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Everything posted by bostonangler

  1. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Over the span of just a few hours, U.S. President Donald Trump upended his own policy on Syria with a chaotic series of pronouncements, blindsiding foreign allies, catching senior Republican supporters off guard and sending aides scrambling to control the damage. Trump’s decision on Sunday to remove some U.S. forces from northeastern Syria, opening the door to a Turkish offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in the region, provides a vivid example of how, with traditional White House structures largely shunted aside and few aides willing to challenge him, he feels freer than ever to make foreign policy on impulse. While Trump’s erratic ways are nothing new, some people inside and outside of his administration worry that the risk of dangerous miscalculation from his seat-of-the-pants approach may only increase as he moves into re-election campaign mode facing a number of unresolved, volatile international issues, including Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan. He also made clear on Monday that he was determined to make good on his 2016 campaign promise to extract the United States from "these endless wars," although his plans for doing so are clouded by uncertainty. It comes as Trump is under growing pressure from a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry over his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate one of his political opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden. “There’s a real sense that nobody is going to stop Trump from being Trump at this stage, so everybody should buckle up,” said one U.S. national security official, who cited Trump’s firing last month of national security adviser John Bolton as a sign of the president being less restrained than ever by his top advisers. Trump’s policy whiplash on Syria started shortly after a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday in which he sought U.S. support for Ankara’s planned incursion. Afterward, the White House said that U.S. forces “will no longer be in the immediate area,” suggesting that Turkey could be given free rein to strike Kurdish forces long aligned with Washington in the fight against Islamic State. Trump, in a series of Monday tweets, appeared at first to double down on plans for a U.S. troop drawdown, but later threatened to destroy the economy of NATO ally Turkey if it took its military operation too far. That seemed to be an attempt to placate criticism, including from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that he was abandoning the Syrian Kurds, who denounced it as a “stab in the back.” CONFUSION AMONG TRUMP AIDES The latest presidential pronouncements on Syria injected news confusion over U.S. Syria policy. Last December, acting without any kind of formal policymaking process, Trump called for a complete U.S. withdrawal from Syria. But he ultimately reversed himself after drawing strong pushback from the Pentagon, including the resignation of then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and an uproar on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East. Trump insisted to reporters on Monday that he “consulted with everybody” on his new Syria decision, although the announcement seemed to catch Congress as well as some within his administration by surprise. “He makes impulsive decisions with no knowledge or deliberation,” tweeted Brett McGurk, who served as Trump’s envoy for the international coalition to combat Islamic State and quit after the December Syria policy uproar. Trump’s abrupt decision on Syria came after learning in the phone call with Erdogan that the Turks planned to go ahead with a long-threatened incursion, a senior administration official said. “We were not asked to remove our troops. The president when he learned about the potential Turkish invasion, knowing that we have 50 special operations troops in the region, made the decision to protect those troops” by pulling them back, the official said. The official underscored that Trump's decision did not constitute a U.S. withdrawal from Syria. Trump made clear to Erdogan that the United States did not support the Turkish military plan, which came as a surprise to the Turkish leader, a senior State Department official said. There was some confusion among senior officials to figure out what Trump had actually decided, a source familiar with the internal deliberations at the White House said. But the senior administration official, speaking on a conference call with reporters, denied that Pentagon officials were “blindsided,” and Trump said he had consulted with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. PROMISED TO BRING TROOPS HOME U.S. officials told Reuters repeatedly ahead of Trump’s decision that U.S. personnel would not be able to stay in northeast Syria if their Kurdish-led partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, were forced to turn their attention to a massive Turkish invasion. That view was reaffirmed on Monday, as officials warned that only a limited pullback was expected for now – but a larger one could follow. “If it’s wide-scale conflict, we would not have a partner in northeast Syria,” one U.S. official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The president saw his decision in the context of fulfilling a campaign promise to ultimately bring U.S. troops home. He visited Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday and awarded Purple Heart medals to a half-dozen wounded warriors. Trump himself got into the subject earlier when taking questions from reporters at the White House. He said the United States had become a “police force” in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and he wanted to change that. “I have to sign letters often to parents of young soldiers that were killed and it’s the hardest thing I have to do. I hate it,” Trump said. Some independent analysts said, however, that Trump's freewheeling way of making war-related decisions could further undermine U.S. credibility with allies and partners. He has already whipsawed on plans for a withdrawal from the long-running war in Afghanistan. “We find ourselves involved in counterterror operations around the world,” said Fred Hof, a former Pentagon and State Department official. “Potential partners will be looking at what happened in Syria and drawing certain conclusions." Did someone say stable genius? B/A
