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Bernie Sanders and Al Franken tell the absolute, 100% TRUTH…

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Author Topic: Bernie Sanders and Al Franken tell the absolute, 100% TRUTH…  (Read 123 times)
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Having fun in the hills!

« on: February 14, 2017, 09:43:13 pm »

from The Washington Post....

Bernie Sanders calls Trump a ‘pathological liar’;
Al Franken says ‘a few’ Republicans think Trump is mentally ill

The strong words come as several Democrats criticized members of the administration.

By ED O'KEEFE | Sunday, February 12, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont). — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont). — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (Independent-Vermont) on Sunday called President Trump a “pathological liar,” while Senator Al Franken (Democrat-Minnesota) reiterated that “a few” Republican senators are concerned about the president's mental health.

The strong words from two high-profile senators came as Democrats attacked Trump's travel ban and said that members of his administration should be investigated or have security clearances suspended for recent comments or conversations with Russian officials.

Sanders made the charge on NBC's “Meet the Press as he attacked Trump's travel ban — which faces a federal court challenge — and Republican plans to revamp the Affordable Care Act.

“We have a president who is delusional in many respects, a pathological liar,” Sanders said.

“Those are strong words,” moderator Chuck Todd interjected while asking Sanders whether he can work with a liar.

“It makes life very difficult. It is very harsh, but I think that's the truth,” Sanders replied. “When somebody goes before you and says that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally … nobody believes that. There is not a scintilla of evidence to believe that, what would you call that remark? It's a lie. It’s a delusion.”

Sanders made the comments in response to Todd, who said that some of the senator's former aides are trying to draft him to start a new political party. For now, Sanders said, he remains committed to “working to bring fundamental reform to the Democratic Party, to open the doors of the Democratic Party” to younger, economically distressed voters.

Franken first raised questions about the president's mental health during Friday night on HBO's “Real Time with Bill Maher, saying Republican senators privately express “great concern” about Trump's temperament.

Maher asked Franken what Republicans really say behind closed doors.

“Well, there's a range in what they'll say, and some will say that he's not right mentally. And some are harsher,” Franken joked.

“No, no. That's not fair. That was cheap,” he continued. “There are some who I guess don't talk to me.”

Franken then added: “I haven't heard a lot of good things, and I've heard great concern about the president's temperament.”

The senator doubled down on Sunday morning, telling CNN's “State of the Union that “a few” Republican senators think Trump has mental health issues.

“In the way that we all have this suspicion that — you know, that he's not — he lies a lot, he says things that aren't true, that's the same thing as lying, I guess,” Franken told moderator Jake Tapper, mentioning the president's repeatedly false claims of voter fraud.

“You know, that is not the norm, uh, for a president of the United States or, actually, for a human being,” Franken said.

Franken also blasted Trump's travel ban, saying the president “and his group are trying to make Americans more afraid. I think that's part of how they got elected: just make us more afraid.”

Elsewhere, Democratic lawmakers called for investigations into White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, who last week used a national television interview to encourage viewers to buy items from a clothing line designed by Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter. The comments appeared to violate a key ethics rule barring federal employees from using their public office to endorse products.

Hours after Conway's interview, members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee called on the Office of Government Ethics to recommend discipline, given that Trump, who is Conway's “agency head,” holds an “inherent conflict of interest” because of the involvement of his daughter's business.

Conway's comments were “a textbook case of a violation of the law,” Representative Elijah E. Cummings (Maryland), the committee's top Democrat, told ABC's “This Week” on Sunday.

“You cannot go out there as an employee of the government and advertise for Ivanka Trump or anyone else, their products. You can't do that. And anybody else would be subject to a minimum, probably, of a reprimand, or they could literally lose their job over this,” he said.

Cummings added that Conway's promotional message was “very blatant” and “intentional,” and said the Office of Government Ethics should “take a thorough look” at the situation before recommending a potential punishment.

Ed O'Keefe is a congressional reporter who has covered congressional and presidential politics since 2008. He previously covered federal agencies, the federal workforce and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.


More on this topic:

 • Embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn resigns

 • We've never seen anything like Trump's rough treatment of his White House staff

 • Once again, Trump claims that just enough fraud cost him an electoral victory

 • PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY: See what President Trump has been doing since taking office

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Having fun in the hills!

« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 10:52:34 pm »

Mark Morford

The angry orange man in the bathrobe

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist | 1:40PM PST - Monday, February 13, 2017

Oh, that confused, blank look of utter incompetence. We are getting to know it all too well.
Oh, that confused, blank look of utter incompetence. We are getting to know it all too well.

IF IT wasn't for the brazen white nationalism and the oozing bigotry, if it wasn't for the hissing misogyny and cruel misprision, if it wasn't for the possible Russian hookers, if it wasn't for sloppily compromising national security and the massive (hidden) tax evasion…

If it wasn't for Pence, Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the spineless Republican Party stabbing out their own eyeballs for another dirty syringe of Trump's fascist heroin…

If it wasn't for Steve “Destroy the State” Bannon, Scott “Gut the EPA” Pruitt and Betsy “What's Public School?” DeVos and two dozen other billionaire hacks/Wall Street slitherins rushing to gorge themselves on the Treasury and the social safety net…

If it wasn't for the vicious devaluation of science, the shrugging dismissal of education, the stubby orange middle finger to the environment…

If it wasn't for the abuse of immigrants, the willful destruction of affordable health care and the sexist attack on women's rights…

If it wasn't for all of that (and more), the image of old-man Trump — bloated, choleric, orange as a bad '80s spray tan, disconnected from his army of paranoid white male fanatics as he shuffles around a mostly empty West Wing in his enormous bathrobe, all alone because his listless wife detests him and he has no friends and even his (terrifically awful) kids think he's a bit of a ogre…

The image of old man Trump, yelling at the TV and jabbing his finger into his Twitter app and grunting to his lone bodyguard about how much he hates his new job and resents his new boss (that's us) and wishes he was back grabbing pussies at the Miss America pageant…

This disturbing portrait of the president, one recently painted (and quickly made viral) by The New York Times, might — might — make Trump almost appear sort of… sad. Oddly pathetic. Deserving of empathy, even.

Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.

But of course, it deserves no such thing. Not now. Not yet. Probably not for roughly one million more days. There is simply too much at stake.

Have you noticed? We're almost a month in to the darkest chapter in modern American history and still there exists not a single truly inspiring, hopeful or genuinely kind image, video clip, intimate detail from the White House. All we have instead is horror, dread, a near-constant barrage of this-can't-be-happening.

There is Trump, not reassuringly greeting foreign dignitaries. There is the president, not playfully meeting the children of his staff, not catching the tender eye of his wife, not inspiring enthusiasm in his team, not appearing in any way thoughtfully engaged with the world around him.

Our international posture has become that of a schizophrenic goblin: one part jowly scowl, one part petulant leer, all bombast and bleat and whining, in public, about loser department stores, made-up voter fraud, “dishonest” coverage of revolting cabinet appointees and “unfair” portrayals on sketch comedy shows. Meanwhile, the world vomits.

It's become impossible to imagine a worse choice to lead the nation. Trump's combination of ignorance, incompetence and chaotic cruelty is so diametrically opposed to the warmth, proficiency and deep intelligence Obama gave us for eight solid years, we may never recover from the whiplash.

And of course, we absolutely shouldn't. This is not a condition we should ever normalize. We must never get used to being slammed back and forth between the poles of murderous embarrassment and horrified disgust, a moment of humiliating incompetence quickly offset by the realization that this thoroughly heartless human has access to the nuclear codes and can — and probably will — launch a war with China with a infantile 3AM tweet and pick of the nose.

For anyone interested in the human capacity for compassion and empathy, the Trump administration presents a unique challenge indeed: A contemptible, savagely inept leader who, by every measure, has traded his capacity for kindness and introspection for something like infantile misanthropy and gluttonous despotism.

It can't be easy, to wake in that furious, puffy, unhealthy body every single day, saddled to that distended, terrified ego, convinced the world is against you and the day will only be complete if you can further expand your garish wealth and engorge your power at the expense of grace, empathy or the sacred fragility of life.

It cannot be easy, in other words, to work so hard to make life so miserable for so many. But lo, they are trying. And while failure is assured, the damage done in the meantime will be substantial indeed. It already is.

Compassion can wait.

His only friend.
His only friend.

Email: Mark Morford

Mark Morford on Twitter and Facebook.

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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2017, 12:38:37 pm »

from the Los Angeles Times....

