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JoanofArgh's Journal
JoanofArgh's Journal
June 24, 2020

The odious track record of Trump's Pentagon pick (Anthony Tata) is too long to recant

Anthony Tata is a combat veteran. But the retired Army brigadier general and Fox News commentator — now a nominee for the No. 3 post at the Defense Department — does not have the courage of his odious convictions.

CNN’s KFile team, led by ace Internet sleuth Andrew Kaczynski, has unearthed a long trail of deranged comments from Tata, many of which he recently deleted from Twitter in an unsuccessful attempt at cleanup. The first CNN story, on June 12, reported that Tata had called Islam the “most oppressive violent religion I know of” and that he had described President Barack Obama as a “terrorist leader” who did more to “help Islamic countries than any president in history.” Tata argued that Obama negotiated the Iranian nuclear deal because he had “Islamic roots” and wanted “to help Iranians and the greater Islamic state crush Israel.” In addition, he lashed out at Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), calling them “violent extremists” and accusing Waters of being a “vicious race baiting racist.”

Part II of the Tata chronicles appeared on CNN’s website on June 15. This time, KFile revealed that Tata had called Obama “a manchurian candidate” — i.e., a sleeper agent — for “Hamas & Muslim brotherhood.” In other tweets, Tata accused the Obama administration of “sedition and/or treason” and threatened former CIA director John Brennan: “Might be a good time to pick your poison: firing squad, public hanging, life sentence as prison b*tch, or just suck on your pistol. Your call. #Treason #Sedition #crossfirehurricane #Obamagate.”

Part III was published on Tuesday. This time, CNN revealed that Tata had spread conspiracy theories about a “deep state cabal” seeking to undermine President Trump and accused the Obamas of “borderline treasonous” behavior. He also accused Brennan of supporting “the overthrow” of Trump. After Brennan quoted Cicero in a tweet, Tata purported to see this as a coded signal for Trump’s assassination: “As incompetent as @JohnBrennan was as a #CIA analyst (failure at Khobar Towers), we must assume he knows spy tradecraft. This is a signal to someone, somewhere. Cicero was assassinated for political reasons. This is a clear threat against @POTUS.”


June 24, 2020

This is not getting attention proportionate to the damage it is causing.


Mitch McConnell has refused to hold vote on restoring Voting Rights Act for 200 days but Senate GOP just confirmed anti-voting rights extremist Cory Wilson of Mississippi to 5th Circuit as Trump’s 200th federal judge

Thank god, the election is near. If Trump gets enough of these judges appointed, it won't matter if we have a Dem President, House, and Senate. All Republicans will have to do to make legislation they don't like go away is challenge it in court. Judges control everything. Will Democratic voters ever start taking this seriously?

Edit to add: No more places left on appeals courts .


NEWS: Trump notches his 200th lifetime federal judge and fills the very last appeals court vacancy nationwide.

He's filled the nation’s appeals courts (mini Supreme Courts, if you will) with dozens of white men — and zero Black judges.
June 23, 2020

There's only one polling place open in Louisville, KY . Guess who's there feeding those waiting ?


Voters in Louisville, Kentucky have only one polling station in the entire city where they can cast their ballot in today's election.

Chef Jose Andres is feeding them all.

Joe Biden needs to award Chef Andres the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Crazy scene in Louisville, with doors closed at 6 pm with more than a hundred people waiting to vote, but doors have been reopened and people will get to vote
June 22, 2020

"Brad really shit the bed Saturday night"

By Gabriel Sherman

Donald Trump’s exhausted trudge from Marine One toward the White House after his botched rally in Tulsa, his red tie undone, a grim look on his face, a crumpled MAGA hat in his hand, is now an iconic image of his presidency. And as always with Trump, he’s already looking for someone to blame. The most obvious candidate, according to sources, is his embattled campaign manager, Brad Parscale. “Brad really shit the bed Saturday night. You have to remember, execution is 95% of presidential politics,” a Republican close to the White House told me over the weekend. Parscale committed a cascade of errors, from overhyping expected turnout to blaming the half-filled arena on protesters. Trump was so furious when he saw how thin the crowd was that he threatened to not go onstage, two sources briefed on the discussions told me. The sources said that Parscale, reading the tea leaves, is planning to step down. “He knows he can’t survive,” one source told me.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, said Parscale is safe. “Brad is the campaign manager, and he’s the one in charge,” Miller said.

