TRUMP ‘FAWNING’ TO PUTIN AND OTHER AUTHORITARIANS IN ‘EMBARRASSING’ PHONE Calls

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NEWSWEEK)

 

TRUMP ‘FAWNING’ TO PUTIN AND OTHER AUTHORITARIANS IN ‘EMBARRASSING’ PHONE CALLS, WHITE HOUSE AIDES SAY—REPORT

As the spotlight on President Donald Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders intensifies, former and current White House officials have described Trump’s interactions with strongman leaders as fawning, deferential and embarrassing, with many of those in the administration “horrified” at his conduct.

The Washington Post spoke with 12 current and former White House officials who said that members of the administration were shocked at the president’s behavior during conversations with authoritarians like Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of the Saudi royal family.

“There was a constant undercurrent in the Trump administration of [senior staff] who were genuinely horrified by the things they saw that were happening on these calls,” one former White House official—who spoke on the condition of anonymity—told the Post.

“Phone calls that were embarrassing, huge mistakes he made, months and months of work that were upended by one impulsive tweet,” the official added.

Aides were particularly concerned about Trump’s calls with Putin. The first call came less than two weeks into the presidency on January 28, 2017.

The call was intended for Putin to congratulate Trump on his victory, but the new president was “obsequious” and “fawning,” even apologizing to the dictator for not calling him sooner, anonymous former White House aides told the Post.

“He was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my people didn’t tell me you wanted to talk to me,'” according to one person with direct knowledge of the call. And in another Putin call, Trump is said to have asked his Russian counterpart for advice on how to deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

“We couldn’t figure out early on why he was being so nice to Russia,” a former senior administration official added.

Trump upended long-term U.S. strategy during his calls, for example promising to support Saudi Arabia’s entry into the G7 group of nations. “The G-7 is supposed to be the allies with whom we share the most common values and the deepest commitment to upholding the rules-based order,” one former official told the Post.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses mean it would not have been suitable for admission, but Trump said he would support the country’s efforts anyway, the former official claimed. Ultimately Saudi Arabia was not added to the group.

DOnald Trump, phone, calls, Putin, leaders
President Donald Trump speaks on the telephone in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on December 24, 2018.SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/GETTY

The president also reportedly ignored the grave human rights abuses in the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte has been waging a zero tolerance campaign against drug dealers and users, in which thousands have been killed.

During an April 2017 call, Trump told Duterte that he was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem,” the Post reported.

Officials said it was a constant battle to keep Trump on track. “You had two to three minutes max,” one former senior administration official said. “And then he was still usually going to say whatever he wanted to say.”

Another said aides quickly had to come to terms with his unconventional, and at times embarrassing, manner. “People had gotten really numb to him blurting out something he shouldn’t have,” one former national security staffer told the Post.

Officials were also concerned that calls with long-time U.S. allies often did not go as smoothly as those with strongmen and dictators. “People who could do things for him—he was nice to,” one former security official said. “Leaders with trade deficits, strong female leaders, members of NATO — those tended to go badly.”

Trump Is Dangerously Unfit To Be President

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF VOX NEWS)

 

Trump’s Twitter tirades about treason and civil war reveal a dangerously unfit president

Lies, nonsense, and a threat to arrest his opponents in Congress.

President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, rarely a scene of what you’d call appropriate content, has kicked things up a notch ever since the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry into his apparent effort to hold up military aid to Ukraine in search of dirt on political rival Joe Biden.

Over the past several days, the self-proclaimed “stable genius” has been on a nonstop Twitter binge, lying about what’s going on in Congress, lying about what happened in Ukraine, and escalating his inappropriate conduct by threatening the country with a civil war and threatening his enemies in Congress with criminal charges.

He also posted a rapid-fire set of Fox News clips, complaining furiously about a brief moment of Fox content that displeased him.

The Ukraine scandal is about one specific area of policy, but it’s a window into the inherent problem with having a president in office who so routinely expresses inappropriate ideas. And the scandal breaking through is merely causing him to express more and more of them.

Trump retweeted a bot that inserts “shark” into Trump tweets

The Ukraine story is damaging to Trump not necessarily because it’s the worst thing he’s done as president. But the assistance to Ukraine that Trump imperiled is something many Republicans favor, and the facts of the case are so plain that it has slightly punctured the bubble of right-wing alternative facts that normally shields the president from criticism.

