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Pence 2: Couch Surfing With Mother


GreyhoundFan
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Continued from here:

 

Pence is definitely spouting the party line. Of course, he forgets about the impact all the Mango Moron's tariffs are having on average Americans.

 

Edited by GreyhoundFan
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  • 2 weeks later...

I dunno. But after Trumps terrible performance at the G7, his slow, lethargic speech the other day and now Pence going to Poland instead of him, methinks they are realizing he can't be sent out to do the big boy stuff anymore. 

 

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And the mango moron isn't racist because he met a black person... "Pence isn’t ‘anti-gay’ because he lunched with Irish prime minister, who is gay, White House aide said"

Spoiler

A senior White House aide suggested Vice President Pence’s lunch Tuesday with the prime minister of Ireland and his male partner shows Pence is not “anti-gay.”

“For all of you who think our @VP is anti-gay, I point you to his and the @SecondLady’s schedule tomorrow where they will join Taoiseach @LeoVaradkar and his partner Dr. Matthew Barrett for lunch in Ireland,” deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere tweeted Monday night.

The comment was ridiculed by LGBT advocates who said one meal with a gay person does not make up for what they say is the vice president’s record speaking and working against gay rights.

“We can’t believe we have to say this but simply meeting with a gay person doesn’t erase Pence’s long history of attacking LGBTQ people through policy, legislation, and rhetoric,” the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD tweeted. “Nice try though.”

The Human Rights Campaign said in a statement, “it’s important to remember this lunch has nothing to do with LGBTS rights it’s literally just with an LGBTQ person.”

As governor of Indiana, Pence signed a law that would allow businesses and individuals to discriminate against people based on their sexuality — he later signed an amended version after a nationwide outcry. Pence has called same-sex marriage a sign of “societal collapse” and opposed expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of South Bend, Ind., mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, responded to Deere’s assertion about Pence’s lunch.

“I’ve sat at tables with people who would gladly deny me the right to marry, who openly support conversion therapy, and who adamantly believe being gay is a choice. Doesn’t mean they’re any less homophobic because we shared a meal,” said Buttigieg, who would be the nation’s first “first man” if his husband won the White House.

Earlier this year, Pete Buttigieg publicly sparred with Pence, saying in an April speech that his marriage moved him closer to God.

“That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me,” Buttigieg said. “Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

Pence is traveling in Europe this week in place of President Trump who stayed behind to monitor Hurricane Dorian. After Pence’s lunch with Varadkar, the first openly gay leader of Ireland, the men exchanged pleasantries in a joint news statement.

“Six months ago, our family had the great pleasure of hosting you and Matt at the Vice President’s Residence to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It was the second year in a row that you had given us that honor,” Pence said.

Pence closed his remarks with an Irish blessing: “To you, Taoiseach [Prime Minister], and all of the good people of Ireland, may the road rise to meet you, may the wind be at your back, may the rain fall softly on your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”

 

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A good one from Jennifer Rubin: "Mike Pence’s sycophancy comes back to bite him"

Spoiler

There is not a more oleaginous sycophant in President Trump’s inner circle than Vice President Pence. Ironically, the one person Trump cannot fire is also the one most prone to elaborate expressions of loyalty that would put North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s courtiers to shame. Pence will defend any remark, make any argument and sacrifice any principle (e.g., support for federal law enforcement, get tough with dictators, free trade) to stay in Trump’s good graces.

Then it rose to a whole other level when he arranged to stay at his boss’s resort — hours from his arranged meetings in Ireland. This was not only a blatant example of Trump’s ability to induce members of his administration, members of his party and heads of state to stuff money into his pockets, but it put Pence in the position of participating into the great grifting enterprise. When caught and called out for this, the vice president argued that this was the only facility that could accommodate his large party in his family homestead (query why taxpayers had to foot the bill for a family reunion in the old country). Then, his chief of staff, Marc Short, let on that Trump “suggested” Pence stay there. Whoops!

