Sunday, July 23, 2017

MORE FROM THE MOST DYSFUNCTIONAL, DISHONEST, DELUSIONAL WHITE HOUSE EVER


1. "Senior White House adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump Jared Kushner reported 77 undisclosed assets and more than an additional $10 million in previously unreported holdings, according to revised financial documents filed Friday, which his legal team said were "inadvertently omitted" from prior financial disclosure filings.
The Office of Government and Ethics certified the updated financial disclosures listing the unreported assets and holdings as a part of an "ordinary review process," according to the filings."
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/21/kushner-discolsoure-report-77-omitted-assets-240833
Some people might lose their security clearances for this.

2.Another 'prostitute' and 'sycophant' joins the White House staff.

"Back in August 2015, Anthony Scaramucci, who has just been appointed White House communications director, was on Fox Business to discuss Donald Trump’s then-recent bashing of the hedge fund industry as just people who “move around paper,” in contrast to Trump’s real brick-and-mortar construction business.
Scaramucci was scathing in his response, labeling Trump “a hack politician” with “anti-American” rhetoric. He said Trump was on track to be “president of the Queens County Bullies’ Association” and that while other GOP “politicians don’t want to go after Trump because they’re afraid he’s going to light them up on Fox News,” he wasn’t afraid."
https://www.vox.com/2017/7/21/16010900/scaramucci-trump-hack


"He frequently praised Trump, [in his long opening speech to the media] saying he loved the president, and that he was "very loyal" to him.

"I love the mission that the president has since the early days of the campaign," Scaramucci said.

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"I grew up in the middle class, and so there's a struggle out there. The president saw that before I did. I wish I could tell you I saw it before him, but he taught it to me."

Scaramucci in recent months had become one of the most vocal defenders of Trump and his family. During an appearance on CNN in April, he compared the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to Alexander Hamilton.

His effusive praise for the president was on full display during the briefing, as he pledged his commitment to Trump’s “America first” agenda and defended the president's use of Twitter.

“To me, I think it’s been very effective use of reaching the American public directly and so listen, I welcome him continuing to do that. I think it’s very, very important for him to express his identity.”

Scaramucci also praised the president on his competitive nature and athletic skills."

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/343190-scaramucci-makes-press-briefing-debut-as-communications-director

[I'll spare you the rest of this sickening idol-worshipping interview.  Scar sounds like a teen-age girl who just found the best boy friend in the whole world.  What is it with   bromancing Trump?]   

 

Friday, July 21, 2017

TEXAS' BATHROOM BILLS--CLEARER PRESENTATION



Apparently, some readers did not understand some of the points I was trying to make about Texas’ bathroom bills.  My aplogies.  I’ll try again and look only at two of the worst bills and add comments.

“AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers are poised to debate bills that, if passed into law, are expected to spur court challenges that could define the "scope and limit" of the rights guaranteed to all transgender Americans.

On Friday, the Senate Committee on State Affairs will debate two so-called "bathroom bills" that would undo portions of city nondiscrimination ordinances and force transgender schoolchildren out of bathrooms that match their gender identity. The proposals could affect everything from convention center and stadium restroom policies to high school athletics. [State legislators tend to scream 'local control is better' when the feds try intervene. But heaven help the lower political subdivision that won't bow down to the state legislature.  Hypocrisy and 'it all depends on whose ox is being gorded'.]]

A few schools in Texas allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, according to Joy Baskin, legal director for the Texas Association of School Boards. But Kolkhorst’s bills would force trans girls, for example, who are born male but identify as female to use either a private, single-stall bathroom or the boys' restroom.  [There is no requirement that single-stall bathrooms be created.  A female trans-gender student using a male rest room or locker room poses a REAL public safety issue]  School districts would also not be able to protect athletes from discrimination, unless they are already covered under state or federal law, such as Title IX. Courts in other parts of the country have ruled Title IX's prohibitions on sex discrimination against female athletes also apply to transgender students. [hence ammunition of lawsuits]. But there’s been no similar decision that applies here in Texas.

