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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#15361 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-May-16, 13:44

View PostPassedOut, on 2020-May-16, 13:31, said:

British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read


A pretty fine description. And seeing all this, lots of folks do react: "Trump is my kind of guy."

Loved this! Thank you for sharing :)
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#15362 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-May-16, 15:11

View PostPassedOut, on 2020-May-16, 13:31, said:

British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read


A pretty fine description. And seeing all this, lots of folks do react: "Trump is my kind of guy."

That's fine commentary :) And the Grifter in Chief is nearly as fine a person as those Charlottesville white nationalists.
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#15363 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-May-16, 18:25

Audra D. S. Burch and John Eligon at NYT:

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Without the springtime rituals of traditional graduation ceremonies, former President Barack Obama delivered a virtual commencement address on Saturday, urging thousands of graduates at historically black colleges and universities “to seize the initiative” at a time when he says the nation’s leaders have fumbled the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The speech combined the inspirational advice given to graduates with pointed criticism of the handling of a public health crisis that has killed more than 87,000 Americans and crippled much of the economy.

“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Mr. Obama said in an address streamed online. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

It was one of his few public addresses to a national audience during the outbreak, and he said a leadership void had created a clear mandate for the graduates: “If the world’s going to get better, it’s going to be up to you,” he said.

[Mr. Obama will also speak to high school graduates at 8 p.m. Eastern in an event you can watch at https://youtu.be/6uXkfnn-eg4.]


Mr. Obama’s remarks were billed as a commencement speech, but they also appeared to be an effort to comfort and assure an American public divided by President Trump’s handling of the crisis. The former president also used the moment to attempt to rally the nation in an election year around values historically championed by Democrats like universal health care, and environmental and economic justice.

Since leaving office three years ago, Mr. Obama generally has avoided publicly criticizing Mr. Trump. But his jabs at the pandemic response could further inflame tensions between the two most recent occupants of the White House.

Mr. Obama called the current administration’s response to the pandemic “anemic and spotty” in a private call last week with thousands of supporters who had worked for him.

“It would have been bad even with the best of governments,” Mr. Obama said on the call. “It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mind-set — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mind-set is operationalized in our government.”

And in recent days Mr. Trump has unleashed tirades against Mr. Obama on Twitter and on television, resurrecting unfounded claims that his predecessor tried to bring him down by manufacturing the Russia investigation.

Mr. Obama’s address to more than 27,000 students at 78 participating historically black colleges and universities was the first of two commencement speeches by the former president on Saturday.

He is also scheduled to have remarks air during a prime time special for high school graduates that starts at 8 p.m. Eastern on the major television networks. That event, “Graduate Together: High School Class of 2020 Commencement,” is organized by XQ Institute, a think tank that works with schools, in partnership with LeBron James’s foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a philanthropic organization.

The two-hour event for historically black schools, “Show Me Your Walk H.B.C.U. Edition,” was streamed on the social media platforms of its corporate sponsor, JPMorgan Chase. It featured Kevin Hart as host as well as dozens of prominent African-American athletes, politicians and entertainers, many of whom were H.B.C.U. graduates.

Mr. Obama told the graduates, most of whom are black, that the coronavirus “just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country.”

The disparities are not just in public health, but also “just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog, and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning,” he said.

It was a reference to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was chased by a white father and son and fatally shot in a coastal Georgia community in February.

As communities across the country emerge from stay-at-home measures, and people clash over how much freedom they should have, Mr. Obama suggested that Americans needed to be considerate of others.

He encouraged the graduates to work with other marginalized groups in their efforts to create societal change.

“It doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick,” he said, later adding that, “our society and democracy only works when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other.”

Ariel Turnley, 21, watched her own Spelman College virtual graduation with her mother and aunt in the living room of her Lauderhill, Fla., home, then tuned into Mr. Obama’s speech for H.B.C.U. students.

“I think President Obama said what so many of us feel, that those in power are not doing the best things they can during this pandemic with the power they have,” said Ms. Turnley, who graduated with a degree in computer science. “I also appreciated him talking about the injustices that have been highlighted during this pandemic. This is not the graduation that we imagined, but I felt like he offered the words I wanted to hold on to during this crisis.”

