Her question basically boiled down to “hey, are you planning on obstructing justice?” which given his moves is a fair question but did she really expect him to answer, “yes, indeed I am!” Which may have prompted his pause and sigh before unleashing on her “stupid question”…
2. So while he berated her for asking “a stupid question” his response suggests he felt she was insulting *his intelligence* by even posing that question in hopes he’d answer it –“you think I’m that stupid…that you can trap me into answering such a question?”
3. These types of unpolished responses and his generally blunt attacks on reporters delight his base because they believe these typify how the “average man” would’ve responded to such questions - ie “relatable”.
Without stigmatizing veterans and military service, we need research to illuminate the connection between former military service and mass murder. We need to take better care of our veterans, especially at-risk ones struggling with mental and emotional issues and substance abuse.
2. Alcohol and substance abuse is a major predictor of gun violence. Alcohol and gun lobbies and privacy advocates alike will fight this, but smart technology can help limit use of guns and alcohol (a deadly cocktail) to those with mental and emotional issues.
3. In the meantime, expect security services providers to push for more armed security and metal detectors at bars and restaurants – could become the new normal, just like front desk check-in/lobby security became the norm after San Francisco office building shooting in 1993.
1. Has Trump's rhetoric emboldened white nationalists? Did Obama's twin wins embolden racists? Here's how Kellyanne Conway explained why Trump said the reporter's question was "racist": "There’s a difference between nationalism and white nationalism."
2. They're forcing you to ask: Can black people be nationalist? Can Hispanics and Latinos be nationalist? Can Jews and Muslims be nationalist?
Admin's defense is that their brand of nationalism isn't based on race or religion. Of course, critics and skeptics will debate that.
3. To me, the more interesting way to answer this is what do the people who are not white (ie, Jewish, Hispanic, Latino and Black) and who work in the administration feel about Trump's rhetoric and his nationalism? Do they feel it is offensive? Do they believe it is an act?
2. Partly what may have prompted Acosta to hold on to the mic longer was that he felt he got owned by Trump. When his colleagues laughed at Trump's barb about CNN, Acosta may have felt he needed to get in one last jab at Trump so he holds on to the mic to ask about…Russia.
3. Now this is a question Acosta could've pressed Trump on - this news broke two days ago but little follow up coverage in US media: Around 100 migrant caravan members, including children, have been kidnapped by human traffickers, Mexican officials warn. independent.co.uk/news/world/ame…
I’m all for freedom of press but when you continue to cling to the mic to ask more questions, when there are many others waiting to ask questions as well, that’s a bit rude, no? Maybe the White House should keep a list of people they pick to ask questions, like Obama WH used to.
The “red tint” in this video which was shared by @PressSec indicates the “doctoring”: Shame on them for these tactics. It’s also evident that @Acosta refused to yield the mic to other reporters, despite being repeatedly asked, and provoked the tussle.
We’ve all been to seminars or conferences where there’s that one questioner who insists on hogging the question session with loaded statements/questions, which is annoying, could get unruly – and why the Obama and W White Houses used a handpicked list of questioners at pressers.
Suicide rates are higher for veterans. (A recent analysis found a suicide rate among veterans of about 30 per 100,000 population per year, compared with the civilian rate of 14 per 100,000.) Many mass shooters are suicidal. And suicides are rising, especially among men.
2. Absent from public discussion is the fact that the steady rise in suicide is contrasted by a steady decline in homicide in the U.S. These unusual and conflicting patterns have co-existed for a number of years. There are now nearly three suicides for every murder committed.
3. The only category of homicide that has been increasing over the last ten years is mass murder, specifically mass public shootings, which includes events such as the Virginia Tech college campus massacre in 2007 and the 2017 Las Vegas music concert shooting.
Trump feeds off the chaos and the reporters’ unruliness – his base loves it when he upbraids the “media elites” while slipping in his talking points about “fake news”. Meanwhile, reporters too get to fill a news cycle with the latest Trump tantrum. Clicks = $$ for them.
2. Here's a longer video of that heated exchange between Trump and Acosta yesterday. Note how Acosta starts of saying he wants to "challenge" Trump and then when Trump offers a point by point rebuttal of Acosta's various "challenges" Acosta continues to hog the microphone.
3. Now, you could argue about the substance of Trump's rebuttals to Acosta's challenges, but you can't say Acosta's questions weren't answered and that he should've been given more time to ask questions when many others were waiting to ask questions too.
I've been sounding caution against a blue wave/tsunami for months - a blue ripple isn't exactly a terrible night for Democrats, but they'd be disappointed in not converting the ripples in Texas (O'Rourke) and Florida (Gillum), two states they have to figure out before 2020.
A “blue tsunami” may not have materialized but a “pink wave” and a “green wave” certainly did. A record number of women (89) have already been elected to the House, with some districts still to be counted. The total spend reached more than $5.2 billion, a new midterm record.
