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Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
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Watching VP Biden's speech and press conference right now and I noticed something.

He took a question from a reporter.

And when he took it, he smiled.

A real smile.

Not a smirk.

Not a grimace.

Not a scowl.

But a genuine, heartfelt smile.

To a member of the press, who presumably will be as tough on him as they would be on any other President, because that's just the nature of the job.

But it was just a simple human moment that before 2016 probably wouldn't have gotten any attention.

But the feeling that we might have a person back in the White House who can show genuine, positive, graceful emotion again....

All I am saying is we better win this.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Jun 30, 2020, 02:00 PM (41 replies)

Here's my prediction of how November and beyond might end up playing out.

November 3rd is Election Day. Due to lingering (or perhaps full on) coronavirus effects, many states will see massive vote-by-mail numbers.

Even before midnight on November 3rd, all exit polls and early returns are pointing towards a massive Biden landslide and clear loss for Trump. Joe Biden will take the stage and address his supporters and the nation as the presumptive President-Elect.

However, because there will be far more mail-in ballots than usual, Trump will refuse to concede that night. He will insist he will stay in until "the very last vote is counted."

That will probably take up to two weeks. During those two weeks, Trump will begin raising questions about the fairness of the vote. He'll start throwing out all sorts of baseless claims of voter fraud and conspiracy theories. The more time goes on, the more unhinged he'll become.

During this time, there will be no attempt whatsoever to facilitate any sort of transition period between the administrations, so our entire government will remain in limbo.

Finally, the vote tallies are done and they are certified and ready to be sent to the Electoral College. At this point, Trump will file a lawsuit in desperation hoping to enjoin the Electoral College from finalizing the vote.

I predict he will not have much success at all in the courts. It will rapidly move all the way up to the Supreme Court, who will refuse to entertain the case, effectively confirming the will of the people and various states in electing Biden.

Now, that is as far as I am confident in predicting. What comes after that I'm far less certain of.

Here is the "best" case scenario: Trump, feeling angry, bitter and defeated, chooses to resign sometime in December. Mike Pence is sworn in as the nation's 46th President. Trump will have demanded that he be given a Nixon-like blanket pardon, and Pence, being the spineless lapdog that he is, will oblige. Pence will, however, facilitate a half-assed, hurried transition period, and on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden is sworn in as the nation's 47th President. (The next day, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg will announce a very well-earned retirement.)

As for the "worst" case scenario...well, I'd rather not go there quite yet. All I say is that it would probably look a lot like Ukraine in 2014.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Tue Jun 23, 2020, 10:57 AM (18 replies)

EXCLUSIVE: Trump campaign releases list of pre-approved debate moderators.

Yesterday, the Donald Trump presidential campaign announced that Trump would be willing to appear for four separate debates between him and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. If Trump follows through, this would represent an increase of the typical three head-to-head Presidential debates that have taken place in recent election years past.

However, this offer by the Trump campaign was made subject to several conditions. The most notable was that the moderators of these debates had to be agreed upon from a pre-approved lists. The Trump campaign did not immediately make public their list of these proposed moderators. However, in a DU exclusive, we have obtained a copy of the list and for the first time ever, will be sharing these names in the interests of consideration.

So, without further adieu, the proposed moderators from the Trump campaign include (in no particular order):

Sean Hannity
Tucker Carlson
Laura Ingrham
Mark Levin
Dan Bongino
"Judge" Jeaninne Pirro*
Rudy Giuliani
Chanel Rion
Chanel Rion's twin sister
Chanel Rion and her twin sister, together
James Woods
Natalia Veselnitskaya
A peacefully sleeping Ben Carson ("Shh! Don't wake him!" )
Cesar Sayoc a.k.a. "The MAGAbomber"
Roger Stone**
The Ghost of Rush Limbaugh
Ivanka Trump!
Donald Trump Jr.
...Eric Trump***
Those other Trump children...you know, What's-Her-Face and/or Who's-His-Name
Jared Kushner, fresh off of having read a "Debate Moderation for Dummies" handbook
Melanie Trump
Carpe Donktum
That "Blacks for Trump" Cult Leader dude
Mr. Magorium and his Wondrous Emporium
The musical duo of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman
Tom Fitton, wearing a most dazzling golf shirt!
The human incarnation of a Ben Garrison cartoon
A bald eagle wearing an American Flag bandana
Any member of the Duggar family, even that one really creepy one
Glenn Beck's blackboard from 2010 (minus Glenn Beck)
An entire webpage comprised entirely of Taboola clickbait advertisements
Canadian rap sensation Chuggo
A bottle of hydroxychlorquine
An entire rack of MAGA hats with a sign reading, "CLEARANCE!!! MUST GO!!! 85% off!!!"

