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American Politics Thread

Volphied

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FBI Director Wray: Russia intent on interfering with U.S. elections

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia is determined to interfere in U.S. elections despite sanctions and other efforts to deter such actions before the next presidential election in 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday.

“The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections,” Wray said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Wray appeared at an oversight hearing a day before Robert Mueller, the former special counsel, was due to testify publicly before Congress about his two-year investigation of Russian interference to sway the 2016 presidential race toward President Donald Trump.

“Everything we’ve done against Russia has not deterred them enough?” asked Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican committee chairman. “All the sanctions, all the talk, they’re still at it?”

“Yes. My view is until they stop they haven’t been deterred enough,” Wray responded.

Mueller’s investigation disclosed an elaborate campaign of hacking and propaganda during the 2016 presidential race and resulted in indictments that charged 25 Russian individuals and three Russian companies.

The United States has imposed election-related sanctions on Russian oligarchs and military intelligence officials and there is a push for legislation threatening tougher sanctions in the U.S. Congress.

As Wray confirmed the Russia threat remains, Senate Democrats criticized Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not taking up election security legislation. McConnell has said enough money was set aside for security last year and there was no need for extra measures.

“We have been warned in closed sessions about the Russian plans to corrupt this next election and they’re very specific,” Senator Richard Durbin said at a news conference. “What are we doing about it? The answer is: Nothing. The reason: Mitch McConnell.”

The Russia investigation cast a shadow over Trump’s White House tenure and the president has repeatedly downplayed the Kremlin’s role in trying to help him win. At last year’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, he sided with Moscow over U.S. intelligence agencies.

In his most recent meeting with the Russian leader, in June, Trump appeared to make light of the issue, wagging his finger at the laughing Russian leader as he said, “Don’t meddle in the election, please.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, criticized Trump for joking about the issue.

“Have you personally briefed the president about these threats,” she asked Wray.

“We have had a number of meetings with others in the (White House) National Security Council,” to discuss Russian efforts to interfere with the elections, he replied.

Wray includes efforts to interfere in U.S. elections in a broader category of foreign influence campaigns in which foreign governments attempt to affect U.S. political sentiment or discourse.

He told the Council of Foreign Relations in April that he viewed the 2018 congressional elections as a “dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020.”

Wray told senators the FBI was working with private sector platforms about “different forms of foreign influence messaging, whether it’s propaganda and fake news.”

At the Democrats’ news conference, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner urged the Republican-led chamber to help states protect voting and referred to a brief public statement Mueller made in May about the investigation.

“He started and ended his comments saying the Russians attacked us, and they will be back and America needs to be better protected,” Warner said.
 
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Volphied

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swiftfox

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In other words, just winning the presidency isn’t enough for the Democrats. We also need to flip the Senate and retain the House. If we’re able to do that, the first order of business should be to kill the legislative filibuster and pass all of the following: tax reform, healthcare reform, federal ban on gerrymandering, and statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington DC.

Republicans have been doing these power grabs for years. Time to fight fire with fire.
 

Dorothy

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Swalwell has dropped out, and Warren is slowly overtaking Bernie in the polls to become the primary anti-Biden candidate. It seems Harris' post-debate momentum has largely stalled.
 

swiftfox

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Swalwell has dropped out, and Warren is slowly overtaking Bernie in the polls to become the primary anti-Biden candidate. It seems Harris' post-debate momentum has largely stalled.
Biden’s still got a big lead even after taking all the hits. If he keeps getting hammered from the left, wins the nomination anyway, and then cruises over Trump, that would be...something.
 

Volphied

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Baltimore Sun and CNN lead response to Trump’s racist Cummings attack


In its response to Donald Trump’s racist attack on congressman Elijah Cummings, the editorial board of the Baltimore Sun said it “would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner”.

But it did enumerate some of the president’s failings in office and liken him to a creature he said “infested” Cummings’ congressional district: a rat.

“We,” the board wrote, “would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are ‘good people’ among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity.

“Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”

The editorial was one of a number of powerful and widely shared responses to Trump’s attack on Cummings, including an emotional address to camera by Victor Blackwell, a weekend CNN anchor.
 

Boss1708

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^ All of those may be potentially valid complaints about Trump, but... his rat comment isn't actually racist.

