President Trump Watch.

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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19881  Postby The_Piper » Aug 01, 2020 5:48 am

As badly and pitifully as they were run when I worked for them, the postal service always managed to do an exceptional job. I've been on the other side of the counter regularly, and have mailed thousands of packages and letters, with zero being lost, and only a small percentage taking longer than their service commitment. We delivered or attempted nearly every piece of first class mail (or higher) the day it came into the delivery office. Working on the other end sorting the mail at night, we didn't go home until all of the first and second class mail (and higher) were loaded onto the trucks and ready to go out. Now I hear through the grapevine about unexplained delays and even packages going missing. I've experienced one of each now. It makes me nauseous.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19882  Postby Animavore » Aug 01, 2020 12:16 pm

The Lincoln Projects new anti-Trump ad calls him 'Impotus' and isn't afraid to link him to Epstein.

https://mobile.twitter.com/ProjectLinco ... Qr28vyJ0s8
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19883  Postby Evolving » Aug 01, 2020 5:13 pm

Nice Attenborough impression, if you’ve never heard an English person.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19884  Postby The_Piper » Aug 01, 2020 8:34 pm

Animavore wrote:The Lincoln Projects new anti-Trump ad calls him 'Impotus' and isn't afraid to link him to Epstein.

https://mobile.twitter.com/ProjectLinco ... Qr28vyJ0s8

:rofl:
Not that The Lincoln Project is made up of noble defenders of "The American Way".

I think that's a PeeWee impression at the beginning. :lol: :lol:
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19885  Postby Animavore » Aug 01, 2020 8:38 pm

I know they're not. Just fun watching the right at each other for once.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19886  Postby The_Piper » Aug 01, 2020 8:39 pm

Animavore wrote:I know they're not. Just fun watching the right at each other for once.

It's a lot of fun. They're good for some laughs, and hopefully are changing a few minds away from Trump, which is the most important thing in American politics right this moment.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19887  Postby aban57 » Aug 01, 2020 9:10 pm

The_Piper wrote:
Animavore wrote:I know they're not. Just fun watching the right at each other for once.

It's a lot of fun. They're good for some laughs, and hopefully are changing a few minds away from Trump, which is the most important thing in American politics right this moment.


What would be great is if those never trumpers infiltrated in the dems actually created their party after the election, and ending up with the US having 3 parties. That would be great on the long term.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19888  Postby Seabass » Aug 01, 2020 9:59 pm

This is the Colbert clip referenced in the above video. It's glorious. Especially the look on Rick Wilson's face at the end.

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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19889  Postby Seabass » Aug 01, 2020 10:59 pm

More info on the ongoing destruction of the US postal service:

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/july-31-2020

Everything now coming from the White House is about Trump’s reelection. While all presidential candidates want to win, they are usually able to accept the idea of a loss. Trump, though, has gone so far as to suggest delaying the election, an unprecedented step which would buy him some time in the hope a coronavirus vaccine would help the U.S. crawl out of the hole it’s in and turn his popularity around.

In his quest for reelection, he is attacking the idea of mail-in voting, although he himself has used it often—his distinction between mail-in voting and absentee voting is imaginary. While the Republican Party has traditionally applauded mail-in voting, which enables seniors who tend to vote Republican to cast a ballot more easily, this year it runs the risk of permitting Democrats, who are afraid of catching Covid-19 at a polling place, to vote. Low voter turnout favors Republicans. So Trump is pushing the idea that “Mail-In Ballots will lead to MASSIVE electoral fraud and a RIGGED 2020 Election.” There is no evidence that this is true.

When his tweet yesterday about delaying the election backfired, he turned to another angle of attack on mail-in voting, insisting that the election must be decided on Election Day itself, November 3. He tweeted: “Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!”

In fact, there is no law that says election results must come the same day as the election. Historically, they used to take days. Votes need to be counted carefully. Some states permit any ballots that are postmarked by Election Day, and they take time to arrive. Provisional ballots need to be examined. Modern media channels like to see results quickly because it makes for good television, but that opens up the problem of vote tallies changing after an election result is called. This year, since significant numbers of ballots might come in after Election Day, it is reasonable to expect a final tally might come days after November 3.

What appears to be going on in Trump’s tweets is an attempt to rig the mechanics of the election to enable him to win by manipulating the ballots and counting. This, in turn, is leading to an attack on the United States Postal Service in order to delay or prevent the delivery of ballots.

Here’s the story:

On May 6, the board of governors of the United States Postal Service appointed Louis DeJoy to the position of Postmaster General. The board of governors consists entirely of Trump appointees, since the Senate stopped confirming appointees to it during President Barack Obama’s term, and began to confirm them again in 2018. DeJoy was a top donor to President Trump and the Republican National Committee, giving more than $2 million since 2016. For two decades the Postmaster General has risen from within the ranks of the agency, but DeJoy has no experience with the USPS. He was appointed after the vice chair of the board of governors, Democrat David Williams, resigned, citing the attempts of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to politicize the traditionally non-political USPS.

