WTF Community

More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice


#102

@dragonfly9 Thanks for posting Heather Cox Richardson’s tweets. I dropped Twitter a couple of years ago because they won’t enforce their rules against the dummy in office.


#103

Ok…wonder what changed your mind?

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) canceled a vote scheduled for Wednesday afternoon on a subpoena stemming from his months-long probe into Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and to allow time for you to receive additional briefings, I will postpone a vote to subpoena records and an appearance from former Blue Star Strategies consultant Andrii Telizhenko about his work for the lobbying firm,” Johnson said in a note to committee members, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill.

Johnson told reporters that he was pulling the vote because of “some discrepancies brought up in what we had been told.”

“There were issues raised,” Johnson said. “There were discrepancies in what had been told in one briefing versus the next briefing, and then even greater discrepancies in staff notes.”

The committee had been poised to vote on Wednesday afternoon to subpoena Telizhenko for documents and an interview. Johnson characterized him as willing to participate with the committee’s investigation but currently barred by a non-disclosure agreement.

Johnson’s decision to move forward with the subpoena vote, over the objections of Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) had sparked days of high-profile tensions, with Democrats viewing the subpoena as an attempt to target former Vice President Joe Biden that might also inadvertently help spread Russian misinformation.

The subpoena vote had been expected to pass along party lines — a high-profile break with how Senate committees have exercised their subpoena powers in recent years.

"Ron Johnson is turning the Homeland Security Committee into an instrument of Russian disinformation," Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) tweeted this week.


#104

Here’s a long and detailed article about all the judges who have been appointed by T 'n Co. Take a deep breath and read it.

As a Republican candidate for the Texas Supreme Court, Don R. Willett flaunted his uncompromising conservatism, boasting of endorsements from groups with “pro-life, pro-faith, pro-family” credentials.

I intend to build such a fiercely conservative record on the court that I will be unconfirmable for any future federal judicial post — and proudly so,” a Republican rival quoted him telling party leaders.

Judge Willett served a dozen years on the Texas bench. But rather than disqualifying him, his record there propelled him to the very job he had deemed beyond reach. President Trump nominated him to a federal appeals court, and Republicans in the Senate narrowly confirmed him on a party-line vote.

As Mr. Trump seeks re-election, his rightward overhaul of the federal judiciary — in particular, the highly influential appeals courts — has been invoked as one of his most enduring accomplishments. While individual nominees have drawn scrutiny, The New York Times conducted a deep examination of all 51 new appellate judges to obtain a collective portrait of the Trump-populated bench.


#105

The question is whether those who are being charged are turning around and going after inner workings of US intel and hope to weaponize it against us. You never know with Barr in charge of DOJ…but it looks strange doesn’t it?

The Justice Department moved on Monday to drop charges against two Russian shell companies accused of financing schemes to interfere in the 2016 election, saying that they were exploiting the case to gain access to delicate information that Russia could weaponize.

The companies, Concord Management and Concord Consulting, were charged in 2018 in an indictment secured by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, along with 13 Russians and another company, the Internet Research Agency. Prosecutors said they operated a sophisticated scheme to use social media to spread disinformation, exploit American social divisions and try to subvert the 2016 election.

Unlike the others under indictment, Concord fought the charges in court. But instead of trying to defend itself, Concord seized on the case to obtain confidential information from prosecutors, then mount a campaign of information warfare, a senior Justice Department official said.


(David Bythewood) #106



#107

T is just inserting Kushner into the mix because he trusts Jared. The rest is predictable - he’s ineffectual, he’s confusing others, and his plans are half-baked. But we knew that already. :exploding_head:

Kushner, who joined the administration’s coronavirus efforts last week, is primarily focused on attempting to set up drive-through testing sites with the help of technology and retail executives, as well as experts in health-care delivery. The goal, officials familiar with the work said, is to have limited testing in a handful of cities running by Friday and to expand the project from there.

But Kushner’s team is causing confusion among many officials involved in the response, who say they are unsure who is in charge given Kushner’s dual role as senior adviser and Trump family member. Some have privately dubbed his team a “shadow task force” whose requests they interpret as orders they must balance with regular response efforts.

Some members of Kushner’s team are working out of offices on the seventh floor of Health and Human Services headquarters — one floor above the office of HHS secretary Alex Azar — while others are working out of an office in the West Wing of the White House, officials said.

They include representatives of companies such as UPS, FedEx and Flatiron Health, as well as Kushner allies inside the government such as Brad Smith, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Two senior officials said some government officials have become increasingly confused as they have received emails from private industry employees on Kushner’s team and have been on conference calls with them, unsure what their exact role is in the government response. Several people involved in the response said the involvement of outside advisers — who are emailing large groups of government employees from private email addresses — also raises legitimate security concerns about whether these advisers are following proper government protocols.

