No Picture

Kellyanne Conway calls Trump ‘healer in chief,’ says Democrats feel ‘guilt’ about Virginia shooting

June 16, 2017 aurorax 0

An alternate reality.

CREDIT: Fox News screengrab

A day after Trump referred to the team former FBI Director Robert Mueller has assembled to investigated him as “very bad and conflicted people” and Hillary Clinton as “crooked,” White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested that overheated Democratic rhetoric is partially responsible for the mass shooting that happened during a Republican congressional baseball practice in Virginia on Wednesday.

Trump — who during his young presidency has called the press as “the enemy of the American People,” advocated a health care bill that would leave 23 million people uninsured, and overseen a crackdown on immigration and refugees — should get credit for being “our healer in chief,” Conway said during a Fox & Friends interview on Friday morning.

Asked about the vibe at the congressional baseball game on Thursday night, Conway said “there was a feeling of unity and healing, and I think that was brought about by our leader — President Donald Trump. He’s being a healer in chief, he’s being remarkably wonderful to the entire country, calling for unity, praying for those who have been injured.”

https://medium.com/media/b91e9c01c6f59e8d217d8d4c7a5a10f0/href

Conway went on to suggest that vocal opposition to the Republican agenda played a role in creating the toxic political climate that inspired James Hodgkinson to go on a shooting rampage that injured Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and three others.

“You can oppose policies, but it’s done with such hateful, charged rhetoric that active resistance becomes armed resistance in the case of this lone gunman,” she said.

Guest host Pete Hegseth — who is arguably best known for fear-mongering about American Muslims — then asked Conway, “Do you feel like… amongst [sic] Democrats — Democratic leaders in this country — enough is being done to say, ‘tone is down, stop it, we can’t bring this to the brink?’”

Conway’s answer, unsurprisingly, was no. She cited House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) comments on Thursday about Republican efforts to blame Democrats for the shooting the day before as “outrageous, beneath the dignity of the job that they hold, beneath the dignity of the respect that we would like Congress to command.”

An online rush to blame ‘liberal rhetoric’ for Virginia mass shooting

Referring to Pelosi’s comments, Conway said she thinks “some people are unloading their shame and their guilt in the call for toning down the toxicity in the rhetoric.”

A week after Eric Trump called Democrats subhuman, Conway played the victim card on behalf of herself and Republicans.

“If I were shot and killed tomorrow, half of Twitter would explode in applause and excitement,” she said. “It’s terrible because, again, it’s one thing to say I disagree with you on health care repeal, or on taxes, or on your plan for national security, but you can’t attack people personally in a way and think that tragedies like this won’t happen.”

She concluding by making an ominous suggestion about what could happen if the the rhetoric isn’t toned down.

“We don’t want to live in a police state because we can’t get control of people’s rhetoric,” she said.

Despite what Conway thinks, the shooting on Wednesday was quickly, unambiguously, and strongly denounced by prominent Democrats.

While it’s not surprising that Conway — who coined the term “alternative facts” the first weekend of Trump’s presidency in an attempt to justify the administration’s incessant lies — is pulling out all the stops to portray her boss in the most positive light while vilifying his political enemies, more impartial observers like the New York Times’ Glenn Thrush acknowledged the role Trump has played in coarsening political conversation.

Any debate about civility in politics begins with Trump. No one has degraded discourse more, while embracing the fringe. Fact, not opinion.

 — @GlennThrush

Shortly after Conway finished speaking, Trump took to Twitter to smear the “Fake News Media” and Mueller’s “phony Witch Hunt.”

The Fake News Media hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media – over 100 million people! I can go around them

 — @realDonaldTrump

Despite the phony Witch Hunt going on in America, the economic & jobs numbers are great. Regulations way down, jobs and enthusiasm way up!

 — @realDonaldTrump

During his presidency, Trump has also called Barack Obama a “bad (or sick) guy,” described the mayor of London’s response to an attack in his city as “pathetic,” and invited Ted Nugent to dinner at the White House, ignoring Nugent’s repeated calls for the deaths of then-President Obama and Hillary Clinton.