The first rule of sycophancy is never reveal that the object of your sycophancy invited your tribute (financial or otherwise) — even when it is obvious in the case of Trump that he lives to induce (or invent!) praise from others. Doing so might make the object of your sycophancy seem, well, needy or even corrupt.

Sure enough, Trump disavowed any involvement — “It wasn’t my idea for Mike to go there. Mike went there because his family’s there. That’s my understanding.” — but did not deny outright dropping the suggestion.

A few questions, to say the least, remain: First, why hasn’t Short been fired if he didn’t misspeak and really did falsely accuse Trump of “suggesting” Pence visit the president’s Ireland golf resort? This seems like a very big screw-up, if you take the White House at its word.

Second, unless you’re on the White House payroll, a talk-radio or Fox News host, or a Trump cultist (but I repeat myself), you don’t actually believe Trump had nothing to do with this fiasco. That leaves open the question as to why Pence or Pence’s staff would ever put the vice president in this position. It does suggest that Pence is too dense even to be of use to Trump.

Third, one wonders what Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is thinking. Having spontaneously denied rumors that she was angling for Pence’s job or had a feud with the vice president, she might consider putting out a statement denying any rumors that she has done anything remotely as stupid as publicly feathering the president’s nest.

Finally, in an effort to clean up the mess, Short told the Times that Pence would pay for all his family’s expenses. (What about staff, transportation and security?) Umm, I think this is worse given that Pence now has decided to write a check directly to his boss’s company. Haley might want to start practicing a stump speech and making a highlight reel of her time at the United Nations.

 

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Mike Pence accused of humiliating hosts in Ireland:"he shat on the carpet".

I particularly am amused by how unimpressed everyone is by the decision to stay on a Trump property, and by the description:

"As Pence read from the autocue and Irish eyes definitely stopped smiling,” she added, “it was clear he was channeling His Master’s Voice. Trump is a fan of Brexit and of Boris.”

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"Pence’s security detail raises eyebrows in peaceful Iceland"

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image.png.56519338123634b6597b6f74fbf0be3c.png

Vice President Pence and his extensive security detail raised eyebrows on Wednesday as they traveled through the capital city of Iceland, a famously peaceful country where its president travels alone on private errands.

Pence was the first U.S. vice president to visit Iceland since George H.W. Bush went to Reykjavik in 1983, similarly causing a stir with his “attendant paraphernalia of Air Force Two, bulletproof limousines and White House telecommunication equipment,” The Washington Post reported at the time.

Weeks before Pence’s visit, Secret Service personnel were seen in the city scouting out locations, the Associated Press reported. Bomb-sniffing dogs were given special clearance to enter the country, and police officers from outside the capital were sent in to help the Reykjavik police meet security standards set by the United States. During the visit Wednesday, U.S. security personnel — who had to be given special permission to bear arms — trailed the vice president through the city. When Pence met with Icelandic officials, snipers were seen perched on the rooftops of nearby buildings, the AP wrote.

“The scale of Pence’s visit, not least the security arrangements, are greater than ever seen in Iceland before,” added RUV, the country’s national broadcasting service.

It is not uncommon for U.S. leaders to travel with a large security detail — President Barack Obama’s 2015 visit to New Delhi reportedly sent it into a lockdown — but such visits can be particularly challenging for smaller countries.

Iceland, a country of 350,000 people, has a remarkably small police force, the majority of which is armed only with batons and pepper spray. The country’s president, Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson, has been spotted, among other things, visiting a popular geothermal bath and “plogging” (picking up rubbish while jogging) around the presidential residence on his own.

Ahead of the visit, local news outlets worked to warn residents of the major road closures that were expected to cause traffic delays. According to the Reykjavik Grapevine, a magazine, police were urging residents to show “patience and understanding.”

Police say that traffic delays can be expected around the city, especially in the afternoon, and are asking the general public to show patience and understanding. As Pence will only be in the country for seven hours, and is expected to meet with Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, this delay will be mercifully temporary.

