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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Current location: Greenfield
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 57,708

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Journal Archives

Our President's Emotional Bait and Switch - By Andrew Sullivan

March 3, 2017
8:48 a.m.

After the terror, the smile. It suddenly beams, and the voice calms. You feel the warmth again and are momentarily overcome with gratitude and relief. Suddenly, all the man’s malice and rage and narcissism disappear and the world turns suddenly normal. And you thrill to that normality. It’s what you’ve craved for so long, and been denied for so long. You forgive. You hope. You wonder if all the fear and dread you felt only a few moments ago were just in your imagination.

Any victim of an abusive spouse knows this dynamic. And now America is getting used to it. The Donald Trump who put on his grown-up voice last Tuesday night, and fit into a reassuringly familiar ritual of civic democracy, was the very same Donald Trump who had spent much of his first month in office in a series of unprecedented dyspeptic fits against the media, NATO allies, illegal aliens, Meryl Streep … well, you know the list by now. For the first time in public, he spoke in his “indoor voice.” He occasionally smiled, even as he can’t quite rid himself of the Mussolini back-step whenever he earns his craved applause. He used a teleprompter. And of course the media swooned. Who wouldn’t at this point? It’s somewhat unfair to lambaste them for their instant acknowledgment of the speech’s success. It was a success — an emotional blast of pseudo-normality for a serial abuser of liberal democratic norms.

It was an irresistible moment when the foreboding and fear suddenly became sunlit uplands in a near parody of political happy talk: “Dying industries will come roaring back to life. Heroic veterans will get the care they so desperately need. … Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, airports, and railways gleaming across our beautiful land.”

“Beautiful.” He loves that word. You always know when Trump is putting on the charm — because he randomly attaches it to anything. And it’s all a complete fantasy, of course — a campaign speech without the snarl or chants, a rapture with absolutely no explanation of how this new beautiful world will be paid for, or legislated. But it works because it’s such a dramatic switch, and for a moment, even Jake Tapper’s amygdala seemed flooded with relief.


What We Already Know About Trump's Ties to Russia Amounts to Treachery to the Republic

By Jonathan Chait

March 3, 2017
12:24 p.m.

The high point of Donald Trump’s presidency to date — the moment when those who desperately wanted to close their eyes and imagine a normal president standing before the country got something resembling their wish — came during his late-February speech to a joint session of Congress. Trump managed to read his address without narcissistic digressions, and the message he delivered (“Nationalism with an indoor voice,” as one White House official put it) would have been obvious to any casual listener. Over and over, Trump blamed America’s problems on foreigners or the willingness of past leaders to accommodate them: “We’ve watched our middle class shrink as we’ve exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries”; “We’ve defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross”; “America must put its own citizens first”; “Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States”; “My job is to represent the United States of America.”

The display of overt, bellicose nationalism presents a morbid contrast with the unfolding Russia scandal, which exposes the president’s boasts of domestic loyalty as containing all the irony of the title of the television show The Americans. The scandal is spinning off in multiple directions, but at bottom it suggests a betrayal of American sovereignty by Trump that is unprecedented in the history of the republic. For a still-unclear combination of reasons — greed for power, greed for money, vulnerability to blackmail, or motivations unknown — the incoming administration cooperated with the undermining of American democracy by a hostile foreign power.

This is already known. On July 4, Franklin Foer wrote in Slate the first major story in the American media identifying a Russian plan to influence the presidential election. He pieced together such evidence as Trump’s extensive financial ties to Russia; Vladimir Putin’s pattern of intervening in elections in the West in order to support his preferred candidates; Russia’s hacking of Democrats’ emails; and the fact that a number of Trump advisers had been paid by sources loyal to the Kremlin, including Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, who had carried out a similar strategy on behalf of a pro-Russian candidate in Ukraine that he seemed to be doing in the United States.

