27 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-30-19

  1. This is becoming sad to watch.


    “Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign has been dogged by gaffes — but a new error could be his most damaging yet.

    The controversy surrounds a moving military story — which the former VP claimed to be the “God’s truth” — that Biden told at a campaign stop in New Hampshire earlier this month.

    The only problem was that the story was not true, according to The Washington Post. Biden was quick to respond to the allegation on Thursday, speaking to a Washington Post’s Cape Up podcast. “I was making the point how courageous these people are, how incredible they are, this generation of warriors, these fallen angels we’ve lost,” he said. “I don’t know what the problem is. What is it that I said wrong?”

    Earlier, Biden’s allegedly tall tale was an emotional account of his decision to travel to Afghanistan, despite concerns about visiting a war-torn area, in order to honor a Navy captain for retrieving the body of his dead comrade during battle.

    According to Biden, he brushed off concerns about the risk of him traveling to the deadly area. “We can lose a vice president,” he said, recounting his words to a crowd during an event on Friday. “We can’t lose many more of these kids. Not a joke.” His story involved the captain dramatically telling Biden he didn’t want the medal because his comrade ended up dying.

    But after speaking with more than a dozen military and campaign sources, the Post determined the event “never happened” and that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.”

    “It appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story,” the Post’s Matt Viser and Greg Jaffe wrote.

    They added that Biden rattled off a slew of inaccurate facts in the span of just a few minutes.

    “In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony,” Viser and Jaffe wrote.

    The Post reported that the crowd of 400 people in Hanover fell “silent” and the former vice president gave his “word as a Biden” that the story was true on Friday.

    Biden’s retelling was perhaps the most inaccurate version of the story he had told — although it wasn’t the only time he told it, according to the Post.”


  2. This is embarrassing.



  3. This is working.


    “Thousands Returned to Mexico Under Trump Immigration Policy

    Records show ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is cutting illegal immigration”

    “Thousands of would-be illegal immigrants are being returned to await asylum hearings in Mexico as part of a program the Trump administration has credited with curbing the recent wave of family migration at the southwestern border.

    The Migrant Protection Protocols—more colloquially known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy—are regulations issued by former secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen in December 2018. Under the MPP, a subset of individuals who claim to be seeking asylum after being apprehended at the border now must await the results of their immigration court hearings in Mexico, rather than being detained—or, more often, released on their own recognizance—in the United States.

    Asylum seekers, especially from non-contiguous countries, pose a unique challenge to the immigration system. Preexisting laws and regulations mean that asylum seekers can only be detained for so long before being released, while the large immigration court backlog essentially guarantees that these time thresholds will be passed. The result is a system of de facto catch-and-release, in which an individual can simply claim asylum at the border and then disappear into the interior while his or her case is processed.

    The stated goal of the “Remain in Mexico” policy at the time of its implementation was to curb the then-swelling crisis at the southwestern border, which was in no small part a product of this asylum loophole. Individuals apprehended seeking asylum would await the results of their hearings in Mexico, meaning that they could not abscond into the United States before their application is denied. Nearly 90 percent of applications are denied.

    How effective have the MPP regulations actually been? New data released Monday by the nonpartisan Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) show that the program has taken off in recent months. Nearly 12,000 people were returned to Mexico in July, compared with about 5,000 in May, and just 15 at the start of the year.

    MPP cases make up a small share of the immigration court’s total backlog, just 2.7 percent, according to TRAC. But it made up a substantial proportion—22.3 percent—of new cases added to the docket in July. A third of those apprehended traveled from Honduras, 28 percent from Nicaragua, and 22 percent from Guatemala.

    The new data support Department of Homeland Security claims that a substantial drop in monthly apprehensions in June and July is partially attributable to the implementation of the MPP. While the protocols have been in place since January, ramped up implementation in May, and their expansion to the Laredo and Brownsville ports of entry, likely drove the dips evident following May’s peak.”


    Some of course aren’t happy about it.


  4. And this is unfortunate, but understandable..


    “Poll: Public backs criticism of journalists, Trump’s attacks ‘appropriate’”

    “In the latest sign that major American media outlets are losing the public’s support, a majority believe it is appropriate for politicians to criticize reporters and hold them to the same scrutiny as those they cover.

    A new Rasmussen Reports survey also said most voters believe the average journalist is liberal, and few are conservative.

    The survey is an indictment of the media at a time when liberal outlets such as CNN and the New York Times are stepping up their attack on President Trump and congressional Republicans.

    The outlets are also complaining about Trump’s criticism of them and called out Trump surrogates who are using social media to point out the bias of journalists.

    But, said Rasmussen, voters believe that reporters are fair game for criticism.

    The survey analysis said 61% of likely U.S. voters think reporters at major news organizations like CNN, Fox News, and the New York Times are public figures who deserve scrutiny. Some 19% disagree.”