That makes Trump particularly vulnerable to mildly critical commentary like what Fox News host Ed Henry offered on Sunday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends. Fortunately for Trump, radio host Mark Levin was also on the air ready to go to bat with arguments like, “What crime was violated? It’s not illegal. The question is whether Biden did something illegal. The president didn’t do anything illegal.”

Trump was so incensed by Henry that he or a staffer went to search Twitter for any random person criticizing Henry or praising Levin, including a number of “egg” accounts with no avatars, real names, or reputation, and few followers.

One of these accounts, @BulldawgDerek, has been “temporarily restricted” by Twitter due to “unusual activity” — normally a euphemism for violating the site’s rules.

Trump retweeted, all told, 20 posts on the subject, including one calling Henry a “lying shit head” and one by a bot account Trump But About Sharks whose gimmick is that it rewrites Trump tweets to make them about sharks.

This is mostly funny rather than revelatory.

It is, however, a reminder that the president of the United States spends his time watching television and getting mad online rather than working on any of the innumerable policy issues that fall into his portfolio. That’s not news, but it is significant since one of the White House’s key talking points on impeachment is that somehow impeachment — rather than the president’s laziness — is stopping Congress from getting things done.

Trump keeps lying about Congress

A Saturday tweet calling an arbitrary subset of Trump’s political enemies “savages” attracted attention because there’s something fishy about his decision to single out Jewish and nonwhite members of Congress for criticism.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Can you imagine if these Do Nothing Democrat Savages, people like Nadler, Schiff, AOC Plus 3, and many more, had a Republican Party who would have done to Obama what the Do Nothings are doing to me. Oh well, maybe next time!

73.7K people are talking about this

A more banal but significant aspect of this tweet is Trump’s effort to label the congressional opposition as “Do Nothings.”

Both parties’ congressional campaign committees have polling that indicates the public is frustrated with Congress’ lack of progress on policy issues and therefore have adopted strategies centered on blaming the other party for inaction.

This theme recurs in recent Trump tweets on subjects ranging from China to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to nothing in particular, all of which repeat the phrase “Do Nothing Democrats.”

Under the circumstances, it’s worth emphasizing that this is simply false. House Democrats have passed a lot of bills, including conceptually ambitious legislation to curb corruption in politics and begin to address climate change along with a host of smaller measures. They’ve passed legislation on background checks for gun buyers, tried to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, tried to extend nondiscrimination rules to LGBTQ people, and tried to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. The reason these bills — and measures addressing prescription drug pricesinsurance for people with preexisting conditions, and consumer protection in financial services — aren’t going anywhere is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t bring them up for votes.

It isn’t even that these bills are being defeated in the Senate. McConnell is aware that these are popular measures, and he doesn’t want to make his members cast unpopular votes against them. Consequently, Republicans have simply refused to let them come to the floor, even while pretending to be mad that Democrats are too busy with impeachment to legislate.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

WHO CHANGED THE LONG STANDING WHISTLEBLOWER RULES JUST BEFORE SUBMITTAL OF THE FAKE WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT? DRAIN THE SWAMP!

51.1K people are talking about this

By contrast, Senate Republicans are not passing popular bills featuring conservative ideas to address problems. Not because they’re too busy with impeachment, but because they don’t seem to have any.

And Trump himself can’t stop tweeting about Ukraine, even though he also can’t offer any real defense of what he did.

Trump has a lot of dishonest thoughts on Ukraine

Monday morning, Trump alleged that some mysterious individual “changed the long standing whistleblower rules” as part of what is presumably a conspiracy to bring Trump down.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

WHO CHANGED THE LONG STANDING WHISTLEBLOWER RULES JUST BEFORE SUBMITTAL OF THE FAKE WHISTLEBLOWER REPORT? DRAIN THE SWAMP!

51.1K people are talking about this

This is a reference to a badly misinformed article which ran over the weekend on the perennially dishonest conservative site the Federalist, which alleged that “Intel Community Secretly Gutted Requirement Of First-Hand Whistleblower Knowledge.”

The main factual problem with this article is that nothing of the sort happened. It is true that the whistleblower form was changed in August shortly before the submission of the Ukraine report, but the earlier version of the form contained no prohibition on the use of second-hand information. That the Federalist article is incorrect has not prevented the claim from being widely rebroadcast by everyone from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to the president’s attorneys Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani. It is, however, completely false.

