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Old 02-17-2017, 09:30 AM   #391
MplsTaper
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I'm not exactly sure how trump supporters defend yesterday's anti-press conference?

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Donald Trump reportedly started work in the Oval Office on Thursday morning and told his staff he wanted to hold a press conference that day.

And so he did. Boy, did he.

The event, ostensibly an announcement of the president's new pick for labour secretary, was anything but routine. New nominee Alexander Acosta wasn't even in attendance - and it probably wasn't a bad thing that he missed out, since he quickly became an afterthought to the 76-minute free-form scrum that ensued.

So much for White House message discipline. Instead, it was Trump being Trump. The off-the-cuff style got him elected president, of course, so perhaps it's how he will reboot his four-week-old (!) presidency. Donald Trump was off the leash - just the way he seems to like it.

Here are some of the highlights.

"The leaks are absolutely real; the news is fake."

Thursday's press conference was Trump v the Media, round eleventy-billion.

Mr Trump said mainstream journalists were the voice of a "broken system" of special interests that he is challenging - which can only be catnip for his base and a way of insulating himself against the recent barrage of negative stories.

When pressed on the simmering scandal over former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia and how the White House handled them, the president parried and then went after "dishonest" reporters who should be "ashamed" about inaccurate reporting based on illegal leaks (the president did not acknowledge the apparent contradiction in such a statement).

He blamed reporters for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for not directly contacting him before running unflattering stories, as though they had his personal mobile number.

He even engaged in a bit of presidential concern-trolling, telling a CNN reporter his network would "do much better by being different".

"I started off today by saying that it's so important to the public to get an honest press," Mr Trump continued. "The public doesn't believe you people anymore. Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you."

Mr Trump seemed to be at his happiest in this back-and-forth with hostile reporters over whether or not the media are honest - and with good reason. While journalists care deeply about the reputation of their profession, the general public probably views it as so much navel-gazing.

Every minute debating the impartiality and truthfulness of the press is a battle fought on terrain friendly to the president.

"I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan."

Mr Trump has a habit of making statements that have, shall we say, a sometimes distant relationship with reality. He often couches the remarks in phrases like "I've heard", "people are saying", or "I guess".

Such was the case when he turned once again - in the scripted portion of his press conference, no less - to the size of his Electoral College victory last November.

In a bit of a twist, however, a reporter from NBC, Peter Alexander, called him on it minutes later.

He said that Barack Obama and Bill Clinton posted bigger margins of victory. Mr Trump replied that he was referring to Republican presidents.

Alexander countered that George HW Bush had a bigger win, too.

"Why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they've received as being fake, when you provide information that's not accurate?" he asked.


Trump replied that it was information he "was given" and had "seen around", before saying that it was still a "very substantial victory" - a claim much more difficult to disprove.

President Trump, like Candidate Trump, has seemed invulnerable to fact-checkers, perhaps in part because he's moved on to a hundred different topics before the media watchdogs can catch up.

Thursday, for at least a brief moment, was different.

"I don't think there's ever been a president elected who in this short period of time has done what we've done."

The event on Thursday was billed as a press conference, but for the first half-hour it seemed more like an unpolished mid-day State of Union address. It was a chance for the president to talk over the gathered heads of the journalists in remarks broadcast on three of the four major US commercial networks and all the cable news outlets.

He spoke about the jobs he's brought back to the US - anecdotal and small-bore though they may be. He spoke of "productive talks" he's had with world leaders and the request he's made for his military to come up with a plan to defeat the so-called Islamic state.

He cited executive actions withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and cutting back on government regulations. He boasted of task forces created, councils formed and agency co-ordination instructed.

And he touted his immigration efforts - a key piece of which is currently suspended pending court review.

"This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Mr Trump asserted again. "And we have not even started the big work yet."

That last part is definitely true. While the Trump administration has seemed to be in a flurry of activity, legislatively there has been relatively little accomplished. Within the first four weeks of his presidency, Mr Obama had signed into law a measure increasing protection for women's wages in the workplace and a massive economic stimulus bill that included more than $800bn in new federal spending.

After four weeks, Mr Trump still has 98% of his presidency ahead of him. The start has been rocky, and less accomplished than he says, but the jury is still out.

"This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can't get my cabinet approved."

One of the criticisms that seems to irk Mr Trump the most is that his presidency has been beset by "chaos" and mismanagement.

Mr Trump lays part of the blame at the feet of Democrats, whom he says have been slow to approve his top-level cabinet appointments.

While part of this assuredly true, as Democrats slow-walked several of his nominees, others have been tardy because there were delays in submitting vetting paperwork or in the announcement of the nominations.

Perhaps of greater cause for concern is the lack of lower-level appointments announced. In key departments like state and treasury, the under-secretary slots remain largely unfilled.

Then there's the ongoing palace intrigue within the White House, which Mr Trump glossed over. He said that his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, is "working so hard just putting out fires" - but some of those fires are coming from within his own administration.

In one Washington Post story, an unnamed White House official said Priebus had to "become more competent". There's talk of rival factions within the Trump team, with pragmatists like Priebus squared off against longtime Trump true-believers like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller.