Donald Trump's wounds are all self-inflicted

By DAVID HORSEY | 5:00AM PST - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WHEN Barack Obama came into office, George W. Bush left him with two wars and an economy teetering on the brink of colossal disaster. Eight years later, Obama handed off to Donald Trump a country with challenges, but no immediate crises looming. Less than a month after taking office, though, Trump finds himself awash in catastrophes that are all of his own making.

Trump's biggest mess results from his choice of retired General Michael Flynn to be his national security advisor. In a steady stream of leaks from intelligence agencies, it has been revealed that Flynn had multiple meetings with Russian officials during the presidential campaign, including an encounter with Moscow's ambassador to the United States in which Flynn signaled that the newly elected Republican president would be easier to deal with than Obama. On Monday, Flynn resigned his post after acknowledging that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his chat with the Russian ambassador.

On Tuesday, the news broke that other Trump campaign officials, including onetime campaign director Paul Manafort, were also in frequent communication with Russian intelligence agents at a time when the Russians were engaged in computer hacks and a disinformation campaign aimed at undermining Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. The FBI is investigating and now several Republican senators are joining with Democrats to demand a bipartisan congressional probe into the links between Russia and the Trump team.

This is not a very auspicious way to begin a new presidency, and Russia is far from the only problem.

Trump's plan to close the door on refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations was blocked by federal courts. The constitutionally dubious executive order that set the scheme in motion was hastily implemented with almost no input from anyone outside a tight circle of Trump's advisors in the West Wing. It met immediate resistance from demonstrators at airports and state attorneys general in the courts. With a little care, collaboration and caution, Trump might have been able to craft a policy that would have succeeded, but that is not how this president or his chief strategists, right-wing militants Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, roll. And Trump made things even worse by making personal attacks against the judges who ruled against him.

The Muslim ban was just one of several ill-considered executive orders churned out by Trump (with Bannon's and Miller's close guidance). One edict from the Oval Office ordered that two regulations must be eliminated each time a government agency or department implements one new regulation. This gimmick is a simpleton's version of regulatory reform that ignores all sorts of complicated issues. It will prove to be unworkable and, probably, illegal. Another order Trump signed, reportedly without reading it closely, put Bannon on the National Security Council, thus sending a shock wave through the ranks of foreign relations specialists.

Then there was Trump's very first week in office in which he and his minions engaged in a war with the media — and with reality — insisting that the crowd at Trump's inauguration was bigger than the historic crowd at Obama's first swearing-in ceremony in 2009. It was an absurd exercise that demonstrated the two biggest weaknesses of the new White House: the president's self-absorbed egotism and his willingness — and the willingness of those around him — to blatantly lie when the truth is inconvenient.

Trump's chief spokesman, Sean Spicer, became a figure of ridicule — and a recurring character on “Saturday Night Live” — at his very first news briefing when he angrily defended Trump's bogus claims about the size of the inaugural crowd. He made himself laughable again on Tuesday when he insisted no one has been tougher on Russia than his boss, thereby giving the TV news channels a good excuse to rerun the many news clips that show Trump fawning over Vladimir Putin.

In that Tuesday briefing, Spicer also presented an official timeline purporting to show when the president learned about Flynn's dealings with the Russians. According to Spicer, Trump was briefed in late January. Inconveniently, Trump, in a quick exchange with the traveling media on Air Force One last weekend, claimed that he knew nothing at all about the Flynn controversy. Obviously, Trump was lying and Spicer's timeline confirmed it. In a similar failure to co-ordinate messages, senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway (who is being shunned by CNN and called out by a government ethics office for her lies and careless statements) said Flynn had the president's full support, just hours before Flynn got the boot.

Trump has a compliant, Republican-controlled Congress waiting to do his bidding. He has millions of supporters who dutifully give him the benefit of the doubt on any issue. He has inherited an economy that is chugging along nicely and an international scene without any immediate crisis. He could be enjoying a small honeymoon right now.

Instead, because of bizarre personnel choices (Flynn, Bannon, Miller, Conway), policy proposals based on falsehoods (there is no flood of poorly vetted terrorists), dumb campaign promises (there is no simple way to get rid of the Affordable Care Act), childish vendettas (picking a fight with Nordstrom for dropping daughter Ivanka's fashion products) and unrelenting lies (pick a day, any day), the Trump administration is mired in controversy and chaos. And Trump, who always finds someone to blame for everything, really has no one to blame but himself.

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