Biden fires back at Trump’s attacks

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a gun safety forum Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden assured supporters Wednesday night that his message to President Donald Trump is “I’m not going anywhere” as he laid out his most forceful pushback yet to Trump’s baseless attacks.

In a rebuke of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, the former vice president said during a 20-minute speech at a rally that he’s not surprised Trump asked a foreign government for help to defeat him. Trump’s effort to enlist Ukraine has sparked an impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-led House.

Trump and his allies have accused Biden and his son Hunter, without evidence, of participating in the kind of corruption that has plagued Ukraine. They point to Hunter Biden’s service on the board of a Ukrainian gas company while Biden was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic dealings with Kyiv. Yet no one has produced evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.

“Let me make something clear to Trump and his hatchet men and the special interests funding his attacks against me. I’m not going anywhere,” Biden said to loud cheers.

“It’s not about Donald Trump’s antics. It’s about what has brought Donald Trump, and the nation, to this sobering moment in our history and to the choice facing us in 2020,” he said. “What has brought us here is simply this: the abuse of power.”

A complaint by a government whistleblower helped make public Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president. House investigators said Wednesday they will issue a subpoena demanding all White House and Trump administration documents related to efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son.

“Desperate and defensive, Trump sends one crazed tweet after another _ insinuating that the whistleblower should be dealt with extensively, using the word ‘executed,’ threatening to prosecute the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warning direly of civil war if he is impeached,” he said.

Biden praised the whistleblower and accused Trump of repeatedly smearing the Biden family.

“Now because of the courageous actions of a whistleblower, Trump’s scheme has been exposed,” he said. “He did it because, like every bully in history _ he’s afraid. He’s afraid of just how badly he may be beaten in November.”

More than 400 people crowded into the student center at Truckee Meadows Community College for Biden’s rally after he joined eight other White House hopefuls at a gun policy forum in Las Vegas earlier in the day. It marked the first time this year the early Democratic presidential front-runner had brought his campaign to northern Nevada.

Nevada’s caucuses in February follow Iowa and New Hampshire as third in the nominating process. It was one of the few key swing states that Trump failed to carry in 2016. Biden historically has enjoyed strong support from labor unions and others in Washoe County, including Reno and Sparks.

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Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

AG Barr attacks judges who rule against Trump

Attorney General William Barr  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Attorney General William Barr is taking on another item from President Donald Trump’s agenda, railing against judges who issue rulings blocking nationwide policies.

In a speech Tuesday night, Barr took aim at the broad judicial power, arguing that federal judges who have issued the so-called nationwide injunctions are hampering Trump’s efforts on immigration, health care and other issues with “no clear end in sight.”

It is the latest example of Barr moving to embrace Trump’s political talking points.

The attorney general is traditionally expected to carry out the president’s agenda as a member of the Cabinet while trying to avoid political bias. Democrats have cast Barr as an attorney general who acts more like Trump’s personal lawyer instead of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

At a re-election rally earlier this month, Trump railed against “activist judges who issue nationwide injunctions based on their personal beliefs,” which he said “undermine democracy and threaten the rule of law.”

Administration officials have often complained about the proliferation of nationwide injunctions since Trump became president. Vice President Mike Pence said a few weeks ago that the administration intends to challenge the right of federal district courts to issue such rulings.

“The legal community and the broader public should be more concerned, particularly about this trend of nationwide injunctions,” Barr said.

Barr highlighted the legal fights that have happened in federal courts across the country over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era program that shields young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children but don’t have legal status to protect them from deportation.

The Justice Department, under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, argued that the Obama administration acted unlawfully when it implemented DACA. Texas and other Republican-led states eventually sued and won a partial victory in a federal court in Texas.

Civil rights groups, advocates for immigrants and Democratic-led states all have sued to prevent the end of the program. A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that the administration decision to end DACA was arbitrary and capricious.

Barr said Trump “lost much of his leverage” in negotiations with congressional Democrats, who were pushing for a permanent solution for DACA recipients, after one district court judge issued an order forcing the administration to maintain the program nationwide.

“Unsurprisingly, those negotiations did not lead to a deal,” Barr said.

In his speech to the American Law Institute, Barr argued it isn’t about partisanship and said the approach taken by judges who issue these nationwide rulings departs not only from the limitations of the Constitution, but also from the “traditional understanding of the role of courts.” The Justice Department will continue to oppose such rulings, he said.

“Nationwide injunctions not only allow district courts to wield unprecedented power, they also allow district courts to wield it asymmetrically,” Barr said.

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Follow Balsamo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1 .

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

After getting Trump elected, Russians next attacked Mueller

Russia helped Donald Trump become an unlikely president of the United States in 2016 with fake posts and disinformation spread through social media and then turned on special counsel Robert Mueller when he became the one investigating the involvement of our sworn enemy’s involvement.

Reports The Washington Post:

The Russian operatives unloaded on Mueller through fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter and beyond, falsely claiming that the former FBI director was corrupt and that the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election were crackpot conspiracies. One post on Instagram — which emerged as an especially potent weapon in the Russian social media arsenal — claimed that Mueller had worked in the past with “radical Islamic groups.”

