Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hushpuppy, Apr 12, 2011.
Judge dismisses suits claiming Trump violated emoluments clause | POLITICO
A federal court says challengers lack standing, but also declares the issue is best left to Congress.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a pair of lawsuits claiming that President Donald Trump’s failure to divest himself of his real estate empire and other business holdings violated the Constitution’s provision banning receipt of foreign “emoluments” while in public office.
U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels ruled that the two suits were fatally flawed because the plaintiffs failed to show injury directly related to the use of Trump’s properties by foreign officials and governments.
Daniels, who sits in Manhattan and is an appointee of President Bill Clinton, also said the issue was one that Congress should police, not the courts.
“As the only political branch with the power to consent to violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause, Congress is the appropriate body to determine whether, and to what extent, Defendant’s conduct unlawfully infringes on that power,” the judge wrote. “If Congress determines that an infringement has occurred, it is up to Congress to decide whether to challenge or acquiesce to Defendant’s conduct. As such, this case presents a non-justiciable political question.”
One of the cases dismissed Thursday was filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, along with a group of employees and owners of hospitality businesses like restaurant and hotels. The other suit, brought as a class action on behalf of members of the public, was filed by an individual New York attorney, William Weinstein.
Daniels concluded that all the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. He also suggested that if foreign governments were patronizing Trump businesses as a result of his presidency, this wouldn’t amount to a violation of the emoluments clause unless the president encouraged them to do so to receive some benefit from the U.S. government.
“It is wholly speculative whether the Hospitality Plaintiffs’ loss of business is fairly traceable to Defendant’s ‘incentives’ or instead results from government officials’ independent desire to patronize Defendant’s businesses,” the judge wrote. “Even before Defendant took office, he had amassed wealth and fame and was competing against the Hospitality Plaintiffs in the restaurant and hotel business. It is only natural that interest in his properties has generally increased since he became President.”
Daniels said that even if he ordered Trump to refuse any profit from any business with foreign governments, or from state and local governments that the president is not supposed to be paid by while in office, it was unclear how that would help the plaintiffs.
“Were Defendant not to personally accept any income from government business, this Court would have no power to lessen the competition inherent in any patron’s choice of hotel or restaurant,” the judge said.
Continued at https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/21/judge-dismisses-suits-emoluments-312610
Steve Bannon thinks he's running for President
Fox & Friends Suggests Trump Should Build Northern Wall to Protect U.S. From Canada
9th Circuit rules against Trump's third attempt at travel ban | TheHill
A panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled against the third iteration of President Trump's travel ban, saying it goes against federal law.
"We conclude that the President’s issuance of the Proclamation once again exceeds the scope of his delegated authority," the court said in its ruling.
The most recent iteration of the ban bars people from eight countries – six of which are predominantly Muslim – from coming to the U.S.
The San Francisco-based appeals court, however, said the Trump administration could continue to bar individuals from countries in the Middle East and North Africa from entering the U.S. if they do not have a "bonafide" relationship with someone in the U.S.
The court said the ruling would be put on hold pending any review by the Supreme Court.
In the ruling, the court said that "the Proclamation’s indefinite entry suspensions constitute nationality discrimination in the issuance of immigrant visas," and that it discriminates against travelers and immigrants in the same vein as Trump’s previous travel bans.
The Supreme Court decided earlier this month that it would allow the latest travel ban to take effect, while litigation ran its course.
A Richmond, Va.-based appeals court must rule on the ban before the Supreme Court revisits the matter.
Continued at http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/366268-9th-circuit-rules-against-trumps-third-travel-ban
Trump bucks White House tradition by skipping end-of-year presser | CNN
President Trump's year of flouting presidential traditions and trashing the media isn't quite over yet.
Trump left the White House on Friday without holding an end-of-the-year press conference.
While it's by no means a requirement to do so, most presidents in modern times have chosen to hold a formal news conference in December to tout accomplishments and share seasons greetings before Christmas.
This is the first time in 15 years that a president has opted not to.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny reported that Trump "wanted to hold a news conference, but aides prevailed on him not to."
Of course, Trump could surprise the press corps by announcing a press availability at Mar a Lago sometime between now and New Year's Day. But that looks unlikely to happen.
Analysts have speculated that Trump's aides and attorneys don't want him to speak in unscripted settings where he'll be asked about the Russia investigations.
In the seven months since Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel, Trump has had two main types of interactions with the press: Short sessions where journalists shout questions, and kid-glove interviews with supporters on Fox News.
He has given a handful of interviews to other outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, but his only national TV interviews since May have been with Fox and Christian broadcasters.
Continued at money.cnn.com/2017/12/22/media/president-trump-no-press-conference/
The Whole World Basically Just Gave Trump the Middle Finger
By James Holbrooks, The Anti-Media
The Trump administration received a concerted middle finger from much of the rest of the world on Thursday when it learned very publicly that its longstanding bullying tactics may be losing their effectiveness. From the New York Times:
“A majority of the world’s nations delivered a stinging rebuke to the United States on Thursday, denouncing its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ignoring President Trump’s threats to retaliate by cutting aid to countries voting against it.
