Tuesday, August 20, 2019

President Donald Trump, his enablers in Congress and his most devoted supporters are anti-American and soft on terrorism

Mod: The Republican Party has now become the very thing they accused their opponents of being.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party hate America: It’s time to say it out loud (Raw Story link): For most of modern political history, the Republican Party has used patriotism — an odd and obfuscating sentimentality — as a weapon to shame critics of American foreign policy, and turn the general public against dissidents who reject the folly of Empire maintenance through violence.

Samuel Johnson’s excoriation — made famous by Bob Dylan — that “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels” always seemed accurate in both its denunciation of the manipulative emotion itself, and also of those who take advantage of it for political expediency.

America has collapsed into a prone position, however, where the scoundrels are so brazen in their inhumanity, so bold in their indifference to suffering, and so barbaric in their refusal to compromise for the sake of their own country that only their own language can aptly describe them.

President Donald Trump, his enablers in Congress and his most devoted supporters are anti-American and soft on terrorism.

Progressives have suffered through years of maudlin accusations from conservative politicians and pundits that how they “hate the real America,” because they (according to this absurd allegation), have no respect for the small towns that populate the Heartland.

President Trump provides an example of love for country by ridiculing Atlanta as “horrible” and “crime-infested,” claiming that “no human being” would like to live in Baltimore, and maintaining that black residents of Chicago are “living in hell.” The enlistees of the Trump cult at his bizarre gatherings applaud, cheer and laugh when their high priest derides American cities, and disparages the millions of their compatriots who reside within them.

Mod: The rest of this interesting essay can be found at the link.


Monday, August 19, 2019

'I'm not happy with it': Trump hits Fox News over poll results

Mod: Sometimes reality becomes a little overwhelming for Donald Trump, and his emotions get the best of him.

 'I'm not happy with it': Trump hits Fox News over poll results (Politico link): President Donald Trump on Sunday slammed his preferred news network over recent unfavorable poll results, saying: “There’s something going on at Fox [News], I’ll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it.”

Trump’s comments to reporters in New Jersey were in response to a question about the network’s recently released survey showing the president losing head-to-head match-ups against four of the top Democratic presidential primary candidates.

Trump said he didn’t “believe” the poll that was published, adding: “Fox has changed. My worst polls have always been from Fox.” He also complained about how Democrats had barred the network from hosting or televising the party’s 2020 primary debates, and then signaled a warning about the the general-election cycle.

“And I think Fox is making a big mistake,” the president said when asked about the polling and the network’s leadership. “Because, you know, I'm the one that calls the shots on that — on the really big debates.”

The president’s criticisms are a continuation of a larger attack on one of his favorite targets, the news media. But Trump has increasingly lumped in Fox News, a network known for its conservative bent, in recent months for what he views as unfavorable coverage.

He has squared off with the network as it devoted time to forums with Democratic presidential candidates earlier in the year. Trump took jabs at Fox News in April over the network’s town hall with Bernie Sanders, and again in May, ahead of its town hall with Pete Buttigieg.

This time, Trump’s annoyance with an unfavorable poll led him to wrongly assert that he had control over the 2020 presidential debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which is not controlled by any political party or outside organization and does not endorse, support or oppose political candidates for parties, has sponsored general-election presidential debates in every election since 1988.

Trump on Sunday also teed off on Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, who the president said “has never said a positive thing” — following up on a Twitter post earlier in the day in which he called Williams “pathetic,” “nasty” and “wrong.”

Mod: The rest of this article is available at the link.


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Why was Jeffrey Epstein allowed to purchase small women’s panties from the Palm Beach jail?

Mod: Trump's now former Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, is believed by many to have worked out some interesting advantages for Jeffrey Epstein while serving as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Below could be an example.

Why was Jeffrey Epstein allowed to purchase small women’s panties from the Palm Beach jail? (Miami Herald link): A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5.