What’s more, despite Trump’s multiple tweets referring to the whistleblower as “fake” or alleging he had only “SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION,” we now know unambiguously that the substance of the report was true. The White House’s own summary of the call shows Trump complaining that although “the United States has been very good to Ukraine,” he “wouldn’t say it’s been reciprocal necessarily.”

When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asks for Javelin missiles, Trump replies, “I would like you to do us a favor, though.” There is, of course, nothing wrong with the leader of one country asking the leader of another country for something in exchange for military assistance — that’s diplomacy. But what Trump asked for were political favors (and perhaps exculpate the Russian government from responsibility for hacking the Democratic National Committee), not actions designed to advance American interests.

That’s the essence of the complaint, and Trump clearly did it. The only question is whether one sees that as right or wrong. But in responding to the misconduct, Trump is engaging in new forms of misconduct.

Trump is threatening his enemies with prison

Last Friday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff opened a hearing with a satirical parody of Trump’s gangster-like conduct.

The analogy between the way Trump discusses illegal activities and the way movie gangsters talk has been widely made, everywhere from CNN to the Canadian magazine Macleans, largely because the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen specifically described it as his normal means of doing business.

But Trump, because he’s a deeply dishonest person, has taken to characterizing Schiff’s parody as a deliberate fabrication that should prompt a criminal investigation.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Rep. Adam Schiff totally made up my conversation with Ukraine President and read it to Congress and Millions. He must resign and be investigated. He has been doing this for two years. He is a sick man!

62K people are talking about this

It’s not a crime to say things the president doesn’t like — even things that aren’t necessarily proven — and there’s a specific clause of the Constitution guaranteeing members of Congress absolute immunity from prosecution from anything they do on the floor of either house in the Capitol. That constitutional provision does, however, include an exception for treason, which someone must have told Trump. By Sunday night, Schiff characterizing his actions in a way Trump didn’t like was elevated to an act of treason, and Trump called for his arrest.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called “Whistleblower,” represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way. Then Schiff made up what I actually said by lying to Congress……

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber. He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason…..

39K people are talking about this

Trump then reiterated Monday morning that he’s not kidding around. He wants police officers to arrest a member of Congress for criticizing him.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people. It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?

56K people are talking about this

The typical response to this kind of blatantly inappropriate order from Trump has been to simply not carry out his directives. Then conservatives quietly assure liberal and centrist journalists that people shouldn’t blow Trump’s bluster out of perspective because these things don’t actually wind up happening.

The Ukraine call, however, reveals not just inappropriate conduct but the fundamental inadequacy of this line of thought as a response to Trump. Members of Trump’s administration have been trying, since Inauguration Day, to steer him toward something approaching a normal conservative Republican approach to Russia.

But as Trump’s former top Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert explained over the weekend, it’s been impossible to dissuade Trump from propagating a baroque conspiracy theory involving Ukraine and an IT security company called Crowdstrike, whose CEO Trump wrongly believes is Ukrainian.

Trump really did delay the delivery of congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine, and during his one-on-one talks with the Ukrainian president he linked that aid to both the Crowdstrike theory and the effort to dig up dirt on a political rival. With the regular institutions of the American government ill-disposed to try to carry out Trump’s corrupt approach to Ukraine, he got Rudy Giuliani to run a “shadow foreign policy” on his behalf.

In other words: There are limits to what can be accomplished by slow-walking an unfit president’s requests. Schiff probably won’t be brought up on treason charges. And Trump probably won’t follow through on his threats to unleash a civil war. But over time, a determined president does tend to make things happen.

Responsible officials made a good-faith effort to stonewall Trump’s Ukraine agenda. But those officials either left office (Bossert, Secretary of Defense James Mattis) or were removed (former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch), and Trump’s plan was put into place. In response, Trump displays no contrition but instead accelerates his lying and inappropriate demands. And the only viable solution is for him to stop being president.


Listen to Today, Explained

The House Intelligence Committee released the whistleblower complaint minutes before Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire began his testimony before Congress.

Looking for a quick way to keep up with the never-ending news cycle? Host Sean Rameswaram will guide you through the most important stories at the end of each day.

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Did Trump Try to Extort the President of Ukraine Into Investigating Joe Biden’s Son?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORKER)

 

Did Trump Try to Extort the President of Ukraine Into Investigating Joe Biden?