The vice president’s trip was surrounded by several controversies.

It was initially reported that Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir would not be in town during Pence’s visit, sparking applause from critics of the administration who saw the move as a deliberate snub (Jakobsdottir said it was not, and wound up meeting him on Wednesday.) When the vice president, a conservative Christian and an opponent of same-sex marriage, arrived on the island, he was met with a flurry of rainbow flags, an oft-used symbol of LGBTQ pride.

Johannesson and his wife Eliza Reid also reportedly wore rainbow bracelets during their meeting with Pence.

 

I wonder if Mother allowed him to stand so close to the Icelandic PM (in the first picture). He certainly looks uncomfortable speaking to her.

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  • 2 weeks later...
23 hours ago, Soulhuntress said:

 

The comments.  Oh thank you :gay-rainbowflag: for your comments and frivolity!  

 

Serious question: why does she have an office in the White House? What does she do there?

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5 hours ago, JMarie said:

Serious question: why does she have an office in the White House? What does she do there?

Constitutionally, neither Flotus or Slotus have an official role in government. What she actually does is anybody’s guess.

But I suspect she only has an office in the WH so she can keep her eye on Pence. I mean, all those workplace romances you hear about nowadays...

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17 hours ago, fraurosena said:

Constitutionally, neither Flotus or Slotus have an official role in government. What she actually does is anybody’s guess.

But I suspect she only has an office in the WH so she can keep her eye on Pence. I mean, all those workplace romances you hear about nowadays...

I guess Mikey can't watch the fine young men...... ??

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"A sudden Pence presidency is still unlikely. But here’s what it would look like."

Spoiler

House Democrats are moving toward impeaching President Trump, following revelations that he pushed Ukraine to investigate the son of one Democratic rival, former vice president Joe Biden. Even if the House votes to impeach Trump, removal by the Republican-controlled Senate still seems highly unlikely. It would take a two-thirds vote to boot him from office, and there’s no sign so far that the GOP would abandon the president.

But if it came to that, what would the country get from a hypothetical President Pence?

The prospect of Vice President Pence succeeding Trump in office had already sparked fervent argument long before the prospect of impeachment seriously took hold in the House. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni posed the question this way in 2018: “Are you sure you want to get rid of Donald Trump?” And former Trump White House aide Omarosa Manigault said last year, “We would be begging for the days of Trump back if Pence became president.”

Based on my reporting for my new biography of Pence, a President Pence would look a lot like a more conservative version of George W. Bush. Pence would probably take the Grand Old Party back to the salad days before Trump flipped over the bowl. But Pence would be far less effective than Bush — and he might even get less accomplished than Trump has.

The Pence boogeyman painted by Democrats and progressives stuck in hand-wringing mode over impeachment is a highly skilled manager of government and congressional vote-wrangler who would easily promote conservative priorities like banning abortion and cutting taxes for the upper class and businesses.

But Pence’s career path shows him to be unskilled at driving an agenda. In a dozen years in Congress, including two years in leadership, Pence never passed any legislation and never whipped votes. (That was left to former GOP whip Eric Cantor.) A former right-wing radio talk show host, Pence was cultivated by then-Republican leader John A. Boehner as the party’s message man in 2008 — no small task but hardly the post for driving policy.

In four years as governor of Indiana, Pence struggled to set his priorities or push them through a friendly state legislature packed with like-minded Republicans. As with most things, the reason is multifaceted: He spent much of his time plotting a potential presidential run in 2016 instead of doing the job he had; he rarely articulated clear proposals; he had no skill at political dealmaking; and he developed a surprising arch-nemesis in the state’s House speaker when he boxed him out of running for governor in 2012. And all that was before his career appeared to go down in flames in 2015, following his disastrous performance defending Indiana’s “religious freedom” law.

