Tuesday Reads: Trump Vs. Pence and Hillary Clinton Speaks Out on Anti-Semitism

Stand Up for Science Rally in Boston, Feb. 17, 2017

The crowd at the Stand Up for Science Rally in Copley Square Boston, Feb. 17, 2017

Good Morning!!

The photos in this post are from the Stand Up for Science Rally in Boston on Friday.

How bad is the tRump presidency? Elderly people who remember great presidents like FDR are dissing tRump in their obituaries. Liz Smith of Norwalk, Ohio, died on Feb. 13. From her obit:

She was born June 12, 1929 in Pittsburgh, PA to the late Leo N. and Cathrine (Picker) Hierholzer. She was a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education. She was a switchboard operator for many years. She was a lifetime member of Girl Scouts USA and was a 45 year volunteer for Erie Shores Girl Scout Council, and for 25 years she was a driving force behind Norwalk’s Girl Scout Day Camp. She was a recipient of the Thanks Badge, which is the highest award in Girl Scouting. She volunteered for the United Fund, Salvation Army soup kitchen, participated in crop walk, visited shut-ins at nursing homes, was an MDA Volunteer and a member of Huron County Democratic Party and a poll worker. She was an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church and served on parish council, renovation committee, finance council, funeral luncheons and parish festival committees , office aide at St. Mary’s, former Eucharistic minister and liaison for the Toledo Diocesan Association for the parish. She enjoyed traveling, especially to Yellowstone Park and heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies, white water rafting on the New River in West Virginia and the Snake River in Idaho, Orient Express trip from Vienna to Paris, entire tour of Nova Scotia including Cape Breton. Liz is smiling now, not to be living during the Trump Presidency.

She isn’t the only one. See more at Indy100.

Boston, MA -- 2/19/2017 -  A dog named Louis Vuitton wears an Alternative Fact sweater as scientists, science advocates and community members rally in Copley Square.  (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff) Topic: 20scientists Reporter:

Boston, MA — 2/19/2017 – A dog named Louis Vuitton wears an Alternative Fact sweater as scientists, science advocates and community members rally in Copley Square. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)
Topic: 20scientists
Reporter:

Over the weekend, VP Mike Pence and Defense Sec. James Mattis were travelling around the world trying to convince U.S. allies that they–not the actual president–speak for our country. Today Reuters reports that the “White House delivered EU-skeptic message before Pence visit – sources.”

In the week before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Brussels and pledged America’s “steadfast and enduring” commitment to the European Union, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met with a German diplomat and delivered a different message, according to people familiar with the talks.

Bannon, these people said, signalled to Germany’s ambassador to Washington that he viewed the EU as a flawed construct and favoured conducting relations with Europe on a bilateral basis.

Three people who were briefed on the meeting spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. The German government and the ambassador, Peter Wittig, declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of the talks.

A White House official who checked with Bannon in response to a Reuters query confirmed the meeting had taken place but said the account provided to Reuters was inaccurate. “They only spoke for about three minutes and it was just a quick hello,” the official said.

The sources described a longer meeting in which Bannon took the time to spell out his world view. They said his message was similar to the one he delivered to a Vatican conference back in 2014 when he was running the right-wing website Breitbart News.

In those remarks, delivered via Skype, Bannon spoke favourably about European populist movements and described a yearning for nationalism by people who “don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union.

“Western Europe, he said at the time, was built on a foundation of “strong nationalist movements”, adding: “I think it’s what can see us forward”.

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Who should we believe: multiple sources who spoke to Reuters or the the lying White House? This morning Anita Kumar of Reuters (via The Miami Herald) asks how long Pence will have influence on policy: Pence has clout in Trump White House, but for how long?

Donald Trump has given Pence, whose connections, conservative credentials and knowledge of policy far outstrip those of his boss, a role that has him at the president’s elbow every day, relying on Pence to navigate Washington in ways that other modern presidents have not needed.

Pence is in the Oval Office when Trump calls foreign leaders. He’s in the room when the president meets with business executives, county sheriffs and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He’s there holding the executive orders after the president signs them. And he always has the best seat in the house when Trump holds a news conference.

Trump likens himself to a CEO who surrounds himself with multiple advisers, and it’s clear right now that Trump feels comfortable having Pence around. But observers caution it may not end up that way, as the new White House shakes itself out and other advisers learn the ways of Washington.

