NYT’s Maggie Haberman Addresses Backlash Over Trump Coverage

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman appeared on CNN NewDay (06/02/21), where she addressed the recent backlash on social media, over her reporting that former President Trump is telling his supporters he’ll be reinstated by August. Haberman, a constant target of liberals still seething with rage over her “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Trump, took a lot of Twitter attacks from the same liberals, who accused her of helping deplatformed Trump spread his propaganda.

In her appearance on CNN’s NewDay, Haberman countered these accusations saying her reporting was newsworthy because it sheds light on the ongoing incitement by Trump and his allies(didn’t stop on Jan 6th). She also pushed back at her sharpest critics, Biden-loving liberals, who she said, have settled on an erroneous strategy of wishing Trump away. Haberman’s full segment on NewDay is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Haberman specifically said in response to her critics, “This is an ongoing incitement and I think that there’s a valid reason to use that term. Why people are attacking me for reporting this has always been a bit of a mystery. As I said before, people are in their own media ecosystems, and there are a lot of people around[President]Biden, and a lot of people who support Biden, who want to pretend that if they call Trump the former guy, and if you don’t say his name, that the only thing that would matter is if you give him attention. He’s the former President, he is in control of the Republican Party to a big extent, people in that party[Republican] are having a big debate that I would say is parallel to what we saw in 2015 which was, how do you deal with Trump, who according to Republican leaders at the time for the most part, had no chance of becoming the Republican nominee, and obviously that didn’t work out. Ignoring him was not the answer in 2015. Will it be the answer now? I guess we are going to find out….I think what a former President, and possible future nominee, as unlikely as that might be at the moment is saying…is newsworthy.”

Haberman is essentially arguing that whether liberals like it or not, Trump is still in many respects, the leader of the modern Republican Party, and what he says is newsworthy, especially in this case, where he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed January 6th. She adds that efforts by establishment Republicans to ignore Trump into irrelevance in 2015, ended up with him scooping the GOP nomination and the presidency in 2016, and that it is foolhardy for liberals to repeat the same mistake, and expect a different outcome–probably her strongest argument.

Bottom line folks, even though I’m one of the aforementioned “liberals still seething with rage” over Haberman’s “role” in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, I readily admit that on this issue, she’s absolutely right. As much as we liberals would like to wish Trump away, the fact of the matter is, he’s still in charge of the Republican Party. Where, as here, he appears to be inciting his supporters towards the same kind of violence we witnessed on January 6th, Maggie Haberman is being a good journalist in reporting that. Simply put, the Maggie-bashing on Twitter is totally unwarranted in this case.

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NYT’s Maggie Haberman Ensnared In Feud Over Trump Inaugural Funds

Melania Trump with Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

In case you missed it, the Trump inaugural saga has taken a new, and very interesting twist lately, with now Twitter-active Stephanie Winston Wolkoff taking a direct shot at Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel of the New York Times(NYT), as being part of the plot to throw her under the bus.

You’ll remember that after the bombshell revelation that a staggering $40 million of Trump’s inaugural funds had mysteriously disappeared, there was an effort by Trump’s allies to pin the blame on then First Lady Melania Trump’s Senior Advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. Stephanie Wolkoff talked about this effort to throw her under the bus at an appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show on September 1, 2020.

In the interview, a visibly upset Stephanie Wolkoff told host Maddow, that then First Lady Melania Trump basically told her she had to be the fall person for the Trump inaugural scandal. Wolkoff specifically said, “Melania and the [Trump]White House had accused me of criminal activity, then publicly shamed and fired me, and made me their scapegoat. At that moment in time, that’s when I pressed record. She was no longer my friend, and she was willing to let them take me down, and she told me herself, that this is the way it has to be. She was advised by the attorneys at the White House that there was no other choice because there was a possible investigation into the presidential inauguration committee….At first I really did think maybe she would come to my aid? Maybe she would tell the truth? She turned her back, she did. She folded like a deck of cards., and I’m shocked she did it.”

This 05/23/2021 tweet however, shows that Stephanie Wolkoff is not only going after Trump and his allies in her effort to set the record straight regarding Trump’s inaugural, she’s also calling out NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel, as being part of the plot to destroy her. This, if proven, could turn out to be a huge scandal unto itself, given the fact that many liberals still blame the New York Times for Trump’s ascension to the White House. Specifically, many liberals believe NYT’s excessive coverage of the “email scandal”, weakened Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the final stretch of the 2016 campaign.

