Susan Rice: Loss of Over 150,000 American Lives To COVID Is On Donald Trump

Susan Rice, in an interview with the ladies of “The View,” blamed President Donald Trump for the lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming the previous administration had set him up for success.

That’s right – Rice, whose only notable accomplishment as Barack Obama’s former National Security Adviser was shirking responsibility for a terrorist attack – believes the President must shoulder the blame.

Co-host Sunny Hostin set Rice up with a perfect slow-pitch softball toss, making her line of questioning seem almost assuredly scripted and coordinated.

“Ambassador, I do want to talk to you then about the coronavirus because President Trump has said nobody could have predicted this pandemic,” she said before walking her through the answer.

“But the Obama administration did predict a pandemic and you personally tried to prepare the incoming administration for something just like this, leaving essentially a pandemic playbook that warned of this type of virus happening,” Hostin alleged.

“So who is really to blame for the abysmal response here and the death of 150,000 Americans?”

RELATED: CBS Runs Mail-In Voting Experiment That Goes Horribly Wrong – Trump Wonders If Election Should Be Delayed

Rice Points the Finger

Rice smirked prior to answering as if to say “thanks for the setup.” And then she unloaded on President Trump.

“So the fault here, the tragic loss of 150,000 Americans and counting is on Donald Trump and his gross mishandling of this pandemic,” she claimed. “He said it would go away. He likened it to the flu.”

Nowhere did she mention Andrew Cuomo shoving elderly patients into nursing homes. Nowhere did she mention the Democrat impeachment hoax being conducted while the pandemic was hitting our shores.

She did not blame Nancy Pelosi who encouraged her constituents to tour Chinatown in late February because coronavirus fears were “unwarranted.”

She did not blame Bill de Blasio who told New York City residents to “get out on the town despite coronavirus.”

No, every misstep along the path of a historical pandemic was the President’s and the President’s alone.

Maybe he should have just blamed the whole thing on an obscure YouTube video.

RELATED: Black Democrat Lawmaker Goes Off On MSNBC Host When Asked If He’s Being Paid To Support Trump

Pandemic For Dummies

Rice, who is desperately angling for the Vice President role for Joe Biden’s campaign, claimed everybody knew the coronavirus pandemic was “inevitable.”

“We prepared the incoming administration with a ‘Pandemic for Dummies’ playbook and a tabletop exercise and so many other briefings,” she said.

The media have been anxiously pushing a narrative that the Trump administration ditched that playbook. The reality, according to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, is that the Obama pandemic response plan was inadequate.

“Some have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration,” McEnany told reporters. “What the critics failed to note, however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration.”

Additionally, the Obama administration’s response to the swine flu epidemic in 2009 left the nation with a significant shortage of medical masks, something they never bothered to replenish.

Masks, of course, have been the key to fighting off the spread of this virus.

That year also saw Obama scrap the White House Health and Security Office, which worked on international health issues.

Aside from thinking Trump is the only man responsible for the pandemic, Susan Rice has made other wild claims, including the notion that citing the virus’ origin from China is “shameful” and “designed to stigmatize people of Asian descent.”

As House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz has said: “If lies were music, Susan Rice would be Mozart.”

The post Susan Rice: Loss of Over 150,000 American Lives To COVID Is On Donald Trump appeared first on The Political Insider.

Obama To Biden: We Always Took Responsibility For Our Mistakes

Former President Barack Obama had a sit down with Joe Biden where the duo spoke about how their administration always took responsibility for their mistakes.

Biden posted a video to his Twitter account of the socially-distanced meeting along with the caption “44 + 46,” a reference to their possible presidential line numbers.

The video is a teaser of the conversation between the previous president and vice president.

In the clip, Biden and Obama criticize President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying ‘it’s not my responsibility. I take no responsibility.’ Literally. Literally,” Biden asked.

“Those words didn’t come out of our mouths when we were in office,” replied Obama.

RELATED: Biden To Muslim Voters: I Wish We Taught Islamic Faith In Our Schools

Blamed Benghazi on a YouTube Video

Now, when you’re dealing with two skilled and accomplished liars in Biden and Obama, there is a lot to unpack in their comments. Even with just a couple of short sentences.

Let’s begin with Biden’s claim that Trump hasn’t taken responsibility for the pandemic.

While it is true that the President said he doesn’t “take responsibility at all” over four months ago when it was clear that Democrats had impeded congressional efforts to address COVID-19 by hosting an impeachment circus, more recent comments have differed.

In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, he said: “I take responsibility always for everything because it’s ultimately my job, too. I have to get everybody in line.”

As for Obama saying of shirking responsibility that “those words didn’t come out of our mouths” – what absolute gall.

This was an administration – from Obama to Biden, down to Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice – who refused responsibility for the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012 that killed four Americans, instead deliberately crafting a lie to the public involving an obscure anti-Muslim YouTube video.

At first, they tossed Rice under the bus, forcing her on news stations to repeat the lie over and over again. Clinton would later be tossed under the bus as well.