 

The legislation, a priority for Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during the special session that kicked off on Tuesday, has been panned as discriminatory by businesses and LGBT rights organizations and unnecessary by law enforcement and school groups. It has backing from far-right conservative and religious groups that support the state's top Republican politicians.” . .

Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 91, authored by Brenham Republican Lois Kolkhorst, are nearly identical. They would both require public and charter schools to ensure that every multiple-occupancy bathroom, shower and locker room “be designated for and used only by persons of the same sex as stated on a person’s birth certificate.”  (emphasis supplied) . . .

“Penalties and legal questions

Under Kolkhorst's bills, attorney General Ken Paxton could sue any entity found to be in violation of the rules in Kolkhorst's bills, and recover costs and attorney’s fees in the process. [That’s the only penalty.  I thought this was a public safety issue] 

There would be no penalties for individuals who violate the law, so transgender Texans would not be arrested for simply using the restroom that matches their gender identity. Police would not have the authority to ask for a person’s birth certificate or other proof of identity to enforce the rules.  [The only good parts of the bill prevent it from being an effecive law enforcement effort.]

Patrick and Abbott have described the bills as public safety measures, with the former saying this week he's afraid of sexual predators "masquerading" as transgender women to gain access to the restroom. Far-right conservatives groups have gone further, doubting the existence of transgender men and women and questioning their mental health.

But so far, the state's top law enforcement groups have not taken a stance on the bills.

“All that scary stuff is already illegal,” said Charley Wilkison, executive director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas. “I have not heard from a police chief, from a sheriff, requesting this legislation, and I don’t know of a rank-and-file officer that set out and asked for his legislation to be carried.”

Emphasis and [ ] supplied by blogger.


Trump has not declared the Dallas Morning News ‘fake news’—yet.
 
What's REALLY going on here.  Religious and sexually conservative Texas Republicans want to stigmatize trans-gender people, and send a symbolic message that these people are unworthy.  Traditional sex-roles and traditional same-sex marriage are what God wants.

 

MORE WHITE HOUSE SCORCHED EARTH FOR TRUMP'S POLITICAL ENEMIES


To combat high teenage unmarried pregnancy rates in Dallas and elsewhere, a “federal grant provided $1 million to fund annual sexual education programs for parents and students in these high-risk areas. But this month, President Donald Trump's administration quietly scrapped 81 teen pregnancy prevention program and research grants, including the Dallas one.

"This is going to be devastating," said Gwen Daverth, CEO of The Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. "This is the most substantial source of funding in our state."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services eliminated two years from the five-year grants awarded by former President Barack Obama's administration. There was no announcement about the cuts by the Trump administration totaling $213.6 million, however all the grant awardees received a letter saying their funding would end in June 2018, instead of June 2020, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.”

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-county/2017/07/19/dallas-program-prevent-teen-pregnancy-threat-trump-cuts

No announcement of the cuts.  Sunlight is the best disinfectant.  What’s wrong with transparency?  Another example of Trump/conservative Republican secrecy and scorched earth policies.  The black community will be hit disproportionately hard.  Just another example of the disregard for humanistic concerns, and evidence of the political mandate to reward your friends and punish your enemies.

 

NOOSE TIGHTENING II. TRUMP INVESTIGATING PARDONS, SPECIAL COUNSEL


“Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

One adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller’s investigation.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can’t wait to pardon myself,’ a close adviser said.

With the Russia investigation continuing to widen, Trump’s lawyers are working to corral the probe and question the propriety of the special counsel’s work. They are actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work, according to several of Trump’s legal advisers.

A conflict of interest is one of the possible grounds that can be cited by an attorney general to remove a special counsel from office under Justice Department regulations that set rules for the job.”  [However, the statute contains limitations on what is a ‘conflict of interest’]


 

Where do you think this is headed?  Will there be pressure put on A.G. Sessions?  Is this Watergate and Saturday night massacre II. 

More info. on special counsel, etc.