Erica Bullard, 22, stopped packing up her apartment in Hampton, Va., to listen to Mr. Obama’s remarks. She graduated from Hampton University earlier this month with a degree in strategic communications and hopes to walk across the stage at a commencement ceremony in September. Ms. Bullard said she was most struck by Mr. Obama’s advice to become a leader of your generation, give back to your community and build strong relationships with other disenfranchised groups.

Mr. Obama’s speech came at a time when new social-distancing norms have dashed many graduation traditions — from the ritual of walking across the stage to tossing of the graduation cap to family and friends celebrations — so popular political leaders and celebrities have stepped in to offer assuring messages as graduates enter a world shaped by uncertainty, infection fears and economic instability.

On Friday, Oprah Winfrey urged the “pandemic class” to rebuild a more fair society in a video commencement speech hosted by Facebook.

Mr. Obama is scheduled to make a third online commencement address on June 6, along with Michelle Obama, in a ceremony hosted by YouTube. The three events were among dozens of requests the Obamas received from around the world to address graduates whose in-person ceremonies had been canceled, their office said in statement.

While he was president, Mr. Obama delivered the commencement addresses at three historically black schools, Hampton University, Howard University and Morehouse College.

The former president has had a complicated relationship with the H.B.C.U. community. While overall funding for the institutions increased during his eight years in office, some complained that he did not make them a priority, and that cuts and changes made under his watch to Pell grants and other loan programs made life difficult for some H.B.C.U. students.

On Saturday, Mr. Obama said that H.B.C.U. graduates were the “inheritors of one of America’s proudest traditions,” and they needed to act.

“Whether you realize it or not, you’ve got more road maps, more role models, and more resources than the Civil Rights generation did,” he said. “You’ve got more tools, technology, and talents than my generation did. No generation has been better positioned to be warriors for justice and remake the world.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#15364 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-May-16, 23:43

Trump Bashes Reporter Rattled By Maskless Anti-Lockdown Protester

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Vesey noted in another tweet Thursday that he was “insulted,” “berated” and “practically chased by people who refused to wear masks in the middle of a pandemic.” He added: “All the while, I was there to tell THEIR story.”

At one point a protester without a mask and wearing a red MAGA hat and Trump T-shirt deliberately advanced on Vesey (who was wearing a mask). “I think you need to back away from me,” the reporter told him on video, turning his face away.

“No, I’ve got hydroxychloroquine,” said the unidentified protester as he strode closer. “I”m fine.” The drug, touted by Trump, has not proved to be effective against COVID-19 and can have lethal side effects.

Apparently these MAGA people have drunk the Clorox.
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#15365 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-May-17, 05:53

Edward Luce at FT: Inside Trump’s coronavirus meltdown (not paywalled)

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America is first in the world in deaths, first in the world in infections & we stand out as an emblem of global incompetence. The damage to America’s influence and reputation will be very hard to undo. -- William Burns, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

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So where does the American chapter of the plague go from here? Early into his partial about-turn, Trump said scientists told him that up to 2.5 million Americans could die of the disease. The most recent estimates suggest 135,000 Americans will die by late July. That means two things.

First, Trump will tell voters that he has saved millions of lives. Second, he will continue to push aggressively for US states to lift their lockdowns. His overriding goal is to revive the economy before the general election. Both Trump and Kushner have all but declared mission accomplished on the pandemic. “This is a great success story,” said Kushner in late April. “We have prevailed,” said Trump on Monday.

'We have prevailed,' said Trump at a White House news briefing about the coronavirus earlier this week
Economists say a V-shaped recovery is unlikely. Even then it could be two Vs stuck together – a W, in other words. The social mingling resulting from any short-term economic reopening would probably come at the price of a second contagious outburst. As long as the second V began only after November, Trump might just be re-elected.

“From Trump’s point of view, there is no choice,” says Charlie Black, a senior Republican consultant and lobbyist. “It is the economy or nothing. He can’t exactly run on his personality.” Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, had a slightly different emphasis: “Trump’s campaign will be about China, China, China,” he says. “And hopefully the fact that he rebooted the economy.”