It was just one of thousands of dollars of purchases made by the disgraced financier while in jail after pleading guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for sex, according to a purchase log. (His top purchase was single-serve cups of coffee, of which he bought more than 800 in 13 months.) 

But the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman. The panties were certainly too small for Epstein, who also purchased his briefs in men’s medium and sweatshirts ranging from XL to 3XL, and size-12 shoes. So what, or who, were they for, and why wouldn’t the purchase raise eyebrows under the circumstances? It’s one of many questions that arise from thousands of pages of records obtained by the Miami Herald from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

The stockade held male and female inmates, separately, explaining why the panties would be stocked.

On Friday, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail and stockade, handed out the records of his stay, during which he was allowed to leave the stockade in a chauffeur-driven car and deposited at a downtown West Palm Beach office building for a 12-hour-a-day, six-day-a-week respite from incarceration.

On Friday, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail and stockade, handed out the records of his stay, during which he was allowed to leave the stockade in a chauffeur-driven car and deposited at a downtown West Palm Beach office building for a 12-hour-a-day, six-day-a-week respite from incarceration.

The records came out too late Friday to get a comment from Sheriff Ric Bradshaw or his spokeswoman. Bradshaw has faced increasingly fierce criticism — and his department is now under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement — for its seemingly soft treatment of the multimillionaire hedge fund manager, who was, according to the records, allowed to wander in and out of his unlocked cell at will. That investigation is separate from the Justice Department probe looking at why then-federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta decided to shelve a 53-page sex trafficking indictment against Epstein, which could have put him away for life.

Mod: The rest of this article is available at the link.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

Donald Trump fat shames #MAGA guy by mistake after mistaking him for heckler at New Hampshire rally

Link to video here
Mod: Looks like Donald got the wrong fat guy. But don't worry, it was really all about love.

Trump fat shames #MAGA guy by mistake after mistaking him for heckler at New Hampshire rally (New York Daily News link): President Trump was at his abrasive nastiest Thursday night when he spotted a barrel-chested man amid a group of a hecklers who interrupted his speech. “That guy’s got a serious weight problem. Go home. Start exercising," Trump said with trademark derision.

A couple of empty seats.
As security moved to eject the group of demonstrators, Trump kept on razzing the guy in the nosebleed seats of the arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“Get him out of here, please,” Trump said. “Got a bigger problem than I do.”

That’s debatable, given that Trump is considered medically overweight himself and famously loves to indulge in unhealthy food.

In any case, the plus-size target of Trump’s ire was actually not a protester at all.

Of course.
Ralph Dawson was wearing a Trump 2020 T-shirt and matching camouflage cap. He was shaking his fist in support of Trump and trying to rip down the banners of the protesters, who were Jewish critics of Israel.

“I’m trying to listen to my president. I think he thought I was part of it, but I wasn’t,” Dawson told Fox News. "I was the good part of it.”

Dawson shrugged off the fat-shaming and heaped praise on Trump. “Everything is good,” Dawson said. “I love the guy. He is the best thing that ever happened to this country.”

Trump returned to his speech, and seamlessly claimed his put-down was just another sign of his empathetic nature.

“We are continuing our incredible movement,” he said. “Our movement is built on love.”


Friday, August 16, 2019

2020 Democratic candidate Andrew Yang says Trump is 'so fat' that the only thing he could beat him at is an 'eating contest'

Mod: Yang is telling truth to obesity. 

2020 Democrat Andrew Yang says Trump is 'so fat' and that the only thing Trump could beat him at is an 'eating contest' (Yahoo link): Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang enjoyed plenty of fast food at the Iowa State Fair — but he also ripped into President Donald Trump over his physical fitness.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Yang guessed that Trump would "pass out" after running a quarter of a mile, and could only beat Yang at being "a slob" and maybe at "an eating contest."

"Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that? Because he is so fat," Yang concluded.

Like many other 2020 contenders, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang enjoyed plenty of fast food at the Iowa State Fair — but he also ripped into President Donald Trump over his physical fitness.