We don’t know who these people are,” one senior official said. “Who is this? We’re all getting these emails.”

“For those who are involved in the effort, they aren’t confused,” Miller said. “For those who deal with this day-to-day, the structure is quite clear.

Kushner said he is “closely collaborating” with Pence, whom he talks to “ten times a day.”

Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, also praised Kushner’s ability to enlist companies and individuals outside government to help in the response.

The White House recognizes many solutions we will need today and tomorrow to combat this virus reside in the private sector and Jared has been essential in bringing those insights to critical discussions,” she wrote in an email.

Kushner helped write Trump’s widely panned prime-time Oval Office address last week that sent markets into a free fall, pushed Trump to ban travel from Europe and orchestrated a Rose Garden news conference last Friday where Trump announced a ramped-up testing effort that turned out to be in only the early stages of development.

Trump announced that Google was developing a website where Americans could provide their symptoms, find out whether they needed to be tested and then be directed to a testing site near their homes that retailers including Target, CVS and Walgreens would help set up. But several of the companies quickly distanced themselves from the claims, and little has come of the efforts so far.


(David Bythewood) #108

#109

I know it goes without saying…but T’s inflammatory tweets are repulsive.

All responses to T’s tweet regarding Sen Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) negative COVID-19 results.

#HitBelowTheBeltToYourEnemies. #ChildPresidentInNameOnly


(David Bythewood) #110

Before Trump called for reevaluating lockdowns, they shuttered six of his top-earning clubs and resorts

Trump and His Kids Won’t Get a Dime of Coronavirus Aid From Stimulus Bill, Says Report


#111

Such questionable judgement on T’s part…a national catastophe was we stood flat-footed when we should have been hustling for more masks, hospitals, ventilators. #PresidentWhoPassesTheBuck

Given that Trump concluded early on that the coronavirus simply could not present a threat to the United States, perhaps there is nothing that the intelligence community, medical experts employing epidemiological models, or public health officials could have told the White House that would have made any difference. Former National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger is reputed to have said after an intelligence community warning went unrecognized, “You warned me, but you didn’t convince me.” Yet, a presidential brain trust wholly closed off to contrarian, though accurate, viewpoints is incapable of being convinced.

The White House detachment and nonchalance during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak will be among the most costly decisions of any modern presidency. These officials were presented with a clear progression of warnings and crucial decision points far enough in advance that the country could have been far better prepared. But the way that they squandered the gifts of foresight and time should never be forgotten, nor should the reason they were squandered: Trump was initially wrong, so his inner circle promoted that wrongness rhetorically and with inadequate policies for far too long, and even today. Americans will now pay the price for decades.


#112


Stephanie Ruhle (MSNBC reporter/Former Investment banker)

The Big players…
Leon Black private equity firm Apollo Global Management

Henry Kravis co-founder of KKR & Co. Inc., a global investment firm $24.7 B

Steve Schwarzman - chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a global private equity


#113

Of course they would…:exploding_head:

WASHINGTON —

The Trump administration, scrambling as deadlines approach, plans soon to release rules on fuel efficiency for new cars and trucks that have pitted the federal government against California on a policy key to combating climate change.

The announcement, expected as early as Tuesday, follows months of struggle by the administration to justify the proposed changes. The administration’s own experts have warned that the proposal to weaken fuel-efficiency standards will lead to dirtier air and potentially cost the auto industry tens of thousands of jobs.

The new rules come despite the economic turmoil and growing death toll currently being caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The proposal to roll back fuel economy rules would be among the biggest steps the administration has taken to reverse an existing environmental policy. It’s been pushed within the administration by officials with strong beliefs about the benefits of reducing regulations, some of whom also have long-standing ties to the fossil-fuel industry.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department originally proposed freezing mileage and greenhouse gas emission standards at this year’s levels, sparing automakers from having to comply with annual efficiency increases put in place under President Obama.


#114

Presser with all the T buddies…Mike Lindell, of My Pillow then praised and thanked the Lord for giving us T.


(David Bythewood) #115

Internet confused why Trump invited My Pillow owner to public health briefing: ‘Tell me this is a prank’



(David Bythewood) #116

Panicked Republicans now want to blame impeachment for bungling the coronavirus response: report

Congress was slow to understand the threat from coronavirus, and now Republicans want to blame impeachment.