There’s no other way any reasonable person can interpret Stephanie Wolkoff’s tweet other than NYT’s Haberman and Vogel were doing Trump’s bidding when they wrote the referenced piece. This is especially so considering Wolkoff’s invocation of “SETUP. COVERUP. TAKEDOWN” in her tweet. For the record, accusations of “access journalism” against then White House reporter for the New York Times, Maggie Haberman, persisted throughout Trump’s presidency. Stephanie Wolkoff is not the first person drawing that inference.

Bottom line folks, Yours Truly is not accusing Maggie Haberman or Ken Vogel of any wrongdoing. By all accounts, these are serious journalists, who exhibit a high level of professionalism(my personal opinion). What Yours Truly is simply pointing out, is what any reasonable person presented with Stephanie Wolkoff’s recent tweet would conclude, and that is, Haberman and Vogel were in on the plot by Trump’s allies to throw her under the bus. It would be in everybody’s interest, especially Wolkoff who suffered greatly as a result of the Trump inaugural saga, if Haberman, Vogel or even the New York Times management, addressed this issue.

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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Calling For A $10 Trillion Over 10 Years Infrastructure Plan

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) On The Rachel Maddow Show (03/31/2021)

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appeared on the 03/31/2021 edition of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show(TRMS), to discuss the $2 trillion infrastructure plan President Biden had announced earlier the same day. Rep Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC), told host Maddow that her Progressive colleagues in the House will “absolutely” push for a figure higher than the $2 trillion set out by President Biden, adding that her personal preference would be a $10 trillion over 10 years infrastructure plan.

AOC’s full interview on TRMS is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Specifically, AOC told Maddow in response to a question as to whether Progressives in the House will push for a figure bigger than $2 trillion: “Absolutely. You know if we could wave a magic wand, and Progressives in the House were able to name any number and get it through, which obviously isn’t the case, but if we are looking at ideals and what we think is the actual investment that can create tens of millions of good union jobs in this country, that can shore up our healthcare, our infrastructure, our housing, and doing it in a way that draws down our carbon emissions to help us get in line with IPCC standards, we are talking about realistically, $10 trillion over 10 years.” AOC added that even though $10 trillion is an “eye popping” figure, it is not in any way unrealistic.

Basically, AOC’s message on TRMS was that even though House Progressives are very appreciative of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, they are looking at the $2 trillion as a starting point, and not necessarily the ceiling. Progressives in the House will work hard for a higher figure. This promises to be quite an interesting battle in Congress, especially given the fact that in the recently passed American Rescue Plan(Covid), House negotiations began at $1.9 trillion and worked their way downwards. It appears for infrastructure, the House negotiations will begin at $2 trillion and possibly end up much higher. Will AOC’s $10 trillion wish come true? Hmm–time will tell.

Bottom line folks, as AOC correctly pointed out, if one considers the fact that for covid relief, Congress passed a one year $1.9 trillion package, it is not unreasonable to assume that for an infrastructure plan, we would need much more than the $2 trillion proposed by President Biden. It is a good thing that AOC threw the $10 trillion figure out there because it will inspire some imagination among House Democrats as to what’s possible–thinking big. Simply put, even though passing a “skinny” infrastructure plan is better than no infrastructure plan at all, House Democrats should not look at President Biden’s $2 trillion proposal as a limiting factor, but instead, like AOC, come up with their own imaginative ideas as to how to revamp our dilapidated infrastructure. All in all, let there be a robust infrastructure debate in Congress, and may the best ideas win.

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Drain The Swamp?Yeah Right. How Lobbyists Are Helping Trump Roll Back Regulations

Bombshell NYT piece goes into details of how the Trump administration, with the help of lobbyists tied to the fossil fuel industry (oil and gas), is rolling back environmental regulations and in so doing, seriously jeopardizing the public’s health and safety. These environmental regulations affect everything– from the air we breathe, the water we drink, to the toxic(potentially carcinogenic) substances we may be exposed to as a result of petrochemical processes.

Trump who was elected President largely because of his signature promise to “drain the swamp”(end corruption) in Washington, has apparently created his own swamp of oil and gas lobbyists who are tearing down environmental regulations they deem a hindrance to maximizing profits.

Yeah, you read that right–oil and gas lobbyists are helping the Trump administration to tear down environmental regulations so that the companies they represent can maximize profits–public health and safety be damned. This is public corruption at its worst and as “swampy” as it gets.