  2. Many believe that justice is closing in on President Donald Trump as the Ukraine scandal intensifies with more House subpoenas and the emergence of a second whistleblower. But not Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera. On Monday, the Trump-defending correspondent cast the president as a victim in a den of treachery. “There’s never been a presidency where the incumbent has been surrounded ― I don’t say it playfully ― by backstabbers and vipers and rats and snitches,” Rivera told Martha MacCallum on Fox News’ “The Story.” (See the clip above.) Rivera, who has called Trump a friend, repeated the Trump talking point that Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky said he didn’t feel pressured in a phone call with the president to investigate Joe Biden, as Trump repeatedly asked. The phone conversation, flagged by a whistleblower complaint, prompted the House to launch an impeachment inquiry. “So, how do you have an impeachment inquiry when the star prosecution witness counters your narrative?” Rivera asked. Rivera said the inquiry was “throwing subpoenas at everyone they can think of.” You know Geraldo, when you are a snake, you attract snakes... These are his people and like all varmint, they turn on each other... B/A
  3. Sorry but the conspiracy is just that... Conspiracy. Trump should have stayed in the private sector. He was not prepared to be held accountable. He is in trouble, it isn't about second hand whistleblowers. It's about how he is destroying his party and they are all about to bail on him. He is not stable and he is dangerous. Remember last year when he thanked the Kurds and said he would never forget their commitment to fighting ISIS? Well he forgot or he just needed a distraction from the bad press he is getting, so he decides to throw them under the bridge. His party is freaking out and the rest of the world knows he is a liar and cannot be trusted. Q is a farce and is just another person trying desperately to keep the fear alive. Marines are not going out to round up Americans. The military leaders know he is unstable. No one is going to start a civil war. There may be a few wingnuts out there but the majority of Americans are not about to go out and kill their neighbors. Thank God this insane part of our history is quickly coming to an end. B/A
  4. What a load of crap.... Do people really believe this clown? B/A
  5. Fake News. Deep State.. Coup... Clinton... Obama's birth certificate... Pizza Gate...CrowdStrike… Witch hunt.... B/A
  6. I agree and same for Harris, Klobuchar, Booker, and Beto. They really don't have anyone with much to offer. And of course the republicans have a lot of troubles as well... This election is going to be dirty, ugly and probably a waste of time, as one crook will replace the other. B/A
  7. As Eric and Donald Trump Jr. slam Joe Biden’s son for serving on the board of a Ukrainian company while his dad was vice president, their international operations capitalizing on White House connections are “warp speed” unethical, declared a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush. “Rest in peace, irony,” joked MSNBC host Joy Reid Saturday on “AM Joy” after playing clips of the Trump brothers angrily ripping Hunter Biden. Reid’s guest David Frum quipped: ”When you see poor Eric and poor Don Jr., you realize there are bivalves with more self-awareness than the Trump children.” They argue — without any evidence — that Joe Biden worked to block a corruption probe into an energy company whose board of directors included his son. Meanwhile, they profit from international operations stretching to as many as 30 nations still owned by their dad, the president. “Presidential families should behave themselves in more circumspect ways,” said Frum, who is also an author and writer for The Atlantic. “The Trump family is so far and away the most corrupt in American presidential history that you really can’t think of who’s in second place.” Eric Trump last month slammed Hunter Biden’s role in an international company. A day later he hailed a brand new housing complex development in Scotland for the Trump Organization, which is still owned by his dad. Just weeks earlier the Air Force launched an investigation into personnel spending tens of thousands of dollars at Trump Organization’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland during refueling layovers at newly favored nearby Prestwick airport. Both Reid and Frum referred to Ivanka Trump obtaining several Chinese trademarks for her private company — including for voting machines — last year even as she was dealing with Chinese officials in her role as a senior White House adviser. The First Daughter won three trademarks in 2017 on the same day she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago. She was granted five trademarks early this year ahead of trade talks with the Chinese. “You have Ivanka Trump getting Chinese trademarks for voting machines,” noted Reid. “You’ve got Donald Trump Jr. in Indonesia kicking off the sale of luxury condos” — developed with a $500 million cash infusion from a China-owned construction business. “What is happening here?” Jared Kushner, meanwhile, met with senior officers of the Anbang investment operation in China “with a view to get hundreds of millions of dollars to rescue his desperately failing project on Fifth Avenue,” noted Frum. Kushner’s family members solicited Chinese investment in Beijing in 2017 with a presentation including photos of their very own White House adviser and the president — and promises that Chinese could get special U.S. investor visas if they pumped money in the Kushner family business. The president complaining about corruption in government is like “hearing Al Capone complain about mob activity in Chicago,” quipped Reid’s other guest, Elizabeth Spiers, former editor of the New York Observer, which Kushner once owned. Makes me proud to know I have self disciple, self respect, and a conscience... If they could make a deal, our president's limo would be Chinese. B/A