The pandemic is crippling the revenue of the agency since most mail is sent by businesses, which suddenly shut down in March. The USPS is projecting a $13 billion revenue shortfall by the end of September. In an early coronavirus relief bill, Congress allowed the agency to borrow $10 billion from the Treasury Department to help stem the bleeding. But Mnuchin refused to loan the money without terms that would turn over much of the operation of the USPS to the Treasury Department. Williams and the other Democrat on the board refused, but the three Republicans on the board were open to at least some of Mnuchin’s terms.

On July 14, DeJoy put major changes in place. These, he said, were intended to cut costs in order to keep the USPS afloat, but this explanation is suspicious since as soon as Trump was sworn in, his Office of Management and Budget produced a report that called for privatizing the USPS.

The emphasis on DeJoy's changes is significantly less time spent managing the mail. For example, letter carriers must now leave mail behind at distribution centers if it would delay the completion of their routes according to new, tight, schedules. Traditionally, letter carriers make multiple delivery trips to ensure letters and packages are delivered on time; now the materials will wait for the next day. There will no longer be any overtime, and postal hours are being cut. Already, post offices are seeing a growing backlog of mail.

Trump has long criticized the USPS, apparently both because he blames it for the financial success of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, which is highly critical of Trump, and because he would like to privatize the agency’s highly valuable assets.

The USPS is self-funding; it does not receive support from tax dollars, and it is required to serve the entire country. It employs more than 630,000 workers, including a large proportion of people of color, women, and more than 100,000 military veterans. It has a valuable fleet of vans and real estate, but more than that, it has proprietary information highly sought after by private mail carriers. It does not, in fact, undercharge Amazon or any other large customer; by law it cannot do so.

On Wednesday, the USPS took a step toward Trump's demands when it agreed to give Mnuchin the agency’s proprietary information on its ten largest service contracts, including that of Amazon, FedEx, and UPS, in exchange for getting the $10 billion loan it needs to survive.

Trump’s war on the agency has been helped by a longstanding crisis in the USPS, stemming from a provision in the 2006 overhaul of the agency that required it to prepay the health benefits of its retirees, beginning with ten years of payments of about $5 billion a year. This requirement was pushed hard by Republicans, and it is unusual for any company.

Under it, the agency immediately began to lose money, especially as the recession hit, and then as Americans increasingly began to use electronic communications. Since 2012, the USPS has not been able to meet its prefunding requirement, but without it, the agency would have made a modest operating profit every year since 2013. The huge prefunding burden has also meant the USPS has not been able to invest in modernizing and upgrading its facilities.

In February, the House of Representatives voted to eliminate the prefunding requirement, but a companion Senate bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, where Chair Ron Johnson (R-WI) is focused not on the USPS, but on his investigation of Hunter Biden.

The USPS is popular. Ninety percent of Americans have a favorable view of it. If Congress allows the USPS to collapse and private companies take over the mail business, we can expect what we have seen with private internet providers: thorough service in urban areas that will turn a healthy profit, either none or very expensive service in rural areas.

Knowing how their constituents will react to the end of the mail system that was established in our Constitution, congress members have, in the past, been reluctant to destroy it. But now, the 2020 election might well hinge on mail-in ballots.

It is interesting to note that, for all the Republican Senators who spoke up to reject Trump’s call for a delayed election, not one of them is speaking up at this crucial moment for protecting the United States Postal Service, the agency on which many of us will depend to deliver our vote to election officials in November.

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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19890  Postby Tortured_Genius » Aug 02, 2020 9:53 am

NSFW, but it brightened my day*.



* Briefly, then I realised it's completely accurate :ill:
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19891  Postby Seabass » Aug 03, 2020 5:28 am

Timothy Snyder:

Trump’s ‘Delay the Election’ tweet checks all 8 rules for fascist propaganda
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/07/30/delay-election-trump-fascist/
Just before 9 this morning, President Trump wrote this and pinned it to the top of his Twitter feed: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

With this tweet, the president both revives fascist propaganda and exploits a new age of Internet post-truth: He follows a trail blazed by fascists, but adds a twist that is his own.

A fascist guide to commentary on elections would have eight parts: contradict yourself to test the faith of your followers; tell a big lie to draw attention from basic realities; manufacture a crisis; designate enemies; make an appeal to pride and humiliation; express hostility to voting; cast doubt on democratic procedures; and aim for personal power.

Trump achieves all eight with admirable concision in this one tweet. He decries voting by mail, but praises absentee ballots, which are nothing else but voting by mail. The blatant contradiction, the test of faith for the true believer, is there right at the beginning, a gatekeeper for the rest of the tweet.

The big lie, in all capitals, is that the coming elections will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent in history. Historically speaking, the greatest source of inaccuracy and fraud in our elections is the suppression of African American votes, which is bad now but has been much worse. Of course, this is not at all what Trump means, and that is the point of a big lie: to replace a familiar reality with a nonexistent problem.

Tyrants in general and fascists in particular like to manufacture crises. Something that is true but of limited significance is transformed into an emergency that requires breaking all the rules. So, true, it does take time to count ballots, and some states do it better than others. But the claim that this requires an extraordinary step such as delaying an election is a manufactured crisis.