 

FEDS THREATEN PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS

Anyone who thought election of Trump would help keep big brother off your back was naive.  Have privacy and Fourth Amendment protections gotten stronger! No!  Here's another example.
Republican Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was loosening federal controls on asset forfeiture.  These rules would allow the seizure of  private property  even before the owner has been officially charged.  The constitutional private property rights of Americans are disregarded.  The Obama administration made it harder for property to be seized.  The proposal is facing much bi-partisan opposition.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/jeff-sessions-treads-on-the-property-rights-of-americans/533979/

Thursday, July 20, 2017

REPUBLICAN HEALTH CARE BILLS FAIL

It looks like the Republican health care bill is dead for now.  The President said he would be 'angry' is something didn't pass soon.  There will be no replace and repeal or even repeal for now.  Shows you what the great leader the 'President' has been for his party.  Many are now beginning to see that he is a disaster waiting to happen. (see other post on investigations). 

The Wall Street Journal, no fan or Obamacare, not yet labelled false news by our 'President', and a paper having a reputation as one for affluent Republicans stated, in an editorial, that the failure was a 'self-inflicted fiasco' that 'is one of the great political failures in recent U.S. history, and the damage will echo for years.' [Sorry no link available.  Got it from the paper copy. Unlike folks trapped in the echo chamber, I read a variety of newspapers and watch a variety of news shows, incl. Fox News and ABC.  No, I am not an affluent Republican.  In case you hadn't guessed].

The Congressional Budget Office reported that if Obamacare (ACA) were repealed with no replacement would leave 17 million people without health care in 2018  The average premiums for people who wanted individual health share would increase by about 25 percent next year and 50 percent by 2020.  By 2026 individual coverage costs would double.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/politics/donald-trump-obamacare-health-care-republicans-senators.html

It's a delusion to think that if ACA was repealed, there would be a replacement as long as Republicans controlled both the House and Senate.  Arguably, the Republican fall- back strategy has been to cause enough uncertainty by their continuous blustering that insurers would withdraw from the market and individuals would quit.  This would wreck the ACA and then Republicans could step up and say they'd fix the system.  They wouldn't mention that they were the ones who deliberately sabotaged it. Anyone who knows anything about insurance knows that, in general, the larger the pool of providers and the large the pool of persons insured,  the lower the cost of health health care for individuals.  The relatively high cost of health care in the U.S. will not be solved by replacing or repealing Obamacare.  Ted Cruz's proposal to let insurance companies offer less coverage for less cost will only result in weakening the overall system and leave many with 'junk insurance" which will probably give them less value for their dollars.
'

Do you see a 'scorched earth,' 'let them eat cake' attitude toward power and working class people and their children as well as those with serious pre-existing conditions.
Shame on Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc.  I applaud the 3 female senators who stood up unanimously against this fraud as well as all the others.  Remember, the various bills were formulated in private session and no Democrats and Female Republican Senators were invited to attend.  Will Trump take his anger out on them and attempt to hurt their reelection chances? Will he blast them in his frequent spoiled rich, teenage, cyber-bully tweets?

REPUBLICANS, CULTURE WARS, TEXAS' BATHROOM BILLS

The alt-right leaning Republican leadership is strongly pushing the bathroom bill.  How many transgender people are going to do an already illegal act in a restroom against children?  It's already illegal. How many are going to be stopped from going into the restroom of their choice by the bill?  Few if any.  There is no reasonable way to enforce it. The bathroom bill will not stop it.  It's an stupid joke that is embarrassing many Texans.

Looking at Republicans in Texas and elsewhere, in general, we find 3 types, (1) business conservatives, (2)culture-warrior conservatives, and (3) hybrids.

The Business group aims at keeping regulations, including anti-fraud, environmental protections, consumer physical protection (e.g. product safety) low so profits for corporations and stockholders can get more $.  Taxes are to be kept as low as possible on the wealthy and lots of loopholes are to be created.  American workers are dispensable when machines or foreign workers can save production costs and increase profits.  International trade deals are seen as opportunities.

The Culture-Warrior group is interested in maintaining traditional conservative, personal values, white and Christian supremacy.  Gays and LGBT's are seen as perverts.  Feminist values are abhorred.  The men are supposed to be in charge. See post below.