Kellyanne Conway calls Trump ‘healer in chief,’ says Democrats feel ‘guilt’ about Virginia shooting was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

No Picture

Congressional Baseball Game offers brief respite from tragedy and controversy

June 16, 2017 aurorax 0

Everyone was on “Team Scalise” Thursday night.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., (36) and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., right, react with members of the Republican team after the Congressional baseball game, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Washington. The annual GOP-Democrats baseball game raises money for charity. The democrats won 11–2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Approximately 36 hours after a lone gunman opened fire at a GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Dan Bailey, a Capitol Police officer who was wounded in the shooting, hobbled to the infield on crutches in front of a record crowd of 24,959 and threw out the first pitch at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.

The game, as they say, must go on.

The first Congressional Baseball Game was played in 1909, and it’s been held on an annual basis since 1962. But it’s safe to say that no game has been as symbolically important as the one on Thursday night, which took place as one of the four shooting victims, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), lay in critical condition at the hospital following three surgeries.

While the congressional baseball game is always played with a bipartisan spirit, this year, both Republicans and Democrats made sure that everyone knew they were on the same team — Team Scalise — on this particular night.

“By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy,” President Donald Trump said in a recorded message played on the giant outfield scoreboard before the first pitch. (Perhaps the biggest sign of bipartisan unity was the absence of booing during Trump’s message — it’s hard to imagine that happening 48 hours earlier.)

The pregame ceremonies were extensive and, at times, emotional. When the Republican team was introduced, Scalise’s name was announced last, and his photo was shown on the big screen. He received a raucous standing ovation, from the fans of both teams.

Really emotional moment at Nats Park when the announcer said Steve Scalise’s name, in our thoughts and prayers. Some GOP threw hats #CBG17 https://t.co/zHWBzsgdrF

 — @AlexGangitano

The two teams came together to pray at the pitcher’s mound before the game began, there was a moment of silence for all of the victims before the first pitch, and the ballpark reached a deafening roar when Bailey hobbled to the pitcher’s mound, along with baseball legend Joe Torre, to throw the first pitch. Many of the players on both teams wore LSU caps in Scalise’s honor.

That doesn’t mean a partisan divide wasn’t palpable. During the game — which the Democrats won handily, 11–2, to gain the edge in the overall head-to-head 40–39–1 — the fans of each team were predominately seated to the left or the right of home plate according to their location on the political spectrum. On the first base side, there was a plethora of “Make America Great Again” hats, and Reagan/Bush ’84 t-shirts. Up the third base line, there were witty West-Wing t-shirts, and plenty of signs suggesting their owners were still firmly “With Her.”

But unlike most political events in today’s climate, the mood of the evening was light-hearted, and strikingly optimistic.

Matt Golin, who lives about a half mile from where the shooting happened in Alexandria, decided to come to his first congressional baseball game after hearing about the tragedy. He came with three friends, who described themselves as a “fairly balanced” group of Republicans and Democrats.

Golin said that in today’s political climate, people are “too sensitive,” but he hoped that the baseball game would help the two parties find common ground.

“This event is bringing people together,” Golin’s friend, Hannah Godshell, told ThinkProgress. “It’s really great to see support like this. It’s unfortunate an event like this had to cause it, though. Hopefully it spreads across the country.”

Congressional leadership comes together; Political sign in front of the stadium; Matt Golin (second from the left) and Hannah Godshell (right) with friends. CREDIT: Lindsay Gibbs, Casey Quinlan

Sixty-six year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois approached the GOP team around 7:00 a.m. ET as it was practicing for the game, and opened fire. The Capitol Police, which were only at the field because Scalise is part of House leadership, fired back and struck Hodgkinson, who died at the hospital from his wounds. By all accounts, had the police not been at the scene, Hodgkinson could have done a lot more damage.

