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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Here Are Twenty Other Disturbing, Awful Things That Trump Has Said This Month, and It's Not Over Yet


Letter from Trump’s Washington
Here Are Twenty Other Disturbing, Awful Things That Trump Has Said This Month, and It’s Not Over Yet
Sadly, the President’s refusal to promise a “peaceful” transfer of power is just another outrage in a September full of them.
By Susan B. Glasser
September 24, 2020

We already knew that this fall’s campaign, with Donald Trump fighting for his political survival, would be crazy, overwhelming, and exhausting. But, no matter how much we’ve come to expect the worst, it’s still a shock when it happens. At least it should be. On Wednesday, Trump was asked what should have been a simple question: “Do you commit to a peaceful transfer of power?” There is only one answer to this question in America. The answer is yes. But not for Trump. “Well, we’re gonna have to see what happens,” he responded. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster.” Further pressed, he added, “We’ll want to have—get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very—we’ll have a very peaceful . . . There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”


This September seems to be the ultimate test of whether we really, truly, finally have run out of outrage. Reading back through this list, it’s hard to conclude anything else. When Ginsburg died, it took less than a day for Trump to announce that he would try to replace her before the election. I was not surprised in the least bit. When Trump—after complaining for months about a “rigged” election, just because he is behind in the polls—said on Wednesday that he would not agree in advance to a nonviolent transfer of power, his words were abhorrent but not at all revelatory.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the day the U.S. officially passed two hundred thousand deaths from the pandemic, Trump was asked why he had not said anything about the grim milestone. He listened to the reporter’s question, then turned away. “Uh, anybody else?” he asked. Because of all the horrors and lies that preceded it, and all that are sure to follow, the President’s callous disregard was not a major story but just another viral video in a news cycle full of them. Trump has succeeded in conditioning us to believe that the week’s news, while awful, is less so because the awfulness is so consistent. Awful is the new Trumpian normal, which is pretty amazing when you consider that the old Trump-era normal was already pretty bad. He has rendered us collectively incapable of outrage, just when we need it most. If we can’t be appalled at the President’s indifference toward two hundred thousand dead Americans, then there is nothing left that can horrify us. After all, the COVID-19 death toll so far is the biggest mass-casualty event in American history aside from the Civil War, the Second World War, and the 1918 flu pandemic.

Throughout the past four years, I felt that it was important to maintain the ability to be shocked or surprised or at least deeply concerned when Trump violated this or that previously uncrossable line, when he shredded a law or a norm observed by previous Presidents of both parties—even if it was utterly predictable and consistent with what we already knew of him. That was the exercise: to try to understand how and in what ways Trump represents a sharp break with the American past—or whether he is simply the latest example of a partisan leader who is willing to use whatever means, no matter how unscrupulous, to win. I started out, in other words, hoping and striving for clarity.

This is 2020, however, and the election is little more than five weeks away, and the list has grown too long: Trump has diverged so far from any of our past Presidents in his conduct, in what he says and does, in exposing the public to consequences that are reckless and even deadly. We are fully exhausted and fully on notice. I have depleted my reserves of shock and awe. I fear there is no more outrage left to summon. But I have not changed my view in one vital respect: We have to keep writing it down. Every last word of it.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 27, 2020, 12:38 PM (0 replies)

Dahlia Lithwick: Trump Kept the Quiet Part Quiet About Amy Coney Barrett


Trump Kept the Quiet Part Quiet About Amy Coney Barrett
The president introduced his Supreme Court pick—but stayed mum about the real reason he needs her.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Sept 26, 2020
7:48 PM

President Donald Trump nominated federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat on Saturday in Washington, where—as Barrett noted in her remarks—flags around the capital still fly at half-mast, because Ginsburg has not yet been buried.

The reason the plan to fill Ginsburg’s seat was announced the same night as her death was never a mystery: The president explained several times over the last week that the new justice’s nomination and confirmation needed to happen in the same amount of time Barack Obama allowed the nation to mourn before even naming a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016 because Trump needs her to weigh in on any election-related controversy on his behalf. As he put it to reporters on Monday: “We need nine justices,” he said. “You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending.” He explained that because of his (farcical, proofless) claim that mail-in ballots will be a source of rampant fraud, this ninth justice must be seated before an election challenge is mounted. That pronouncement came just prior to his claim that he could not commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election. Again: The reason a ninth justice is needed to be seated in advance of the election in which voting is already taking place is to decide whatever lawsuit is coming in his favor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, on Saturday Trump did not overtly ask Barrett to rule in his favor next month while detailing her biography on the White House lawn.


