, Butina asked for a judicial order of removal, which would keep her and the government from having to go through the process Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) typically uses to deport immigrants. In short, the filing expedites her deportation from the country. In the filing, Butina—a Russian national who pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count—said she does not expect to face persecution or torture in Russia.

Justice Department lawyers have signed on to the filings, and a senior ICE official signed off on the move as well, which means the judge overseeing Butina’s case is likely to green-light her speedy deportation. If that happens, Butina will be unlikely to face an extended stay in an ICE detention center.

Butina moved to the U.S. several years ago and struck up relationships with conservative power-brokers, particularly in the gun rights community. She also helped facilitate a December 2015 Moscow trip for top officials with the National Rifle Association. Her activities drew the attention of congressional investigators scrutinizing Russian efforts to meddle in American politics during the 2016 election. Butina pleaded guilty last December to conspiring to break a law DOJ prosecutors describe as “espionage-lite” and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement as part of her guilty plea.

March 30, 2019

Delaware Changes How It Awards Electoral Votes


Delaware Changes How It Awards Electoral Votes
March 30, 2019 at 8:27 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Gov. John Carney (D) has signed legislation adding Delaware to a group of states pledging to give their Electoral College presidential votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the voters’ will in those states, NBC Philadelphia reports.

Carney’s approval makes Delaware the 13th Democratic-leaning state to join the popular-vote compact, which now has 184 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.
March 30, 2019

Adam Schiff Just Shattered Trump's Hope Of Burying The Mueller Report


Posted on Fri, Mar 29th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Adam Schiff Just Shattered Trump’s Hope Of Burying The Mueller Report
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) flatly stated that Congress would get the whole Mueller report, even the redacted sections.

Schiff said during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow:

We’re going to compel the release of the report. This report is all going to come out and it’s just going to reflect more poorly on the attorney general if when it does come out, and we look at the difference between what he redacted and what was under those redactions it shows an effort to cover up or conceal either evidence of impropriety of evidence of a lack of morals or ethics or judgment and that is shy of criminality or in the case of obstruction of justice is criminality. We’re going to compel this. This is a fight that is worth going to the mat on.

Bill Barr and his confirmation said I’ll be as transparent as possible as much as the law or policy would allow, if he was true to those words, as Jerry Nadler said, he wouldn’t be saying I’m cutting all the grand jury material. He would be saying Congress, I’m going to the court tomorrow to seek their permission to send it all to you. And I’ll tell you this, the other areas he redact about classified information, we get that all the time. Information about pending investigation matters gave hundreds of thousands of pages that were both open investigation and investigation material that reflected on the privacy of third parties and if you don’t think so, ask Peter Strzok or Lisa Page how they feel about that.

Trump isn’t going to be able to hide the full Mueller report from the House Intelligence Committee. Trump’s delusions of claiming total exoneration while hiding the evidence have been shattered. Bill Barr has carried Trump’s water, but he can’t keep the report from Congress. When the full report is released, it is going to expose not just Donald Trump, but the stooge behavior of Bill Barr.

Donald Trump is starting to understand that he isn’t going to get away with his big Mueller report con.
March 29, 2019

Is Pete Buttigieg a Political Genius?


Is Pete Buttigieg a Political Genius?
The South Bend mayor is unlike any other Democratic candidate for president, and he's staked out the middle ground among them all.
By Alex Shephard
March 29, 2019


In a Democratic primary still haunted by the ghosts of 2016, Buttigieg stands out in part because he can’t be slotted into the familiar narratives. His unique profile is unlike any other presidential candidate, ever: He’s a married gay man, a devout Episcopalian, a Harvard graduate, a McKinsey alumnus, a Rhodes Scholar, a skilled pianist, and a Navy veteran who took a six-month leave of absence as mayor to serve in Afghanistan. He’s also hard to pin down politically. He wants to abolish the Electoral College and is even open to the idea of packing the Supreme Court. He’s a supporter of Medicare for All, though not for abolishing private insurance. An advocate of “democratic capitalism” and thoroughly earnest, he sometimes seems like a mix between Elizabeth Warren and former Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Except he’s not; he’s sui generis.


Like O’Rourke, Buttigieg’s appeal rests on his authenticity. In Shortest Way Home, he casts himself as a regular guy who just happens to be mayor. He writes about what it’s like to attend festivities that often involve heavy drinking as a politician (“retail politics is never fun among the intoxicated”), an angry and bigoted constituent who happens to be a neighbor, and trying to figure out how “a gay mayor—or any mayor” navigates the dating scene. His willingness to peel back the curtain has found him a number of admirers already. “Perhaps his success to date tells us the secret to unifying the country does not rest with fighting Trumpian fire with fire nor in being a celebrity candidate of the left,” wrote Jennifer Rubin, of all people, in The Washington Post. “The secret to unifying the country, to underscoring Trump’s total unfitness to hold office and to breaking through the media noise is to eschew cynicism and artifice. Refusing to sound like a politician running for president or to buy into the media narrative makes him unique in a pack of sameness.”

Of course, Buttigieg is very much running for president; he’s just really good at not sounding like he is. This has been true for years. In December of 2016, he published an essay on Medium, “A Letter from Flyover Country,” arguing that Democrats have lost touch with voters in red and purple states and are overly focused on national politics. “When it comes to my part of the country, we will recover our ability to reach people only when we take them seriously, connecting our plans to their actual, personal lived experience rather than focusing on The Show,” Buttigieg wrote. “We need to invite individual people to assess how their individual lives changed—how their safety, their income, their access to health care, their gun rights, their marriages—have actually been affected, if at all, by what goes on in Washington.”

This remains Buttigieg’s message through today: that a midwestern Democrat attuned to struggling voters in “flyover” country is best positioned to lead the party post-Trump. It is Buttigieg’s luck that he happens to be the only such Democrat in the race right now—but his guile got him here.

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