When asked by the BBC's Jon Sopel about one of the most-cited example of White House chaos - the confusion surrounding the administration's rollout of the Mr Trump's immigration order - the president was defiant.

"We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban," he said. "But we had a bad court."

The court decisions Mr Trump was apparently referencing - either by the Seattle judge who suspended implementation of the ban or the appellate court that upheld the injunction - came well after the first few unruly days of implementation, however, when US immigration officials seemed uncertain of how to apply the broadly worded order.

Perhaps "chaos" is too strong a word, but "smooth" is downplaying the confusion, particularly for permanent US residents from Iran, Iraq and other targeted nations who were left wondering whether they could safely enter the US.

"I think Melania is going to be outstanding."

After berating a CNN reporter, calling Jon Sopel and BBC News "another beauty" and repeatedly telling a Jewish reporter asking about anti-Semitism to be quiet, Mr Trump finally found a question he liked - from an independent reporter named Kyle Mazza.

"Can you tell us all the things Melania does for the country?" he asked, referring to the president's wife.

"That is what I call a nice question," Mr Trump responded, before extolling the virtues of the first lady.

"I've known her for a long time," he said. "She was a very successful person. She was a very successful model. She did really well."

Mr Trump had been criticised for only calling on friendly reporters over the course of the last three press availabilities - all joint appearances with foreign leaders where a total of six questions from US journalists were permitted. Mr Trump chose conservative news outlets like Townhall, the Daily Caller and Newsmax over traditional mainstream media reporters.

On Thursday, however, Mr Trump took the media's best shot - although he carped about how he'd be portrayed as "ranting and raving" in the subsequent coverage.
He may not have ranted and raved, but it was a most unusual press conference nonetheless.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:38 PM   #392
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This is such a nightmare

4 years of this

 
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:20 PM   #393
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8*

 
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:21 PM   #394
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he probably can't win again which is why he is probably going to undertake a massive voter suppression operation

 
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:44 AM   #395
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nearly every problem with the Federal government and one party rule today is the fault of Republican Gerrymandering of the States. 6 years into the last gerrymander and the democratic leadership in DC and the States has done nothing to address it.

 
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:48 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by redbreegull View Post
he probably can't win again which is why he is probably going to undertake a massive voter suppression operation
probably?

LOL

In Texas this week the State announced it would pursue prosecutions of people who voted "illegally" without photo ID. these are people that were registered voters but showed up last November without their ID and poll workers let them vote anyway. These are legally registered voters!


Trump doesn't really need to do much. The GOP does all that work at the State Level. It's coordinated and planned by several right wing think tanks (funded by the Koch's, DeVoses, etc.) that write laws and publish action plans that are distributed to Republicans in the States and Washington. If you look at voter ID laws across GOP controlled states you can see that they're nearly identical in their wording, because they're not written by state Legislators, they're given to the State parties to rubber stamp. f Trump isn't part of any of it. Any republican president just steps into the roll and there's machinery to do the work of suppression and electoral manipulation and all he has to do is play along with it.

Of course, with Sessions in place now the States will have the Federal Government behind them when they step on people's rights.

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Old 02-18-2017, 09:52 AM   #397
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Thank God; people have too many rights anyway

 
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:59 AM   #398
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But seriously, Democrats complaining about gerrymandering every time they get their ass handed to them in a Congressional election is as lame as Trump complaining about the popular vote.

 
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:47 AM   #399
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Originally Posted by scottytheoneand View Post
probably?

LOL

In Texas this week the State announced it would pursue prosecutions of people who voted "illegally" without photo ID. these are people that were registered voters but showed up last November without their ID and poll workers let them vote anyway. These are legally registered voters!


Trump doesn't really need to do much. The GOP does all that work at the State Level. It's coordinated and planned by several right wing think tanks (funded by the Koch's, DeVoses, etc.) that write laws and publish action plans that are distributed to Republicans in the States and Washington. If you look at voter ID laws across GOP controlled states you can see that they're nearly identical in their wording, because they're not written by state Legislators, they're given to the State parties to rubber stamp. f Trump isn't part of any of it. Any republican president just steps into the roll and there's machinery to do the work of suppression and electoral manipulation and all he has to do is play along with it.

Of course, with Sessions in place now the States will have the Federal Government behind them when they step on people's rights.
Trump is building an alternate reality where the GOP is open to restrict voting rights in a way that hasn't been seen in this country in seven or eight decades. You're right that it will be mostly done at the state level, but being in power is not enough to get away with whatever you want. People have to see you and your actions as legitimate, and that's what the Trump crew is trying to do.

I've said it before, but Trump is not crazy, he knows he is a liar. And a lot of his supporters know he is a liar too, they simply don't care. If people view their situation as real, it is real in its consequences. It's a tactic of vast sociological manipulation to build the white supremacist world they think ought to be. When Trump says there was massive voter fraud, he isn't saying I believe there was massive voter fraud, he's saying I am coming to take away voting rights.

