AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 156910 times)

Offline RE

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Trumpovetsky is working up some big ass legal bills.  Who pays for that?

RE

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/judge-rules-deutsche-bank-can-hand-over-trump-financial-records-n1008991

Judge rules Deutsche Bank can hand over Trump financial records to Congress
The Trump family sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One last month in an effort to block them from handing over financial documents to Congress.


President-elect Donald Trump along with his children Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr., arrive for a press conference at Trump Tower in New York, accompanied by Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of The Trump Organization on Jan. 11, 2017.Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images file

May 22, 2019, 12:18 PM AKDT / Updated May 22, 2019, 12:23 PM AKDT
By Tom Winter

A federal judge dealt a blow to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, ruling that two banks can hand over his financial documents in response to congressional subpoenas.

The Trump family and company sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One last month in an effort to block them from turning over financial documents sought by Congress. The House Intelligence and Financial Services committees had issued subpoenas to several banks as part of their investigations of alleged foreign influence on U.S. elections.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos said he disagrees with the arguments from the Trump family attorneys that the subpoenas don't have a legitimate legislative purpose.

Ramos described the subpoenas as "undeniably broad" but "clearly pertinent."

Ramos issued his ruling after hearing arguments from lawyers representing the Trump and the Democratic-controlled congressional committees.

The Trump family lawyers signaled that they will appeal the ruling, but they did not comment after the hearing.

Deutsche Bank has lent Trump's real estate company millions of dollars over the years. Capitol One is among the banks that houses Trump's personal accounts.

In a statement released after the ruling, Deutsche Bank said it won't fight the judge's order.
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"We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations," the statement read.

Capital One did not immediately return a request for comment.

Trump wrote a $35,000 check to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen from his Capital One checking account in August 2017. The money was tied to the effort to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged that she had an affair with Trump before he took office.

Cohen submitted the check to Congress ahead of his testimony in March.

In the lawsuit, Trump's attorneys argued that the subpoenas were politically motivated and unwarranted.

“The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump; to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses and the private information of the president and his family; and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage,” said the suit, filed on behalf of Trump, his company and three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.
Tom Winter

Tom Winter is a producer and reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit based in New York, covering crime, courts, terrorism, and financial fraud on the East Coast.
Rich Schapiro contributed.
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Offline Surly1

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Trumpovetsky is working up some big ass legal bills.  Who pays for that?

RE
Judge rules Deutsche Bank can hand over Trump financial records to Congress

Putin and Crown Prince Bone Saw.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: 🤡 Trump Walks Out on Pelosi and Schumer After 3 Minutes
« Reply #1952 on: May 22, 2019, 03:22:02 PM »
Trumpovetsky is getting a little testy.  lol..

RE

Trump Walks Out on Pelosi and Schumer After 3 Minutes

Bill Palmer's take:

Nancy Pelosi just played Donald Trump like a fiddle

| 1:37 pm EDT May 22, 2019

Palmer Report » Analysis

On paper, it was supposed to be a rare moment of bipartisanship on the broadly popular issue of infrastructure. In reality, it was a face-off between Donald Trump, who’s trying to fend off investigations and legal battles on all fronts, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who’s going to decide when Trump’s impeachment begins. The whole thing went sideways immediately – and Trump went off a cliff.

Here’s what went down. Last night the media reported that Pelosi and the House Democrats would be holding a meeting about impeachment. This morning Pelosi accused Donald Trump of leading a “coverup.” Then Trump walked into his meeting with Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and according to multiple major news outlets, Trump yelled around for a couple minutes before leaving. Then we all saw him have an incoherent and sniff-filled meltdown on the White House lawn while reporters looked on in confusion. Pelosi then expressed concern for Trump’s well-being and announced that she’ll “pray” for him.

By the time it was over, Donald Trump had unwittingly made the case directly to the American people that he’s covering up a number of serious crimes, and that he’s too mentally unstable to remain in office. Meanwhile, Pelosi and Schumer got to make the argument that they tried to work with the guy on a real issue like infrastructure, but he’s clearly too far gone.

Not only is Nancy Pelosi going to impeach Donald Trump, she’s goading him into finishing himself off for all to see. It’s been clear all along that she wants to be able to make the argument to nonpolitical and nonpartisan Americans that she’s only impeaching him because she has no choice. Trump made that a whole lot easier today.


*****

Trump's tantrum. Proof that the stress is getting to him? Trump raging at America, at the Press, at his political enemies. NO COLLUSION! NO OBSTRUCTION! It's reminiscent of that scene in the movie Downfall when Hitler is trapped in the bunker screaming at his generals for not being able to warp reality to his wishes. Indeed, when Hitler says the German people deserve to die for not realizing his vision, who does tat remind you of?

The Trumpers are stapling themselves to him heedless of potential consequences. There's a year and a half until Election Day 2020. I remember that Poppy Bush stood at 91 per cent approval after the Gulf War in 1991. And he lost to Hillary's husband in '92. Lots can happen between now and then.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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The New Yawk Demodopes do an end around!

RE

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/22/nyregion/trump-state-tax-returns.html

New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump’s State Tax Returns

Tax officials would be authorized to hand over his state returns to any one of three congressional committees, opening a new front in a heated battle.


The bill passed by the New York State Legislature may be a workaround for Congress to obtain President Trump’s tax information, despite his refusals to release his federal tax returns.CreditCreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

Jesse McKinley

By Jesse McKinley

    May 22, 2019

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.]

ALBANY — New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a bill that would clear a path for Congress to obtain President Trump’s state tax returns, injecting another element into a tortuous battle over the president’s refusal to release his taxes.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump’s policies and behavior, will authorize state tax officials to release the president’s state returns to any one of three congressional committees.

The returns — filed in New York, the president’s home state and business headquarters — would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, though it remained unclear whether those congressional committees would use such new power in their investigations.

The Legislature’s actions put the state in a bit of unchartered legal territory; Mr. Trump has said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the Supreme Court, and it seems likely that he would seek to contest New York’s maneuver.

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Republicans have called the effort in Albany a “bill of attainder” — an unconstitutional piece of legislation aimed at a single person or group — while also decrying the potential invasion of privacy, suggesting that federal officials would conduct improper “fishing expeditions.”

Still, for Democrats for whom the president’s steadfast refusal to release his returns has been a constant frustration, the legislative action was being cast as both a victory for states’ rights and the often unsung power of a state legislature.

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“It’s a matter of New York’s prerogative,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan, who sponsored the bill in his chamber. “We have a unique responsibility and role in this constitutional standoff.”

Once signed into law by Mr. Cuomo, the legislation would require the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release returns to the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose.” Such a request would be have to be made it writing, and only after a request for federal returns has been made to the Treasury Department.

In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee has unsuccessfully sought six years of the president’s personal and business tax returns. The Treasury Department said last week that it would not honor a congressional subpoena to hand over the president’s returns, saying the request lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose,” though a leaked draft memorandum from the I.R.S. suggested that such logic was flawed.

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On Wednesday, the Ways and Means Committee said it was focused on pursuing Mr. Trump’s federal tax information, regardless of New York’s action and the potential for getting the president’s state returns.

“Our request to the Internal Revenue Service was in furtherance of an investigation into the mandatory presidential audit program at the I.R.S.,” said Daniel Rubin, a spokesman for the committee, which is led by Representative Richard E. Neal, the Massachusetts Democrat. “State returns would not help us evaluate this program.”

