Saturday, July 22, 2017

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Meanwhile, our good friends at the NRA are in fact trying to either sell a whole crapload of guns on the notion of white fear of black people, trying to stoke a violent, deadly race war where millions of black people are killed by angry armed white people, or most likely attempting to do both.  Here's NRA TV host Grant Stinchfield and his guest Chuck Holton discussing Black Lives Matter and South Africa this week:

GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Our race relations are strained here in America after eight years of Barack Obama, but nowhere is near as bad as it is in South Africa where white families are being tortured and killed almost every day in racist violence. It is a warning for the United States that you will never hear from the mainstream media in this country. Veteran Army Ranger and Frontlines correspondent Chuck Holton joins me with more on this. Chuck, I know you’ve been looking into this, particularly doing some research, and really the things that we’re starting to learn are frightening and I guess it's not shocking that the mainstream media is not talking about this. 
CHUCK HOLTON: Right, you know the parallels between what’s happening in South Africa and the blatant racism and violence we’re seeing from people like the Black Lives Matter crowd, from people like Louis Farrakhan and his minions, is happening in spades in South Africa. The violence against farmers is being called for by government officials, it's being celebrated by politicians, and the scary thing is, it's kind of a warning for what could happen in the United States if we continue to let this get out of control, to go down this path of this racial tension, this racial hatred that is being forced on the American culture by the Black Lives Matter crowd.
HOLTON: This has to stop, and if you want to see why it has to stop, you look at South Africa. Over -- between three and four thousand white South Africans have been killed in the most horrific ways, brutalized, raped, tortured, drug behind cars, had drills taken to them. Some really horrific things.

If you had any doubts left that the NRA is a violent, armed advocacy group for white supremacy and black genocide in 2017, understand that this is propaganda that the NRA is happily willing to share openly, accusing Black Lives Matter of "forcing racial hatred" on America, and that "they must be stopped".

You would think that a group that supposedly advocated firearm training and open carry as a ncessity to preserve liberty would in fact be the champions of BLM and taking up their cause to protect them from a government that uses its power to kill them.

But this is the NRA, a firearms advocacy group that actually exists to sell firearms based on fear of black people and to openly advocate for their use in fighting a violent race war in the name of white purity.

The game hasn't changed too much in 400 years.

Russian To Judgment, Con't

Things are starting to move fast on the Trump/Russia front.  First, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is out.

Sean Spicer, the embattled and increasingly invisible White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning shortly after the president offered Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci the job of White House communications director.
The New York Times, which first reported Spicer’s resignation, writes that Spicer “vehemently disagreed” with Scaramucci’s appointment as his new boss, and that he quit in protest.

These developments appear to be the first steps in a long-promised communications shakeup at the White House, which has struggled to stay focused amid the unfolding Russia collusion story.

Scaramucci is a polarizing figure among the warring factions in Trump’s administration. According to Axios, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon opposed the appointment, while Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner supported it. As communications director, Scaramucci would be stepping into a position that has been vacant for several weeks since the resignation of Mike Dubke, a Spicer ally, in May.

Scaramucci is a fast-talking businessman, exactly the type Trump respects.  He's names Sarah Huckabee Sanders as the new press secretary, and Spicer gets to train his replacement through August.

But the White House wouldn't be getting rid of Spicer at this juncture if damage control wasn't the top priority, and they know they're going to have a hurricane or two worth of spin to put out. Spicer wasn't up to the job, frankly.  Something big is coming on the horizon, and that something may have been this major leak on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. senator that he met with Kislyak.

“I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,” Sessions said in March when he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign.

Jeff Sessions's perjury before Congress at his confirmation hearing involving the extent of his association with Trump's Russian buddies is basically the worst-kept secret in Washington, but this has now become the 90-ton giant robot in the room.

It's almost like the White House wants Sessions gone.  Oh wait, Trump does want Sessions gone, but the White House would rather not fire him outright.  They gave Sessions the chance to resign earlier this week after Trump's interview with the NY Times where he flat out said that he wouldn't have appointed Sessions if Trump had known Sessions would recuse himself on Russia.  Remember, this was basically the reason he fired Comey: perceived lack of personal loyalty to Trump despite his obvious misdeeds.