It took several weeks for Obama to suggest he took any responsibility for the lives lost in Libya, and only did so as the controversy refused to subside and he faced election against Mitt Romney.

Biden, on the other hand, continued to lie.

RELATED: Meadows Expects Indictments From Durham Investigation Into Spying On Trump – ‘Time For People To Go To Jail’

Doesn’t Stop at Benghazi

When did Obama and Biden take responsibility for spying on Trump’s presidential campaign? We must have missed it.

Some Obama-era officials may have no choice but to accept responsibility for the biggest political scandal of our time according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

In discussing the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Russia collusion probe, Meadows said he “expect(s) indictments.”

“It’s all starting to come unraveled,” he said. “It’s all unraveling. And I tell you, it’s time that people go to jail and people are indicted.”

Aside from that, Obama and Biden took responsibility for everything else.

Just kidding.

One of Obama’s favorite targets for finger-pointing was his predecessor, former President George W. Bush:

And, of course, Obama blamed Fox News for everything that ailed his failure of a presidency. He blamed Russia for Hillary’s 2016 election loss. Not the fact that he was essentially on the ballot for a third term by proxy.

Despite their claims in the Biden video, passing the buck during difficult times was a hallmark of the Obama presidency.

The post Obama To Biden: We Always Took Responsibility For Our Mistakes appeared first on The Political Insider.

Former Ohio Republican governor to speak at the Democratic convention

Ohio has burrowed itself deep in impeached president Donald Trump, who may or may not be hiding in his bunker at this time. It’s not a state that will decide the presidency. Trump won it by eight points in 2016, and if he loses it this year (and chances are growing by the day), he will already have lost Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and several other states—giving presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden more than enough electoral votes to end our long national nightmare. Yet his campaign has now made Ohio the second-largest recipient of advertising dollars, behind only Florida. 

So how do you think Trump will react when he finds out that former Ohio two-term Republican governor John Kasich is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention? Hilarious, right? 

The Daily Beast has leaked details on Democratic plans for the mostly online convention, which includes the information on Kasich’s participation. The Associated Press has more information on the Kasich coup, and adds this hint: “Kasich is among a handful of high-profile Republicans likely to become more active in supporting Biden in the fall.” The Biden campaign, feeling secure in its base, is clearly focused on expanding his potential base of support, and the never-Trump crowd, while small, could have a big impact in close races up and down the ballot. 

Ohio is a perfect example, a state in which Trump’s standing has fallen more precipitously during the coronavirus pandemic (and because of it) than most places. 

As noted in a previous analysis, Trump’s general election matchup numbers are closely correlated to his approval numbers. His 47% approvals here means he’s getting between 47-49% in the head-to-head matchups versus Biden. That’s enough for victory, but barely. Trump is hanging on for dear life in a state that he comfortably won in 2016, and which shouldn’t be in play given its demographics—mostly white, mostly non-college.  

Meanwhile, Kasich left office a popular politician, with a 52-36 rating the last time Quinnipiac checked in before he was termed out of office in 2018. But even then, there were storm clouds that hinted at a party split: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets a 52-36 percent job approval rating, doing better with Democrats than he does with his fellow Republicans, Democrats approve of Kasich 57-33 percent. Republicans are divided as 46 percent approve and 44 percent disapprove.” You see, he had run against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, and Trump hit him for, among other things, giving his state’s residents health care via Obamacare Medicaid expansion. 

pic.twitter.com/ZQ0osiFEJQ

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2016

The campaign eventually ended, but the feud never did. For example, here was a typical interaction between the two, in 2018:

pic.twitter.com/wqtmN9SwhT

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 13, 2018

Pretty good, right? Kasich also attacked his party for looking the other way as Trump made a mockery of party orthodoxy, steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as for tolerating Trump’s attacks on national institutions like the FBI and the Justice Department. After the 2019 Dayton mass shooting, Kasich called Trump “sensitive” and “thin-skinned.”  

Kasich spent some seconds this year “running against Trump in the GOP primary,” but no one took that seriously. The Republican Party is the Party of Trump, and vice versa. There’s no longer any room for Kasich-style moderate fiscal conservatives in the GOP. We don’t want them either! But at least this year, those never-Trumpers realize the damage that Trump is doing to the country. As Kasich told the Washington Post, “[The Republican Party] coddled this guy the whole time and now it’s like some rats are jumping off of the sinking ship. It’s just a little late. It’s left this nation with a crescendo of hate not only between politicians but between citizens. ... It started with Charlottesville and people remained silent then, and we find ourselves in this position now.”

Kasich may be the highest-profile Republican to flip to Biden right now, but there is definitely something happening among Republicans. Look at Trump’s approval ratings among Republicans: 

So 87-9 seems ridiculously high, right? Except that during the impeachment hearings, that number was 91-6. That means that in just a few short months, Trump has lost a net-seven points of support among Republicans. 

