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

#13561 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 19:31

View Postbarmar, on 2019-September-07, 13:01, said:

Hasn't that ship already sailed? At least as far back as refusing to even hold hearings for Obama's SCOTUS nominee.

Of course obstruction, sometimes by both parties, goes back centuries, but Moscow Mitch (I prefer Kremlin McConnell but it doesn't rhyme as well) was holding up and refusing votes on Obama's appointees in unprecedented obstruction since the 1st day he became Senate majority leader.
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#13562 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 19:57

View PostWinstonm, on 2019-September-07, 11:58, said:

Reports are that Jerry Nadler will next week try to narrow the definitions of his so-called "impeachment inquiry". I think Nadler is screwing this up. However, I hope this leads to an impeachment resolution. Not that there is any hope that the Senate will convict but so that the Republicans in the Senate will be forced to show their wanton disregard for norms, laws, democracy, history, and the US constitution.

A failure to impeach this president would be an affront to history and the rule of law.


Keep pushing impeachment, it's the sure way to get President Trump elected next year. That ship has sailed when after 2 years of investigation, the Mueller investigation couldn't find collusion or obstruction of justice.

Even if the House Dems impeach the Prez (that is, bring charges against him), he will never be convicted and removed from office by the Senate. Nancy Pelosi has it right, you have to have broad bipartisan support for removing a President. Nixon left because he was found to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors -- they had a smoking gun. Nothing like that exists for Trump, but, of course, it does in the fantasy world of progressives.

I'm back! I had major surgery to remove some cancer and still face 6 months of preventative chemotherapy, but prospects are excellent that I will be entirely cancer free at the end of the process. We'll see how much I can twist your tails and shake up your insular progressive bubble while doing the chemo.
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#13563 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 21:33

View Postjohnu, on 2019-September-06, 23:03, said:

The grifting and cons never stop :(

Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: Trump’s Scottish resort

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Since April, the House Oversight Committee has been investigating why the crew on the C-17 military transport plane made the unusual stay — both en route to the Middle East and on the way back — at the luxury waterside resort, according to several people familiar with the incident. But they have yet to receive any answers from the Pentagon.

The inquiry is part of a broader, previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at and around the Trump property in Scotland. According to a letter the panel sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport — the closest airport to Trump Turnberry — since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members. The Criminal in Chief is living up to his name.

Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.

“The Defense Department has not produced a single document in this investigation,” said a senior Democratic aide on the oversight panel. “The committee will be forced to consider alternative steps if the Pentagon does not begin complying voluntarily in the coming days.”

So Turnberry resort is bleeding money, and the Prestwick Airport which is the airline gateway to that part of the country is also bleeding money and in danger of being forced to close. If Prestwick Airport closed, Turnberry resort would likely be forced into bankruptcy which would actually not be a problem because the Bankruptcy King in Chief knows all there is to know about declaring bankruptcy.

Also, aviation fuel at US airbases is available at wholesale prices for US military aircraft, and refueling at Prestwick Airport is at full retail prices. Ka-ching :rolleyes: And Turnberry resort gets their hotel rooms and restaurants filled up with captive US military personnel. Yet more corruption and emoluments clause crimes.

This crime gets bigger and bigger. Now the US military is complicit in helping the Grifter in Chief plunder the US Treasury.

U.S. Military Forging New Contract To 2024 To Refuel Near Trump’s Turnberry Resort: Report

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Even as House lawmakers investigate suspicious U.S. military refueling stops close to Donald Trump’s Turnberry golf resort, a Defense Department agency is finalizing a new contract for continued stops at the airport into 2024, The Scotsman newspaper has reported.

The House Oversight Committee is investigating refueling stops at the remote Glascow Prestwick Airport just 23 miles from Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland. Military personnel stayed nights at Turnberry, spending federal funds for lodging and food that went to the president’s company, both Politico and The New York Times reported.

Quote

Prestwick’s refueling contract with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is about to expire. Total payments to the airport since 2017 could total as much $21 million by the time the contract ends, The Scotsman reported.