In the meantime, Trump will probably continue to dangle the prospect of miracle cures. Every week since the start of the outbreak, he has said a vaccine is just around the corner. His latest estimate is that it will be ready by July. Scientists say it will take a year at best to produce an inoculation. Most say 18 months would be lucky. Even that would break all records. The previous fastest development was four years for mumps in the 1960s.

For the time being, Trump has been persuaded to cease his daily briefings. The White House internal polling shows that his once double-digit lead over Biden among Americans over 65 has been wiped out. It turns out retirees are no fans of herd immunity.

Friends of the president are trying to figure out how to return life to normal without provoking a new death toll. After an initial rally in March, Trump’s poll numbers have been steadily dropping over the last month. For the next six months, America’s microbial fate will be in the hands of its president’s erratic re-election strategy. There is more than a whiff of rising desperation.

“Trump is caught in a box which keeps getting smaller,” says George Conway, a Republican lawyer who is married to Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s senior counsellor. “In my view he is a sociopath and a malignant narcissist. When a person suffering from these disorders feels the world closing in on them, their tendencies get worse. They lash out and fantasise and lose any ability to think rationally.” Conway is known for taunting Trump on Twitter (to great effect, it should be added: Trump often retaliates).

Yet without exception, everyone I interviewed, including the most ardent Trump loyalists, made a similar point to Conway. Trump is deaf to advice, said one. He is his own worst enemy, said another. He only listens to family, said a third. He is mentally imbalanced, said a fourth. America, in other words, should brace itself for a turbulent six months ahead – with no assurance of a safe landing.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#15366 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-May-17, 08:40

IMHO, the biggest threat to U.S. democracy is not Donald Trump or the Republican party but is rather two-fold: first, the horrendous state of educational system and, second, how bad our mega-news organizations have become. Today's Republican party is a byproduct of those two factors.

In the first case, generation after generation is being reared with little-to-no understanding of critical thinking, and the first step of critical thinking is to gather facts. Without a fact based worldview, all that is left to form viewpoints is guesswork, beliefs, superstitions, and propaganda.

Into that fact-deficient worldview marches our news organizations who now sincerely believe that "fair" news is about allowing both sides to express their views, i.e., bothsidesism. With no central, concerted source of facts the nation wobbles between poles, depending on which side can create the most listeners/viewers/readers.

I'm have no answers, but, like Bob Hamman once said, you before you can find a solution you first must see the problem.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15367 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-May-17, 22:30

I read something today about Trump supporters that was truly troubling. I parapharase, but the thrust of the article was that the reason for the support is that Trump is everything these people wish they were or could be. Everything about Trump is seen as a virtue of "the strong", the "winners", and until someone squashes him or puts him in prison he is their hero.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15368 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 01:39

Obama Says U.S. Lacks Leadership on Virus in Commencement Speeches

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“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Mr. Obama said in his first address, directed at graduates of historically black colleges and universities. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

Unfortunately, the title of the article is very misleading. Obama is not really saying that the US doesn't have leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic. He is saying that the Manchurian President is providing incompetent leadership.
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#15369 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 02:07

View Postjohnu, on 2020-May-18, 01:39, said:

Obama Says U.S. Lacks Leadership on Virus in Commencement Speeches


Unfortunately, the title of the article is very misleading. Obama is not really saying that the US doesn't have leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic. He is saying that the Manchurian President is providing incompetent leadership.

Azar lays part of blame for Covid-19 death toll on state of Americans' health

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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday suggested that the underlying health conditions of Americans, in particular in minority communities, contributed significantly to the death toll from the coronavirus.

Azar did not comment if he thought that Democrats would do anything to make the Manchurian President look bad including deliberately dying from COVID-19 to make the Grifter in Chief look bad in his virus response, but the implication is clear that the Grifter is not responsible for any deaths.

