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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16041 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-August-05, 14:12

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-August-05, 05:33, said:

Essential viewing (in full) for all US voters and anyone with an interest in American politics.


It makes for difficult viewing. My mind often kept going back to thoughts like "him? really? President?? how???". His lack of even basic understanding of the situation is mindboggling.

I remember when W. was President and everyone used to ridicule his abilities. Trump's incoherence makes W. look like a smart/savvy guy in comparison.
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#16042 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-August-05, 15:53

View Postshyams, on 2020-August-05, 14:12, said:

It makes for difficult viewing. My mind often kept going back to thoughts like "him? really? President?? how???". His lack of even basic understanding of the situation is mindboggling.

I remember when W. was President and everyone used to ridicule his abilities. Trump's incoherence makes W. look like a smart/savvy guy in comparison.

There is an old test for candidates that sounds silly but actually seems to work more often than not. I watched some of the 2000 election campaign, particularly the debates. Al Gore came across to me as intensely unlikable. The sort of guy that thinks he is always the smartest in the room and that everyone around him is inferior. In short, an arrogant pr!ck. W on the other hand may not have been an intellectual but at least he was personable and displayed some minimal ability to connect with people. So the test is "Who would I rather go drinking with?" and in that election W was, for me, the clear winner in that category. So it was not a huge surprise when he won despite Gore being widely seen as the stronger candidate.

2016 has some similarities. Hillary also came across as unlikable and unapproachable, not as badly as Gore but still not great. And she was a politician, near enough the most disliked category of person, up against a reality TV star. Now for me Trump also came across as completely unable to connect with people and add to that his racism and misogyny and, well, Hillary is winning by a nose. But I could equally understand why people chose Trump 4 years ago and even wrote here in the WC about how easy it would be for Trump to win.

In 2020 I feel things are different. Whereas 4 years ago it was possible to convince oneself that the racism and misogyny might be overblown by the media, now it is surely not for all but the most ostrich-like Americans. Add to that that the experiment is costing American lives and it seem impossible that enough moderates will still be willing to say "I would rather go for a drink with Donald". You may think that such a question is a crazy way of electing a leader for a country like the USA. But, in those now immortal words, it is what it is. In this case though "it" is democracy rather than >150000 American corpses.
(-: Zel :-)

half-wit -- Chas_P the racist
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#16043 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-August-06, 07:04

https://jspp.psychop...e/view/750/html

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No one factor describes Trump’s supporters. But an array of factors – many of them reflecting five major social psychological phenomena can help to account for this extraordinary political event: authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, prejudice, relative deprivation, and intergroup contact. Research on the topic demonstrates that these theories and concepts of social psychology prove centrally important in helping to understand this unexpected event. This paper describes the supporting data for this statement and demonstrates the close parallels between these American results and those of research on far-right European supporters.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16044 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-August-06, 10:58

Couldn't happen to a more deserving group:

Quote

August 6, 2020 at 10:42 a.m. CDT

The chief executive of the National Rifle Association and several top lieutenants engaged in a decades-long pattern of fraud to raid the coffers of the powerful gun rights group for personal gain, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the New York attorney general, draining $64 million from the nonprofit in just three years.

In her lawsuit, Attorney General Letitia James called for the dissolution of the NRA and the removal of CEO Wayne LaPierre from the leadership post he has held for the past 39 years, saying he and others used the group's funds to finance a luxury lifestyle.

She also asked a New York court to force LaPierre and three key deputies to repay NRA members for the ill-gotten funds and inflated salaries that her investigation found they took.





"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16045 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-August-06, 14:04

What was it that Barr said - Oh, yeah, this:

Quote

“Is it ever appropriate, sir, for the president to solicit or accept foreign assistance in an election?” Cicilline asked, prompting Barr to stammer and reply: “It depends what kind of assistance.”


Quote

Facebook said Thursday it took down accounts running a deceptive campaign out of Romania pretending to be Americans supporting US President Donald Trump ahead of the coming election.