  8. Says the guy supporting a man who surrounds himself with convicted felons... It's like the Mafia has moved into The White House. B/A
  9. LONDON (AP) — The family of drummer Ginger Baker, the volatile and propulsive British musician who was best known for his time with the power trio Cream, says he has died. He was 80. Baker's family said on Twitter that he died Sunday: "We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning." Gary Hibbert, a media representative for Baker's family, confirmed his death. Baker wielded his blues power and jazz technique to help break open popular music and become one of the world's most admired and feared musicians. With his blazing eyes, orange-red hair and fiery temperament, Baker ranked with Keith Moon of The Who as the embodiment of musical fury and uncontrollable personality. RIP Ginger B/A
  10. Senator says he was blocked by Trump from telling Ukraine foreign aid was coming SHEBOYGAN, Wisconsin — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he was blocked by President Donald Trump from telling Ukraine's president that U.S. aid was on its way amid accusations Trump was withholding it until the eastern European nation investigated his political rival. Trump rejected Johnson's request in August after also refusing in May to back new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Oshkosh Republican told reporters Friday. “I was surprised by the president’s reaction and realized we had a sales job to do,” Johnson said during a constituent stop in Sheboygan. “I tried to convince him (in August) to give me the authority to tell President Zelensky that we were going to provide that. Now, I didn’t succeed." U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., speaks with members of the media before meeting with the Middleton Chamber of Commerce at Serendipity Labs in Madison, Wis., Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Johnson Thursday that there was nothing wrong with President Donald Trump asking China and the Ukraine to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and his son. More Johnson told reporters Trump said he was considering withholding the aid because of alleged corruption involving the 2016 U.S. election. Johnson stood by the president, saying he was sympathetic to his concerns and didn't see any bad motives on his part. "What happened in 2016? What happened in 2016? What was the truth about that?” Johnson said about Trump's concerns. With his comments Friday, Johnson made clear that he was aware of allegations Trump was withholding aid to Ukraine for political reasons weeks before the public knew. Trump, who faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry over the matter, has denied the claim and Johnson has defended the president — but Johnson's story helps House Democrats confirm a key aspect of the probe. Johnson was part of a delegation that attended Zelensky’s inauguration in May. He and others briefed Trump on the inauguration and urged Trump to back Zelensky but the president resisted the idea, Johnson said Friday. President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in New York on Sept. 25, 2019. “We all went in there having come in from the inauguration and, you know, we were trying to encourage the president to show a great deal of support,” Johnson said. “Oval Office visit, appoint an ambassador who could be appointed quickly on a bipartisan basis — because we came back from meeting President Zelensky pretty confident, pretty encouraged that he really does understand what his mandate is and he’s dedicated to fulfilling it." Trump was not receptive to the message from the delegation, which included Johnson, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union; and Kurt Volker, the State Department special envoy to Ukraine at the time. Volker stepped down last week and testified behind closed doors Thursday as part of the impeachment inquiry. Johnson told the Wall Street Journal on Friday that Sondland told him that Ukraine would appoint a prosecutor who would, as Johnson put it, work to "get to the bottom of what happened in 2016 — if President Trump has that confidence, then he’ll release the military spending." “At that suggestion, I winced,” Johnson told the Wall Street Journal. “My reaction was: Oh, God. I don’t want to see those two things combined.” He said he asked Trump about it and the president denied it. "He said — expletive deleted — ‘No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?'” Johnson told the Wall Street Journal. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson said the call lasted 10 to 15 minutes and Trump said he was holding the money back because of corruption concerns. “He was very consistent in why he hadn’t made that decision (to release the aid) yet,” Johnson said. “He said, ‘Ron, do you know how fricking corrupt that place is?’” Trump said he hadn’t made a final decision but he thought Johnson would like it when he reached it, Johnson said. When Johsnon met with Zelensky days later, the Ukrainian president asked about the U.S. aid, Johnson said. “At no point in time did Zelensky ever mention or indicate that he was feeling pressure,” Johnson said. “He was just concerned, he said, and by the way — far more important than the funding is just to show support.” Johnson said he told Zelensky not to worry about the funding because there was unanimous support for it in Congress and lawmakers would make sure his country got it. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut was also at the meeting. Johnson said Murphy told Zelensky not to work with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney who has sought to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine. Murphy has given a similar account of his comments to Zelensky. This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ron Johnson says Trump blocked him from assuring Ukraine on aid