“In a collective act of defiance toward Washington, the General Assembly voted 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, to demand that the United States rescind its Dec. 6 declaration on Jerusalem, the contested holy city.”
The United Nations resolution, drafted by Turkey and Yemen, was the second condemning Trump’s decision to upend decades’ worth of internationally recognized policy on the hornet’s nest that is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The first resolution, written by Egypt, went before the fifteen-member U.N. Security Council on December 18. United States delegate Nikki Haley vetoed the draft while all fourteen other member nations voted in favor of it.
It was Haley, in a letter sent to U.N. member nations on Tuesday, who fanned the flames of what was already a controversial decision — which includes moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — on the part of the Trump administration. She wrote that the president would be watching Thursday’s vote “carefully” and that he’d “requested I report back on those countries who voted against us.”
She echoed the warning on Wednesday via Twitter, claiming the embassy move was “the will of the American ppl” and that the U.S. would be “taking names” of those who stand against the decision.
Trump praised Haley’s effort at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. This was also when he made the threat to cut off financial assistance to nations opposing the will of the United States:
“I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations, for all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the assembly. They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us, well, we’re watching those votes. Let ’em vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
Following Thursday’s lopsided vote, a defeated Haley said the U.S. would “remember this day” on which it was “singled out for attack in the General Assembly.” Continuing, Haley reiterated her president’s position, saying the administration wouldn’t forget the affront when it was “called upon once again to make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations.”
But it was precisely this threatening tone that rubbed so many people the wrong way in the first place, and some took the opportunity to speak on the subject once the vote had been tallied.
“The world is not for sale,” said Venezuela’s representative to the U.N., Samuel Moncada Acosta, adding that U.S. threats “imperil global peace.”
Palestinian foreign minister Riad Malki produced a comparable sentiment, stating that Palestine “will not be threatened” and that the Trump administration, with its action regarding Jerusalem, is “ignoring the dangerous repercussions of its decision.”
Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour questioned the motivations behind the U.S. decision itself:
“What does this decision serve? It serves the Israeli government in implementing its colonial plans. It serves the powers of extremism.”
Mansour then highlighted that even stalwart U.S. allies such as Britain and France voted in favor of the resolution.
“Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated,” he asked, “and why even its closest allies couldn’t turn a blind eye to this decision?”
Fittingly, in his comments, the foreign minister of Turkey — one of the two drafters of the resolution — used the word that best sums up the U.S. strategy to get countries to play ball on the vote: bullying.
Calling Trump’s decision on Jerusalem “an outrageous assault to all universal values,” Mevlut Cavusoglu vocalized what many appeared to be thinking.
“This is bullying,” he said. “We will not be intimidated.” Then, addressing the U.S. directly, he added: “You can be strong, but this doesn’t make you right.”
Despite such unified opposition, the Trump administration remains resolute. Nikki Haley has already rejected the U.N. vote and said that plans regarding Jerusalem, including moving the U.S. embassy there, will go forward as scheduled.
"Trump-supporting singer claims Lewandowski slapped her butt at recent party"
Stoking Fears, Trump Defied Bureaucracy to Advance Immigration Agenda | The New York Times
The changes have had far-reaching consequences, both for the immigrants who have sought to make a new home in this country and for America’s image in the world.
Late to his own meeting and waving a sheet of numbers, President Trump stormed into the Oval Office one day in June, plainly enraged.
Five months before, Mr. Trump had dispatched federal officers to the nation’s airports to stop travelers from several Muslim countries from entering the United States in a dramatic demonstration of how he would deliver on his campaign promise to fortify the nation’s borders.
But so many foreigners had flooded into the country since January, he vented to his national security team, that it was making a mockery of his pledge. Friends were calling to say he looked like a fool, Mr. Trump said.
According to six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting, Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.
More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained.
Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.
Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.
As the meeting continued, John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, and Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, tried to interject, explaining that many were short-term travelers making one-time visits. But as the president continued, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Miller turned their ire on Mr. Tillerson, blaming him for the influx of foreigners and prompting the secretary of state to throw up his arms in frustration. If he was so bad at his job, maybe he should stop issuing visas altogether, Mr. Tillerson fired back.
Tempers flared and Mr. Kelly asked that the room be cleared of staff members. But even after the door to the Oval Office was closed, aides could still hear the president berating his most senior advisers.
Continued at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/23/us/politics/trump-immigration.html
James Comey comes out swinging at Donald Trump | Palmer Report
Since re-entering public life via Twitter, former FBI Director James Comey has largely limited himself to speaking through historical quotes. Perhaps he’s been limiting his words because he’s a material witness in the ongoing obstruction of justice investigation into Donald Trump. Perhaps he’s just been saving it for his upcoming book. But on Friday night Comey drew a line, and used his own words to angrily come out swinging at Trump.
Earlier this week, Trump’s new handpicked FBI Director Christopher Wray reassigned longtime FBI lawyer James Baker. This was clearly a punitive moved aimed at making an example out of Baker, who can testify that Trump asked Comey to rig the Russia investigation in Michael Flynn’s favor. This prompted James Comey to take a shot at Trump and Wray for the transgression.
Comey tweeted “Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain. James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better. He is what we should all want our public servants to be.” Again, Comey is usually so restrained, he only speaks through the words of historical figures, so this was a big deal. He wasn’t the only one to come out swinging.