In the months that have followed, more reporting on this strange and sinister axis has emerged, mostly in the form of reports that have burst onto the scene as bombshells, only to be quickly displaced by other stories in the disorienting, surreal news environment that is Trump’s Washington. The New York Times has found that “phone records and intercepted calls” reveal that Trump associates had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials” and that U.S. allies had uncovered meetings in European cities between Russian officials and Trump associates.


Trump Cites Photo Of Schumer, Putin Eating Donuts In Calling For Probe

Source: Talking Points Memo

By KRISTIN SALAKY Published MARCH 3, 2017, 1:21 PM EDT

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted an old photo of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N) with Russian President Vladimir Putin, writing there should be an investigation into Schumer "and his ties to Russia and Putin."


The photo captures a scene from a 2003 meeting between Schumer and Putin to mark the occasion of New York's first Lukoil gas station opening. The two are shown eating Krispy Kreme donuts, according to the AP photo caption.

The photo has been circulated on conservative news sites over the last few days, after Schumer called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign following revelations that Sessions met twice with Russia's ambassador to the United States before the election.


Schumer responded in a quote tweet, saying that he's happy to talk about his conversation with Putin.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-tweet-schumer-putin-investigation

Trump Ally Drastically Changes Story About Altering GOP Platform On Ukraine

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published MARCH 3, 2017, 2:16 PM EDT

In a significant reversal, a Trump campaign official on Thursday told CNN that he personally advocated for softening the language on Ukraine in the GOP platform at the Republican National Convention, and that he did so on behalf of the President.

CNN’s Jim Acosta reported on air that J.D. Gordon, the Trump campaign’s national security policy representative at the RNC, told him that he made the change to include language that he claimed “Donald Trump himself wanted and advocated for” at a March 2016 meeting at then-unfinished Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Gordon claimed that Trump said he did not “want to go to World War III over Ukraine” during that meeting, Acosta said.

Yet Gordon had told Business Insider in January that he “never left” the side table where he sat monitoring the national security subcommittee meeting, where a GOP delegate's amendment calling for the provision of “lethal defense weapons” to the Ukrainian army was tabled. At the time, Gordon said “neither Mr. Trump nor [former campaign manager] Mr. [Paul] Manafort were involved in those sort of details, as they've made clear."

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/jd-gordon-change-story-gop-platform-ukraine-amendment

'President Loco is off his meds again': Internet roasts Trump's feeble defense of latest Russia...

‘President Loco is off his meds again’: Internet roasts Trump’s feeble defense of latest Russia scandal

03 MAR 2017 AT 13:30 ET

President Donald Trump was back on Twitter Friday afternoon, and he tried to deflect from his administration’s continued troubles with Russia by posting a photo of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We should start an immediate investigation into Sen. Schumer and his ties to Russia and Putin,” Trump wrote as he posted a photo that originally popped up on the Gateway Pundit website of Schumer meeting Putin in 2003. “A total hypocrite!”


The problem for Trump, however, isn’t that Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t being criticized simply for meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign. Rather, it’s that he didn’t disclose these meetings to the Senate during his confirmation hearing, while insisting that he had no contacts with any Russian government officials during the campaign.

Sen. Schumer quickly responded to the president and said that he would be “happy” to talk under oath about all of his past interactions with Putin while challenging the president and his administration to do the same.



Check out some of the top reactions below.






Texas GOP wants to let doctors lie to women about pregnancies to trick them out of having abortions

Source: RawStory

03 MAR 2017 AT 12:59 ET

The Texas GOP introduced yet another anti-abortion bill that would give doctors the right to lie to their patients about their pregnancies. Texas Senate Bill 25, also known as the “wrongful births bill” has made its way to the Texas Senate floor, and would prevent lawsuits against doctors if a baby is born with a disability.

In reality, the bill allows doctors to withhold information about the risk of a disability from the parents, particularly in cases when the doctor thinks the individual might decide to have an abortion if provided with the information.

