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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 26,008

Journal Archives

Poll: 96 Percent of Trump Voters Don't Regret It

Source: The Daily Beast

According to a new poll, 96 percent of Americans who voted for President Donald Trump do not regret their vote, but Trump’s approval rating is still historically low, sitting at 42 percent. The Washington Post-ABC News poll also found that Americans are questioning his temperament and judgment, as well as his honesty and trustworthiness, which sits well below 50 percent. Bright spots for Trump include 53 percent support for the idea that he is a strong leader. Additionally, 67 percent said the Democratic Party, in its role as the opposition party, is out of touch with Americans, while 62 percent said the same about the Republican Party.



Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/04/23/poll-96-percent-of-trump-voters-don-t-regret-it.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl

For Women, Its Not Just the O'Reilly Problem - By the NYT Editorial Board


Bill O’Reilly’s ouster from Fox News Wednesday — nine months after similarly lurid charges of sexual harassment forced the resignation of Roger Ailes, the Fox chief executive — has opened another window into sexual abuse of women at Fox and in the workplace generally.

The serial nature of the alleged abuse, as well as Fox’s response to it, is also a reminder that exposing wrongdoing is no guarantee of change.

When Fox said on Wednesday that it was severing ties with Mr. O’Reilly after a “thorough and careful review of the allegations,” it neglected to note that the scrutiny was not prompted by the allegations themselves — which the company already knew about — but by the defections of dozens of advertisers from “The O’Reilly Factor” and a drop in the company’s stock price. Fox heaped praise on Mr. O’Reilly in announcing his departure. In all, the company has paid at least $85 million to resolve sexual abuse scandals involving Mr. Ailes and Mr. O’Reilly. Of that sum, as much as $65 million went to the two men, in the form of exit pay.

That’s not deterrence, let alone true accountability. It is, however, a good illustration of the entrenched reality of practices that have discounted, demeaned and derailed women’s work lives for decades. Those practices include not only sexual harassment, but also persistent disparities in pay and promotion, as well as structural impediments — in child care, scheduling and other workplace policies.


'They Starve You. They Shock You': Inside the Anti-Gay Pogrom in Chechnya


GROZNY, Russia — It was supposed to be a night out. But for the young man who calls himself Maksim, as for scores of other gay men arrested in a pogrom this month in Russia’s Chechnya region, it pivoted into nearly two weeks of beatings and torture.

Maksim said it had started with a chat room conversation with “a very good old friend who is also gay,” and who suggested that they meet at an apartment. When Maksim arrived, however, he was greeted not by his friend but by agents who beat him. Later, they strapped him to a chair, attached electrical wires to his hands with alligator clips and began an interrogation.

“They yelled, ‘Who else do you know?’” Maksim said, and zapped him with current from time to time. “It was unbearably painful; I was hanging on with my last strength,” he added. “But I didn’t tell them anything.”

Gay men have never had an easy life in Chechnya. But the targeted, collective punishment of gays that began last month under its pro-Kremlin leader, Ramzan A. Kadyrov, is a new turn in the region’s long history of rights abuses.

Novaya Gazeta, an opposition newspaper, first reported the pogrom, saying that at least 100 gay men had been arrested and three killed in the roundup. Human Rights Watch corroborated those findings.


Trump Reaches Beyond West Wing for Counsel (His top 20 advisers. Ugh!)


WASHINGTON — Relationships have always been President Trump’s currency and comfort, helping him talk his way into real estate deals over three decades in New York. Those who know him best say that his outer confidence has always belied an inner uncertainty, and that he needs to test ideas with a wide range of people.

As Mr. Trump’s White House advisers jostle for position, the president has turned to another group of advisers — from family, real estate, media, finance and politics, and all outside the White House gates — many of whom he consults at least once a week.

The media mogul Rupert Murdoch is on the phone every week, encouraging Mr. Trump when he’s low and arguing that he focus on the economy rather than detouring to other issues. The developer Richard LeFrak is a soothing voice who listens to Mr. Trump’s complaints that cost estimates for the border wall with Mexico are too high. Sean Hannity tells the president that keeping promises on core Republican issues is crucial.

Mr. Trump’s West Wing aides, like President Bill Clinton’s staff two decades before, say they sometimes cringe at the input from people they can’t control, with consequences they can’t predict. Knowing these advisers — who are mostly white, male and older — is a key to figuring out the words coming from Mr. Trump’s mouth and his Twitter feed.


