Showing posts with label William Barr. Show all posts
Showing posts with label William Barr. Show all posts

Monday, August 12, 2019

Notatotions From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On @POTUS Watch ((Network Edition)

It has been quite a few days yet again as the Trump Adminstration announced rules to toughen Residency Requirements and made moves to significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act.   Our team decided to headline the Music Video produced by the Children on the eloquent plea they have laid out to us all to Save the Planet especially as the International Congress of Youth Voices began in Puerto Rico This is as the Jeffrey Epstein killed himself and the President spread conspiracy theories and such was defended by the President's Counselor, Kelly Anne Conway--although the Bureau of Prisons fall under the preview of the Department of Justice under William Barr as he said investigations will continue and declared that victims will get justice.    

As we went to press with this weekly edition of @POTUS here in our Perspectives property, we note this courtesy of the team at the Washington Post:

The team at the Bulwark reflected upon the weekend with the headline from the Bulwark Editor in Chief, Charlie Sykes, on what transpired this week:  

Morning Shots

A deeply abnormal president, our polluted media ecosystem, why the Texas GOP is worried, the Mooch is thrown under the bus, and Trump's "princess of racism."  –Charlie Sykes

Quick Hits

1. This Will Never Be Normal

Pause for just a moment here. Over the weekend, the sitting president of the United States tweeted out an unhinged conspiracy theory about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, essentially accusing the Clintons of murdering him.

It was that kind of a weekend.

"Many seem to have responded with a startled shrug," writes David Frum in the Atlantic. "What do you expect? It’s just Trump letting off steam on Twitter."

So even though Trump just retweeted the comedian Terrence K. Williams accusing the Clinton family of murder, the people who work for Trump may ignore that, too. They know that the president punching the retweet button like an addled retiree playing the slots through a fog of painkillers means nothing. The days of “taking Trump seriously, not literally” have long since passed. By this point, Trump is taken neither seriously nor literally. His words are as worthless as Trump Organization IOUs.

But cosmic joke or no cosmic joke, Donald Trump is the president of the United States. You may not like it. I don’t like it. Mike Pompeo doesn’t like it. Mitch McConnell doesn’t like it. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t like it. But it’s still a fact, and each succeeding outrage makes it no less a fact. Grinning and flashing a thumbs-up over an orphaned baby? Yes, still president. Tweeting that a third-tier dictator has threatened him with more missile tests unless he halts military exercises with a U.S. ally——and that he has surrendered to that blackmail? Shamefully, still president. Accusing a former U.S. president of murder? It’s incredible, it’s appalling, it’s humiliating … but, yes, he is the president all the same....

Neither the practical impediments to impeachment and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment process, nor the foibles and failings of the candidates running to replace him, efface the fact that this presidency shames and disgraces the office every minute of every hour of every day. And even when it ends, however it ends, the shame will stain it still.

This is the world we live in.

Make sure to check out Andrew Egger's take in the Bulwark this morning. 
2. Our Poisoned Media Ecosystem

This piece from the NYT's Charlie Warzel is a must-read:

The dueling hashtags and their attendant toxicity are a grim testament to our deeply poisoned information ecosystem — one that’s built for speed and designed to reward the most incendiary impulses of its worst actors. It has ushered in a parallel reality unrooted in fact and helped to push conspiratorial thinking into the cultural mainstream. And with each news cycle, the system grows more efficient, entrenching its opposing camps. The poison spreads.

Mr. Epstein’s apparent suicide is, in many ways, the post-truth nightmare scenario. The sordid story contains almost all the hallmarks of stereotypical conspiratorial fodder: child sex-trafficking, powerful global political leaders, shadowy private jet flights, billionaires whose wealth cannot be explained. As a tale of corruption, it is so deeply intertwined with our current cultural and political rot that it feels, at times, almost too on-the-nose. The Epstein saga provides ammunition for everyone, leading one researcher to refer to Saturday’s news as the “Disinformation World Cup.”

Read the whole thing.
3. The Denialists

ICYMI: I published a piece on Friday about some of the pundits on the right (Byron York and Marc Thiessen) who have leapt to Trump's defense by denying that his words are responsible for the uptick in domestic white nationalist terrorism.

Byron York wants to make sure we know that Donald Trump did not inspire what happened in El Paso. Just read the killer’s manifesto, he insists.

Even though the president has repeatedly described illegal immigration as “an invasion” of our country, York contends that is unfair and misleading to suggest that Trump motivated the attack. And despite the fact that Trump’s campaign has posted more than 2,000 ads on Facebook that include the word “invasion,” York is here to tell us that the manifesto is not Trumpian at all.

Was the El Paso shooter “inspired by President Trump?” he asks. “It is hard to make that case looking at the manifesto in its entirety.”

York’s agnosticism is reinforced by the snarky whataboutism of Marc Thiessen, who argues in the Washington Post that “if Democrats want to play politics with mass murder, it works both ways.” The killer in Dayton, he writes “seems to have been a left-wing radical whose social media posts echoed Democrats’ hate-filled attacks on the president and U.S. immigration officials.”

So both sides. And, while you’re at it, give Trump a break.

While most conservatives continue to maintain a cringing silence at the president’s behavior, York and Thiessen form a vanguard of denialism. Others are sure to follow and amplify the message, because we know how this works.  An entire cottage industry has arisen on the right denying, for example, that Trump called neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville “very fine people.” So expect the gaslighting to continue until morale improves.

They are certainly not alone. Predictably, Hugh Hewitt has now joined the gaggle: Donald Trump a racist? Absolutely not, he insists. And, BTW, he continues to blurb bigoted bilge.
4. A Texas Drubbing?

I'm still agnostic on the the prospects of turning Texas blue, but Politico captures some of what Trump has wrought in the Lone Star State.

As bad as it’s been for Texas Republicans lately, some members of the party are warning that 2020 could be even worse.
The rash of recent House GOP retirements is just the latest sign of a state party in distress: In last year’s midterms, Democrats flipped a pair of longtime GOP districts, a Democrat came within striking distance of a Senate seat, and more than 50 elected Republican judges lost their jobs. Democrats also gained ground in state legislative races.
Changing demographics and a suburban revolt against President Donald Trump have turned Texas from a conservative bedrock to a major political battleground, especially for House seats. Once-safe congressional Republicans are facing competitive races for the first time in their careers — a potential harbinger of the GOP’s future in the state if they don’t adapt quickly.
“If the Republican Party in Texas doesn’t start looking like Texas, there won’t be a Republican Party in Texas,” retiring Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), who represents a key swing district, told POLITICO. Texas’ Latinos are on pace to become the largest population group in the state by 2022.
Last cycle was “without a doubt a wake-up call to most elected officials,” said Hurd. “Texas is indeed purple.”

Read the rest here.
5. Do We Have To Take the Mooch Seriously Now?

When he wasn't sending twitter kisses to Kim or peddling conspiracy theories, Trump took time to diss Anthony Scaramucci, who was the president's communications director for about five minutes.

So, yeah, the Mooch is off the team. And now he's telling Axios that Trump may need to go before 2020.

"We are now in the early episodes of 'Chernobyl' on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process," Scaramucci said.

"A couple more weeks like this and 'country over party' is going to require the Republicans to replace the top of the ticket in 2020."

Well, fair enough. But before it drops into the memory hole, could we recall that this is the same Mooch who repeatedly offered to carry Trump's cape, which presumably would also include being the mouthpiece for his spin and lies. As recently as May, he was practically begging to get his old job back.

Mooch says he's now seen the light, but everything he describes was blindly apparent all the time he was auditioning to be Trump's lackey. I'm with Tim O'Brien on this one: