Monday, December 9, 2019

Crimea Cruz: It has come to this - Ted Cruz is Putin’s stooge

Mod: To the names of Moscow Mitch, Leningrad Lindsay and Traitor Trump we now must add Crimea Cruz. What Ronald Reagan took away from Russia these four traitors are now so cowardly giving back.

It has come to this: Ted Cruz is Putin’s stooge (The Washington Post link): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has spent his entire adult life touting the West’s defeat of communism in the Cold War. In July 2014, he declared to a young conservative group, “‘Mr. Putin, give back Crimea.’ Why is it so unimaginable for President Obama to utter those words?” He continued, “We need to stand up and speak out for freedom. The words that come from the president of the United States matter. President Reagan demonstrated that. One of the saddest things is President Obama doesn’t do that.”

In fact, in March 2014, CNN reported:

President Barack Obama and other world leaders have decided to end Russia’s role in the group of leading industrialized nations. . . . The move to suspend Russia’s membership in the G8 is the latest direct response from major countries allied against Russia’s annexation of Crimea“International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another state’s territory through coercion or force,” the statement said. "To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built. We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine’s constitution.

In August of that year, Obama said, "We agree, if there was ever any doubt, that Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine. The violence is encouraged by Russia. The separatists are trained by Russia, they are armed by Russia, they are funded by Russia. Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see.”

So Cruz and other Republicans, in particular President Trump, have been lying about Obama’s stance on Ukraine for a long time. One can argue, as I did at the time, that Obama’s response should have been stronger, but he was no apologist for Russia. In that regard, Obama cannot hold a candle to Trump, who in the 2016 regurgitated Russian talking points that “the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were.”

To quote Cruz, why is it so imaginable that Trump should not tell Vladimir Putin to give back Crimea? I see you there, chortling. Of course it is unimaginable that Trump should demand anything of Putin or demand it cease its illegal invasion and annexation of Ukraine. Trump is the one who was willing to suspend aid to Ukraine, something Putin has been trying to accomplish for years. Worse, Trump now advances the blatant lie that Ukraine meddled in our 2016 election, something our intelligence community has repeatedly repudiated. And as for Cruz, Cold Warrior, Obama critic and anti-Putin hawk, he now declares there is evidence of Ukraine interference in our election because an op-ed was written criticizing Trump’s campaign rhetoric about Ukraine. This is what Cruz is now reduced to — making excuses for a president willing to stab Ukraine in the back to the utter delight of Putin.

Putin would like nothing better than to alleviate Russia’s sole responsibility for the 2016 attack on our election, the surreptitious plan detailed in the Mueller report to throw the election Trump’s way. Raising doubt that others’ were responsible, as well — and we aren’t punishing them? — is straight out of the Kremlin propaganda playbook. And Ted Cruz is willing to help Trump and Putin do just that. (Because Ukraine, in Cruz’s telling, interfered as well, is he now in favor of throwing Ukraine to the Russian bear, as Trump is?)

Why is it unimaginable that Cruz would stand up to Trump, to denounce cutting off financial aid to an ally fighting off Russia, to excoriate him for repeatedly inviting foreign meddling in our elections, to condemn him for suggesting Russia be let back into the Group of Seven?

Because Cruz, like virtually every other Republican in Congress is a coward, is afraid of a tweet or of the Trump mob. The formerly tough-on-defense Republican Party would rather contribute to the Kremlin propaganda machine and enable Trump (Putin’s best friend) than incur the wrath of the right wing.

The words of a U.S. president and a U.S. senator matter, and one of the saddest things is that both are willing to enable an enemy of the United States. In comparison to this crowd, Obama was Winston Churchill.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Trump supporters lose their minds when church shows Nativity scene in immigrant cages

Mod: Trump has put America into a morally inferior position to King Herod and the Romans on the race issue? That was not easy to do. And yes, this is Claremont, California.

