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Negative President with Low Approval Attacks ‘Fake News Media’ for Negative Stories and Low Approval

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“#MAGA”

Donald Trump returned to Twitter on Sunday to once again attack the free press. This time, for being negative and having a low approval rating.

“So many positive things going on for the U.S.A. and the Fake News Media just doesn’t want to go there,” Trump wrote. “Same negative stories over and over again! No wonder the People no longer trust the media, whose approval ratings are correctly at their lowest levels in history!    #MAGA”

Trump is, of course, notoriously negative. Just yesterday, he blamed Democrats for one of his own decisions.  He then dismissed the bravery of victims of abuse as “mere allegations” and called for “due process” for their alleged abusers, two White House officials who resigned this week.

Later, he shared the view that he’s been victimized by the Obama administration. And that’s to say nothing of the years and years’ worth of attacks on anyone that disagrees with him, no matter how trivial.

The decision to attack the approval rating of the media is an odd one as well, given the president’s historically low approval ratings. As TIME has reported:

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has ping-ponged between a low of 35% and a high of 45% during his first year in office — the worst record of any of the most recent seven presidents, according to Gallup.

According to the top poll tracking site RealClearPolitics latest numbers, Trump currently carries a 53.9% disapproval rating. According to FiveThirtyEight’s latest calculation, he carries a 53.6% disapproval rating. Furthermore, last week’s Gallup poll currently shows Trump’s job approval at 40%.

Clearly, the president is projecting.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

DOJ Unveils Proposal That Would Make It Harder for Twitter and Facebook to Block Trump’s Dangerous Posts

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice has released a draft of its proposal to change federal law, making it harder – and possibly illegal – for tech companies and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to remove, delete, or otherwise block or interfere with content it deems dangerous or objectionable.

President Donald Trump for years has falsely claimed tech giants are censoring conservatives and giving preferential treatment to liberals. Recently, Twitter and even Facebook have appended warning or information labels to some of his more dangerous posts, and in rare cases removed them – as they have done for years to other users.

Attorney General Barr has been working to alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites and their owners from liability over content they host – such as readers’ comments – and allows them to make decisions as to what they remove or block based on what those sites and platforms consider objectionable.

Calling Barr’s draft “a rare, legislative proposal,” The Washington Post reports were it to become law, it would allow the federal government to “police” website owners and tech companies’ actions.

“For years, President Trump and other top Republicans have attacked tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter for censoring conservatives online, something the U.S. government now may have the ability to police if the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law.”

For example, yesterday nine of the top 10 posts on Facebook were from Republicans or far right conservatives.

“The White House,” the Washington Post continues, “has offered little proof for its claims, and tech companies strongly deny them — while Democratic lawmakers contend the administration should focus instead on hate speech, extremism and election disinformation that spreads virally on the Internet.”

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Barr to Be Honored for ‘Christlike Behavior’ Today With Award From Right Wing Catholic Group With Strong Ties to Trump

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Attorney General Bill Barr will be honored for his “Christlike behavior” at Wednesday’s National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, according to Roman Catholic Sister, author, and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean.

The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast says Barr will be presented with its Christifideles Laici Award during today’s 16th annual prayer event.

“In Honor and Gratitude for Fidelity to the Church, Exemplary Selfless and Steadfast Service in the Lord’s Vineyard,” are the words inscribed on the award.

The event is being sponsored by several groups, including Alliance Defending Freedom, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

President Donald Trump is expected to address the group today during its virtual ceremony.

Among the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast’s founders are Pat Cipollone, President Trump’s White House Counsel; former Republican Senator Rick Santorum; and Joseph Cella, President Trump’s Ambassador to Fiji, and a former Trump transition team member who co-founded the right wing activist group Catholic Vote.

Another founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is Austin Ruse, the president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM).

Perhaps the most notable founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is the group’s president, conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo.

Leo also serves as co-chairman of the Federalist Society, the far right group responsible for promoting the illegitimate belief that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted by judges according to how the nation’s founders thought.

President Trump, for the first time in history, has effectively farmed out the approval process for federal court judges and even Supreme Court justices he nominates, to the Federalist Society.

The award to Barr is being condemned by notable Catholics, including Sister Prejean, and Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America magazine.

 

 

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POLITICIZING A PANDEMIC

Trump Calls on FDA to Fast-Track Coronavirus Vaccine Approvals

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday publicly called on the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track approvals of coronavirus vaccines after a fourth American drug company’s COVID-19 vaccine entered the final clinical trials stage. The call came just one day after the U.S. saw its 200,000 coronavirus death.

Big news,” Trump tweeted. “Numerous great companies are seeing fantastic results. @FDA must move quickly!”

Trump then retweeted other tweets praising the Johnson & Johnson drug trial.

Many see Trump’s actions as inappropriate pressure on what is supposed to be an independent, non-partisan federal agency, and some see them as dangerous.

A Washington Post reporter noted the FDA on Tuesday said it was raising the bar on coronavirus vaccine approvals.

But Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday issued a draconian order hamstringing the FDA and requiring all moves to be approved by him.

Here’s former Obama Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel, issuing a warning:

 

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