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Exclusive: The New York Times continues its new role as conduit for GOP disinformation and threats – TalkOfNews.com

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: New York City Police vehicles sit parked outside the office of the The New York Times, October 25, 2018 in New York City. Security is being ramped up in New York City after explosive devices were sent to top Democratic politicians and to CNN headquarters. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Lowry’s piece, titled “A Defense of GOP Paranoia,” starts out as a self-serving explanation for the vituperative and violent rhetoric displayed by the right and its elected officials in the Republican Party toward federal law enforcement in the wake of the search warrant executed at Trump’s Florida residence. This reaction was completely understandable, Lowry writes, in the wake of what he characterizes as a hyperpartisan investigation of Trump’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, an investigation that Lowry characterizes as a “national fiasco.” Of course, that formulation echoes the now-standard right-wing talking point regarding the Mueller investigation as perpetrating some elaborate “hoax,” a talking point carefully drilled into Republicans’ brains by repetition and instigated by Trump himself, with a special assist from a corrupt attorney general named William Barr. 

In this imaginary right-wing history, the fact that Mueller declined to prosecute Trump in compliance with a Department of Justice policy prohibiting criminal action against a sitting president magically invalidated all of the sordid details concerning communications and deals between Trump, his family members, and his associates with Russian intelligence agents leading up to and throughout the 2016 campaign. It’s as if they simply never happened! In this right-wing, upside-down fantasy, the investigation by a lifelong Republican former FBI director was all a politically motivated “witch hunt,” one in which Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Jared Kushner, and Michael Flynn were simply the blithe, unwitting, and totally innocent observers to a systematic effort by the Russian state to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Trump’s favor.

As the American Constitutional Society’s fact sheet on the Mueller Report’s findings and conclusions explains:

  • The investigation produced 37 indictments; seven guilty pleas or convictions; and compelling evidence that the president obstructed justice on multiple occasions. Mueller also uncovered and referred 14 criminal matters to other components of the Department of Justice.
  • Trump associates repeatedly lied to investigators about their contacts with Russians, and President Trump refused to answer questions about his efforts to impede federal proceedings and influence the testimony of witnesses.
  • A statement signed by over 1,000 former federal prosecutors concluded that if any other American engaged in the same efforts to impede federal proceedings the way Trump did, they would likely be indicted for multiple charges of obstruction of justice.

Hardly a “national fiasco.” But in calling it that Lowry, of course, relies heavily on the fact that the vast majority of Americans never read the report itself. For the few who have, the degree of treachery and criminality by Trump and his cronies is a fact beyond any doubt, even after the first few pages. But rather than even mention the report itself, Lowry disingenuously dismisses the entire investigation through the device of the red herring of the Steele dossier:

The Russia investigation was a national fiasco that brought discredit on the F.B.I. and everyone who participated in it. The probe prominently featured a transparently ridiculous dossier generated by the Clinton campaign, eventually spinning into a special-counsel investigation that became, to some significant extent, about itself and whether Mr. Trump was guilty of obstruction. People who should have known better got caught up in the feeding frenzy and speculated that the walls were closing in on Mr. Trump or that he might have been a Russian asset going back decades.

It all came to naught, with almost no one expressing any regret about the unnecessary, yearslong psychodrama. It would be better if more people acknowledged — life being complicated — that even someone you hate and fear can be treated unfairly.

Actually, as noted by the Washington Post’s  Glenn Kessler at the time of its release, the “Steele Dossier” is barely mentioned in the 400-page Mueller report: “Mueller was looking for criminal acts, not seeking to confirm the dossier.”

But you would not know this from Lowry’s screed. The reason you would not know it is that Republicans do not want to talk about the contents of the Mueller report. In fact, that is the last  thing they want to talk about. So when Lowry confidently intones “That experience guarantees that no Republican is going to take assurances about the Mar-a-Lago search, or any other Trump investigation, at face value,” what he’s really saying is that the right has effectively chosen to shut its ears and eyes to the obvious collusion discovered by Mueller.

Still, Lowry pushes on with his sophistry. He decries the “bias” of those pursuing the various criminal actions against Trump and assures us that the “novel” legal issues presented by these actions will drag the country through an unrelenting, painful ordeal. His concern is palpable, even as he backhandedly acknowledges that Trump’s conduct has been “infamous.”

But Lowry saves his piece de resistance for his conclusion, in which he musters all his concern and wraps it in a transparent threat:

If it is too difficult now for Democrats to imagine how they might react to such a prosecution of one of their own, they might have a clearer sense soon enough. An indictment of Mr. Trump would invite retaliation, and if Republicans retake the White House, a motivated G.O.P.-controlled Justice Department could be expected to aggressively pursue a reason to indict Joe Biden over his son Hunter’s business dealings.