..And finally...

John Barron****!

*Please refer to the approved beverage list in the attached rider
**Pardon pending
***Reserved sighing
****Please allow for additional two hours of debate time to account for necessary pauses between all questions and answers.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Fri Jun 19, 2020, 10:58 AM (16 replies)

I really do have to hand it to John Bolton.

He has managed to provide us with some stunning and invaluable inside information, while still managing to remain the selfish, stubborn and otherwise useless asshole that we had all known him to be.

And with this gesture, he has spared us all having to take the time to wring our hands and debate furiously with one another, "Is John Bolton actually a good person? Is he a changed man? Is he now admirable? Do we need to speak positively of him now?"

No--no such debate is necessary, and with that time freed up, we can all go back to doing much more valuable and useful things.

John Bolton has provided us a great service, and also remains the same insufferable person we have always known him to be.

So with that, I say: Thank you, John Bolton. And also fuck you, John Bolton.

And as a measure of appreciation, I suggest we all go down to our local bookstore, pick up a copy of John Bolton's book, read it thoroughly, and then place it right back on the shelf, not spending a single penny on it.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Jun 18, 2020, 11:00 AM (6 replies)

BREAKING NEWS: Trump decries Seattle-area senior home as "dangerous Antifa no-go zone."

President Donald Trump today spoke out against a SeaTac, Washington nursing home and senior citizen residential community which he claimed was a "breeding ground for radical Antifa terrorists" who were "seeking to destabilize the nation and subvert civil order."

In a press event accompanied by Attorney General William Barr, Trump and Barr described the Comfort Pines Assisted Living Facility as a "hotbed" for "lawless anarchists" who used the confines of the facility, guarded under the watchful protection of a single 52 year-old unarmed doorman named "Frank," to plot "activities meant to promote a ideology based in a deadly mixture of anarchy, Marxism, and idyllic sepia-colored nostalgia."

Attorney General Barr then delved into what he deemed as "intelligence reports" that laid out the details of the purported activities within the facility. Barr claimed that those residents of the facility who were designated for assignments in instigating chaos were chosen through a rather complex process wherein a vast amount of numbered balls were placed within a spinning container. Those balls were chosen at random with the number on the ball then announced to the entire group; the resident who had a card with a sufficient amount of the numbers arranged in a proper linear order was then dispatched out to the public, presumably to monitor police movements and disrupt communications.

Barr also claimed that residents were being fed a large quantity of high sugar, easily digestible foods such as pudding and gelatin, presumably to provide the residents a supercharged energy rush that was necessary to sustain a stealthy sneak bodily attack against uniformed riot police. He also mentioned that a few of the individuals at Comfort Pines had obtained the use of technologically advanced motorized scooters that were capable of reaching speeds up to 5 miles per hour.

"We are very concerned about the capabilities of what has been termed the Hoveround Brigade," Barr said.

However, that was not the most dire allegation made by the Attorney General.

"Our embedded sources have told us that some of the residents have taken to collecting their own feces and urine overnight in special receptacles in their bed," Barr claimed. "We believe they may be doing this for the purposes of creating some sort of crude biological weapon to be used against the public at large."

When asked for what measures he might be consider taking against Comfort Pines, Trump replied that he was "not ruling anything out," but that he was leaning heavily towards calling in the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division, currently stationed at Fort Bliss.

"They call them 'Old Ironsides,'" said Trump. "Old Ironsides. So if these guys, these Antifa radicals, want 'old,' we'll give them 'old.'"

Details at Eleven.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Jun 11, 2020, 12:08 PM (7 replies)

Can we talk for a moment about something? I'm referring to the bizarre spectacle that is Trump flags

The idea of a flag is an interesting concept.

First and foremost, they are best known as a symbol of a country. They also can relate to a state, a county, a city or some other governmental entity.

Flags aren't exclusive to countries and governments, however. If you go to a tailgate event at any given sporting event, you will frequently see flags flying containing the logo of the teams playing.

And flags need not represent positive ideals. The Nazis had flags, as do the KKK.

