Monday, October 26, 2020

WATCH: Trump Whisked Out Of News Conference By Secret Service Minutes After It Begins...

At this point, your guess is as good as anybody else’s what just went on. Donald Trump started a news conference. He was minutes in, talking about absentee ballots and executive orders when a Secret Service man interrupted the conference and ended it. Something really strange just happened during the press conference, a person interrupted […]

WATCH: This Is the High Point Of Bill ‘Lower The’ Barr’s Testimony, When Pramila...

This is stunning. This is a piece of oratory on Jamila Jayapal’s part and it probably will go down in history that way, in the same archive as Roosevelt’s, “December 7, 1941 a day that will live in infamy,” address to Congress. Both commentaries are succinct, pithy, and insightful. She got it smack perfect, dead on the money right. Woot!

Beyond Parody, Larry Kudlow Can’t Even Wear A Mask Right

Larry Kudlow knows as much about the respiratory system as he does about the economic system, which is to say jak schitt. Kudlow stood in the driveway of the White House this morning and, we guess, wanted to make a statement about the importance of mask wearing since Donald Trump said it was patriotic. Or something. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ over your nose, Larry, over your nose. — Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) July 27, 2020 The vengeance of Twitter was swift and sure. The mask is under his nose. Like wearing a speedo with your penis hanging out. He is a moron. — Spiro Agnew’s Ghost (@SpiroAgnewGhost) July 27, 2020 Now this article is tagged to Larry Kudlow on Twitter. As a public service, we are providing Kudlow this tutorial, free of charge, just in case the image given in the tweet above didn’t sink in. Kudlow clearly has problems with the simplest of concepts. Seriously. — Alex Heidarian 🇺🇸 (@Akheheh) July 27, 2020 There, Larry, do you have it now? Or do you need Max or Murf to come over to the house and show you? This is epic stupidity, but it is routine Kudlow. Just yesterday a couple of economists were on CNN saying that Kudlow has been dead wrong about everything the past six months. Raw Story: In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Larry Kudlow claimed that Americans are doing great and the country is in a “V-shaped recovery.” The economists called it absurd. “Kudlow is a clown,” said the University of Michigan economics and public policy professor, Justin Wolfers. “He hasn’t gotten a single thing right in at least six months. He told us this wouldn’t hurt. It has. He told us we would bounce back to work. We’re not. He just said — and patently misrepresented economists in saying that economists think we’re on a path of a self-sustaining economy.’ There’s a shutdown, you lift the shutdown, and automatically part of that reverses. The big economic question is, at the end of that, how much damage have you done? The longer it draws out, the more damage we do. With the resurgence of the bug, it’s drawing out how long the the economy is remaining in hibernation. And as a result, we’re seeing an increasing number of firms not survive that hibernation. So, we are going to bounce back somewhat, but not back to where we were. And the longer it takes, the more pain it will exact and the worse the longer-run recession is going to be.” I have tried to decide which is the bigger idiot, Kudlow or Peter Navarro and I can’t decide. I mean, that is some choice, between those two mental amoebas. I doubt if they can do arithmetic, how did they end up in economics? One of them would be remarkable in any administration, but both? And they’ve got plenty of company, starting with the poster children of incompetence, Jared and Ivanka. But beyond that, what I cannot figure out, is HOW do these people get these kinds of jobs? I am beginning to think that American universities should give degrees in nepotism and cronyism, because those are the fields one needs to be successful in, to be successful in modern America. That much is crystal clear. — ScottG […]

Trump Campaign Appropriating Nazi, White Supremacist Symbols. These are Not Mistakes.