Back in January, as Democrats presented their evidence in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, only a few lawmakers from both parties were urging action against the highly contagious virus that had shut down parts of China and recently arrived in the United States, reported Politico.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) became alarmed over Martin Luther King Day weekend reading reports about the coronavirus in China, which he noticed a disconnect between China’s rosy statements about the outbreak and the drastic steps it was taking to contain it.

The Arkansas Republican started pressing the White House to ban travel from China, and he called Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner and privately warned them about the coronavirus, and he also urged action from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other top officials.

Publicly, however, Trump said Jan. 22 that his team had the U.S. outbreak “totally under control,” and only 14 senators showed up for an all-Senate briefing requested by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and held on Jan. 24, which was the deadline for senators to turn in their impeachment questions.

“The initial thought from the Dems, I think, is that we were trying to distract from impeachment,” a Republican Senate aide said.

However, Democrats started stepping up their warnings shortly afterward, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged the Department of Health and Human Services on Jan. 26 to declare coronavirus a public health emergency, which would free up $85 million in funding to control the outbreak.

Both of Washington state’s senators — Democrats Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell — demanded Jan. 28 that Azar keep them up to date on his agency’s efforts to fight the outbreak, and the White House did heed Cotton’s advice and banned most travel from China on Jan. 31.

The impeachment trial ended Feb. 5 with Trump’s acquittal, and Cotton and other Republicans insist the process distracted lawmakers and the president — but Democrats disagree, saying the House wasn’t even briefed on the virus until the Senate trial was over.

Democrats started asking for emergency funding for the outbreak on Feb. 5, the last day of the impeachment trial, after Azar held a closed-door briefing, and they also point out that Trump and most other Republicans continued to downplay the threat well into March.

“Senate Republicans were not using February to pressure the president to get serious about an early supplemental [appropriations] request,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who tweeted out a complaint after that briefing that the administration wasn’t taking the threat seriously enough.

Democrats say, even if impeachment had never happened, they doubt Republicans would have been willing to take dramatic steps to fight a viral outbreak they mocked and downplayed until it had wrecked the economy and forced the shutdown of schools and businesses.

“In an alternate world in which impeachment wasn’t happening, I don’t think the replacement would have been an earlier bill on coronavirus,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA). “Even as we were passing our Phase 1 coronavirus bill many House Republicans were not taking coronavirus seriously, even mocking the issue.”


(David Bythewood) #117

FFS

I have to think the urgent need for the GOP Senate to investigate Hunter Biden in the middle of a raging pandemic has to do with Trump’s utter failure to lead and Joe Biden’s increasingly presidential interviews and talks.

Senators clashed over Hunter Biden probe in classified briefing

A Senate committee is pressing ahead with an investigation into the former vice president’s son even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.





And this is WHILE calling any oversight of Trump during this all a witch hunt.



#118

:no_mouth:

President Donald Trump on Friday announced he would pick a young and inexperienced judge from Kentucky for an open seat on the influential federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., that decides some of the nation’s most important regulatory and constitutional cases.

Justin Walker, 37, of Louisville became a judge in October, when the Senate voted 50-41 to confirm him to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.

Now, six months later, Trump has nominated Walker to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The court hears cases of national importance on environmental, labor, immigration and other policy issues; it has been known as a steppingstone to a seat on the Supreme Court.

He is the youngest nominee to the D.C. Circuit in a generation, said Mike Davis, the founder and president of The Article III Project, which works to support the confirmation of Trump’s judicial picks.


(David Bythewood) #119









#120

Sideshow Rudy…takes on the role of personal scientist to T.

Their mantra ‘if it sounds like a cure, we should say it is a cure.’

Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was in the center of the impeachment storm earlier this year as an unpaid private attorney for President Trump, has cast himself in a new role: as personal science adviser to a president eager to find ways to short circuit the coronavirus epidemic.

In one-on-one phone calls with Trump, Giuliani said, he has been touting the use of an anti-malarial drug cocktail that has shown some early promise in treating covid-19, but whose effectiveness has not yet been proved. He said he now spends his days on the phone with doctors, coronavirus patients and hospital executives promoting the treatment, which Trump has also publicly lauded.

I discussed it with the president after he talked about it,” Giuliani said in an interview. “I told him what I had on the drugs.”

The Washington Post: Top Stories | Giuliani, a familiar voice in Trump’s ear, promotes experimental coronavirus treatments

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/giuliani-a-familiar-voice-in-trumps-ear-promotes-experimental-coronavirus-treatments/2020/04/05/d4b3b56a-7438-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html


(David Bythewood) #121

Trump Is Gutting Our Democracy While We’re Dealing with Coronavirus

The president’s firing of the intelligence watchdog who validated the Ukraine whistle-blower complaint is his latest threat to the rule of law.