  5. This are questions that merit discussion and may lead to legislative changes once Trump is gone:

    1. What do we want the head of our FBI to do if he is fired by the president for continuing an investigation into links between the President’s campaign and a hostile foreign power that we know just interfered (to help the President) in the most recent election?

    2. Does it matter that the FBI Director should have known that the president is an idiot who has no clue about the legality or appropriateness of his own actions?


  6. Here is Wittes’ conclusion:

    “And there it is: the inspector general of the United States Department of Justice taking the position that a witness to gross misconduct by the president of the United States has a duty to keep his mouth shut about what he saw. Remember, after all, that Comey was a witness here as well as the former FBI director. That’s an extraordinary position for a law enforcement organization to take.”

    Congress needs to think hard about this matter at a time when the Trump Circus has left town and cooler heads can prevail. There probably needs to be an official mechanism in place whereby a person in Comey’s position after his firing could go to one or more of a small designated group of Congressional leaders and disclose exactly what happened.


  7. Yes I read it, and I see you’re back to just making stuff up too.

    And those are some interesting “interpretations” you got there. 🙂

    Give it up Ricky. You lost, you were wrong. Just admit it and let’s move on.

    In 5 more years this will all be over for you. 🙂


  8. For any who read The Mueller Report, were there any surprises for you?

    The one surprise to me was how bad the advice was that Trump was receiving around the time of the Comey firing. Trump started getting much better advice in a more organized fashion when John Kelly came on board as Chief of Staff in the summer of 2017. I don’t think Comey would have been fired in the spring of 2017 and I don’t think there would have been a Special Counsel if Kelly had been C o S from the beginning.


  9. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/30/media-social-media-europe-1657902


    Inside the media industry’s struggle to take on Silicon Valley

    U.S. news companies are using a playbook from Europe to challenge the online platforms they see as an existential threat.


    Executives from some of the biggest U.S. news organizations met with a British economist last fall at Washington’s exclusive Metropolitan Club to strategize on a mutual obsession: getting their industry out from under the thumb of Google and Facebook.

    Over a breakfast of bacon and eggs in a private banquet room, executives from CNN, USA Today and Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones listened intently as Dame Frances Cairncross described how British publishers are navigating the internet giants’ domination of the news business, an attendee from the media delegation told POLITICO. During the session, the details of which have not been previously disclosed, Cairncross in turn sought the perspective of the American media for a report, commissioned by then-Prime Minister Theresa May, on the fate of journalism in the digital age.

    The meeting was part of an ongoing campaign by news publishers in the U.S. and Europe to counter the growing power of Silicon Valley — a significant, if often overlooked, aspect of the anti-tech backlash brewing on both sides of the Atlantic. And it comes amid an existential struggle for most U.S. news companies, at a time when Google and Facebook control 60 percent of online ad dollars and can decide the fate of newsrooms by tweaking their algorithms.

    … Critics of the bills say Congress has been rightly reluctant to create loopholes in the country’s antitrust rules. And, they say, an exemption for publishers has been tried in the past, without much success. In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed an exemption allowing local news publishers to enter into joint operating agreements, which allowed competing newspapers in the same city to combine their business operations while maintaining separate newsrooms.

    Some opponents charge that the move only shored up entrenched media giants to the detriment of up-and-coming outlets.

    “Generally, society as a whole abhors cartels. So why pass a statute to create one?” said Jonathan Jacobson, a former member of the congressionally mandated Antitrust Modernization Commission, which warned in 2007 against such exemptions. (Jacobson, a lawyer in private practice, has Google as a client, though he said he isn’t speaking for it.)

    But advocates for the measure say that times and circumstances have changed — and that newspapers and other media outlets, though crucial to American democracy, are in the untenable position of competing for revenue with the online platforms that distribute their content.

    “I think the bargaining power between any individual publisher and a tech platform is just too vast,” said Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute, an advocacy group critical of the tech industry. …


  10. Aj, from yesterday.

    So the CBD/ICE didnt want legislators and their staff around because didnt follow instructions, went off on their own, were rude, and had a liberal bias. In others they didnt act like prisoners. Snowflakes who are probably are trying to cover up.

    The US like any other democracy is governed by rule of law not rule by law. The legislators write the laws. Law enforcement obviously enforce the law. When the police write the laws or write conditions which impede the legislators, you have rule by law ie police state.


  11. Interesting reason article. It was easy to predict that Trump would be big government. The article missed the opportunity to discuss that almost all politicians support big government its just different for whom they create the big government.

    I am interested to see AJ refute Ricky using the Mueller report. Most Trump supporters just say nothing here time to move on. But if I’m properly informed, Mueller did confirm Russia was involved in the election and Trump impeded Comey from investigating. He mentions possible obstruction for Congress to act on.


