Tuesday, October 23, 2018

BODY DOUBLE

More proof that the Khashoggi killing was premeditated and planned

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1806235
Video shows body double wore murdered journalist's clothes, as the heat on Saudi prince rises

It's a bad sign to see Jared Kushner in the middle of this 

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/kushner-on-khashoggi-we-have-to-be-able-to-work-with-our-allies
Kushner On Khashoggi: ‘We Have To Be Able To Work With Our Allies’

https://thinkprogress.org/jared-kushner-mbs-saudi-arabia-story-khashoggi-fe581bdbbc3e/
White House adviser and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner would not say Monday whether he believes Saudi Arabia’s story about the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “I’d say that right now, as an administration, we’re more in the fact-finding phase,” Kushner said at a CNN event. “Once we have all the facts, we’ll make an assessment.” 

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/10/jared-kushner-refuses-answer-if-saudis
Jared Kushner Refuses To Question Saudis' Absurd Murder Excuse

He just says s--t . . .

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-lie-undocumented-immigrants-cars-d869cf41731c
During a speech Friday night in Arizona, President Trump baselessly claimed Democrats will soon support providing undocumented immigrants with free luxury cars. “Give ’em a driver’s license. Next thing you know, they’ll want to buy ’em a car,” Trump said. “Then they’ll say the car’s not good enough, we want — how about a Rolls-Royce? Give us — we want a Rolls-Royce.” . . .

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-claims-baselessly-that-criminals-unknown-middle-easterners-part-of-caravan
Trump Claims, Baselessly, That ‘Criminals,’ ‘Unknown Middle Easterners’ Part of Caravan 

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-sanctuary-city-riots-lie
WATCH: Trump Falsely Claims Californians Rioting Over Sanctuary Cities

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/imagined-job-totals-trumps-imagined-arms-deal-keep-growing
Over the summer, Donald Trump told a group of supporters that he’d spoken with the head of U.S. Steel, who told him that, as a result of the president’s policies, the company was opening six new plants. It wasn’t long before we learned that Trump had made up the conversation, and U.S. Steel wasn’t opening any new plants. But the president was undeterred by reality. . . .Trump not only kept repeating the lie, he also inflated the number of new plants that don’t exist. What started as six imaginary plants soon became seven, then eight, and more recently “at least eight.” Remember, the actual number is zero. . . .

Something eerily similar is unfolding with Trump’s rhetoric about a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which, in reality, is not real. And yet, despite the fact that the deal does not really exist, the American president continues to ascribe new job totals to the imagined agreement.  
Mar. 20, 2018: “We’re talking about over 40,000 jobs in the United States.”
Oct. 13, 2018: “It’s 450,000 jobs.”
Oct. 17, 2018: “It’s 500,000 jobs.”
Oct. 19, 2018: “I’d prefer that we not cancel $110 billion worth of work, which means 600,000 jobs.”
Oct. 19, 2018 (a few hours later): “600,000 jobs, maybe more than that.” 
Oct. 19, 2018 (a few hours later after that): “So now if you’re talking about – that was $110 billion – you know, you’re talking about over a million jobs.”

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/22/not-lyin-ted-anymore/
President Trump said he has buried the hatchet with his 2016 presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) ahead of a campaign rally for the Republican senator . . .“He’s not Lyin’ Ted anymore. He’s Beautiful Ted.”

More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/22/trumps-strategy-for-the-midterms-is-to-lie/
Trump’s Strategy for the Midterms Is to Lie

In Russia news . . .

It's hard to believe that Trump's lawyers have maintained a joint defense agreement with Paul Manafort's lawyers AFTER he has flipped -- and are getting regular updates about his testimony

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/22/giuliani-says-manafort-has-not-implicated-trump/

Put these two facts together

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/wait-what-7
Giuliani says he has continued to have discussions with Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing and he insists Manafort hasn’t provided anything incriminating against President Trump. . . .

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/whats-rudy-talking-about
“Your client acknowledges and understands that, during the course of the cooperation outlined in this Agreement, your client will be interviewed by law enforcement agents and/or Government attorneys. Your client waives any right to have counsel present during these interviews and agrees to meet with law enforcement agents and Government attorneys outside of the presence of counsel.”  

It sure seems that there was some coordination, or at least advance knowledge, of the release of stolen DNC and Clinton emails. Mueller is digging deep into that

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mueller-team-hunting-down-communication-trump-associates-wikileaks

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/10/22/on-the-roger-stone-investigation-talking-to-guccifer-2-0-or-wikileaks-is-not-a-crime/

Trump and Russian trolls -- the same messages

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/10/22/elena-khusyaynova-donald-trump-twitter-troll-221738 

The issue of whether Russian meddling influenced the outcome of the election -- though it certainly did -- is utterly irrelevant to the underlying crime of TRYING to do so, with American help

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/bolton-i-told-russians-that-their-meddling-hardly-had-any-real-effect
Bolton: I Told Russians That Their Meddling ‘Hardly Had Any Real Effect’

Where has Rudy Giuliani been? He emerges from his shelter

https://thinkprogress.org/why-is-rudy-giuliani-scheduled-to-speak-alongside-a-sanctioned-russian-official-9133667cabbf/
Why is Rudy Giuliani scheduled to speak alongside a sanctioned Russian official?