“Everything is going to depend on who Donald Trump believes is trustworthy,” said Leslie Lenkowsky, a former professor at Indiana University who has known Pence for two decades.

Pence’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump and Pence didn’t know each other well before Trump tapped him to be his running mate last summer. Pence had endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for president just days before the crucial Indiana primary and had criticized Trump for, among others things, calling for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

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Kumar isn’t specific about what she thinks might lead to a break between tRump and Pence, but after this weekend, I think Americans and Europeans are wondering when Pence will be sent to the doghouse.

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin (via The Chicago Tribune) asks: Will it soon be Donald Trump vs. Mike Pence?

Trump, like most demagogues, needs an enemy — the elites, the press, Clinton. If he had to survive on his own merits and accomplishments, he’d flop. Press or Trump? Clinton or Trump? It’s all a tactic to keep his own popularity high, or as high as it can be.

Alas, the technique has not really paid off since people tend to judge presidents in office on what they do in office. Trump’s historically horrendous approval numbers (38 approve, 56 disapprove in Gallup; Pew had a nearly identical split, 39/56.) As Trump’s performance sends more voters, and lawmakers, reeling and the investigation of his and his aides’ ties to Russia get underway, we should remember how critical Vice President Mike Pence becomes. If things get really bad — impeachment or some 25th Amendment “solution” — the choice will not be Trump vs. Clinton. It will be Trump vs. Pence, who’d take over if Trump left or was removed. Uh-oh. Pence is in positive territory (43/39 in the Pollster.com average), and among Republicans, especially those on Capitol Hill, he’s exceptionally popular.

In other words, if down the road the president continues to unravel, there may be a very big bipartisan consensus to show Trump the door. It’s not like they’d be getting Clinton; they’d be getting the not erratic, not flashy, not crazy Mike Pence.

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Speaking of Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady, Secretary of State, and presidential candidate has spoken out about Trump’s refusal to condemn the many anti-Semitic threats and attacks around the country. The Washington Post: After weekend of anti-Semitic acts, Clinton urges Trump to ‘speak out.’

Hillary Clinton called on President Trump on Tuesday to speak out against anti-Semitic vandalism and threats after more than 170 Jewish graves were found toppled at a cemetery in Missouri.

A tweet from Clinton did not specifically mention the gravesite disturbances in University City, Mo., but noted increasing reports of “troubling” threats against Jewish community centers, cemetery desecrations and online intimidation.

She urged her former presidential campaign rival to lead denunciations amid complains by critics that the White House has not spoken out forcefully enough against anti-Semitic acts.

And what do you know? Trump has finally said something, according to Politico: Trump calls anti-Semitism ‘horrible.’

President Donald Trump on Tuesday decried anti-Semitism, calling recent threats against Jewish community centers “horrible” and a “reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we ha ave to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said Tuesday, delivering brief remarks after visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture for the first time. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.

”Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had called on Trump earlier Tuesday to speak out against anti-Semitic violence, an issue he side-stepped at his press conference last week….

Ahead of his brief address, the president had told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin that “anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s gonna stop and it has to stop.” He added that the racial divide in America is “age-old” and speculated that “something” is going on that prevents the country from fully healing.

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Yeah, “something” is definitely going on–a bunch of ignorant white people elected a racist POTUS. The ADL had also called on tRump to speak out. It really doesn’t seem like enough to me, but it’s a start. Here’s a summary of what’s been happening from HuffPo: Jewish Community Centers Across the Country Hit with Another Wave of Bomb Threats.

Forcing evacuations in ten states Monday. There have been 67 incidents at 56 Jewish community centers in 27 states and one Canadian province since the start of 2017. Vandals also toppled over 100 headstones at a prominent Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism, tweeted about the incidentsMonday, and not all of Twitter was pleased.

Here’s a report on the vandalizing of a the Jewish cemetery from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Up to 200 headstones damaged at Jewish cemetery, director says.

Anita Feigenbaum, executive director of the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, said officials will be cataloging the damage Tuesday and notifying relatives whose families are affected. A monument company will decide which headstones need to be replaced and which need to be reset, she said.

Feigenbaum was emotional in describing the damage she saw.

“It’s hard to even express how terrible it was,” she said Tuesday morning. “It was horrible.”

Police are investigating the vandalism, which happened sometime over the weekend. No arrests had been made, as of Tuesday. Asked whether the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, Detective Lt. Fredrick Lemons II said police were keeping all options open….

