Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Last Call For Orange Meltdown, Con't

Another Villager book on Trump, this one "Peril" from Bob Woodward and WaPo conservative whisperer Robert Costa, and we discover yet another heart-stopping moment that our country was almost destroyed by.

Two days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump's top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, single-handedly took top-secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons, according to "Peril," a new book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa. 
Woodward and Costa write that Milley, deeply shaken by the assault, 'was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.' 
Milley worried that Trump could 'go rogue,' the authors write. 
"You never know what a president's trigger point is," Milley told his senior staff, according to the book. 
In response, Milley took extraordinary action, and called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon's war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved. 
"No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I'm part of that procedure," Milley told the officers, according to the book. He then went around the room, looked each officer in the eye, and asked them to verbally confirm they understood. 
"Got it?" Milley asked, according to the book. 
"Yes, sir." 
'Milley considered it an oath,' the authors write. 
"Peril" is based on more than 200 interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses, and it paints a chilling picture of Trump's final days in office. The book, Woodward's third on the Trump presidency, recounts behind-the-scenes moments of a commander in chief unhinged and explosive, yelling at senior advisers and aides as he desperately sought to cling to power. 
It also includes exclusive reporting on the events leading up to January 6 and Trump's reaction to the insurrection, as well as newly revealed details about Trump's January 5 Oval Office showdown with his vice president, Mike Pence. 
Woodward and Costa obtained documents, calendars, diaries, emails, meeting notes, transcripts and other records. 
The book also examines Joe Biden's decision to run for office again; the first six months of his presidency; why he pushed so hard to get out of Afghanistan; and how he really feels about Trump. CNN obtained a copy of "Peril" ahead of its release on September 21.
Couple observations, one, this tracks with what we know about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling on Milley to do exactly this on January 8th, two days after the insurrection, that Pelosi-Milley meeting detailed in yet another Washington Post reporter book in July. Now we know Gen. Milley did indeed act upon it.
I don't know how difficult that's going to make things for Milley, the Joint Chiefs chair telling his senior staff to not take orders from anyone but him about America's nuclear arsenal is frightening at best, no matter how you look at it. Republicans will no doubt want Milley fired, court-martialed, shot out of a cannon, forced to watch terrible movies, I don't know. Biden will just ignore them, but it depends on if Democratic party hawks seize on this as a way to go after Milley over Afghanistan too.

Second observation: why the hell wasn't this front page news on January 8th? I mean we knew Pelosi talked to Milley on January 8th, well, on January 8th. It's not like Trump wasn't aware. So why not also report that's what Milley did?

Let's ask these questions, shall we?

The Manchin On The Hill, Con't

The Democrats will get 50 Senate votes for their voting rights bill, finally getting Sen. Joe Manchin on board. But the bill isn't expected to get any Republican votes, and changing the filibuster still won't happens, so I'm not sure what the point is.

Senate Democrats are proposing new legislation to overhaul voting laws after months of discussions to get all 50 of their members behind a single bill, allowing their caucus to speak with one voice on the issue even though it stands virtually no chance of becoming law. 
The proposal -- announced in a statement by a group of Senate Democrats on Tuesday -- comes in the aftermath of their party's failed effort to open debate on the issue in June. Even though they unified behind the procedural vote at the time, Senate Democrats were not on the same page over the policy, kicking off months of talks to get the party's factions behind the bill that they will propose on Tuesday. 
Yet the new proposal will almost certainly fall well short of the 60 votes needed to break a GOP-led filibuster. Plus Democrats lack the votes to change the rules and weaken the filibuster as many in their party want them to do, meaning the plan is expected to stall when the Senate casts a procedural vote on the matter next week. 
The proposal, which will be introduced by Senate Rules Chair Amy Klobuchar, also has the endorsement of Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who had been the lone member of his caucus to oppose his party's more sweeping overhaul -- known as the For the People Act -- which passed the House earlier this year. 
The other Democratic senators who are co-sponsors include Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, Alex Padilla of California and Raphael Warnock, the Georgia freshman who faces a potentially tough reelection fight next year. Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, has also signed onto the bill known as the Freedom to Vote Act, according to the statement. 
The new bill would make it easier to register to vote, make Election Day a public holiday, ensure states have early voting for federal elections and allow all voters to request mail-in ballots. In addition, the measure would bolster security on voting systems, overhaul how House districts are redrawn and impose new disclosures on donations to outside groups active in political campaigns.
So I guess the point is to get all the Senate GOP on record against voting rights, even the "moderates" like Murkowski, Collins, Romney and yeah that's really it.

However, that doesn't actually save our voting rights.

The Vax Of Life, Con't

A big majority of Americans approve of President Biden's vaccine mandate + testing rules for medium and large businesses, including independent voters. It's Republicans who hate it, and it's not like they were voting for Democrats anyway.

A majority of Americans — including suburban voters — support vaccine mandates for federal workers as well as private companies, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: The findings, on the heels of President Biden's mandates announcement last week, suggest that while his move was divisive, it may be politically safer than his opponents hope.

What they're saying: "From a political perspective, he especially reinforces himself with independents," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs."The No. 1 issue for Biden has been COVID, and he’s been losing ground on it, especially among independents ... it should stanch the bleeding ... this is an initiative that could help bolster him there." However, "he wins no points with Republicans. He wins a lot of points with Democrats, but they already support him."

The big picture: Respondents were asked two separate questions: Do you support the federal government requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19? And do you support a federal government rule that requires all business with 100 or more employees to make all staff be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID testing?

Their overall responses were virtually identical: 42% strongly supported both; 18% somewhat supported both; 13%–14% somewhat opposed both; and 25%–26% strongly opposed both. In other words, respondents didn't draw major distinctions between mandates for public or private employees.

Between the lines: The high concentrations of strong support and strong opposition reinforce the depth of polarization.
But notice even a third of Republicans support mandates.  That's practically a victory for Biden right there. Vaccine mandates are a winner for the Dems, and the need to remember that. Also, you know, it's a winner because it's the right thing to do and should have been done six months ago.


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