At the same time, Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he would not be surprised if the president fought the state law, though he believed it passed legal muster.

“Of course, the Legislature was motivated by Donald Trump’s current refusals,” Mr. Rosenthal said, but added that he thought the bill was written broadly enough to avoid the “bill of attainder” accusation.

That opinion was echoed by Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University Law School, who said that “bills of attainder have been interpreted really narrowly by the courts,” and noted that legislation often describes targeted industries or municipalities in vague terms. (In New York, for instance, state bills aimed at New York City are typically described as those affecting “a city with a population of one million or more,” as New York is the only such city in the state.)

“The bill doesn’t say you can release Donald Trump’s, and only Donald Trump’s, tax returns,” Mr. Galle said.

Lawmakers took steps to safeguard the bill from legal challenges, amending the wording so that it covered an array of public officials, federal executive branch employees and political party leaders.

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The passage of the state tax bill is just the latest action in Albany directed at Mr. Trump, who is deeply unpopular in his home state.

On Tuesday, the Assembly passed a bill that would allow state prosecutors to pursue state charges against any person granted a presidential pardon on similar federal charges, undoing a loophole in the face of concern about Mr. Trump abusing his pardon power to indemnify former associates. The Senate had previously passed the bill to close the so-called double jeopardy loophole, and it, too, has Mr. Cuomo’s support.

Mr. Hoylman said he envisioned the state tax bill as a way to assist congressional oversight at a time of “White House stonewalling.” Indeed, when the bill was first introduced in early April, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said it would make the work of federal committee “a little easier to see the complete picture.”

His office reiterated that support on Wednesday, calling the state’s action an act “for transparency.”

“It’s something we can give Chairman Neal if he decides to exercise it,” Rob Gottheim, a district director for Mr. Nadler, said of the Ways and Means Committee leader.

During his campaign for president in 2016, Mr. Trump broke precedent — and set his own — by refusing to release his tax returns, citing what he said were pending federal audits. There is no law preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns under such circumstances.
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David Buchwald, the Assembly sponsor of the state tax bill and a tax lawyer by trade, said that he was confident the state was within its rights to allow federal access to such records, noting that state tax officials commonly share information with the I.R.S. and other states.

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“There are no valid constitutional arguments against this legislation,” Mr. Buchwald said on Wednesday. “The state has the authority over the statutes when it shares tax return information.” He noted that local property tax information, for instance, was available to the public.

Mr. Galle seconded this, saying “there is no constitutional right to have privacy in your tax returns,” though federal law offers some protections of such information, as well as exceptions.

While New York is a profoundly blue state, the support was not unanimous in the Democratic-led Assembly. Michael Benedetto, a Bronx Democrat, voted no, saying the bill troubled him.

“We are traveling down a path we should not be traveling down,” Mr. Benedetto said, calling the bill political in nature and meant to “get a few people.”

On Wednesday, the state’s top Republican in the Senate, John J. Flanagan, was also outraged that Democrats had “wasted weeks on their singular obsession with getting a peek at President Trump’s taxes,” while other issues languished.

“It’s time for Democrats in Albany to stop seeking cheap headlines,” Mr. Flanagan said.

Jesse McKinley is The Times's Albany bureau chief. He was previously the San Francisco bureau chief, and a theater columnist and Broadway reporter for the Culture Desk. @jessemckinley
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Offline RE

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🤡 Trump walkout marks point of no return
« Reply #1954 on: May 23, 2019, 12:41:55 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/23/politics/donald-trump-democrats-fight-investigations/index.html

Trump walkout marks point of no return


Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

Updated 1:40 AM ET, Thu May 23, 2019

Mnuchin grilled over IRS draft memo on Trump tax returns
Senator John Kennedy urinate or get off the pot impeachment Trump sot_00000000.jpg
Senator on impeachment: Urinate or get off the pot
Chuck Schumer 5-22-19
Schumer: What happened at WH would make your jaw drop
pelosi after trump meeting 5/22
Pelosi: We believe that Trump is engaged in a cover-up
trump pelosi cover up response sot vpx_00012212.jpg
Trump: I don't do cover-ups

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump seems to have realized that despite the end of the Mueller probe, his administration may never escape the vise handed to Democrats by their midterm election wins last year.
The President is doing what he always does when he's in a dark political corner: fight harder than any man alive, adopting a relentless strategy of total political warfare and lashing out in a way that may ultimately be self-defeating.
Trump complained Wednesday, in an angry and, at times, even poignant televised outburst, that he's not getting any breaks -- and it's just not fair!
Angry Trump slams Democrats' investigations after cutting infrastructure meeting short
Angry Trump slams Democrats' investigations after cutting infrastructure meeting short
He complained about taking hits from the courts, from Democrats, from the press, from enemies old and new. He bemoaned the treatment of his son, Don Jr., who he said was a "good young man who's gone through hell."

This all came amid worrying signs for the President from a brace of judicial rulings that financial and tax records he's fought desperately to keep private may -- sooner or later -- find their way into Democratic hands.
"We've had a House investigation. We have Senate investigations. We have investigations like nobody's ever had before," he said, speaking behind banners taped to the presidential podium, reading "No Collusion" and "No Obstruction."
Trump's Wednesday walkout marked a clear strategic shift. He's decided that as long as he's under investigation, his hopes of finding any common ground with Democrats on issues that could help both sides in 2020 are a busted flush.
"You can go down the investigation track, and you can go down ... the track of let's get things done for the American people," he said.
"We're going to go down one track at a time. Let them finish up," Trump said, adopting an absolutist position that could strip his legacy of badly needed domestic achievements.
Mess of his own making?
Lead Kaitlan Collins DNT Live Jake Tapper _00023309

Trump vows he won't work with Democrats until they drop investigations 05:04
Of course, Democrats and Trump critics would argue he's brought it all on himself -- with the shady meetings between his campaign aides and Russians, with apparent efforts to throw shade at Robert Mueller's investigation and his strategy of all-out non-cooperation with oversight efforts by the Democratic-led House.
But the Rose Garden rant came with Trump under extreme pressure.
For the second time in as many days, a judge repudiated his strategy of ignoring congressional subpoenas. Trump will fight all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary. But the ruling was more proof that the bluster and the alternative state of constitutional reality created by the President struggle to stand up in a court of law.
The hits kept on coming.
A new volley of subpoenas buffeted Trump's inner circle a day after he refused to let his former White House counsel Don McGahn testify -- including one targeting trusted former confidante Hope Hicks. The former White House communications director may be a weaker data point than McGahn if Trump argues that her evidence should be shielded by executive privilege.
Outside political pressure is also building on the President. CNN reports this week suggest his position in the Rust Belt states that sent him to the White House is weakening, and he's having to share TV time with Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden -- who poses a threat to Trump's blue-collar heartland voters.
The last straw for Trump on Wednesday, according to aides, was a shot by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- painting Trump as a Nixon-style conspirator -- just before she went to the White House to discuss a proposed $2 trillion infrastructure package .
"Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up," Trump said. Instead of discussing the plan, he rebuked the California Democrat and went to find the waiting, pre-positioned White House press to vent his anger.
Walking away may not be working
Trump storms out of meeting Bernie Sanders reaction lead vpx_00000000