There comes a point when something can no longer be called a “coincidence” or a “blunder.” We’ve hit that point — passed it, really — with the Trump administration and the campaign (they are one and the same, of course). The Nazis created the “Nazi Eagle,” or the “Iron Eagle,” in the 1920s, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Of course, like other Nazi images, it is now popular with American white supremacists, neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates — the rock-solid core of Trump’s electoral base. So, when we see the logo of the Trump 2020 campaign, should we be surprised? Trumps new logo for 2020 is eerily familiar, where have I seen this before? 🤔 — YS (@NYinLA2121) July 1, 2020 So far this new logo is sold on T-shits that you can get for a cool $30 from the Trump campaign site, which I will not link to because you don’t want the shirt unless you want to give the Trump campaign $30 for the privilege of ceremonially burning it. I wouldn’t bother. As you might imagine, American Jews — or Jews anywhere, I would imagine — are not happy with this. Trump & Pence are proudly displaying a Nazi-inspired shirt on their official campaign website. They are promoting genocidal imagery yet again — just days after President Trump retweeted a video of a supporter chanting “white power.” Link: — Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) July 1, 2020 Bend the Arc: Jewish Action wrote: It’s not an accident. Bigotry is their entire brand. If some right-wing bootlicker wants to try the “it’s a coincidence” or whatever argument, just respond with this, and don’t forget to punch a Nazi: They look nothing alike — Lyndsay 🎮 (@LyndzLP) July 2, 2020 But the campaign isn’t calling it a mistake. Of course, they’re doubling down on it, claiming that the problem is with the perception and not the reality of the symbol. Trump 2020 communications director Josef Goebbels, er, Tim Murtaugh, said: “In Democrats’ America, Mount Rushmore glorifies white supremacy and the bald eagle with an American flag is a Nazi symbol. They have lost their minds.” Apparently criticism of the logo is “moronic,” in Murtaugh’s words. The “America First” slogan, another key element of the logo, also has a deep, and ugly, history. — usurper (@usurper19) July 2, 2020 Early in his campaign, Trump said: I’m not isolationist, but I am “America First.” So I like the expression. I’m “America First.” Steven Miller and Steve Bannon co-wrote that March 2016 campaign speech. Both Miller and Bannon are neo-Nazis and white supremacists, and were brought into the Trump campaign because, not in spite of, their stances. (Don’t forget, Trump’s first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is an unrepentant white supremacist and neo-Confederate.) The America First Committee (AFC) was founded in 1940, and initially focused on its opposition of the US entering the war on either side. Its members included socialists, conservatives, and Americans from prominent and wealthy families. Future US President Gerald Ford was a member, as was future Vice-Presidential candidate Sargent Shriver, future Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, and others. But, anti-Semitism and an increasing pro-Nazi slant began to define it, Less than eight weeks before the Pearl Harbor attack, AFC spokesperson Charles Lindbergh delivered a wildly anti-Semitic speech on […]

Peter Navarro Announces Collapse of China Trade Deal, Markets Go Into A Spin

Peter Navarro, for reasons known only to Peter Navarro and apparently not even to Donald Trump, went on Fox News Monday and announced that the China trade deal had finally collapsed. That sent U.S. stock-index futures reeling by more than 400 points, before Trump got on Twitter and said the China trade deal was just fine, and then Navarro said that he had been quoted “wildly out of context.” Here’s the video of what he said. You decide. Peter Navarro says the China Trade Deal is over? — Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) June 22, 2020 On Thursday Trump said that there could be a “complete decoupling from China” according to Market Watch. In all events, two very alarming signs coming out of Trump world. 1. the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, if Trump has to get on Twitter and say the dead opposite of what his economic adviser says on Fox News, and 2. the conspiracy theory that Navarro was pushing was over the top. “They came here on January 15, to sign that trade deal and that was a full two months after they knew that virus was out and about…it was at a time when they had sent hundreds of thousands of people to this country to spread that virus, it was just minutes after wheels up and that plane took off that we began to hear about that pandemic.” Navarro is lying through his teeth. He personally was sending memos to Trump about the pandemic in January. Plus, the Trump administration knew about the pandemic in November. They told Israel and NATO and did nothing else about it. That story broke in April and I was amazed then and am amazed now that it wasn’t a bigger story. Evidently the decision was made by the White House to lie that nothing was known about the pandemic until mid-January. Trump has repeatedly denied getting memos in January or February from Navarro about the pandemic killing half a million Americans and costing as much as $6Trillion. The takeaway here is that if somebody in this administration thinks they can sell a bold faced lie, they’ll give it a shot. Kayleigh McEnany lied through her teeth today, saying that Trump never used the phrase, “Kung flu.” Yes he did. He said it on live television in Tulsa and millions of us heard it. So now, back to it all being China’s fault, as you hear, from both Trump and Navarro, China deliberately set out to get the United States and sent “thousands of people…to spread the virus” and apparently this is the strongman Trump talking point that they’re hoping to sell in November. Something got botched tonight, that much is clear. But like everything else in Trump world, it will take a little time to track down and sort out. What a crew of incompetents on a ship of fools, with a “stunningly uninformed,” to quote John Bolton, idiot at the helm.

Newest Move In Berman Chess Game, Berman Resigns, Backs Barr Into Appointing His Deputy,...

