Monday, May 31, 2021

Revisit Memorial Day w/ Donald Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

Mod: The country Donald Trump owes his allegiance to doesn't like our military, either. 

Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’ (The Atlantic link): When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed. 

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

On Memorial Day 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery, a short drive from the White House. He was accompanied on this visit by John Kelly, who was then the secretary of homeland security, and who would, a short time later, be named the White House chief of staff. The two men were set to visit Section 60, the 14-acre area of the cemetery that is the burial ground for those killed in America’s most recent wars. Kelly’s son Robert is buried in Section 60. 

A first lieutenant in the Marine Corps, Robert Kelly was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. He was 29. Trump was meant, on this visit, to join John Kelly in paying respects at his son’s grave, and to comfort the families of other fallen service members. 

But according to sources with knowledge of this visit, Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” Kelly (who declined to comment for this story) initially believed, people close to him said, that Trump was making a ham-handed reference to the selflessness of America’s all-volunteer force. But later he came to realize that Trump simply does not understand non-transactional life choices.

“He can’t fathom the idea of doing something for someone other than himself,” one of Kelly’s friends, a retired four-star general, told me. “He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation.” Kelly’s friend went on to say, “Trump can’t imagine anyone else’s pain. That’s why he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he’s buried.”

Mod: More at the link.


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Critics pile on Mitch McConnell after NY paper dubs him 'Spineless McWorm' over his latest antics

Mod: Senator McWorm was never very happy about being called Moscow Mitch. However, I am not certain Spineless McWorm is that much of an upgrade.

Critics pile on Mitch McConnell after NY paper dubs him 'Spineless McWorm' over his latest antics (Raw Story link): Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) -- previously dubbed "Moscow Mitch" for helping to kill impeachment hearings for former president Donald Trump --- has a new nickname after keeping his caucus in line and blocking attempts to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the violent Jan 6th insurrection at the Capitol.

In a scorching headline and graphic on the front page of the New York Daily News, McConnell was dubbed "Spineless McWorm" with a sub-hed reading, "Mitch & His GOP Cowards KO Riot Probe.

Critics of McConnell -- who was also labeled "Trump's Little Mitch" by the paper just over week ago -- were quick to pile on the Republican leader for working to hinder investigating the insurrection that likely could damage Trump's future political prospects and put him in further legal peril.

Mitch McConnell Is A ‘Spineless McWorm’ On Damning New York Daily News Cover
(Huffington Post link): The New York Daily News went to town on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) with its front page on Saturday. The newspaper depicted McConnell as a worm after Senate Republicans on Friday blocked bipartisan legislation to set up an independent commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Weeks after he left office, former President Donald Trump was impeached for inciting the violence.

Spineless McWorm,” read the tabloid’s headline, adding underneath: “Mitch & His GOP Cowards KO Riot Probe.”

Mod: More about His Worminess at both of the links.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Jim Bakker: ‘Cancel culture’ is the reason I went to prison

Mod: You'd think Jim would be blaming something more a little more believable. Alien intervention perhaps, or zombies.

Jim Bakker: ‘Cancel culture’ is the reason I went to prison (Dead State link): On Friday’s episode of The Jim Bakker Show, host Jim Bakker said that his past conviction and prison stint for fraud and conspiracy was an example of “cancel culture” before its time.

“They canceled me,” Bakker declared. 

“Mainly it was the media, and the media got a Pulitzer Prize for putting me in prison,” he continued. “That’s what they do, they reward the enemies of the gospel. And the cancel culture, we had the largest ministry of its type in the world—Heritage USA—millions of people came there, and it was millions being saved around the world, and they literally took it away.”

According to Bakker, the federal government “produced video from my show video and edited it and put me in prison.”

“It was cancel culture,” he said later in the segment. “They did everything to cancel me. Everything to erase me.” As Right Wing Watch points out, Bakker was convicted of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Bakker had raised these funds by selling ‘lifetime partnerships’ to viewers that entitled them to an annual free stay at his Heritage USA Christian theme park, but the number of partnerships sold far exceeded the park’s capacity and millions of dollars were diverted to fund Bakker’s own lavish lifestyle,” Right Wing Watch’s Kyle Mantyla writes. “Bakker’s sentence was subsequently reduced on appeal, and he was released from prison in 1994.”


Friday, May 28, 2021

‘Pathetic cowards’: Senate Republicans face furious backlash after blocking Capitol riot commission

Mod: There will be investigations. Just without the participation of the party that attacked America. A lot like asking Al Qaeda to investigate 9/11.