Benjamin Wittes, a personal friend of James Comey and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, also took to Twitter to criticize the move. Wittes tweeted “I have refrained from criticizing Chris Wray, but this is not a good look. Jim Baker is one of the very finest public servants in the national security establishment. Nobody will begrudge Wray picking his own team over time. But when the Bureau is under fire from the political echelon — including the President — it is no time to be doing anything that anyone will confuse with cleaning house or appeasing those who would politicize law enforcement.”
Putin’s Man in the White House? Real Trump Russia Scandal is Not Mere Collusion, U.S. Counterspies Say
By Jeff Stein, Newsweek
Last May, a top White House national security official met in Washington with senior Russian officials and handed over details of a secret operation Israel had shared with its U.S. counterparts. The meeting shocked veteran U.S. counterspies. The American official was not arrested, and he continues to work in the White House today, albeit under close scrutiny.
That official, of course, was Donald Trump. The president’s Oval Office meeting with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and its then-ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak — which only Russian photographers were permitted to record — sparked a media brushfire that was quickly overtaken by more revelations of secret contacts between Trump associates and Kremlin agents. But the incident was not forgotten by American and Israeli security officials, or by longtime foreign intelligence allies of the U.S., who now wonder if the president can be trusted to protect their most guarded secrets.
For over a year, the question of collusion has driven various investigations into what’s become known as Russiagate. Special counsel Robert Mueller has been pursuing questions of whether Team Trump, which included the president’s son Donald Jr. and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, actively coordinated the Trump campaign with the Kremlin to hurt Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. That suspicion was bad enough, but now a far more grim consensus is developing in the topmost circles of the U.S. national security establishment: The president has become a pawn of America’s adversary, Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s a nightmare scenario even the writers of House of Cards would have discarded as implausible.
Until now. In a December 18 interview on CNN, retired Air Force Lieutenant General James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, virtually called Trump a Putin puppet. The Russian president, Clapper noted, is a former KGB “case officer,” or spy recruiter, who “knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president. That’s the appearance to me.” (Pressed to clarify his “asset” comment, Clapper said, “I’m saying this figuratively.”)
“Wow,” tweeted former CIA Russian hand John Sipher. “The rest of us try to find other clever ways to say the same thing. Good on him for having the courage to call out Putin’s behavior. Our president shouldn’t have fallen for it.”
Veteran spy handlers have judged Trump an easy mark for Putin, who spent years in the KGB sizing up and exploiting a target’s vulnerabilities. They note how easily he falls for praise, as when Putin thanked him and the CIA for helping him thwart a bomb attack plot in St. Petersburg. “POTUS is a [spy] handlers’ dream,” Asha Rangappa, a former special agent in the FBI’s counterintelligence division, said. “He responds, without fail, to praise and flattery and telegraphs his day-to-day thoughts on Twitter. Likewise, said Harry “Skip” Brandon, a former FBI deputy assistant director of national security and counterterrorism. “He often very publicly states he goes by his instincts. If that is accurate, he may be the ultimate unwitting asset of Russia.”
And so on. The steady drip of revelations emerging from multiple Trump investigations — his business deals with Russian investors, his associates’ many undeclared meetings with Kremlin agents, his resistance to accepting evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and his indiscretion with Israeli intelligence — draws a far darker picture.
Some veteran intelligence operators think it’s well past time to shift the narrative on Trump’s disturbing affinity for Putin, which the president insists is innocent and good for world peace. “Everyone continues to dance around a clear assessment of what’s going on,” says Glenn Carle, a former CIA national intelligence officer responsible for evaluating foreign threats. “My assessment,” he tells Newsweek, “is that Trump is actually working directly for the Russians.”
Continued at http://www.newsweek.com/trump-putin...a-investigation-scandal-moscow-kremlin-755321
Roy Moore still won't concede the Alabama Senate race. And those write-in votes? Mickey Mouse got a few
The Bland Philosophy of James Comey’s Twitter Feed | POLITICO Magazine
The former FBI director has developed his own preachy, moralizing tone. And his followers love it.
One of the more intriguing lawman-newcomers to Twitter is James Comey, an American citizen so pious he once taught Sunday school. While some of the nation’s other high clerics, disinhibited by the pounding Twitter beats, goof around, rib one another, advertise themselves and pounce on every table scrap from the news banquet, Comey has chosen to play the platform a little bit differently. Once or twice a week the former FBI director expresses himself in pensive photos and sententious needlepoint quotations about the importance of leadership, justice and goodness. He is a man using Twitter not to connect but to disconnect — to position himself as singularly wise, a sermonizer in possession of a privileged relationship to truth itself.
In fact, what might be called “Justice Twitter” has found in Comey its bleeding deacon. And whatever Comey posts — especially his favorite Bible passage, about justice coming down like an ever-flowing stream — is seized on like a splinter of the true cross, and evidence that maybe, maybe, maybe America’s deliverance is nigh.
But let’s go back a bit.
More at https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/23/comey-twitter-bland-philosophy-216161
Some enlightenment on the Trump/Russia facts.
A darned good read if I may say so myself.