Trump forget to mention, in his tribute to an “independent judiciary” on Saturday, that he has devoted his presidency to bullying and insulting any judge who has ruled independently from him, and also that it’s very hard to say that your judicial nominee is independent when you have already tied her to striking down reproductive rights and access to affordable health care and to interceding in your upcoming vote-fraud claims in any election litigation. He did mention three other areas in which Barrett will support his view of constitutional freedom: broader gun rights, broader religious liberty rights, and a commitment to greater “public safety.” On these promises too, the judge’s record is clear.

The reason the president forgot to mention that (a) his judges cannot be permitted to be independent; and (b) that his judges tend to be wildly out of step with public opinion on so many of the topics he holds dear is that it would highlight what minority rule looks like, and why he cannot, in fact “let the people” decide with their votes in his upcoming election. A court determined to impose minority rule is in fact the playbook. It benefits big business, it benefits secret donors with considerable war chests, it benefits white supremacy, and it benefits Trump’s trailing electoral campaign. Quite simply, locking in the power of a minority through the courts is the political project of Trump and the Republican Senators who are equally eager to jam this nominee through before the election.

As has been noted many times over this past week, the GOP has lost the popular vote in six of the last seven elections and yet appointed 15 out of the last 19 justices. Barrett would make that 16 out of 20 seats. And that is why the people most assuredly cannot be allowed to decide the future of reproductive freedom, the future of health care, or even whether and how their own ballots will be counted in just over a month. Trump cannot talk about those things because they will further harm his own polling and will also reflect badly on GOP senators who pledged to vote for the nominee before they even knew whom she would be. They cannot talk about those things because minority rule doesn’t poll as well in the U.S. as it does in, say, Hungary or medieval France. But minority rule is on the ballot. It may well be the only thing on the ballot. Because if, as the president promises, his independent justice needs to be seated to decide whose ballots count, this isn’t merely a commitment to entrench unpopular, dangerous, and partisan policies into constitutional law. It’s also a commitment to commandeering the high court itself into deciding whether and how to count votes, in an election in which a sitting president has already pledged that only some voters will be allowed to pick the winner.

Posted by babylonsister | Sun Sep 27, 2020, 09:21 AM (13 replies)

'You Bet Your Ass I've Got Regrets.'

‘You Bet Your Ass I've Got Regrets.’ As Election Day Nears, More of Trump’s Former Officials Are Speaking Out Against Him
By Kimberly Dozier
September 24, 2020 5:31 PM EDT

Never in recent history have so many senior former U.S. officials publicly attacked the commander in chief they served, or the decisions he’s made, as the ranks lining up to say President Donald Trump put himself and his re-election ahead of the country, thereby threatening its security.


For months, the President’s former colleagues have been coming out one by one, in a rare display of disloyalty to a sitting president, to warn that Trump does not have America’s best interests at heart. Now, as Nov. 3 looms, the pace is picking up, as those officials hope that some of the punches land with American voters. Trump’s approval ratings have remained virtually unchanged from February to today, despite a devastating global pandemic, economic crisis, and national reckoning of racial injustice. These critics who saw Trump up close, and often carried out his policies against their better judgement, are hoping at least some of his supporters will change their minds based on their first-hand accounts of how self-absorbed and inattentive to the country’s needs they say he has been.

In June, John Bolton, Trump’s third National Security Adviser, called the incumbent president a “danger for the Republic” ahead of the publication of his book that accuses Trump of shaping U.S. security policy to win votes. The same month, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denounced Trump as the first ever President who “tries to divide us,” after Trump threatened to use active duty military troops to crack down on Black Lives Matter protests. Trump’s former chief of staff and Homeland Security Secretary, retired Marine general John Kelly, has said he was harming the country. And former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump got “frustrated” whenever Tillerson pointed out that he was asking for something illegal.

Others censures have been less direct. Trump’s two most senior military officials, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, both rebuked him in effect by admitting their own error in joining Trump in his march across Lafayette Square at the height of the George Floyd protests, to hold a Bible aloft in front of a church damaged by the protests as the U.S. Secret Service deployed pepper spray to clear the way. Some have even criticized Trump by their silence, as Mattis, former Joint Chiefs Chairman Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford and Kelly did by declining to comment on an account published in the Atlantic that Trump called U.S. war dead “suckers” and “losers” for laying their lives down in service to the country.

With some Americans already casting their ballots and Election Day drawing near, the critiques have picked up pace. Last week, Trump’s former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats called for Congress to create a bipartisan commission to oversee the election results, referring obliquely to the President’s continuing threats that he might not accept the voting results after months of invective against voting by mail.

