erdogan

White House posts "unbecoming" photo of Nancy Pelosi berating Trump

President Donald Trump thinks this photo, of House Leader Nancy Pelosi berating him over his abandonment of America's Kurdish allies, will make her look bad. The BBC quotes Republican "leaders" as saying Pelosi—apparently one of two women at the table and five in the room—was behaving in an "unbecoming" manner. Pelosi set the photograph as her social media backdrop.

A Democratic source told the Associated Press news agency that the meeting began with Mr Trump bragging about a "nasty" letter he had sent to Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan. ... Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Ms Pelosi described it as "most unsatisfactory".

"Two-to-one, the Republicans voted to oppose what he was doing in Syria. He just couldn't handle it so he just kind of engaged in a meltdown," she said.

Mr Schumer said the president had been "insulting, particularly to the speaker".

After Pelosi said he had a "meltdown" during the meeting, Trump used the same term to describe Pelosi: one of the President's distinctive rhetorical habits. Read the rest

Turkey's Erdoğan"threw" Trump's threatening letter "in the bin"

After greenlighting Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held Syria by evacuating U.S. troops, Trump realized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was making a fool of him and sent a bizarre letter his way. The letter promised to destroy the Turkish economy, saying "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!" and "Lets work out a great deal!", and containing various other vulgar Scorsese-esque threats. Erdoğan, reports the BBC, "threw it in the bin" and proceeded with his invasion of Kurdish lands.

In a rare bipartisan rebuke, 129 members of the president's Republican Party in the House of Representatives joined Democrats to formally denounce the move in a vote on Wednesday.

The joint resolution, which also called on President Erdogan to immediately cease military operations against Kurdish-led forces, was voted in by 354-60.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also held an apparently explosive meeting with President Trump on the issue, which led to her and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer walking out of the room.

Republican leaders said Ms Pelosi's behaviour was "unbecoming"

What a perfect word for a woman standing at a table full of men:

Here's the letter again, in all its deranged black comedy.

Read the rest

'Don't be a fool!' A Donald Trump Motivational Poster for Erdogan

One can always use some good life advice, no matter the source! Read the rest

Read Trump's ridiculous threat letter to the Turkish president

Donald Trump, nominally the President of the United States of America, recently withdrew U.S. troops from Kurdish-held lands and greenlit a Turkish invasion of same, at Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request. As soon as the humiliations of this outcome became clear to Trump, we now learn, he began sending threats to Erdoğan instead. Erdoğan ignored them, began his attack, and now those formerly-American bases are occupied by Syrian and Russian forces called in by the desperate Kurds. The New York Times' Katie Rogers pointed out that she "felt the need to ask" the White House for confirmation that this letter is "real". It is.

Read the rest

Trump to Turkey's Erdogan: 'Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool.'

Donald Trump to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, on the occasion of his slaughtering of Kurds and Syria power-grab with Russia:

“Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool.” Read the rest

Orban humiliated: Hungary's crypto-fascist Fidesz party suffers string of municipal election defeats

Viktor Orban and his far-right, xenophobic, conspiratorial Fidesz party have led Hungary through a string of catastrophes, from its handling of Middle Eastern migrants to its ouster of the internationally famous Central European University to the passage of a slave labor bill that allowed employers to require hundreds of hours of mandatory overtime that needn't be paid for for years to the creation of a parallel system of partisan "administrative courts" to investigate government corruption and electoral fraud. Read the rest

Turkey attacks Syria, UN Security Council to meet in northern Syria on Thursday

Trump gave Erdogan green light, Putin nods in approval from Moscow. Read the rest

Trump gives Turkey blessing to attack Kurds, U.S. allies in war on ISIS

In a late-night press release, the White House announced that Turkey "will soon be moving forward" with an invasion of northern Syria—areas currently occupied by Kurds.

Mr. Trump’s decision goes against the recommendations of top officials in the Pentagon and the State Department who have sought to keep a small troop presence in northeast Syria to continue operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and to act as a critical counterweight to Iran and Russia. Administration officials said that Mr. Trump spoke directly with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on the issue on Sunday. And the officials indicated that the 100 to 150 United States military personnel deployed to that area would be pulled back in advance of any Turkish operation but that they would not be completely withdrawn from Syria.

The Kurds were key allies in the war on ISIS, and Trump is fully aware that withdrawing U.S. support for them could mean ethnic cleansing by the Turks, because he's boasted of stopping it in the past by not withdrawing.

On Monday a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - who occupy former IS territory in north-eastern Syria - strongly condemned the US move.

"There were assurances from the United States of America that it would not allow any Turkish military operations against the region," Kino Gabriel told Arabic TV station al-Hadath.

He added: "The (US) statement was a surprise and we can say that it is a stab in the back for the SDF."

Erdogan told Trump to do it, so he did it. Read the rest

After Istanbul voters rejected Turkish strongman Erdogan, he made them vote again -- and lost by the biggest landslide in 35 years

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (previously) was dealt a stinging rebuke in March, when voters in Istanbul overthrew his AK Party, which had run the city for 25 years; Erdogan had previously said "whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey." Read the rest

No peace in Hungary as thousands fill the streets, risking police violence, to protest slave labor law

Last week, Viktor Orban's authoritarian government rammed through a pair of massively unpopular laws: the "slave labor" law (employers can require up to 400 hours/year of overtime, and take up to three years to pay for it); and a law creating a parallel system of "administrative courts" dealing with "government issues" like voter fraud, overseen by political appointees from within Orban's regime. Read the rest

On Twitter, Trump cancels Putin G20 meeting, but Kremlin says they have not been notified of cancellation

Trump today canceled, via a tweet, his planned G20 meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Read the rest

Pompeo announces first U.S. penalties against Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi killing

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today said the United States will revoke entry visas for the Saudi men accused of torturing and assassinating Washington Post contributing journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Read the rest

Authoritarians used to be scared of social media, now they rule it

A new report from the Institute For the Future on "state-sponsored trolling" documents the rise and rise of government-backed troll armies who terrorize journalists and opposition figures with seemingly endless waves of individuals who bombard their targets with vile vitriol, from racial slurs to rape threats. Read the rest

Portuguese translation of Zuck's Empire of Oily Rags

Brent Longborough did me the enormous favor of translating my latest Locus column, Zuck's Empire of Oily Rags, into Portuguese, and sent it to me to publish.

Read the rest

Charges dropped against Turkey's presidential thugs who were filmed brutally beating protesters in Washington

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Washington DC last year, he brought along his gang of goons who beat protesters so brutally that nine were hospitalized. US prosecutors dropped charges against against 11 of the 15 men accused of the bloody assault. In the video above you can see the suited thugs kicking people on the ground as police officers try to stop them. Read the rest

A 1x1 tracking pixel was used as evidence of treason against 30,000 Turks, sent tens of thousands to jail

When Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkish government took reprisals against hundreds of thousands of people suspected to have been involved in the failed coup of 2016, one of the criteria they used for whom to round up for indefinite detention as well as myriad human rights abuses (including torture) was whether people had a cookie on their computers set by a 1x1 tracking pixel served by Bylock, which the Erdogan regime says is evidence of support of exiled opposition leader Fethullah Gülen. Read the rest

Study finds that people vote for strongman "dominance" leaders when they they feel out of control of their lives

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, London Business School organizational behavior scholars Niro Sivanathan and Hemant Kakkar used empirical methods to find the socioeconomic circumstances that predict when voters will elect "dominance-style" strongman leaders like "Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Rodrigo Duterte, Nicolás Maduro and Recep Erdogan." Read the rest

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