  11. That is good news. But of course these are lower paying service jobs. And let's remember they do not count everyone not working. They count those who are actively looking. Just like when unemployment starting going down under Obama, many here were quick to remind us people who have been out of work too long and off unemployment checks are not counted. So as with everything from the government, the numbers are skewed... But I know more people are working, and that is a good thing. All a part of the recovery that started 10 years ago. B/A
  12. They are all hiding something... The funny part is they should all know in today's world nothing is ever really hidden. B/A
  13. I don't care about his life, only what he is doing in The White House... His policies and ethics are what matters. If he is banging porn stars or ripping off students at his university, those are his problems. B/A
  14. Exactly... Punish those who hire and they might stop... B/A
  15. I agree I could care less about their personal lives. That's why I thought it was strange you posted that sarcastic post. B/A
  16. That's what losers do... They hate from behind the curtain... Cowardly at best. I like those who converse on a subject... There are some fine people here who stand for what they believe. I like that. B/A
  17. Pitcher what do you think about this one? B/A A bearish "death cross" pattern is appearing in the Russell 2000's RUT, +0.45% chart Thursday, for the first time in about 11 months. Many technical analysts believe the pattern, in which the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day moving average, marks the spot a shorter-term decline transitions to a longer-term downtrend. The small-capitalization stock tracker's was up 0.4% in afternoon trading, with the 50-day moving average slipping to 1,521.94 and the 200-day moving average rising to 1,521.95, according to FactSet. The Russell 2000's last death cross appeared on Nov. 14. The index tumbled another 16% before bottoming at a 2-year low on Dec. 24. The current death cross comes about 5-months after a "golden cross" pattern appeared on May 7, which was a day after the index peaked at a 7-month high. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.80% was up 0.6% on the day, and its 50-day moving average was still 3.7% above its 200-day moving average
  18. No I agreed media is not fair and balanced. If FOX NEWS is going to be balanced and present both sides of a story then kudos to them. Maybe some of the others will figure out that's how journalism is supposed to work. B/A
  19. So you're saying they are balancing.. Fair and balanced... That would be refreshing for all the media outlets. B/A
  20. Post of the day for comic relief... Thanks for the chuckles... B/A
  21. NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of Americans who believe President Donald Trump should be impeached rose by 8 percentage points over the past week as more people learned about allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to smear his top Democratic political rival Joe Biden, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday. The Sept. 26-30 opinion poll found that 45% of adults believe Republican Trump "should be impeached," compared with 37% in a similar poll that ran last week. Another 41% said that Trump should not be impeached and 15% said they "don't know." Among Democrats, 74% said Trump should be impeached, up 8 points over the past week, while 13% of Republicans said they supported impeachment, up 3 points. It was unchanged among independents at 37%. The poll findings mirror several other recent opinion polls, which have shown that public support has increased recently for an impeachment inquiry into Trump. Full poll results: The American public has been increasingly focused on the question of impeachment following a whistleblower complaint about a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The U.S. House of Representatives initiated an impeachment inquiry of Trump last week after a whistleblower report raised concerns that Trump tried to leverage nearly $400 million in U.S. aid in exchange for a political favor from Zelenskiy involving an investigation of Joe Biden, the former vice president and leading Democratic presidential contender. The poll of more than 2,200 U.S. adults found that 34% had heard “a great deal” about the Ukraine scandal this week, about twice the number of people who had been paying close attention when compared with last week. Another 30% said they have heard “some” details about the Ukraine call. When asked what they thought about the news, 43% said “president Trump is trying to smear Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential campaign,” up 4 points from last week. The poll also found that 66% of American adults said any elected official "should be removed" from office if they work with a foreign government to attack a political rival. That included 46% of Republicans, 88% of Democrats and about two-thirds of independents. The fact that a smaller number of respondents - 45% - said that Trump should be impeached, however, suggests that many of them did not believe allegations against Trump or had yet to conclude Trump had indeed worked with Ukraine to damage Biden. Public opinion may continue to shift as more information is revealed. But University of Michigan political scientist Nicholas Valentino said that support for Trump’s impeachment should level off unless Republican leaders join Democrats in publicly criticizing the president. “People aren’t constitutional scholars,” Valentino said. “They trust their elected officials from their party to know the rules of politics. And when members of their own party say that someone has broken the rules, that’s when public opinion will really begin to change.” The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 2,234 adults, including 944 Democrats and 855 Republicans. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points.
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