But even at their most repulsive, or their most benign, it seems like the common denominator behind flags is that they are meant to symbolize a group of people or idea that is larger than just the one individual flying the flag.

Except for one odd exception, and that of course is the Trump Flag.

There's no one uniform version of the Trump Flag, but most of them look something like this:

There's also one with some slightly more colorful--and blatantly ironic--language like this:

Trumpists love to display their Trump flags. Especially popular, for whatever reason, is during boat parades. But you'll see them in any number of settings, including behind these two illustrious members of society who felt it prudent to recreate the murder of George Floyd in front of peaceful protesters:

The existence of the Trump Flag is truly baffling, because it's a flag, but instead of representing a country, a group of people, a movement or an ideal, it's a flag dedicated to a person. A single person.

What sort of person deserves a flag with nothing more than his name on it? I mean, even in most despotic regimes, the flags flown didn't just read "Hitler" or "Stalin."

It speaks to a double phenomenon. First, a growing cult of personality in this country around the supposed President, which is something we have never, ever seen before. (I mean, I remember a lot of nonsense from the right in the 00s around the time of the Iraq War, nonsense about how criticizing the president was somehow "unpatriotic", but I never actually saw anyone flying Bush flags).

And second, it speaks to the narcissism and insatiable ego of the man who currently occupies the White House, a man so consumed with himself that he demands flags with his name be flown by his supporters. And that is certainly terrifying in its own right.

The closest thing we have to this are the MAGA hats, which have grown to become emblematic of a movement on their own. But even those tacky pieces of red headgear don't spell out Trump's own name on them. And had their popularity simply ended with the 2016 campaign itself, you might be tempted to say that they were nothing more than a campaign relic along the line of "I Like Ike" pins or the Obama "Hope" poster, historical pieces that tie into specific election memorabilia and little more. Of course, the MAGA hats have not subsided, and are the new brownshirt of our day.

But for the life of me, I do not remember anything so remotely crass, unprecedented and abnormal as the Trump Flag itself.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Jun 10, 2020, 10:40 AM (38 replies)

Welcome to your dystopia, America.

Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Wed Jun 3, 2020, 10:39 AM (0 replies)

I remember an incident at a Trump rally in Chicago in early 2016

Trump wanted to give a speech at a rally on a college campus in Chicago.

Students at the college didnít want to hear any of it. Many of them got a hold of tickets to the event and started protesting Trump even before he took the stage.

Obviously the Trumpists there for the speech didnít care for that fact. Chaos promptly ensued, the situation got unruly and ultimately Trump never took the stage that night.

That night I thought to myself, ďNo way do Americans elect this man. They know firsthand this is the sort of chaos he brings, and itís not something they would want to subject themselves to.Ē

And yet, thanks in good part to Russian interference and the Electoral College and several other unfortunate factors, here we are.

And itís just as I knew it would be.

Please do not let history repeat itself because I know nobody with a decent heart wants this for our country.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Sun May 31, 2020, 07:25 AM (11 replies)

I'll go ahead and say it for all the rest of you.

I hope Trump has the Coronavirus and promptly coughs on Bill Barr.


Nope, not even sorry in the least.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu May 7, 2020, 02:41 PM (87 replies)

Question about instances where someone accuses a high-profile person of a long ago sexual assault:

Note: I have to be very careful about how I go about phrasing this because I don't want to be insensitive about people who were legitimately sexually assaulted but did not report their attack immediately. It's a real problem and I'm not saying that it doesn't happen. However, it should not stop us from asking questions that might deserve to be asked.

On the surface, Tara Reade, Juanita Broaddrick and Christine Blasey-Ford appear to be all similarly situated. All three have alleged that decades ago, they were sexually assaulted by a high-profile political figure. None of them reported these alleged assaults when they claim them to have occurred. None of them have any physical evidence to prove that the attacks occurred. None of them have any witnesses who can contemporaneously verify the alleged attacks as it happened, although all three of them claim to have told people about their alleged attacks at some point after they claimed them to have occurred.

I'll cut right to the chase: I find Blasey-Ford's allegations far more credible than I do either Reade's or Broaddrick's.

And I know the instant response a skeptic might give me: Oh course you do. It's all about politics, right? You're a Democrat, Reade and Broaddrick accused high profile Democratic politicians, whereas Blasey-Ford accused a Republican-nominated conservative Supreme Court justice.