Trump supporters lose their minds when church shows Nativity scene in immigrant cages (Raw Story link): MAGA supporters are losing their minds after a photo of the Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church was posted to Facebook. The scene depicts Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus separated and put in their own cages, a reference to the families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Inside the church, the family is shown as reunited.

Link here.
Senior minister Karen Clark Ristine shared the image on Facebook with the message hoping that everyone in the United States could see the photo and read the story for Christmas.

“The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world,” she wrote. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death.”

She went on to ask what would likely happen to the Holy Family if they sought refuge in the United States today.

“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years,” she continued. “Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.”

She cited Matthew 25:35, which quotes Jesus expressing his gratitude for those who fed him when he was hungry and welcomed him in, even though he was a stranger. It’s not something generally upheld by Evangelical Christians supporting President Donald Trump.

“In the Claremont United Methodist Church nativity scene this Christmas, the Holy Family takes the place of the thousands of nameless families separated at our borders,” said the senior minister.

Jim Bakker’s Made-Up Chart Shows God Pausing Earthquakes After Trump’s Election

Mod: God has also delayed the end of the world. Which is why we are still here. That didn't just happen, y'know?

Jim Bakker’s Made-Up Chart Shows God Pausing Earthquakes After Trump’s Election (Patheos link): According to televangelist Jim Bakker, the election of Donald Trump in 2016 was so monumental that the number of earthquakes around the world took a nosedive. It was clearly God’s way of telling us how pleased He was.

"… You want to see a chart that [will] blow your mind? I just got this from one of my newsmen here in the staff. You see that? You see what this is? This is the lowest earthquakes… Look at, down here. You want to know what that is? That’s the election of Donald Trump. Why would there be a dip in the earthquakes at the time of the election? Why would there be less earthquakes there?"

Where is that graph from? Who knows. Doesn’t it tell us something that the number of earthquakes has gone up since the election? Bakker didn’t comment on that. But still, what’s up with that dip? Simple: Bakker made it up. As with all his other Christian proclamations, he just pulled this one out of his arse. Right Wing Watch points out that the number of earthquakes around the world in 2016 was roughly the same as the years before and after — slightly higher, in fact.

Bakker’s chart is so fake, I’m surprised Trump didn’t draw on it with a Sharpie.

Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure (Daily Beast link): They promote bleach as a miracle cure and distribute it to children in developing countries. And now they have a prominent conservative pundit propping up their network.

The “Miracle Mineral Solution” (“MMS”) movement falsely claims a dangerous chlorine dioxide cocktail can cure almost any illness, from autism to infertility. A new addition to the Facebook-fueled movement is IAMtv, a conservative web-based channel fronted by Alan Keyes, former diplomat and adviser to President Ronald Reagan who appears in pro-MMS broadcasts with bottles of MMS from a dubious bleach “church” featured prominently on his desk. IAMtv figures even claim Keyes is helping the network spread its mission from Uganda to the halls of power in the U.S.

MMS has found a growing fanbase, often among people skeptical of modern medicine or desperate for miracle cures. Meanwhile, its champions are trying to make the concoction mainstream.

There is nothing miraculous about Miracle Mineral Solution. It’s poison. As the Food and Drug Administration warned in an August statement, the solution is “a powerful bleaching agent.”

Miracle Mineral Solution has not been approved by the FDA for any use, but these products continue to be promoted on social media as a remedy for treating autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and flu, among other conditions,” the FDA noted. “However, the solution, when mixed, develops into a dangerous bleach which has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.”

Those can include damage to red blood cells and critical organ failure. An NBC News investigation found at least 2,123 cases of chlorine dioxide poisoning resulting in serious side effects in the U.S. since 2014. Of the 50 cases that were deemed “life-threatening,” eight people died. Doug Nash, a former mayor of San Juan Capistrano, California became a vocal opponent of MMS after he claimed the potion caused his wife’s immediate sickness and her death later that day in 2009.

“She tried it one time,” Nash told ABC Los Angeles. “And it caused her death in 12 hours.”