"Trump told friends at Mar-a-Lago 'you all just got a lot richer' after tax bill passed: report"
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article191430714.html#storylink=cpy
Trump Turnberry will no longer get business rates relief
It looks like the Scots aren't playing ball with Trump either, or golf.
Cant decide if the grinch is real or fake.
2017 Lie of the Year: Russian election interference is a 'made-up story' | PolitiFact
A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016.
In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.
Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have held open and closed door hearings to probe Russia’s actions. The congressional investigations are ongoing.
Facebook, Google and Twitter have investigated their own networks, and their executives have concluded — in some cases after initial foot-dragging — that Russia used the online platforms in attempts to influence the election.
After all this, one man keeps saying it didn’t even happen.
"This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won," said President Donald Trump in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt in May.
On Twitter in September, Trump said, "The Russia hoax continues, now it's ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?"
And during an overseas trip to Asia in November, Trump spoke of meeting with Putin: "Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn't do that.’ And I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it." In the same interview, Trump referred to the officials who led the intelligence agencies during the election as "political hacks."
Trump continually asserts that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread, bipartisan evidence to the contrary.
When the nation’s commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge a threat to U.S. democracy, it makes it all the more difficult to address the problem. For this reason, we name Trump’s claim that the Russia interference is a hoax as our Lie of the Year for 2017.
Readers of PolitiFact also chose the claim as the year's most significant falsehood by an overwhelming margin.
It seems unlikely — though not impossible — that Russia interference changed the outcome of the election. We at PolitiFact have seen no compelling evidence that it did so.
Trump could acknowledge the interference happened while still standing by the legitimacy of his election and his presidency — but he declines to do so. Sometimes he’ll state firmly there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russia, an implicit admission that Russia did act in some capacity. Then he reverts back to denying the interference even happened.
It’s not so much that Trump trades in falsehoods — it’s more that he tries to create a different version of reality simply by asserting it.
Continued at http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-m...ie-year-russian-election-interference-made-s/
Read verga's Guardian link for a spectacularly good breakdown on Trump's Russian connection , see who's involved with whom and where their money is going.
It's not a long read but it does answer all the questions you've been burning to ask , plus it's formatted in such a way that it almost paints a picture for the reader.
To date I would recommend it as the best yet coverage.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 19 hours ago
People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 18 hours ago
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 8 hours ago
When Trump forbid a Christmas tree — and other forgotten stories from the ‘war on Christmas’
By Avi Selk, The Washington Post, December 25, 2017
It's Christmas, and President Trump is celebrating by repeatedly typing “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” — and by taking credit for having “led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase.”
Ah, the proverbial “war on Christmas,” in which the holiday is under attack — with even the “Merry Christmas” greeting frowned upon — and the faithful fight to defend it. And first among them: Trump.
But is Trump really the hero here? Or was he always more of a bystander — or worse?
It depends on how many Christmases we look at.
Christmas, 1981: No trees allowed
In the 1980s, his political rise still decades away, Trump bought an old apartment building across the street from Central Park in New York that he hoped to tear down and rebuild as a high-rent tower.
When the longtime residents wouldn't move out voluntarily, the New York Times wrote, Trump hired a management company that essentially ran the building into the ground.
And while Trump threatened to house homeless people in the building, the management company used creative tactics that included covering windows in tin — and forbidding Christmas decorations in the lobby.
It was probably the least of residents' concerns, but Trump allowed no Christmas tree in 1981, the Times wrote. Nor the next year.
Christmas, 1983: “Nowhere to go for the holidays.”
After two years of what New York Magazine called a “cold war” between Trump's tenants and his managers, the Central Park building was a mess of hostility and broken appliances.
A tenant representative finally wrote to Trump's management company in 1983, asking for permission to at least put up a Christmas tree. Many of the residents “are very old and have nowhere to go,” she wrote, the magazine reported. “This will be their only chance to share in the holiday spirit.”
The company wrote back that in light of the tenants' complaints, it was “quite difficult for Management to feel that a relaxed 'holiday season spirit' relationship exists at the building.”
Moreover, a Christmas tree might raise religious-liberty concerns.
But the company offered to allow the tree with some conditions — the company would be held “blameless in any claims related to the Christmas tree,” and all decorations had to comply with government regulations.
Here the accounts of Christmas 1983 somewhat diverge. New York Magazine wrote that the tenant leader signed the contract, and “the Christmas tree went up, [and] the holiday spirit was saved.”
But the Times wrote that maintenance workers misunderstood the Christmas negotiations and put up a contract-less tree without permission, and that Trump's manager “fumed but could do nothing.”
Christmas 2009-2013 (as told by Trump)
From Donald Trump: Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday & a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year. Let’s think like champions in 2010!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2009Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday season!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2010My new book #TimeToGetTough is the best present of the holiday season. A great gift for anyone who cares about this country.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2011Via @examinercom: "The Miss Universe contestants glow with elegance during the Trump Holiday Party" http://t.co/tpKJKCQh— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2012Young Entrepreneurs – the Holiday season is here but that is no excuse not to stay on top of your business prospects. Focus!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2013
Shortly after announcing his candidacy for president in 2015, Trump went to the Values Voter Summit, hoisted a Bible and said: “I believe in God. I believe in the Bible. I’m Christian. I love people.”