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a Trump development to trump them all—or most of them. On Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that a complaint from an anonymous intelligence whistle-blower, which has been the subject of a bitter oversight dispute between the Trump Administration and Congress, centers on a phone call that Trump had on July 25th, with Ukraine’s recently elected President, Volodymyr Zelensky. Many details about this story remain murky, but the implication seems to be that the whistle-blower is alleging that Trump promised to release two hundred and fifty million dollars in stalled aid for Ukraine if Zelensky would launch a corruption investigation into matters involving Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

You might think that sounds too outrageous to be plausible: a President who spent just under two years being investigated for possibly colluding with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election putting the squeeze on another foreign country to interfere in the 2020 race. But hang on a minute. Shortly after the Post’s story dropped, Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has for months been claiming (without any real evidence) that Joe Biden bribed Ukrainian officials to drop a corruption investigation involving his son, went on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show and said, “It is perfectly appropriate for a President to say to a leader of a foreign country, ‘Investigate this bribe, that was paid by a former Vice-President, that our media in America is covering up.’ ”

For the past few days, reporters have been trying to get more details about the whistle-blower’s complaint. Joseph Maguire, the acting director of National Intelligence, has ordered the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community not to pass it along to Congress, a decision that he says was based on legal advice from the Justice Department. The Administration’s refusal to cooperate has caused a mighty row with the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Adam Schiff, Democrat of California. Of course, the Trump Administration and the Democrats on Capitol Hill are involved in many disputes arising from congressional investigations into Trump and his associates. But until now none of them have involved the suggestion that Trump may have exerted pressure on a foreign leader to take actions to help his 2020 reelection bid, and may have even pledged something in return.

Even before this latest revelation, however, Trump’s conversation with Zelensky, a former comedian and screenwriter who was elected President of Ukraine in April, had attracted the attention of congressional Democrats, who were investigating what Trump and Giuliani were up to on the Kiev front. In August, reports emerged that Trump was threatening to withhold two hundred and fifty million dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine, which was supposed to be used to deter Russian aggression in the east of the country.

On September 9th, the leaders of three Democrat-controlled House committees demanded the transcript and a list of participants on the July 25th call. The Democrats said that Giuliani and Trump “appear to have acted outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels.” The Democrats also referred to a Ukrainian government readout from the July 25th call, which said that Trump told Zelensky he was “convinced the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve [the] image of Ukraine, [and] complete [the] investigation of corruption cases, which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”

At that stage, there was no suggestion of a link to a whistle-blower. But on Wednesday night the Washington Post reported that the whistle-blower’s complaint “involves President Trump’s communications with a foreign leader, according to two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.” The report went on, “Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a ‘promise’ that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the former officials.”

This Post story led to a lot of speculation about the identity of the foreign leader. The whistle-blower filed the complaint on August 12th. During the previous few weeks, Trump had spoken with a number of foreign leaders in addition to Zelensky. They included Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Pakistan’s Imran Khan, Holland’s Mark Rutte, and the Emir of Kuwait. The fact that Putin’s name was on the list produced a lot of excitement online, but no new details.

On Wednesday morning Trump weighed in, writing on Twitter, “Another Fake News story out there – It never ends! Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. No problem!” In a second tweet, he went on, writing, “Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially ‘heavily populated’ call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!”

VIDEO FROM THE NEW YORKER

Translating the Meaning of Presidential-Campaign Songs

The tweets didn’t solve the mystery of who the foreign leader was. But at about 8 p.m. on Thursday evening, the Post appeared to clarify the matter, posting its story under the headline “Whistleblower complaint about Trump involves Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter.” The report didn’t say explicitly that the complaint concerned the call between Trump and Zelensky, but it did note that the call took place just two and a half weeks before the whistle-blower made the filing.

As the rest of the media was trying to digest this news, Giuliani appeared on CNN and, almost immediately, went off a cliff. In addition to claiming that it would be fine for Trump to pressure Zelensky and his government to investigate Biden, he admitted that he’d already done so himself, and also managed to contradict his story in the process. The first time that Cuomo questioned Giuliani about whether he had asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, he replied, “No, actually, I didn’t.” But then he went on to say he had inquired how a certain Ukrainian official had ended the corruption investigation that allegedly involved Hunter Biden. “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?” Cuomo asked. “Of course I did,” Giuliani replied.