‘Pathetic cowards’: Senate Republicans face furious backlash after blocking Capitol riot commission (Raw Story link): This Friday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill passed by the House that sought to create an independent commission to investigate the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Only six Republicans voted to advance the bill, according to reports. 

Unsurprisingly, the vote results sparked a huge wave of backlash and condemnation from people accusing Republicans of looking the other way from an event that some have compared to 9/11.


The Lincoln Project: Conspiracy / January 6 was an Inside Job

Mod: Will this be the first Memorial Day weekend of our lifetime where we take time to contemplate an attack upon this nation and its freedoms  from inside American borders?

Lynch Mob: Evidence mounts that the Capitol Insurrection was an "inside job" (Daily Kos Jan. 14, 2021 link): Reports are that the Capitol Rioters planned their attack for weeks publicly, and still the police and National Guard weren’t ready. The invasion of the U.S. Capitol was stoked in plain sight. For weeks, the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump railed on social media that the election had been stolen. They openly discussed the idea of violent protest on the day Congress met to certify the result.

“We came up with the idea to occupy just outside the CAPITOL on Jan 6th,” leaders of the Stop the Steal movement wrote on Dec. 23. They called their Wednesday demonstration the Wild Protest, a name taken from a tweet by Trump that encouraged his supporters to take their grievances to the streets of Washington. “Will be wild,” the president tweeted.

Ali Alexander, the founder of the movement, encouraged people to bring tents and sleeping bags and avoid wearing masks for the event. “If D.C. escalates… so do we,” Alexander wrote on Parler last week — one of scores of social media posts welcoming violence that were reviewed by ProPublica in the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s attack on the capitol.

Thousands of people heeded that call.

The day before the riot the Pentagon approved deployment of National Guard to DC for Pro-Trump protests however they were not authorized to protect the Capitol, instead they were placed on traffic duty away from the rally. The Pentagon on Monday reportedly approved the deployment of D.C. National Guard forces to the nation’s capital this week for pro-Trump protests centered around the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

 Mod: More at the link


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Slate: Can Donald Trump Run for President From Prison?

Mod: If you're looking for an Executive Summary answer, he can, at least legally. Politically is another matter, though I am sure the bleach drinkers would cast their vote for an incarcerated convict.

Can Trump Run for President From Prison? (Slate link): Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. has convened a grand jury to hear evidence of potential financial malfeasance by former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, according to a report by the Washington Post. The news of the grand jury comes after an announcement by the New York attorney general’s office that its civil probe of the Trump Organization has turned into a criminal one. 

Given that Trump has already hinted towards a 2024 re-election bid, the possibility of criminal charges opens up the door for Trump to be running a presidential campaign from behind bars—and for the slew of complications that can arise from doing that.

So, how difficult is it for an incarcerated person to run for president? Not very, at least from a legal standpoint. “When we’re talking about federal office, the limitations would really be political, not legal,” said Kate Shaw, a professor of law at Cardozo Law. “The Constitution actually is really clear about what the qualifications to run for president, or a member of Congress or Senate are.”

Those qualifications—listed in Article Two of the Constitution—include being a natural born citizen, being at least 35 years old, and having lived at least 14 years as a resident of the United States. A potential candidate’s carceral status, however, is not listed in the Constitution as a requirement, nor is a candidate’s criminal record. A Trump who has been convicted by the state or federal government of a crime, then, is equally qualified to run as a Trump with no criminal record—at least from a legal standpoint.

Indeed, at least three incarcerated people have run for U.S. president before with no legal obstacles. In 1920, Socialist Party leader Eugene V. Debs ran while incarcerated for charges related to his protesting against World War I. Another candidate, Lyndon LaRouche, ran in 1992 while incarcerated for tax evasion and mail fraud. And yet another, Keith Judd, managed to be included on the ballot—and win 41 percent of the vote against incumbent president Barack Obama—in West Virginia’s Democratic primary while incarcerated as recently as 2012. While all three candidates ran multiple times, none ever won any electoral votes.

The difficulty for a Trump re-election bid, if he were to be convicted of a crime, comes instead from public perception and the politics of running for president with a criminal record, plus the logistical obstacles of campaigning or taking the oath of office from prison. Conviction seems unlikely to cost him support among the GOP primary electorate, with a recent poll showing that 66 percent of Republicans want him to run again in 2024 despite his well-publicized legal woes.

“His supporters will argue that both impeachment and indictment are very politicized actions,” said Mildred Elizabeth Sanders, a professor of government at Cornell University.

Mod: Much more at the link.


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Must See TV: Are Donald Trump’s Rumored ‘Apprentice’ Tapes Now Owned By Jeff Bezos?