Bernie Sanders trolls Trump for storming out of meeting 02:07
Trump's strategy of torching a meeting, turning on his heel and raising the stakes is familiar from his life as a real estate magnate. But there is increasing evidence that walking away for the table doesn't work as well for a President as it can for businessmen.
He tried it with North Korea, and the Stalinist state still has its nuclear weapons. He did it with China, and a trade war is deepening. A previous walkout also killed off a nascent immigration deal with Democrats that could have funded his border wall, the centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.
"To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop," said another old Trump foe, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, twisting the knife.
It's possible that Trump's counterattack against Pelosi is designed to crank up pressure on the speaker from left-wing members of her restive Democratic caucus.
She has previously questioned whether Trump is trying to goad her into initiating impeachment hearings -- in the belief that he could paint her as captive to extreme "socialist" elements and urge voters to reject Democratic overreach.
But Pelosi seemed to stabilize her position on Wednesday after a meeting with Democratic House members.
And a ruling by a federal judge that Trump could not block House subpoenas seeking his financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One appeared to validate her strategy of using investigatory tools short of impeachment.
"Very excited, no surprise," Pelosi told reporters. "Two in one week."
Trump is no Bill Clinton
Tapper: This clue shows Trump's tirade wasn't spontaneous

Tapper: This clue shows Trump's tirade wasn't spontaneous 01:05
In theory, it is possible for a President who is under scrutiny from a hostile Congress to still get things done. Bill Clinton proved that in the 1990s even as he was impeached.
"The President is, frankly, taking a position that no other president in history has ever taken, which is that somehow if you are being investigated by the Congress you can't do anything else," said Clinton's former chief of staff Leon Panetta.
"Bill Clinton did not always agree with what Speaker (Newt) Gingrich's Republicans were doing in the House. But at the same time, he was working with Speaker Gingrich on getting legislation passed," Panetta told CNN's Jake Tapper.
But Trump lacks Clinton's supernatural capacity to compartmentalize bad news. The current President showed Wednesday that he's driven by emotion and grievance. And he's just being true to himself in responding to perceived insults by striking back hard.
The result of Wednesday's angry exchange is a Washington facing the prospect of a prolonged period of complete breakdown between the Congress and the White House.
Infrastructure reform may always have been a pipe dream. It's been a consistent punchline after multiple failed efforts during the Trump administration. But there is crucial business that Democrats and the President need to get done. If they don't, there could be grave economic and even global reverberations.
On Tuesday, hope rose in Washington for a budget deal that would stave off $120 billion in automatic cuts, head off a fiscal cliff over raising the debt ceiling and set spending levels for two years.

But it's not clear whether such an agreement between House and Senate Republicans and Democrats and the White House would survive Trump's refusal to stop working with Democrats until they stop investigating him.
And the President's aspirations of finally passing his replacement deal with Canada and Mexico for the North American Free Trade Agreement -- a plank of his 2020 reelection platform -- could also fizzle in a prolonged estrangement between the White House and the Democrats on Capitol Hill.
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Offline RE

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🤡 A week of Trump-fueled dysfunction leaves Congress gasping
« Reply #1955 on: May 24, 2019, 01:00:22 AM »
Most fun week since John Dean testified on Watergate!  ;D

RE

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/23/trump-congress-chaos-dysfunction-week-1342870


President Donald Trump has oscillated this week from cooperating with Democrats on disaster relief to antagonizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

A week of Trump-fueled dysfunction leaves Congress gasping

An infrastructure meeting imploded, budget talks stalled and a disaster aid deal only barely survived.

By BURGESS EVERETT, JOHN BRESNAHAN and NANCY COOK

05/23/2019 07:14 PM EDT


One day after President Donald Trump indicated he would not cut deals with Congress while he’s being investigated, he cut a deal with Congress.

With Trump’s support, the Senate passed a long-stalled disaster aid bill, in the perfect encapsulation of a whiplash-inducing week.

On Tuesday, hopes of a two-year budget deal rose and fell. On Wednesday, a bipartisan infrastructure meeting at the White House went off the rails, sparking open warfare between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the president. And with Washington at rock bottom, and Congress preparing to leave for a week-long recess on Thursday, it looked dire for disaster aid.

Yet through backchannel negotiations with senators, Trump dropped demands for emergency border spending and signed off on $19.1 billion in much-needed aid for hurricane, wildfire and flooding victims.

The Senate even took the first set of roll call votes on legislation in weeks — to ban robocalls — after a monomaniacal focus on nominations.

“I’m delighted,” deadpanned Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who complained on the Senate floor that the chamber had done “zilch” on Wednesday.
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Yet the momentary peace was shattered almost instantly. At an impromptu press conference late Thursday afternoon during a photo-op with farmers, Trump lit into Pelosi, who earlier in the day said that the president had committed “impeachable offenses” and was in need of “an intervention” by family and friends. The president lashed out at the speaker, calling her a “mess.”
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And when he was asked about progress on a deal to raise stiff budget caps or increase the debt limit, he had only this to say: “I am a very capable person. We’ll see what happens. I can tell you this: Let them get this angst out of their belt and when it is, we can do things so quick your head will spin.”

Disaster aid took months to pull off, an unusual delay for something that was once routine on Capitol Hill and would help popular constituencies like farmers and wildfire victims. And the battles ahead will only be more difficult.

"It's shocking it takes this long," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). "The willingness of the Republican Party, led by Donald Trump, to be constructive and engaged, is absent. He's led them into a blind alley."

His counterpart across the Capitol saw things differently and cited a more familiar reason for the disaster aid deal. “This became the only option before the [Memorial Day] break,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the majority whip. “It was the last train leaving the station.”

Even the disaster relief bill was in doubt almost until the end. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) made a personal appeal to Trump during a call on Thursday afternoon, urging him to take something that was doable.

But like all things with the president, it wasn’t easy: According to four Republican sources, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) were in the room with Trump and advising the president against separating his immigration money request from the disaster aid package. But Perdue, a close Trump ally, prevailed.

Republicans said that Congress will still have to deal with the humanitarian money requested by Trump. And the House won't pass the disaster legislation until June because the deal came together after they had already scattered across the country for recess.

Perdue credited Trump for breaking the logjam in a gaggle with reporters that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) then wandered into. Asked if he agreed, Leahy took a lengthy pause: “I don’t care who gets credit.”
Mitch McConnell

Congress
Senate passes massive disaster aid package

By MARIANNE LEVINE, BURGESS EVERETT and JOHN BRESNAHAN

After the disastrous encounter at the White House between Democrats and Trump on Wednesday, Thursday's drama started as GOP senators filed into a caucus meeting at 11 a.m. with little hope that they would leave with a disaster aid deal in hand.

Democrats were trying to restrict immigration spending, while the administration wasn’t backing off. Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, was on TV Thursday morning to demand funding because “we think it is a crisis” at the border.

Negotiations with the president began shortly afterward, but the mood was grim as Republicans walked into a party lunch on Thursday afternoon.

“I’m so worried that the president has lost focus. … It’s frightening for the country. It’s not that he’s doing something wrong, we’re doing the wrong thing on stuff that ought not be political,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) as he went into the lunch.

Yet the urgency had built through the day, with the knowledge that far harder problems to solve loomed in the next four months. First came a blunt promise to finish the job by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a simple Democratic suggestion that negotiators drop immigration funding altogether. And after the call with Perdue and Shelby, optimism grew.

