Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing off

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jserraglio
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Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing off

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:13 am

Washington Post
Analysis: Denials by Cotton and Perdue of profane Trump comment encapsulate why people distrust politicians
By James Hohmann
January 16
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pow ... 4ab99e2389

THE BIG IDEA:
Credibility is like virginity. You only get to lose it once.

After Dick Durbin said Friday that President Trump had complained about the United States taking immigrants from “shithole countries,” two Republican senators who attended the meeting took issue with their Democratic colleague.

“[W]e do not recall the president saying these comments specifically,” David Perdue (Ga.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) said in a joint statement that read like it was drafted by a lawyer.

By Sunday morning, their memories had cleared up. “I am telling you that he did not use that word. And I’m telling you it’s a gross misrepresentation,” Perdue said indignantly on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I didn’t hear it, and I was sitting no further away from Donald Trump than Dick Durbin was,” Cotton said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

They didn’t stop there. Both men then impugned the Illinois senator’s integrity by alleging he has a history of making stuff up.

Now we know the real story: “Three White House officials said Perdue and Cotton told the White House that they heard ‘shithouse’ rather than ‘shithole,’ allowing them to deny the president’s comments on television over the weekend,” according to Josh Dawsey, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker.

The reporters interviewed more than a dozen administration officials, Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers about what transpired in the Oval Office: “Trump was not particularly upset by the coverage of the meeting and his vulgarity after it was first reported by The Washington Post, calling friends and asking how they expected it to play with his political supporters, aides said. ‘Everyone was saying it would help with the base,’ which would agree with his characterization, one person who spoke with the president said. … There was little effort to significantly push back on the story that night because aides knew that Trump had said it and that the president wasn’t even too upset, according to people involved in the talks.”

Cotton and Perdue, who declined to comment for the story, have put other Republicans who were at the meeting in a tough spot. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Friday that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told him media reports of what Trump said were “basically accurate.” The senator even told Trump during last week’s meeting that he should use different language to discuss immigration, per Josh, Robert and Ashley. “After Graham left, he told associates that he was disturbed by what he heard in the Oval Office, according to people who spoke with him.”

In an interview yesterday with the Charleston Post and Courier, the senator declined to confirm whether Trump specifically used the term “shithole.” But he didn’t challenge Scott’s claim. In what appeared to be a jab at Cotton and Perdue, Graham told the paper: “My memory hasn’t evolved. I know what was said and I know what I said.”

-- Cotton and Perdue will be defined by this moment, in part, because other senators will remember their attacks on Durbin. This will make them less trustworthy as potential partners and thus less effective as members of Congress.

“Colleagues on both sides of the aisle should keep these two Republican senators’ rampant, flippant dishonesty in mind going forward,” argues conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin. “Should either come before the Senate for a confirmable position, the Senate should reject the nomination. If they lied about this, they’d lie about anything. ”

“ Trump’s remark was an important symbolic low-point of his presidency ,” writes The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky. “The outrages are so numerous that we can’t always know which ones will make the history books. We can be certain that this one will. A moment of national humiliation and disgrace. Cotton and Perdue have chosen to go out of their way to align themselves with this humiliation. ”

-- This is not the first time that Trump has undercut people who have tried to cover for him. Remember all the White House aides, including Vice President Pence, who said that Trump firing James Comey had nothing to do with the FBI’s Russia investigation. Then the president admitted to NBC the very next day that Russia was on his mind, and he’d already decided to fire the director “regardless” of the recommendation he received from Rod Rosenstein.

Last spring, The Post reported that Trump had shared highly sensitive information with the Russians. H.R. McMaster and Dina Powell were trotted out to deny the story. Then the next morning, Trump admitted that it was true on Twitter.

There are many more examples, with Trump contradicting his aides on everything from whether he discussed sanctions with Vladimir Putin to how many times he’s spoken with Steve Bannon since he left the White House.

-- Happening today: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was at the meeting, will testify during a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing. She’ll almost certainly be asked to give an account of what happened.