A bullet entered Scalise’s left hip, and, according to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding.” He went into shock, and in the last 36 hours has gone through many units of blood transfusion and three surgeries. There could be more operations in his future.

Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner was also shot, as was Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika and congressional staffer Zachary Barth. Mika is still in the intensive care unit with chest wounds, though he has been downgraded from critical to serious condition.

It would be easy to let a senseless act of violence like this further polarize the nation; after all, Hodgkinson was reportedly a huge Bernie Sanders supporter who reportedly asked whether the baseball players were Democrats or Republicans before he started shooting.

But Young Americans for Liberty member Sean Themea, who was proudly sporting an “I Stand with Rand” t-shirt that he purchased a C-PAC 2015 (which means it’s “vintage,” he explained), said he’d been encouraged by the responses he’s seen to the tragedy from both sides of the aisle.

Sean Themea CREDIT: Lindsay Gibbs

“There’s a lot of great people on both sides who have come together and prayed and showed support — President Trump has sent a strong message of unity, and the Democrat team even prayed for the Republican team after they heard about the shooting,” Themea said while standing in line to get a hot dog. “It was a tragic event. God bless the Capitol Police for being there.”

Political leaders aren’t the only ones who have shown compassion in the aftermath of this tragedy. The CBG is always a charity event, and since the shooting, over $1 million has been raised for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, the Washington Literacy Center, and the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

By Friday morning, things will have most likely returned to normal on Capitol Hill. A dangerous and “mean” health care bill will continue to be pushed forward behind closed doors in the Senate, without even a whiff of bipartisan support; the Department of Justice will continue to set back civil rights; and the President will cease delivering subdued messages about unity in favor of his usual diet of enraged and unhinged tweets about political witch hunts.

But on Thursday night, after the Democrats were presented with the trophy, Democratic manager Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) presented Republican manager Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) with the trophy, and told him to keep it in Scalise’s office until the congressman returned to good health.

For a moment, at least, everyone was on the same team. In today’s political climate, that’s something worth celebrating.


Congressional Baseball Game offers brief respite from tragedy and controversy was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

No Picture

Congressional Baseball Game offers brief respite from tragedy and controversy

June 16, 2017 aurorax 0

Everyone was on “Team Scalise” Thursday night.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., (36) and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., right, react with members of the Republican team after the Congressional baseball game, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Washington. The annual GOP-Democrats baseball game raises money for charity. The democrats won 11–2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Approximately 36 hours after a lone gunman opened fire at a GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, Dan Bailey, a Capitol Police officer who was wounded in the shooting, hobbled to the infield on crutches in front of a record crowd of 24,959 and threw out the first pitch at the 56th annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park.

The game, as they say, must go on.

The first Congressional Baseball Game was played in 1909, and it’s been held on an annual basis since 1962. But it’s safe to say that no game has been as symbolically important as the one on Thursday night, which took place as one of the four shooting victims, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), lay in critical condition at the hospital following three surgeries.

While the congressional baseball game is always played with a bipartisan spirit, this year, both Republicans and Democrats made sure that everyone knew they were on the same team — Team Scalise — on this particular night.

“By playing tonight, you are showing the world that we will not be intimidated by threats, acts of violence, or assaults on our democracy,” President Donald Trump said in a recorded message played on the giant outfield scoreboard before the first pitch. (Perhaps the biggest sign of bipartisan unity was the absence of booing during Trump’s message — it’s hard to imagine that happening 48 hours earlier.)

The pregame ceremonies were extensive and, at times, emotional. When the Republican team was introduced, Scalise’s name was announced last, and his photo was shown on the big screen. He received a raucous standing ovation, from the fans of both teams.

Really emotional moment at Nats Park when the announcer said Steve Scalise’s name, in our thoughts and prayers. Some GOP threw hats #CBG17 https://t.co/zHWBzsgdrF

 — @AlexGangitano

The two teams came together to pray at the pitcher’s mound before the game began, there was a moment of silence for all of the victims before the first pitch, and the ballpark reached a deafening roar when Bailey hobbled to the pitcher’s mound, along with baseball legend Joe Torre, to throw the first pitch. Many of the players on both teams wore LSU caps in Scalise’s honor.