As The Washington Post wrote at the time, he had had some trouble convincing conservative Christian voters of this. So he elaborated in his speech:
“I love Christmas,” he said. “You go to stores now, and it doesn’t say Christmas. It says 'Happy holidays.' All over! I say, where's Christmas? I tell my wife, 'Don’t go to those stores.' I want to see Christmas! Other people can have their holidays, but Christmas is Christmas. I want to see 'Merry Christmas.' Remember the expression 'Merry Christmas?' You don't see it. You're going to see it if I'm elected.”
And sure enough, as president, Trump turned the holiday card back into a Christmas card. He retold the story of baby Jesus at the National Christmas Tree Lighting this year. His 11-year-old son appears in a red scarf in the White House's official illustrated Christmas tour book, and you can buy an official “Merry Christmas” Trump hat for $45.
Trump says “Christmas” all the time now.
More at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...-forgotten-stories-from-the-war-on-christmas/
The dude who left a package of horseshit for Steve Mnuchin explains why | The Daily Dot
The dude who dropped a shitload of horseshit at the Los Angeles home of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has come forward and said the prank was “an act of political theater.”
Robby Strong, an L.A. psychologist, told AL.com that he was the shit-stirrer, saying he got the manure from a friend who owns a horse and dropped off the package in Mnuchin’s Bel Air neighborhood to let people know that “Republicans have done nothing for the American worker.”
“The thing I live by is a rule of transparency and I was exercising my First Amendment rights,” Strong told the website. “A few years ago when [a Supreme Court ruling] said that corporations are persons and money equals free speech, that is so absurd and my rule of thumb is now that if corporations are free speech, then so is horseshit.”
Continued at https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/steve-mnuchin-horse-manure-robby-strong/
Trump’s first year was even worse than feared
By Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post
Grit your teeth. Persevere. Just a few more days and this awful, rotten, no-good, ridiculous, rancorous, sordid, disgraceful year in the civic life of our nation will be over. Here’s hoping that we all — particularly special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — have a better 2018.
Many of us began 2017 with the consoling thought that the Donald Trump presidency couldn’t possibly be as bad as we feared. It turned out to be worse.
Did you ever think you would hear a president use the words “very fine people” to describe participants in a torch-lit rally organized by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan? Did you ever think you would hear a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations thuggishly threaten that she would be “taking names” of countries that did not vote on a General Assembly resolution the way she wanted? Did you ever think the government of the world’s biggest military and economic power would reject not just science but also empiricism itself, preferring to use made-up “alternative facts” as the basis for major decisions?
We knew that Trump was narcissistic and shallow, but on Inauguration Day it was possible to at least hope he was self-aware enough to understand the weight that now rested on his shoulders, and perhaps grow into the job. He did not. If anything, he has gotten worse.
By all accounts, the president spends hours each day watching cable news, buoyed by the shows that blindly support him — “Fox & Friends,” “Hannity,” a few others on Fox News — and enraged by those that seek to hold him accountable. His aides have had to shorten and dumb down his daily briefings on national security in an attempt to get him to pay attention. Members of his Cabinet try to outdo one another in lavishing him with flowery, obsequious praise that would embarrass the Sun King.
Trump and his enablers have waged a relentless war against truth in an attempt to delegitimize any and all critical voices. He wields the epithet “fake news” as a cudgel against inconvenient facts and those who report them. Can a democracy function without a commonly accepted chronicle of events and encyclopedia of knowledge? We are conducting a dangerous experiment to find out.
To understand how deviant the Trump administration is, consider this: Since its founding, the nation has treasured civilian control of the military as a restraint on adventurism. Now we must rely on three generals — Trump’s chief of staff, his national security adviser and his secretary of defense — to keep this rash and erratic president from careering off the rails.
The president’s Republican allies in Congress, who have the power to restrain an out-of-control executive, have rolled over in passive submission. Many see clearly Trump’s unfitness but continue to support him because they fear the wrath of his hardcore base and see the chance to enact a conservative agenda. History will remember this craven opportunism and judge it harshly.
I haven’t even mentioned Trump’s nepotism — installing his daughter and son-in-law as high-ranking advisers, with portfolios they are in no way qualified to handle — or his inability to staff the executive branch with the best-and-brightest types who customarily serve. The Trump administration is not only transgressive, it is also mediocre.
The year has been terribly depressing — but not paralyzing. Let’s end on a more positive note.
The day after Trump’s inauguration, a much larger crowd descended on Washington for the Women’s March, an immense show of resistance. That passion might eventually have faded away, but all evidence suggests it has not. If anything, it seems to have intensified.
In November, Democrat Ralph Northam won the governor’s race in Virginia, a purple state, by a surprisingly big nine-point margin. His coattails were long enough to elect so many Democrats to the state House of Delegates that control of the chamber is still undecided pending recounts. And then on Dec. 12, Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in a special election for a U.S. Senate seat — in Alabama, of all places, one of the most Republican states in the nation.
These races were not about D’s vs. R’s. They were about sanity vs. insanity, reason vs. chaos. They were about Trump, and he lost.