“Everybody’s trying,” Isakson said rosily an hour after the GOP lunch. “I think [Trump] now understands and he’ll help us out.”

Shelby then told reporters they were yanking the humanitarian funding for the border and vowed to take it up separately later this year. During the closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, called him to say Democrats would take the deal.
Donald Trump

white house
Trump's 'most transparent president' claim looks cloudy

By ANDREW RESTUCCIA

“Spot on,” she told Shelby.

The Appropriations chief then put out a press statement just a few minutes later congratulating Trump for “breaking the gridlock.” Democrats find that sentiment puzzling: They blame Trump for the impasse to begin with, starting with the president’s opposition to Puerto Rico funding and ending with his dismissal of Wednesday’s infrastructure meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“The budget talks can proceed with or without the president,” said Schumer, adding, “Each time the president messes in, things get messed up. He’s better off just letting us do our work.”

Whether Thursday’s modest success can translate on tougher issues is anyone’s guess and seems to depend on where Trump stands on any given day. At a minimum, the government must be funded past September and the debt ceiling raised in the following weeks. Infrastructure, drug pricing and immigration reform seem more difficult by the day.

“It’s very uncomfortable. People have to respect each other and work together and move forward. And the president threw a huge dagger into it yesterday,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the No. 3 Democratic leader. “This is a time you keep your head down.”
poster="http://v.politico.com/images/1155968404/201905/163/1155968404_6040453394001_6040453024001-vs.jpg?pubId=1155968404"
true

Just 24 hours after Trump announced in the Rose Garden that he would not work with Democrats on legislation if they kept up the various investigations, White House aides worked overtime to try to soften the president’s threat.

Aides insisted that the new North American trade deal known as the USMCA would still get done and approved by Congress. White House officials hope freshman House Democratic lawmakers will feel pressure to show legislative accomplishments, leading them to support the trade deal and potentially action on drug pricing as well.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that White House staff continued to work on negotiations surrounding the increase of the debt ceiling and budget caps. She also said the president “will look at administrative actions” on border security and lowering drug prices.

Still there’s no guarantee that Trump and Congress will be able to plow through any major domestic policy moves over the next several months apart from avoiding a government shutdown and debt default.

“Without presidential leadership, how do you get an infrastructure bill?” asked Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.).

But if Democrats have doubts about Trump, the president exudes only self-confidence.

“I have been very consistent,” Trump said Thursday. “I am an extremely stable genius.”
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🤡 Trump calls himself a 'stable genius' at wild press conference
« Reply #1956 on: May 24, 2019, 01:13:25 AM »
"Trump calls himself a 'stable genius' unstable imbecile at wild press conference"

Fixed that for him.

RE

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🤡 Donald Trump falls for Nancy Pelosi's trap
« Reply #1957 on: May 25, 2019, 12:00:05 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/24/politics/donald-trump-nancy-pelosi-democrats-republicans/index.html

Donald Trump falls for Nancy Pelosi's trap

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 2:18 PM ET, Fri May 24, 2019


Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump keeps taking Nancy Pelosi's bait.

The House speaker has spent the last two days provoking Trump, questioning his self-confidence, condescendingly confiding that she prays for him and suggesting a "family intervention."
The President's wild, improvised response Thursday suggests that so far, the speaker is winning the hugely consequential clash between Washington's top two political forces.
It's not often that Trump, the man who dismembered the most talented Republican primary field in years in 2016, seems to be struggling for traction in a face-to-face political fight.

But Pelosi is turning Trump's own arsenal against him, using the politics of mockery and provocation to leave him for once, off balance and forced to respond to a more nimble rival.
And Trump's increasingly livid reactions are helping Pelosi out of a delicate political spot.
This week opened with the Beltway narrative that she was under growing pressure from a Democratic caucus impatient with her reluctance to open an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Trump denies &#39;temper tantrum&#39; in angry public episode
Trump denies 'temper tantrum' in angry public episode
Now, his attacks and several helpful court wins as Democrats seek Trump's financial records are unifying her coalition and even validating her warning Trump wants impeachment to brand her party as extreme and overreaching.
The President justified his increasingly personal shots at the speaker and her mental acuity on Friday before heading off on a state visit to Japan.
"When you say a personal attack, did you hear what she said long before I went after her? Did you hear her? She made horrible statements. She knows they're not true. She said terrible things. So, I just responded in kind," Trump told reporters at the White House.
"Look, you think Nancy's the same as she was? She's not. Maybe we can all say that, but ... I'm only speaking for myself."
The Trump versus Pelosi show is turning into an intriguing daily political game. But the consequences are hardly trivial: After the 2020 election it's likely that only one of the rivals will be left standing.
In his second eruption against Pelosi in as many days on Thursday, Trump showed just how much she's got under his skin.
He called the highest-ranking woman in the history of American politics "a mess" and "crazy." In another wild rant, he questioned whether she was smart enough to read a bill -- even though the speaker has proven herself a fully cogent and keen legislator.
"I have been watching her for a long period of time. She's not the same person. She's lost it," Trump claimed to reporters, in an off-script diversion from a White House event to highlight new measures to help US farmers suffering from his China trade war.
Also on Thursday, a manipulated video of Pelosi was shared on social media to spread a false claim that she was slurring her words after a meeting with Trump. Later that night, a Fox Business Network show featured another edited clip of Pelosi and panelists went on to speculate about her health. Trump later tweeted the segment from the show.
Pelosi is operating off a playbook specifically designed for Trump as she hits him where it hurts most, targeting his ego, his courage, his manliness and his sensitivity over his fortune.
She wondered whether his rejection of an infrastructure deal could be chalked up to "a lack of confidence on his part."
Pelosi went after Trump's tough guy image, speculating that his obsession with an extremely long border wall was "like a manhood thing for him, as if manhood could ever be associated with him." And she has mocked Trump's inherited wealth: Federal employees can't "just ask their father for more money," she said, during the government shutdown earlier this year.
The walkout
Trump walkout marks point of no return
Trump walkout marks point of no return
The President's counter-attack came a day after he walked out of a meeting with Pelosi and other congressional Democrats, after she accused him or orchestrating a "cover up."
Trump has now suspended all cooperation with House Democrats until they fold their multiple investigations of his campaign, presidency and financial affairs.
Aides told CNN that Trump was especially angry at the speaker's comment that he had a "tantrum" and media perceptions that his temper ran out of control in their meeting on Wednesday.
His anger prompted him to stage a deeply bizarre and unpresidential spectacle in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, demanding testimony from aides on his own temperance.
"You were very calm," senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said.
The President, again seeming infuriated that he was not being understood, argued that he had been consistent on many political questions all his life: "I'm an extremely stable genius."
It didn't take long for Pelosi to jab back.
"When the 'extremely stable genius' starts acting more presidential, I'll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues," Pelosi wrote on Twitter.