Although he defended Trump’s right to pressure the Ukrainian President to investigate Biden, Giuliani also insisted that he didn’t know anything about the conversation between Trump and Zelensky. Crazy as all of this undoubtedly was, the former New York mayor’s appearance was something of a sideshow. The crux of the matter is his client, and whether he attempted, effectively, to extort Zelensky into trying to find dirt on Biden. As they say in the news business, this story is still developing. The next step, surely, is for Congress to get access to the whistle-blower’s complaint. Only then will we find out what it amounts to.

From the hospital, Bolsonaro calls Macron a liar again

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZILIAN NEWS AGENCY 247)

(Isn’t it amazing how a person who is known for being an habitual liar like Bolsonaro or Trump has the gall to call another person a liar!) 

From the hospital, Bolsonaro calls Macron a liar again

“Trump was the decisive person to contain Mr Macron in a corner, who was campaigning against Brazil over fake news, a lie. Those burnings unfortunately happen, but not by the proportion reported by the European press,” Bolsonaro said in an interview. this Monday to Record TV before leaving the hospital

247 – “Trump was the decisive one to hold you Macron in a corner, who was making a campaign against Brazil over a fake news, lie Those fires unfortunately occur, but not by the proportion released by the European press.” – said Bolsonaro in an interview this Monday with TV Record, before leaving the hospital.

The statements were made by Jair Bolsonaro announcing that he will make at the opening of the UN General Assembly an unusual “conciliatory” speech, reports The Globe . Bolsonaro fears that protests by heads of state will be held against his arrogant, rude, and extreme stances against the environment and indigenous peoples. During Monday, the federal government received signals that heads of state could even withdraw from the UN plenary when Bolsonaro spoke.

Bolsonaro said he would attend the UN next day and insisted on compliments to Trump, who he said restrained French President Emmanuel Macron.

The occupant of Planalto Palace again defended his son Eduardo’s appointment as ambassador to the United States, despite his lack of commitment to diplomatic activity. “If he is not my son, he will be someone’s son. A person who has freedom with President Doanld Trump’s family, so much so that a week ago he went to the United States and was received by President Donalt Trump. No one has ever known that. And the problem we had is solved – he said, referring to the burnings “.

TRF-4 accepts Lula’s request and orders PF to explain visit restrictions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 247 NEWS)

 

TRF-4 accepts Lula’s request and orders PF to explain visit restrictions

Appeal filed by the defense of former President Lula was accepted by the TRF-4 and the Federal Public Prosecutor and the Federal Police have 48 hours to explain the restrictions imposed on visiting lawyers.

Conjur – The federal court partly accepted former President Lula’s request, given the new visiting rules for his lawyers. Nivaldo Brunoni, summoned judge of the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region, ordered the Federal Public Prosecutor to provide the requested information within 48 hours. 

Until recently, Lula could meet with his lawyers daily from 9 am to 11:30 am in the morning, and from 2 pm to 5:30 pm in the afternoon, from Monday to Friday. But an internal Federal Police rule decreased contact to one hour a day. 

Lula’s defense, made by lawyers Cristiano Zanin and Valeska Teixeira, from Teixeira e Martins, called for the old scheme to be reinstated. However, the process is stalled, as the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office requested a list of all Lula’s visitors in order to make an opinion. 

The attorneys filed an HC in the TRF-4 and the summoned judge then ordered the Federal Police to give the MPF the list within 48 hours. 

“I defend the injunction to order that the court of First Instance give impetus to the case within 48 hours, in order to urge the police authority to provide the information required by the Federal Prosecutor to later decide as it sees fit,” he said. the judge in the decision.

Lula writes to Felipe Santa Cruz: Brazil does not deserve Bolsonaro’s hatred

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 247 NEWS)

 

Lula writes to Felipe Santa Cruz: Brazil does not deserve Bolsonaro’s hatred

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wrote, from his cell in Curitiba, a letter to OAB President Felipe Santa Cruz, a letter, on the morning of Tuesday; “Nothing can repair the sacrifice of your father, my dear Philip, nor the brutal offense that once again victimized him”; In the text, Lula states that “Brazil does not deserve to hear the words of hatred” by Bolsonaro

(Photo: Ricardo Stuckert and disclosure)

247 – Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva wrote from his cell in Curitiba, a letter to President ds OAB, Felipe Santa Cruz, one letter on the morning of Tuesday; “Nothing can repair the sacrifice of your father, my dear Philip, nor the brutal offense that once again victimized him”; In the text, Lula states that “Brazil does not deserve to hear the words of hatred” by Bolsonaro.