But one thing is for sure: The blame game has shifted into high gear. Trump insiders told me Trump was presented with five options of where to hold his rally. “The president chose Tulsa,” a source said. Sources also told me that if Parscale is forced out, he likely won’t be the only casualty of the rally fiasco. Trump is debating revoking his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s control over the campaign, sources said. As I previously reported, Trump has been frustrated with Kushner’s oversight of the campaign in light of polling that consistently shows Trump losing to Joe Biden. Another source of friction has been campaign spending and reports Trump has gotten that Parscale is making millions of dollars. “Did Jared allow this?” Trump asked advisers recently, according to a source. (Kushner declined to comment.)

The Tulsa debacle takes on added resonance given that a return to rallies is central to Trump’s reelection strategy. With COVID cases spiking across Trump country, it’s unlikely that Trump will be able to pack an arena anytime soon. Deprived of the oxygen his legions of fans provide, Trump is struggling to fight political wars on multiple fronts. He’s also lost the attack line that Biden is too old for the job. “There is something off about Trump,” a West Wing official told a top Republican a few days after Trump shakily descended the ramp at West Point. “He doesn’t have the stamina.”


June 22, 2020

The Voice of America Will Sound Like Trump

The author of this action is Michael Pack: colleague of Steve Bannon, producer of a documentary film on Clarence Thomas, and a person so indifferent to the subject of international broadcasting that several people who have met him told me they thought he didn’t really want the job. (Because they still work with him, they asked to remain anonymous.) The Trump administration nominated him as the CEO of the Agency for Global Media two years ago, but his nomination languished in the Senate, not least because Republican senators were unenthusiastic; one congressional staffer who met Pack told me that he seemed to know nothing, had not bothered to “read a 101 on the agency.” Asked about his priorities for the complex broadcasting services, he would respond, according to another interlocutor, with vague phrases like “Give me some time” and “I need to think about it.” Pack is also under criminal investigation for allegedly misdirecting money from a nonprofit to his private company, normally the kind of thing that gives the Senate pause. But for reasons that are still unclear, President Trump finally got interested in his nomination this spring, started making calls, and leaned hard on the supine Republican Senate leadership to vote him in.

Pack was finally confirmed, on a party-line vote, on June 4. A few days later he arranged, with a ghoulishly Orwellian touch, for the removal of a portrait of his popular predecessor, John Lansing, who departed the building last autumn. Quotes from a Lansing speech that had been painted on the wall beside the picture—“Since our country’s founding, journalists and journalism have stood watch over private and public officials to hold them accountable”—were painted over, causing some to wonder whether the sentiment was going to be erased as well. Then, on the evening of June 17, Pack fired the heads of all the networks, plus many senior staff, in a series of curt emails

Everyone, from Senate Republicans to the USAGM employees, was surprised. One staff member who is still employed described this purge as “unheard of” in the history of the organization. “Even in the worst-case scenarios,” he told me, “no one considered that the heads of all of the networks would be dismissed.” Some of those fired have strong Republican Party credentials. Jamie Fly, the ex-head of RFE/RL, is a former aide to Senator Marco Rubio; Alberto Fernandez, the ex-head of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, is a former career Foreign Service officer who has been praised by commentators on the right. Others might be Democrats, but none is a partisan. Amanda Bennett, the ex-head of VOA, is a former editor in chief of The Philadelphia Inquirer and a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist; guessing what was coming, she resigned just before Pack’s arrival. Steve Capus, a former president of NBC News who was acting as a senior adviser, was also told to leave the building; Steven Springer, the head of journalistic standards, was removed from his job and given a role as temporary advisor to the new management. Both Capus and Springer had been involved in resolving the problems with Radio Martí.* Liu had announced her intention to resign as CEO of the Open Technology

Equally unprecedented was Pack’s decisions to freeze all spending and to replace all of the organizations’ bipartisan boards with six people, including himself, who appear to have been selected for no discernible reason beyond ideological purity. Among these freshly minted political commissars are Rachel Semmel, who has used her position as spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget to provide caustic responses to questions about Trump’s disputed decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine; Bethany Kozma, who has brought her anti-abortion-rights activism to USAID; and Jonathan Alexandre, senior counsel for Liberty Counsel, an organization dedicated to “religious freedom” that once threatened legal action against a Jacksonville, Florida, library for holding a Harry Potter event, on the grounds that this constituted promotion of witchcraft.


June 22, 2020

New Yorker article on Fiona Hill is excellent.I don't know how any woman could put up w/Trump's crap

By Adam Entous

June 22, 2020

Until that point, Hill said, she had always let her work speak for itself. But she had noticed that women in the West Wing wore designer dresses and more makeup. After the meeting, she went out and bought a few new outfits, “just so I wouldn’t be conspicuous in my dowdiness.” It was well known that Trump put inordinate stock in appearances, particularly when it came to women. “Central casting is a real thing for him,” a longtime Trump adviser told me. Trump addressed his female aides as “honey,” “sweetie,” and “darling.” If he didn’t like how an adviser looked, he would say, “Honey, you look so tired.” Trump would sometimes say of his female advisers, “They look O.K. in person, but on TV they look really bad. Why do they look so bad?”

After Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, was interviewed on “60 Minutes,” Trump complained that she wasn’t attractive enough. When officials were discussing the possibility of a new position for Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Trump said he didn’t like how her cheeks looked. He complained to officials that Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security, wasn’t sufficiently aggressive toward migrants—and she was too short. When Trump insulted a female adviser, the men in the room would look away. “It throws you off your game,” a former female adviser told me. “It deflates you.” Another former White House official, a man, told me that Trump was “rougher with women. He has a problem with women.” It was soon evident that Trump had a problem with Hill. “Forgive me, Fiona’s attractive, but he doesn’t trust women that are kind of non-players in his world,” the former official said. He added, “Anyone who takes notes is suspect.” A former national-security official told me that, after the incident in the Oval Office, some of Trump’s top advisers, including Reince Priebus, his chief of staff, began referring to Hill as “the Russia bitch.”

In the spring of 2017, Hill was reviewing Obama’s policies on Europe and Russia. His Administration had shunned the autocratic Hungarian President Viktor Orbán, who was thwarting efforts to build a united front within the E.U. and nato in support of Ukraine. Hill did not oppose a meeting between Trump and Orbán, but she wanted to make sure that Orbán was serious about changing his behavior. On May 23rd, Connie Mack, a former Republican congressman who was working as a lobbyist for Orbán, tried to persuade two of Mike Pence’s foreign-policy advisers to hold a Trump-Orbán summit at the White House. Trump had extended the invitation to Orbán by telephone in 2016; Mack wanted to know why the Obama policy remained in effect.

Mack told me, “It was clear that there was someone above who was saying ‘No meeting,’ and I knew it wasn’t Pence. So I started looking around, poking around, and I came across Fiona Hill’s name.” On the Brookings Web site, Mack discovered that Hill had worked with organizations that had ties to the Budapest-born financier George Soros, who is a frequent target of right-wing groups. Mack told Pence’s advisers that he believed that Hill was responsible for the holdup. According to an official who heard that conversation, Mack accused Hill of doing Soros’s bidding. On May 31st, the political operative Roger Stone, a longtime friend of Trump’s, appeared on Alex Jones’s television show, which traffics in far-right conspiracy theories. Stone told Jones, “This is very hard to believe, but I confirmed the facts again this morning. Soros has planted a mole infiltrating the national-security apparatus—a woman named Fiona Hill.” After the show aired, a woman called Hill’s house, and when her daughter picked up the phone the woman told her that her mother was “a cunt.” Hill started to receive death threats. In June, Mack began circulating a memo, titled “Fiona Hill Backgrounder,” to former congressional colleagues, documenting what he described as Hill’s purported links to “the Soros network.” Soon, one of Mack’s contacts told him that the memo was “in Trump’s hands.”

June 22, 2020

Now Bolton's denying that he told the Telegraph he'd vote for Biden

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton issued a statement Sunday evening denying that he's planning to vote for Joe Biden in November, shortly after The Telegraph reported that Bolton was intending to back Trump's Democratic rival.

"This statement is incorrect. The Ambassador never said he planned to vote for Joe Biden," Bolton spokeswoman Sarah Tinsley said in a statement obtained by Axios.

"He has consistently said in recent days he will be writing in the name of a conservative Republican. Let there be no doubt - he will not be voting for Trump or Biden," Tinsley added.

The Telegraph reported earlier Sunday that Bolton, in an exclusive interview with the British newspaper as part of a media tour for the release of his new book, "The Room Where It Happened," had said he plans to support Biden.


This is more like what I expected from Bolton.

June 21, 2020

Bolton just endorsed Biden


#BREAKING: Bolton says he'll back Biden over Trump in November http://hill.cm/ZieKP68

Bolton says he intends to back Biden over Trump in November
President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton said in an interview published Sunday that he intends to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in November.

Speaking with The Daily Telegraph as part of a media tour for the release of his new book, "The Room Where It Happened," Bolton explained that after seeing Trump behind the scenes he was forced to support Trump's opponent.
June 20, 2020

Full statement from Trump campaign on low turnout


NEW: The Trump campaign is blaming tonight’s turnout which has fallen well short of their expectations to protestors “interfering with supporters” attempting to gain access to the Trump events.

Right, his goons wouldn't let the protesters get near.

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