Nearing 100 days, Trump's approval at record lows but his base is holding

By Dan Balz and Scott Clement April 23 at 12:01 AM

President Trump nears the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times, a president whose voters remain largely satisfied with his performance, but one whose base of support has not expanded since he took the oath of office, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Trump’s first months in office have produced some tangible successes. Beyond the continued enthusiasm of his most loyal supporters, a small majority of Americans see him as a strong leader. A bigger majority approves of his efforts to pressure U.S. companies to keep jobs in this country. Those who say the economy is getting better outnumber those who say it’s getting worse by the biggest margin in 15 years in Post-ABC polling.

But the president’s balance sheet overall tilts toward the negative. Majorities of Americans say Trump has not accomplished much during his first months as president. Meanwhile, he shows little improvement on his temperament and honesty, and while he’s gained ground on empathy, over 6 in 10 still say he does not understand the problems of people like them.

With a week remaining before his 100th day in office, Trump has yet to achieve a major legislative accomplishment, having been dealt a major setback when Republicans in Congress decided not to proceed with a vote on a health-care bill supported by the White House. His clearest achievement is the successful nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Supreme Court seat previously held by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.


Pat Buchanan won after all. But now he thinks it might be too late for the nation he was trying...

‘The Ideas Made It, But I Didn’t’

Pat Buchanan won after all. But now he thinks it might be too late for the nation he was trying to save.

By TIM ALBERTA May/June 2017

His first date with his future wife was spent in a New Hampshire motel room drinking Wild Turkey into the wee hours with Hunter S. Thompson. He stood several feet away from Martin Luther King Jr. during the “I Have a Dream” speech. He went to China with Richard M. Nixon and walked away from Watergate unscathed. He survived Iran-Contra, too, and sat alongside Ronald Reagan at the Reykjavík Summit. He invaded America’s living rooms and pioneered the rhetorical combat that would power the cable news age. He defied the establishment by challenging a sitting president of his own party. He captured the fear and frustration of the right by proclaiming a great “culture war” was at hand. And his third-party candidacy in 2000 almost certainly handed George W. Bush the presidency, thanks to thousands of Palm Beach, Florida, residents mistakenly voting for him on the “butterfly ballot” when they meant to back Al Gore.

If not for his outsize ambition, Pat Buchanan might be the closest thing the American right has to a real-life Forrest Gump, that patriot from ordinary stock whose life journey positioned him to witness, influence and narrate the pivotal moments that shaped our modern world and changed the course of this country’s history. He has known myriad roles—neighborhood brawler, college expellee, journalist, White House adviser, political commentator, presidential candidate three times over, author, provocateur—and his existence traces the arc of what feels to some Americans like a nation’s ascent and decline. He was 3 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and 6 when Harry Truman dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Now 78, with thick, black glasses and a thinning face, Buchanan looks back with nostalgia at a life and career that, for all its significance, was at risk of being forgotten—until Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States.

A quarter-century before Trump descended into the atrium of his Manhattan skyscraper to launch his unlikely bid for the White House, Buchanan, until then a columnist, political operative and TV commentator, stepped onto a stage in Concord, New Hampshire, to declare his own candidacy 10 weeks ahead of the state’s presidential primary. Associating the “globalist” President George H. W. Bush with “bureaucrats in Brussels” pursuing a “European superstate” that trampled on national identity, Buchanan warned his rowdy audience, “We must not trade in our sovereignty for a cushioned seat at the head table of anybody’s new world order!” His radically different prescription, which would underpin three consecutive runs for the presidency: a “new nationalism” that would focus on “forgotten Americans” left behind by bad trade deals, open-border immigration policies and foreign adventurism. His voice booming, Buchanan demanded: “Should the United States be required to carry indefinitely the full burden of defending rich and prosperous allies who take America’s generosity for granted as they invade our markets?”

This rhetoric—deployed again during his losing bid for the 1996 GOP nomination, and once more when he ran on the Reform Party ticket in 2000—not only provided a template for Trump’s campaign, but laid the foundation for its eventual success. Dismissed as a fringe character for rejecting Republican orthodoxy on trade and immigration and interventionism, Buchanan effectively weakened the party’s defenses, allowing a more forceful messenger with better timing to finish the insurrection he started back in 1991. All the ideas that seemed original to Trump’s campaign could, in fact, be attributed to Buchanan—from depicting the political class as bumbling stooges to singling out a rising superpower as an economic menace (though back then it was Japan, not China) to rallying the citizenry to “take back” a country whose destiny they no longer dictated. “Pitchfork Pat,” as he was nicknamed, even deployed a phrase that combined Trump’s two signature slogans: “Make America First Again.”


Why Trump likes his freewheeling Oval Office schedule

The loose set-up allows friends and unofficial advisers to whisper in the president’s ear on policy issues.

