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BeyondGeography

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Hometown: NY
Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 11:41 PM
Number of posts: 36,555

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How Hillary Clinton's Press Secretary Self-Radicalized and Became a Resistance Leader

Brian Fallon was once one of the most sought after operatives in Democratic politics: a brass knuckle brawler with experience at the highest levels of government, a cellphone filled with the top journalists in town, and a reputation for being preternaturally on message. Most offices would have died to hire him. But that was before he decided to devote his career to making the courts more progressive—and to doing so with little care for who he pissed off along the way. Now, many top Democrats can’t stand him.

...In the wake of that Clinton loss, he started the progressive organization Demand Justice in the spring of 2018. In theory, it was dedicated to stopping President Donald Trump’s judicial appointments. But in practice it’s been about redirecting the Democratic id as it pertains to the judicial wars. The group has rattled many Democratic senators who, Fallon believes, are supporting the president’s judges as an olive branch to Republicans or out of some bygone commitment to courtesies and norms. The group has issued report cards going after Democratic senators’ voting patterns, run ads calling out Democrats who vote with Trump the most, and pushed progressives to embrace new liberal priorities like getting rid of the legislative filibuster and expanding the Supreme Court.

...he gradually became irked by how quickly many Democrats expressed willingness to work with the incoming Trump administration. During the campaign, they’d called Trump a threat to the foundation of the United States. But within days of the election, some were already positioning themselves to cut legislative deals with him. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the willingness of some Senate Democrats to greenlight Trump’s judicial appointees.

“This seemed like an issue where Trump was having an immense impact, in fact arguably going to be his biggest legacy beyond the tax legislation or anything he’s done administratively,” Fallon said. “You have these Democrats, some of whom now want to run for president, that present themselves as champions on climate change or champions of reproductive rights but they’re voting for huge swaths of Trump appointees that when those cases touching those issues reach them they’re going to rule exactly the wrong way. Why is that viewed as acceptable?”

...That Fallon spends a good chunk of his days calling his fellow Democrats squishes isn’t lost on him. Nor is he entirely unmoved by the argument that his time would be better spent focused on Republicans exclusively. It’s just that he no longer buys into that worldview. If anything, he’s grown more convinced that the lack of political willpower of the “centrist go-along, get-along Democrat[s]”—as he calls them—is the fundamental hurdle Democrats face.

“I suppose we could take the very dog bites man approach to focusing attention on Republicans,” he said. “But no one would be surprised or fault Republicans for voting for judges that they agree with. The twisted thing that’s going on is Democrats are voting two-thirds of the time for judges that they don’t agree with.”

More at https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-brian-fallon-hillary-clintons-press-secretary-self-radicalized-and-became-a-resistance-leader?ref=scroll

Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu May 16, 2019, 09:52 AM (6 replies)

U.S. seizes North Korean coal ship, accuses Pyongyang of violating sanctions

Source: Washington Post

U.S. authorities have seized a North Korean ship used to sell coal in alleged violation of international sanctions, Justice Department officials said Thursday.

Justice Department officials confirmed the ship, the “Wise Honest,” is approaching U.S. territorial waters, with coordination of the U.S. Marshals and the Coast Guard.

Officials said it was the first time the U.S. has seized a North Korean cargo vessel for violating international sanctions.

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in announcing the seizure.

...The move marks an escalation of U.S. government pressure on Pyongyang, even as President Trump has spoken glowingly about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-seizes-north-korean-coal-ship-accuses-pyongyang-of-violating-sanctions/2019/05/09/8fc50d86-726e-11e9-8be0-ca575670e91c_story.html?utm_term=.8a77d27f3e8c
Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu May 9, 2019, 11:35 AM (28 replies)

The latest: Nancy Pelosi Says Trump 'Is Becoming Self-Impeachable'

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi derided the Trump administration’s efforts to obstruct Congress, and said that Trump “is becoming self-impeachable,” which is not how impeachment works.

During a Washington Post Live interview with Pelosi, reporter Robert Costa asked Pelosi about the possibility that former White House counsel Don McGahn might refuse to testify before Congress.

“Can you hold him in contempt, Mr McGahn, for refusing congressional demands?” Costa asked.

“Well, we don’t know that he has yet,” Pelosi replied. “Let’s take it one step at a time, let’s see where it goes.”

“And I have said the president is goading us into, wants to goad us into impeachment because he knows, as do I, that that’s not a good thing for the country,” Pelosi continued, and added “But the point is is that every single day, whether it’s obstruction obstruction obstruction obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, or ignoring subpoenas, every single day the president is making a case.”

“He’s becoming self-impeachable, in terms of some of the things that he is doing,” she added.