On foreign policy, Pence would generally hew to mainstream Republican orthodoxy. Pence has always been a friend to Israel, opposing a Palestinian state for more than two decades. But don’t count on him to support anything that would spark a war in the Middle East. Longtime Pence friend and Indianapolis journalist Russell Pulliam noted to me that as much as Pence derives his political ideology from the Bible, he also balances it against U.S. regional interests and economic feasibility.

When it comes to cultural issues, a President Pence would lead the charge to further limit abortion access in the United States, something well underway in the Trump administration, thanks partly to Pence’s work. Pence has been coordinating efforts to promote a network of crisis pregnancy centers nationwide that push pregnant women away from Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics. And count on Pence to continue to advocate for “religious freedom” measures that would curb protections for LGBTQ people while aiding conservative Christians opposed to same-sex marriage.

But would he be able to accomplish many of these priorities? Not likely. As governor, he was wrought by indecision, and on his return to Washington under Trump, he has had a hard time finding votes for Trump’s agenda on Capitol Hill. Specifically, his troubles finding votes to repeal Obamacare — even with Republicans in firm control of the House and running the Senate — showed his key weakness. And, as one Pence adviser noted to me, Pence’s style is more muted than Trump’s: He’s the guy who comes in after a major “change agent” like Trump or, on the state level, former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, and keeps things running after the initial revolution.

Pence has long had a tightknit circle of advisers, almost untouched by the chaos of the Trump administration, and that small circle would be with him if he makes it to the Oval Office — whether it’s in 2025 or sometime before the 2020 election, if Democrats do succeed in ousting Trump. The return of Marc Short to be Pence’s chief of staff earlier this year, a decade after he was first hired into Pence’s orbit, marked a return to form for the team. Republicans from the Hill to the White House have consistently described Short as a quiet, smart and loyal operator — extensively versed in the ways of Washington. Working closely with Short would probably be the same team they built for Pence when he was third-ranking Republican in the House: Matt Lloyd, Josh Pitcock and Kellyanne Conway. The entire crew has remained close and loyal to Pence since then, through his many twists on the way to the White House. They are a small, tight, loyal band of staunch social conservatives but not strident to the point of ruling out compromise.

Outside of the Bible, after all, Pence’s favorite book is Russell Kirk’s “The Conservative Mind” — Kirk, Pence noted once, was a believer in pragmatic conservatism, doing what was achievable and not stonewalling, unless for achievable ends. These two ideas would permeate his decision-making from the Oval Office.

Pence’s political operation would likely continue to be run by the pairing of Marty Obst and Nick Ayers. Obst and Ayers work closely together and are dialed in all corners of the GOP, from the greatly diminished Republican establishment to Trumpworld. Obst is perhaps the most trusted hand for Pence and his family, dating back to his start with them in Indiana. But Ayers also remains an important political operator outside the White House, connected to the Republican establishment and operatives nationwide.

And, of course, Karen Pence would remain the single-most important adviser to Pence and the sole gatekeeper to Pence — but their singular focus would be what it’s been since 2008: winning the White House in an election. And most, if not all, decisions would be dictated by that foremost.

Unfortunately, he'd have people like #MoscowMitch and Kevin McCarthy to push his agenda.

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On 9/23/2019 at 8:37 PM, JMarie said:

Serious question: why does she have an office in the White House? What does she do there?

Demands to speak to the manager?

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"Mike Pence knew exactly what he was doing"

Spoiler

Vice President Pence’s aides are making the spectacularly implausible suggestion that, even as President Trump repeatedly directed him to place pressure on Ukraine, Pence had no earthly idea it had anything to do with Trump’s private agenda of getting Ukraine to smear Joe Biden.

But the evidence that Pence knew exactly what he had been enlisted to do is right there in plain sight, in the timeline of events.

Specifically, before Pence did any of those things, Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, repeatedly said he wanted Ukraine to investigate — i.e., fabricate smears against — Biden, on Trump’s behalf.

Trump himself said publicly that Biden’s activities in Ukraine merited scrutiny. News reports spelled out exactly what Giuliani and Trump wanted, in detail.