Yang, an entrepreneur and first-time presidential candidate, went on an extended riff on Trump's health after a Saturday gun violence prevention forum at the fair. "I can't be eating crap on the trail too often because I need to stay in presidential form," Yang explained, adding that "no one wants a president who can't run a mile." He previously told The New York Times that KIND Bars are his go-to campaign trail snack.

"I don't think Donald Trump can run a mile. Would you guys enjoy watching Donald Trump run a mile? That would be hysterical. What does that guy weigh? 280 or something ... I say he like, passes out at the quarter-mile mark," Yang guessed, according to the Daily Mail, which noted that Trump weighed in at 243 pounds in February 2019. While Yang's staff tried to interject and get him back on track, he continued blasting Trump's physical state, saying, "I challenge Donald Trump to any physical or mental feat under the sun. I mean, gosh, what could that guy beat me at, being a slob? Like, what could Donald Trump possibly be better than me at? An eating contest?"

Yang finally concluded that Trump would probably beat him at "something that involved trying to keep something on the ground and having really large body mass? Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that? Because he is so fat," the Daily Mail and the Atlantic reported.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fox News poll: Trump disapproval rises to near record

Mod: Some rather bad news for Donald from an unlikely source. Is Fox News now pulling the plug on the Trump clown show?

Fox News poll: Trump disapproval rises to near record (The Hill link): President Trump's disapproval rating has jumped to 56 percent in a Fox News survey released Wednesday, just one point shy of the record high in Fox News polling. The survey found a 5 percentage point increase in Trump's disapproval from last month. The only time his disapproval rating was higher, according to Fox News, was when it reached 57 percent in October 2017.

Forty-three percent of respondents said they approve of Trump's job performance, down from 46 percent last month. The record low for Trump approval in Fox News's polling is 38 percent, also from October of 2017.

Trump has the disapproval of a record number of men, at 53 percent, white men, 46 percent, and independents, 64 percent, according to the survey. Researchers surveyed 1,013 registered voters nationwide from Aug. 11 to 13. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The poll comes at a tense political moment following two mass shootings earlier this month, one of which appears to have been racially motivated.

Approval for Trump's response to the incidents is just 37 percent, and 46 percent said they believe his administration has made the country less safe from mass shootings. Fifty-nine percent of voters in the poll say they are unhappy with the way things are going in the country.

The same proportion say the president is "tearing the country apart," compared to only 31 percent who say he is "drawing the country together." Two years ago, those numbers stood at 56 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

Stocks plummet on fears of recession (Axios link): The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 800 points — or 3.05% — on Wednesday, after the bond market flashed a warning sign that's predated every recession for the past 50 years.

Why it matters: Wednesday was the stock market's single worst day of 2019. The "yield curve inversion" — which President Trump called "crazy" — comes when short-term Treasury bonds yield a higher rate than the long-term variety.

By the numbers: The S&P 500 dropped 2.93%, the Nasdaq closed down 3.02%, and U.S. bond yields also extended declines. The 10-year yield fell below the 2-year yield for the first time since 2007 — marking the "yield curve inversion" that spooked investors.

As the market slumped, Trump blamed the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates "too much and too fast" in a series of tweets:

"Our problem is with the Fed. Raised too much & too fast. Now too slow to cut. Spread is way too much as other countries say THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve. Germany, and many others, are playing the game! CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE!"

Mod: You do realize that if recession does hit all we will have in the White House this time is a babbling idiot.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Trump’s State-by-State Approval Ratings Should Scare the MAGA Out of Him

Mod: As you know, the solid majority of Americans isn't all that happy with Traitor Trump. That is not what his big mouth has been telling us 24/7, but when has the truth mattered much to this president?

Trump’s State-by-State Approval Ratings Should Scare the MAGA Out of Him (New York Magazine link): There has been a lot of discussion in political circles about Donald Trump’s job-approval ratings, what they portend, and Trump’s Electoral College strategy for 2020, which doesn’t necessarily require a popular-vote plurality. But in the end, of course, the conjunction of the Electoral College with Trump’s state-by-state popularity is where the deal will go down.