In the tumult over a Trump indictment, both sides will accuse the other of violating the country’s norms and traditions. But there’s no doubt that a fierce Republican response, deeply distrustful of the authorities and openly defiant, would be profoundly American.

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“Profoundly American?” Really? I would call it the exact opposite.

But that’s neither here nor there. Forget the weird symmetry between Linker’s piece and Lowry’s, two purported “Never-Trumpers,” appearing literally back to back, with both of them ultimately supporting Trump’s interests. Forget the fact that both pieces offer astonishingly weak arguments premised (especially in Lowry’s case) on pure right-wing propaganda, with both culminating in dark threats if Democrats actually follow what the law obviously requires.

Instead, just ask yourself why The New York Times would deign to publish these pieces, which would be far better situated on Breitbart? How is this information of any value? And what’s coming next, the concerned musings of Michael Flynn? The Proud Boys? 

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


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Exclusive: Democrats go to war with Iowa and New Hampshire over 2024 – TalkOfNews.com

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Democrats go to war with Iowa and New Hampshire over 2024

#Democrats #war #Iowa #Hampshire

For a half-century, the presidential nominating calendar has been regular and predictable. But, on Friday, the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the DNC decided to blow up the 2024 primary process.

The committee approved a new primary schedule that ended Iowa’s status as an early state and calls into question New Hampshire’s place on the calendar.

The calendar was proposed by President Joe Biden earlier this week and greatly diminishes, if not ends, the longstanding places of Iowa and New Hampshire in Democratic nominating contests. Both were states where Biden did poorly in 2020. In a letter proposing the change in the calendar, though, Biden emphasized the need to ensure voters of color had a bigger role in the nominating process.

The new schedule puts South Carolina first on Saturday, February 3, 2024, a move that came as a surprise to top Democrats in the Palmetto State. The draft calendar then has New Hampshire and Nevada three days later on February 6, followed by Georgia on February 13 and Michigan on February 27. The full Democratic National Committee will almost certainly ratify this calendar early next year.

This means that the Democratic nominating contest will begin with South Carolina, the only state where Tom Steyer in 2020 and Al Sharpton in 2004 have finished in the top three in a presidential primary. However, it’s likely to set off a chaotic scramble over which state goes first.

National political parties don’t determine when states hold their nominating contests. That’s the subject of state law. However, national parties are fully within their rights to sanction states that don’t follow their rules for how to hold nominating contests, or throw out the results altogether.

In advance of rolling out this new schedule, the Democratic Party already added more teeth to its ability to crack down on states that buck the DNC to hold nominating contests earlier in the primary. Recent rules changes give the party more latitude to crack down on candidates who campaign in states that hold unsanctioned contests.

In setting the calendar, the resolution passed Friday also requires state elected officials to pledge to abide by DNC rules, otherwise they lose their position as an early state. In Georgia, it requires Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state, to certify that he will hold the state’s presidential primary on February 13. This would either require Georgia to hold two entirely separate presidential primaries or for the Peach State to jump the line in the Republican nominating process. A spokesperson for Raffensperger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Georgia is a sideshow in this. The real targets are Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been the first two states in Democratic presidential primaries for generations and have perennially been the target of resentment as a result. Removing Iowa from the calendar accomplishes that cleanly. The state has been an obvious target since its fiasco in reporting results during the 2020 caucuses, which were in part the result of rules changes imposed on the Hawkeye State by the national Democratic Party. Scott Brennan, a DNC member from Iowa, told Vox, “We’re disappointed and believe the calendar passed ignores a vast swath of the US. There is no pre-window state in the Central or Mountain time zones. “

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In the Republican presidential primary, Iowa is maintaining its traditional role as the first nominating contest and there is no reason that state Democrats couldn’t ignore the DNC and go at the same time. The entire national media will already be camped out in the state and any contest will receive significant coverage even if the caucuses would amount to no more than a glorified beauty contest.

The new rules also implicitly target New Hampshire and set up a conflict where the state legally cannot abide by the DNC’s rules. Under state law, New Hampshire’s primary must go first in the nation, seven days before any other state. (Iowa does not conflict with this because a caucus is deemed sufficiently different from a primary.)

The DNC resolution going into effect would require New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and Jason Osborne, the state’s GOP House majority leader, not only to agree to repeal the state’s first-in-the-nation primary law but also to change state election law to allow more widespread early voting. In a statement, Sununu said, “This was Joe Biden’s decision, and once again, he blew it. … The good news is that our primary will still be first and the nation will not be held to a substandard process dictated by Joe Biden and the Democrat Party.” Osborne simply sarcastically told Vox, “Yes, I have a letter for the DNC. Looking forward to sending it.”