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Sir Flush-A-Lot: Everyone is baffled by Trump’s rambling rant about flushing toilets ’10 times, 15 times’

Mod: By the rivers of Babble On ...

Everyone is baffled by Trump’s rambling rant about flushing toilets ’10 times, 15 times’ (CNN link): Another day, another truly baffling series of words coming from President Donald Trump’s mouth.

Speaking at a White House meeting on Friday about small business and regulation, Trump went on one of his trademark riffs, touching on a number of subjects with the clarity of a muddy puddle. He seemed to be referring to a series of complaints that have been raised over the years about various consumer product regulations (a favorite topic of Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky) but without making a coherent point about any of them.

Read the whole stream of consciousness rant to get a sense of what it was like:

The light bulb — they got rid of the light bulb that people got used to. The new bulb is many times more expensive and — I hate to say it — it doesn’t make you look as good. Of course, being a vain person, that’s very important to me. It’s like — it gives you an orange look. I don’t want an orange look. Has anyone noticed that? So we’ll have to change those bulbs in at least a couple rooms where I am in the White House. … We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers. And other elements of bathrooms — where you turn the faucet on, in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water, where the water rushes out to sea because you could never handle it — and you don’t get any water. You turn on the faucet and you don’t get any water. They take a shower and water comes dripping out, just dripping out, very quietly, dripping out. People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So EPA is looking at that very strongly, at my suggestion. You go into a new building, or a new house or a new home, and they have standards where you don’t get water. You can’t wash your hands practically, so little water comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands. .. For the most part. you have many states where they have so much water, it comes down — it’s called rain. They don’t know what to do with it. … A lot of things we do are based on common sense. If I didn’t get elected you wouldn’t have a steel industry. … We weren’t going to have a steel industry.

So there’s a lot going on here, so much so that we might have to leave it to the historians to unravel what he’s on about. Clearly, Trump seems to be referring to things he’s heard about or discussed over the years or in meetings but with little comprehension. While he lists a series of consumer complaints, he isn’t able to actually point to any specific regulations that they are the result of, or how those regulations were developed or could be improved.

Many observers zeroed in on Trump’s claim about flushing toilets “10 times, 15 times,” a particularly absurd and comical remark:

Writing for New York Magazine, Josh Barro did the world the favor of explaining what Trump seemed to be talking about, and why he is, in fact, wrong regardless:

President Trump’s attitudes and fixations often seem stuck in the 1980s, so perhaps it’s a step forward that he issued this very 1990s gripe. What the president said is not true anymore. But ‘90s kids know it used to be true — okay, not literally true that you had to flush ten times, but true enough in the sense that the first generation of low-flush toilets, introduced when the regulation capping toilet flushes at 1.6 gallons per flush came into effect in 1994, worked poorly and often required multiple flushes.

Barro continued: “But that was then, and in the intervening two decades, there have been major advances in toilet technology. Now, as far as I can tell, toilets are just as good at clearing the bowl with 1.6 gallons of water as they used to be with 3.5 gallons of water. Modern toilets address the problem that less water means less power by finding ways other than volume to increase flush power, or by reducing the amount of force needed to clear the bowl.”

He added: “Far from being an example of regulation run amok, the history of low-flush toilets is a demonstration of how private enterprises successfully innovate to follow new rules while preserving the customer experience.”

Mod: Clear?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Vladimir Putin’s Popularity Is Skyrocketing Among Republicans

Mod: He doesn't just blatantly interfere in US elections and invade his neighbors. Putin also murders his political opponents and journalists. What's not to love?

Vladimir Putin’s Popularity Is Skyrocketing Among Republicans (Huffington Post link): Russian President Vladimir Putin’s net favorable rating among Republicans has climbed by an astonishing 56 percentage points since July 2014, according to a new YouGov/Economist poll.

Thirty-seven percent of Republicans polled hold a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Putin, while 47 percent hold a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of him.

Though still negative overall, that -10 percentage point net approval rating represents a drastic increase from 2014, when Putin’s net favorable rating stood at -66 points among Republicans, according to YouGov Elections Editor Will Jordan.