Azar had no explanation why 3rd world countries which have 3rd world health systems and massive health problems due to financial problems are doing sometimes much better than the richest country on earth.
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#15370 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 13:25

Noah Smith @noahpinion said:

Man has a point.

So, next question is why the U.S. isn't as transparent, vibrant, and innovative as we used to think...

Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo said:

No surprise that Taiwan mounted one of the most successful efforts to contain COVID to date. Transparent, vibrant, and innovative democracies like Taiwan always respond faster and more effectively to pandemics than authoritarian regimes. #TweetforTaiwan

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#15371 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 14:51

Turns out this was most likely the reason Pompeo wanted Steve Linick, the State De[artment IG fired - Pompeo was running a propaganda operation and got busted.

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A shocking report suggesting that the coronavirus was “release[d from] the Wuhan Institute of Virology” in China is now circulating in U.S. military and intelligence circles and on Capitol Hill. But there’s a critical flaw in the report, a Daily Beast analysis reveals: Some of its most seemingly persuasive evidence is false—provably false.


The con Pompeo has publicly tried to sell is that he had personally seen hard evidence of an "incident" at the Wuhan lab - an incident that caused roadblocks and a decline in traffic around the lab. But...

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What’s more, imagery collected by DigitalGlobe’s Maxar Technologies satellites and provided to The Daily Beast reveals a simpler, less exotic reason for why analysts believed “roadblocks” went into place around the lab after the supposed accident: road construction. The Maxar images also show typical workdays, with normal traffic patterns around the lab, after the supposedly cataclysmic event.


And just to be clear, I'm not interested in buying a bridge, either:

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The document, which NBC News first published and reported on May 8, made its way to Capitol Hill just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed in an interview that there was “enormous evidence” to suggest that the virus came from the lab in Wuhan.
my emphasis

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15372 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 15:13

This Pompeo tweet is really something. I guess they really live in a bubble where they have done a great, wonderful job responding to the covid-19 crisis?
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#15373 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 15:26

Trump Claims He’s Been Taking Hydroxychloroquine For Weeks

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President Donald Trump claimed Monday that he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug he’s been touting as a potential coronavirus cure, for a couple of weeks in hopes of preventing COVID-19.

“You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the frontline workers before you catch it. ... I happen to be taking it,” the president said at a roundtable with restaurant executives.

Dear Mr. Grifter in Chief - You get much better protection if you take your pills with a Clorox smoothie :rolleyes:

Quote

The Food and Drug Administration warned against its use in coronavirus cases except for in formal studies in late April, citing that serious heart risk, after Trump claimed it may be “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine” and began mentioning it on a near-daily basis.

Since then, a study of 1,400 patients at Columbia University in New York found that hydroxychloroquine did not lower the risk of dying or needing a breathing tube. Likewise, there is also no proof that the drug can prevent infection.

Trump has also bucked public health guidance by not wearing a mask at public gatherings despite two people who work in the White House falling ill with the virus in recent weeks.

Dear Mr. Grifter in Chief - Maybe you should double the dosage to make sure you are well protected. B-)
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#15374 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 15:42

In other news, Trump just said out loud that he fired the state department inspector general, who was investigating Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, because Sec. of State Mike Pompeo recommended to do so.
Where is Susan Collins to assure us that Trump has "learned his lesson"?
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#15375 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 15:42

View Postcherdano, on 2020-May-18, 15:13, said:

This Pompeo tweet is really something. I guess they really live in a bubble where they have done a great, wonderful job responding to the covid-19 crisis?

Not in a bubble, just delusional...

Barr Says Biden Probe Unlikely, Claims Trump DOJ Won’t Be Used For ‘Partisan Political Ends’

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Attorney General William Barr, who has intervened in criminal cases against allies of Donald Trump and helped shield the president from the consequences of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, said Monday that “the criminal justice system will not be used for partisan political ends” as long as he is attorney general.

Barr, speaking at a virtual press conference that focused on the investigation into a deadly terrorist attack in Pensacola, Florida, in December, said that increasing attempts to use the criminal justice system as a “political weapon” was “not a good development” for the country.