...Despite Pelosi’s turn of phrase, Trump is actually not going to impeach himself. The House of Representatives that Speaker Pelosi leads would have to do that.

https://www.mediaite.com/donald-trump/not-a-thing-nancy-pelosi-says-trump-is-becoming-self-impeachable/

Posted by BeyondGeography | Wed May 8, 2019, 10:07 AM (21 replies)

'Open up the case': New video of Sandra Bland's 2015 arrest surfaces

Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue May 7, 2019, 05:02 PM (0 replies)

Elizabeth Warren Calls On Congress To Impeach Trump

Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue May 7, 2019, 02:03 PM (6 replies)

Joe Biden and the Party of Davos

As a pillar of the ancien régime, Biden is ill-placed to overturn Trump’s revolution.

Roger Cohen

Is Donald Trump an aberration? If he is, Joe Biden is the perfect Democratic candidate to defeat him next year, the steady hand that can restore decency, steer a middle course between Wall Street and Main Street, and reinvigorate the shaken liberal democratic order.

I don’t think Trump is an aberration. On the contrary, he’s the face, however duplicitous, of a revolution against the Party of Davos, the network of elites whose economic and cultural prescriptions came to be seen by myriad voters across the United States and Europe as camouflage for a self-serving heist.

...For all his Scranton blue-collar beginnings, Biden will be pilloried as a faithful servant of the Party of Davos that secured impunity for the financiers behind the 2008 meltdown, a heady growth in inequality, China appeasement and the arrogance of money-wooed Democrats estranged from their working-class constituency. Unfiltered politics, technology’s dubious gift, will hurt him. These politics prize agility more than honor. The world has moved on. Whither I’m not sure, but it has. Things shift. That’s the way of the world — inexorable as biology.

...One of the most significant exchanges so far of the fight for the 2020 Democratic nomination came in the last few days when Biden said of China: “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us.” To which Bernie Sanders shot back that the United States had lost three million manufacturing jobs to the 2000 China trade deal. “It’s wrong,” he tweeted, “to pretend that China isn’t one of our major economic competitors.”

Not only economic, I would add. China is set on an implacable course to run the world in the second half of this century. If that is not precisely what you want for your children, thinking that “they’re not competition for us” is precisely the wrong place to start. It’s lazy thinking — and laziness has hurt the liberal center a lot over the past decade.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/03/opinion/joe-biden.html
Posted by BeyondGeography | Sat May 4, 2019, 06:14 AM (7 replies)

David Hockney on Vincent van Gogh



With timely allusions to spring included.
Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri May 3, 2019, 04:11 PM (0 replies)

Democrats have many avenues of attack. Why hold back?

Jennifer Rubin

Republicans and nervous Democrats would have us believe that Democrats must choose a single approach in the face of President Trump’s multifaceted wrongdoing. Nope.

The House can hold investigative hearings — calling Robert S. Mueller III, Donald McGahn, Hope Hicks and others — without yet making a decision to pursue impeachment of Trump. At the same time, the House can subpoena Attorney General William P. Barr and hold him in contempt if he refuses to appear and produce the full Mueller report. The House can also, if Barr still refuses and further instructs the U.S. attorney not to enforce a contempt finding in court, pursue impeachment of Barr. Too much going on at once? Well, that never stopped Trump.

None of his precludes the House from moving forward on popular legislation...

One gets the feeling that Democrats are far too concerned that rigorous pursuit of Trump’s wrongdoing will detract from winning messages on health care, the environment and income inequality. For one thing, the former helps enliven their base, and for another, Democrats risk tolerating worse and worse behavior if they show skittishness over pursuing their oversight functions. (We already see Barr testing the House by refusing to show up for a hearing.)

There is another benefit for Democrats in pursuing a full-court press on both substance and scandal: the Senate. As House bills pile up outside the Senate chamber (because Sen. Mitch McConnell won’t bring them up for votes), the GOP-controlled Senate refuses even to investigate obvious wrongdoing and Republican senators make fools of themselves slobbering over Trump and his Cabinet officials (as they did with Barr), the portrait of craven, spineless enablers becomes more vivid. They won’t pass bills. They won’t do real oversight. They won’t insist on truth-telling from witnesses. The more reasons they give voters to oppose sycophantic senators, the more likely a flip in control of the Senate becomes.

Democrats therefore shouldn’t reject the political gifts they have been given. Trump’s surplus of scandals and unpopular policy positions shouldn’t limit Democrats’ avenues of attack. To the contrary, they should advance on all fronts.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/02/democrats-can-do-it-all/?utm_term=.b77c30e558c4
Posted by BeyondGeography | Thu May 2, 2019, 10:36 AM (4 replies)
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