In other news . . .                                                      

Protests mount against Trump's attempted erasure of transgender identity

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/22/trump-transgender-protections-protests-873153

https://thinkprogress.org/white-house-transgender-rally-we-wont-be-erased-f9cc8d9a8684/

Trump is going to keep hammering the Fed

https://www.axios.com/jerome-powell-federal-reserve-donald-trump-44f71d10-214b-4f96-96fa-cfe26eb40ea6.html

Why Trump hasn't been successful in overturning environmental laws

https://slate.com/technology/2018/10/trump-methane-emissions-deregulation-is-failing.html 

The Supreme Court says Commerce Sect'y Wilbur Ross doesn't have to answer questions about lying to Congress

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/22/supreme-court-shields-commerce-secretary/  

More on the GOP plan to control the courts. #1 -- they really, really work at it

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1805716

When the GOP gets worried about losing, they always pull out the same play book

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/following-trumps-lead-gop-leans-hard-into-culture-wars-in-closing-ads
“Prima donna athletes protesting our anthem. Left-wing mobs paid to riot in the streets. Billionaire George Soros bankrolls the resistance — and Dan Feehan,” a recent National Republican Congressional Committee ad intones.  . . . [read on]

Huge early turnout in the midterms -- but no one knows if that's good news or not

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/22/massive-turnout-makes-the-midterms-unpredictable/ 

http://prospect.org/article/will-democrats-win-turnout-war

I've never been very impressed with Tom Perez, head of the DNC. He inherited a badly divided party, and seems to have handled that well. But this is not what I want to hear the head of the party saying a few days before the election

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/perez-always-knew-this-election-was-going-to-be-close
Perez Shrugs At Tight Races: ‘Always Knew This Election Was Going To Be Close’

[NB: I want to hear some fire, some urgency, and a clear national message from the head of the Democratic Party. Something more inspiring than Organize! Get out the vote!]

If the Dems win the House, the big story will be, will they work with Trump, will Trump work with them -- because for all that has happened, the mainstream press and punditry still hope to re-establish the normalcy of Washington institutions that "work." For what it's worth, my view is that they should appear to try to work with Trump, but to give him nothing. The day after the midterms, it is all about 2020, and there is no way the Dems should give him successes or the appearance that yes, after all, he's a reasonable guy who can reach across the aisle. Instead, the Dems should pass bill after bill that reflects their values and serves their constituencies, and dare Trump and the Senate Republicans to block them. The Dems have no reason or incentive to compromise

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/22/trump-democrats-deals-congress-920063

Bonus item: Seth Meyers on the state of democracy

https://slate.com/culture/2018/10/seth-meyers-trump-gianforte-khashoggi.html

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

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Monday, October 22, 2018

THE BLUE PUDDLE

The Democrats, as in 2016, seem to be resting on the assumption that anti-Trump anger will drive turnout in the midterms. Meanwhile, the Republicans have been aggressively pushing the "mistreatment" of Kavanaugh, anti-immigrant fear, and the dangers of a Democratic "mob" as specific provocations to KEEP their base riled up. The basic playing field of contested seats, at least on the House side, remains in the Dems' favor -- but predictions of a "blue wave" election are ebbing. People are actually starting to wonder if the Repubs might hold the House. 

The Dems have money and the wind at their backs. But I don't see a coordinated strategy: you want to be accelerating in the closing days, not coasting. McConnell gave a gift when he said that the Repubs will go after Social Security and Medicare (and Obamacare, again) after the election. I haven't seen a coordinated effort of ads and talking heads to drive that national message. Meanwhile, Trump and the Repubs don't let up when they perceive vulnerability, they double down and hit harder.

I'm not panicking, but I think the Dems need a sense of urgency. I just ask people to imagine what happens if Trump holds the House and Senate, faces no real constraint or accountability, and feels emboldened by having once again confounded the polls, pundits, and prognosticators

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/21/democratic-hopes-for-a-wave-election-diminish/
Democratic Hopes for a Wave Election Diminish

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1805250
How can the GOP cripple health care, Social Security, Medicare, while driving huge deficits and win?