The online polling firm Civiqs has published a new set of state-by-state job-approval ratings for Trump as of August 11, and it shows how the president’s overall standing (a 43 percent approval rating nationally, which happens to match the current RealClearPolitics polling average) might translate into electorate votes. It’s not a pretty picture for the president, to put it mildly.

Civiqs shows the president’s net approval ratios being underwater (i.e., negative) in 10 states he carried in 2016: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. If that were to represent how the 2020 elections turn out, Trump would have a booming 119 electoral votes. And it’s not as though he’s on a knife’s edge between victory and defeat in all these Trump 2016 states where he’s doing poorly: He’s underwater by 12 points in Pennsylvania, 11 in Michigan, and nine in Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

And there’s virtually no indication that states that narrowly went for Clinton in 2016 are trending in Trump’s direction: His approval ratios are minus 18 in Colorado, minus 15 in Minnesota, minus 12 in Nevada, and minus 27 in New Hampshire. These are, by the way, polls of registered voters, not just “adults,” so they should be a relatively sound reflection of the views of the electorate. In case you just don’t trust this particular pollster, the other publicly available survey of state-by-state presidential job approval is from Morning Consult, and its latest numbers (as of July) are pretty similar. They show Georgia and Texas as positive for Trump, and North Carolina as very close. But all the other “battleground states” are quite the reach for the incumbent.

If you credit these polls at all, Trump’s reelection will require (1) a big late improvement in his approval ratings, which is possible but unlikely based on long-standing patterns during his polarizing presidency; (2) a campaign that succeeds in making the election turn on theoretical fears about his opponent rather than actual fears about a second Trump term, which won’t be easy either; (3) a big Republican turnout advantage, which is less likely among the larger presidential electorate than it was in 2018; or (4) some diabolical ability to thread the needle despite every contrary indicator, which superstitious Democrats fear for obvious reasons.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Trump’s Executive Order To “Censor The Internet” Leaked, Could Allow Mass Government Censorship

Mod: As most of us know, Donny is an extremely thin-skinned fellow who can gets his large golden undergarments into a painful permanent knot when he is criticized or made fun of. So now he is demanding the Putinesque power to censor anything on the Internet that might prove displeasing to him. 

Trump’s Executive Order To “Censor The Internet” Leaked, Could Allow Mass Government Censorship (DC Tribune link): If you keep tabs on Donald Trump at all, and it’s hard not to in some way or another these days, you know that there’s little more he can’t stand than to be ridiculed — especially on his beloved Internet.

He has a tendency to bitch almost constantly about the bias he’s subjected to on platforms like Twitter or Facebook. But God knows he’s certainly not about to boycott them. Instead, he prefers to abuse his power as president of this country and instead draft executive orders that consist of nothing more than thinly-veiled (and I do mean thinly) censorship in an attempt to ensure that no one can say anything but nice things about him.

Now, Trump’s Executive Order draft has been leaked and experts are issuing grave warnings to Americans — “In practice, this executive order would mean that whichever political party is in power could dictate what speech is allowed on the Internet.”

Civil liberties groups are advising citizens that should Trump’s order, dubbed the “Censor The Internet” executive order by critics, go into effect Americans will be facing serious threats to their online freedoms and First Amendment rights as federal agencies will essentially have the power to handpick and choose what is acceptable and what is not in terms of content on the internet.

The new rule “calls for the FCC to develop new regulations clarifying how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. Although still in its early stages and subject to change, the Trump administration’s draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies,” according to CNN, who obtained a copy of the leaked draft.

CNN continued that if put into effect, “the order would reflect a significant escalation by President Trump in his frequent attacks against social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms. And it could lead to a significant reinterpretation of a law that, its authors have insisted, was meant to give tech companies broad freedom to handle content as they see fit.”

Donald doesn’t just love Kim Jong Un. Evidently, he wants to be just like him.