The Manchurian President's government paid personal shyster apparently developed a warped sense of black humor. Barr is the political operative who misused his position to blatantly mislead and lie about the preliminary results of the Mueller report, and then trying to suppress the release of the report. Barr has also led the DOJ in supporting obstruction of Congress when the House has attempted to do its oversight duties. Barr is also the partisan hack who as head of the DOJ was encouraging Giuliani to continue his attempts to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.
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#15376 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 18:50

View Postjohnu, on 2020-May-18, 02:07, said:


And of course Republicans don't see the irony when they blame poor health while opposing universal heath care and other programs that would improve health.

#15377 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-May-18, 19:17

View Postjohnu, on 2020-May-18, 15:42, said:


Barr is also the partisan hack who as head of the DOJ was encouraging Giuliani to continue his attempts to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.


And, as we all know, the Bidens were as pure as the driven snow. LMAO. https://www.youtube....h?v=UXA--dj2-CY

#15378 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-May-19, 05:03

View PostChas_P, on 2020-May-18, 19:17, said:

And, as we all know, the Bidens were as pure as the driven snow. LMAO. https://www.youtube....h?v=UXA--dj2-CY


We should be willing to hold miscreants responsible. This has to be balanced against the fact that Hillary Clinton really wasn't running a child sex ring in the basement of a pizza shop. Bill Clinton did have sex with that woman, and his pardon of Marc Rich was scuzzy although probably legal. In the first election I voted in, Kennedy made a big deal about a missile gap that turned out to be largely non-existent.

No doubt the issue you cite will come up over and over. The test will be to see if JB can put it away.. That's what people expect. Hillary's email problems were from carelessness but once they surfaced she needed to deal with them solidly. She didn't, and it cost her, probably cost her the presidency. Unfair, but politics often is unfair and a winner can deal with the unfair. I hope Biden can deal with the Hunter issue.

Dealing with an issue does not require convincing everyone. There are probably still people who think HC was running a sex ring and still people who thing covid-19 is a hoax made up by the fake news media. Nothing we can do about that. We have to go after the votes of the sane. Which of course brings to mind Adlai Stevenson's comment when he was described as the intelligent man's candidate, "Yes, but I need a majority".

The bottom line, for me, is that all presidents, all people, have their failings. Trump is in a class by himself. He is the first president in my lifetime that I just do not listen to at all. After Nixon resigned I was listening to my car radio and they started broadcasting something he said. I turned it off, muttering "You resigned, I don't have to listen to you anymore". But until then, I did listen to him. I didn't vote for him, but when he was president I did listen to him.. Not trump. Why would I, why would anyone? And largely, people now don't. The United States now has a president that people worldwide see as a hostile babbling oaf. That cannot be good.
Ken
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#15379 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-May-19, 08:35

I find myself with Ken in that I no longer listen or even care what Donald Trump has to say about anything. He is a non-entity, not just to me but to the world, at large.

Many Republicans used to think that the gravity of the office of the President of the United States would change Trump; as it turns out, all that has happened is that Trump has shrunk the office until it is as small and meaningless as he is.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#15380 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-May-19, 08:55

I think everyone should stop and really ponder the meaning of this action taken by the state of Georgia in order to provide cover for Gov. Kemp:

Dana Milbank at the WaPo:

Quote

Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp needed a way to show that he hadn’t been rash to reopen restaurants, theaters, nail salons and the like in late April.

His administration came up with a creative solution. They doctored the statistics.

Last week, Georgia’s Department of Public Health released a graph showing a dramatic, steady decline in cases, deaths and hospitalizations in the state’s five most affected counties, from a peak on April 28, just before the state’s restrictions were eased, to near zero two weeks later.

But on closer inspection, the dates on the chart showed a curious ordering: April 30 was followed by May 4; May 5 was followed by May 2, which was followed by May 7 — which in turn was followed by April 26. The dates had been re-sorted to create the illusion of a decline. The five counties were likewise re-sorted on each day to enhance the illusion.


Creating a document that is nothing more that propaganda is what failed states do, what happens in banana republics. Think about how little the people who did this care about anyone or anything other than themselves - is that who you want to represent you in government?

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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