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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

French say oops on viral Ivanka moment

'We didn’t anticipate the reaction,' a French official said after a video released by the French government fueled concern about Ivanka Trump's role in U.S. foreign policy.

By RYM MOMTAZ and NAHAL TOOSI 07/01/2019 01:52 PM EDT

BRUSSELS — The French presidency is feeling a tad awkward after a video it posted of Ivanka Trump’s seemingly stilted interactions with foreign leaders went viral and spawned mockery, insisting that it “didn’t anticipate the reaction.”

The video caught Ivanka Trump in a discussion with world leaders during her father President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the G-20 summit. And it has fueled concern that the president’s daughter is having undue influence on U.S. foreign policy.

In the clip, Ivanka Trump is shown trying to engage in a talk with a handful of foreign leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The full context of the conversation isn’t clear, but at one point, British Prime Minister Theresa May says: “As soon as you charge them with that economic aspect of it, a lot of people start listening who otherwise wouldn’t listen.”


Study suggests Russian social media trolls had impact on 2016 election

Source: Axios

Joe Uchill 2 hours ago| updated 4 mins ago

A new study found that for every 25,000 retweets that a known Russian troll account received during the 2016 election, Donald Trump's poll numbers jumped 1%.

Why it matters: The study, conducted by a team headed at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville and published in the peer-reviewed University of Illinois-Chicago journal "First Monday," suggests that — despite protests to the contrary by Republicans and Trump allies — the Russian disinformation campaign was successful in influencing the 2016 election.

Details: The Tennessee-Knoxville study analyzed 770,005 tweets in English from known Russian troll accounts, as well as corresponding poll data from FiveThirtyEight's archive of multiple polling outlets.

Every 25,000 retweets of Russian accounts correlated to a 1% increase in Trump's poll numbers one week later.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/russia-interference-trolls-impact-2016-election-eff627d5-f1b3-48fd-8745-449262880e16.html

Do the Republicans Even Believe in Democracy Anymore?

They pay lip service to it, but they actively try to undermine its institutions.

By Michael Tomasky
Contributing Opinion Writer

July 1, 2019

A number of observers, myself included, have written pieces in recent years arguing that the Republican Party is no longer simply trying to compete with and defeat the Democratic Party on a level playing field. Today, rather than simply playing the game, the Republicans are simultaneously trying to rig the game’s rules so that they never lose.

The aggressive gerrymandering, which the Supreme Court just declared to be a matter beyond its purview; the voter suppression schemes; the dubious proposals that haven’t gone anywhere — yet — like trying to award presidential electoral votes by congressional district rather than by state, a scheme that Republicans in five states considered after the 2012 election and that is still discussed: These are not ideas aimed at invigorating democracy. They are hatched and executed for the express purpose of essentially fixing elections.

We have been brought up to believe that American political parties are the same — that they are similar creatures with similar traits and similar ways of behaving. Political science spent decades teaching us this. The idea that one party has become so radically different from the other, despite mountains of evidence, is a tough sell.

It’s a hard sell to make for one very simple reason: It doesn’t have a name, this thing the Republicans are trying to do. It’s not true democracy that they want. But it’s also a bit much to call them outright authoritarians. And there’s nothing in between.

A couple of weekends ago, I tripped across a 2010 book called “Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War,” by Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way. If you pay close attention to such things, you will recognize Mr. Levitsky’s name — he was a co-author, with Daniel Ziblatt, of last year’s book “How Democracies Die,” which sparked much discussion. “Competitive Authoritarianism” deserves to do the same.


Don Young Will Seek 25th Term In Congress

July 1, 2019 at 10:38 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) wants a 25th term as Alaska’s sole representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Young warned those who would might run against him, saying: “Get your act together because it’s not going to be easy to take it away from me.”



Few Know About Trump's July 4th Celebration

July 1, 2019 at 10:33 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

A new Monmouth poll finds that just 20% of Americans have heard anything about President Trump’s planned speech on July 4th on the Washington Mall.

Among those who have heard about it – and are presumably aware of the controversy surrounding this decision – just 37% approve and 56% disapprove.



2020 presidential candidates at risk of being cut from debates

Politics Jul 1, 2019 10:26 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) — The largest presidential field in modern Democratic politics could quickly shrink as more than half of the contenders are in real danger of failing to meet tougher requirements to participate in the fall round of debates.

Short on support and money and bound by tough party rules, once soaring politicians may soon be seen as also-rans. They include Julian Castro, who is seeking to capitalize on his strong debate performance last week; Kirsten Gillibrand, one of her party’s most outspoken feminists; and Cory Booker, who rose to stardom as the energetic mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

A difficult period lies ahead as the party begins to sort through its expansive roster of candidates. The process will help Democrats zero in on someone to challenge President Donald Trump. But it is also forcing candidates to burn through cash to stay competitive and could result in a field that’s older, whiter and more male — an uncomfortable development for a party that says it prizes diversity.