Felipe Santa Cruz is the son of Fernando Santa Cruz, a member of the Popular Action (AP) group who disappeared during the military dictatorship and was assassinated by the Armed Forces in 1974, as attested in a secret Aeronautics document ( here ). Father and son have been the target of brutal attacks by Bolsonaro.

Lula’s letter, in an emotional tone, comes out in defense of Felipe, Fernando and all the people persecuted by the dictatorship: “It is as if they raped their father once again, and with him all the victims of the dictatorship.”

Read the full letter:

Letter from Lula to Felipe Santa Cruz, President of the Brazilian Bar Association

Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro’s monstrous statement opens up real possibility of impeachment

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZIL 247 NEWS)

 

Jair Bolsonaro’s monstrous statement opens up real possibility of impeachment

Jair Bolsonaro’s attack on student Fernando Santa Cruz, kidnapped, arrested and killed by the Military Dictatorship, led to the repudiation of various institutions, and left and right-wing political party leaders such as Dilma Rousseff, Fernando Haddad, Guilherme Boulos, João Doria and Marina Silva; Bolsonaro managed to unite the whole democratic field in revulsion to his psychopathy

247 – The statement by Jair Bolsonaro on Monday, 29, extolling the assassination of militant Fernando Santa Cruz, father of OAB President Felipe Santa Cruz, during the Military Dictatorship, managed to rally the repudiation of various institutions, parties and political leaders. from various political fields, from left to right. 

“One day, if the president of the OAB wants to know how his father disappeared in the military, I’ll tell him. He won’t want to hear the truth. I tell him. It’s not my version. It’s just that my experience made me to reach the conclusions at that moment. His father was part of the Popular Action, the most bloodthirsty and violent group of the guerrillas from Pernambuco and disappeared in Rio de Janeiro, “said Bolsonaro (Read more in Brazil 247 ). 

This statement by Bolsonaro was repudiated throughout the day. Former President Dilma Rousseff stated that “only in fascist regimes does the president threaten to arrest and boast of the murders” ( read more ). Former mayor Fernando Haddad saw in the speech a risk to the president himself of the OAB. “I see that as a threat,” said Haddad ( read here ). 

From the left, also MTST leader Guilherme Boulos coined the attack from Bolsonaro. “Bolsonaro is a nasty cynic. If you know how Fernando Santa Cruz disappeared after being arrested by the dictatorship, he should tell Brazil. We want to know,” Boulos said. 

On the right was also repudiation of Bolsonaro’s speech. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria (PSDB) called the attack “unacceptable” ( read here ). And jurist Miguel Reale Junior said that “it is not a case of impeachment, but of interdiction”

Former Minister Marina Silva also condemned the aggression of Jair Bolsonaro. “It’s outrageous! After attacking the free press, it undermines advocacy, another pillar of democracy,” said Marina (read in Brazil 247 ).

Jair Bolsonaro’s assault on the president of the OAB seems to have alerted the Brazilian political system that Brazil could move towards an open dictatorship if nothing is done against the far-right captain. 

Defended on Monday by PT leader Paulo Pimenta, a request for impeachment against Bolsonaro is starting to gain momentum in Congress and may, for the first time since redemocratization put political actors on the left and right, committed to defending democracy and freedoms of the rule of law. 

Baltimore: Trump tweets ‘no human being would want to live there’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I FIND HYPOCRITICAL ABOUT OUR COWARD IN CHIEF IS WHEN HE TALKS TRASH ABOUT BALTIMORE IS THE VERY WELL KNOWN FACT THAT FOR MANY DECADES NOW THE CITY OF NEW YORK THAT HE SEEMS TO LOVE SO MUCH HAS MANY MORE RATS THAN IT DOES HUMAN BEINGS. THIS IS WITHOUT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE TWO LEGGED RAT PACK ALSO KNOWN AS THE TRUMP FAMILY TREE WHICH IS ROTTED THROUGH ITS ROOTS.)oped: oldpoet56)

 

Baltimore stands up for its city after Trump tweets ‘no human being would want to live there’

(CNN)Baltimore did not take President Donald Trump’s recent attack of the city lying down. Instead, Charm City was quick to stand up and fight back.