Somebody better wake up the shade of Machiavelli, or at the very least Richard Nixon, and get some input on the latest move in the palace intrigue of Bill Barr’s botched and bungled Friday Night Massacre. As of mid-afternoon Pacific Time here’s the latest, but not necessarily the last word. The last time Trump fired a high-profile DOJ figure, he ended up with Robert Mueller, a year of bad headlines and an impeachment. Trump will be in no hurry to run out in front of Berman’s alleged firing. There is a chance Barr may have gotten out over his skis here. — The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 20, 2020 Trump told Ukraine to talk to Rudy and Barr. Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York subpoenaed all of Rudy’s communications. Barr tried to fire the person leading that investigation. Boy, that’s quite a coincidence. — The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 20, 2020 Now this makes a lot of sense. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that this was probably the burr under Barr’s saddle that caused his inopportune and unwise termination of Geoffrey Berman. Now here’s what Berman is doing to fight back. Berman backed Barr into appointing a replacement who is far more of a DOJ lifer than he was. Barr just threw the SDNY investigations out of the frying pan and into the fire. And now Berman is free to speak. — The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 20, 2020 Here’s the statement, that went out on FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, June 20, 2020 Statement Of Geoffrey S. Berman “In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately.  It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as this District’s U.S. Attorney and a custodian of its proud legacy, but I could leave the District in no better hands than Audrey’s.  She is the smartest, most principled, and effective lawyer with whom I have ever had the privilege of working.  And I know that under her leadership, this Office’s unparalleled AUSAs, investigators, paralegals, and staff will continue to safeguard the Southern District’s enduring tradition of integrity and independence.” This is good. Berman’s colleague and right arm, Strauss, is now in charge and now all eyes are on SDNY. I think it’s safe to say that Bill Barr blew it. Also, go back earlier in the day and you’ll see that Barr offered Berman a position in the Justice Department, which was some inducement for him to play ball and obviously that backfired, when Berman declined the new post and publicly said he wasn’t resigning. So Berman has made Barr look like a fool, and provoked Trump into telling a blatant lie on live television. Good day’s work. I applaud the man. And Barr is apparently figuring out this isn’t Iran Contra and Trump has no problem leaving him in the field. Good, all good.  

Now Trump Is Calling Bill Barr A Liar, says ‘I Wasn’t Involved’ In Decision...

Welcome to the daily therapy session of People Without A President. You’ve all heard of Parents Without Partners? Well, this is People Without A President, where we offer friendship and support and a place to dialogue about the hellacious prospect of being a family of 330 million members, without a functioning adult in charge. If you haven’t heard, Donald Trump gave a short presser Saturday wherein he said that the judge’s order not to block the Bolton book was “great” which is a far cry from what he said earlier in the morning and then he said that he “wasn’t involved” in the decision to fire SDNY U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman — in direct contradiction of what his attorney general said in the letter of termination which he sent to Berman. So now we’ve got a liar’s contest between the titular president of the United States and the equally titular attorney general, who is supposed to “serve the people and interests” of the country. Your guess is as good as anybody’s whose interests Barr is really serving but it sure as hell ain’t ours. The president just said that he was not involved in the matter of Geoff Berman in SDNY. That means that though both Trump and Barr lie, at least one of them is lying about who is firing Berman. — Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 20, 2020 Trump on firing of Geoffrey Berman: "I'm not involved." (AG Barr says Trump gave the order to fire Berman.) — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 20, 2020 It’s one or it’s the other, friends, and you do not need a law degree to figure this one out. Did Trump fire Berman, in which case Berman is fired? Did Barr fire Berman, which he doesn’t have the legal right to do, and if so, does that mean Berman is still on the job? or here’s a great third alternative: 3. Did Donald Trump just throw Bill Barr under the proverbial bus? In all events, Barr is not having a good day. In the past fifteen hours he’s been called a liar by Berman and now he’s being called a liar by Trump. It’s safe to say that the Friday night massacre backfired and that Barr is drunk with his own power, but perhaps this will act as a wake up call. It’s also safe to say that Trump doesn’t want anything to do with this fracas and is leaving Barr to figure things out for himself. And the dysfunctional government lurches on, with damage control statements being furiously drafted aboard Air Force One as Trump heads out for #Oklacovid! or #coronapalooza, take your pick and creates more chaos. This administration is toxic. It is a cankerous sore that we need to remove before it infects the body politic any more than it has. Enough.  

Trump Just Fired Berman via Letter From Barr ‘You Have Chosen Public Spectacle Over...

