Everything Is Great and Amazing

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Sonic Youth
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sonic Youth » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:06 am

criddic3 wrote:Laura Ingraham and Newt Gingrich, however, seem intent on trying to smooth over and interpret what Trump's goal was in making his statements at the infamous press conference. Gingrich is understandably beholden to Trump for making his wife, Calista, Ambassador to the Vatican, but Graham is just loony if she thinks this line of reasoning is actually helpful in any way.


They may be angling for a job. There could be a lot openings in the next few days, you know. As for everyone else, a lot of it's pride. No one likes to admit - to themselves or to anyone - that they made a mistake of historical magnitude.
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby criddic3 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:25 pm

The most bizarre aspect of the last 2 days has been the attempt to spin the President's comments into something palatable. It's just incredible the talking points -- obtained and published in The Weekly Standard, which has really gone after Trump on this issue. It seems that this whole, "well there was another bad group there" thing is an actual White House talking point. I don't know why they think that would work. They (Trump supporters) are so desperate to turn the page from this but the whole thing is so bad that you just know the Republican leadership is going nuts over it. Many have already taken to Twitter and elsewhere to scold the President about his comments. Laura Ingraham and Newt Gingrich, however, seem intent on trying to smooth over and interpret what Trump's goal was in making his statements at the infamous press conference. Gingrich is understandably beholden to Trump for making his wife, Calista, Ambassador to the Vatican, but Graham is just loony if she thinks this line of reasoning is actually helpful in any way.
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:18 pm

I know we're not supposed to post links, but if anyone hasn't seen the Neo Nazi from the Vice series cry like the child that he is, watch this.

http://www.theroot.com/look-at-this-neo ... 1797903374
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:39 pm

My favorite tweet today was "Performance reviews this year should take into account that we were too stunned to work for six hours today."

This is the first time I honestly see the end in sight for him. For months, I've wondered about Republican leaders weighing the pros and cons of turning on Trump before the midterms. Which is honestly worse for them? And now, I think we might have the answer. One wishes Trump had come down on hate and intolerance as eloquently as Jeff Sessions of all people.

Who's calling for his resignation? What are we waiting for?
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:12 pm

Some (mostly befuddled GOP) pundits are asking, why would he cling so obviously to such awful people, when anyone knows they're not a majority? I think the answer is, while they certainly aren't a majority themselves, their wild enthusiasm may have been the difference in those three key states last November. Even if you assume the voting totals were on the up-and-up (I remain agnostic on the subject), the only reason he was able to squeak by Hillary in those vital spots was a turnout and margin in rural counties that dwarfed what Republicans have achieved post-Reagan/Mondale. It was giving those angry racists their favorite libation straight-up that appeared to make the difference for him.

And, even today, with his numbers so hideous, the only thing that keeps him afloat at all is the rabid fervor with which these people continue to support him (and the panic they evoke in other GOPers, who know they're going off a cliff, but think that'll happen sooner if they turn on Trump).

Sonic may be right, that we're getting near a point where he can't be tolerated any longer (Andy Borowitz parody headline today: "MIllions offer to work for Mueller for free if it'll speed things up"), but the ferocity of these white supremacists (and their, to coin a phrase, fellow travellers) tells us getting rid of him won't be anything close to painless. We may indeed finally have the long-delayed, decisive battles of the Civil War.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:55 pm

Yay!! He finally pivoted!

He went from 'unhinged' to 'batshit insane'.

Sometimes it feels like this insanity will never end.


Actually, I think it's the beginning of the end. (Meaning Trump, not us, although both are in the realm of possibility.)
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:43 pm

The President of the United States just held a press conference where he defended murderous Nazis.

Sometimes it feels like this insanity will never end.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:41 pm

Somehow all this reminds me of The Band Played On (1895),
lyrics by John F. Palmer, music by Charles B. Ward

Casey would waltz with a strawberry blonde
And the band played on.
He'd glide 'cross the floor with the girl he adored
And the band played on.
But his brain was so loaded it nearly exploded;
The poor girl would shake with alarm.
He'd ne'er leave the girl with the strawberry curls
And the band played on.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:28 pm

Back to Russia...

Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings
Washington Post
By Tom Hamburger, Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman August 14 at 5:36 PM

Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership - Including Putin.”

The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post.

The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.

But Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos for Trump to do so.

The exchanges are among more than 20,000 pages of documents the Trump campaign turned over to congressional committees this month after review by White House and defense lawyers. The selection of Papadopoulos’s emails were read to The Post by a person with access to them. Two other people with access to the emails confirmed the general tone of the exchanges and some specific passages within them.

Papadopoulos emerges from the sample of emails as a new and puzzling figure in the examination of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials and their proxies during the 2016 election, now the subject of a special-counsel investigation.

Less than a decade out of college, Papadopoulos appeared to hold little sway within the campaign, and it is unclear whether he was acting as an intermediary for the Russian government, although he told campaign officials he was.

While the emails illustrate his eagerness to strengthen the campaign’s connections to the Russian government, Papadopoulos does not spell out in them why it would be in Trump’s interest to do so. His entreaties appear to have generated more concern than excitement within the campaign, which at the time was looking to seal the Republican nomination and take on a heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the general election.