    When the "extremely stable genius" starts acting more presidential, I'll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues. https://t.co/tfWVkj9CLT
    — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 23, 2019

This war of insults between a speaker and a President is hardly dignified. It's possible voters who are already disgusted with Washington will just become even more disillusioned.
One Republican senator, John Kennedy of Louisiana, on Thursday pleaded with both sides to talk it out rather than acting like "8-year-olds in the back of a mini-van fighting."
Trump supporters, who embrace his unorthodoxy, plain speaking and combative style won't be fazed by his antics. And Beltway confrontations are often scored differently outside DC. Trump also has a history of confounding the wisdom of political pundits.
Can there be a winner?
Trump on defense now that Democrats score court win
Trump on defense now that Democrats score court win
One source told CNN's Gloria Borger on Thursday that the President is happy with how the latest political skirmishes are playing out, believing that he's got "the Democrats in a box." Trump believes the bloated Democratic presidential field and public fatigue with the Russia investigation help him -- though he is frustrated about Democratic investigations into his family finances.
"His frame of mind is bold. He thinks he's putting them right on the ropes," the source said.
But Trump may have more at risk than Pelosi. Not every American wants to see their President ranting from behind a podium. And -- as much as the GOP seeks to make her the face of the Democratic Party -- Pelosi won't be on the presidential ticket.
Trump has already come off second best in one showdown with Pelosi -- in the government shutdown at the turn of the year -- that showed how presidents are most exposed in such situations and often stand to take more of the blame.
A prolonged chill between the White House and the House could be bad news for both sides. Each party wants action on infrastructure, prescription drugs prices and other priorities.
But Pelosi has passed more than 250 pieces of legislation since January including some major bills, many of which are stuck in the GOP Senate. Action on climate change, health care, gun reform and ethics is not a bad payoff for liberal voters.
Trump, meanwhile, is eager to get his replacement for the NAFTA trade deal with Mexico and Canada ratified to bolster his own case that he's a fix-it President. But he needs Pelosi's help.
And history suggests any major economic crises sparked by the failure of talks on the budget and raising the debt ceiling, would hold more peril for the President than Democrats.
'Reckless gangster'
GOP throws up impeachment shield around Trump
GOP throws up impeachment shield around Trump
The events of the last two days saw Pelosi get off a hot seat and force Trump into the more difficult position.
With House Democrats infuriated by the administration's policy of blanket non-cooperation with their oversight efforts, a growing minority of lawmakers has been calling for impeachment.
"The fact is, when you have a Constitution and you have a rule of law, and it's being destroyed in a reckless gangster manner, you need to act," Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, told CNN's Poppy Harlow on Thursday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders zeroed in on such sentiment Thursday.
"Nancy Pelosi's problem is that she's totally lost control of her party," Sanders told CNN's "New Day."
"She's got the far left wing telling her what to do, maybe some of the moderates that actually want to get something done and she's lost control, and at some point she has to make a decision of which direction she's going to take."
Sanders' efforts were soon undercut by the President's fireworks. His attitude has allowed Pelosi to ease the pressure -- arguing that despite what may be impeachable offenses, Democrats should not play into the President's hands.
"There's no question, the White House is just crying out for impeachment. That's why he flipped yesterday. ... You all have a story that isn't real. I mean, you want to believe that there's all this unease in our caucus. That simply isn't the truth," Pelosi said on Thursday.
Trump was later asked directly whether he wanted to be impeached.
"I don't think anybody wants to be impeached," he replied, but then cited polling -- that Pelosi can also read -- that shows a majority of Americans oppose such a divisive step.
"I don't think the American people are going to stand for it," Trump said, in a hint of the broader case he would make to the public if House Democrats did open an impeachment investigation.

The fight between Pelosi and Trump remains fluid. There's no guarantee that she will maintain her current edge. And one thing is for sure, Trump will never back down.
But it's clear the White House needs a more effective strategy to deal with a speaker who has already exploited her power to return the White House to Democrats once before in 2008.

CNN's Gloria Borger and Dana Bash contributed to this report.
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🤡 Trump Staff Dreads Traveling Overseas With Toddler President
« Reply #1958 on: May 25, 2019, 02:30:46 AM »
What a fucking nightmare!  Dante's 7th Circle of Hell.  Of course, it serves them all right for working for the imbecile in the first place.

RE

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/trump-staff-dreads-flying-air-force-one-with-toddler-president.html

Trump Staff Dreads Traveling Overseas With Toddler President
By Jonathan Chait


Nobody wants to fly the unfriendly skies with President Trump. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Traditionally, White House staffers cherish the opportunity to travel with the president overseas on Air Force One as a perk of their service. But traditionally, the president they are traveling with is not Donald Trump. CNN reports on the dread and horror that has overtaken the White House staff when duty calls upon them to accompany the 45th president. “It’s like being held captive,” one source reports.

The experience of overseas travel with Trump is almost exactly like traveling overseas with a poorly behaved toddler:

Trump won’t stop watching television. The screen-addicted president just keeps doing what he does at home, which is binge-watch TV for hours and get angry. The difference is that, on the plane, they can’t get away:

    Trump will spend hours reviewing cable news coverage recorded on a TiVo-like device or sifting through cardboard boxes of newspapers and magazines that have been lugged aboard. He’ll summon sleeping staffers to his office at moments the rest of the plane is dark, impatient to discuss his upcoming meetings or devise a response to something he saw in the media.

Like at home, Trump’s method of governing is to see things on television that anger him and order his staffers to make them go away: “Trump has long insisted that he is treated unfairly by the news media, and if he sees something on television that bothers him — ‘which he invariably will,’ one official quipped — he instructs his staff to fix it, no matter if they are at the White House or flying over the Atlantic Ocean,” according to CNN.

On Trump’s Air Force One, the overnight is dark and full of terrors.

Trump won’t go to sleep. The president and First Lady are the only passengers equipped with lie-flat beds. Despite this, Trump resists his staff’s attempts to get him to go to sleep. Trump “will hold court for hours on end, despite staffers encouraging him to join first lady Melania Trump in the private cabin and get some rest,” the story notes. “He will not go to sleep,” reports a source. Unfortunately, Trump is well past the age at which pediatricians recommend sleep-training.
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Trump does not like the TV in other countries. When he lands, rather than meet with foreign leaders, Trump heads straight to his hotel. He often complains about the lack of familiar television channels. “After he discovered to his displeasure on an early foreign trip that his beloved Fox News was not available in his foreign hotel, the White House Communications Agency arranged for a streaming service that would allow him to keep up with his favorite programs,” reports CNN. “He typically asks for multiple televisions in his room, depending on the size of the space, one source said.”

Trump also does not like the food in foreign countries. “Host governments worked to avoid presenting the President with food that might seem challenging, such as fish with the head still attached.” It probably seems unfair to Trump that he has to travel to all these different countries when none of them can make a hamburger as good as the ones he gets at home.

Trump does not like it when people are talking about non-Trump subjects. He is known to love meetings set up by foreign dictators that make him the subject of elaborate displays of flattery. (Trump “prefers trips where he is the guest of honor instead of the large summit meetings that comprise chunks of any US president’s calendar.”) He hates meeting with other democratically elected leaders, where he will have to listen to what other people want and possibly negotiate boring policy questions. (“At the yearly G7 and G20 gatherings, Trump has felt ganged up on by other leaders, according to administration officials.”)

The good news is that, if you can arrange to let Trump have his favorite food, his favorite television stations, and surround him with people who will talk incessantly about how much they love Trump, then the visit will be fine, until you get back to the plane and Trump starts to get upset at cable news again.
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🤡 Trump goes scorched earth against impeachment talk
« Reply #1959 on: May 25, 2019, 11:53:46 PM »
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/445415-trump-goes-scorched-earth-against-impeachment-talk

Trump goes scorched earth against impeachment talk
By Jordan Fabian - 05/25/19 12:35 PM EDT

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/VPa-GNpgXTY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/VPa-GNpgXTY</a>

President Trump’s scorched-earth offensive against congressional Democrats this week is a clear sign he sees his path to reelection as being paved through battles with his opponents more than collaboration.