According to the New York Times piece the Trump admin has to date rolled back 95 environmental regulations, 58 of them completely and 37 still in the roll back process.

16 environmental regulations related to air pollution and emissions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process

10 regulations related to drilling and extractions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process.

As for regulations related to infranstructure and planning, 11 regulations have already been completely rolled back with 1 more still in the roll back process.

7 regulations related to animals have already been completely rolled back with 3 more still in the roll back process. 5 regulations related to toxic substances have already been rolled back with 3 still in the roll back process.

4 regulations related to water pollution have already been completely rolled back with 6 more still in the roll back process. According to the NYT piece, there are 11 other environmental regulations the Trump administration has tinkered with, 5 of which have completely been rolled back and 6 still in the roll back process.

Bottom line folks, there are already very many reasons for America to adopt Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ( AOC) Green New Deal(GND). As gifted as Rep AOC is in promoting her GND, she rarely cites corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the central reasons why the country should adopt her plan. Hopefully this bombshell NYT piece will make her highlight corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the primary reasons why America needs the green new deal. Simply put, AOC’s GND will once and for all, drain the swamp that is the oil and gas lobby.

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Epstein’s Death Was A Homicide, Says Family’s Forensic Pathologist

Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother to look into his death said today on Trump’s favorite show Fox and Friends that based on his analysis, the cause of Jeffrey Epstein’s death was a homicide by strangulation. Specifically, Baden told Fox and Friends’ hosts, “I think the evidence points to a homicide rather than a suicide” adding, “Because there are three fractures in the hyoid bone, the thyroid cartilage that are very unusual for suicide and more indicative of strangulation — homicidal strangulation.”

This of course contradicts the official cause of death given by the New York City Medical Examiner in August that Epstein died of suicide by hanging and is sure to add to the already rampant conspiracy theories surrounding the accused child sex trafficker’s death.

There was already rampant public speculation, including by Yours Truly, that Epstein may have been killed in order to prevent him from giving testimony in his criminal case that might have negatively affected very powerful people, up to and including President Trump, whom he was known to have socialized with. This bombshell revelation therefore that his death was a homicide and not a suicide will undoubtedly lead to questions as to who may have killed him and what the motive behind his killing was?

It also bears pointing out that Michael Baden is a former New York City Medical Examiner so his findings cannot just be dismissed as frivolous. It will be interesting to see how New York City officials who declared Epstein’s death a suicide deal with Baden’s bombshell revelation on Fox and Friends.

Also currently playing out in federal court is a civil suit by one of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre where the presiding judge has intimated that she may release the names of some 1000-plus people Epstein had listed on his address book. Yours Truly has written about this issue and there is tremendous appetite for Epstein’s address book.

Bottom line despite Epstein’s death, his case remains one of great public interest. Questions remain about the way he died, and now, whether the public will get to see the people he listed on his address book. Today’s revelation that he may have been killed will only add to the public interest. All Yours Truly can say is, stay tuned!!

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What Happened At Trump & Epstein’s “Calendar Girls” Party In 1992?

In the midst of Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking scandal and the growing questions about his ties to President Trump, a New York Times bombshell today revealed that in 1992, Trump and Epstein hosted an exclusive “Calendar Girls” party at Maralago that had 30 attendees, with Trump and Epstein being the only men.

At any other time this could have been dismissed as just another irrelevant story about Trump’s well known past. However given recent revelations in Epstein’s indictment by the Southern District of New York which portray him as someone who serially sought out under age girls for sex, this “Calendar Girls” party at Maralago takes a whole new meaning. Specifically, it is now incumbent upon the New York Times journalists who wrote this bombshell piece to go back and find out who these “Calendar Girls” were and more importantly, what Trump and Epstein did at this party.

All too often the mainstream media stumbles upon a very good story only to walk away from it without sufficient follow up. This “Calendar Girls” story is a perfect example of a consequential story that deserves a follow up.

Bottom line, given Epstein’s troubling record of molesting young girls, the public deserves to know whether the 1992 “Calendar Girls” party at Maralago was yet another scene of Epstein’s numerous crimes.