Don’t scoff. Every Republican that gives up on Trump is one less vote. They may vote for Biden and say the heck with it, they’ll vote for Democrats in critical Senate and House races. Or maybe they stay home in frustration, which is almost as good. 

Every Republican defection makes it harder for Trump to bounce back. How is he going to expand his coalition if he can’t even hold on to his own core base? 

Kasich isn’t a play to win Ohio. We don’t need Ohio. Let Trump piss his money away on a state that is irrelevant to whether he wins or loses. While there are two Republican-held House seats that could be in play, control of the U.S. House isn’t at stake. 

But there are Republicans who aren’t happy being associated with a racist sociopath who is putting our children at risk to boost his reelection chances, and Kasich is a signal to them freeing them from Trumpism. There are alternatives. Because this thing, whatever it is that Republicanism has become? It really hasn’t quite worked out well for the country now, has it.

But even if Kasich doesn’t swing a single vote—which is quite possible—the inevitable Trump tantrum will be reason enough to stand up and clap. You know it’ll be glorious. 

Sen. Joni Ernst says 130,000 American deaths show Trump is ‘stepping forward’

Though it is a holiday weekend, the Sunday news shows continued on in mostly the usual fashion. Trump ally Sen. Joni Ernst, one of the corrupt man-child's most ardent defenders as the Republican Senate nullified impeachment charges against Trump without investigation, once had a lot to day about two (2) Americans dying of Ebola under President Barack Obama, saying it showed "failed leadership." CNN host Dana Bash asked Ernst whether 130,000 Americans dying in the (now fully out-of-control) COVID-19 pandemic also is showing "failed leadership."

Sen. Joni Ernst replied with yet another response seemingly hand-tailored to show just how corrupt, incompetent, and buffoonish the Republican Party has become. After a long filibuster resulting in Bash repeating of the question: "No, I think that the president is stepping forward," she clowned.

CNN's Dana Bash: You said in 2014 that Obama showed "failed leadership" with Ebola, when only 2 Americans died. Would you say Trump's showed failed leadership with coronavirus as 130,000 Americans have died? Sen. Joni Ernst: "No, I think that the president is stepping forward" pic.twitter.com/WQqSC82OSt

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2020

Lord, now that was just pathetic. I’m embarrassed for both of them.

Again, the whole premise of so-called "news" programs is invalidated if political leaders are simply allowed to bullshit their way through each with no repercussions. Bash's question was spot-on, probing whether a sitting senator's supposed outrage at one pandemic would translate to the next. Clearly, it did not.

What, then, should the repercussions be for being so transparently a hack? Should a buzzer sound? Should a duck drop from the ceiling? During the pandemic itself physical solutions are largely out of bounds, as most of the people praising Donald Trump's brilliant handling of a pandemic now expected by the White House to result in at least a quarter million dead are praising him from inside their own homes because it is simply too unsafe to travel to the studios as usual. That means the best solution is, for now, right out; nobody is going to agree to have a pie-throwing machine installed in their den.

Hecklers, then. I'm going to propose the "news" shows liven up their broadcasts with professional hecklers. If any politician says something as egregiously tawdry as Joni Ernst says regularly, ninety seconds of interview time will be given to a team of hecklers to point it out and roast their target into oblivion.

Hey, it's more news than what's currently being broadcast. If the nation's top political reporters are incapable of bringing shame to those that quite transparently deserve it, we need to bring in people with more appropriate skills.

Hillary Clinton: I Would Have Done a Better Job As President Handling Coronavirus

Hillary Clinton took a swing at President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying she would have done a “better job” in managing the crisis.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clinton even claimed she would have done a better job in handling the economic fallout.

“We wouldn’t have been able to stop the pandemic at our borders the way that Trump claimed in the beginning, but we sure could have done a better job saving lives, modeling better, more responsible behavior,” she claimed.

“I don’t think we necessarily should have had as deep an economic assault on livelihoods and jobs as we have,” Clinton added. “So I know I would have done a better job.”

RELATED: Hillary Clinton Says It’s Time For a ‘Real President’

She Crazy

She’s a two-time failed presidential candidate, failed to implement new health care as First Lady, failed to protect Americans as Secretary of State, but we’re supposed to believe she could have done a better job than Trump.

It’s hard not to imagine Hillary locking down the entire nation if she had the power of the presidency behind her, meaning an economy in utter shambles. She celebrated Governor Cuomo, after all, who has done the very same thing – ruined his state’s economy, led the nation in COVID-19 cases, and personally sent thousands of seniors to nursing homes resulting in their deaths.

While locking down Americans, she likely would have never shut down travel from China or other nations that were hotspots for the virus, meaning many more lives lost.

Not to mention, we know all about her crisis management skills from Benghazi. Perhaps she could have blamed the pandemic on a YouTube video.

RELATED: Rep Dan Crenshaw Lights Hillary Clinton Up Over Her Latest Attack on Trump

Fantasy Land

This isn’t the first time Hillary openly fantasized about being the President, and it certainly won’t be the last time.