Mod: The rest of this article can be found at the link.

The US posted a $234 billion budget deficit last month, the biggest one-month deficit in history (Business Insider link): The US posted a record budget deficit in the month of February, according to a new report form the Treasury Department. The budget deficit for February came in at $234 billion, according to the Treasury, higher than the previous monthly record of $231.7 billion set in 2012. The deficit was also 8.7% higher than the $215.2 billion deficit posted in February 2018.

The budget deficit measures the shortfall of government revenues compared to what the government spends. Recent legislative changes have driven the deficit up to its highest levels since the financial crisis.

Mod: The "fiscal conservatives" took over. The end result was obvious.


Monday, August 12, 2019

The Pimp: Epstein’s accusers call her his protector and procurer - Is Ghislaine Maxwell now prosecutors’ target?

Date Night: The old gang hanging out.
Mod: Of course, they'll have to find her first. For whatever reason she appears to have disappeared. Perhaps Ghislaine is hiding out at the bottom of a river somewhere?

Epstein’s accusers call her his protector and procurer. Is Ghislaine Maxwell now prosecutors’ target? (Washington Post link): Ghislaine Maxwell was, according to her accusers, Jeffrey Epstein’s protector and procurer, his girlfriend and his madam. She was, by all accounts, a soul mate and a mirror image. He grew up in Brooklyn with no money to speak of and never finished college. She is Paris-born, Oxford-educated, a jet-setter who partied with princes and billionaires.

Together, Epstein and Maxwell allegedly built what prosecutors, police and a growing number of women described as a sex-trafficking operation that crisscrossed the nation to provide Epstein with three young girls a day. The death of Epstein, the convicted sex offender who authorities said hanged himself in a federal detention center cell in New York on Saturday, leaves those who seek to hold someone responsible for the alleged abuse of dozens of girls with one prime target: Maxwell.

The U.S. attorney in New York, Geoff Berman, assured the “brave young women who have already come forward and . . . the many others who have yet to do so” that “our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing.” According to many of the women who have spoken about what Epstein allegedly did to them, Maxwell was the financier’s chief co-conspirator. Maxwell, 57, has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing. 

According to people familiar with the investigation, authorities have had trouble locating Maxwell, who is believed to be living abroad. Her five-story Manhattan townhouse was sold in 2016 for $15 million by a company that used the address of Epstein’s New York office.

Her lawyers told a judge in 2017 that she was in London, but had no fixed address. Lawyers representing Epstein’s alleged victims said they wouldn’t expect Maxwell to return to the United States anytime soon for fear of being arrested.

Martina Vandenberg, founder and president of the nonprofit Human Trafficking Legal Center, said she was “thrilled” to hear the prosecutors’ announcement that the investigation would continue, saying it would encourage more alleged victims to come forward.

For someone who stood by Epstein through the most sordid allegations, Maxwell was also a factor in his downfall: It was through a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that thousands of pages of documents containing detailed accounts of Epstein’s alleged abuses became public last week. 

But Maxwell herself had long since slipped away. Although associates of Epstein said Maxwell never completely broke off relations with Epstein, she became far less of a presence at his various properties in recent years.

Mod: As usual, the rest of this article can be found at the link provided above.


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Junk Food 4 A Junk President: List Of Fast Food Chains Reportedly 'Supporting Trump's Reelection'

Mod: You do know that none of this crap is good for you, right?

Viral Tweet Shows List Of Fast Food Chains That Are Reportedly 'Supporting Trump's Reelection' (Newsweek link): A tweet that lists "companies supporting Trump's re-election" went viral on Thursday, causing chatter among the anti-President Donald Trump crowd on the internet.

The list includes fast food stalwarts such as McDonald's, Wendy's, In-N-Out and Chick-fil-A, as well as chain restaurants like Olive Garden.

The call to shun restaurants came after talk of a mass boycott of SoulCycle and Equinox after it was revealed their owner, billionaire Stephen Ross, was hosting a fundraising event for Trump on Friday.