Democrats’ attitudes toward Putin, on the other hand, have grown even more negative since 2014. His net favorable rating among Democrats sits at -62 points in the new YouGov/Economist poll, down from -54 points in 2014.

Overall, 21 percent of Americans polled report a favorable opinion of the Russian president, while 56 percent hold an unfavorable opinion.

Much like President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, 9 in 10 Republicans describe Putin as a strong leader. Nonetheless, about 7 in 10 say they’re confident in Trump’s ability to “handle Russia.” By contrast, only 28 percent of Republicans say they have confidence in the CIA.

Despite this, 58 percent of Americans overall believe Russia is unfriendly or an enemy to the U.S. That number drops slightly to 52 percent among Republicans and 56 percent among declared Trump voters.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Biden campaign calls Trump 'a president the world is laughing at' in new video

Mod: One of the big takeaways from Trump's abbreviated stay at NATO meetings this week is that world leaders don't even pretend to respect Donald any more. They just laugh and make fun of him.

Biden campaign calls Trump 'a president the world is laughing at' in new video (CNN link): Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday released a video assailing President Donald Trump as "a president the world is laughing at" in the wake of a viral hot mic clip of world leaders appearing to joke about Trump's behavior at a NATO gathering.

video link here
The video begins with a compilation of news clips with anchors discussing Trump's standing in the world before showing the NATO video, along with Biden's voice from a speech saying "The world sees Trump for what he is, insincere, ill-informed, corrupt, dangerously incompetent and incapable, in my view, of world leadership."

A graphic comes up that reads "We need a leader the world respects."

The video highlights Biden's strategy of painting Trump as unfit to lead on the world stage. Part of Biden's pitch to voters is that he is the best equipped to restore relationships with US allies as a former vice president and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The former vice president cited the NATO video while speaking at an event in Ames, Iowa, earlier Wednesday to make the case "people are worried around the world" with Trump in office.

video link here
"You saw what's recently happened, you heard the reports, I didn't see them, I just saw the reports today, where our NATO allies caught off guard making fun of the President of the United States of America," Biden said. "When is that, did you ever think you'd see that happen? Ever? And it matters to us. It matters to our security. But it gets back to basic fundamental values. And where are those values rooted?"

The comments echo Biden's remarks to CNN's Don Lemon last month faulting Trump for "shredding our alliances. Vladimir Putin knows I know him, and he knows me. And the fact is that this is what is needed on day one," Biden said. "We're in trouble. We're in trouble. This President is shredding our alliances. This President is yielding to Putin in ways that are obsequious."

Wednesday's video was released 30 minutes after Trump landed back on American soil, keeping in line with Biden's often cited principle of not criticizing a president while they're abroad.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

When does Republican partisanship turn into treason? We’re about to find out

Mod: The big day could very well have arrived. Nobody should be surprised.

When does Republican partisanship turn into treason? We’re about to find out (Raw Story link): It bears repeating. Donald Trump was not only press-ganging Volodymyr Zelensky in an illegal scheme for partisan gain. He was rewriting the history of 2016 in order to wound enemies (Democrats) and help friends (Vladimir Putin)—as well as to give Kremlin operatives room to strike again. It is in no way overstating it to say the president of the United States is the head of an international conspiracy to defraud the American people.

It has remained to be seen how far the Republican Party is willing to go in defense of Trump’s conspiracy. Senate Republicans quickly conceded that Russia sabotaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, but stopped short of saying the president benefited (because admitting that would be admitting Trump is an illegitimate president.)

But now, as the impeachment process enters a new and dangerous phase, we are seeing new GOP behavior (though we have witnessed plenty of hints). David Drucker, a superlative reporter, wrote today that Republicans decided the best way to defend the president is to embrace “the claim of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.”