But the internal resistance to Papadopoulos’s requests is at odds with other overtures Trump allies were making toward Russia at the time, mostly at a more senior level of the campaign.

Three months after Papadopoulos raised the possibility of a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a delegation led by a Russian lawyer offering to provide damaging information on Clinton.

Manafort attended that Trump Tower session in June 2016, a meeting now under scrutiny in the special counsel’s collusion inquiry. But the new emails reveal that Manafort had rejected a request from Papadopoulos just the previous month to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian officials.

In July 2016 and again two months later, Jeff Sessions, then a senator and senior foreign policy adviser to Trump, met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

And also in July, a few weeks after Papadopoulos asked his superiors whether other campaign advisers or aides could accept some of the Russians’ invitations, Carter Page, another foreign policy adviser, spoke at a Russian university in Moscow. Page said he made the trip independently of the campaign.

To experts in Russian intelligence gathering, the Papadopoulos chain offers further evidence that Russians were looking for entry points and playing upon connections with lower-level aides to penetrate the 2016 campaign.

Former CIA director John Brennan in May told the House Intelligence Committee that he had seen worrisome evidence of “contacts and interactions” between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, although he offered no specifics.

Steven L. Hall, who retired from the CIA in 2015 after 30 years of managing the agency’s Russia operations, said when told by The Post about the emails: “The bottom line is that there’s no doubt in my mind that the Russian government was casting a wide net when they were looking at the American election. I think they were doing very basic intelligence work: Who’s out there? Who’s willing to play ball? And how can we use them?”

Papadopoulos, a former intern and researcher at the conservative Hudson Institute, was on a list of campaign volunteers that Trump announced as his foreign policy advisory team during a meeting with The Post’s editorial board in March 2016. Trump called Papadopoulos an “excellent guy.”

Almost immediately, Papadopoulos came under scrutiny for his lack of experience. He graduated from college in 2009, and his LinkedIn profile cited his participation in a Model U.N. program for students among his qualifications. Papadopoulos did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Page, who has been the subject of a foreign surveillance warrant over his connections to Russia, said the Papadopoulos email exchange was another sign that the Russia communications were inconsequential.

“The entirely benign offer from a volunteer member of the Trump movement is infinitely less relevant than the real collusion in the 2016 election,” said Page, who was copied on the first Papadopoulos email communication in March. Page said in an email exchange Saturday that “the real scandal lies among Clinton and Obama associates who fed false evidence” to investigators that he said formed the basis of the federal warrant concerning him.

Papadopoulos made more than a half-dozen overtures on behalf of Russians or people with Russia contacts whom he claimed to know.

On March 24, Clovis, the campaign co-chairman who also served on the foreign policy team, reacted to one proposed Russia meeting by writing, “We thought we probably should not go forward with any meeting with the Russians until we have had occasion to sit with our NATO allies.”

In the same email chain, Kubic, the retired admiral, reminded others about legal restrictions on meetings with certain Russian officials, adding, “Just want to make sure that no one on the team outruns their headlights and embarrasses the campaign.”

Undeterred, Papadopoulos alerted then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in an April email that he was receiving “a lot of calls over the past month” about arranging a Russia meeting.

“Putin wants to host the Trump team when the time is right,” he wrote on April 27.

On May 4, Papadopoulos forwarded Lewandowski and others a note he received from the program head for the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council. In it, Ivan Timofeev, a senior official in the organization, reached out to report that Russian foreign ministry officials were open to a Trump visit to Moscow and requested that the campaign and Russians write a formal letter outlining the meeting.

Clovis responded to the Timofeev invitation by noting: “There are legal issues we need to mitigate, meeting with foreign officials as a private citizen.”

The email chain does not show a response from Lewandowski, who did not return calls seeking comment.

Several weeks later, Papadopoulos forwarded the same message from Timofeev to Manafort, the newly named campaign chairman.

“Russia has been eager to meet with Mr. Trump for some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss,” the adviser told Manafort.

Manafort reacted coolly, forwarding the email to his associate Rick Gates, with a note: “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips.”

Gates agreed and told Manafort he would ask the campaign’s correspondence coordinator to handle it — “the person responding to all mail of non-importance” — to signify this did not need a senior official to respond.

A spokesman for Manafort, whose Virginia home was raided by FBI agents three weeks ago as part of an investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, said the email chain provides “concrete evidence that the Russia collusion narrative is fake news.”

“Mr. Manafort’s swift action reflects the attitude of the campaign — any invitation by Russia, directly or indirectly, would be rejected outright,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.

In an email to The Post, Timofeev confirmed that his organization had discussed a meeting with the Trump campaign in the spring of 2016.

The Russian International Affairs Council was created in 2010 by a decree of then-President Dmitry Medvedev as a project of various Russian government agencies. It is led by former foreign minister Igor Ivanov. Its board includes Russia’s current foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, as well as top Russian scholars and business leaders, among them the chairman of Alfa-Bank and Sberbank, two of Russia’s largest banks.