And yes, that's not an irrational response at all. Cognitive dissonance due to one's own biases and ideologies is a very real thing. And certain times you are faced with a reckoning where you are forced to put all your personal beliefs aside and weigh matters on the objective, cold hard facts. I remember when the story of John Edwards fathering a child out of wedlock first broke. I didn't want to believe it at first, but the facts fell where they did and I was forced to admit them as true.

But even still, political bias aside, I find Blasey-Ford's allegations far more credible than I do either Reade's or Broaddrick's.

So why? The answer's simple.

Sworn testimony.

Christine Blasey-Ford was willing to go to Capitol Hill, raise her hand, take an oath under penalty of perjury and give her account where she alleged that when she was a teenager, a person she believes was Brett Kavanaugh attempted to have sex with her against her will. On live television, we were able to judge her testimony, her body language, her recollection, her response to skeptical questioning, everything. And in the end, I found she made a convincing witness that suggested sincerity and credibility.

Now, would her sworn testimony alone be enough to convict Kavanaugh beyond a reasonable doubt if it were a criminal trial? I can't honestly say. But I can honestly tell you it was credible enough to raise enough questions about Kavanaugh's personal fitness for the Supreme Court to the point where he shouldn't have been confirmed. And you don't need a criminal standard of burden of proof for that.

So Christine Blasey-Ford testified to her attack under oath; Tara Reade and Juanita Broaddrick to date have not. The chances seem increasingly unlikely that Reade ever will; when she recently filed a police report as to her alleged attack, she did not even identify her supposed assailant, which made the chances of her filing a false report far less likely.

Broaddrick's situation is even worse. She actually has offered sworn testimony about the allegations that Bill Clinton raped her; unfortunately though for those wanting to believe her as credible, it was an affidavit denying any such attack on her by Clinton. Now, she since has claimed she was merely pressured into filing that affidavit and that her unsworn claims are in fact the true story. However, at no point in the 20 plus years that she has publicly lodged these allegations has she ever recanted under oath her sworn testimony or offered new sworn testimony that she was, in fact, sexually assaulted by Clinton.

(And I will add that matters of credibility aside, Broaddick's public persona is just rather vile. A quick review of her activity on Twitter reveals her to be highly partisan when it comes to matters of accusations of sexual misconduct against political figures. Not only has she doubted people like Blasey-Ford--which is well within her right to do so--but she has cruelly and childishly mocked their physical appearances, called them terrible names, etc., apparently because they have accused a figure on the political right. Meanwhile, she freely boasts of her love, undying loyalty and personal connections to Donald Trump, a man who on videotape once bragged about kissing women against their will and desiring to "grab them by the pussy," and a man she was happy to sit next to at a political stunt right after those comments came to light.)

Now, am I saying anyone who makes an allegation under oath is automatically telling the truth? Certainly not. Many people have perjured themselves over the years.

Am I saying that anyone who does not swear to their sexual assault under oath is automatically fabricating their claim? Again, absolutely not.

But I do think in situations where it may be the only evidence there is, where there is no physical or eyewitness testimony to the alleged attack, sworn testimony over unsworn allegations goes a long way in considering credibility. It's not the end-all, be-all, but at least it gives us something to consider, something to put our minds around.

And sworn testimony also is a way I use to supersede personal biases. I mean, I loved Bill Cosby. I hated the idea that he might have actually been a sexual predator when all we knew him as was a funny comedian and actor and lovable, avuncular celebrity. But after reading the sworn testimony of his accusers, and his own sworn testimony, I was forced to come to the sobering conclusion that the allegations against him were most likely true.

On the other hand, I have given pause whether or not to believe accusers of Donald Trump who have not put their allegations under oath. Even though I certainly think--given his own comments and behavior--that he might be capable of such things, and my own personal animus against him for all that he has done, on a case-by-case basis I'm not ready to make a judgment without something more concrete than just unsworn claims.

So I guess my question for everyone to comment on is this:

When it comes to allegations of sexual assault (especially against high profile individuals), allegations that are years ago in the past and have no physical evidence or eyewitness testimony to back them up, should someone who is willing to go under oath as to these claims be given more credibility than those who refuse to do so?

I'll leave it up for you to debate and consider.
Posted by Tommy_Carcetti | Thu Apr 30, 2020, 11:17 AM (20 replies)
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