But the airport has a new, longer contract beginning October 1 and running through the end of September 2024, the newspaper reported. The value is yet to be determined. But the new deal would involve supplying some 12.4 million gallons of aviation fuel — about 3 million more than the current deal, according to The Scotsman.

IMPEACH NOW
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#13564 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-07, 22:44

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-07, 19:57, said:

Keep pushing impeachment, it's the sure way to get President Trump elected next year. That ship has sailed when after 2 years of investigation, the Mueller investigation couldn't find collusion or obstruction of justice.

Even if the House Dems impeach the Prez (that is, bring charges against him), he will never be convicted and removed from office by the Senate. Nancy Pelosi has it right, you have to have broad bipartisan support for removing a President. Nixon left because he was found to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors -- they had a smoking gun. Nothing like that exists for Trump, but, of course, it does in the fantasy world of progressives.

I'm back! I had major surgery to remove some cancer and still face 6 months of preventative chemotherapy, but prospects are excellent that I will be entirely cancer free at the end of the process. We'll see how much I can twist your tails and shake up your insular progressive bubble while doing the chemo.


Go away and quit being an ignorant rube. Grown people are talking here. I don't mind a conservative viewpoint but I resent having to listen or read ignorance of facts. Research the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors and you will learn that Trump continually commits these acts in full view of the world at large. He is his own smoking gun.

Here, I've reduced your post to remove bias-based inaccuracies and personal history:

Quote

he will never be convicted and removed from office by the Senate


Thanks for your contribution to the discussion, Captain Obvious.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13565 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-08, 15:02

From Noah Smith:

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Remember when America freaked out about indefinite detention for terror suspects? Well, this is a hell of a lot worse: https://www.bloomber...ane-unnecessary.

Excerpt:

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Should migrant families, many of them seeking asylum, be treated like criminals? Should undocumented children be incarcerated for months while their cases are processed? Are detained families likely to be housed in humane conditions? And would such a strategy be a sensible use of taxpayer money worthy of a nation of immigrants?

The correct answer to these questions is obviously “no.” But that’s not deterring President Donald Trump’s administration. Last month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a plan to supersede the so-called Flores settlement, a 22-year-old court agreement that limited the time migrant children could be detained. Under the new rules, the White House says it can lock up families indefinitely as their cases are processed.

This policy is as misguided as it is inhumane — and it ignores proven alternatives that would do far more to improve the system.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13566 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 08:57

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-07, 19:57, said:

That ship has sailed when after 2 years of investigation, the Mueller investigation couldn't find collusion or obstruction of justice.

Are you still parrotting that line from Trump and the AG? Everyone who has actually read the report, or listened to Mueller's testimony, knows that he found numerous cases of both. He just couldn't bring charges against Trump because there's a DOJ policy against indicting a sitting President.

You're right that a Republican Senate will never convict him, and that's one of the common arguments against impeaching. But there are arguments in favor of impeaching even if you know it won't get him removed from office, and that's why some Congressmen are pushing for it.

#13567 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 09:43

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-07, 19:57, said:


Welcome back. Just checking - do you still think William Barr is a straight shooter? Do you think his letter was a fair summary that conveyed the right overall conclusions of the Mueller report?

Would help us in deciding whether to take you more seriously in the future...
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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#13568 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 10:59

View Postcherdano, on 2019-September-09, 09:43, said:

Welcome back. Just checking - do you still think William Barr is a straight shooter? Do you think his letter was a fair summary that conveyed the right overall conclusions of the Mueller report?

Would help us in deciding whether to take you more seriously in the future...

Sorry Arend but I think he already answered this question when he wrote:

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-07, 19:57, said:

after 2 years of investigation, the Mueller investigation couldn't find collusion or obstruction of justice.

(-: Zel :-)

half-wit -- Chas_P the racist
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#13569 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 13:07

View Postcherdano, on 2019-September-09, 09:43, said:

Welcome back. Just checking - do you still think William Barr is a straight shooter? Do you think his letter was a fair summary that conveyed the right overall conclusions of the Mueller report?

Would help us in deciding whether to take you more seriously in the future...


