SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Republicans launched the latest round of California vs. Florida Friday, warning Gov. Gavin Newsom that comparing his state’s economy to Florida’s — and, by extension, his leadership to that of Gov. Ron DeSantis — is a “comparison Newsom is likely going to regret.” The GOP issued the warning to the California governor in an email titled, “Florida vs. California, state jobs edition.” In fact, the latest numbers are a glass-half-open, glass-half-full proposition that give both states’ governors reason to brag — and find fault. California’s job gains over the last year were th...
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Herschel Walker plays the victim over 'past mental health' issues in a lame attempt to erase scandals
The campaign of Georgia Republican U.S. Senate nominee Herschel Walker is resorting to a strategy often employed by his idol Donald Trump: When you have no defense, portray yourself as a victim.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed commentary carrying Walker’s byline today, the headline asks, “How Low Can Gutter Politics Go?” — with the subhead “Bill Kristol’s Republican Accountability Project tries to stigmatize me for my past mental illness.”
As reported this week at Raw Story, the ad “includes footage of Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker’s ex-wife graphically describing him choking her and threatening to kill her during their marriage.” Walker’s commentary called the ad “dishonest” without questioning the authenticity of the footage.
Instead, Walker sought sympathy. Here’s his self-pitying explanation in the Wall Street Journal piece.
“The ad is titled “The Real Herschel Walker,” but its producers are the ones hiding something: that I took accountability for my actions and got treatment, that she gave this interview because I asked her to, and that we did this and other interviews together. The ad makers took something designed to do good and turned it into something evil, which will harm innocent people.”
There’s much to question with the “I took accountability for my actions and got treatment” part of Walker’s story. As with his 2008 memoir “Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder,” Walker attempts to place in the past tense a mental disorder which – assuming he has it – is viewed as manageable but not curable by health authorities such as the Cleveland Clinic.
There’s no evidence Walker has been cured, but there’s plenty of doubt that whatever challenges he had can now be placed conveniently in the rearview mirror. That was suggested by a May article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution headlined “Herschel Walker’s mental health battle raises questions about treatment.”
As AJC.com reported, “Walker’s campaign refused to answer questions about his current treatment or whether he still has symptoms.”
It also noted that, “Walker’s mental health story is complicated, interlaced with allegations of domestic violence and featuring a controversial therapist who has said a patient’s choice of crayon color can reveal whether he or she is gay or even possessed by demons.”
And there was this reporting in reference to Walker’s presumed multiple personalities, known as “alters.”
“Walker said in (a 2008) ABC interview that he had his alters under control. But in 2012 a Texas woman filed a police report accusing him of threatening to “blow her head off” and then kill himself if she broke up with him. Myka Dean said she was Walker’s longtime girlfriend, according to a January 2012 police report. No charges were filed against Walker, who has denied the claims.”
The report also cited pushback from an advocate for domestic-violence victims:
“Jan Christianson, executive director of the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, called the allegations against Walker “deeply troubling.”
“Mental illness does not excuse his behavior,” she said. “You have to take accountability for your actions. You can’t hide behind a diagnosis.”
Walker’s past misconduct is quite consistent with a series of scandalous revelations – hardly attributable to mental illness – such as his having failed to acknowledge publicly his fatherhood of multiple children.
The Huffington Post reported in June that Walker “confirmed that he actually has four children, following revelations that the critic of absentee fathers has a 10-year-old son with whom he reportedly has limited contact.
“In addition to the 10-year-old, the aspiring Georgia senator has a 13-year-old son as well as an adult daughter who he had when he was around 20 years old, The Daily Beast first reported Thursday. He also has a 22-year-old son who he has previously publicly disclosed. This brings his total, publicly reported children to four.”
That reporting noted the hypocrisy of Walker having done all that while calling out absent dads.
“In a 2020 interview with conservative activist Charlie Kirk, Walker called fatherless homes a “major, major problem” in Black communities and described himself as acting “like a father” to fatherless kids in the Georgia town where he grew up.”
And, there was this: “The Daily Beast reported that the mother of his 10-year-old son had to sue Walker after giving birth in order to secure a declaration of paternity and child support from the former NFL player.”
Comedian John Oliver won't have the last word on Donald Trump's document scandal, but he's certainly the one to have done the most detailed analysis and takedown yet.
Addressing the pickle Trump is in, the "Last Week Tonight" host began by celebrating the week that President Joe Biden had with an epic piece of legislation passed, the death of the head of al Qaeda, and the signing of the burn pits bill. Normally, that would be the top piece of news, but once again, former President Trump managed to beat him off the front pages with his own epic news.
Oliver mocked Trump's freakout by saying, "no! Not your safe! Amazingly, it turns out the FBI even checks your locked safes when they go through your home with a search warrant. The only way around that is if your safe says 'No FBI Allowed' on it. Then they can't legally look in there."
He remarked that there are many willing to speculate on what was in the documents and characterize them as unimportant without knowing what exactly they were. Oliver played the press conference with the House Republicans in which the House Intelligence Committee's GOP chief had a difficult time spitting out the words that there are a number of classified things on the internet.
"There are a number of things that, that are, [he clears his throat] classified that fall under the umbrella of nuclear weapons but are not necessarily things that are truly classified," said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). "Um, and, um, many of them you can find on your own phone."
"I don't know exactly what's going on with that guy, but the way he's clearing his throat, that's how his body's reacting to his nonsense," said Oliver.
He went on to say that there are a lot of things that are over-classified and that the internet has an abundance of government information available about nuclear weapons information. That said, "there's an entire website dedicated to celebrities' feet. Attorney General Merrick Garland, however, is the most prudent and cautious AG that the U.S. has had in a long time.
"I wouldn't be so quick to assume that the most cautious AG the U.S. has had for a while took the unprecedented step to lead the FBI to the ex-president's house if he didn't think it was absolutely necessary," said Oliver.
There will be a lot more going forward, he said, but this is the beginning.
See the video below beginning at the 22:14 minute mark:
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver S09E20 || HBO Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Aug 14, 2022 www.youtube.com
Donald Trump biographer Tim O'Brien explained that even though the former president "isn't a sophisticated man" and " is a deeply ignorant man," he still "understood the stakes in the search warrant that was executed."
He joined a panel of legal experts on MSNBC Sunday evening to explain that Trump's "secret power" is spinning something into something else.
"Then there was this void around how to interpret the FBI search, and he lept into that by labeling it a raid and saying the United States had a broken legal system, just like third world countries and this was a political hit," said O'Brien. "All that got embraced by Fox News and the enablers in the GOP. And they had about two new cycles worth of momentum out of that. By the time Merrick Garland belatedly gave guidance to the American public about what the Justice Department's intentions were here, I think the wheel had turned."
It's only persisted since Thursday, he said.
"I think the initial focus was, 'well the FBI is off the rails here," O'Brien went on. "He effectively change people from focusing on him to focusing on the FBI's actions. Now that the people are focusing on him, his motives in all of this become paramount. I think you really have to ask yourself, why did Donald Trump take these documents? I think it drops into three baskets. I think at least painful one of them is that he's a seven year grown old, and there's some stuff from the White House that he wanted to keep. Late models of Air Force One and its paint job."
Where it gets dodgy is whether Trump had financial incentives to take documents.
"Donald Trump's business is under enormous stress," O'Brien explained."He faces an aging investigation by the New York attorney general investigation that could put him out of business. He owes a lot of debt. His son-in-law and former Treasury Secretary both cashed in under relationships with the Saudis. I think he saw people in his administration monetizing their service. I think we can't put it past anyone that Trump saw some of these documents as avenues for him to making money. I think that the third possible basket here is damage control for his own reputation, actions you might have taken before your eyes leadership while he was president."
Former deputy assistant attorney general from the office of legal policy, Lisa Graves made it clear that Trump also can't wave a magic wand and declassify anything he wants. She also explained that the documents report revealed that the ones he took were the most sensitive.
"But the Espionage Act does not require anything to be classified specifically in order for it to apply," she also said. "I think Trump is in a world of trouble. We may have to start calling him Benedict Donald."
See the conversation below:
Benedict Donald youtu.be