The leading online social network removed 35 Facebook accounts, three pages, and 88 Instagram accounts as part of an ongoing fight against "coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher.




"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16046 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-August-06, 15:15

https://youtu.be/jnZUHQHGTYM?t=60

Noam Chomsky (though he might be reading off a script provided by the organisation).


PS: An afterthought. I wonder what these "reluctant voter" Democrats will do if he chose Michelle Obama as his VP pick.
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#16047 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-August-06, 18:52

View Postshyams, on 2020-August-06, 15:15, said:

https://youtu.be/jnZUHQHGTYM?t=60

Noam Chomsky (though he might be reading off a script provided by the organisation).


PS: An afterthought. I wonder what these "reluctant voter" Democrats will do if he chose Michelle Obama as his VP pick.

Very happy to see Chomsky sending this message presumably to disaffected Sanders supporters who are partially responsible for Trump's election victory in 2016.

You don't have to worry that Chomsky was reading from someone else's script. Never has. Never will.
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#16048 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-August-07, 18:35

These two stories both appear in today's NYT (web version):

Here’s How to Crush the Virus Until Vaccines Arrive by Michael T. Osterholm and Neel Kashkari. To save lives, and save the economy, we need another lockdown.

‘If We Get It, We Chose to Be Here’: Despite Virus, Thousands Converge on Sturgis for Huge Rally by Mark Walker.

Maybe Osterholm and Kashkari should have published their op-ed in Rider magazine.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16049 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-August-07, 19:19

One in Three Americans Would Not Get COVID-19 Vaccine

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While Gallup has consistently seen that U.S. party preferences play a strong role in Americans' views on COVID-19, the new poll extends that to willingness to be vaccinated. Eighty-one percent of Democrats are willing to be vaccinated today if a free and FDA-approved vaccine were available. That compares with 59% of independents and just under half of Republicans, 47%.


Overall, 35% of Americans say they would not get vaccinated for coronavirus. And I don't know what's going on with Republicans. They don't want to wear masks, social distance, or even get vaccinated. I didn't get the memo. Is getting vaccinated against COVID-19 against the will of God, or do Republicans still think COVID-19 is a Democratic hoax? :rolleyes:

Minimum effectiveness for initial coronavirus vaccines is supposed to 50% according the FDA. 50% :o That's the minimum so hopefully the best vaccines will be substantially better. But since the US can't force adults to get vaccinated, that means potentially ~2/3 of the population are potential coronavirus victims. Herd immunity is estimated to require about 70% of the population to be successfully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 and have an effective amount of antibodies. So even if a successful vaccine(s) is widely available (and it will take many months, maybe a year+ to vaccinate everybody, especially if multiple shots are required) the coronavirus pandemic will not disappear anytime in the foreseeable future.
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#16050 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 07:50

I think the US media is so focused on sensationalising every piece of political news that they are missing out on the substantive arguments made by either candidate (although in the case of one, nothing qualifies as substantive).

There was this interview where Biden made a remark about the diversity of the Latino community where he said something about how the African-American community is much less diverse etc. It became big news... so I searched out and viewed the entire video of that press conference. Let's say I was bored, so I also made some notes as I listened to the interview (see below):

https://youtu.be/iCpyx2T-lDA?t=290

(The video. Note: the actual broadcast begins 4m:50s from the start of the video)

Question Set 1: VP pick? Clear & cogent answers. Missed an opportunity to lighten the mood before the interviewer did it for him (by laughing); otherwise I liked his response.

QSet 2: Slowing the reopening Excellent start to the answers although he does dither for a few seconds midway. He had a very good set of replies. He was very impactful in responding about school reopening, the vaccine and Trump's absence of a clear plan.  

QSet 3: Medicare4All vs Obamacare I might disagree with the answers but it does not detract from the clarity and impact of his position. Lulu Garcia-Navarro asked Biden about healthcare for undocumented workers; I thought he skillfully avoided pitfalls in wording his response to that question & follow-ups.  