  12. Watching Biden implode is quite sad. To compound it, if he ran in 2016 he woudve won. And his mind might still be sharp. But now time has passed him by.

    The decline is starting to show in polls as Sanders and Warren are passing him. Most of his supporters will go to Harris or Mayor Pete. Biden retains a lot of African American support but I wonder if his campaign will completey implode before South Carolina. Eventually the Warren and Sanders campaigns will merge probably under Warren and she will beat out the field.


  13. DJ

    Interesting things to ponder. Il Facebook on decline with youth but its international reach is incredible. Its messenger service alone keeps people in contact everywhere for free. But it has viable competition esp overseas.

    Google is far more powerful. Its an incredible platform that has gone beyond just a search. People of my political inclinations might favour nationalizing it. However, I would like neither a corporation nor the govt to have the power and the data. In the end it will probably be treated like a utility company — heavily regulated possibly non-profit. But will it save te established media. Probably not. A new platform will for better or worse bring in new players.


  14. Good news.


    “Law enforcement officers in Virginia have seized enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people, busting a massive three-state drug ring as part of what they called “Operation Cookout.” Thirty-five suspects were arrested, and four others are on the run.

    “This opioid crisis is not an issue that is happening someplace else, or to someone else. It’s happening right here in Norfolk,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

    In total, authorities seized over 30 kilograms of fentanyl, 30 kilograms of heroin, five kilograms of cocaine and over $700,000. It’s the largest drug takedown in Virginia in 15 years. They also seized roughly 24 firearms, including an AK-47.

    “We’re not talking about $500 and $600 deals, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Terwilliger said. “You know, $20,000 in the trunk of somebody’s car in a gym bag, you know, behind a local restaurant.”

    Terwilliger said the bust spanned three states and that one of the 39 people charged ordered fentanyl from Shanghai and had it delivered to Virginia through the mail.”


  15. Rosenstein shades Comey, rips pundits.


    “Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took an apparent shot at former FBI Director James Comey on Twitter Thursday and derided commentators from CNN and MSNBC following the release of the Justice Department inspector general’s report.

    While Rosenstein didn’t explicitly mention Comey, his initial tweet quoted a letter in which he cautioned against violating Justice Department policy because of short-term circumstances.

    “It is important for the Department of Justice to follow established policies and procedures, especially when the stakes are high,” Rosenstein wrote.

    In the preceding paragraph, he mentioned that Comey seemed to argue that circumstances justified both his disclosures about the Russia investigation and his 2016 letter about the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.”


  16. Ricky – Why did you (I assume it was you) question the grammar of that NYT headline – “The Man Trump Wishes He Were” – last night?

    Was it because of the word “Were” instead of “Was”? When using the words “wish” or “if”, “were” is the proper word to use when “was” would ordinarily be used. I don’t know why, but “them’s the rules”. Sometimes using “were” instead of “was” in those cases sounds wrong, so I have sometimes gone against the rule when it didn’t sound right in my ears, but I usually keep to it.

    Or was there something in that headline that I am missing?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Comey abused his power in order to investigate a president for a crime that never happened, then initiated an obstruction charge in order to investigate an obstruction that never happened, either.

    Comey couldn’t even keep his own employee agreement as FBI director. He lied to FBI agents about the FBI memos that he had in his home. He didn’t inform the FBI that he turned one of the memos over to his lawyers. He leaked classified government records. And on and on it goes. The IG Report is one long indictment of James Comey.

    Too bad the media has been so complicit in this whole racket. I don’t know if Comey will ever make it to prison where he belongs (other investigations are ongoing), but at least he’ll go down as one of the biggest losers in American political history.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks, Kizzie! I must apologize to the “failing New York Times”. My old Latin teacher would be appalled at my ignorance of the subjunctive. I am going to run this by my sister to see if she agrees as she is our family grammarian who enjoys proofing menus with her aeronautical engineer daughter.


    Sadly, I must be aging faster than Biden as I started the day @ 6:51 with “This are questions..”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Here is why there were so few surprises in the Mueller Report. The big newspapers not only got the big facts right as the events occured , they found most of the big facts early on. If you had been reading the NYT, the WP and the WSJ as the story developed, the Mueller Report was primarily a rehash. The one new fact I learned from the Report was that it was actually the Russians who originated the Seth Rich myth spread by Hannity and the Trump Cult to cover the Russian hack and release of the Democrat emails. That was a funny new tidbit.


  20. Tychicus, Here is a Texas story for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ricky – Yeah, I noticed the “This are. . .” and chuckled at the irony of that coming after last night’s comment. 🙂


  22. “The one new fact I learned from the Report was that it was actually the Russians who originated the Seth Rich myth spread by Hannity and the Trump Cult to cover the Russian hack and release of the Democrat emails. ”

    You mean the myth spread by Walsh, the guy you were pushing the other day?


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