Yes, recently his DOJ has declined to pursue several criminal referrals from the DOJ Inspector General with regards to leaks and disclosure of government information by Comey and McCabe. I'm wondering if those declinations are awaiting further developments in the IOG's investigation into FBI leaking and/or the results of US Attorney Durham's investigation in the origins of the Trump investigation and FISA abuse. Maybe there's bigger fish to fry. Maybe not.

What I want to see is the full truth come out.

I don't buy the contention progressives are making about obstruction of justice. If the Prez was guilty of obstruction, the Mueller report should have laid that out and said so. Instead, we got a bunch of scenarios with weasel words to the effect that there were complex legal issues involved. In short, there was nothing clear cut to hang the Prez on.

Then the report took the bizarre step of refusing to exonerate the Prez. But that's not what a prosecutor should be doing. A prosecutor either recommends prosecution or declines to indict. So the exoneration comments were clearly an attempt to muddy the waters about obstruction and were politically oriented. Mueller's testimony before Congress was so muddled that it raised the specter that the Democrat zealots were really running the investigation and Mueller really wasn't in charge or aware. If that report was all they could come up with, game over.


As for my comments on impeachment, I'm just reflecting the attitude of the majority of the public. In the progressive bubble, impeachment may be an imperative and a slam dunk. But polls have shown that over 60% of the public no longer favors impeachment. That large a proportion of the public goes way beyond the crazies on the right and must include lots of independents. So Democrats continuing to pursue what seems a settled issue is at their own peril.

Democrats would be better off to accomplish something to help solve the nation problems rather than continuing to focus on and tilt with the impeachment windmill. Chase impeachment at your own peril.

Also, it's interesting that the political cartoons have recently shifted. They used to be strictly about bashing President Trump. But more recently, there's been a shift and the cartoons reflect a good modicum of criticism of the Democrats about impeachment.
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#13570 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 14:52

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-09, 13:07, said:

Yes, recently his DOJ has declined to pursue several criminal referrals from the DOJ Inspector General with regards to leaks and disclosure of government information by Comey and McCabe. I'm wondering if those declinations are awaiting further developments in the IOG's investigation into FBI leaking and/or the results of US Attorney Durham's investigation in the origins of the Trump investigation and FISA abuse. Maybe there's bigger fish to fry. Maybe not.

What I want to see is the full truth come out.

I don't buy the contention progressives are making about obstruction of justice. If the Prez was guilty of obstruction, the Mueller report should have laid that out and said so. Instead, we got a bunch of scenarios with weasel words to the effect that there were complex legal issues involved. In short, there was nothing clear cut to hang the Prez on.

Then the report took the bizarre step of refusing to exonerate the Prez. But that's not what a prosecutor should be doing. A prosecutor either recommends prosecution or declines to indict. So the exoneration comments were clearly an attempt to muddy the waters about obstruction and were politically oriented. Mueller's testimony before Congress was so muddled that it raised the specter that the Democrat zealots were really running the investigation and Mueller really wasn't in charge or aware. If that report was all they could come up with, game over.


As for my comments on impeachment, I'm just reflecting the attitude of the majority of the public. In the progressive bubble, impeachment may be an imperative and a slam dunk. But polls have shown that over 60% of the public no longer favors impeachment. That large a proportion of the public goes way beyond the crazies on the right and must include lots of independents. So Democrats continuing to pursue what seems a settled issue is at their own peril.

Democrats would be better off to accomplish something to help solve the nation problems rather than continuing to focus on and tilt with the impeachment windmill. Chase impeachment at your own peril.

Also, it's interesting that the political cartoons have recently shifted. They used to be strictly about bashing President Trump. But more recently, there's been a shift and the cartoons reflect a good modicum of criticism of the Democrats about impeachment.


Right wing pundit Andrew Napolitano is quite sure Trump obstructed justice:

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Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano slammed Attorney General William Barr's legal reasoning for not charging President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, calling his argument "absurd."

Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, gave his take on Barr's defense of the president on his Fox News Digital show Judge Napolitano's Chambers. He argued that Barr "has become the president of the United States' defense lawyer," as he explained why the attorney general wouldn't allow Trump to be indicted.