So Godspeed to the Mueller investigation, but let him worry about that. The rest of us — Democrats, independents, patriotic Republicans — should work toward the November election. Our duty is to elect a Congress that will bring this runaway train under control.
The worst oversight by this artist was not including "Children's Health Ins. Program" on the list, and a money bag labeled "Tax cuts for the rich" hanging out of his pocket, so as to bring this analogy to its full fruition.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 11 minutes ago
WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!
Government pleads with Prince Harry not to invite Barack Obama to his wedding
Prince, 33, became friends with former US President after bonding with them at the Invictus Games
Whitehall mandarins fear that by inviting Mr Obama and his wife Michelle it could be seen as a snub to Donald Trump.
President Trump has been highly critical of his predecessor and Government officials fear the thin-skinned billionaire might take offence if the Obamas receive a wedding invite and he does not.
Already there have been threats of mass protests if President Trump visits the UK in February to officially open the new US Embassy.
Continued at https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5210122/harry-meghan-wedding-trump-obama/
Will Harry and Meghan's wedding invite to the Obamas sour the Special Relationship with Trump? Fears the royal couple will snub the new President in favour of the predecessor he hates
Officials fear a royal wedding invite could be seen as a snub to President Trump
Prince Harry and Barack Obama have a close relationship and are firm friends
Mr Obama will appear on the [BBC Radio 4] Today show tomorrow presented by Prince Harry
Mr Obama tweeted his congratulations to the prince and Meghan Markle
Continued at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ears-Trump-backlash-Obama-wedding-invite.html
The Sun newspaper in Britain is not taken seriously by anyone who can read the Daily Mail follows a close second due to its being a gossip rag.
The Sun on the other hand has the worst reputation in the history of journalism due to its reporting of the Hillsborough Disaster in April 1989 .
Some of the allegations made by this abhorrent rag were that people picked the pockets of the 96 fatalities when in fact they were trying to find identification of the dead and the 700 plus injured.
For that story and others relating to incidents on that day the people of Liverpool decided to boycott sales of the newspaper in their city.
News vendors were shunned if they sold it as were people seen buying it.
There was general outrage and disgust at the paper in general throughout the United Kingdom and even today it regarded as having no journalistic integrity whatsoever.
Content in the Sun is worthless .
Wrong Guy you weren't to know but the people of Britain don't forget .
Thanks. I wasn't aware of any of what you pointed out. I've removed them from my list of news sources.
Truck blocks camera from showing Trump golfing | CNN
A white truck tried to obscure CNN cameras from showing President Trump golfing in West Palm Beach, Florida. The White House has not responded to CNN's questions about the truck.
Truck blocks cameras from filming Trump on golf course | CNN
Photo and video crews were stymied in their attempts to film President Trump on a golf course Wednesday, an apparent response to CNN's recent footage of the commander-in-chief on the links.
As the president completed another round at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, a large white truck obscured nearby journalists -- who were positioned on public property -- from getting a shot of Trump on their cameras.
When CNN's photojournalist moved his camera, the truck likewise moved, blocking the picture.
On Tuesday, CNN recorded a shot of the president on the course in West Palm Beach. The network did the same on Saturday and Sunday, shooting the footage through a gap in the hedges while positioned on a public sidewalk.
On Wednesday, crews from CNN attempted to record the president on the course -- only to be blocked by the vehicle. Cameras for ABC and CBS were also present.
Cathy Milhoan, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service, said the agency was not responsible for the truck.
"The USSS is in the business of protection and investigations not in commissioning vehicles to block the media's view of the President's golf swing," Milhoan said.
Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County sheriff's office, said the department also "did not order a box truck to block any views of the president."
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the truck can likely be seen as the latest -- and perhaps most literal -- attempt by this administration to limit the media's access to Trump.
It may also be interpreted it as a sign of how sensitive the White House is about the president's love of golf. For years, Trump ridiculed former President Barack Obama for golfing. On the campaign trail, Trump said emphatically that he didn't have time for the sport.
Wednesday's outing marked the 87th day Trump has spent at one of his golf properties since taking office.
The Sun is best avoided at all costs for so many reasons, some mentioned above.
The Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath
Further information: Hillsborough disaster § The Sun
The Sun's front page on 19 April 1989. The allegations were later proven to be entirely false, with the Sun later admitting their decision to publish the allegations was the "blackest day in this newspaper's history."
Poster urging the Liverpool public not to purchase The Sun.
At the end of the decade, The Sun's coverage of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in Sheffield on 15 April 1989, in which 96 people died as a result of their injuries, proved to be, as the paper later admitted, the "most terrible" blunder in its history.
Under a front-page headline "The Truth", the paper printed allegations provided to them that some fans picked the pockets of crushed victims, that others urinated on members of the emergency services as they tried to help and that some even assaulted a police constable "whilst he was administering the kiss of life to a patient." Despite the headline, written by Kelvin MacKenzie, the story was based on allegations either by unnamed and unattributable sources, or hearsay accounts of what named individuals had said – a fact made clear to MacKenzie by Harry Arnold, the reporter who wrote the story.