The president’s decisions to walk out of a White House meeting on infrastructure and to belittle and poke Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with personal attacks are likely to excite Trump supporters who like nothing more than his confrontations with the establishment.

“Donald Trump is a fighter — there’s no ambiguity about that — and he’s going to fight for what he believes in,” said Bryan Lanza, a former Trump campaign and transition aide. “He’s going to show he will do what’s right for the taxpayers and the voters, but all the Democrats want to do is talk about impeachment.”

Yet there are also serious risks to the approach.

The lack of action on Capitol Hill robs Trump of the chance to add legislative achievements to his record.

Heading into an era of divided government, White House officials pointed to last year’s criminal justice law as evidence Trump was capable of working across the aisle on big issues such as infrastructure, trade and prescription drug pricing. Failing to address those priorities could be a turnoff with independent voters.

It would also undercut the notion he can use his status as a businessman and Washington outsider to cut through partisan gridlock to address the needs of the country.

And it takes the focus off Trump’s stewardship of a growing economy, which at present still looks like his greatest strength in a political campaign.

“It would be helpful for Trump to get something of some size done with the Democratic Congress to show that he is the great dealmaker he’s told everyone he is,” said Doug Heye, a Republican consultant who worked as a House leadership aide. “If he doesn’t have anything to show for it, that’s a problem for him.”

Republican lawmakers said Pelosi deserves blame for the breakdown because she accused Trump of a “cover-up” just before the infrastructure meeting. But some believe the current standoff does not benefit anyone.

“I hope not,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said when asked if the probes are a reason not to do infrastructure. “Sometimes tempers flare around here and emotions get pretty high, but in the end, we've got work to do, and I think the best thing we could do for the people we work for is try to make progress where we can.”

There were other signs that the prospects for major legislation were slipping away, even before Wednesday’s blowup at the White House.

Trump for weeks had faced pushback from GOP lawmakers and some of his own staff over funding for his $2 trillion infrastructure proposal and separate talks with Democrats on a spending agreement had hit a snag.

Two top aides who have close ties to Capitol Hill — Johnny DeStefano and legislative affairs director Shahira Knight — announced Tuesday they are leaving, another sign Trump is shifting fully into campaign mode.

Democrats believe they have been handed a political gift by Trump since he, and not their party’s leaders, was the one to pull the plug on the talks.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) compared Trump ordering his then-attorney Michael Cohen to pay adult-film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to stay quiet about an affair to his demand that Democrats drop their investigations so they can work on an infrastructure package.
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“The price of hush money's gone way up,” Sherman said.

“That's kind of sad to me, to be honest with you, because we're all here to do the people's work. And we can investigate and at the same time legislate. Nobody suffers but our constituents," said House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who is leading several investigations into the Trump administration.

But Trump and his campaign see political upside in putting Democrats on the defensive by essentially forcing them to choose between investigating and legislating. It is a strategy that Trump telegraphed last fall after the GOP lost control of the House, when he pledged a barrage of political attacks and counterinvestigations if Pelosi used her speakership to investigate him.

“I could see it being extremely good politically because I think I'm better at that game than they are, actually,” Trump said at the time.

Some see Trump as seeking to goad his opponents into an impeachment battle, which Republicans and some Democrats, including Pelosi, believe could be calamitous for her party.

Trump’s prediction about whether he’s better at the political game will be tested in the coming weeks, as the White House and congressional Democrats fight a pitched battle over subpoenas and document requests related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Trump defended his approach by arguing Democrats’ investigations are politically motivated, saying this week that “their whole focus is on 2020 and trying to demean the Republican Party and demean the president of the United States.”

Trump’s campaign believes voters would punish Democrats for opening an impeachment proceeding, buoyed by polls showing most Americans are opposed to one.

Officials said it would give them an opening to paint the president’s 2020 opponents as out of touch.

“The only ones ‘goading’ impeachment are the rabid, crazed 2020 Democrats,” said campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany. “Baseless impeachment was always their ambition, and they’ve never stopped trying to overturn the legitimate results of the 2016 election. ... Democrats are being driven by the radical fringe of their party and are willing to destabilize and divide the country to make them happy.”

The White House’s stonewalling of their requests has heightened calls from Democrats to trigger impeachment proceedings, which has raised pressure on Pelosi. 

But the Speaker has pushed back on those demands by arguing Trump is “crying out for impeachment” and warning it would be a “very divisive place to go in our country.”

“We can get the facts to the American people through our investigation. It may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or not. But we're not at that place,” she told reporters. 

Jordain Carney and Cristina Marcos contributed reporting.
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https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/445621-ex-federal-prosecutor-predicts-court-wont-side-with-trump-on-defying

Ex-federal prosecutor predicts court won't side with Trump on congressional subpoenas
By Zack Budryk - 05/26/19 04:43 PM EDT


A former federal prosecutor predicted in a column for Politico that the White House will continue to lose in court showdowns over House subpoenas.

In the Sunday column, Renato Mariotti, who worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, noted that in a ruling last week rejecting President Trump’s challenge to a House Oversight Committee subpoena of financial records, Judge Amit Mehta overruled Trump’s claim that Congress could not request such material because it would be “law enforcement” rather than “legislation.”

Arguing against Congress’s investigative authority, Mariotti wrote, is “doomed to fail.” He also cited a Wednesday ruling by Judge Edgardo Ramos relating to Trump’s financial records in which Ramos found that it was “not the role of the judicial branch to question [Congress’s] motives.”

“If Trump continues down this path — over former White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal to appear before the House Judiciary, for example — expect to see more swift rulings swatting down his legal arguments in the coming weeks and months,” Mariotti wrote. “No court is going to rule that the executive branch can categorically refuse to produce evidence and witnesses from a criminal investigation of the president of the United States to the House of Representatives.”

Trump’s legal strategy, Mariotti wrote, “is not only generating adverse results quickly, but it could very well convince a court that he is acting in bad faith.”

If the legal battles continue in this vein, he wrote, the courts could enforce subpoenas in a way Congress itself is not logistically positioned to do, which could accelerate investigations or even impeachment inquiries.
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🤡 Ralph Nader: We Know Exactly Who Gave Us Trump
« Reply #1961 on: May 27, 2019, 12:28:39 AM »
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ralph-nader-we-know-exactly-who-gave-us-trump/

May 24, 2019
Opinion
Ralph Nader: We Know Exactly Who Gave Us Trump


Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader. (Sage Ross / Flickr)

Donald J. Trump’s presidential ambition has simmered for decades. He was and is a regular TV watcher and saw the changing political landscape. One by one, previous presidents diminished the integrity of the presidency and violated the rule of law, paving the way for Trump’s candidacy.

Bill Clinton was exposed for serial adulteries and abuses of women and lied under oath. This perjury led to him being impeached in the House (though he was acquitted in the Senate). “Hmm,” thought Donald, a serial abuser of women, “Clinton got away with it and was elected twice.” One potentially career-ending violation no longer had the weight it once did.