The cleverness of the manufactured crisis is that it plays out at the level of emotions rather than facts. If people accept it, they put their emotions in the service of the tyrant. The next move, made in the next sentence of the tweet, is to invoke humiliation. The “great embarrassment” has not happened and will not happen, but if we choose to feel humiliated, we then look for the wrongdoer.

This has been the siren song of tyrants: Some shady enemy has done us wrong, and we must restore our honor. In this tweet, the enemy is implicit: Someone has made voting improper, unsafe and insecure. From the context, it is clear that what is meant is that Democrats have tried to make voting easier. In fact, paper ballots are the most proper, safe and secure way to vote.

The basic substance of the message, then, is a call to resist voting and question democratic procedures. In that way, the final three traditional fascist objectives are achieved. Citizens are supposed to forget about their individual right to cast a ballot and doubt the familiar procedures of democratic elections, while the president simply remains (as he imagines it) in power.

So we circle back to the grand contradiction. The president claims to defend voting but does so by expressing the desire to have elections indefinitely delayed. He blames others for the risks we face and the problems, although it is his own White House and his Republican allies in the Senate who have blocked legislation that would extend voting at home and block intervention from abroad. He calls for dramatic action to resolve a nonexistent problem and suggests a power he does not actually have.

This is where the differences with historical fascists begin. Fascists believed in responsibility: a terrible responsibility, as they understood it — the need to destroy an old decadent world in the name of a new racial paradise, to drown democracy in blood, to fight wars for territory abroad, to set the world on fire. Trump has no such visions and no sense of responsibility, terrible or otherwise. He simply prefers to stay in power and have a comfortable life. He expresses just enough fascism to make this possible.

Hence the “just asking” part of the tweet, at the end, expressed as “???.” Whenever anyone asks about a tweet’s authoritarian character, the response of Trump and his minders will be that he was just posing a question. This makes it harder for his critics to pin him down, but also harder for his allies to take him seriously. No one goes to the wall for three question marks.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19892  Postby Seabass » Aug 03, 2020 5:31 am

Jason Stanley is a professor of philosophy at Yale University, and in his new book "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them," he explores the inner mechanics of fascism and the forces that drive dictatorships. Stanley joins Hari Sreenivasan to explain his concern at signs of fascism on the rise in the U.S.

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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19893  Postby newolder » Aug 03, 2020 7:17 am

"The big lie, in all capitals, is that the coming elections will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent in history."

I doubt this is a lie. He's a convicted charity fraud so a fraudulent election is only to be expected. He's learned from his Russian masters that it does not matter how many votes are cast, it matters only who counts them. The result may well turn out to be the "most inaccurate and fraudulent in (US) history." but it'll be down to the impeached dotard cult leader in the White House if so.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19894  Postby NineBerry » Aug 04, 2020 8:37 am

Intellect of a five year old

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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19895  Postby The_Piper » Aug 04, 2020 12:00 pm

7 or 8 year old, imo, max. 10 minutes in, I'm giving up. It's the same old crap and he repeats himself 2 or 3 times per paragraph. If it was edited to add an accordion to his hand movements I might stand 15 or 20 minutes.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19896  Postby aban57 » Aug 04, 2020 3:38 pm

The_Piper wrote: If it was edited to add an accordion to his hand movements I might stand 15 or 20 minutes.


What about magic tricks ?
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19897  Postby Caper » Aug 04, 2020 3:54 pm

aban57 wrote:
The_Piper wrote: If it was edited to add an accordion to his hand movements I might stand 15 or 20 minutes.


What about magic tricks ?


A disappearing act?
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19898  Postby The_Piper » Aug 04, 2020 4:42 pm

Magic tricks would help. A disappearing act would be the ultimate. The ratings on that would be through the roof. :lol:
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19899  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 04, 2020 4:51 pm

aban57 wrote:
The_Piper wrote: If it was edited to add an accordion to his hand movements I might stand 15 or 20 minutes.

What about magic tricks ?

Have you ever seen the movie "Scanners"? That.
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Re: President Trump Watch.

#19900  Postby Seabass » Aug 04, 2020 8:19 pm

I watched the entire interview. It was incredible.

At one point, Swan asks Trump if it was wise to hold a crowded rally with 6000 attendees during a pandemic, and Trump "corrects" him and says that there were in fact 12000 in attendance (there weren't), then proceeds to brag about his crowd sizes and Fox News ratings, leaving the interviewer flabbergasted as Trump clearly missed the point of the question but instead glommed onto what he felt was an unfair slight against his crowd sizes.

Later in the interview, Swan asks Trump if he felt that recently deceased civil rights icon John Lewis was an impressive person, and Trump refuses to answer the question but instead complains about how Lewis didn't attend his inauguration or his SOTU.

That interview will go down in history as the dumbest and most insane interview ever. The man is so badly broken and stupid. I've never seen such extreme, all consuming, debilitating narcism. And we gave him the nuclear codes and put him in the highest political office in the land. Holy fuck. And there is the very real chance that he'll serve a second term. Holy shit fuck.

eta: Also, clearly Ghislaine Maxwell knows something. Don't be surprised if she gets a pardon.
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