The front page caused outrage in Liverpool, where the paper lost more than three-quarters of its estimated 55,000 daily sales and still sells poorly in the city more than 25 years later (around 12,000). It is unavailable in parts of the city, as many newsagents refuse to stock it. It was revealed in a documentary called Alexei Sayle's Liverpool, aired in September 2008, that many Liverpudlians will not even take the newspaper for free, and those who do may simply burn or tear it up. Local people refer to the paper as "The Scum" with campaigners believing it handicapped their fight for justice.
On 7 July 2004, in response to verbal attacks in Liverpool on Wayne Rooney, just before his transfer from Everton to Manchester United, who had sold his life story to The Sun, the paper devoted a full-page editorial to an apology for the "awful error" of its Hillsborough coverage and argued that Rooney (who was only three years old at the time of Hillsborough) should not be punished for its "past sins". In January 2005, The Sun's managing editor Graham Dudman admitting the Hillsborough coverage was "the worst mistake in our history", added: "What we did was a terrible mistake. It was a terrible, insensitive, horrible article, with a dreadful headline; but what we'd also say is: we have apologised for it, and the entire senior team here now is completely different from the team that put the paper out in 1989."
In May 2006, Kelvin MacKenzie, Sun editor at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, returned to the paper as a columnist. Furthermore, on 11 January 2007, MacKenzie stated, while a panellist on BBC1's Question Time, that the apology he made about the coverage was a hollow one, forced upon him by Rupert Murdoch. MacKenzie further claimed he was not sorry "for telling the truth" but he admitted that he did not know whether some Liverpool fans urinated on the police, or robbed victims.
On 12 September 2012, following the publication of the official report into the disaster using previously withheld Government papers which officially exonerated the Liverpool fans present, MacKenzie issued the following statement:
Today I offer my profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that headline. I too was totally misled. Twenty three years ago I was handed a piece of copy from a reputable news agency in Sheffield [White's] in which a senior police officer and a senior local MP [Sheffield Hallam MP Irvine Patnick] were making serious allegations against fans in the stadium. I had absolutely no reason to believe that these authority figures would lie and deceive over such a disaster. As the Prime Minister has made clear these allegations were wholly untrue and were part of a concerted plot by police officers to discredit the supporters thereby shifting the blame for the tragedy from themselves. It has taken more than two decades, 400,000 documents and a two-year inquiry to discover to my horror that it would have been far more accurate had I written the headline "The Lies" rather than "The Truth". I published in good faith and I am sorry that it was so wrong.
Trevor Hicks, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, rejected Mr MacKenzie's apology as "too little, too late", calling him "lowlife, clever lowlife, but lowlife".
Following the publication of the report The Sun apologised on its front page, under the headline "The Real Truth". With the newspaper's editor at the time, Dominic Mohan, adding underneath:
It's a version of events that 23 years ago The Sun went along with and for that we're deeply ashamed and profoundly sorry. We've co-operated fully with The Hillsborough Independent Panel and will publish reports of their findings in tomorrow's newspaper. We will also reflect our deep sense of shame".
Liverpool FC supporters and a significant majority of the City of Liverpool's residents have continued to boycott the newspaper as a result of the Hillsborough tragedy. In February 2017, Liverpool FC blocked the access of Sun journalists to its grounds, banning them from on-site coverage of matches and direct participation in press conferences. The newspaper said the decision "is bad for fans and bad for football".
The newspaper was banned by Everton F.C. in April after The Sun published a column by former editor Kelvin MacKenzie the day before the 28th anniversary of the disaster which included a passage about footballer Ross Barkley that was considered "appalling and indefensible" and included a racist epithet and insults against the people of Liverpool. Access to the club grounds and facilities for Sun reporters were blocked. The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson described the article as "disgrace" and a "slur" on the city. MacKenzie was suspended as a contributor to the paper on the day of publication.
^^^ A sample of typical Sun journalism^^^
The Daily Mail although prone to print gossip can on occasion produce something newsworthy and has from time to time campaigned for various worthy causes and of the two it's the more reliable.
And judging by the unfavourable editorial slant towards Scientology articles that has to be seen as a plus.
I wouldn't wipe out the Mail entirely as a news source.
On 18 July 2011, the LulzSec group hacked The Sun's website, where they posted a fake news story of Rupert Murdoch's death before redirecting the website to their Twitter page. The group also targeted the website of The Times.
There's history shall we say.
War between Trump, media set to intensify
By Jonathan Easley, TheHill
Donald Trump's unconventional presidency has roiled the media landscape, creating new dynamics that will play a major role in shaping his second year in office.
Some of the leading names in print journalism and cable news have taken an unusually adversarial approach to covering Trump, leading to charges of bias and sparking a debate within the industry about whether the president is being covered fairly.
Trump has responded by doing away with media interviews and press conferences almost entirely, even as he and his allies launch near-daily attacks on the media’s credibility.
They’ve been given ample political ammunition from several high-profile corrections and retractions in coverage of Trump, usually pertaining to the Russia investigation. Some press critics have accused media outlets of loosening their reporting standards in a frenzy to discredit the president.
Even so, Trump’s presidency has been a bonanza for the media, delivering record ratings, subscriptions and web traffic, with the president’s admirers and detractors all lapping up coverage about him.