The macro story: Voters wanted a check on Trump, and preexisting conditions protected, so they gave the House to the Democrats; but they weren’t willing to trust Democrats with the keys to the Senate - perhaps Mueller probe, Kavanaugh hearing gave them pause.
1. With his ad barrage and at rallies, Trump is fully milking the timing of the “migrant caravan” - a forceful (if wrong) response to dynamic events has been key to his rise - the issue of border security once again could become the thing that causes Democratic losses in 2018.
2. While Democrats have held a large –39 points – lead on healthcare among those who rank healthcare as one of the single most important issues, for those who say border security is one of their top issues, Republicans lead Democrats by 42 points on the House vote.
3. While Trump has blamed a Democratic conspiracy for the “migrant caravan,” the caravan’s timing has been wonderful for Trump who has swiftly managed to make the last few days all about border security, rallying his base, shifting the media’s focus off healthcare and trade wars.
10 years ago tonight, the moment CNN declared Obama the next President of the United States.
I was across the street from the White House, at my office's election watch party. We raced to Lafayette Park on the north side of the White House, just as the crowds began to pour in.
2. Lafayette Park filled up quickly with infectious huggers. An Australian thrust his hand at me. "Congrats, mate!"
Many tarried in the park, with strangers that had become fast friends, cheering and chanting, even after the White House went dark.
There was a new light.
3. Not too far from the chanting crowds, a group of Republican strategists held an emergency session: This coup de foudre between the public and Obama had to end after the briskest, most penurious of honeymoons, it was decided. Obama should be a one-term President, if that.
2. Beyond US high tech and military, Saudi money has been a boon to US manufacturing and construction. US companies are eager to tap into the $100 billion new housing program that will create 1 million homes, boosting Saudi home ownership from 47% to 70%. reuters.com/article/us-sau…
3. Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) awarded a multi-billion dollar license to Chicago-based Global Business Ventures to build 25,000 housing units for mixed-use residential development in Riyadh. @USChamber is pushing for more such deals. arabianbusiness.com/construction/3…
Trump’s fiction works today because the military has been used effectively by past administrations for political purposes: Invasions to topple regimes based on evidence of a phantom menace, drone strikes to execute people, extrajudicially, with no evidence presented to public.
2. Trump won thanks to Hollywood, shows like 24 and Homeland programming people - young and old alike - into fearing Arabs and Muslims - Trump’s rhetoric works partly because such TV shows have convinced people all Middle Easterners are not to be trusted. vox.com/videos/2017/2/…
3. Cleverly, Trump has tapped into the sentiment at the intersection of “we should support our military at all costs” and “we should use our military to defend the homeland first & foremost”…
We rarely discuss the future of such kids - what happens when/if they grow up after spending their development years severely malnourished? How will they cope with learning disabilities or health problems? Will they find normal jobs? We’re talking about millions of children here.
2. If these kids are not getting education and proper nutrition now, and develop learning disabilities or find trouble getting jobs in adulthood (if they survive), will they be more susceptible to conspiracy theories and recruitment by extremist groups?
3. Whipped up into a frenzy against immigrants, a man in the most advanced nation on the planet - a country boasting the world’s top universities - nevertheless shot up a synagogue. How will these kids be exploited? By food? Cajoled into taking up arms?
1. A quick primer on why the US is involved in Yemen: US began supporting the Saudi-led coalition through a decision by Obama, who cited the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to justify US involvement.
2. US goal by arming Saudis is to restore the government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi who was elected in a one-man race in 2012. Hadi remained in power long after the expiration of his mandate and was forced to resign by the Houthis in 2015, who subsequently placed Hadi under arrest.
3. Houthis belong to Zaidi branch of Islam. Led by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, the group emerged as opposition to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, whom they charged with massive financial corruption and yielding Yemen's sovereignty to Saudi Arabia and the US.
The poorest nation in the Middle East, Yemen has witnessed the collapse of its health system because of the ongoing conflict. 2.2 million children are acutely malnourished – 462,000 kids are severe acutely malnourished – almost a three-fold rise over 2014 levels, per @UNICEF
Yemen has the most guns per capita in the world and also the most mass shootings. Yemen civil war is sustained by its gun culture, well-armed militia rebels, foreshadowing what could happen in US should a civil war break out here, a country with >300 million guns in circulation.
Just as the case against Harvey Weinstein was fraying (two experienced prosecutors assigned to the case resigned; a detective failed to turn over important evidence; a judge dismissed part of the indictment; evidence has emerged undermining the allegation of an accuser)…
2. NY DA Vance is under fire for not bringing charges against Weinstein following allegations by Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. Weinstein's lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, was a former partner of Vance’s and a big contributor to the DA's campaign. nytimes.com/2018/10/29/nyr…
3. In 2012, Vance dropped a case against Ivanka and Don Trump Jr that could've resulted in criminal indictment, after Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz donated to Vance's campaign. After the case was dropped Kasowitz donated an even bigger amount to Vance. newyorker.com/news/news-desk…
New lawsuit accuses Trump and kids of enticing people into investing in sham biz opportunities run by multilevel marketing (MLM/pyramid scheme) company, ACN.