Nielsen was asked about the “shithole” quote on “Fox News Sunday”: “I don’t recall him saying that exact phrase,” she said. Host Chris Wallace pushed back. “It is pretty shocking language, and to say, ‘I don’t recall,’ seems implausible,” he said. “I understand the question,” Nielsen replied. “It was an impassioned conversation. I don’t recall that specific phrase being used. That’s all I can say about that.”

Durbin is a member of the committee, and Nielsen will be under oath.

-- Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is also a member of the Judiciary Committee, plans to lament Trump’s tenuous relationship with the truth during a floor speech on Wednesday:

“2017 was a year which saw the truth – objective, empirical, evidence-based truth – more battered and abused than any other in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government,” the retiring senator will say, according to advance excerpts shared by his office. “It was a year which saw the White House enshrine ‘alternative facts’ into the American lexicon, as justification for what used to be known simply as good old-fashioned falsehoods,” he will add. “It was the year in which an unrelenting daily assault on the constitutionally-protected free press was launched by that same White House, an assault that is as unprecedented as it is unwarranted. ‘The enemy of the people’ was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017.

“It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase ‘enemy of the people,’ that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of ‘annihilating such individuals’ who disagreed with the supreme leader.

“ This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially for those of us in the president’s party. For they are shameful, repulsive statements. And, of course, the president has it precisely backward – despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.

“I dare say that anyone who has the privilege and awesome responsibility to serve in this chamber knows that these reflexive slurs of ‘fake news’ are dubious, at best,” he will conclude.

SHUTDOWN WATCH:
-- The bad blood from the brouhaha has complicated negotiations to keep the government open past the midnight deadline on Friday.

-- “ Chances of a government shutdown grew Monday as Republicans concluded that they would be unable to reach a long-term spending accord by the Friday deadline ,” Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe and Sean Sullivan report. “GOP leaders are now turning to a short-term funding measure in hopes of keeping agencies open while talks continue, but Democratic leaders say they are unlikely to support any deal that does not protect young illegal immigrants …

“ Aides to key negotiators from both parties planned to meet Tuesday in an effort to rekindle budget talks , setting up a Wednesday meeting of the leaders themselves. If they cannot agree, the government would shut down at midnight Friday for the first time since 2013. House Republican leaders are scheduled to discuss their plans for a stopgap spending measure with rank-and-file lawmakers Tuesday evening.

“ One option Republicans are strongly considering to win over Democrats, according to two aides familiar with the GOP’s planning, is attaching a long-term renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program to the stopgap. Republicans believe that many Democrats — especially senators seeking reelection this year — will have a tough time voting against the program, which they have called a top priority.

“ GOP aides believe that the group of four deputy leaders from both chambers — the ‘No. 2’s,’ as they are being called on Capitol Hill, including Durbin, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) — is more likely to produce a workable immigration accord , which would then unlock an agreement on spending levels and other outstanding issues. ‘At the end of the day, if something’s going to be produced that can pass both chambers and get signed by the president, it’s going to come from this group,’ said a Republican familiar with the talks but not authorized to comment on them publicly.”

-- Cotton thinks a government shutdown over immigration could help Republicans pick up Senate seats in red states this fall:

MORE FALLOUT:
-- A Prince George’s County pastor denounced Trump’s remarks as “hurtful” and “dehumanizing” during a Sunday church service attended by Mike Pence and his wife. WUSA’s Chelsea Cirruzzo reports: “’I stand today as your Pastor to vehemently denounce and reject any such characterizations of the nations of Africa and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti,’ said Pastor Dr. Maurice Watson[.] In his speech, the pastor mentioned that some congregation members were from Haiti and African countries … [and] went on to call for the president to be held accountable for his words.” Pence reportedly became “visibly red-faced” at times during the pastor’s remarks.

-- Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) said she will boycott Trump’s State of the Union address, citing his “racist and incendiary remarks” about Haiti and African nations. “I have no doubt that instead of delivering a message of inclusivity and an agenda that benefits all Americans, [Trump’s] address will be full of innuendo, empty promises, and lies,” she said in a statement. Several other Democrats, including Maxine Waters (Calif.), John Lewis (Ga.) and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), have already said they will not attend the speech. (Tampa Bay Times)

-- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) explained her decision to skip the State of the Union:
ANNOUNCEMENT: With all the racism coming from the White House, I will NOT be attending @realDonaldTrump's State of the Union.Instead, we'll focus on the State of OUR Union, our opposition to his agenda, and we will lift up a progressive and inclusive vision of our country. pic.twitter.com/dcAWMIkZZV

lennygoran
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Re: Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:45 pm

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:13 am
Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing off
I'm not calling anything off until I hear what Bannon tells Mueller! Regards, Len :lol:

Belle
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Re: Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing

Post by Belle » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:33 am

I just found this comment under an article in an online political journal and I think it makes sense: I've lifted it verbatim.

"Trump’s statements are unacceptable for a president of a nation. He should behave according to the dignity of his office. But we live in a world of constant vile swearing on TV, sexualised Childrens' programmes, graphic violence in most films. This is a world where *** hats are used as statements of virtue, with nude people at gay parades, with vile rap lyrics and topless feminists using their breasts as political statements. This is a world with Clinton and Lewinsky, with Michelle Obama doing a photo shoot with a transsexual. This is the era of open online and school talk about the most private aspects of a person’s life. The HMS Dignity sailed a long time ago from Western shores. Trump is just a man of his time."

Ricordanza
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Re: Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing

Post by Ricordanza » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:23 am

Belle wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:33 am
I just found this comment under an article in an online political journal and I think it makes sense.
It makes sense if the essence of the matter is Trump's vulgarity. But that's only one aspect of the story. The bigger problem for me is that Trump used vulgarity to express his preference for white immigrants over black and brown immigrants.

Trump's recent statement, "I'm not a racist," is reminiscent of Nixon's statement, "I'm not a crook." In both cases, the statement would be unnecessary if the accusation had no merit.

lennygoran
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Re: Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing

Post by lennygoran » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:17 am

Belle wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:33 am
Trump is just a man of his time."
He sure doesn't fit my definition of a man of his time-he's a racist lying corrupt Joe McCathy type bully. Regards, Len

jserraglio
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Re: Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:39 pm

Ricordanza wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:23 am
Trump's recent statement, "I'm not a racist," is reminiscent of . . .
http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/29/entertain ... index.html
Last edited by jserraglio on Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Belle
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Re: Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing

Post by Belle » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:49 pm

Ricordanza wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:23 am
Belle wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:33 am
I just found this comment under an article in an online political journal and I think it makes sense.
It makes sense if the essence of the matter is Trump's vulgarity. But that's only one aspect of the story. The bigger problem for me is that Trump used vulgarity to express his preference for white immigrants over black and brown immigrants.

Trump's recent statement, "I'm not a racist," is reminiscent of Nixon's statement, "I'm not a crook." In both cases, the statement would be unnecessary if the accusation had no merit.
As he's not my President I'm much more interested in the wider culture and its malaise which spawns such individuals rather than the man himself and his policies. And there's no denying the validity of the comments I posted in terms of the society. It isn't limited to the USA either, I hasten to add. Everything is amplified 1000 times over with our electronic age. I find myself putting my hands over my ears more and more.

jserraglio
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Re: Things have come to a pretty pass: Durbin says 'sh**hole', Cotton/Perdue say 'sh**house'. Let's call the whole thing

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:02 am

Belle wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:49 pm
... there's no denying the validity of the comments I posted in terms of the society.
Donald is not my president either but I do take exception to some of the generalizations and innuendo in the quoted comments.
we live in a world of constant vile swearing on TV, sexualised Childrens' programmes, graphic violence in most films. This is a world where *** hats are used as statements of virtue, with nude people at gay parades, with vile rap lyrics and topless feminists using their breasts as political statements. This is a world with Clinton and Lewinsky, with Michelle Obama doing a photo shoot with a transsexual.

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