QSet 4: Legislative goals, Filibuster. Voting validity etc. I really liked his responses to these questions. He pretty much believes that the filibuster, if used properly, is a useful Senate tool but he also clarified that he will move to remove filibustering if the Republicans continue to be obstreperous (beautiful word, used so naturally by him in his speech)

QSet 5: Latino community & immigration Again, all the answers were clear and cogent. His "insensitive" remark was, according to me, not at all what it was projected to be --- it was fairly innocuous. Biden was given ample opportunities to slip-up by the journalists who posed genuine but tricky questions. He did not falter even once.

One-off Questions: 
* He did slip up when asked about cognitive abilities. Others can judge how bad/harsh that was, I found it a bit insensitive but not terrible. I guess it is for the African-American community to decide if what he said was outrageous.
* The questions about trade with China yielded responses which, I thought, were rather weak. If I were a Republican strategist, I would use some words from this portion to paint Biden as ineffectual vs. China's trade tactics.

I thought Biden did very well throughout the interview, something that is not at all reflected in any media. It is sad that the US media (and some British media as well) focused entirely on salacious reporting of the meeting.
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#16051 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 08:39

View Postshyams, on 2020-August-08, 07:50, said:

I think the US media is so focused on sensationalising every piece of political news that they are missing out on the substantive arguments made by either candidate (although in the case of one, nothing qualifies as substantive).

There was this interview where Biden made a remark about the diversity of the Latino community where he said something about how the African-American community is much less diverse etc. It became big news... so I searched out and viewed the entire video of that press conference. Let's say I was bored, so I also made some notes as I listened to the interview (see below):

https://youtu.be/iCpyx2T-lDA?t=290

(The video. Note: the actual broadcast begins 4m:50s from the start of the video)

Question Set 1: VP pick? Clear & cogent answers. Missed an opportunity to lighten the mood before the interviewer did it for him (by laughing); otherwise I liked his response.

QSet 2: Slowing the reopening Excellent start to the answers although he does dither for a few seconds midway. He had a very good set of replies. He was very impactful in responding about school reopening, the vaccine and Trump's absence of a clear plan.

QSet 3: Medicare4All vs Obamacare I might disagree with the answers but it does not detract from the clarity and impact of his position. Lulu Garcia-Navarro asked Biden about healthcare for undocumented workers; I thought he skillfully avoided pitfalls in wording his response to that question & follow-ups.

QSet 4: Legislative goals, Filibuster. Voting validity etc. I really liked his responses to these questions. He pretty much believes that the filibuster, if used properly, is a useful Senate tool but he also clarified that he will move to remove filibustering if the Republicans continue to be obstreperous (beautiful word, used so naturally by him in his speech)

QSet 5: Latino community & immigration Again, all the answers were clear and cogent. His "insensitive" remark was, according to me, not at all what it was projected to be --- it was fairly innocuous. Biden was given ample opportunities to slip-up by the journalists who posed genuine but tricky questions. He did not falter even once.

One-off Questions:
* He did slip up when asked about cognitive abilities. Others can judge how bad/harsh that was, I found it a bit insensitive but not terrible. I guess it is for the African-American community to decide if what he said was outrageous.
* The questions about trade with China yielded responses which, I thought, were rather weak. If I were a Republican strategist, I would use some words from this portion to paint Biden as ineffectual vs. China's trade tactics.

I thought Biden did very well throughout the interview, something that is not at all reflected in any media. It is sad that the US media (and some British media as well) focused entirely on salacious reporting of the meeting.


Thank you for this, I had not seen it. It's a pretty good demonstration of the strengths and the weaknesses of Biden. As a public speaker he is not what I would call impressive but there are times that I actually like that. Largely he makes sense. although there were parts where I had to tell myself I think I follow what he intended even if he did not make it very clear.
Ken
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#16052 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 10:33

On the "Will Americans get vaccinated debate?", wouldn't it be reasonable to hope that Tucker Carlson and friends will lead the charge in persuading Americans to get vaccinated? Obviously if Rupert Murdoch decides lower taxes are more likely if Fox is going to cheerlead against vaccines, then all bets are off - but why would he think so?