The hybrid group is in a win-win situation.  However, sometimes the 2 other groups are in conflict.

Texas' anti trans-gender bathroom bill is causing a split.  Business groups are afraid it will  hurt tourism, investment, conventions, sports events, etc.  They are opposed arguing it will cost the state millions in business.They have allied with Democrats who are opposed to the bill on ethical, moral or ideological grounds.

Who will win?  The Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General seem to be in the Culture-Wars group.  The House Speaker seems to be more in the Business group.  My guess is that Texas will further embarrass itself by  passing the bill. The Lieutenant Gov. and Gov. appear to be obsessed.  They will sacrifice just about anything to get it through. 

INSIGHT INTO TRUMP SUPPORTERS AND THE REPUPBLICAN PARTY

Insightful article re Trump supporters and the Republican party.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-presidents-base-vs-the-republican-party-1500419237

This article gave me greater insight into the 2016 election results.  We all know that white working class and rust belt voters left the Democratic Party, their traditional home, and swUng the victory to Trump.  Yes, the Dems had ignored their plight for too long, but Republicans have never care about working-class people. How did the Repubs get this great migration?  They played on tribalism.  White supremacy is alive and well in many parts of America, among all classes.  Obama's election was the ultimate affront to many whites of all classes.  "Make America great" again meant to many of all classes 'make America a country dominated by  real Americans, white Christians, and their values, and keep others out.'
  Further Trump appealed to the anti-feminist, macho, male supremacists who view women as subordinate to men and their sexual and reproductive wants.  The

Republicans played the culture-wars card and were able to channel some of these traditionally democratic voters to their side.  In spite of the fact that the Republican party is anathema to their economic interests.  I'm not saying this applies to all white working class voters who supported Trump.   This is a frequent Republican tactic.  Get people whose self-interest is opposed to Republicans, to vote by stoking their fears of trans-gender people raping children in restroom, saying God made marriage only for opposite sex people, homosexual behavior is sinful, etc.  I don't think Trump was smart enough to figure this out.  But, his campaign people, esp. Bannon, did.

TRUMP STILL BROMANCING PUTIN. ALLIES IGNORED

Why is this noteworthy.  Among other things, the dinner was closed to the press. For more see

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/trump-putins-undisclosed-conversation-noteworthy/

NOOSE TIGHTENING, TRUMP LASHES OUT AT A.G. SESSIONS, SPEC. PROSEUCTOR, FBI CHIEF, COMEY ETC.


Trump has broken out of his delusions long enough to finally realize that the noose is beginning to slowly tighten around his neck. He is now lashing out, even at one of his strongest supporters, AG Jeff Sessions.  Allegations of conflicts of interests are deemed to make the investigators unfit.  He again made accusations against Comey.  Anyone old enough, or know enough about American history to remember Nixon, Watergate and the “Saturday Night Massacre.”?  When will Sesssions resign andTrump begin the firings?

 “WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”
[Read excerpts of The Times’s interview with President Trump.]

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, the president also accused James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired in May, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job. Mr. Trump criticized both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Mr. Comey’s dismissal  [Andrew B. McCabe] and the deputy attorney general [Rod J. Rosenstein] who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia. Mr. Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mr. Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so. But he left open the possibility as he expressed deep grievance over an investigation that has taken a political toll in the six months since he took office.


Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.” He would not say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”

. . . But Mr. Trump left little doubt during the interview that the Russia investigation remained a sore point. His pique at Mr. Sessions, in particular, seemed fresh even months after the attorney general’s recusal. Mr. Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump’s candidacy and was rewarded with a key cabinet slot, but has been more distant from the president lately. [The recusal was required by ethical considerations, Sessions did not want to recuse himself]

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he added. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”

Mr. Trump also faulted Mr. Sessions for his testimony during Senate confirmation hearings when Mr. Sessions said he had not had “communications with the Russians” even though he had met at least twice with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. “Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers,” the president said. “He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t.”

A spokesman for Mr. Sessions declined to comment on Wednesday.

[Is Trump burning bridges?  Is Trump trying to push Sessions into resigning?

 



The historic moments, head-spinning developments and inside-the-White House intrigue.