The original tweet, written by @BillyBob Sanderz said, "So here's a list of companies supporting Trump's re-election: Bang, in n out, chick fil a, Taco Bell, McDonald's, Wendy's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, Waffle House, IHOP, Carl's Jr. So if you see me starting to get thinner and toned don't ask me why."

The netizen — whose real name is Zuriel Sanders — told Newsweek Friday, "In my tracking down I noticed a lot of the companies are funding PACS which are directly helping Trump's re-election or have helped in the past. It's indirect but I still see it as them supporting his campaign even if it's indirect you know?"

He continued: "And consumers shopping at these places are indirectly supporting his campaign for re-election. Some people think I'm trying to shame them but it's more me pointing out hey, you're posting how you don't like what our admin is doing, but you're kind of supporting them."

The tweet was retweeted almost 400,000 times on Friday, including by prominent Trump-critic Chrissy Teigen, who joked that she too would be very skinny in the wake of this list. One Twitter user wrote: "I gotta say, of all these names, the one that breaks my heart is In n Out. They are a family business based in California. They have no excuse for betraying their heavy percentage of patrons who are people of color. Very disappointed."

Another said, "Everyone still eating the chemically-infused toxic waste produced by these fascist oligarch-corporations shall soon receive their just desserts. We literally are what we eat. #BoycottFascism"

Shannon Coulter, the founder of the #GrabYourWallet movement, which urges Americans to stop shopping at companies connected with Trump, tweeted that she was adding SoulCycle and Equinox to the boycott list on Thursday.

Mod: As always, the complete article is available at the link.


Saturday, August 10, 2019

Trump encouraged his own daughter to release a sex tape: New York Magazine

Mod: You know Daddy Dearest Donald would be first in line at the porn shop to buy a copy of this particular tape, right?

Trump encouraged his own daughter to release a sex tape: New York Magazine (Raw Story link): A recent profile on Ivanka Trump has revealed a lot about her self-obsession and lack of self-awareness, as well as her obsession with an Ayn Rand character who used her beauty to outwit her opponents. But it also divulged the president’s fascination with Paris Hilton’s sex tape, reported New York Magazine.

The piece talked about Ivanka’s perfected role as the “dutiful daughter,” who “never talked back or even rolled her eyes,” even when he does cringe-worthy things.

“Among the members of New York society in the ’90s and early aughts, [Donald Trump] was seen as a credit clown, a joke, but never to Ivanka,” the profile outlined. “His chauvinism frustrated her, however, and she was repelled by the way he talked about women’s bodies — who was fat, who was not.”

But after Paris Hilton’s sex tape was posted to the internet in 2003, the president couldn’t stop talking about it.

Paris is laughing all the way to the bank, she’s got the last laugh, she’s marvelous,” Trump allegedly said.

Ivanka could not believe her father was not only idolizing an airhead heiress caught blowing a guy on a night-vision video but encouraging her to follow Paris’s lead.”

“The thing with Paris hurt Ivanka a lot,” a friend told New York Magazine. “He was heartbreaking to her at times.”

The piece said that she “buried her feelings and moved on,” thinking her father’s feelings about women were “complicated.”

Donald hired many women at the Trump Organization, she knew, and these women weren’t universally pretty; he wanted to employ women with traditionally masculine attitudes and almost enjoyed feeling discomfited by them, having them boss him around,” the piece continued.

“Her father may have had issues with women, she felt, but he did not meet the textbook definition of a misogynist — a belief she seems to hold to the present day.”

Jeffrey Epstein, accused sex trafficker, dies by suicide: Officials (ABC News link): Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced millionaire who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, died by suicide Friday night in his Lower Manhattan jail cell, three law enforcement officials told ABC News.

The exact timing and circumstances were not immediately clear.

Epstein, 66, was set to stand trial next year for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of minor girls in New York and Florida.