OTOH: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/21/democrats-lead-by-nine-on-generic-ballot/
Democrats Lead By Nine on Generic Ballot

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/10/21/some-bright-spots-for-republicans-but-mostly-for-democrats-in-the-latest-polling/
Some Bright Spots for Republicans But Mostly for Democrats in the Latest Polling  

The Saudi response on Khashoggi isn't just false, it's insulting. A fist fight got out of hand? This is an act of disdain, if they think there is any chance that the country -- aside from Trump -- will accept that story

https://www.thedailybeast.com/congress-squeezes-trump-over-khashoggi-response

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/despite-lies-trump-praises-very-good-control-of-saudi-crown-prince-mbs
In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump described MBS as a ruler able to “keep things under check” — “in a positive way” — and said “I would love if he wasn’t responsible” for Khashoggi’s death. MBS, Trump said, is “a strong person, he has very good control.” . . .

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/calls-made-from-consulate-to-saudi-prince-day-khashoggi-killed
A member of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s entourage made four calls to the royal’s office from the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul the day Jamal Khashoggi was killed there . . .

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/lindsey-graham-holds-saudi-crown-prince-accountable/573574/
[Lindsey Graham] ‘You’ll Never Convince Me That He Didn’t Do This’ 

Thanks Donald

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-scrapping-nuclear-treaty-with-russia-signals-the-start-of-a-new-nuclear-arms-race
A New Nuclear Arms Race . . .

In Russia news. . . 

Is Roger Stone the final piece in the Trump-Russia puzzle?

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/21/muellers-scrutiny-of-roger-stone-deepens/

In other news . . .                                                      

This is what "debating" Trump is like

https://www.salon.com/2018/10/21/biden-says-trump-has-shredded-american-values/
Former Vice President Joe Biden took President Donald Trump to task during a Las Vegas rally on Saturday. . . The vice president described his concept of America's core values as "an idea, the American idea, basic fundamental decency, and it’s being shredded," adding that the widespread admiration held for these values had caused "the great alliances in literally the history of the world." Biden made it clear during his speech that he was horrified with Trump's behavior. "But my God, think of what’s going on now," Biden told the audience, lamenting the fact that America's most important values "are being shredded by a president who’s all about himself. It’s all about Donald." . . .

Trump, for his part, took swipes at Biden in a rally of his own . . . "He never had more than one percent. So we call him either Sleepy Joe Biden or One Percent. Which is better?" Trump asked the audience at the rally. . . When one supporter apparently called him "Creepy Joe," the president latched onto the idea while claiming to dislike it.  "Oh no, she said Creepy Joe. She said Creepy Joe," Trump exulted. He added, "No, I would never do that. I would never insult him like that. She said she's only kidding. I would never insult."

The Trump admin tries to define "transgender" out of existence

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/nyt-draft-trump-admin-memo-narrowly-defines-gender-uses-genetic-testing
The memo, which the Times reported has been circulating since last Spring, asserts that agencies need to define gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”  “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the memo adds. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence”...

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1806055

https://thinkprogress.org/the-trump-administrations-new-plan-to-regulate-away-trans-identity-a2a38294e540/ 

[NB: I've got news for them -- transgender people aren't going away.]

Trump supporters think men are the most discriminated-against group

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/21/trump-voters-think-men-face-most-discrimination

The Cesspool: become a member of Trump's resort at Mar-a-Lago, and earn a chance to become a US ambassador

https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-new-ambassador-to-south-africa-happens-to-be-a-mar-a-lago-member-8a52072263c4/

Trump has made the midterms all about him -- "You aren't voting for X, you're voting for ME!" -- ergo, if people don't vote or if too few vote, it's because of him. But Trump already has a different blame game lined up

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/22/trump-midterms-blame-republicans-921782

If the Dems win

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/a-rundown-of-likely-topics-dems-will-investigate-if-they-win-the-house
A Rundown Of Likely Topics Dems Will Investigate If They Win The House

It's been said before by others, but imagine if the Saudis had killed a journalist who worked for Fox World

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/10/tucker-carlson-isnt-interested-outrage 
Tucker Carlson: Outrage Over Jamal Kashoggi's Murder Is A Political Stunt 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-spent-the-past-week-repeatedly-emphasizing-jamal-khashoggi-once-supported-the-muslim-brotherhood 
Fox News Spent the Past Week Smearing Jamal Khashoggi

Sanders vs Warren?

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/bernie-sanders-running-against-warren-president/573529/

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/20/bernie-sanders-elizabeth-warren-2020-919825


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, October 21, 2018

DEFICIT THINKING


Thanks to AG for the link:

https://www.facebook.com/agrudjr/posts/10215900729262837 

More: https://www.vox.com/polyarchy/2018/4/20/17262944/democrats-fiscal-responsibility-budget-deficits
Democrats are not irresponsible spendthrifts, but consistently devoted to fiscal responsibility and reducing the federal deficit. And Republicans, despite their endless talk about debt, deficits, and the need for balanced budgets, have consistently driven up the deficit, by cutting taxes without doing much to reduce spending. . . . [read on]

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/20/trump-hints-at-major-tax-cut-before-midterms/
“Making an audacious pre-midterm promise, President Trump told reporters in Nevada on Saturday that he is working with Republican congressional leaders on ‘a very major tax cut for middle-income people,’ to be announced in early November or just before,” Axios reports.