The damage was done to an older part of the cemetery, on the southeast end. In one swath, for example, spread across about 40 yards, two dozen stones are toppled but 10 rows of stones nearby are untouched. A semicircle of destruction included stones marked with names of Schaefer, Weisman, Weinstein, Pearl and Levinson, but one headstone in the middle, with the name Levy, was unscathed. The years of death on these stones ranged from about 1921 to 1962.

Visitors streamed in to see if their family stones were pushed over.

Trump and the Bannon crowd own this.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a terrific Tuesday!

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52 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Trump Vs. Pence and Hillary Clinton Speaks Out on Anti-Semitism”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s an update on tRump’s less than impressive remarks about anti-Semitism:

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  2. dakinikat says:

    These are very scary times and our coup d’etat by insane people makes it scarier. This is not a legitimate American administration. Russian fascism and White Nationalists have put us in a nightmare. Steven Bannon is the enemy of civilization.

  3. dakinikat says:

    If you want to read the disturbing emotional and mental issues spewing out of Trump supporters these days, here’s your read …

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a53275/trump-melbourne-florida-rally/

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m glad one reporter finally wrote the truth about Trump supporters.

      • dakinikat says:

        It’s horrifying! I just reread it to make sure I actually read what I read.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          I wish I could say that article is unbelievable, but that’s the sort of BS I expect from ignorant people, most of them common trash.

      • dakinikat says:

        Here’s another at Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/pastor-walks-out-on-trumps-demonic-florida-rally-my-11-year-old-daughter-was-sobbing-in-fear/

        Joel Tooley, lead pastor at First Church Of The Nazarene in Melbourne, said that both he and his daughter were traumatized after attending President Donald Trump’s rally in Florida over the weekend.

        In a lengthy Facebook post written after Trump’s Saturday rally, Tooley explains that he had not supported the Republican presidential candidate but he felt that attending a presidential speech would be a good civics lesson for his daughter.

        Tooley writes that he was disturbed by the “almost church-like” way Trump supporters sang Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA.

        “People were being ushered into a deeply religious experience…and it made me completely uncomfortable,” the pastor recalls. “I felt like people were here to worship an ideology along with the man who was leading it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the song per se – it was this inexplicable movement that was happening in the room. It was a religious zeal.”

        Tooley describes First Lady Melania Trump’s reading of the Lord’s Prayer as “theatrical and manipulative.”

        • dakinikat says:

          His facebook page isn’t working. He must be getting death threats!

          • palhart says:

            Both of those accounts are disturbing. When it becomes much worst as part of his strategy, trump will say, “See, I told you about the dark days to come”. A war will help him remain in office since many Americans like beating up and killing threatening, or perceivably so, foreign people. He has chosen more generals for the Cabinet and staff for his warring, divisive campaign than any other president. His “law and order” policy here is ominous, especially with Sessions as AG. If you capture the truth, or facts, you can do most anything without political reprisals…or so trump thinks. One of the supporters at Saturday’s rally said he would support trump even if he became a dictator.

            I remember the banter and signage at one of McCann’s rallies. Then people held signs about Socialists, Nazis, and Hitler. And “No pubic [sic] option”!

    • dakinikat says:

      TRIGGER: I still don’t want to believe people could actually say this to a young woman.

      The young Muslim girl in hijab was still there. She was from Orlando and had protested circa Occupy, and she conceded she wasn’t prepared for the reception she’d gotten that afternoon, one that darkened as the day faded and made her want to withhold her name, for fear the night would stretch on forever online.

      During the speech, she’d stood among the Trump supporters who watched on the big screen and listened through the loudspeaker. After, she’d moved together with the bloc of protesters who converged to greet the Trump supporters leaving the speech. Her head covering was noticeable, even in the crowd.

      Later that night, she texted me a video of people walking in parallel to her, yelling, just a few blocks away outside Keiser University. She said they’d followed her from the rally, and their clothes and conversation suggest as much. The people looked familiar, in the same way that a composite does, in that way that all white people yelling racist things have a sneer that verges on archetype.

      “Leave,” a woman shouted on the video, flipping her off. “You don’t like America, get the fuck out … You are a disgrace to America,” the man walking next to her said.

      They mocked her camera. “You can jack off to that later, the man drawled. “I’ve got a big ol’ white American redneck dick.”

      The woman in the hijab told him where to stick it.