Let’s be clear. There was no Ukrainian interference. That’s according to the special counsel’s report, which cited one and a half dozen national security agencies. That’s according to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report. That’s according to every career official in the State Department who testified under oath last month. The idea that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked the US originated in the Kremlin. The idea that the Democrats, not Trump’s campaign staffers, conspired with foreign operatives is more than “conspiracy theory.” It is a fascist ploy to turn lies into truth. This is why I said recently Trump’s crime is so much worse than abuse of power. It’s treason.

And the Republicans, like lemmings, are heading for a cliff.

Mod: Trump is the laughing stock of the world.

Video link here.
World Leaders Appear to Mock Trump in Candid Video (The Daily Beast link): Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is shown apparently joking with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron about President Trump’s long press conferences at a Buckingham Palace reception Tuesday. In video footage posted by the CBC, Trudeau is heard seemingly referring to Trump’s news conferences earlier that day. “Is that why you were late?” Johnson asks the small group, including Macron and Trudeau. “He was late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top,” Trudeau says, before the group’s conversation is drowned out by other noises in the room. “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” Trudeau says later on in the clip. World leaders were at the London palace for the NATO summit, and Trump met with both Trudeau and Macron on Tuesday before reporters.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

‘He doesn’t have a lot of friends’: Why latest impeachment poll shows ‘fake president’ Trump is in ‘deep trouble’

Mod: How can you claim to be winning your reelection campaign when the polls are showing half the voters want you impeached?

‘He doesn’t have a lot of friends’: Presidential historian explains why latest impeachment poll shows ‘fake president’ Trump is in ‘deep trouble’ (Raw Story link): The Ukraine scandal has turned many former impeachment skeptics, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, into impeachment proponents. And polling by CNN shows how much support for impeachment has increased with the general public: while only 36% of Americans wanted President Donald Trump impeached and removed from office in March, that number increased to 50% in October and late November. According to presidential historian Douglas Brinkley (who teaches at Rice University), that 50% is terrible for a president who is seeking reelection.

During a November 29 appearance on CNN, Brinkley explained, “Once the vote is taken by Congress to impeach him and he’s wearing the ‘i’ on his chest, you’re going to see that movement grow even more. It tells you he doesn’t have a lot of friends. He’s a base politician. He doesn’t know how to turn this around.”

By “base politician,” Brinkley means that Trump is someone whose support is mainly coming from his hardcore base. Trump is still quite popular among his base, and that CNN poll showed that only 10% of Republicans want him impeached and removed from office.

When President Bill Clinton faced impeachment in the late 1990s, those who wanted him impeached and removed from office — according to Pew Research Center — never passed 35%. And Clinton had a 73% approval rating when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach him.

Comparing Clinton and Trump, Brinkley commented, “The charges of corruption (against Trump) are just deep and real. Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades always seemed a tad bit frivolous, and the Starr Report seemed overdone with sexual detail. Clinton kind of became a hero of his own impeachment.”

Trump has often been described as the most corrupt U.S. president since Richard Nixon. But Brinkley goes a step further, saying Trump is the most corrupt since Republican Warren G. Harding — who was elected in 1920 and died in 1923.

Trump is heading right into a 2020 election,” Brinkley told CNN, “and the Democrats are going to pound on him being kind of a fake president — somebody who’s subpar in his behavior and has been running the most corrupt administration since Warren Harding.”

Monday, December 2, 2019

How Russia Became the Leader of the Global Christian Right

Mod: As it is with most of the Trump political apparatus, Putin calls the shots for much of the so-called "Christian Right."

How Russia Became the Leader of the Global Christian Right - While the U.S. passed gay-rights laws, Moscow moved hard the other way (POLITICO link): In early April 2014, as the post-Cold War order roiled in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula—the first forced annexation in Europe since the Second World WarPat Buchanan asked a question. Taking to the column-inches at Townhall, Buchanan wondered aloud: “Whose side is God on now?”

