Weekend Reads Opinions | An epic on-air rant unmasks the real goal of Trump’s lies
Donald Trump at UFC 244: President met with loud boos, some cheers at Madison Square Garden
President Donald Trump was met with loud, sustained boos and some cheers as he entered Madison Square Garden for the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday night in New York. The President, who is facing down an impeachment inquiry led by House Democrats, attended with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, New York Rep. Peter King, and his two sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
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The public phase of the impeachment inquiry is set to begin this week, and it will shock you to learn that House Republicans arefrom numerous people who are not in a position to shed any light whatsoever on President Trump’s conduct.
Republicans want to question Joe Biden’s son Hunter and other figures at the center of a nexus ofand that Trump and his propagandists have long employed to misdirect Americans away from Trump’s own bottomless corruption.
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A remarkable and important series of exchanges on “Meet the Press” — including an epic rant from a Democrat about our media’s both-sidesing tendencies — demonstrates the true nature of the game plan we’re about to see from Trump and Republicans.
It all started when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered a spectacularly disingenuous new defense of Trump’s corruption. First, PaulTrump was right to withhold military aid from Ukraine, because Trump truly believed that Biden was, in fact, corrupt.
Then Paulthat in pressuring Ukraine to undertake “investigations” of Biden, Trump was doing the same thing Biden did when he withheld aid to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor. Trump’s propagandists have twisted that act into a . Trump extorted Ukraine to force it to somehow make that fabrication true.
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Defenceman Shea Weber scored two power-play goals as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Saturday. Nate Thompson also scored for the Canadiens (9-5-3). Nate Thompson also scored for the Canadiens (9-5-3). Carey Price made 31 saves.
Finally, Paul did concede Trump pressured a foreign country to investigate a political rival, but added that Hillary Clinton “hired a British spy to hire Russians to get dirt called the Steele Dossier,” and equated that with Trump’s conduct.
NBC’s Chuck Todd seemed to allow Paul’s basic framing to stand unchallenged, saying at one point: “So two wrongs make a right?” That prompted this remarkable pushback from Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), which you should watch in full:
The core distinction here is between shaping foreign policy around some conception of what’s in the national interest (withholding U.S. aid to get Ukraine to battle generic corruption) and perverting foreign policy to serve Trump’s political interests (withholding aid to extort Ukraine into helping absolve Russia of 2016 electoral sabotage on Trump’s behalf and to smear a 2020 opponent).
Paul laughably tried to reconcile these things by arguing that, since Biden actually was corrupt, in withholding aid Trump was acting in the national interest, as if the fact that Biden is a 2020 rival is pure coincidence. But Biden wasn’t actually corrupt, and Trump was subverting the national interest to his own.
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A "Baby Trump" balloon has been knifed and deflated in Alabama.The 6.1m (20ft) tall balloon had been set up in a park as the US president watched a football game nearby.
What Biden did in Ukraine
Fortuitously, the New York Times has aduring those years as vice president. Biden was carrying out U.S. foreign policy by prodding Ukraine — awash in civil unrest and corruption, getting plundered by oligarchs and under Russian assault — to undertake reforms to bring it in line with Western democratic ideals, as a bulwark against Russia.
This is the important subplot lurking beneath the scandal headlines — that in leaving Ukraine vulnerable to Russia in order to strong-arm Ukraine into carrying out his own self-interested corrupt designs, Trump retreated from the United States’ posture of siding with Ukraine in a broader battle between liberal democracy and illiberal authoritarian kleptocracy.
As, Biden was trying to pull Ukraine into a more democratic orbit, and Trump in effect pulled in the other direction, mingling his own corruption with Russian geopolitical interests.
Importantly, the diplomats horrified by Trump’s misconduct have also testified to this broader story. As Ambassador William B. Taylor Jr., Trump betrayed a “democratic neighbor” that is “eager to join Western institutions and enjoy a more secure and prosperous life.”
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In Don Cherry’s perfect world, the NHL would have nothing but “good Canadian boys” with no visors who wear their nice suits to the game before dropping the gloves and pounding each other in the face when the opportunity arises. Fortunately, the hockey world has changed and the game has never been better or more entertaining than it is now with its speed, talent and the parity of a salary-capped NHL where every game means something and just making the playoffs is an accomplishment. There is so much young talent in the league (all wearing visors) and it’s not all Canadian — which is a good thing as the game continues to grow.
Thus, the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden sought was in keeping with U.S. policy and broadly supported by numerous institutional institutions. What’s more, that prosecutorinvestigating Burisma (Hunter Biden’s company).
It’sabout what Hunter Biden’s Burisma work shows about the propriety of profiting off proximity to power. But this doesn’t alter our understanding of what Joe Biden actually was doing in Ukraine, which — unlike Trump’s conduct — was shaped around the national interest.
As for the comparison to Hillary Clinton’s supposed collusion and hiring of a spy, all that is based on. Naturally, the other witnesses Republicans want to call are supposed to shed (fake) light on that story.
How Trump’s propaganda works
This episode on “Meet the Press” illustrates in a back-door way what the real aim of pro-Trump propaganda is, and how it will be employed in the inquiry’s public phase.
Remember, it was a longtime imperative for Trump and lawyer Rudolph Giuliani to get Ukraine to issue a public statement confirming sham investigations that would rewrite the story of 2016 and help rig 2020 for Trump. This scandal is all about disinformation — about getting news organizations to treat disinformation seriously, to create a miasma of doubt around Russia’s 2016 sabotage and an aura of corruption around Biden.
Indeed, as former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannonadmitted, the way to create this sort of aura is to get the mainstream media to cover such allegations, no matter how discredited, to introduce them into the mainstream discussion and get them treated as representing one side of a good-faith political dialogue.
That’s the obvious goal behind getting the impeachment inquiry to include public testimony from people like Hunter Biden. And along those lines, this “Meet the Press” episode is a cautionary tale. It shows what it looks like when a bad-faith actor — Paul — floats this kind of disinformation and succeeds in getting it treated far too respectfully.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she wants to see Congress pass President Donald Trump’s revamped North American free trade deal this year. In a news conference Thursday, the California Democrat said an agreement on the pact is “imminent.” In a news conference Thursday, the California Democrat said an agreement on the pact is “imminent.
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Asked what she thought of his controversial 2005 remarks, Donald Trump supporter Vicki Sciolaro told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that he's not "running for pope" ...