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Gillibrand Slams McConnell For Harming SCOTUS “Almost Irreparably”

At a town hall in New Hampshire, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying by blocking President Obama’s Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland, McConnell had harmed the U.S. Supreme Court “almost irreparably”

Senator Gillibrand addressed a whole host of issues at the New Hampshire town hall (which Yours Truly strongly recommends that any Democrat watch) most notably her long record in Congress for fighting corruption/getting money out of politics. However it was her answer as to how she would handle the U.S. Supreme Court if elected President that caught Yours Truly’s attention the most.

When asked by the town hall moderator whether she would be in favor of term limits for federal Supreme Court justices, Sen Gillibrand emphatically said “Yes” adding;“I think what has happened by this President[Trump] and Mitch McConnell is the extreme politicization of the court. I’ve never seen it worse than it is today and the fact that Mitch McConnell denied the vote and the hearing on Merrick Garland is outrageous and I don’t think we’ve recovered from it….It was a stolen justice….. I think they[Trump and McConnell] have harmed our courts almost irreparably.”

It cannot be left unsaid that even though Senator Gillibrand came into the 2020 Dem presidential nomination contest as one of the top contenders, her campaign has not lived up to its billing. As a matter of fact most Democrats will agree that she has seriously under-performed especially given the fact that she almost failed to make the cut for the recent debate. There is a divergence of opinions among cable TV pundits as to why Sen Gillibrand’s campaign has not caught fire yet. As for Yours Truly, the answer to that is very simple. For Sen Gillibrand to become a top-tier presidential candidate, her campaign should tone down a little on the uber-feminist message and instead focus on her real and provable congressional record of fighting corruption in Washington. Simply put, if Senator Gillibrand becomes the anti-corruption candidate— going after lobbyists, lamenting the swamp, and even going after Trump’s elusive tax returns–the future is bright for her presidential campaign.

Bottom line, even though she gets very little credit from grassroots Democrats (especially post-Al Franken), Sen Gillibrand has been a Dem stalwart with a stellar congressional record to prove it. Yours Truly strongly believes that in the coming months, especially if she keeps touting her anti-corruption record, she will become a top-tier presidential candidate. And while you are at it Sen Gillibrand, keep slamming Mitch McConnell over his Supreme Court chicanery. McConnell bashing is an absolute win win among grassroots Democrats.

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The Obscene Trump-Fox News Relationship 2.0

A bombshell piece in The New Yorker says that in the Summer of 2017, Trump ordered his then Director of National Economic Council Gary Cohn to block the blockbuster merger between telecom giants AT&T and Time Warner. It was well known at that time that blocking the deal would benefit Fox News(Trump’s declared favorite news channel) while hurting CNN(his sworn enemy). Trump reportedly called Cohn and Chief of Staff Kelly into the Oval Office where he ordered Cohn to call the Justice Department and kill the merger

The author of the New Yorker piece Jane Mayer, told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “The question is, has he[the President] been abusing his power to help his friend Rupert Murdoch, the mogul over at Fox, and to hurt his enemies, the people at CNN? This was an order from the President to his top economic adviser in the White House to block a deal, a very major multi billion dollar corporate deal and if they blocked the deal it was going to hurt CNN and it was going to help Fox. It seems like he is trying to punish his enemies and help his friends by using the U.S. Justice Department.”

The full Jane Mayer-Andrea Mitchell interview is available here but the relevant clip is below

Other startling revelations of the obscene Trump-Fox News relationship chronicled in Jane Mayer’s blockbuster piece include;

Fox News apparently knew about the Stormy Daniels story before the 2016 elections but then owner Rupert Murdoch ordered Fox News’ staff to kill it.(not to air it)

Remember the infamous Megyn Kelly clash with Trump during the first Republican presidential debate? Well according to Mayer, Fox News’ Roger Ailes(since deceased) tipped off Trump a day before that he was going to be asked a tough question by Kelly. This of course means Trump’s crude response to Kelly(“blood coming out of….everywhere”) may have been rehearsed. It may not have been a spur of the moment response like we all have assumed it was

To date Fox News has had 44 interviews with President Trump while all the other networks combined have had a total of about 10 with CNN getting zero.

The former President of Fox News, Bill Shine, is now Trump’s Communications Director

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly argued in a previous post, time has come for some serious questions to be asked/answered about this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship. As Jane Mayer correctly sums it, “It raises questions that are troubling about our democracy when the number one rated cable news show appears many times to be an arm of the White House.” As we approach the 2020 elections, there needs to be bipartisan condemnation of this obscene Trump-Fox News relationship as it is antithetical to democratic norms. Simply put, any self-respecting democratic society can not have a major news network controlled by one candidate, especially as here, where that one candidate is already the President, equipped with the tremendous electoral advantages of incumbency.