And this week, a group of nearly 500 former national security leaders, including three senior officers who served under Trump, signed a letter backing Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden as “a good man with a strong sense of right and wrong” and indirectly referencing the Atlantic report, saying Biden believes “those who sacrifice or give their lives in service of our nation deserve our respect and eternal gratitude.” Signatories included Trump’s former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Air Force General Paul J. Selva, retired Navy SEAL Vice Admiral P. Gardner Howe, III, who served as CIA’s director of military affairs, and retired Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Sep 26, 2020, 09:16 AM (12 replies)

Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick

Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick
By Marina Pitofsky - 09/25/20 10:36 PM EDT

Progressive group Demand Justice is redirecting the website AmyConeyBarrett.com to a webpage criticizing the record of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s expected pick to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Multiple people familiar with the process confirmed to The Hill that Trump is set to select Barrett, a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, on Saturday.

The webpage accuses Barrett of being “someone who could be counted on to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the Affordable Care Act,” in addition to criticizing her record on worker rights.

“She is also one of the favorite judges of people who want to overturn Roe v. Wade, because they know she will be a reliable vote to roll back reproductive freedom,” the website claims.

The webpage also includes a fundraising link organizing efforts opposing Barrett’s conformation before Inauguration Day in 2021, when Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is set to be sworn into office. Demand Justice is a "progressive movement fighting to restore the ideological balance and legitimacy of the federal courts," according to its website.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Sep 26, 2020, 08:03 AM (1 replies)

Trump Says Abraham Lincoln 'Wasn't Big' on Hispanics


Trump Says Abraham Lincoln ‘Wasn’t Big’ on Hispanics
September 26, 2020 at 7:49 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

President Trump said at a campaign rally Friday that Abraham Lincoln “wasn’t big on the Hispanic movement” in an apparent attempt to praise himself, the Daily Beast reports.

Said Trump: “We call them the ‘Latinos for Trump,’ where we are polling at numbers that I guess no Republican has ever polled at before, perhaps, Abraham Lincoln. But in those days, he wasn’t big into the Hispanic movement, I think. He had other things to think about.”
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Sep 26, 2020, 07:53 AM (64 replies)

Rachel is interviewing Olivia Troye,

Pence's COVID aide. If you're watching, her collar is epic!

And sobering interview.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Sep 25, 2020, 09:37 PM (7 replies)

Report: Trump Thinks His Attempts to Steal the Election Are Rip-Roaringly Hilarious


Levin Report
Report: Trump Thinks His Attempts to Steal the Election Are Rip-Roaringly Hilarious
Undermining democracy is a real gas.
By Bess Levin
September 25, 2020

As you’ve likely heard by now, Donald Trump has spent months trying to undermine confidence in the election, a plot that reached a crescendo this week when he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and called for “the ballots” to be thrown out so that he can just be declared the winner. Obviously, the remarks were deeply disturbing to people who don’t want to live under an authoritarian regime reminiscent of Turkmenistan. But for Trump? Well, apparently he thought they were a real gas.

The Daily Beast reports that, according two people familiar with the matter, Trump was glued to the cable-news coverage in the hours after he made his comments to the press and remarked privately how amusing it was that his suggesting he’ll stay in office no matter what was vexing the media and liberals. “He seemed to get a real kick out of it,” one of the sources said, adding that Trump seemed to relish making the press, in his words, “go crazy” over his disdain for democratic norms. “[The president] wasn’t going to be playing by their rules on this just to make them feel comfortable,” the source said.

Of course, it’s not the media and liberals’ “rules”; a peaceful transfer of power is actually dictated by the Constitution, and it’s one of the ways you can tell the difference between the United States and countries where dictators rule. And while Trump and his sycophants might think it’s hilarious to sow doubt about the validity of the election and whether or not he’ll accept the outcome, not everyone is so tickled. Per the Daily Beast:

Outside the confines of Trumpland, few were laughing. Some of the president’s own former senior administration officials said they were appalled by the comments, finding them both utterly believable indications of intent and further evidence that the man they once served wasn’t just unfit for office, but a threat to public safety. “I continue to be concerned that the President’s reckless rhetoric will incite violence from fringe extremists,” said Elizabeth Neumann, a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security for counterterrorism and threat prevention who has since endorsed Joe Biden. “All leaders must understand how precarious a moment we are in, which has been noted by multiple law enforcement and intelligence briefings. They have a responsibility to be careful with their words.”