 

 


 

TRUMP JR. JR'S GUEST LIST FOR MEETING KEEPS CHANGING

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/18/us/politics/trump-meeting-russia.html?mtrref=undefined&gwh=48009BEE2D1724AF655A835645D176D3&gwt=pay

Sunday, July 16, 2017

MORE WHITE HOUSE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY

 Every White House has its ethical, lying  and legal problems.  I've never seen one as bad as Trumps.  Here's one that is not about Trump, Trump Jr., Sessions or Kushner.
http://www.whitehouse.at/white-house-officials-political-tweet-was-illegal-agency-says/

Saturday, July 15, 2017

TRUMP AND REPUBLICAN AUTHORITARIAN BROMANCE WITH PUTIN

 Donald Trump and many Republicans seem to be big admirers and defenders of Russsia's murderous dictator, V. Putin.  Trump refused to denounce Putin for ordering the killing of Putin critics.

Seems like others have jumped on the bandwagon.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/14/us/politics/putin-trump-conservatives.html

Distrusting the Russians used to be a cardinal characteristic of Republicans.  Perhaps Trump and these others are not really Republicans?

Trump seems to be a big admirer of authoritarian leaders.  His favorite President is Andrew Jackson.  Famous for talking tough, bucking the Supreme Court and causing the Cherokee's 'Trail of Tears.' (Has Trump never heard of George Washington or Abramaham  Lincoln, the two most usually mentioned as best Presidents) He has spoken favorably of the Phillipines dictator who has supported summary execution on suspected drug dealers.

It seems that authoritarians admire other authoritarians.

"When Donald Tump ran for president, and in the weeks after winning the election, his critics justifiably worried about his autocratic tendencies. This man, after all, had egged on his followers to assault protesters, called for his political opponent to be jailed, attacked the independence of the judiciary, and repeatedly expressed an unwholesome admiration for tyrants like Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin. As president, Trump has continued to show worrisome anti-democratic instincts, as in his continued lambasting of the judiciary and calls for changes in libel laws to curtain freedom of the press. On Tuesday night, Trump tweeted criticism of his FBI director, James Comey, an especially unwise move given that Comey is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government last year. By bashing a government official who is supposed to be independent, Trump confirmed fears that he’s an authoritarian at heart."

https://newrepublic.com/article/142468/trump-authoritarian-incompetent-yes


  Thank God we have Constitution and Supreme Court that will stand up to Presidents with such attitudes.

RUSSIAN MEDDLING IN ELECTION IS NOT FAKE NEWS

In spite of the fact that most, if not all, of the professional intelligence community has no doubt that the Russians attempted to influence the 2016 election of Trump, he and his toadies continue to deny it.  The evidence is overwhelming--the earth is not flat.

https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/russian-election-hacking

TRUMP JR. TRYING TO DISSEMBLE WAY OUT OF JAM

The never-ending sage of Russia and Trump family and administration officials and campaign aides continues.


"WASHINGTON — He is a veteran of the Red Army, photographed in the 1980s with fellow soldiers in a Russian birch forest. He collects fine art, likes opera and owns a nearly $2 million townhouse in trendy Logan Circle, in the center of Washington. He often zips around the city on a bright orange bicycle.

On Friday, Rinat Akhmetshin, the Soviet army veteran, revealed another detail of an exotic life: He was one of the people at the meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.

The presence of Mr. Akhmetshin adds another development to the evolving narrative about the gathering, which Donald Trump Jr. arranged after learning that a Russian lawyer claimed to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The news of Mr. Akhmetshin’s attendance shows how the story of the meeting keeps changing and has increased pressure on the White House to offer a more comprehensive account of what happened.

Mr. Akhmetshin, a naturalized American citizen who talks openly of his past in a K.G.B. counterintelligence unit focused on hunting spies in the Russian military, is well known in diplomatic and media circles in Washington, where he has worked for years on behalf of business and political interests in Russia and other former Soviet states.