As Moscow swamped Ukraine’s peninsula, holding a ballot-by-bayonet referendum while local Crimean Tatars began disappearing, Buchanan clarified his query. The former speechwriter for Richard Nixon and intellectual flag-bearer of paleoconservatism—that authoritarian strain of thought linking both white nationalists and US President Donald Trump—wrote that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “entering a claim that Moscow is the Godly City of today.” Despite Putin’s rank kleptocracy, and the threat Moscow suddenly posed to stability throughout Europe, Buchanan blushed with praise for Putin’s policies, writing, “In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.”

Three years on, it’s easy to skip past Buchanan’s piece in discussing Russian-American relations, drenched as they are in mutual sanctions and the reality that Moscow attempted to tip the scales in Trump’s favor during the election. But Buchanan’s article crystallized a paradigm shift in religious relations between Moscow and Washington, and in Moscow’s role within the global Christian right. Before 2014 Russia was largely seen as an importer for Christian fundamentalists, most especially from the U.S. But as the Kremlin dissolved diplomatic norms in 2014, Moscow began forging a new role for itself at the helm of the global Christian right.

And Moscow’s grip at the tiller of a globally resurgent right has only tightened since. Not only have Russian banks funded groups like France’s National Front, but Moscow has hosted international conferences on everything from neo-Nazi networking to domestic secessionists attempting to rupture the U.S. Meanwhile, American fundamentalists bent on unwinding minority protections in the U.S. have increasingly leaned on Russia for support—and for a model they’d bring to bear back home, from targeting LGBT communities to undoing abortion rights throughout the country.

“In the same sense that Russia’s [anti-LGBT] laws came about in 2013, we’ve seen similar sorts of laws proposed in Tennessee, for example,” Cole Parke, an LGBT researcher with Political Research Associates, told me. “It’s difficult to say in a chicken-and-egg sort of way who’s inspiring whom, but there’s definitely a correlation between the two movements.”

Mod: There is much more at the link.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Presidential historian predicts public support for Trump will collapse

Mod: Remember, the impeachment fun has only just begun. Once events have fully taken their course the public's desire to impeach this popular vote loser of a president will be clear.

Presidential historian predicts public support for Trump will collapse (The Hill link): Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley on Friday predicted that public support for President Trump will collapse as House Democrats continue their impeachment inquiry against him.

“It just tells you what deep trouble Donald Trump is in. I mean, when you have 50 percent of the country wanting you not just impeached but removed from office, and the game hasn’t even gotten fast yet,” Brinkley said Friday morning on CNN, where he serves as a contributor.

“I think once the vote is taken by Congress to impeach him and he’s wearing the ‘I’ on his chest, you’re going to see that movement grow even more,” Brinkley predicted.

He added of Trump, “It tells you he doesn’t have a lot of friends. He’s a base politician. He doesn’t know how to turn this around.”

Brinkley noted the successful campaigns of politicians from opposing parties that came after previous presidents faced political fallout. "I think the Democrats might want to look at the way Jimmy Carter pulled off victory in 1976. He took the high road. He ran on saying, I will never tell a lie to you," Brinkley said. "He didn't have to say Nixon's lies or Lyndon Johnson's lies, just that I am clean, good governance coming your way if you vote for me."

A CNN poll conducted after the first week of public hearings in the inquiry found that 50 percent of Americans said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 43 percent said he should not be — the same margin from a poll conducted in October.

‘Everything Trump Touches Dies’: Alabama Crimson Tide ridiculed for being ‘cursed’ by the president after another loss (Raw Story link): The Alabama Crimson Tide lost to the Iron Bowl Auburn Tigers on Saturday. The loss came three weeks after Alabama fans cheered President Donald Trump — and lost their first home game in four years to Lousiana State University.

Trump was blamed for jinxing the Crimson Tide after the loss to LSU — and was once again ridiculed after Alabama’s second loss. One popular joke was that “Everything Trump Touches Dies” — often abbreviated as #ETTD online — which came from the title of a best-selling book by conservative political strategist Rick Wilson.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Donald Trump’s Afghanistan Troop Speech ‘Typical Of Dementia, Lack Of Awareness,’ Psychiatry Professor Says

Mod: Hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars are being spent to cart this old fool around the world. For absolutely no good effect.