Mod: Back in his "pussy grabber" heyday Donald Trump starred on the crap reality TV show The Apprentice. Apparently there are some filmed moments that Chubby Cheddar hopes will remain secret. Will they?

Are Donald Trump’s Rumored ‘Apprentice’ Tapes Now Owned By Jeff Bezos? (Decider link): Jeff Bezos is paying up for MGM, and while he’s getting an enviable catalogue, there may be other factors that played into this major Hollywood acquisition. Bezos’ company, Amazon, has acquired the historic MGM Studios for nearly $9 billion, The Hollywood Reporter reports, making Bezos the owner of classic titles like the James Bond film series and The Wizard of Oz — but also an extensive collection of reality shows that includes The Apprentice, the series Donald Trump launched in 2004.

Now that The Apprentice has landed in Bezos’ hands, it could mean the release of the oft-rumored Apprentice outtakes, which have never been shared publicly but allegedly contain footage of Trump using questionable language. 

All of the footage from the long-running reality show is property of producer Mark Burnett’s former production company One Three Media, which was acquired by MGM in 2014. But now that the studio has been acquired by Amazon, does this mean that Bezos could finally share the alleged footage, escalating his years-long feud with Trump?
While the outtakes have been squirreled away under lock and key for years, actor Tom Arnold alleges they include footage of the former president casually tossing around some vulgar language. 

“I’ve seen a compilation tape that my buddy shared with me. He says the n-word, he says, he calls Eric the r-word,” said on a 2018 episode of the Shoot This Now podcast. Two years earlier in 2016, Arnold claimed on The Dori Monson Show that the outtakes feature Trump “sitting in that chair saying the n-word, saying the c-word … He says every bad thing ever. Every dirty, every offensive, racist thing ever.”

Not long after Trump’s Access Hollywood tape with Billy Bush was released in 2016, a former producer on the show named Bill Pruitt suggested Trump’s vulgar language in the clip — which included the infamous line “Grab ’em by the pussy” — wasn’t an isolated incident. “As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justthebegininng,” he tweeted in October 2016.

Mod: I'd say Bezos should release all of it on 60 Minutes. More at the link. 


Trump lashes out at New York grand jury — but he doesn't have any idea what the case is about

: When you are facing as many legal challenges and threats as Donald Trump, it can all start to seem like a very large blur.

Trump lashes out at New York grand jury — but he doesn't have any idea what the case is about (Raw Story link): President Donald Trump proved that he has no idea what legal problems he's facing when posting on his blog Tuesday night.
The Washington Post
revealed that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance had empaneled a grand jury into the financial problems facing the Trump Organization

At issue is whether Trump lied about his assets, inflated them for loans and deflated them for property taxes. But in his blog Tuesday, Trump accused prosecutors of targeting him for the Russia investigation, which has nothing to do with the case in New York.
"This is a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history," Trump proclaimed. "It began the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, and it's never stopped. They wasted two years and $48 million in taxpayer dollars on Mueller and Russia Russia Russia, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and it continues to this day, with illegally leaked confidential information."
He went on to rant about how he's been persecuted more than any other president and how they should be more respectful to him because he "did a great job for our Country (sic)."

"This is purely political, and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the Presidential Election, and it's being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors," Trump closed.  


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Vaccination data hints at new pandemic phase in which COVID-19 spreads primarily among Republicans

Mod: The implications for the US national gene pool are immense. A mass extinction event maybe? What on earth would Charles Darwin have had to say about all of this?

Vaccination data hints at new pandemic phase in which COVID-19 spreads primarily among Republicans (DailyKos link): In news that still surprises approximately nobody, the newest vaccination data confirms that the race to immunize Americans against a pandemic virus that killed 600,000 people in this country has been thoroughly partisanized. Democratic-leaning communities are getting vaccinated. Republican communities aren't. 

Analyzing the newest data, CNN reports that 21 of the top 25 most-vaccinated states were won by Joe Biden in the 2020 election, and 21 of the least vaccinated states voted for Trump—including all but one of the bottom 17.

"The correlation between vaccination rates and the 2020 election outcome by state has only strengthened over time," says CNN analyst Harry Enten. That's almost certainly because vaccine supply is no longer so constrained, turning personal motivation into the new driving factor for who's getting the vaccine and who isn't. 

We already know who won't be getting the vaccine, because they are very vocal about it: Trump supporters. Fox News watchers. Diehard Republicans who believe, despite all available evidence and quite probably themselves knowing someone who died, that the world pandemic is a hoax perpetrated by scientists or "globalists" or other supposed elites working behind the scenes.