Several weeks ago, Clinton criticized Trump’s coronavirus response by saying, “We need a real President.”

“Donald Trump isn’t responsible for the coronavirus,” she tweeted recently. “But he is responsible for the disastrous lack of leadership that has led to 122,000 deaths in the U.S. and counting.”

And in April, the former First Lady shared a Washington Post story and quote with her social media followers which falsely alleged the President took over two months to treat the pandemic seriously.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw slammed Clinton when she mocked the President for America becoming the leader in coronavirus cases, a fact only possible if you believe nations like China and Iran had accurately reported their numbers.

“Delete your account. This isn’t the time,” Crenshaw replied. “This can’t be the new normal, where American tragedy is applauded for the sake of political opportunism.”

Additionally, Clinton told the Hollywood Reporter that she would beat Trump if she were on the ballot again in November, but added that running again was “not in the cards.”

The post Hillary Clinton: I Would Have Done a Better Job As President Handling Coronavirus appeared first on The Political Insider.

This Week in Statehouse Action: 2 Lock 2 Down edition

Hello, and happy early Independence Day to all who observe!

(And, of course, as an erudite consumer of this missive, I know you’ll observe in a responsible, socially-distanced way. Because Lockdown 2: The New Batch is going to suck enough as it is.)

As a lot of states whose Republican governors reopened businesses prematurely in the middle of a damn pandemic begin to grapple with the obvious and avoidable fallout, a lot of state-level action right now is extremely coronavirus-related.

… but not all of it.

Body Double: … but some of it!

Campaign Action
  • In Pennsylvania, GOP Rep. (and noted Terrible Human) Daryl Metcalfe is coopting “my body, my choice” as a slogan to justify his reckless refusal to wear a face mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
    • Metcalfe has also introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, saying in a statement that Wolf’s businesses closures and other measures he’s taken to combat the spread of the coronavirus have “caused immeasurable harm an hardship for far more Pennsylvanians than the virus!”

I dunno, getting a deadly disease seems like a pretty severe hardship

Double or Nothing: In Kansas, where I’m sure the GOP-controlled legislature is contemplating a measured and reasonable response to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s new mandatory face mask order, one Republican lawmaker is super worried about losing his primary election in August.

Okay, this has all been interesting, but I did promise you non-coronavirus related content.

And, well, tomorrow is an important day.

No, not because it’s Independence Day Eve.

And not because it’s my half-birthday.

(Which it is.)

Election Day is four short months from July 3.

And this is a year that ends in zero.

Which makes this Election Day the final chance for Democrats to flip legislative chambers and put themselves in position in states across the country to prevent another decade of GOP gerrymandering.

Thousands of seats are on the ballot this fall.

And yes, all state legislative elections in each and every state are important.

But because redistricting is at stake, some are a bit more important than others this fall.

Democrats taking a birds-eye view of these elections (c’est moi) have to weigh a number of factors when it comes to prioritizing states, chambers, and seats this year.

  • How many seats do Democrats need to flip to win a majority in the chamber?
  • Do past election results, political trends, or other factors indicate that Democrats can flip that many seats in a single election?
  • Was Democratic recruitment strong?
  • Do legislators in that state impact redistricting (some states, like California, task independent commissions with drawing legislative and congressional maps)?

These are the chief factors I’ve weighed in determining my state legislative chamber priority target list for 2020.

Topmost among those targets are (in alphabetical order, nothing to read into here):

  • Arizona House (Dems need to flip two for a majority)
  • Arizona Senate (Dems need to flip three)
  • Michigan House (Dems need to flip four)
  • Minnesota Senate (flip two)
  • North Carolina House (flip six)
  • North Carolina Senate (flip five)
  • Pennsylvania House (flip nine)
  • Texas House (flip nine)
    • In Arizona, flipping either chamber would break the Republican trifecta. While legislative and congressional maps there are drawn by an independent redistricting commission, Republicans have spent the entire decade trying to undermine and dismantle the body; as long as the GOP has complete control of the state, fair redistricting is in real danger.
    • In Michigan, flipping the House would help stymie ongoing GOP efforts to dismantle or defang the independent redistricting commission the party’s been attacking since voters approved it in 2018.
    • In Minnesota, flipping the state Senate would give Democrats a governing trifecta (governorship, House, Senate) and complete control of the redistricting process.
    • Flipping at least one chamber in North Carolina is essential to preventing another GOP gerrymander of the state. The Democratic governor is generally favored to win reelection here, but it doesn’t matter—the legislature has complete control of legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • While Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is positioned to veto egregious partisan gerrymanders sent to him by the legislature, flipping a chamber in Pennsylvania would give him a redistricting partner, so to speak, which would send him a fair map to approve, levy against the GOP in negotiations, or be considered by the Democratic-majority state Supreme Court in litigation.
    • Flipping the Texas House would break the GOP trifecta in the state and give Democrats a say in the redistricting process for the first time since the infamous DeLay-mander of 2003.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be going in to detail on each of these chambers—challenges, opportunities, available paths to victory, targeted districts, and the like. And I’ll be adding target chambers as the electoral landscape shifts and solidifies as we approach November.