Since The New York Times first reported the meeting on July 8, Donald Trump Jr. has had shifting accounts of what happened. When he learned that The Times planned to publish excerpts from his emails about the meeting, Donald Trump Jr. released them himself on Twitter and said he was doing so to be transparent.

The emails revealed that Donald Trump Jr. also invited Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a campaign adviser, as well as Paul J. Manafort, who at the time was the Trump campaign chairman. Rob Goldstone, a publicist and former British tabloid reporter who helped broker the meeting, was also there.

But Donald Trump Jr. did not disclose that other people who were not mentioned in the emails were also in attendance, including Mr. Akhmetshin and a translator. In his interview with The Times, Mr. Akhmetshin identified the translator as Anatoli Samachornov."

https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7060696059642580878#editor/target=post;postID=4806657670835871098

Perhaps Jr. has inherited a gene for dissembling.

OBAMA OFFICIALS INVESTIGATED


"House Republicans plan to give federal prosecutors what they say is evidence that Obama administration officials illegally shared or leaked names of associates of President Donald Trump that were incidentally collected in U.S. government eavesdropping.
The Intelligence Committee obtained information from documents and other sources that it plans to turn over to the Justice Department, likely by August, to determine whether crimes were committed, panel Chairman Devin Nunes of California said in an interview."
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-14/republicans-to-give-prosecutors-documents-on-leaking-allegations

Given Hillary Clinton's recklessness with e-mail, this should be investigated.  Some Dems claim it's an attempt to distract attention from investigations of Trump and his staff.  It needs to be investigated.  I expect integrity from both parties.

TRUMP EMBARASSES SELF & AMERICA WITH REMARKS RE FRENCH PRES.' WIFE


http://www.mlive.com/news/us-world/index.ssf/2017/07/trump_caught_on_tape_talking_a.html

Add in the kiss and the fact that his wife was standing right beside him, it reveals a man with some serious character defects.  Unless you are an alt-right freak, you should be worried and embarrassed re the man in the White House.  Western Europe, our closest allies, must view us as idiots.

THE TRUMP AND HIS REPUBLICAN TOADYS' AGENDA


"* TRUMP’S ‘POPULIST’ AGENDA IS NOT ACTUALLY POPULIST: The Post notes the big picture: Economic growth is more stagnant than Trump predicted; the Trump budget and health plan mirror Paul Ryan’s vision of shredding the safety net; and Trump’s trade agenda is stalled:
Trump’s combination of setbacks and delays on key policy initiatives highlight how the president is struggling to advance a populist vision of governing in a Republican Party that historically has not been receptive to such an approach. With his budget and health care, Trump is falling in line with some of his party’s most conservative voices, even if the policies threaten to harm many of the working-class voters who elected him.
Basically all that’s left of Trump’s “populist nationalism” is the stepped-up deportations, the travel ban (which is partially in effect) and the hostility to international cooperation on climate change."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/07/14/this-nbc-news-scoop-is-another-big-blow-to-the-trump-camps-russia-spin/?tid=pm_opinions_pop&utm_term=.5e5446d4edd6

When are his bromance, hero worship, toadying and sychophantic supporters in the working class going to get the picture?  Most eventually will, and the result for Republicans could be devastating.  I hope the epiphany comes in time for the mid-term elections. 

Alt-rightism has trumped populism.  The scorched earth let them eat cake, attitude of hard-core ideologues reflects the political truism that winners reward their supporters and punish their enemies.  Who are the alt-right's, conservative Republican's friends? 
Big business, the wealthy, polluting industries, makers of dangerous products,  Wall-Street con and rip-off artists, among others.  The de-regulation only benefits them and ordinary people and consumers and the environment pay the price.  White and Christian supremacists also like the policies.  Deportation, cut Planned Parenthood funding for poor women's health care, etc. feed this tribalism.
Class also interacts.  The poor and working class are disproportionately black and Hispanic.  When  they vote, the vote Democrat.  The Medicare and health care cutbacks will hit them disproportionately.  Also hurt will be working-class whites who supported trump.