"The reason he wouldn't give the permission is because of a very narrow, almost Jesuitical, understanding of the law that Attorney General Barr has," the legal expert explained. Napolitano then briefly laid out Barr's argument. "The obstruction of justice statute basically says whoever interferes with an investigation or a judicial proceeding for a corrupt purpose or attempts to interfere is guilty of obstruction of justice," the former judge said.

"Under Attorney General Barr's view, you cannot obstruct an investigation of yourself unless you committed the crime for which the government is investigating you. That, of course, is absurd," he asserted. "It would mean that [former] President [Richard] Nixon, who was charged with obstruction of justice for interfering with the investigation of Watergate, would have had to have committed the Watergate burglary himself." Nixon inevitably resigned instead of going through impeachment proceedings.


"We know that's not the law," Napolitano continued. "The attorney general's view is such a narrow one, his own Justice Department rejects it. That leaves the Mueller report," he said, pointing out there are numerous instances laid out of "presidential lawbreaking" in the document's findings.

Special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his final report to Barr in March. Although it did not establish that the president or his campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election, the report laid out instances of alleged obstruction of justice by the president. Mueller's team did not, however, determine whether Trump had committed a crime. Barr and his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that no crime had been committed as Napolitano explained.


And is this the kind of government you want, where cabinet members threaten loss of government jobs unless the agency heads support the false reality of the day that Trump is promoting?

Quote

WASHINGTON — The Secretary of Commerce threatened to fire top employees at NOAA on Friday after the agency’s Birmingham office contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, according to three people familiar with the discussion.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13571 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 14:58

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-09, 13:07, said:

I don't buy the contention progressives are making about obstruction of justice. If the Prez was guilty of obstruction, the Mueller report should have laid that out and said so. Instead, we got a bunch of scenarios with weasel words to the effect that there were complex legal issues involved. In short, there was nothing clear cut to hang the Prez on.

Then the report took the bizarre step of refusing to exonerate the Prez. But that's not what a prosecutor should be doing. A prosecutor either recommends prosecution or declines to indict. So the exoneration comments were clearly an attempt to muddy the waters about obstruction and were politically oriented. Mueller's testimony before Congress was so muddled that it raised the specter that the Democrat zealots were really running the investigation and Mueller really wasn't in charge or aware. If that report was all they could come up with, game over.

:lol: :lol: :lol: Mueller worked for the DOJ and reported to the Attorney General. There is a DOJ policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted while in office and Mueller felt bound by that policy. Mueller explained why he didn't say the Manchurian President should be indicted, and explicitly encouraged Congress, who has the power of impeachment, to act on the findings of the report.

2nd, are you so ignorant that you didn't know that the DOJ had a policy that a sitting President cannot be indicted? Apparently so. B-) Mueller couldn't recommend indictment. For the record,

Mueller said

"If we had confidence that the president did not commit a crime, we would have said so," and also said he was legally unable to charge the president with a crime, emphasizing it's against Justice Department policy and describing it as "unconstitutional."

and

"it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge."

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-09, 13:07, said:

Democrats would be better off to accomplish something to help solve the nation problems rather than continuing to focus on and tilt with the impeachment windmill. Chase impeachment at your own peril.

Also, it's interesting that the political cartoons have recently shifted. They used to be strictly about bashing President Trump. But more recently, there's been a shift and the cartoons reflect a good modicum of criticism of the Democrats about impeachment.

Wow, I'm sure Democrats have nothing better to do than take advice from somebody who wants them to fail. The Manchurian President is terrified of being impeached because it will be the defining moment of his time in office whether or not he is convicted by the Senate.

I agree that the cartoons may have shifted some criticism about impeachment to the Democrats. From what I've seen, many pro impeachment people are unhappy with the exceedingly slow pace of the impeachment inquiries under Pelosi's leadership.
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#13572 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 15:36

View Postrmnka447, on 2019-September-09, 13:07, said:


Yup, Mueller couldn't find obstruction of justice, Dorian was headed for Alabama, and the emperor has clothes. Bye-bye.
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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#13573 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 17:57

View Postcherdano, on 2019-September-09, 15:36, said:

Yup, Mueller couldn't find obstruction of justice, Dorian was headed for Alabama, and the emperor has clothes. Bye-bye.