As The Post reports, Pence was involved in pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky twice. Trump instructed Pence not to attend Zelensky’s inauguration in May. And Pence privately met with Zelensky in September, to tell him hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid would not be released, due to concerns about Ukrainian “corruption.”

Pence’s aides are claiming he was unaware of the pressure that Trump had been placing on Zelensky to manufacture dirt to smear Biden. The implication appears to be that Pence didn’t know about the private pressure that Trump was placing.

Similarly, Pence’s aides are also pushing back on The Post’s report that a top Pence aide was on the July 25 call in which Trump directly pressured Zelensky, by claiming that act never really got back to Pence. Again, the implication is that Pence didn’t know about that particular act of private pressure.

As implausible as all of that is, the more important point here is that it’s basically meaningless as pushback. It isn’t exonerating at all. That’s because Pence simply did know that Trump wanted Ukraine to interfere in the next U.S. election on his behalf.

We know this, because what Trump wanted from Zelensky was widely broadcast in the public domain all throughout. Thus, the real story is that Pence knew in that he was playing a crucial part in Trump’s effort to secure that foreign interference on Trump’s behalf.

Here’s the timeline, with Pence’s pressure on the Ukrainian president in bold:

May 9: The New York Times publishes a big story about Giuliani’s plan to push Ukraine to investigate two matters: the origins of the special-counsel investigation finding Russia interfered in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf, and the matter involving Biden.

That narrative, which holds that Biden pressured Ukraine to oust a prosecutor to protect his son Hunter, has been entirely debunked.

Giuliani is very clear in an interview with the Times, about why he’s doing this, saying that this “information will be very, very helpful to my client.” There is almost no chance that Pence would not become aware of this, or know that it was being done with Trump’s blessing.

May 10: Giuliani tweets about this whole plan the next day, saying Biden should be “investigated” by Ukraine. (Again, that’s code for “smeared with lies.”)

May 19: Trump goes on Fox News and rails about Biden and Ukraine, falsely claiming that Biden improperly pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was supposedly “after” his son.

May 20 or thereabouts: At the instruction of the White House, Pence cancels his planned trip to Zelensky’s May 20 inauguration.

June 21: Giuliani tweets an explicit demand that Zelensky ramp up the investigations into Biden.

July 18 or thereabouts: Trump orders the freeze on aid to Ukraine.

July 25: Trump directly pressures Zelensky, as an aide to Pence listens in.

Sept. 1: Pence meets with Zelensky to tell him the military aid isn’t coming, because of “corruption” in Ukraine.

Pressed on whether Pence was aware of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky as Pence met with him, officials close to Pence ended up claiming, again implausibly, that Pence may not have read the transcript of Trump’s call, or may not have registered what was important about it, even though his aide was on the call.

Pence’s aides are also now claiming that, when Pence told Zelensky the problem was that Ukraine needed to investigate “corruption,” he didn’t understand that this was code for smearing Biden.

But as Jonathan Chait points out, this is wildly implausible, because it’s overwhelmingly likely Pence already understood how this code worked — that the call for investigating “corruption” was cover for a demand to smear Biden. After all, it had been public for months that Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate Biden, and there’s no way Pence believes that Trump actually cares about “corruption.”

The bigger point here is that of course Pence perfectly understood the role of his own actions in this whole plot. It has been widely advertised all throughout, and Trump directed him to play his part in it.

 

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1 hour ago, GreyhoundFan said:

"Mike Pence knew exactly what he was doing"

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Vice President Pence’s aides are making the spectacularly implausible suggestion that, even as President Trump repeatedly directed him to place pressure on Ukraine, Pence had no earthly idea it had anything to do with Trump’s private agenda of getting Ukraine to smear Joe Biden.

The bigger point here is that of course Pence perfectly understood the role of his own actions in this whole plot. It has been widely advertised all throughout, and Trump directed him to play his part in it.

 

As we say in my family,"You go the same place for lying that you do for stealing."

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