Trump endorsed ACN in exchange for millions of dollars despite telling investors his endorsement was "not for any money,"
2. When confronted on the campaign trail about his boosting of ACN, Trump resorted to the house deflection: "I do not know the company. I know nothing about the company other than the people who run the company. I'm not familiar with what they do or how they go about doing that."
3. Trump is facing at least 75 lawsuits (unclear how many are still open). For all practical purposes, this lawsuit could be settled just like the Trump University one was, shortly after he won the 2016 election.
"Report" of Saudi use of chemical weapons in Yemen came from a British tabloid so I would not consider it credible. It's possible however that both UK and US intelligence knew of Saudi plot to kill Khashoggi and factions within these agencies both supported and opposed the move.
2. US and UK intelligence has long been in lockstep with Saudi intelligence, funding jihadis and Islamic militants in the 80s, through Iraq wars, and now Syria and Yemen Wars. It's unlikely that Saudis kept US and UK in the dark re Khashoggi, or vice versa.
3. We assume that intelligence agencies and White House teams are one big united, happy family - that's not the case. Eventually, a Snowden-like whistleblower seeking to sell a tell-all book or out of "patriotic duty" could reveal what US really knew about the Khashoggi murder.
Extra-judicial killings of people of color (drone strikes that kill innocent people, for example) without due process are modern lynchings, it has been argued (books.google.com/books?id=ET1KD…) - we’ve processed thousands of those, away from public scrutiny.
2. Drone strikes have been sold on the claim that they’re ‘precise’…but result in the deaths of 28 unknown people, including women and children, for every ‘bad guy’ targeted. Some 24 men targeted in Pakistan resulted in the death of **874 people**. amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/n…
Saudis are unlikely to extradite any "suspects" in Khashoggi murder to Turkey, and US will back this. Imagine if Pakistan sought extradition of US officials responsible for drone strikes that "accidentally" killed 850 people beyond the intended targets. cnn.com/2018/10/27/mid…
Researchers have found that the overwhelming majority of people who commit mass shootings are suicidal at time of attacks: They fully intend to die, either by a self-inflicted gunshot wound or a shootout with police. Armed security wouldn’t be a deterrent. washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2…
2. Smart guns that can only be fired by the legal owner or authorized user, but not in certain locations - schools, places of worship, shopping malls, workplaces - could solve this. For this to work, non-smart guns would need to be removed from circulation.
3. Best way to get non-smart guns out of circulation is to pass a law banning production of such weapons (and ammunition). Citizens will eventually adopt a smart gun to defend their home or business if they are assured that the technology can reliably protect them.
Trump recently cut off US funding to UN agency (UNRWA) that aids Palestinian refugees, a move designed to inflame tensions, and serve as justification to ship arms to Israel. Days after cutting off Palestinian funding, Senate approved a $38 billion military aid package to Israel.
2. “An immediate and capricious cut off of UNRWA funding … risks collapsing the Palestinian Authority, empowering Hamas, and shifting the responsibility of health, education, and ultimately security services to the Israelis.” - Dave Harden, former USAID official.
3. Of course, cutting off Palestinian funding and triggering a shift of power to Hamas and the hardliners helps US sell more weapons to the region. The Middle East already accounts for 50% of all US arms exports, and military spending has been key driver of US economic growth.
Trump is the first POTUS to publicly acknowledge what no POTUS has dared to admit publicly: US economy relies on Saudi oil, weapons spending and investments in our companies. US officials will tsk-tsk at "human rights abuses" but our capitalists won't turn away Saudi money.
2. Silicon Valley runs on Saudi money, which has poured billions into startups like Slack (Kushner fam also invested), WeWork, MagicLeap, Wag, Doordash…qz.com/1426370/silico…
3. Also, the world saw us not punish a single high-ranking official for disappearing, torturing, or killing thousands of people without due process over the last 17 years, so no one buys that this now is a "fundamental reorganization of American ideals"
Possibly also a keeper of pre- and post-9/11 secrets and other secrets involving Iran, Syria, Israel, Turkey. He was embraced by US journalists, started contributing to Washington Post, which may have enlarged the target on his back. (US has journalists on drone "hit lists").
2. Key thing to uncover is did the US (White House or CIA) outsource Khashoggi's hit to Saudis and the Saudi intelligence chief and others were made to take the fall - if Congress doesn't investigate Khashoggi killing, that's a tell that US intelligence was involved in this mess.
3. Worth recalling another death on US soil, that of founder of Kremlin-backed news channel, Russia Today (RT), Lesin, in DC. Steele (of dossier fame) claims the 2015 death of Lesin was the result of a deadly beating by Russian state security officers. businessinsider.com/christopher-st…