This has turned into a dog fight. William Barr has decided to play rough and he exercised the option to have Trump fire Geoffrey Berman, which Trump has done. NOW: AG Barr says in a letter to Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman that Trump has now officially fired him, and that's that, rejecting any argument by Berman that a judicial appointment means he can't be removed. Previously: — Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) June 20, 2020 Some context from the New York Times. Mr. Barr asked Mr. Berman to resign, but he refused, so Mr. Barr moved to fire him, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump had been discussing removing Mr. Berman for some time with a small group of advisers, the person said. Mr. Trump has been upset with Mr. Berman ever since the Manhattan prosecutor’s office pursued a case against Mr. Cohen. At some point during their conversation, Mr. Barr suggested to Mr. Berman that he might take over the civil division of the Justice Department if he agreed to leave the position in Manhattan, according to a person familiar with the conversation. Mr. Barr’s attempt to fire Mr. Berman had received unexpected pushback from Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a close Trump ally. Mr. Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — which would approve Mr. Clayton’s nomination — suggested in a statement that he would allow New York’s two Democratic senators to thwart the nomination through a procedural maneuver. I’m not sure what the “procedural maneuver” is. I had read previously that Graham said he would take blue slips from the two New York senators, a blue slip being an opinion on a nominee, favorable or unfavorable, but I scarcely see that as “thwarting” what’s been done. Of all the corruption in government right now, this is the most singular act of the moment. Conservative writer Jennifer Rubin calls it “gobsmacking.” There will be plenty more pieces as this latest debacle unfolds, in the same real time that Trump resumes his MAGA rallies.

AlterNet: ‘Bill Barr Just Fumbled His Way Into A Spectacular Showdown With A Key...

If you have been following the trail of breadcrumbs on what looked to be yet another, by now routine, Friday night hatchet job in Trump world, this latest one is not going according to plan and is, in fact, blowing up in Bill Barr’s face as we speak. The basic facts are that the attorney general lied that U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman was “stepping down” from his post at SDNY and would be temporarily replaced by the current U.S, Attorney for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito. Berman’s permanent replacement was to be Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who has never been a prosecutor, but did do defense work for Deutsche Bank during the Russian money laundering scandal. Clayton would of course have to be confirmed by the Senate. So that was the set up but it went severely awry when Berman refused to play ball and came out publicly and contradicted Barr. “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption. I cherish every day that I work with the men and women of this Office to pursue justice without fear or favor — and intend to ensure that this Office’s important cases continue unimpeded.” That put things on an entirely different footing. AlterNet: This was a dramatic shot across the bow for three reasons. First, it’s always a high-stakes situation when a subordinate directly contradicts their superior’s public statements — even more so when the statement is about their own position. Berman is, in essence, calling Barr a liar. It seems Barr thought he could push Berman out by sheer bravado, but Berman is showing remarkable fortitude. Second, Berman is setting up a power struggle for control of SDNY with potential constitutional implications. His claim is that because he was appointed by a judge to fill a vacancy at SDNY, Barr can’t simply force him out; he can only be forced out when the Senate approves a presidential nominee. Berman is the Acting U.S. Attorney by dint of a *judicial* appointment. There’s a pretty good argument that, per the plain language of 28 U.S.C. § 546(d), he gets to keep serving in that post until the *vacancy* is filled (through Senate confirmation of a permanent successor). — Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) June 20, 2020 Third, and perhaps most importantly, Berman’s repeated reference to his cases, and preserving their integrity, suggests that he believes he is being forced out in order to interfere with an ongoing investigation. We know SDNY has investigated President Donald Trump’s conduct and allies in the past, including Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani’s associates — who also have ties directly to Trump — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are currently under indictment from the office. This all raises the disturbing prospect that Barr might be trying to push Berman out because his office has uncovered damaging information pertaining to the president. These are sound observations and this is pretty much the template for all the pieces that will be banged out in the […]

Geoffrey Berman, SDNY Atty That Barr Said Was ‘Stepping Down’ Was Fired. He’ll Testify...

The facts are sketchy at this point, but SDNY U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman was in fact fired Friday night, according to ABC News. US Atty for SDNY Geoffrey Berman was fired. The news came as a shock tonight. Sources close to him & DOJ official say AG Barr offered him other positions including head of Civil Division at main justice and Berman declined. News via me @alex_mallin & @AaronKatersky — Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) June 20, 2020 The knee jerk reaction to this is that Trump is desperately trying to get control of SDNY because of the threat it poses to him. They’re already preparing for the likelihood that they lose the election — nbabeau (@NBABeau) June 20, 2020 💯 Trump directing his henchmen to pull strings and chop heads in an effort to prevent @SDNYnews from arresting him the minute he loses re-electionWE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN WITHOUT PROTEST#StandUpFightBack — Unabashed Misfit (@UnabashedMisfit) June 20, 2020 America is right to expect the worst of Bill Barr, who has repeatedly interfered in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf. We have a hearing on this topic on Wednesday. We welcome Mr. Berman’s testimony and will invite him to testify. — Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) June 20, 2020 This is another one of those stories “moving faster than a hummingbird’s wings” as Dan Rather once put it. Woo. This is breathtaking. I thought John Mitchell was something back in the day. Bill Barr leaves him in the dust in the corruption department. But then I have to remind myself, there is no bottom in Trump world. Whenever you think it has been reached, a trap door opens and down you go again. As stated in the previous post, this is a developing story and we’ll be posting updates or new bulletins as more information becomes available.  

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