Suddenly there's a new WH Communications Director and this massively damaging leak on Sessions hits the Washington Post, along with calls from conservatives for Sessions to resign.

Don't need a PhD to put this one together, guys.  Trump wants somebody at the DoJ who will kill the Mueller investigation.  The Saturday Night Massacre 2: Orange Boogaloo is coming.

I mean hell, Trump himself is giving up the game.


Of course, he'll need to get Mueller canned before the idnictments come.  I know I've said multiple times in the past that only the House can bring charges against a sitting president, and that it's up in the air as to if a federal grand jury can indict one, but hey, that depends on who you ask, and it's not the first time this question has been asked, either.

A newfound memo from Kenneth W. Starr’s independent counsel investigation into President Bill Clinton sheds fresh light on a constitutional puzzle that is taking on mounting significance amid the Trump-Russia inquiry: Can a sitting president be indicted?

“The 56-page memo, locked in the National Archives for nearly two decades… amounts to the most thorough government-commissioned analysis rejecting a generally held view that presidents are immune from prosecution while in office.

Just putting something out there.  Trump's damn well thinking about it, I guarantee you.

That Poll-Asked Look, Con't

Don't look now, but six months into his term, yet another poll (this time Monmouth U) finds significant support for impeaching Donald Trump among its findings:

Nearly two-thirds of the public believes the Russian government either definitely (36%) or probably (29%) tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election
. Just over 1-in-4 say the Russians probably (18%) or definitely (10%) did not interfere. Given the premise that Russia did in fact try to interfere in the election, most believe this caused either a lot (47%) or a little (21%) damage to American democracy. Another 28%, on the other hand, believe that Russian interference did no damage to American democracy. This opinion is driven by a huge partisan divide. Specifically, 60% of Republicans believe that Russian interference in the election caused no damage at all to American democracy while only 28% of independents and 6% of Democrats feel the same. 
"We'd like to believe that concerns about external interference in our democratic processes would unite Americans regardless of ideology. But in an era of partisan tribalism, it looks like short-term political ends justify the means," said Murray. 
A majority (54%) of Americans are concerned that Trump may be too friendly toward Russia. This level of concern has been creeping up from 45% during the 2016 campaign to 48% in the first months of Trump's presidency, and 51% two months ago when Trump fired former FBI director James Comey. A similar majority (55%) of the public is concerned that other members of the Trump administration may be too friendly toward Russia. This number is up slightly from 49% in May. 
The public is divided on whether Pres. Trump pressed his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about that government's interference in the U.S. election when the two met in person earlier this month. Just under half - 46% - say it is either very likely (20%) or somewhat likely (26%) that Trump did this, while a similar number - 48% - say it is not too likely (22%) or not at all likely (26%). 
The public continues to be split on whether Trump's attitude toward Russia does (48%) or does not (48%) present a national security threat to the United States. This opinion is nearly identical to the May poll results, when 48% said Trump's position toward Russia poses a security risk and 46% said it does not. 
Over 6-in-10 (62%) Americans say the special counsel investigation into Russian interference should continue while 33% say it should be brought to an end. Two months ago, 73% supported continuing the related FBI investigation into Russia - before the special counsel was appointed - and 24% wanted it to end. 
Currently, 41% of the public think that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, while 53% disagree. The Monmouth University Poll asked the same question used by the Gallup Poll during Nixon's presidency. In July 1973 as the Watergate scandal started to unfold, just 24% of the public supported impeachment and 62% were opposed. Support for Nixon's impeachment was significantly lower six months into his second term as president than it is for the incumbent today. Interestingly, Nixon's job rating at that point in his tenure - 39% approve and 49% disapprove - was about the same as Trump's current rating.

And yes, I know I should take my own warning on impeachment: unless the Republican party magically reforms, it will never happen.  However, enough constituents saying that failure to vote for impeachment and removal will cost Republicans their jobs?  That's the only real way this happens.

Granted, that would take a majority of Republicans on top of Dems and independent voters, so we still have a long, way way to go on getting rid of Trump.  He's still not going anywhere currently.

Still, any poll where more Americans think Trump should be impeached than approve of his job in the White House does offer slim hope that the country can come to its senses.
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