The end result is that Trump will enter 2018 — a year in which the administration faces a special counsel investigation and the potential for impeachment-hungry Democrats to take control of Congress — with perhaps the most antagonistic relationship with the media of any president in modern times.
“I don't expect Trump's approach to media relations will change at all, nor should we expect the press to tire of antagonizing Trump,” said Jeffrey McCall, a professor of media studies at DePauw University. “Buckle your seatbelts. 2017 was a rough ride for news consumers trying find out what was really happening in the world and 2018 will be an even greater challenge.”
No media organization has been as critical of Trump’s presidency as CNN.
After being accused during the campaign of fueling Trump’s rise by broadcasting his speeches and rallies in full, CNN has gone wall-to-wall with programming that has been fiercely critical of Trump and his administration.
Under the leadership of Jeff Zucker — who hired Trump for the highly rated reality program “The Apprentice” in 2004 — the network is running one ad campaign accusing the president of being a liar and a second that showcases its anchors lecturing administration officials.
CNN regularly taunts the White House with mocking chyrons, and its chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, has taken the aggressive style into the briefing room.
Acosta is one of several reporters who have become media sensations — racking up viral news clips and tens of thousands of Twitter followers — by feuding publicly with administration officials or ranting about the unique dangers of the Trump presidency.
CNN recently tapped journalist Brian Karem — who sometimes writes for Playboy and was little known until he had an explosive argument with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a press briefing — to be a regular contributor on the network.
The combative exchanges have led to accusations of grandstanding within the Washington press corps, a charge the White House leveled when it briefly stopped broadcasting the daily press briefings.
CNN once had a reputation as the mainstream alternative to right-wing Fox News and left-wing MSNBC, but will head into 2018 as the poster child for what many on the right view as media bias and hysteria around the Trump presidency.
“CNN has always been like this, it’s just never had the spotlight on it like it does now,” said Armstrong Williams, who owns several television stations on the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Fox News, meanwhile, was steadfastly anti-Trump during the GOP primaries, but has morphed into an ally and defender of the president.
The president is known to watch the network’s unabashedly pro-Trump morning show "Fox & Friends," often going to Twitter to share his thoughts about news events covered on the show.
And Trump’s most influential ally in the media is Sean Hannity, whose 9 p.m. show is a nightly rundown for tens of millions of conservatives looking for coverage of Trump’s accomplishments and attacks on his enemies.
Hannity and the guests on his show have questioned the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, raising allegations of conflict of interest, political bias and corruption — attacks that have caught on among GOP lawmakers and others in the Republican mainstream.
“Fox News is reprehensible,” said Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman. “The way they’re trying to bolster Trump, it feels like a propaganda media outlet from a third-world country. It’s not supposed to be that way in the U.S.”
The New York Times and The Washington Post, meanwhile, are posting record subscription numbers and basking in Beltway praise for their coverage of the Russia investigation, the White House and the administration.
“These papers are on fire and in a competition for the kinds of consequential scoops we haven’t seen since Watergate,” said George Washington University media studies professor Steven Livingston. “I think we’ll look back on this as the golden era of journalism.”
Still, both papers have dealt with accusations of anti-Trump bias and faced criticism for reporting on the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The Post had to correct a story claiming that Russians had hacked the U.S. electrical grid. Former FBI Director James Comey told Congress under oath that a New York Times story titled “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence” was “almost entirely wrong.”
The press had a particularly rough stretch in early December, when ABC News suspended its top political reporter Brian Ross for incorrectly reporting that Trump had directed his former national security adviser Michael Flynn to contact the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign.
Later that same week, CNN had to retract a story claiming that WikiLeaks had given Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., early access to stolen Democratic emails. It was one of three major reporting errors on the Trump-Russia connection that the outlet admitted to this year.
The president and his allies have seized on the corrections and retractions to attack the “fake news” media.
While Trump gave interviews to a variety of outlets after taking office, he now rarely gives interviews to outlets other than Fox News.
Trump’s most recent television interview was with Laura Ingraham, a friendly Fox News anchor, on Nov. 1. His last interview with a broadcast network was with NBC in May.
Trump gave only one traditional press conference in 2017 and is the first president in 15 years not to hold an end-of-year event.
Continued at http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/366608-war-between-trump-media-set-to-intensify
2017 Ratings: Fox News Is Most-Watched Cable Network For Second Consecutive Year | TVNewser
For the second year in a row, Fox News was the most-watched cable television network. Fox News posted double digit growth in total day and its 1.5 million viewer average is Fox News’s largest average audience on a 24-hour basis since the network launched in 1996.
And the blockbuster ratings came despite the departures of the network’s two biggest stars.
Continued at http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/2017...le-network-for-second-consecutive-year/353084
Roy Moore Files Suit to Block Certification of Alabama Senate Election Result | Wall Street Jounal
Defeated GOP candidate’s attorney said in complaint he believed there were irregularities during the election and a new one should be held
Alabama secretary of state says Jones will be certified | CNN
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill confirmed Thursday morning that Democrat Doug Jones will be certified the winner of the Alabama special Senate election despite Republican Roy Moore's refusal to concede and request for a new election.
"Will this affect anything?" Merrill said on CNN's "New Day," referring to Moore's challenge. "The short answer to that is no."
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