By TARA PALMERI 04/22/17 07:28 AM EDT

President Donald Trump leaves large blocks of "private time" on his Oval Office schedule for spontaneous meetings and phone chats with ex-aides, friends, media figures, lawmakers and members of his Cabinet — an old habit he’s carried over from his business days that has frustrated some West Wing aides.

Trump wrote in his 1987 book “The Art of the Deal” that his loose scheduling practices as a real estate magnate at the Trump Organization helped him be “imaginative.” Still, nine White House officials, former aides and personal confidantes interviewed by POLITICO were split on whether the freewheeling set-up, which can allow friends and unofficial advisers to whisper in the president’s ear on policy issues, is productive.

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump’s schedule has fixed linchpins, which include national security briefings, meetings with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, roundtables with business executives and public bill signings.

"He has very structured things that take place throughout his schedule, but I think to try to change who he is as a person would be a mistake,” Sanders said. “I think it would be a mistake to cut the president off…I think it allows him to be a better president by engaging and having some flexibility."

But other aides said Trump’s free time poses a concern. "There may be a block of time, two hours of staff time, who knows what’s going on during that time, anything could happen,” said one White House official.


History tells us the GOP is taking on too much - and it isn't likely to end well

History tells us the GOP is taking on too much — and it isn’t likely to end well

By Paul Kane April 22 at 11:30 AM
It seems like forever and a day since Congress could walk and chew gum at the same time.

That’s a lesson President Trump and his advisers are struggling to grasp, even those he plucked from Capitol Hill to occupy key posts.

In the week ahead, lawmakers already face an immediate Friday deadline of keeping federal agencies funded through the remainder of the year. Yet Trump’s advisers continue to toss into the mix big items they would like to see accomplished, giving the appearance of a frenzied search for wins ahead of Saturday’s symbolically important 100th day of the new presidency.

Some Trump advisers have pushed for a vote this week on health-care legislation, even though there are no signs that ongoing talks between moderate and conservative Republicans have produced a breakthrough.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Trump declared in an interview Friday with the Associated Press that on Wednesday he would unveil his administration’s proposal for a massive overhaul of the tax code. It would result, he said, in the biggest “tax cut ever,” despite ongoing gridlock in Congress over competing tax proposals — in a process that started more than six years ago.


Donald Trump Is Worried About His First Hundred Days - By Kevin Drum

KEVIN DRUM APR. 21, 2017 12:06 PM

I love this tweet:


Trump, of course, has accomplished virtually nothing so far. He's issued a few executive orders that are mostly small beer and signed a few bills that rescinded some of Obama's executive orders. That's it. His health care bill was a fiasco. He hasn't gotten funding for his wall. His immigration order crashed and burned. He has no tax plan. He has no plan to destroy ISIS.

But there's a silver lining here. As always, this tweet should be read as an alert aimed at his base. He's telling them that in a few days they'll see a lot of stories saying he's accomplished nothing. In fact, less than nothing, since the government might well be headed for a shutdown by the end of next week. But it's all lies! Clearly he's concerned about this.

That should give Democrats an opening. Try to strike a budget deal before next week's deadline. Agree to support some money for Trump's wall in return for making Obamacare's CSR appropriation automatic.1 This would be good for Trump in two ways. First, he gets to say that he's started building the wall. Second, Obamacare doesn't collapse on his watch, and agreeing to the CSR appropriation doesn't do anything to stop him from trying to repeal and replace Obamacare later. It just ensures that it will work in the meantime.

In return, Democrats don't really get anything. Agreeing to funding for the wall is unpopular with their base, and CSR funding is something that only a few wonks care about. Keeping the CSR money flowing would help insurance companies and it would help actual people, but politically it does nothing much for Democrats.


Chaffetz, Cummings Ask Trump Org. For More Details On Plan To Donate Profits

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ESME CRIBB Published APRIL 22, 2017, 3:21 PM EDT

The chair and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee on Friday asked the Trump Organization to explain its plans to donate profits from payments made by officials of foreign governments.

In a joint letter to Trump’s attorneys, Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) asked for “additional details of the plan to donate profits derived from foreign government payments.”

Chaffetz in January seemed unconcerned with the possibility that Trump might run afoul of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, under which “no person holding any office of profit or trust” may “accept of any present, emolument, office, or title” from a foreign leader or government without the consent of Congress. “I’m not going to go on this fishing expedition that they want me to, that the Democrats want me to,” he said.

In their letter Friday, Chaffetz and Cummings asked the Trump Organization to provide further documents by May 12 and schedule a briefing with the committee a week later.

Read the letter:

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/chaffetz-cummings-ask-trump-organization-details-plans-donating-profits
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