That doesn’t mean a partisan divide wasn’t palpable. During the game — which the Democrats won handily, 11–2, to gain the edge in the overall head-to-head 40–39–1 — the fans of each team were predominately seated to the left or the right of home plate according to their location on the political spectrum. On the first base side, there was a plethora of “Make America Great Again” hats, and Reagan/Bush ’84 t-shirts. Up the third base line, there were witty West-Wing t-shirts, and plenty of signs suggesting their owners were still firmly “With Her.”

But unlike most political events in today’s climate, the mood of the evening was light-hearted, and strikingly optimistic.

Matt Golin, who lives about a half mile from where the shooting happened in Alexandria, decided to come to his first congressional baseball game after hearing about the tragedy. He came with three friends, who described themselves as a “fairly balanced” group of Republicans and Democrats.

Golin said that in today’s political climate, people are “too sensitive,” but he hoped that the baseball game would help the two parties find common ground.

“This event is bringing people together,” Golin’s friend, Hannah Godshell, told ThinkProgress. “It’s really great to see support like this. It’s unfortunate an event like this had to cause it, though. Hopefully it spreads across the country.”

Congressional leadership comes together; Political sign in front of the stadium; Matt Golin (second from the left) and Hannah Godshell (right) with friends. CREDIT: Lindsay Gibbs, Casey Quinlan

Sixty-six year-old James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois approached the GOP team around 7:00 a.m. ET as it was practicing for the game, and opened fire. The Capitol Police, which were only at the field because Scalise is part of House leadership, fired back and struck Hodgkinson, who died at the hospital from his wounds. By all accounts, had the police not been at the scene, Hodgkinson could have done a lot more damage.

A bullet entered Scalise’s left hip, and, according to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, “traveled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding.” He went into shock, and in the last 36 hours has gone through many units of blood transfusion and three surgeries. There could be more operations in his future.

Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner was also shot, as was Tyson Foods lobbyist Matt Mika and congressional staffer Zachary Barth. Mika is still in the intensive care unit with chest wounds, though he has been downgraded from critical to serious condition.

It would be easy to let a senseless act of violence like this further polarize the nation; after all, Hodgkinson was reportedly a huge Bernie Sanders supporter who reportedly asked whether the baseball players were Democrats or Republicans before he started shooting.

But Young Americans for Liberty member Sean Themea, who was proudly sporting an “I Stand with Rand” t-shirt that he purchased a C-PAC 2015 (which means it’s “vintage,” he explained), said he’d been encouraged by the responses he’s seen to the tragedy from both sides of the aisle.

Sean Themea CREDIT: Lindsay Gibbs

“There’s a lot of great people on both sides who have come together and prayed and showed support — President Trump has sent a strong message of unity, and the Democrat team even prayed for the Republican team after they heard about the shooting,” Themea said while standing in line to get a hot dog. “It was a tragic event. God bless the Capitol Police for being there.”

Political leaders aren’t the only ones who have shown compassion in the aftermath of this tragedy. The CBG is always a charity event, and since the shooting, over $1 million has been raised for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, the Washington Literacy Center, and the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

By Friday morning, things will have most likely returned to normal on Capitol Hill. A dangerous and “mean” health care bill will continue to be pushed forward behind closed doors in the Senate, without even a whiff of bipartisan support; the Department of Justice will continue to set back civil rights; and the President will cease delivering subdued messages about unity in favor of his usual diet of enraged and unhinged tweets about political witch hunts.

But on Thursday night, after the Democrats were presented with the trophy, Democratic manager Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) presented Republican manager Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) with the trophy, and told him to keep it in Scalise’s office until the congressman returned to good health.

For a moment, at least, everyone was on the same team. In today’s political climate, that’s something worth celebrating.


Congressional Baseball Game offers brief respite from tragedy and controversy was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.