Donald Trump’s Afghanistan Troop Speech ‘Typical Of Dementia, Lack Of Awareness,’ Psychiatry Professor Says (Inquisitr link): Donald Trump made a surprise visit to United States troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day. There, he delivered a speech to the troops that reportedly focused largely on his own claimed accomplishments. According to University of Texas Southwestern psychiatry professor John M. Talmadge, the speech was filled with “‘I am great’ stock phrases,” and in the psychiatrist’s view have grown “stale from overuse and inaccuracy.”

Taking to his Twitter account, Talmadge warned that Trump’s purported self-congratulatory speech in Afghanistan contained “vague claims of vapor-like achievement” that are “typical of dementia, lack of thinking, [and] lack of awareness.”

According to Talmadge, “every audience looks alike” to Trump. As a result, he is likely to deliver the same type of speech to troops in Afghanistan as to supportive audiences in the United States.

Talmadge has been a frequent critic of Trump, issuing repeated warnings regarding Trump’s mental fitness to hold office. The professor notes, however, that his opinions are his own and not necessarily reflective of the University of Texas Southwestern where he is employed.

Trump’s speech to the troops also contained jabs at prior administrations, telling the soldiers that they were fighting for a United States that is, he said, “doing well as opposed to something that was not doing well just a number of years ago,” according to a Slate account of the remarks.

Talmadge has warned in previous remarks that Trump suffers from mental and cognitive impairments that make it impossible for him to formulate a “vision” or “plan” due to his inability, as claimed by Talmadge, to engage in “abstract thinking.”

Trumpian brain failure is hard for normal people to understand because for normal people, abstract thought is natural, baked in, largely unnoticed,” Talmadge said earlier, as quoted by NewsweekTalmadge went on to describe “normal” thought processes as the ability to perceive “consequences, assess risk, [and] make rational decisions.”

Friday, November 29, 2019

Trump heaps praise on himself in rambling speech to soldiers during surprise Afghanistan visit

Mod: So is this really why our soldiers are still fighting in Afghanistan? Because it is good for the stock market? Too bad his impeachment polls are running at 50%. He could have stayed in Florida and golfed.

Trump heaps praise on himself in rambling speech to soldiers during surprise Afghanistan visit (Raw Story link): During a surprise visit to troops in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day, President Donald Trump gave a rambling and confused speech in which he credited himself for the economy and claimed people are thanking him for their 401(k)s and saying he “made them look like a genius.”

“We flew 8331 miles to be here tonight for one simple reason, to tell you in person that this Thanksgiving is a special Thanksgiving,” said Trump. “We’re doing so well. Our country is the strongest economically it has ever been. We’ve never done so well. We have the greatest economy anywhere in the world. So it is nice to know that you are fighting for something that is doing well as opposed to something that was not doing well just a number of years ago.”

“Our stock market has reached the highest level ever in the history of the exchanges, all three,” continued Trump. “If you look, all three. It is incredible. It is incredible what is happening. Just broke a record. I think it is close to 130 days. So we’re less than three years and 130 times we’ve broken the all-time record. And to me that didn’t mean an all-time record, it means something different. It means jobs. It means 401(k)s. People come up to me with their 401(k)s and they say, ‘You’ve made me look like a genius. Thank you very much.’ They are up 78 percent. They feel good.”

Mod: In other news, I'm kind of surprised they even let Eric out of the tower.

‘Umpa lopa doodle dee doo’: Eric Trump mocked for new ‘Leave Our President Alone’ stunt (Raw Story link): On Thanksgiving Day, Eric Trump attacked the impeachment effort by tweeting an image of a classic Trump hat, with the slogan altered to read “Leave Our President Alone,” complete with a hashtag. 

In short order, commenters on social media had a field day, mocking him for the stunt — many of them suggesting meanings for the word “LOPA” in foreign languages, and others offering other phrases the acronym could stand for. Like LOPA - Love Of Putin Always.