      “I can put it up your little tight ass,” he countered, “and I won’t be hittin’ that clit, ’cause it already got removed.”

      It makes me ashamed to be on the same planet as these people. Are they that insecure that they are afraid of a young woman?

      • bostonboomer says:

        It was unbelievable. All those reporters a the NYT who are saying we need to understand Trump supporters should be required to read both of those articles.

      • janicen says:

        I look forward to the day when these creatures crawl back under their rocks.

    • catscatscats says:

      Gulp!!!!!!!!! Those 45 supporters are beyond deplorable, they are irrational and irredeemable. Bannon, trump and Miller have empowered them to do as much damage to others and themselves as possible. When they are finally disillusioned by 45, when they find out they are actually worse off than before, I hope we still outnumber them.

    • Enheduanna says:

      It is unbelievable what that man said to the reporter wearing a hajib – and they feel morally superior?

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Trump continues to prove that you can be both stupid and crazy at the same time.

    Speaking at the opening of the museum featuring slavery he mentions “love” as the reason for its existence. Of all things!

    It is a “tribute” to the brutality of slavery as well as a tribute to the endurance and conditions these slaves were forced to live under for hundreds of years. A condition built on hate not love as this idiot proclaims! It is a blight on our nation and will forever remain so no matter how much we try to ignore or justify its existence when speaking of our history. Like the Holocaust we can never forget.

    This man is an empty vessel. A walking talking ignoramus without an ounce of curiosity or simple intelligence who embarrasses himself and us every time he opens his lying mouth. How anyone can equate keeping men and women in chains for hundreds of years, who suffered at the hands of those who “owned” them, and whose rights as human beings were stifled on behalf of pure evil as “love” is inexplicable.

    Just another day of listening to this moron reminding us over and over again of his lack of understanding, empathy and knowledge is stupefying.

    How much of this are we capable of withstanding? He hasn’t a clue. The museum was built on illustrating the plight of people forced into an unholy condition and held hostage for centuries.

    The museum is a display of the hate they endured not love. And Trump sadly cannot see the difference.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Rachel Maddow talked about this guy last night. He has ties to Paul Manafort.

    Austrian court approves extradition of Ukrainian tycoon Dmytro Firtash. He’s wanted in Chicago for money laundering.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/21/austrian-court-approves-extradition-ukrainian-tycoon-dmytro/

    • Enheduanna says:

      Oh wow I didn’t think Jeffrey Beauregard would allow that. Hope he makes it here alive.

      • bostonboomer says:

        What does it have to do with Sessions?

        • Enheduanna says:

          Probably nothing but doesn’t our Justice Department have to request that he be extradited? I’m easily confused so don’t mind me…………

          • Catscatscats says:

            I believe FBI requested extradition of Firtash before Sessions was sworn in as AG. Firtash is part of 45’s Russian connection. Sessions said during confirmation hearings that he would not recuse himself from any investigation of the trump campaign of which he was an integral part.

        • Catscatscats says:

          Boston, watch Rachel Maddow tonight, I’m sure she will address both this and Pruitt who missed his court ordered deadline to produce documents relative to his interactions with oil, gas and the brothers Koch. The thinking is Sessions will protect 45 should any of the investigations into his Russian connections bear fruit. Pruitt is the fox guarding the hen house.

        • bostonboomer says:

          You’re right. Sorry, Enheduanna. I hope Sessions won’t interfere. He is going to have to recuse himself from the Russia stuff, or there will be real trouble.

    • Fannie says:

      So what happen? Spain ordered that he appear there…………I was looking forward to Firtash coming here.

      • Catscatscats says:

        That was bizarre! Someone doesn’t want Firtash to come to the US. It sounded like our request for extradition was first, so why did Spain get him?

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Charlie Pierce on MA Attorney General Maura Healy.

    ExxonMobil Sued Her. Now She’s Suing the President*.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a53275/trump-melbourne-florida-rally/

  7. bostonboomer says:

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  8. Sara says:

    Need to fire Bannon and Miller if President* is sincere.

  9. Enheduanna says:

    Did ya’ll see this at Shakesville?

    http://iowastartingline.com/2017/02/20/senator-chelgren-aims-purge-democrats-iowa-universities/

    From the party of small government and personal religious liberty.

  10. janicen says:

    Interesting twitter thread makes the point that Trumps “losses” from his casinos may have been deliberate.

  11. dakinikat says:

  12. bostonboomer says:

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