To put it differently, if you are answering "no" to a poll question whether you will get vaccinated, you are casting a vote against science/establishment. But if you actually decide not to get vaccinated, you are voting with your health or possibly life.

Let's see what actually happens once there is a vaccine that experts can in good conscience praise as safe and effective.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#16053 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 11:06

To stretch a sports analogy: Biden doesn't have a lot of velocity on his fastball. But neither did Jamie Moyer who went 16 and 7 for the Phillies in 2008 at age 46 which is ancient in baseball life years. In 2007, in a duel of grey beards with former NY Yankees bad boy David Wells, who is 183 days younger than Moyer, Moyer threw 122 pitches (72 strikes) and gave up 8 hits and 4 runs before leaving the game in the 7th inning with a 3-run lead which the Phillies extended to 8 in the 9th inning. If Biden sticks to his game plan and the stuff that got him this far, he will be fine. I expect a few wild pitches. Moyer and Wells were both fun to watch. That part of the analogy does not hold up for me.
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#16054 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 11:31

View Postcherdano, on 2020-August-08, 10:33, said:

On the "Will Americans get vaccinated debate?", wouldn't it be reasonable to hope that Tucker Carlson and friends will lead the charge in persuading Americans to get vaccinated? Obviously if Rupert Murdoch decides lower taxes are more likely if Fox is going to cheerlead against vaccines, then all bets are off - but why would he think so?

To put it differently, if you are answering "no" to a poll question whether you will get vaccinated, you are casting a vote against science/establishment. But if you actually decide not to get vaccinated, you are voting with your health or possibly life.

Let's see what actually happens once there is a vaccine that experts can in good conscience praise as safe and effective.


I very much agree with the last sentence. People say all sorts of things when a poll is about some hypothetical future.

I gave a little thought to why someone might hold off.

I have two childhood friends, R and G, living in northern Minnesota that I am in touch with. Both live near lakes. R is social, gets involved with community things, I am sure he would get the vaccine. G is much quieter. He is content to work on various projects around the house. He can easily go for a couple of weeks without seeing anyone. He seldom travels. The county he lives in has almost no cases of covid. I can well imagine him thinking: "Well, experts are usually right but sometimes wrong. Maybe I wait for a couple of months to see if I hear one of the experts say 'oops'. If all goes well, I will take it then."

This is an extreme case of course. We didn't get to a third of the population saying No from people like G. But there is distrust. Toward the bottom of the linked article we find:

Quote

Such resistance is not unprecedented. When Gallup in 1954 asked U.S. adults who had heard or read about the then-new polio vaccine, "Would you like to take this new polio vaccine (to keep people from getting polio) yourself?" just 60% said they would, while 31% said they would not.


This changed of course. As the article also mentions
"Leaders in favor of a vaccine may be well-served to study what caused the public to ultimately adopt earlier vaccines as they consider how best to influence Americans to take advantage of such an option now."

So:
I don't trust trump, understandably I think.
I have far more trust in the FDA, also reasonably.
Ultimately, we make our own choice of whether we trust someone enough to do as they say. Some caution is reasonable.

Bottom line: I agree that what people do later might well be very different from what they say now. It will depend a lot on how it is presented.

Oh. Further bottom line: If Fauci says take it, I will take it. If Trump says take it, I will run for the hills.
Some people might reverse those two names.

Ken
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#16055 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 14:29

View Postcherdano, on 2020-August-08, 10:33, said:

On the "Will Americans get vaccinated debate?", wouldn't it be reasonable to hope that Tucker Carlson and friends will lead the charge in persuading Americans to get vaccinated? Obviously if Rupert Murdoch decides lower taxes are more likely if Fox is going to cheerlead against vaccines, then all bets are off - but why would he think so?

To put it differently, if you are answering "no" to a poll question whether you will get vaccinated, you are casting a vote against science/establishment. But if you actually decide not to get vaccinated, you are voting with your health or possibly life.

Let's see what actually happens once there is a vaccine that experts can in good conscience praise as safe and effective.