  • But let’s start with the relative layup of the bunch: Minnesota Senate.
    • As ever, much love to the beautiful brains at Daily Kos Elections who crunch the numbers that give us presidential and other statewide elections results broken down by legislative district.
      • And after this crunching, they’ve spit out multiple opportunities for Democrats to win that coveted trifecta this fall.
        • Republicans currently have a 35-32 majority in the Minnesota Senate.
        • In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried just 28 seats in the 67-seat chamber.
        • In the special U.S. Senate election in 2018, Democrat Tina Smith carried 39 out of 67 districts.
        • Democrat Tim Walz carried those same 39 seats, plus two more.
        • Sen. Amy Klobuchar annihilated her GOP opponent and carried a ridiculous 52 of the 67 Senate seats, but let’s look at the closer elections to map out the most viable targets in the fall.
          • Those targets can be found among the eight Smith/Waltz districts currently represented by Republicans.
    • It’s worth noting, though, that only two of those seats supported Clinton in 2016 (SDs 44 and 56).
      • … which, well, is fine, since Democrats only have to flip two for that sweet Senate majority and hot trifecta action.

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for checking in before checking out for the holiday!

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, I hope you enjoy the heck out of it.

You deserve it.

You’re worth it.

Hang in there.

And wear a mask.

Journalism 101 fail: NYT article lets Republicans lie and attack, but can’t find Democrat to respond

What the hell is going on at The New York Times? This question has arisen far too often in the past few years, most recently last week after James Bennet, the paper’s now-former editorial page editor, pitched and then published—without reading it first, allegedly—a fascist op-ed by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas. They were rightly reamed for it, with their own 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner and "The 1619 Project" creator Nikole Hannah-Jones leading the way, saying, “As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this.".

So that was a poor decision by the opinion department, but surely the folks in the Times’ news department are doing their level best and practicing solid journalism, right? They’ve learned the hard and necessary lessons from the absurdly irresponsible, obsessive way they covered “her emails” in 2016, while downplaying investigations and actual wrongdoing by The Man Who Ended Up Losing The Popular Vote, right?

Well, from what I saw in a recent Sunday edition, not so much.

Like so many New York stories, we must begin in Central Park. I was sitting on the Great Lawn—appropriately distanced from a few friends, of course—and reading the Sunday Times news section when I started muttering. Then I humphed. Then I just slapped the newspaper with the back of my hand and said, “Sorry to interrupt, guys, but you gotta hear this.”

The article that prompted my outburst was one that I initially figured would be pretty dull. “Trump Wanted a Pre-Virus Convention Crowd, or None At All,” was the print headline (it’s slightly different online). The piece focused on Trump’s threat to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, North Carolina (we now know that most of the convention activities, including the nomination acceptance speech, will take place in Jacksonville, Florida). The story focused on the impeached president’s dismay with the Tar Heel State’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who wouldn’t guarantee that Republicans could pack people together on the convention floor and party like it was 2019.

The article’s first quote came from Ada Fisher, a national committeewoman for North Carolina’s Republican Party. Unsurprisingly, she blamed Democrats. “There are a lot of liberal, establishment people here who just don’t like the Republican Party. People didn’t want it to happen just because Republicans were involved. But Charlotte can’t stand to lose $200 million in revenue right now.” Standard Republican boilerplate: The Democrats are a bunch of meanies. She even managed to work in both “liberal” and “establishment” as slurs. Well played, Ms. Fisher.

The next quote was from Orange Julius Caesar himself, who’d informed Cooper how stupendously North Carolina had been treated by the White House; he’d sent lots of tests and ventilators, see, as well as the National Guard. “I think we’ve done a good job!” and “We gave you a lot!” and more of the same. About what you’d expect from Trump.

Republican National Committee chair Ronna (don’t call me Romney) McDaniel’s letter to the convention’s host committee was next; essentially, she blamed the Democrats. If you’re wondering if, at any point in this journey so far, the Times offered any response from North Carolina Democrats, you already know the answer to that.

Two more Republicans weighed in before the final quotes came from the Republican state chair from Connecticut, J.R. Romano, who criticized Gov. Cooper’s supposedly over-aggressive requirements regarding wearing masks and social distancing: “We’re adults,” Romano said. “We all know the risks. If someone wants to wear a face mask, they can. If someone doesn’t, they’re taking a risk. I don’t think they had to make this mandatory.”

It is worth noting that Thursday was the fourth day in a row that coronavirus hospitalizations in North Carolina hit a new high.