Then came George W. Bush – selected by the Electoral College and a Republican Supreme Court. “Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “Even though Gore won the popular vote, Bush won because of Electors in swing states.”  Despite Gore’s crushing loss, the Democratic Party refused to support ongoing Electoral College reform (see nationalpopularvote.com). Once in office, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied repeatedly to start an unconstitutional illegal war with Iraq, which caused huge Iraqi and U.S. casualties and wreaked havoc on the U.S. budget. Bush and Cheney not only got away with these atrocities, but were reelected. A majority of voters believed their lies.  Violating the laws did not matter. “Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “The President is above the law.” Positions of power and the trampling of laws appealed to Trump, a lawless, failed gambling czar.

Then along came Obama. He too got away with all kinds of slaughter abroad without authority of the Constitution, statutes, or international treaties. He too was reelected. Domestically, Obama did not prosecute any of the big Wall Street crooks that brought down our economy in 2008-2009, even though a vast majority of the population loathed these reckless financiers. With all of these misdeeds and violations of law on full display, Trump a big business crook himself, must have thought that he would not be held accountable. Even better, he knew how to use television to manipulate the media to his advantage. These examples are just some of the major ways that past presidents, Democrats especially, handed Trump his opportunity. I describe these and other presidential abuses of power in my recent book, To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn’t Too Late to Reverse Course.

Given these inoculations for breaking social norms and laws, Trump felt he could break additional norms and laws and still secure the Presidency. It almost didn’t work – Hillary Clinton’s campaign bungling lost three key states, which provided Trump a path to the White House. The crazy, antiquated Electoral College sealed the deal.

Trump has always known how to use power to get more power. He went after his opponents with harsh nicknames, repeated verbatim by a supine press. The name calling stuck and influenced voters. Democrats did not reciprocate with nicknames like “cheating Donald,” “corrupt Donald,” “Dangerous Donald,” etc.
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The Only Solution to America's Political Crisis
by Paul Street

Emboldened, Trump, with his television knowhow, grasped that many people prefer fiction to non-fiction. Fantasy is big business and it can serve to distract from grim real-life injustices.  Day after day, the mass media proved this point by giving huge time to entertainment compared to news and civic engagements locally and nationally.

Donald, through his daily tweets and assertions, shaped a story – true or not, that would help him win the White House. Reporters have collected over 10,000 of Trumps lies and seriously misleading statements since he became President (see the complete list here via the Washington Post).

But Trump, with his 50 million Twitter followers, has his own media machine, which grows because the mass media replays so many of his fictions as if they were real.

Still, the Democrats should have defeated him handily and, failing that, should have since driven his poll numbers below 40 or 42 percent, where they hover.

Democrats having lost the crucial election of 2010 in Congress, most state legislatures and governorships, Democrats lost the gerrymandering battle. This set the stage for Republicans to seriously suppress the vote in many ways documented by the League of Women Voters and the Brennan Center. Some of this suppression occurred in key swing states like Wisconsin.

Today, Trump seems impervious to the many accurate accusations of corruptions and impeachable offenses. He ruthlessly scuttles lifesaving health/safety protections for the American people, undermines law enforcement, and breaks his repeated promises to provide “great” health insurance, “pure” clean air, and jobs for workers displaced by globalization. The norms that restrain politicians and their constitutional duty to “faithfully execute the laws” have been deeply eroded.

Trump is undeterred by the hundreds of syndicated columns and the regular television commentary by leading conservatives who despise him. George Will, Michael Gerson, Max Boot, David Brooks, Bret Stephens, and others have gone after Trump repeatedly. The attacks on the Prevaricator in Chief are like water off a duck’s back. Even Trump’s trail of broken campaign promises is routinely overlooked by the press and the Trump base.

Next week my column will address what to do to make Trump a one-term President. Only a landslide defeat in 2020 will keep Trump from tweeting “fake election” and demanding a recount.
Ralph Nader / Common Dreams
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May 23, 2019
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Joe Biden Is Not the Pragmatic Choice for 2020
Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. (Matt Rourke / AP)

An insidious idea pervading media analysis and public discourse around the 2020 presidential election is that voters looking to defeat President Donald Trump are locked into an ideological battle between pragmatism and idealism. Voters backing former Vice President Joe Biden find him to be "electable" rather than being a candidate whose values they support. But is Biden really the pragmatic choice?

Before Biden announced he was running, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared to be the front-runner, boosting hopes among those who supported him in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. But a new poll found Biden garnering the highest "favorability rating" among the many Democratic contenders. As the 2016 race underscored, polling numbers ought to be taken with a giant grain of salt. But still, Sanders' lead seems to have evaporated once the more "electable" Democrat announced his bid.

Related Articles
Joe Biden Is a Fraud, Plain and Simple
by Norman Solomon
Ocasio-Cortez Won't Be Endorsing Joe Biden Any Time Soon
by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Let's face it --- both Biden and Sanders are older white men. But the demographics of the voters they attract are quite different from one another. Another poll, focused only on Iowa---the state with the earliest primary of the season---showed Biden and Sanders tied at exactly 24%. But 30% of Biden's support is from those aged 65 and older, compared to only 15% for Sanders. Meanwhile, young Americans aged 18 to 31 prefer Sanders by 41%, compared to only 9% for Biden. One can speculate with a fair amount of confidence that this difference lies in Sanders' unapologetic progressiveness versus Biden's centrist waffling and his image as the "safe choice."

Biden has made it very clear he is the leader who can be counted on to return the nation to its pre-2016 status quo, as if the Trump presidency were an inexplicable hiccup that briefly and horribly set us off course. In fact, he has said at various political rallies that "four years of this presidency will go down in history as an aberration." Meanwhile, other Democratic contenders have rightly pointed out Trump is a symptom of the rightward political march in the nation, not a temporary setback. Biden appears to be espousing the same disastrous outlook his close ideological kin, Hillary Clinton, held in July 2016 when she responded to Trump's slogan by retorting, "America is already great. America is already strong."

Biden believes he is the only one who can take on Trump, reportedly saying, "If you can persuade me there is somebody better who can win, I’m happy not to do it." He thinks he is the only one who can save the nation from another four years of Trump, just as Clinton felt she was easily poised to beat Trump. Yet on issue after issue, Biden is out of step with those Democrats who have successfully pushed their party to the left since 2016. For example, Biden, who has come under fire for supporting the 1994 crime bill, proudly asserted, "I'm the only guy ever nationally to beat the NRA because when we did the crime bill---everybody talks about the bad things. Let me tell you about the good thing in the crime bill." In response, acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay fired back, "Wait til you get in front of a crowd that actually knows what you’re doing. Knows the bill. Knows the generational damage. Wait. I hope I’m in the crowd."

When a report emerged that Biden was taking a "middle-ground" approach to tackling climate change, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also pushed back, slamming him at an event promoting her popular Green New Deal resolution. She said, "I will be damned if the same politicians who refused to act then are going to try to come back today and say we need to find a middle-of-the-road approach to save our lives."

Influential progressive voices like DuVernay and Ocasio-Cortez will push back on every issue in which Biden chooses the milquetoast center because they know American policies are not working for most Americans and a return to 2016-era policies will doom the nation.