His death came less than three weeks after he was found unresponsive in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, with marks on his neck that appeared to be self-inflicted, sources told ABC News.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Trump laments coverage as aides concede visits to mourning cities didn't go as planned

Mod: As with everything thing else Trump, it was really just all about him.

Trump laments coverage as aides concede visits to mourning cities didn't go as planned (CNN link): Some of President Donald Trump's own aides conceded Thursday that his visits to two cities in mourning did not go as planned, as a new video revealed he bragged about crowd sizes while visiting patients at an El Paso hospital. "That was some, that was some crowd," Trump said, according to cell phone video from one attendee. "And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot, they said his crowd was wonderful."

White House officials blocked reporters and their cameras from entering the two hospitals during his Ohio and Texas this week, a move they said was out of respect for the patients' privacy. But according to one person familiar with the President's reaction, the President lashed out at his staff for keeping the cameras away from him, complaining that he wasn't receiving enough credit. Aides had feared a moment like the one that is now going viral — where the President appears to focus on himself in front of those still recovering from a tragedy.

Trump associates the city of El Paso with his first political rally of 2019, where he made his case for a border wall and feuded with Beto O'Rourke, who would soon announce he was running for president and held a counterprotest in a park nearby. Trump's campaign still owes the city of El Paso more than $500,000 in police and public safety fees from that visit.

While at least two top staffers publicly defended the President's trip — with one longtime aide claiming he was treated like "a rock star" at the Dayton, Ohio, hospital — multiple staffers agreed behind the scenes that it wasn't successful from the administration's viewpoint. They conceded Trump spent too much time lashing out at local officials, who Trump criticized after they praised his interactions with patients but criticized his stance on guns. Trump was also unhappy with the visit. He fumed about the coverage on the long flight back to Washington, one person said, though he remained positive in public.

El Paso Patients Refused to Meet with Trump (Political Wire link): Washington Post: “None of the eight patients still being treated at University Medical Center in El Paso agreed to meet with Trump when he visited the hospital, UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke said. Two victims who already had been discharged returned to the hospital with family members to meet with the president.”


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Trump just blamed the El Paso shooting victims for their own deaths

Why is Donald happy?
Mod: It has to be that Trump thinks there are plenty of people stupid enough to believe him. 

Trump just blamed the El Paso shooting victims for their own deaths (Washington Post link): Over the weekend, a white man with a semiautomatic rifle went on a shooting rampage at an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people. President Trump, who averred that we cannot let the victims “die in vain,” offered an idea for how to prevent future shootings: “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”

It’s a shame about the deaths, in other words, but they never would have happened if immigrants didn’t keep trying to come here, and if Democrats would just let me stop them. “So, this atrocity,” as Nicole Hannah-Jones aptly summed up his view, “was caused by immigration.”

Having essentially blamed the victims for their own murders, the president was happily and enthusiastically acceding to what authorities think are the alleged killer’s specific demands.

“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” says an anti-immigrant online manifesto that authorities think the accused gunman posted. It echoes the “invasion” rhetoric commonly employed by the president at his rallies and on Twitter.

In fact, much of the language overlaps with that of the president and his supporters, including repeated entreaties to “send them back.” The idea here is that some sort of bipartisan immigration reform would stop the epidemic of white-supremacist violence in the United States.

But of course that makes sense only if you believe that racist killers have a legitimate complaint — that we shouldn’t have Latino immigrants, and that, therefore, they do bear some of the blame. (Never mind that people of Hispanic descent existed in El Paso long before that region was part of the United States.) This was the idea, too, behind Trump’s common warning, reiterated last month, that if migrants didn’t like the detention centers along the border, they could simply not come.

It’s hard to imagine the manifesto’s author being any happier with the results of his campaign. His message — that the country is in danger of being lost in a wave of immigration — has been heard loud and clear by the man who very likely influenced his thinking in the first place, or at least supercharged it. What happens to migrants next is up to them, the president and the manifesto’s author agree. Don’t want to die? Don’t come.