I couldn’t believe that Romano’s nonsense was the end of the article. I kept waiting for the pushback, a quote from Cooper, or one his aides or allies, about the need to be careful because of the virus, or how decisions on the convention would be governed by science, or how they’d have to see how the outbreak looks in the coming weeks, or that they’d love to host the Republicans, but social distancing rules will still probably be necessary. Anything along those lines would’ve worked. Anything.

Could the authors really not find a Democrat in the entire state or country to go on record here? How did they submit this piece without making sure they at least found one? Did they even notice the imbalance? Where were their editors? There are multiple layers of editorial oversight, one would imagine, for an article on national politics that runs in the main print section of the Sunday New York Times. Did nobody ask, “Hey, can you find a quote from a frickin’ Democrat?” I’ve never worked as an editor at the Gray Lady, but that question came to mind before I was halfway through the piece.

The article did summarize the respective positions of Cooper and Trump, as well as their conversations, yet only Trump and Republicans were given space to defend their positions. Republicans’ assertions about the motivations of North Carolina Democrats also went unchallenged by the authors, other than a brief mention—far from any Republican statements—that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended mask-wearing and social distancing.

The article was written by Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman. While Karni has not faced significant criticism over her work in the past, Haberman has been called out before for pro-Trump, pro-Republican reporting. Trump has also attacked Haberman, but given that he has attacked the entire journalism profession, such attacks are a badge of honor and don’t mean anyone’s actually been unfair to him or his administration. Haberman’s critics maintain the opposite.

In May 2019, Haberman wrote an article for the Times about Hope Hicks, who had left her position as White House communications director a year earlier, then received a subpoena to testify before the House regarding her former boss and obstruction of justice (remember the Mueller report?). Haberman’s article explored whether Hicks would, you know, actually comply with the law. Yet some folks were concerned that the decision to commit a crime was framed, by Haberman, as “an existential question.”

What gets me is news breaks that this woman is weighing committing a crime before Congress &it�s getting framed by the NYT as some Lifetime drama called �Hope�s Choice.� This is a fmr admin official considering participating in a coverup led by the President. Treat her equally. https://t.co/XcNbSuU4QB

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 26, 2019

Anyway: Here's a dare for @maggieNYT, since she wants to write about what happens when women defy a subpoena. Write a similar story about @xychelsea, who is in jail for defying a subpoena.

— emptywheel (@emptywheel) May 26, 2019

There is nothing for Hope Hicks to �decide.� She got a subpoena from Congress. Were she not white, wealthy, and connected, we wouldn�t be having this conversation. She would appear, or she would face the threat of prison like the rest of us. As she should. https://t.co/giDCcvIxvf

— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) May 26, 2019

One Vanity Fair headline referred to Haberman as a “Trump Whisperer,” citing her “closeness—and fairness—to the president.” Fairness is a subjective term, but I have a hard time seeing it as fair to Roy Cooper or North Carolina Democrats that Haberman and Karni’s article quoted five angry Republicans, but not one Democrat.

Beyond the problems with Haberman’s reporting specifically, one of the biggest problems with the so-called mainstream media writ large is something called “bothsidesism,” also known as false equivalency. Bothsidesism occurs when reporters cover an issue simply by presenting the opposing views of Democrats and Republicans as equivalent, irrespective of which side is telling the truth.

Laila Lalami, writing in in The Nation, describes bothsidesism as when journalists “give space to both sides of any story, no matter what the facts show, leaving them open to manipulation by surrogates acting in bad faith and, more worrying, making it harder for ordinary citizens to remain informed and engaged.” Nancy LeTourneau, writing for Washington Monthly, notes that “For those of us who are trying to keep the door to being open-minded cracked at least a little bit, this both-siderism has a kind of gaslighting effect. You begin to question whether what you are witnessing with your own two eyes is real.”

At the Columbia Journalism Review, Jon Allsop went in-depth on bothsidesism and the Times during the impeachment of Donald Trump.

As impeachment has progressed, attacks on the “both sides” approach—and the Times, in particular—have intensified. Over the weekend, critics trained their ire on an article in the paper, headlined “The Breach Widens as Congress Nears a Partisan Impeachment,” about a debate in the Judiciary Committee. Nate Silver, of FiveThirtyEight, noted that the actual words “both sides” appeared four times in the piece. (One of these was in a quotation.) Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, listed 12 more snippets from the article as evidence of the Times’s inability to handle what he calls “asymmetrical polarization.” They included “the different impeachment realities that the two parties are living in,” “both sides engaged in a kind of mutually assured destruction,” and “the two parties could not even agree on a basic set of facts in front of them.”

Rosen is right that this sort of language is inadequate: Democrats, for the most part, are engaging with the factual record; Republicans, for the most part, are not. These positions are manifestly not equivalent. Treating them as such does not serve any useful concept of fairness; instead, it rebounds clearly to the advantage of the one side (Republicans) for whom nonsense being taken seriously is a victory in itself. The Times is far from the only culprit.

The Times also blew it when covering Trump’s remarks after back-to-back mass shootings in August 2019—one of which was carried out by a racist who specifically targeted Latinx Americans. The initial headline—in all caps (something done relatively rarely, as it indicates special importance)—read “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM.” Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, among many others, pushed back hard on that framing.

Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do. https://t.co/L4CpCb8zLi

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 6, 2019

After facing a lot of heat, the headline was changed to “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS.” A spokesperson for the Times admitted that “The headline was bad and has been changed for the second edition.” Executive editor Dean Baquet also called it a “bad headline.” The final headline, at least online, reads: “Trump Condemns White Supremacy but Stops Short of Major Gun Controls.” The Confederacy’s Biggest Fan, of course, still liked the original headline best, calling it “the correct description” of what he’d said.

What mattered, in the context of the mass shootings, was that Trump had declared a refusal to support any significant new gun control measures, such as universal background checks, or bans on high capacity ammunition magazines. However, the Times’  first instinct was to praise Trump as an anti-racist unifier. Let that choice sink in.

It’s bad enough when reporters at mainstream media outlets are so afraid of being accused of showing “liberal bias” that they engage in bothsidesism and false equivalency. Regarding the Sunday Times article about the RNC, presenting both sides would have been an improvement, as the authors literally only gave us one side of a political story in which Democrats and Republicans disagreed. Yet what the article on the battle over the RNC convention shares with other New York Times pieces that are guilty of bothsidesism is the willingness to bend over backward to help Republicans. And they call that paper the liberal media.

There are no quick fixes here for The Times. As for constructive criticism, journalists at The Times could do a lot worse than to listen to the aforementioned Professor Rosen. Rosen diagnosed the crux of the paper’s problem a couple of years ago (and is as good a media critic as there is), in a long analysis that’s worth reading. One quote in particular hits the nail on the head.

“Remember when the Washington Post came out with its new motto, “Democracy Dies in Darkness?” It put Post journalism on the side of keeping democracy alive. Dean Baquet, executive editor of the Times, made fun of it. ‘Sounds like the next Batman movie,’ he said.”

You know what they say about the fish rotting from the head down? Perhaps the entire staff, top to bottom, could undergo the kind of training they did at The Telegraph (UK), which Rosen also cited as a way to help mainstream media journalists unlearn some of their worst habits.

To paraphrase Ted “Theodore” Logan, strange things are afoot at The New York Times, and not at all in the cool, “I just met George Carlin outside the Circle K” kind of way. In all seriousness, what The Times did here is reflective of what’s been going on for generations. In 1969, Vice President Spiro Agnew drew up the playbook for Republican liars attacking the media in order to intimidate them into providing more favorable coverage; the Koch brothers have kept that tradition alive. In sports, this is called “working the refs,” and Paul Krugman rightly applied the term to the imbalance in how the media covered Trump as compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

To the detriment of American politics, the American people, and our democracy, we’ve had four more years of this media malpractice since then. If mainstream media outlets keep this up, and we end up with four more of Trump as a result, there may not be much of a free media left to cover his second term. It’s on all of us to do our part between now and November to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Ian Reifowitz is the author of  The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh's Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (Foreword by Markos Moulitsas)

John Cusack Outrageously Claims Military Has ‘Abandoned’ Trump: Says Supporters He Still Has Are Racist

The radically liberal actor John Cusack had yet another unhinged meltdown stemming from Donald Trump and his supporters. In a deranged tweet that was full of typos, Cusack claimed that the president is “playing for an exit strategy” and that the only supporters he has left are racist.

“Trump is playing for an exit strategy—that keeps him from jail- miltary [sic] has abandoned his fascism—all he’s got left is rascists [sic]- He wants something to leverage – to stay out of jail,” Cusack tweeted, noticeably misspelling the words “military” and “racists.”

In another tweet today, Cusack called Trump a “bloated punk,” which just goes to show how deep his hatred for the president runs.

Cusack’s Twitter page is full of disturbing meltdowns against Trump and those who voted for him, indicating all-consuming hatred for the president equivalent to many of his Hollywood cohorts. Back in March, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Cusack called for another impeachment effort against Trump, saying it was necessary to “save lives.”

“We need strikes /  and we need to remove trump from power to save lives Impeach him again / Pressure for 25th,” he tweeted on March 31.

All Cusack is accomplishing with these tweets is showing the world that he is just another Hollywood liberal elitist who has lost all touch with reality.

This piece was written by PopZette Staff on June 13, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Barr says big Democrat fish may be hooked in Durham probe
Derek Chauvin and George Floyd knew each other and ‘bumped heads,’ says former coworker at nightclub
Biden surrogate Terry McAuliffe slips up, caught on camera saying campaign prefers Biden stay ‘in the basement’

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Democrats Have Forgotten About Social Distancing…When It Comes To Rioters

James Woods, the famed actor and conservative activist, has an interesting point when it comes to public health and rioting.

For all to see on nationwide cable news, looters, arsonists, and vandals seem to be casting aside any notion of coronavirus social distancing with nary an unkind word from Democrats who only a week ago were imposing draconian measures on average American citizens if they dared to not maintain a six-foot perimeter around themselves.