Those who paint Biden's detractors as being driven by idealistic motivations we cannot afford to espouse are ignoring the fact that Americans are at a breaking point. We do not have the luxury to wait another four or eight years to pick someone who will truly be a climate justice warrior---the planet's atmosphere is at a breaking point. We do not have the luxury to wait four or eight years for a better candidate to usher in Medicare-for-all at a more practical time far off into the future---Americans are dying today in our broken health care system. We do not have the luxury of allowing millions of Americans to languish in prison cells, or allowing immigrant children to die in Border Patrol custody, or hampering the futures of college graduates burdened by debt. We do not have the luxury to allow our endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen to continue as whole families are obliterated or turned into refugees. And we certainly cannot afford a new war on Iran. Choosing a president who promises a radical departure from the status quo is actually an act of pragmatism.

Trump won the White House by boldly promising change. Call it radical right-wing idealism or call it fascist pragmatism, but Trump's supporters demanded a complete re-envisioning of American government as a dystopian world in which immigrants are erased, women are shackled and gay rights are turned back. And that is what they seem to be getting under Trump. Meanwhile, Clinton lost by promising the status quo, and that 2016 status quo is exactly what Biden is promising us now. How is this pragmatic? As Michelle Goldberg wrote in The New York Times, "in contemporary politics, the quest to find an electable candidate hasn’t resulted in candidates that actually win. Voters don’t do themselves any favors when they try to think like pundits."

Indeed, those who choose a candidate like Biden are the idealists in such a scenario. They live in a fantasy world in which the disastrous 2016 election never happened and Clinton never failed in the face of the worst Republican nominee in U.S. history. Behind Biden are all the elite forces who dream of retaining the status quo that preserves their profits. Biden's corporate backers imagine their planetary pillaging and worker oppression can continue into some endless horizon. Biden's war backers imagine some fantasy in which bigger and deadlier weapons can fix problems they have not fixed for decades and that such a trajectory is limitless. They have all failed to realize the limits of what we can tolerate.

To be pragmatic in today's electoral landscape means choosing a radically different path from the one we have been on---the path that gave us Donald Trump. The idealists will seek to convince us their fantastical imaginary world that Biden and Clinton represent is our best hope of survival. They are wrong. Our survival depends on our pragmatism and our courage to demand better than Biden.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: 🤡 Ralph Nader: We Know Exactly Who Gave Us Trump
« Reply #1962 on: May 27, 2019, 03:03:42 AM »

Ralph Nader: We Know Exactly Who Gave Us Trump

Donald J. Trump’s presidential ambition has simmered for decades. He was and is a regular TV watcher and saw the changing political landscape. One by one, previous presidents diminished the integrity of the presidency and violated the rule of law, paving the way for Trump’s candidacy.

Bill Clinton was exposed for serial adulteries and abuses of women and lied under oath. This perjury led to him being impeached in the House (though he was acquitted in the Senate). “Hmm,” thought Donald, a serial abuser of women, “Clinton got away with it and was elected twice.” One potentially career-ending violation no longer had the weight it once did.

Then came George W. Bush – selected by the Electoral College and a Republican Supreme Court. “Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “Even though Gore won the popular vote, Bush won because of Electors in swing states.”  Despite Gore’s crushing loss, the Democratic Party refused to support ongoing Electoral College reform (see nationalpopularvote.com). Once in office, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied repeatedly to start an unconstitutional illegal war with Iraq, which caused huge Iraqi and U.S. casualties and wreaked havoc on the U.S. budget. Bush and Cheney not only got away with these atrocities, but were reelected. A majority of voters believed their lies.  Violating the laws did not matter. “Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “The President is above the law.” Positions of power and the trampling of laws appealed to Trump, a lawless, failed gambling czar.

Then along came Obama. He too got away with all kinds of slaughter abroad without authority of the Constitution, statutes, or international treaties. He too was reelected. Domestically, Obama did not prosecute any of the big Wall Street crooks that brought down our economy in 2008-2009, even though a vast majority of the population loathed these reckless financiers. With all of these misdeeds and violations of law on full display, Trump a big business crook himself, must have thought that he would not be held accountable. Even better, he knew how to use television to manipulate the media to his advantage. These examples are just some of the major ways that past presidents, Democrats especially, handed Trump his opportunity. I describe these and other presidential abuses of power in my recent book, To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn’t Too Late to Reverse Course.


This is a good article as far as it goes. Some of these thoughts sound very familiar.

And when any future attempted rollbacks to the "unitary executive" get rolled back by the courts, your fascism will have metastasized. The federalist Society has been engaged in a 30-year project, quite and largely behind-the-scenes as long as you're not a major political donor) to vet judges and stamp them "guaranteed" to protect the prerogatives of money and property at any cost to justice.

Watch and wait.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: 🤡 Ralph Nader: We Know Exactly Who Gave Us Trump
« Reply #1963 on: May 27, 2019, 04:39:41 PM »

Ralph Nader: We Know Exactly Who Gave Us Trump

Donald J. Trump’s presidential ambition has simmered for decades. He was and is a regular TV watcher and saw the changing political landscape. One by one, previous presidents diminished the integrity of the presidency and violated the rule of law, paving the way for Trump’s candidacy.

Bill Clinton was exposed for serial adulteries and abuses of women and lied under oath. This perjury led to him being impeached in the House (though he was acquitted in the Senate). “Hmm,” thought Donald, a serial abuser of women, “Clinton got away with it and was elected twice.” One potentially career-ending violation no longer had the weight it once did.

Then came George W. Bush – selected by the Electoral College and a Republican Supreme Court. “Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “Even though Gore won the popular vote, Bush won because of Electors in swing states.”  Despite Gore’s crushing loss, the Democratic Party refused to support ongoing Electoral College reform (see nationalpopularvote.com). Once in office, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney lied repeatedly to start an unconstitutional illegal war with Iraq, which caused huge Iraqi and U.S. casualties and wreaked havoc on the U.S. budget. Bush and Cheney not only got away with these atrocities, but were reelected. A majority of voters believed their lies.  Violating the laws did not matter. “Hmm,” thought Donald to himself, “The President is above the law.” Positions of power and the trampling of laws appealed to Trump, a lawless, failed gambling czar.

Then along came Obama. He too got away with all kinds of slaughter abroad without authority of the Constitution, statutes, or international treaties. He too was reelected. Domestically, Obama did not prosecute any of the big Wall Street crooks that brought down our economy in 2008-2009, even though a vast majority of the population loathed these reckless financiers. With all of these misdeeds and violations of law on full display, Trump a big business crook himself, must have thought that he would not be held accountable. Even better, he knew how to use television to manipulate the media to his advantage. These examples are just some of the major ways that past presidents, Democrats especially, handed Trump his opportunity. I describe these and other presidential abuses of power in my recent book, To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn’t Too Late to Reverse Course.


This is a good article as far as it goes. Some of these thoughts sound very familiar.

And when any future attempted rollbacks to the "unitary executive" get rolled back by the courts, your fascism will have metastasized. The federalist Society has been engaged in a 30-year project, quite and largely behind-the-scenes as long as you're not a major political donor) to vet judges and stamp them "guaranteed" to protect the prerogatives of money and property at any cost to justice.

Watch and wait.

The American People are sacred, untouchable, a kind of mystical entity; whereas if they are seen for what they really are--gullible, not very bright, blinkered, egotistical, and actually quite violent in nature--then there is very little hope for any major social or political change.  <==  Morris Berman

Responsibility becomes a dog chasing its tail.
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline RE

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🤡 Robert Mueller: Charging Trump was not option (Full Speech)
« Reply #1964 on: May 30, 2019, 01:02:55 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/A5klkoFRg20" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/A5klkoFRg20</a>
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