We're at a point in time, where "racism" is no longer a meaningful term. It is now just a cheap label you stick on someone you dislike.
 
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Volphied

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^ All of those may be potentially valid complaints about Trump, but... his rat comment isn't actually racist.

We're at a point in time, where "racism" is no longer a meaningful term. It is now just a cheap label you stick on someone you dislike.

Nope, it's definitely racism if one pays attention to Trump's usage of the term.

Yet these impulsive thumb-rants amount to some of the most important and revealing communications of Trump’s presidency. For one thing, they convey the beliefs that have undergirded his career. As Victor Blackwell points out, Trump reserves terms like “infest” and “infestation” — which most people use only to describe diseases or vermin — exclusively for nonwhites. As much hate as he might generate for a target like, say, the mainstream media or transnational institutions, he would never describe the New York Times as an infestation.

Trump’s professional career began in his father’s and his systematically discriminatory housing empire. Excluding African-Americans was the basis of the Trump business model. He did not merely engage in periodic acts of discrimination, but insistently violated federal law and went to war with the Department of Justice rather than amend his ways. Trump’s association of African-Americans with crime and filth, and the assumption they must be cordoned off from other Americans, is a conviction so deep it cannot be uprooted.

As Michael Cohen testified, Trump once commented to him as they drove through a poor Chicago neighborhood, “only the blacks could live like this.” This is a window into to Trump’s obsession with urban blight. It is not a rousing call for better municipal governance curiously misdirected at the wrong branch of government, as he and his supporters tried to suggest in their post-tweet clean-up. It is an expression of his belief that urban poverty is a reflection of black inferiority. He is not proposing, nor do his supporters believe, that having a member of Congress spend more time in his district would meaningfully impact local conditions. He is saying that Cummings is black, the kind of person who would live that way, as a means of discredited him via his race.
 

Boss1708

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(don't quote this post, as it may be edited later)

@Volphied All of this is speculation: journalists who claim to know Trump's thought process. Which they don't know.

But that's what modern journalism is: speculation and biases sold as "objective facts". So I'm not surprised XD
 
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Volphied

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(don't quote this post, as it may be edited later)

@Volphied All of this is speculation: journalists who claim to know Trump's thought process. Which they don't know.

But that's what modern journalism is: speculation and biases sold as "objective facts". So I'm not surprised XD

Shooting the messenger, eh? Sorry, but Trump's mind is like an open book, you don't need to be a journalist to see into it. He's 73 years old, which means we have more than half a century of his behavior documented. We know for sure he's racist because he has a long history of getting sued for racism, when he's not screaming racist insults.


View: https://twitter.com/acnewsitics/status/1155308600262307841
 

Boss1708

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@Volphied I asked you not to quote my post yet, and you still quoted it...

I'm not even debating whether Trump is racist or not. But this rat comment clearly isn't racist. It has nothing to do with race.

You are letting your personal feelings and biases get in the way of objective analysis.
 
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Volphied

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@Volphied
You are letting your personal feelings and biases get in the way of objective analysis.

This sounds awfully like projection. It's you personal feelings about Trump and biases against supposed "marxists" that lead you to defend the indefensible.

I'm not even debating whether Trump is racist or not. But this rat comment clearly isn't racist. It has nothing to do with race.
Wrong again. There's a context to his "rat" word that you're ignoring. See this link:
 

Boss1708

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This sounds awfully like projection. It's you personal feelings about Trump and biases against supposed "marxists" that lead you to defend the indefensible.
But I don't like Trump xD And I don't have biases against Marxists. I only pity how deluded they are.

So you're wrong, as usual.
 
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swiftfox

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I think it’s worth pointing out that Cummings’ district is the second-wealthiest African-American district in the country, and well above the national average in terms of education and household income. So even if Trump’s latest comments aren’t racist, they are further evidence of his...ineptitude (to be polite).
 

Boss1708

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So even if Trump’s latest comments aren’t racist, they are further evidence of his...ineptitude (to be polite).
I don't disagree with this.

I'm just tired of seeing people misuse the term "racism". I suppose some people confuse this with me "defending Trump", which is something I would never do. I don't know if he is racist (I don't see any solid evidence that he is), but we do have evidence that he is a misogynist, which is even worse.
 
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