“There are some campaigns that are in something of a Hail Mary mode,” said technology entrepreneur Andrew Yang, one of the lesser-known White House hopefuls who expressed confidence in his own chances.


Currently, the only locks for the fall debates are former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is likely to qualify, but after an underwhelming debate performance last week, even he is not guaranteed to make the polling threshold. Only polls taken between June 28 and Aug. 28 will count.

The governors in the contest and no less than nine current or former members of Congress have yet to qualify. The bubble candidates include Booker, the New Jersey senator and the only black man in the race; and Castro, the only White House hopeful of Hispanic heritage. Four of the six female contenders — including Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Gillibrand of New York — have yet to meet the donor or polling thresholds.


Political Cartoonist Fired After Illustration of Trump Golfing Over Dead Immigrants Goes Viral

By Morgan PhillipsJul 1st, 2019, 9:49 am


A Canadian cartoonist’s contract was terminated Friday by a New Brunswick publishing company after he posted an illustration of Donald Trump playing golf over the drowned bodies of two migrants. As a result, the cartoonist’s work will no longer appear in four prominent Canadian publications.

The image referred to a photo published last week of Oscar Alberto Martinez and his 23-month-old daughter face down on the bank of the Rio Grande, drowned in attempts to cross the river from Mexico into Texas.

In the cartoon, Trump, golf club in hand, is saying “Do you mind if I play through?”

The cartoonist, Michael de Adder, tweeted that every Trump cartoon he has submitted in the past year has been axed by the publishing company, Brunswick News Inc.


As House Hearing Approaches, Gohmert Calls Mueller An 'Anal Opening'

By Kate Riga
July 1, 2019 8:01 am

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s impending congressional testimony has some House Republicans speaking their mind about the square-jawed lawyer.

“He’s done some irreparable damage to some things and he’s got to answer for them,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Politico. “It reinforced the anal opening that I believe Mueller to be.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) added that his line of questioning would imply that Mueller had nefarious motives for his investigation. “The obvious question is the one that everyone in the country wants to know: when did you first know there was no conspiracy, coordination or collusion?” Jordan asked Politico. “How much longer did it take Bob Mueller to figure that out? Did he intentionally wait until after 2018 midterms, or what?”

House Democrats have been trying to wrangle Mueller before various committees for months, hoping that questioning him on live TV will help bring the report to life for the many Americans who didn’t read his report. Based on their early comments, Republicans are taking the opposite tack of trying to paint Mueller as someone who was out to get President Donald Trump with his probe.

Mueller is slated to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on July 17.



AP-NORC Poll: Trump not boosted by strong American economy

Source: Associated Press

an hour ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The solid economy is doing little to bolster support for President Donald Trump.

Americans give Trump mixed reviews for his economic stewardship despite the growth achieved during this presidency, according to a new survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Nearly two-thirds describe as “good” an economy that appears to have set a record for the longest expansion in U.S. history, with decade-long growth that began under Barack Obama. More people consider the economy to be good today than did at the start of the year.

But significantly fewer approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, even as it remains a relative strength compared with other issues. The survey indicates that most Americans do not believe they’re personally benefiting from his trade policies. And only 17% said they received a tax cut, despite government and private sector figures showing that a clear majority of taxpayers owed less after the president’s tax overhaul passed in 2017.

Read more: https://apnews.com/a5523454096a4c2b9e8406251ee8c2a2

'The enigma of the entire Mueller probe': Focus on origins of Russian investigation puts...

‘The enigma of the entire Mueller probe’: Focus on origins of Russian investigation puts spotlight on Maltese professor

By Rosalind S. Helderman, Shane Harris and Ellen Nakashima June 30 at 6:07 PM

Shortly after Joseph Mifsud’s efforts to help connect a Trump adviser with the Kremlin were detailed in court filings, an Italian reporter found him at a university in Rome, where he was serving as a visiting professor.

“I never got any money from the Russians: my conscience is clear,” Mifsud told La Repubblica. “I am not a secret agent.” Then Mifsud disappeared.

The Maltese-born academic has not surfaced publicly since that October 2017 interview, days after Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about details of their interactions. Among them, Papadopoulos told investigators, was an April 2016 meeting in which Mifsud alerted him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

The conversation between Mifsud and Papadopoulos, eventually relayed by an Australian diplomat to U.S. government officials, was cited by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as the event that set in motion the FBI probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

With Attorney General William P. Barr’s review of the counterintelligence investigation underway, the origins of the inquiry itself are now in the spotlight — and with them, the role of Mifsud, a little-known figure.

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