Joe Sweeney, the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party and a state representative there, told Vox, “I would say it’s likelier President Biden comes back to New Hampshire to campaign again after all this than any New Hampshire Republican caving to DNC bullying regarding our FITN law … New Hampshire won’t be bullied by DC and certainly not by the DNC Rules Committee or the president.”

Ray Buckley, the longtime chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, succinctly told reporters, “We’ll have first in the nation, and whatever sanctions they have, so be it.”

This sets up a spiraling conflict over the calendar and opens up the possibility for other states to go rogue and move up. There is precedent for this. In advance of the 2008 presidential primary, the final calendar wasn’t set until December 2007, and even then there was conflict over Michigan and Florida going rogue and holding primaries in defiance of the DNC, which was not resolved until May 31, 2008, at the very end of the primary process.

But this is a year in which conflict over the calendar has comparatively few consequences. If, as expected, Biden runs for reelection, he is unlikely to face a serious challenge for the nomination. This means that any conflict over the calendar will happen during an election that is likely to be a fait accompli.

But what it does mean is that there is a precedent set in advance of 2028, which will be a wide-open field, to minimize the role of Iowa and New Hampshire. It will open the door for new fights, over exactly what states come first, that will happen with potential candidates posturing for the calendar to help them.

For all the criticisms of Iowa and New Hampshire as too white or too rural or too unrepresentative of the Democratic Party, their place on the calendar at least provided certainty and an electorate that, for better or worse, was accustomed to vetting presidential candidates. That’s not the case moving forward. The next competitive Democratic presidential primary will happen without any preset calendar or clear rules of the road.

In the meantime, the Republican presidential calendar is set and a host of candidates will show up in Iowa and New Hampshire as usual in advance of 2024, while the national Democratic Party might go to war with the state parties in both states.

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Exclusive: The Midterms Were a Hollow Victory for Democrats – TalkOfNews.com

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The Midterms Were a Hollow Victory for Democrats

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But amidst all the liberal revelry lies an uncomfortable, little-reported fact: Democrats lost the House popular vote by three points.

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Exclusive: After Macron Complains About U.S. Climate Policy, Biden Rushes To Appease the EU – TalkOfNews.com

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After Macron Complains About U.S. Climate Policy, Biden Rushes To Appease the EU

#Macron #Complains #Climate #Policy #Biden #Rushes #Appease

It appears that when the rest of the world says “jump” to Joe Biden, his response is “how high?”

After French President Emmanuel Macron ripped U.S. energy policy on Wednesday, saying that the Inflation Reduction Act could have dire consequences for the French and other European economies, Biden appeared to carry on with business as usual with his America Last policy.

Biden immediately went into appeasement mode, saying the U.S. and the European Union could “work out” any differences caused by the Biden administration’s, what Macron called “super aggressive,” climate policies.

At issue are government subsidies for green tech and energy. 

Macron and Biden appeared at a joint press conference where Biden stated, “We’re going to continue to create manufacturing jobs in America but not at the expense of Europe. We can work out some of the differences that exist, I’m confident.”

Macron agreed saying, “Everything that is absolutely decisive, because as a matter of fact, we share the same vision and the same willingness.”

RELATED: Flashback: Kanye Performs at DNC Fundraiser, Obama Jokes About Him Becoming House Speaker

European Concerns

At the heart of European concerns about the Inflation Reduction Act is that if components for electric cars and other green technology is manufactured in the U.S. and gets subsidies from the federal government, European manufacturers will suffer economic consequences. 

With Europe already struggling with high fuel costs due to the war in Ukraine (though not France, which derives 70% of its power from nuclear energy,) Macron has taken the lead to call on the EU to come up with its own green subsidies program.

According to Politico, of course the Biden administration is all in to help other nations while it heaps close to $400 billion in new taxes on Americans.

RELATED: Americans Are Fed Up With Woke Military Leadership: Poll Shows Less Than 50% Now Trust

Earlier Biden-Macron Spat

This is not the first time that Joe Biden has been in hot water with his French counterpart.

Back in October, while attending a Democrat fundraiser, Biden stated that the U.S. could be looking at for the first time in decades “the direct threat of the use of a nuclear weapon if, in fact, things continue down the path they are going.” His comments were in reference to the war in Ukraine.

The nuclear annihilation comments did not sit well with Macron. He responded by saying, “We must speak with prudence when commenting on such matters. I have always refused to engage in political fiction, and especially … when speaking of nuclear weapons,” he added. “On this issue, we must be very careful.”

Macron also said that he wanted “to be respected as a good friend,” but that Inflation Reduction Act policy would “perhaps fix your issue but you will increase my problem.”

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