Democrat governors in states such as Kansas and Kentucky (and other Democrats as well) threatened severe penalties against those who tried to go to church, or even visit loved ones, if social distancing was at risk. But today, when up close and personal material carnage and urban mayhem coincide with their anti-American agenda, the Democrat social distancing edicts are as dead as yesterday’s polling data. Presently it’s a free for all on the streets, as rioters stand COVID-ignoring arm to arm in opposing law enforcement personnel who are trying to stop them from burning down large swaths of American cities.

One wonders if social distancing, and other virus regulations, wasn’t just the latest in a line of moves to be conveniently discarded when the need no longer suited the Democrat playbook. This process started almost on the very day Donald Trump was elected president.

First he was an illegitimate president put into office by the Russians. That didn’t work. Then they made that fantasy official with the Mueller probe. Sorry, no banana. Then as soon as that went bust the narrative turned effortlessly to impeachment. They lost that too. Almost the week after the Senate vote that exonerated Trump in January, coronavirus, and its subsequent grabs for state power by various Democrat governors, came into play.

Now as the American people start to ignore virus protocols and go back to business (what’s left of it) and their lives, suddenly (as if on cue) the George Floyd riots appear on the streets of many American cities. The bridges between these attacks on the president and America seem virtually seamless.

Are we alleging a conspiracy? Hardly. The more likely explanation is opportunistic exploitation, good timing, and funding and training already in place to take advantage of probable events. Ask yourself: How many incidents of police brutality happen on a regular basis? It’s not that the police are mindless animals—far from it.

But in any organization there will be moral stragglers. Given the many scores of thousands of law enforcement personnel throughout the nation, some are bound to be bad apples who will act on their brutal instincts. When they do so, as in the Minneapolis case of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, and it doesn’t meet the proper political criterion, the case is ignored. However, when the casting fits the wolves pounce.

There are other interesting clues as well. Professionally-made signs appearing at the riots in mere hours after the Floyd killing, bricks apparently prepositioned in urban locales for the use of rioters, tactical operators ready to dispense cash and on-the-scene direction immediately in evidence and effective at their jobs, and a media narrative that switched from a pandemic that was going to kill us all (hence the need for nanny state regulations), to a virus wiped off the headlines with almost preplanned ease.

Yes, it surely seems like a deep dark NWO/deep state/Atomic Mole People gambit to corrupt our precious bodily fluids. But it’s not. It is the tactical and opportunistic expertise of a cunning enemy and their media acolytes. Next time —and there will be a next time— perhaps we can be proactive instead of constantly reactive.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on June 2, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Charlotte Police Department reveals 70% of rioters they’ve arrested are ‘instigators’ from out of state
Obama breaks his silence on George Floyd’s death: ‘Bigotry’ is ‘painfully, maddeningly normal’ in USA
Chilling footage shows Portland mob beat up unconscious man: ‘Black lives matter, f*ggot’

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Bill Maher Regrets Trump Impeachment: It ‘Turned Out To Be A Horrible Thing’

Liberal talk show host Bill Maher surprised everyone on Friday’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” when he admitted he now regrets the impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying that it “turned out to be a horrible thing.”

While talking to leftwing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Maher pointed to Trump’s recent firings of various inspectors general, complaining that they got very little media attention amidst COVID-19. He believes that much of this lack of coverage can be traced back to Trump’s impeachment.

“Just the impeachment, you know, I mean, if I could do it over again I wouldn’t because it just emboldened him,” Maher said, according to Fox News. “Now he can conduct this war on accountability and nobody even— it barely made the papers. I bet you people are watching this and going, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard that because the news is all COVID.'”

Moore agreed with him, going so far as to say the removal of the government watchdogs makes Trump “very dangerous.” This comes one month after Maher called for Trump to be impeached for “favoring” states that “are nice to him” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Blaze.

“I find one of the most galling parts about this is that the president is favoring certain states over the others. Governors who are ‘nice’ to him, as he calls it, get a lot of attention and all of the equipment they want,” Maher told Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “To me, this is even more of an impeachable offense than what he did with Ukraine or Russia.”

Maher has long been vocal about his support for impeaching Trump, voicing his support for it in January of 2019. “I don’t know how we get out of this except by getting him out of office,” Maher said. “I wasn’t necessarily for impeachment until recently, but I think you have to go ahead and do it.”

Democrats were so focused on their effort to impeach Trump earlier this year that they almost completely ignored COVID-19 when the virus was starting to make its way to the U.S. Had Democrats not been distracting everyone with their impeachment nonsense, there’s no telling where we’d be with coronavirus today.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on May 24, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany breaks down, discusses Ravi Zacharias’ death and his impacts on her faith
Over 600 doctors sign letter begging Trump to end lockdowns, call them a ‘mass casualty incident’
Kamala Harris sponsors bill condemning the use of the term ‘Chinese virus’ as racist

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