As of Feb. 1, 2017, the Guttmacher Institute reports 434 sexual and reproductive health provisions that have been introduced at the state-level. Four anti-abortion bills have been enacted. In Texas specifically, at least 6 abortion restrictions were in effect as of Jan. 1, including a requirement to receive and view an ultrasound before being allowed an abortion.

Margaret Johnson of the Texas League of Women Voters commented on the Texas bill. “This bill places a (sic) unreasonable restriction on the constitutional right of a woman to make an informed decision about whether or not to have an abortion,” Johnson said while testifying in opposition to the bill. “SB 25 is a not-so-subtle way to give medical personnel the opportunity to impose religious beliefs on women.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/texas-gop-wants-to-let-doctors-lie-to-women-about-pregnancies-to-trick-them-out-of-having-abortions/

Missouri Republican tries to block minimum wage hike because pay 'wasn't meant to be a living wage'

Source: RawStory

03 MAR 2017 AT 12:52 ET

A Missouri Republican introduced legislation that would stop Kansas City from enacting a higher minimum wage — because he said workers weren’t meant to live on those wages.

Rep. Dan Shaul (R-Jefferson City) wants the statehouse to quickly pass his bill that would prohibit cities and counties from paying a higher minimum wage than what is set by state law, reported the Kansas City Star.

The bill contains an emergency clause that would allow it to go into effect as soon as the governor signs it, and the newspaper reported Shaul’s bill is moving quickly through the legislative process.

“The minimum wage wasn’t meant to be a living wage,” Shaul told the Star. “I’m all for family sustainable wages, and I certainly don’t want a family to have to work two or three jobs to get by. But grocery store baggers and fast food work isn’t where you should be working to sustain your family.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/missouri-republican-tries-to-block-minimum-wage-hike-because-pay-wasnt-meant-to-be-a-living-wage/

'This scandal could bring down the administration': Fox military analyst slams Trump's Russia...

‘This scandal could bring down the administration’: Fox military analyst slams Trump’s Russia stonewalling

03 MAR 2017 AT 12:36 ET

One of Fox News’s top military analysts now says President Donald Trump must release his taxes to prove that the Russian government has no financial leverage over him.

Ret. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, the hawkish Fox analyst who infamously called former President Barack Obama a “p*ssy” on air in 2015, warned Fox viewers on Friday that Trump needed to get over his “lunatic” idea of a strategic alliance with Russia, which he suggested was brought about by the president’s past admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He can’t get over his adulation of Vladimir Putin,” said Peters, who also said that Obama wouldn’t challenge Russia due to “sheer cowardice.” “He just will not challenge Russia on anything.”

Peters said that Trump needed to prove that he was not compromised by Russian intelligence agencies by releasing his tax returns to prove that he doesn’t have any significant investments in the country.


Gays For Trump to March on Washington

By Jeff Taylor · Friday, March 3, 2017

After the Women’s March on Washington, everyone is eager to take the idea and make it their own. Scientists will have their turn on April 22, and there is a National Pride March planned for June 11 for the LGBTQ community to tell President Trump that we will not go backwards.

Now another group of gays is planning to descend on Washington, but they are a distinctly different brand altogether, because they, for some reason, still support Trump, the guy who appointed the staunchly anti-LGBTQ Cabinet, supports the First Amendment Defense Act that would take away our rights, and who won’t stand up for transgender students.

The North Carolina based Gays For Trump group, lead by Peter Boykin, plan to rally at the Washington Monument on Saturday at noon, before marching to the White House, reports the Washington Blade.

“It is for everybody but you will see a lot of rainbow flags,” Boykin said. “D.C.-area Gays for Trump will definitely be attending.” Boykin said similar marches will take place on the same day in other cities, including Virginia Beach, Va.; Raleigh, N.C.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Berkeley, Calif.; and New York City.


Man comes out at age 95, watch the heart-warming video

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