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Ivanka Slams AOC’S Green New Deal

In a Fox News interview Ivanka Trump attacked Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (aka AOC) Green New Deal initiative making the shocking argument that most Americans are opposed to the initiative’s guarantee of a job with a livable wage–a guaranteed minimum of $15/hour.

Ivanka said, “I don’t think most Americans in their heart want to be given something….people want to work for what they got. So I think this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job, they want the ability to live in a country where there is a potential for upwards mobility.”

While this may not necessarily be a controversial point if its advanced by any other conservative, it is kind of shocking coming from Ivanka whose White House job many consider “given”. In other words, the argument Ivanka is making against AOC’s Green New Deal is routinely made by many other conservatives. However hearing it from her, someone who has literally “got” everything from her rich dad, just makes the argument almost insulting. And yeah Ivanka, given the fact that the cost of living has steadily risen over the years while wages have remained stagnant, a lot of working families are eager for $15/hour jobs which they deserve as opposed to being “given”. These are jobs that will make them keep up with the rising costs of living, something Ivanka probably never had to deal with.

It bears pointing out however that Ivanka is very media savvy. As the president’s daughter she is a very beloved figure on the right. She knows AOC is a very beloved figure on the left. So there’s a very good chance that she deliberately went after her Green New Deal in an effort to generate fireworks both on the left and right thereby giving her publicity. As they say in media circles, “no publicity is bad publicity”. It will be interesting to see the blowback Ivanka’s stunning remarks generate from the left, especially from the aforementioned AOC.

Bottom line nobody seriously believes that in her heart of hearts Ivanka thinks working families currently earning less than $15/hour would not appreciate a wage hike. Yours Truly will go out on a limb and say this is a publicity stunt on Ivanka’s part–a very clever one at that.

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In 2015 Kushner Got A $4,000 Tax Refund After Earning 1.7 Million

Yours Truly did a post yesterday based on the bombshell New York Times revelation that President Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner who is worth an estimated $324 million, has not paid federal income taxes for 7 years thanks to a tax loophole that favors real estate developers. The Kushner post understandably generated a lot of public reaction because it is one of the best illustrations of the glaring inequities that exist with the U.S. tax law. It makes absolutely no sense that someone worth $324 million would pay zero federal income tax for 7 years straight.

In the post Yours Truly called out the mainstream media for breaking very important stories like this but never doing any follow ups to help the public further understand the issue, or force a serious debate on the issue. Luckily one Katy Tur of MSNBC decided to dig a little deeper into the Kushner tax story and boy did she unearth a new bombshell.

Turns out that in 2015, in addition to not paying any federal income tax, Kushner got a $4,000 tax refund from the IRS after earning a whopping 1.7 million. Think about that folks–most working families that earn more than $40,000 a year, have federal income taxes taken out of their checks all year and often end up owing the IRS because they “make too much” yet Kushner who earned 1.7 million in 2015, never paid any federal income tax that year, still got a $4,000 refund from the IRS. Folks this is the height of inequity.

As anybody who has lived paycheck to paycheck(a lot of Americans) knows, most working families literally wait on that four, five or six thousand dollars income tax refund at the beginning of the year to help them catch up with their bills–late rent, car payment, credit cards etc. It is a big deal to most working families. It is also important to note that someone earning more than $40,000 a year often ends up owing the IRS because they “earn too much.” Can you imagine making an argument to such a person making $40,000 a year that they are not entitled to a federal tax refund because they “make too much” but rich Kushner over there, who earned $1.7 million gets a $4,000 refund? Better question–can you imagine how effective such a message would be on the campaign trail for any Dem candidate nationwide?


Bottom line this Kushner tax story is a big deal and Dems should talk more often about it especially as we head towards midterms 2018. These are the kinds of stories that Dems can use to illustrate a clear contrast between their agenda that is geared towards helping working families and that of the GOP which is geared towards helping the rich. Simply put the glaring inequities exposed by this Kushner tax story are enough to swing a huge chunk of independent voters to the Dems. As Katy Tur’s guest Jesse Drucker of the New York Times excellently put it, “There is an intense public interest in understanding the equity of our tax system and the public can decide whether they think think this is an equitable state of affairs.” You will be hard pressed to find a single independent voter who concludes that this is an equitable tax system after looking at the Kushner story.

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