Such tactics exemplified how Russian teams ranged nimbly across social media platforms in a shrewd online influence operation aimed squarely at American voters. The effort started earlier than commonly understood and lasted longer while relying on the strengths of different sites to manipulate distinct slices of the electorate, according to a pair of comprehensive new reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee and released Monday.

Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and network analysis firm Graphika looked at more than 10 million posts and messages on the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others and found Russia used American technology to construct a huge online disinformation machine that tried to discredit Mueller and his team at every stop of its investigation.

“Twitter hit political and journalistic elites. Facebook and its advertising targeting tools divided the electorate into demographic and ideological segments ripe for manipulation, with particular focus on energizing conservatives and suppressing African Americans, who traditionally are more likely to vote for Democrats,” wrote Craig Timberk, Tony Romm and Elizabeth Dwoskin of the Post.

“We hope that these reports provide clarity for the American people and policymakers alike, and make clear the sweeping scope of the operation and the long game being played,” said Renee DiResta, research director at New Knowledge.

The Russians posted more than 1,100 ” disinformation” videos.  They used PayPal to raise money and sell politically themed merchandise designed by the Russian teams.

Instagram’s fake posts from Russians drew 187 million comments — more than Facebook and Twitter combined.

On Twitter, Russians posted more than 5,000 tweets about Mueller, many of them calling on Congress and/or Trump to fire him because of his “fake investigation.”  The tweets also called fired FBI director James Comey “a dirty cop.”

“I think all the platforms remain keenly vulnerable, and I don’t have the confidence yet companies have invested the resources and people power necessary to deal with the scope of the problem,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. ““If Facebook was unaware of it, it’s one problem. If they were aware of it and didn’t share that information, that’s a completely different problem.”

YouTube did not disclose how many people watched the fake videos, Russia did not release comments by those who saw their fake posts and Twitter withheld key details.

“Regrettably, it appears that the platforms may have misrepresented or evaded in some of their statements to Congress,” The Senate report said.

The current chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said the findings show “how aggressively Russia sought to divide Americans by race, religion and ideology.”

“For many months we urged the social media companies to undertake such a crosscutting analysis without success, even as we made as much of their data as public as possible,” said Schiff. Such reluctance “made our task far more difficult than it should have been.”

Twitter, for example, failed to work with the researchers used by the Senate to track Russian influence.

Other Republicans on the committee refused to comment.

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Monster Trump goes off deep end by attacking allies

How much destruction does wannabe president/king Donald Trump have to inflict upon America before his pandering Congressional leadership and morally deficient supporters accept what he is:  A dangerous criminal guilty of fraud, obstruction of justice and treason.

Like the coward he is, Trump waited until he was safely on Air Force One before ordering his representatives to pull out of the G-7 signatory agreement after agreeing to it while in Canada.

Trump claimed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “insulted” America in his comments at the end of the meeting. He called Trudeau “dishonest” and “weak” and accused him of “false statements.”

Then he dispatched two aides to up the insult ante on Sunday morning talks shows.

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” said Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And that’s what bad-faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference.”

“POTUS is not gonna let a Canadian prime minister push him around,” Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Robert D. Hormats, advisor uo Republican and Democratic presidents at a dozen Group of 7 summit meetings, starting at the first in Rambouillet, France, in 1975, when it was still the Group of 6, told The New York Times.

“The irony is this institution that was designed largely by the United States was really designed to shore up alliances and political relationships and resolve economic issues. This just served to do the opposite of that.”

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, meeting with reporters after Trump’s abrupt about-face, says that if anyone should be insulted, it was Canada,. Trump, she said, cited a national security justification for his tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“The national security pretext is absurd and frankly insulting to Canadians, the closest and strongest ally the United States has had,” she said. “That is where the insult lies.”

Adds Roland Paris, a former foreign affairs advisor to Tredaux:

“Big tough guy once he’s back on his airplane,” Paris said on Twitter. “Can’t do it in person, and knows it, which makes him feel week. So he projects these feelings onto Trudeau and then lashes out at him. You don’t need to be Freud. He’s a pathetic little man-child.”

Consider what America has become:  A vapid nation with a morally challenged former TV reality host president who lies constantly and is under multiple investigations for conflict of interest, obstruction of justice, fraud and other acts typical of a con artist.

Congress is run by a corrupt congregation of yes men and yes women who let the president run wild with no concern or control.

Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post notes that Trump enablers like Kudlow or Chief of Staff John Kelly used to argue:

We are a moderating influence. It would be worse without us. He isn’t that bad. But they do not moderate Trump, and he is that bad — irrational, cruel, impulsive, anti-democratic and stubbornly ignorant. Trump attacks the things they ostensibly believe in (e.g. democratic alliances, defense of democratic values, the international free-trade system, the rule of law). Nevertheless, they stay on.

They sit back while Trump loots the U.S. Treasury, rolls back protections for consumers, disregards increasing threats to the environment and shows more concern for saving jobs in China than in the country he promised to “make great again.”

His real goal is to make “American disintegrate and end” and he’s doing all that he can to achieve that goal as his cult-like following cheer him on.

Trump’s rape of America has only just begun.

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