“We discussed the idea informally as one of the opportunities for . . . dialogue between Russia and the U.S.,” Timofeev said in the email. “RIAC often hosts meetings with prominent political figures and experts from the US and many other countries.”

He said the group would have been open to meeting with other campaigns.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said officials with the Democrat’s campaign have “no recollections or record” of having been contacted by the group. Similarly an adviser to the Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, former Russian ambassador Michael McFaul, said he could not recall any similar invitation.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:22 pm

Mister Tee wrote
And one more quick note on his poll numbers: it's truly remarkable to have a president recording approvals this low at a time when the economy continues to hum along (which is still more due to the Obama administration -- the first 6-12 months of an administration represent economic hangover, not the new president's effect). Two recent-ish presidents whose numbers eventually hit very low levels -- Carter and W Bush -- did so because of truly bad economies plus foreign crises.

I was going to peruse Bill Clinton's approval ratings in his first year (which I believe hit the high 30's in June) before reading your entire post. Clinton inherited a recession. Trump inherited a recovery. Not that he would know the difference.

Forgive me if I've posted this before but earlier this year C-SPAN did a historian's ranking of the Presidents based on the following criteria (each President is ranked between 1 and 44th): Public Persuasion, Crisis Leadership, Economic Management, Moral Authority, International Relations, Administrative Skills, Relations with Congress, Vision/Setting an Agenda, Pursued Equal Justice for All, and Performance within Context of Times. Is it conceivable that Trump performs anything other than abysmally in any of these? I don't think it is.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:30 pm

And one more quick note on his poll numbers: it's truly remarkable to have a president recording approvals this low at a time when the economy continues to hum along (which is still more due to the Obama administration -- the first 6-12 months of an administration represent economic hangover, not the new president's effect). Two recent-ish presidents whose numbers eventually hit very low levels -- Carter and W Bush -- did so because of truly bad economies plus foreign crises.

Trump has neither of those (at least not yet, though he's trying with North Korea). He's achieved these numbers solely through his own personal awfulness. This may be a presidential first.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:36 pm

To make you feel better, Gallup today has him at 34%, a new low. I'm not sure Rasmussen is worth looking at, even taking the house bias into account. I used to think they fluctuated like the other polls, except with a +5-or-so GOP advantage. But now I'm not sure they're even that reliable. They're to polls what Fox is to News -- operating in another universe.

I've been taking some heart, in recent months, from the sheer incompetence of the administration and even its Congressional allies -- thinking their inability to run government properly, along with the wild unpopularity of their goals, would limit the damage we're suffering (the damage about which I was so fearful from Election Night on). That, along with the clearly accelerating Mueller, and the worldwide resistance, had alleviated my deepest early pessimism.

But a day like Saturday brings me right back to my initial November feelings. This guy -- along with his complicit party -- has spoiled something fundamental about this county, and I'm not sure 1) how much further pain will be endured before we start to undo that and 2) whether it can be truly undone in the years I have left on this planet.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:54 am

Big Magilla wrote
I don't know how long the foul taste will last, but it seems that non-racist at heart Trump supporters who keep saying "give him a chance" are finally waking up to the realization that the man they put in the White House is as despicable as his worst supporters.

Four days ago, Rassmussen revealed that 45% of likely voters approved of Trump's performance as president, up six points. This can only be attributed to his statements re: North Korea. Everybody in my circle of friends was horrified. I know several periphery individuals who admired his response for reasons that aren't worth typing. Anyway you cut it, these are pretty lousy numbers for a President's first year in office (or maybe they're pretty good for such incompetence) but those numbers are about to take a big drop. It takes a lot for something Donald Trump says to backfire on him. In the past, it has involved a specific person. Like when he mocked the disabled reporter or insulted the Gold Star mother. Statements that reveal the monster. But this is like when he bragged about grabbing women by the pussy. He was a Presidential candidate bragging about sexual assault...and he never apologized. And maybe this is worse. EVEN IF you can struggle to make the case that the anti-racist counter-protesters contributed to the riot in that they couldn't run a car through their own group, it's just the sight of the united hate groups marching proudly. Decades ago, they wore hoods to protect their identities. Now, they proudly tweet their racist faces. This is conglomeration of hate groups and Donald Trump is afraid to lose their vote. That's just the only answer. I think that hurts in the same way...at least, I'd hope.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:59 am

I don't know how long the foul taste will last, but it seems that non-racist at heart Trump supporters who keep saying "give him a chance" are finally waking up to the realization that the man they put in the White House is as despicable as his worst supporters.

They could look the other way when he said the most vile things about his opponents. They could shrug off his love for Putin with "it's all about the money, he doesn't really support what he says and does". But his going off script with "on many sides" and failing to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis by name over the terrorist ramming of a truck into a crowd, injuring 19 and killing a 32-year-old paralegal in Charlottesville seems to have appalled all but his most jaded appeasers. If he doesn't condemn them by name and get rid of Bannon, Miller and the other white supremacists in the White House, it may hasten his impeachment or at least put enough fear into the hearts of the Republicans in Congress not to oppose it when Mueller releases his report which seems to be coming down the pike faster than the pundits think it will.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:40 pm

Our President is taking cues from David Duke.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver


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