This never had to happen. Conservative Americans were encouraged to reject pandemic safety for one simple reason: Donald Trump, an incompetent, disinterested, malignant narcissist who at no point was able to learn even the most basic duties of governance, had no idea how to respond to an emerging pandemic. Since he did not know how to respond, he declared that no response was necessary. As the virus trickled into the United States, then began exploding in local communities, he and his team of real estate scions and D-tier yes-men stuck to the notion that each report was a trick by invisible enemies to make Donald look bad.

Because Republicanism had already devoted itself to other propagandas, Republican House and Senate members quickly fell in line. Because Republicanism was already no more than a cheap cult obsessed with harming their perceived enemies and providing omnipresent praise for their allies, Fox News and other fascism-premised outlets began broadcasting the same claims nonstop, buttressing them with conspiracy theories and outright mockery of the severity of the pandemic.

The result, now, is a public health crisis that has been thoroughly partisanized. Non-Republicans have access to real-world information about the pandemic's risks, what safety precautions can be taken, how many have died, and who is most in danger. Republicans now believe that the pandemic is a conspiracy by a series of enemies demonized by Tucker Carlson and other propagandists, and that submitting to safety precautions is an attack on their own values. 

Mod: More at the link. Leave a tip.


MAGA Supporters Furious After Donald Trump’s Favorite Pollster Posts Best Biden Approval Ratings Yet

Mod: The Rasmussen Poll skews strongly Republican nearly all the time. The second poll discussed below shows Biden at a 62% job approval, which is really good news.

MAGA Supporters Furious After Donald Trump’s Favorite Pollster Posts Best Biden Approval Ratings Yet (PoliticusUSA link): It is very common for political polls to have partisan leanings. So common, in fact, that poll tracking site handicaps each major pollster by their partisan lead.

For example, Rasmussen Reports has been assigned a 1.5% mean reverted bias to the right. The pollster was very favorable to Donald Trump. It was one of the few services to ever show him above 50% at any time in his presidency.

Joe Biden, unlike Trump, has spent essentially all his time in office over the 50% mark. And on Monday, the president hit his all time highest ranking in the right-leaning survey. The site noted, “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Biden’s job performance. Forty-three percent (43%) disapprove.”

Rasmussen also tweeted, “Reader Update: President Biden may be on track for his highest 3-day average daily presidential job approval % of his new presidency. Developing.”

The numbers drew immediate condemnation from Republican Twitter. A number of the pollster’s Twitter followers called the information fake and threatened to stop following the feed.

Biden's job approval ticks upward to 62 percent, poll finds (The Hill link): President Biden’s approval is hovering just above 60 percent more than four months into his presidency, buoyed by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and improving views of the U.S. economy, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill. Overall, 62 percent of respondents said they either strongly or somewhat approve of the job Biden is doing in the White House, while 38 percent said they disapprove. By comparison, former President Trump scored 45 percent approval in a May 2017 Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

Biden gets his highest marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 70 percent saying they like the job he’s done so far to rein in the outbreak. 

But he also performs well among voters when it comes to his stewardship of the economy and stimulating jobs, garnering 62 percent approval on each front. Nearly as many — 61 percent — said they approve of how he is administering the government.


Monday, May 24, 2021

‘Can’t wait for her to be arrested’: Nobody believes Ivanka Trump pleading ignorance of Trump Org official

Mod: According to what I've been reading a lot of people do seem a tad skeptical about a few claims made by Ivanka Trump during her deposition regarding astray inaugural funds. In the picture above Weisselberg is second from the right, between Donald and Jr.

‘Can’t wait for her to be arrested’: Nobody seems to believe Ivanka Trump pleading ignorance of Trump Org official (Raw Story link): Ivanka Trump feigned ignorance of her father's longtime chief financial officer during a court deposition, but no one seems to believe her.

The former president's eldest daughter told investigators under oath that she was unaware of the job title of Allen Weisselberg, who had worked for Trump Organization since the 1970s and had long served as the company's chief financial officer, during an investigation of the family's business dealings.

"I don't know what his exact title is, but he's an executive at the company," she testified.

Weisselberg's personal tax filings have fallen under investigation by New York attorney general Letitia James, who's also conducting civil and criminal investigations of the Trump family, and many expect the longtime Trump accountant to flip.

Social media users cast doubt on Ivanka Trump's claims and relished the possibility that she and her family might face legal consequences.

Ivanka feigned ignorance about Allen Weisselberg's role at Trump Organization during deposition (Raw Story link): Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg has been a fixture at the company since he was hired at the company in the early 1970's.

But Ivanka Trump claimed she didn't know his title during a deposition, according to a copy posted by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former close friend of Melania Trump who is in a legal battle with the Trump family. After seeing the document, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen said Donald Trump has taught his older daughter well.