Trump lashed out at another prominent African American lawmaker on Saturday, tweeting that his Baltimore district is a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
The President’s tirade was directed at House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the House and recently lambasted conditions at the border. Trump’s attack against Cummings was the latest verbal assault against a minority member of Congress who is a frequent critic of the President.
The President suggested that conditions in Cummings’ district, which is majority black and includes parts of Baltimore, are “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than those at the US-Mexico border and called it a “very dangerous & filthy place.”
Cummings, the city’s leaders and residents were quick to defend Baltimore. The Twitter hashtag #wearebaltimore was trending Saturday night, with users posting pictures and comments expressing their pride in the city.
“Mr. President, I go home to my district daily,” Cummings wrote on Twitter Saturday in response. “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
Baltimore’s Mayor Jack Young also took the attack to heart, criticizing Trump for disparaging a “vibrant American City.”
“It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore, and to viciously attack U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero,” Young tweeted.
The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board published a response, highlighting aspects of the city they felt the president left out: the beauty of Inner Harbor, the history of Fort McHenry, the prominence of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the national dependency on the Social Security Administration, which is housed in the city.
“And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average,” the board wrote.
“Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”
Other Democrats came to Baltimore’s defense on Saturday, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, whose national 2020 presidential campaign headquarters is located there.
“Baltimore has become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city,” Harris wrote on Twitter.

‘City of good Americans’

Others called out the city’s character: “There’s a block party today on my southside street. This is a city of good Americans who deserve more than a grifting, hollow and self-absorbed failure of a man as their president,” tweeted author David Simon.
And while they defended their city, some had criticisms for Trump.
“It should be beneath the dignity of the President of the United States, the person who is supposed to be the leader of the free world, to disparage and personally attack a great American city and another great American leader,” Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott told reporters Saturday. “Instead of up upholding his oath of office to put the greater good of all American citizens, no matter where they live and who they voted for above all else, that he decided to do the opposite.”
Many of the elected officials who spoke out praised Cummings, who grew up in Baltimore, for his help in the recent developments the district has undertaken, though they acknowledge there is still more work to do.
“We stand ready and willing to work with the President, if he is willing to go beyond tweets, to help us solve some of the problems that are deep enrooting in Baltimore’s history,” Scott said.

Saudi: Tunisia Bids Farewell to President Essebsi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Tunisia Bids Farewell to Essebsi

Saturday, 27 July, 2019 – 11:45
Military officers carry the coffin of late President Essebsi during his state funeral at the presidential palace in the capital’s eastern suburb of Carthage on July 27, 2019. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Tunisia bid farewell on Saturday to President Beji Caid Essebsi at a state funeral that included French President Emmanuel Macron, Algerian President Abdelkader Ben Saleh, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and King Felipe VI of Spain and thousands of mourners.

Essebsi, who helped guide the North African country’s transition to democracy after the 2011 revolution, died aged 92 on Thursday.

The late president’s coffin, covered with the red and white Tunisian flag, was placed on a military truck in the palace of Carthage, about 10 kilometers from the capital.

Many roads have been closed and security forces deployed in most areas of Tunis and near the Al Jallaz cemetery.

Tunisians lined up the streets leading to the Carthage district, waving flags and chanting the national anthem.

Thousands filled the capital’s Habib Bourguiba Avenue, a focal point of the 2011 revolution that sparked uprisings across the Arab world, known as the Arab Spring.

“It is a sad day for Tunisia,” said a woman named Nabila. “We lost a great statesman who had a big role after 2011 revolution and helped unite Tunisians.”

Hours after Essebsi’s death, parliament speaker Mohamed Ennaceur was sworn in as interim president in line with the constitution in a smooth transition of power. The electoral commission announced a presidential election for September 15, two months earlier than scheduled.

A parliamentary vote is set for October 6.

Essebsi rose to prominence after the overthrow of veteran leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Drafted in as premier after Ben Ali’s fall, Essebsi in 2012 founded the secular Nidaa Tounes party, now part of the governing coalition. Two years later, Essebsi became Tunisia’s first freely elected head of state.