 
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:41 PM   #400
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I think that even if Clinton were president right now the Democrats would be doing almost NOTHING to stop GOP voter suppression. FTR Obama did virtually NOTHING to stop this crap over the past 8 years. The leadership of the Democratic party in most States and in DC is doing almost nothing.

There are a few states where Activists have started to fight back, like North Carolina. But that's been done by people like Reverend Doctor William Barber II, not the Democratic party leadership. There's been legal fights against it in Wisconsin, again without leadership from the democratic party. The propositions that took away districting from the legislature in California and Arizona were run independently from the States democratic parties.

If Democrats don't put this at the top of their to do list they're going to be out of power forever. Not because they don't have the support of the majority of voters. They do. But because the elections, national and local, are rigged by Republicans.

Since november i've not heard a single Democrat publicly talk about gerrymandering. If they don't do it soon they'll fail to win a congressional majority in 2018 and 2020 and all we'll hear again after those elections is that they're out of touch.

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Old 02-18-2017, 01:53 PM   #401
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Originally Posted by scottytheoneand View Post
I think that even if Clinton were president right now the Democrats would be doing almost NOTHING to stop GOP voter suppression. FTR Obama did virtually NOTHING to stop this crap over the past 8 years. The leadership of the Democratic party in most States and in DC is doing almost nothing.

There are a few states where Activists have started to fight back, like North Carolina. But that's been done by people like Reverend Doctor William Barber II, not the Democratic party leadership. There's been legal fights against it in Wisconsin, again without leadership from the democratic party. The propositions that took away districting from the legislature in California and Arizona were run independently from the States democratic parties.

If Democrats don't put this at the top of their to do list they're going to be out of power forever. Not because they don't have the support of the majority of voters. They do. But because the elections, national and local, are rigged by Republicans.

Since november i've not heard a single Democrat publicly talk about gerrymandering. If they don't do it soon they'll fail to win a congressional majority in 2018 and 2020 and all we'll hear again after those elections is that they're out of touch.
I agree with all of this. While liberals grew complacent under Obama's comforting watch, the GOP went into overdrive to take local government by force. It makes sense, because the GOP was teetering towards destruction in 2008-2010, so ramping up gerrymandering and voter restrictions was a struggle for survival. The Democrats did not take them seriously and were distracted by a lot of bullshit, like turning on themselves like fucking morons and allowing the GOP to make the ACA into the defining domestic issue of the Obama presidency. Now a party which was on death's door 8 years ago has strong-armed its way back into control by channeling power unduly into the communities of their culturally homogeneous and resentful base. By the raw numbers of people, America is a decidedly liberal country, and it's only going to keep moving to the left as young people come of voting age and Hispanic communities continue to grow. But the GOP has essentially built an affirmative action machine for itself.

I still believe you can't fight demographic destiny, and the white supremacy angle will not survive forever. Trump's America is still shrinking, and Obama's America is still growing. But right now the Democrats are in the worst position they have been in since the Civil War... which is insane, because as you said, a decisive majority of Americans are liberal and support Democratic positions over Republican ones. The Dems are in for a very bad time over the next few years. The real danger isn't 2018 though, it's the 2020 census. Unfortunately at this point the Dems can't do much to fight gerrymandering I'm afraid. It will be up to the Supreme Court to hear a case on ending legislative control of redistricting. This is possible, as they heard a case recently which expanded the right of states to cut the legislatures out of redistricting, and some have guessed this might be a portent of the Court's willingness to examine the constitutionality of the entire practice. But if in 2020 nothing has been done to undo the gerrymandering, the Dems are going to be on the defensive majorly for the next decade.

 
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Old 02-18-2017, 07:26 PM   #402
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I still believe you can't fight demographic destiny, and the white supremacy angle will not survive forever. Trump's America is still shrinking, and Obama's America is still growing. .
i don't believe that. it's possible that we could have one party rule for the next generation or two, even if the GOP only represents a third of the voting population in this country.

If they hold all the States they now hold in 2020 they'll control the next gerrymander. The Senate is constitutionally rigged, and that's not going to change. The next thing they'll rig is the Electoral college. The easiest way would be to pick key states that might swing Democratic in the presidential election and change the allocation of electors to congressional districts, which are already gerrymandered. Something like that in the 2012 election would have changed michigan from an Obama win to obama getting 5 electors and Romney getting 9. Same thing would have happened in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, etc. If they do that and keep those states gerrymandered no demographics will change it.

 
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:32 PM   #403
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i don't believe that. it's possible that we could have one party rule for the next generation or two, even if the GOP only represents a third of the voting population in this country.

If they hold all the States they now hold in 2020 they'll control the next gerrymander. The Senate is constitutionally rigged, and that's not going to change. The next thing they'll rig is the Electoral college. The easiest way would be to pick key states that might swing Democratic in the presidential election and change the allocation of electors to congressional districts, which are already gerrymandered. Something like that in the 2012 election would have changed michigan from an Obama win to obama getting 5 electors and Romney getting 9. Same thing would have happened in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, etc. If they do that and keep those states gerrymandered no demographics will change it.
yeah, I guess that's the apocalypse scenario and it could happen. that's the kind of shit that foments civil unrest

 
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