On the likely probability, based on current polling, that Biden is going to win in November, and that there will be no vaccine available before election day, why would Fox Propaganda want to advocate for people to get vaccinated once a vaccine becomes available in 2021? Having people vaccinated and feeling like things are back to normal is going to supercharge the economy, especially kickstarting the travel and entertainment sectors. That would be great news for a President Biden. Nope, I don't see the ultra right fringe talking heads at Fox Propaganda doing anything to help Biden, even if it means the deaths of tens of thousands of their own viewers.

We've already seen the Manchurian President's propagandists rail against mask wearing and health department rules about self-distancing and large crowds for crazy, illogical political purposes. Trash talking about vaccines doesn't even sound like a stretch based on past performance.
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#16056 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 14:43

Can anyone think of a country other than the US where the decision to vaccinate or not has significant link to politics?

I can imagine anti-vaxxers exist in all countries (e.g. I've heard gossip about an ex-colleague's acquaintances here in the UK who "definitely will not get vaccinated"). However, their illogical stance would rarely be linked to political ideology.

It is only in the US where a proclivity to get vaccinated aligns to purely political divisions.
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#16057 User is online   awm 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 15:17

People who are anti-vaccine are generally people who don’t believe in science. This tends to color their opinions in other ways! Often they are very religious (not necessarily “mainstream” religion though, could be some cult like thing) and/or believe in various other conspiracy theories.

They tend to vote for either the far right or far left parties. I think this is true in most countries (seems to be here in Switzerland for example). Mainstream party leaders normally will not endorse the anti-vaccine position; even the US Republicans don’t seem to support it.
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#16058 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 15:21

View Postshyams, on 2020-August-08, 14:43, said:

Can anyone think of a country other than the US where the decision to vaccinate or not has significant link to politics?

I can imagine anti-vaxxers exist in all countries (e.g. I've heard gossip about an ex-colleague's acquaintances here in the UK who "definitely will not get vaccinated"). However, their illogical stance would rarely be linked to political ideology.

It is only in the US where a proclivity to get vaccinated aligns to purely political divisions.


The link between anti-democracy right-wing political beliefs and religious belief is no coincidence. Magical thinking and faith go hand-in-hand.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16059 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 16:19

View Postawm, on 2020-August-08, 15:17, said:

People who are anti-vaccine are generally people who don’t believe in science. This tends to color their opinions in other ways! Often they are very religious (not necessarily “mainstream” religion though, could be some cult like thing) and/or believe in various other conspiracy theories.

They tend to vote for either the far right or far left parties. I think this is true in most countries (seems to be here in Switzerland for example). Mainstream party leaders normally will not endorse the anti-vaccine position; even the US Republicans don’t seem to support it.

OK, maybe the Anti-Vaxxer in Chief isn't a mainstream party leader, or maybe not a Republican B-)

New study finds Trump’s tweets intensify anti-vaccine attitudes among his supporters

Or other Republicans, How the anti-vaccine movement crept into the GOP mainstream

Quote

Among some of these officials, that libertarian demand for medical freedom has displaced the traditional GOP view that it’s a civic responsibility to immunize your kids to prevent the spread of disease. As more politicians take an anti-mandate stand, some end up adopting bogus theories about the supposed harms of vaccination — threatening to roll back one of public health’s great achievements.

In Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin said vaccine mandates were un-American. In Oregon, the state party used vaccine mandates to bash Democrats as violating parental rights. And in the California Senate, all 10 Republicans last Wednesday opposed a measure aimed at stopping bogus medical exemptions from vaccination.

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#16060 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-August-08, 20:29

The White House reportedly asked South Dakota's governor how to add another president to Mount Rushmore, and she later gave Trump a 4-foot replica with his face on it

Quote

Last year, a White House aide asked the office of South Dakota's governor, Kristi Noem, how to add more presidents to Mount Rushmore, The New York Times reported Saturday, citing an anonymous source familiar with the conversation.

Quote

Noem recalled her first meeting with Trump in the oval office: "I said, 'Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mount Rushmore.' And he goes, 'Do you know it's my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?'"

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