President Truman’s military desegregation order

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS BRIEF)

 

Like Truman’s military desegregation order, leadership against racism starts at the top

John R. Allen

Inspiration around issues of race and civility in America is in short supply. Racist, xenophobic language coming from social media platforms to the White House has corroded public discourse and widened the longstanding divides in the body politic. Rather than despair, I prefer to recall a previous commander-in-chief: President Harry S. Truman, who, on July 26, 1948, issued Executive Order 9981 to abolish discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion or national origin” in the U.S. armed forces. This morally courageous act, by a president who served his country as a young artillery officer in World War I, would eventually lead to the desegregation of the American military.

Author

I can only imagine what our honored veterans of President Truman’s era must think of this current moment. Now grown gray from too many wars and the relentless passage of time, these Americans are living examples of what this country can become when we are truly led from the White House, instead of battered by shrill vitriol.Contemporary audiences might be tempted to view EO 9981 as the outcome of logic and advocacy working together to right a historic wrong, and they would be partly right. But President Truman’s actions were highly controversial at the time. Even though over a million Black men and thousands of Black women served in the U.S. military during World War II, in April 1948 then-General Dwight Eisenhower testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that segregation was needed to protect unit cohesion (an action for which he would later express regret). Army Secretary Kenneth Claiborne Royall was forced from office in 1949 after refusing to desegregate the Army.

But Truman’s order launched the modern era of the U.S. armed forces, forging the diversity of my generation of military leaders and immeasurably strengthening American military capacity and cohesion. I use the word “forge” deliberately, as the process of integration—which was not completed until after the Korean War—was an often painful and slow process, full of bureaucratic roadblocks to true inclusion. When I was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1976, the Marines had only been fully integrated for 16 years. As a young enlisted man and then as an officer I saw firsthand the often gut-wrenching impact of racial upheaval in the 1970s and ‘80s. Dealing with near-constant racial tension, service in the military of that day often taxed our commitment and patriotism to the limit. But as difficult as that time was, I am confident it pales with what service members of the post-World War II and Korean War era faced as they struggled to implement President Truman’s desegregation order.

Desegregation of the military was a vital chapter in a proud history of Americans of all colors and creeds serving our nation, fighting enemies whose empires were built on racist principles and racial supremacy. These American heroes fought in segregated units while their families endured racism, segregation, and even internment at home. We should never forget, for example, that German fighter pilots who came up to dispute the skies against American World War II bomber crews were rightfully petrified by the “Red Tails” of the Tuskegee Airmen. Very few American bombers accompanied by a Tuskegee airman escort were lost over Europe. Tuskegee airman and fighter pilot Benjamin O. Davis would become America’s first Black general officer in the United States Air Force.

We should never forget that during the Second World War the 442nd Infantry Regiment (also known as the “Go for Broke” regiment) of Japanese-Americans became the most combat-decorated regiment in U.S. military history (including a young then-Second Lieutenant Daniel Inouye, who lost his arm in Italy and who would eventually receive the Medal of Honor). That record holds today. But too many of the 442nd served while their loved ones languished under desert skies behind the wires of American internment camps. As well, we should never forget the segregated Montford Point Marines or the nearly all-Black crew of the American destroyer escort, the USS Mason.

And not nearly enough Americans fully understand the impact of the nearly 200,000 native-born free and formerly enslaved Blacks who fought for the Union in the American Civil War. It is not a stretch to suggest that without their numbers and this vital infusion of fighting spirit the North may not have prevailed to preserve the Union and destroy once and for all the odious institution of slavery in the United States.

Today the legacy of slavery, America’s original sin, is still alive in the foundations of many of our institutions. That President Truman needed to sign EO 9981 in the first place is a testament to how deeply racism and hate have been embedded in daily American life. As my Brookings colleague Andre Perry has rightly noted, racism in the United States is not a distraction, it is policy. Racism and discrimination are embedded in policies that limit the social and economic mobility of Black communities. Racism is baked into restrictions on voting rights that disproportionally target communities of color. The Trump administration’s moves to scale back programs that protect undocumented family members of active duty troops are racist. And President Trump’s comments about congresswomen of color, and the cowardice of those who excuse or deny the shameful legacy his words invoke, are a reminder that racism can still find purchase even within the most hallowed halls of our democratic institutions.

Racism cannot be defeated unless we confront it and condemn it wherever we see it. But President Truman’s bravery reminds us that American leadership is capable of taking action to rip out systemic racism at its odious roots. Americans deserve leadership that unites us by challenging us to do the hard work of bettering ourselves and, together, overcoming our past. Until that leadership returns, we should be inspired by the example of President Truman and look to ourselves to move forward together.

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