Kushner will solve the middle east, Mexico will pay for the wall, trade wars are easy to win, I know more than the generals, Crimea wanted to be part of Russia, it was only locker room talk....

It's funny. In this world, ignorance, racism, and repetition of obvious lies used to act as a limiting governor and kept people out of the public. The advent of the internet has let the gaslighters fan flames of ignorance and intolerance worldwide.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13574 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 20:51

Valerie Plame is running for Congress in New Mexico. Time to turn this country around yo!
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13575 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-September-09, 21:04

US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017

Quote

The removal happened at a time of wide concern in the intelligence community about mishandling of intelligence by Trump and his administration. Those concerns were described to CNN by five sources who served in the Trump administration, intelligence agencies and Congress.
Those concerns continued to grow in the period after Trump's Oval Office meeting with Kislyak and Lavrov. Weeks after the decision to extract the spy, in July 2017, Trump met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg and took the unusual step of confiscating the interpreter's notes. Afterward, intelligence officials again expressed concern that the President may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia, according to an intelligence source with knowledge of the intelligence community's response to the Trump-Putin meeting.

The US doesn't need to worry about spies in the White House because we already have the biggest security risk in the history of the country, AKA the Traitor in Chief, AKA the Manchurian President.
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#13576 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-10, 06:16

From David Leonhardt at NYT:

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When my colleague Gail Collins first conducted a reader contest to choose the worst member of President Trump’s cabinet, in 2017, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was the winner. (I’ll confess that I disagreed with the choice; I would have gone with the man then running the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, a.k.a “Dr. Personal Enrichment.”)

In 2018, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, took the prize. And this year, in the third iteration of Gail’s contest, her readers chose Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. He won on the strength of his extensive record of lying in public and, like Price, apparently using government service to enrich himself.

“The Ross victory is a little suspect,” Gail wrote, “since it came right after he gave an interview in which he expressed befuddlement about why furloughed government workers were going to food banks and homeless shelters when they could — you know, just go see their banker and take out a loan.”

“Do you think he was making a play for first place?” she asked.

Well, now he seems to be making a play for a repeat victory.

Yesterday, The Times reported that Ross threatened to fire top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency responsible for weather forecasts, because the agency’s Birmingham office contradicted Trump’s erroneous claim that Alabama was at risk of being hit by Hurricane Dorian.

As you may recall, the Birmingham office made the original statement because it was worried that people were at risk of harm. Needlessly fleeing one’s home — and in the case of Alabamians last week, potentially heading into the path of a storm — isn’t a great idea. Evidently, though, Ross thought the officials put too much emphasis on human life and not enough on Trump’s image.

I should add that Ross already had a fairly strong case to be a repeat winner for Worst Cabinet Member, given his handling of the Census Bureau’s attempt to add a citizenship question. (The short version: He lied to Congress about the white nationalist motives for doing so.) Then again, next year is still almost four months away, so there is plenty of time for somebody else to give him some competition.

Elsewhere

“This isn’t a distraction. It’s one of the best stories for understanding how this administration operates,” the political scientist Seth Masket wrote. CNN’s Sam Vinograd observed that “the job of a cabinet secretary — in a democracy — isn’t to be a government censor, especially when lives are at risk.” Susan Glasser of The New Yorker said, “It’s like an old Soviet joke, except in 2019 America.”

Jonathan Chait of New York magazine: “The norm of bureaucratic professionalism and fairness is a pillar of the political legitimacy and economic strength of the American system, the thing that separates countries like the U.S. from countries like Russia. The decay of that culture is difficult to quantify, but the signs are everywhere. Trump’s stench is slowly seeping into every corner of government.”