[NB: "Announced" -- not passed. Get it? Elect a GOP House or there goes your tax cut!] 

No one believes the Saudi excuse for Khashoggi's killing

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabia-says-journalist-died-inside-consulate-after-a-fistfight.html
Everyone (Except Trump) Is Skeptical of Saudi Claim Khashoggi Died in Consulate Fight

More: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/karen-attiah-jamal-khashoggis-washington-post-editor-calls-saudi-statement-utter-bullshit.html
Jamal Khashoggi’s Washington Post Editor on Saudi Statement: “Utter Bullshit”

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/germany-demands-answers-on-khashoggi
Germany, Which Has Arms Deal With Saudis, Demands Info On Khashoggi

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/20/turkey-will-not-allow-cover-up-in-khashoggi-killing/
Turkey Will Not Allow ‘Cover Up’ In Khashoggi Killing

Now, even Trump may be having doubts

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/20/trump-doubts-saudi-account-of-how-journalist-was-killed/
President Trump strongly criticized Saudi Arabia’s explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in an interview with the Washington Post late Saturday, saying that “obviously there’s been deception, and there’s been lies.” . . .[read on] 

"Severe punishments"? Treasury Sect'y Mnuchin said he was not going to travel to Saudi Arabia for a summit meeting. Now he is

https://finance.yahoo.com/video/u-treasury-secretary-steve-mnuchin-175616091.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/steven-mnuchin-saudi-arabia-khashoggi.html

Ugh -- a thought not to be dwelled upon

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/20/newest-security-worry-trump-without-mattis-868568
Trump without Mattis 

In Russia news. . . 

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/20/proof-of-collusion/
Out next month: Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America by Seth Abramson. “By pulling every last thread of this complicated story together, Abramson argues that—even in the absence of a Congressional investigation or a report from Special Counsel Mueller—the public record already indicates a quid pro quo between Trump and the Kremlin. The most extraordinary part of the case for collusion is that so much of it unfolded in plain sight.”

In other news . . .                                                      
Trump Plans To Pull Out Of Nuke Pact Due To Russia’s Violations 

The nation wants to know

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1805117
Did Betsy DeVos work with pro-gun groups in effort to put guns in schools? We'll soon find out

The most anti-press president, ever

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/dont-be-a-baby-trump-dismisses-question-from-reporter-asking-for-evidence-migrants-are-hardened-criminals.html
Reporter: "What evidence do you have that these are hardened criminals that are coming to the United States?"  
Trump: "Oh, please. Please. Don't be a baby. OK?"

Ivanka, real estate crook

https://crooksandliars.com/2018/10/here-are-trump-projects-where-ivanka-and

Trump, Fox World, and the right wing generally like to call it the "Democrat" party. They don't want to give the party the credit of standing for "Democratic" values. But one thing for sure: the GOP is the anti-democratic party

https://thinkprogress.org/10000-missouri-voters-received-republican-mailers-with-false-voting-information-3a9559f73b84/
10,000 Missouri voters received Republican mailers with false voting information

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1805897
Investigation shows 340,000 Georgians wrongly purged from voter rolls

Trump tweets a warning not to engage in voting fraud. But since this message goes to his supporters what does that tell you?

https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/20/trump-warns-of-voter-fraud/ 

It isn't being talked about enough, but the Dems stand to pick up a number of key governorships. This may be another one

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/10/20/18002436/alaska-governor-election-2018-bill-walker-suspends-campaign

More proof that so-called Christians will sell out their beliefs and values to advance the Trump agenda

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/week-god-102018

Trump loves to act the tough guy -- likes especially to talk about physical aggressiveness against his enemies, real and perceived. But in fact. . . . he's a wuss

https://www.salon.com/2018/10/20/tough-guy-donald-trump/
The only guys who glorify violence are the ones who never took a punch . . . [read on]

More: https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/10/trumps-tough-talk.html

Bonus item: Trump's hair is a kind of metaphor for his character: vain, fake, contrived to create an appearance of vigor and masculinity, which he keeps insisting is real. He's the Combover President


More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae7Byb9SXyY
The Truth About Donald Trump's Hair Revealed

https://mashable.com/2018/02/07/trump-hair-bald-spot/#UBFV.O1MomqC
Behold! the gruesome reality of Trump's hair is finally known.

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***