According to a Justice Department prosecutor, there is internal concern in some department circles that Attorney General William Barr will join postelection lawsuits on behalf of the Trump campaign or its allies…. Any Justice Department intervention in election-related lawsuits would have “tremendous practical effect,” the prosecutor said. In addition to the quality of its lawyering—particularly within the solicitor-general’s office, should any case reach the Supreme Court—the attorneys hold prestige in federal appellate courts. Appointing a ninth Supreme Court justice to fill the seat held by the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsberg would likely act as a firewall should crucial election decisions reach the high court—something Trump and his vice president have mused about openly.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not response the Daily Beast’s request for comment, but as the prosecutor put it, Barr “is without limit to what he’ll do.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Sep 25, 2020, 07:46 PM (11 replies)

Trump Is Escalating His Coronavirus Lies


Trump Is Escalating His Coronavirus Lies
As the death toll increases, so does his deceit.
By William Saletan
Sept 25, 2020
7:14 PM

President Donald Trump lies constantly about the coronavirus. He has falsely claimed that he banned travel from China over the objections of his advisers (they had to push him), that he rushed to suspend travel from Europe (he waited a fatal six weeks), and that he was betrayed by Chinese President Xi Jinping (he collaborated with Xi to mislead the public). But this month, as Trump faced 200,000 coronavirus deaths and the prospect of electoral defeat, he has escalated his deceit.


Trump continues to lie about hydroxychloroquine, his discredited cure for the virus. On Sunday, he told right-wing radio host Dan Bongino that experts were coming around to his view of the drug. “Doctors are loving it more than ever,” he said. “It’s very safe.” In reality, studies published shortly before the interview had found just the opposite: “no benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine on the survival of COVID-19 patients,” “no benefit of hydroxychloroquine in patients affected by mild to moderate COVID-19 disease,” and “no significant reduction in mortality with HCQ use.” One study found “excess cardiovascular mortality” with long-term use. Two weeks before Trump spoke to Bongino, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had published a warning that the drug’s potential benefits in treating or preventing COVID-19 failed to outweigh its risks.

On Tuesday, another interviewer, Roop Raj of Fox 2 Detroit, asked Trump about a business executive who “wished that the country had shut down even two to three weeks” earlier than it had in mid-March. Trump told Raj that “nobody really thought to do that.” But Trump’s advisers had explicitly proposed it. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases—and a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force—had warned on Feb. 5, and for weeks thereafter, that Americans should prepare for “broader measures to mitigate the impact of the virus.” In a Feb. 25 briefing, Messonnier said “people need to start thinking about” closing schools and working from home. Trump responded by threatening to fire her. Two weeks later, he protested that even in bad flu seasons, “nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on.” He didn’t announce mitigation measures until March 16.

Trump doesn’t just misremember months-old statements or events. He lies about things immediately after they happen.
“Fauci said we’ve done a fantastic job. He just said it yesterday,” Trump boasted during the ABC town hall. “He said we’ve done a fantastic job, that we didn’t mislead anybody.” But Fauci had said no such thing. In an MSNBC interview on Sept. 11, the doctor had been asked about discrepancies between Trump’s statements to Woodward and Trump’s statements to the public. Fauci explained that Trump’s public statements were false. “The president was saying it’s [the virus] going to disappear, which obviously is not the case,” Fauci observed. “When you downplay something that is really a threat, that’s not a good thing.” The doctor also shot down Trump’s line that America was “rounding the corner” on the virus. “We’re still getting up to 40,000 new infections a day and a thousand deaths,” he warned.

It’s hard to keep up with the president’s fabrications. To be “a great leader,” Trump argues, sometimes you have to be “not so honest.” But when a leader lies about a plague, people die. In this case, more than 200,000 of them.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Sep 25, 2020, 07:37 PM (5 replies)

Florida governor lifts all restaurant restrictions, bans mask fines as COVID-19 spreads

Florida governor lifts all restaurant restrictions, bans mask fines as COVID-19 spreads
Health Sep 25, 2020 1:39 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida on Friday, and banned local fines against people who refuse to wear masks as he seeks to reopen the state’s economy despite the spread of the coronavirus.

The Republican governor’s order unleashed fresh debate in the politically divided state, where pandemic responses have become intertwined with the upcoming presidential election.

“We’re not closing anything going forward.”


“As an act of executive grace, all fines and penalties that have been applied against individuals are suspended,” the governor said.

Florida Democrats have bemoaned the governor’s push to reopen as hasty.

“No one is advocating for a full-scale lockdown in Florida. But we have been and continue to ask for common sense prevention measures such as face masks, which are essential to preventing further spread,” state Sen. Audrey Gibson said Thursday.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Sep 25, 2020, 02:55 PM (11 replies)

Pentagon Worries Trump May Pull Military Into Election

He is such a menace, to everyone.


Pentagon Worries Trump May Pull Military Into Election
September 25, 2020 at 10:30 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

“Senior Pentagon leaders have a lot to worry about — Afghanistan, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, China, Somalia, the Korean Peninsula. But chief among those concerns is whether their commander in chief might order American troops into any chaos around the coming elections,” the New York Times reports.

“The concerns are not unfounded. The Insurrection Act, a two-century-old law, enables a president to send in active-duty military troops to quell disturbances over the objections of governors.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Sep 25, 2020, 01:00 PM (2 replies)
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