Michael Cohen, of The Boston Globe: “Congressional Democrats should be calling on Wilbur Ross to resign immediately. If he refuses they should impeach him. What he’s accused of is unbelievably dangerous and a flagrant misuse of power.”

And in The Times: “It shows that even the leadership of NOAA, which should be the most technical and apolitical of agencies, is now so subservient to Trump that it’s willing not just to overrule its own experts but to lie, simply to avoid a bit of presidential embarrassment,” Paul Krugman writes. “Which brings me to a much more important case, the Justice Department’s decision to investigate automakers for the crime of trying to act responsibly.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13577 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-10, 07:04

"Moscow Mitch" in action:

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month blocked a measure that would have used Treasury Department funds marked for Appalachian development to help pay for coal miners’ health care and pensions in his home state of Kentucky.

But just a few months earlier, McConnell successfully steered near-identical Treasury funds for Appalachia to bankroll a Kentucky aluminum plant connected to an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13578 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2019-September-10, 10:45

I see that Bolton has bolted.

On a different topic, from Paul Krugman:

Quote

Sharpiegate started out being funny, insofar as the president of the United States acting crazy can ever be funny. At this point, however, it’s not looking funny at all; it’s actually deeply worrying, because we’ve just learned that top administration officials demanded that the National Weather Service — which you might have imagined was the least political agency out there — make false claims on Trump’s behalf. And among the people most worried by this story are economists, who are wondering what this may presage for the parts of the government that produce economic data.

The story so far, if you somehow missed the past couple of weeks: First, Donald Trump declared that Hurricane Dorian was a menace to Alabama, when the National Weather Service was forecasting no such thing. In fact, soon after his warning the service office in Birmingham, fearing that the public would panic unnecessarily, issued a statement that Dorian would not, in fact, pose any threat to its area.

Then Trump refused to admit having been wrong, and appeared on TV with a forecast map that appeared to have been crudely altered with a black Sharpie to include Alabama in the “bubble” showing areas at risk.

So far, so hilarious. But then the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, of which the Weather Service is a part, released an unsigned statement claiming that Trump had been right. And yesterday reporters at The Times revealed the back story behind that statement: Wilbur Ross, the Commerce secretary — whose department includes the NOAA — had threatened to fire agency officials unless they backed up his boss.

This was an incredible violation of the norms of good government. And it was all over something trivial; that is, nothing was at stake besides Donald Trump’s ego. What will happen if and when government agencies begin reporting bad economic news, which could cost Trump the election?

Right now the economic data are looking not terrible but somewhat weak. The last jobs report was disappointing, especially when you bear in mind that employment is being inflated by hiring for the 2020 census. Manufacturing appears to be shrinking slightly. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s “nowcast” — an educated guess at G.D.P. based on currently available data — puts growth at 1.5 percent and falling; this isn’t recession territory, but it is slow enough that the unemployment rate could start to rise a bit.

These are not the kinds of numbers a president who faces strong disapproval on many issues, but has claimed the economy as his great strength, will want to see going into an election. I don’t think it’s at all far-fetched to imagine that after a string of disappointing reports Wilbur Ross will put pressure on the Bureau of Economic Analysis — the arm of the Commerce Department that produces G.D.P. estimates — to report better numbers, and that the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which produces job reports and inflation statistics, will face similar pressure.

One reason to be especially concerned is that Republicans in general, and Trump in particular, already have a history of refusing to accept economic data they didn’t like. You may recall that Trump dismissed good job reports under Obama as “fake.” And a broad swath of conservatives, having predicted that Obama-era policies would produce runaway inflation, spent years insisting that official numbers showing low inflation were wrong.

So it’s all too easy to imagine that when the economic numbers start coming in bad or at least disappointing, the Trumpists will claim that they’re being sabotaged by the deep state, and put pressure on the statistical agencies to cook the books.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#13579 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-September-10, 16:20

The corruption in this administration is pervasive:

Quote

Two FEMA officials assigned to help manage restoration efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria have been charged with fraud and bribery for trying to enrich themselves by helping a company that received $1.8 billion in government contracts, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#13580 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-September-10, 18:18

That kind of corruption is not unique to this administration.
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