Public education will take hits on both the federal and state level.  In Texas, funding for public education has decreased and unfunded mandates have increased.  The Repubs want tax relief.  The current Republican school bills in TX are shell games that will only further gut public education.  Many urban schools are disaster areas.  Most, if not all, are dominated by black and Hispanic students of low income.  More punishing your enemies by punishing their kids and crippling the future of many.  The Repubs don't care.   Their kids go to private schools, pricey charter schools and  white-dominated suburban schools.

Have these lawmakers lost all sense of decency and humanitarian values?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WHO LIKES TRUMPS OUTRAGEOUS STATEMENTS AND WHAT VALUES DO THEY SUPPORT?

Trump's statements and tweets encourage sick values our society has tried to minimize, esp. some attitudes toward women.  The inane, dumb, embarrassing excuses Trumpistas make for his behavior is disgusting.  They rarely address the issue.  Mass delusions galore there. This behavior does not bode well for the future of democracy.


"Who Likes Trump’s Tweets and Why

By SUSAN CHIRAJUNE 29, 2017




Once again, President Trump has triggered a predictable wave of outrage, this time over his insulting tweets about the television host Mika Brzezinski’s bleeding face-lift. We know who he alienates by this behavior — and that includes many mainstream Republicans as well as Democrats. But who is the audience he is playing to? And what are the implications when the president flouts what used to be seen as taboos?

Mr. Trump and his die-hard followers delight in the shock value of violating social and political norms. They revel in the thumb in the eye. It’s intrinsic to the president’s appeal to his base, and it’s increasingly clear that either deliberately or impulsively, both his conduct and his policies are aimed at that base and not beyond it.

The president is an equal-opportunity insulter, but let’s just focus on his posture toward women — and the ecstatic response this evokes in some quarters. This was the week in which Mr. Trump called an Irish reporter to his desk while talking to her prime minister about her smile — only the latest of a stream of pronouncements about women’s appearance. His jab at Ms. Brzezinski echoed his comment that another television anchor, Megyn Kelly, had been bleeding from her wherever, that evocation of menstruation, so unclean, so embarrassing, so primal.

There is something about his swagger, his unabashed embodiment of a time when women were eye candy and arm candy. And there is something about the way he strikes back at women who anger him that seems to resonate for some men — and which, at least so far, has not cost him the support of the women who backed him. The uncomfortable larger question is whether this president’s behavior is encouraging and unmasking resentments about women’s place in society.

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The women’s movement spent decades attempting to change attitudes among Americans so that tweets like Mr. Trump’s would be out of bounds. Even a year ago, the conventional wisdom was that comments like Mr. Trump’s taped boasts about forcing himself on women were political suicide. That no longer appears to be true. And the fear is that much as President Barack Obama’s election seemed to ignite resentments about race that most people had been shy about expressing publicly, Mr. Trump’s election may be unleashing latent anger toward women.


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Theda Skocpol, professor of government and sociology at Harvard, has been visiting eight counties around the country as part of her research to monitor developments in the Trump presidency. “There’s one example after another as if some button had been pushed and people were openly saying to each other the tensions you’ve been feeling about gender changes over the last 40 years — it’s just fine to uncork all those ambivalent and angry feelings,” she said of national trends overall.

Christine Matthews, veteran strategist and president of Bellwether Research who has advised Republican campaigns, said that there is some polling data to suggest Mr. Trump is tapping into anger among some men. “A subset of men whom Trump appeals to is threatened by women in power,” she said. “They feel their dominance in society is threatened. This is not coming — generally — from college-educated men or those in suburban or urban centers with strong economic prospects.”

Joan C. Williams, a law professor and author of “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America,” said that unless other political leaders address class grievances, Mr. Trump’s appeal will continue to resonate.

“Trump’s persistent insults to high-profile women play to that part of his base that has long been incensed at a definition of political correctness that includes women, L.G.B.T.Q. people, immigrants and other groups — but leaves out working-class whites nursing the hidden injuries of class,” she said. “So long as class remains unacknowledged as a key source of social disadvantage, Trump’s insults will feel to some of his supporters like a delicious poke-in-the-eye of elites.”

Mr. Trump has in fact turned politics into performance art. Some have likened what he does to insult comedy of the type practiced by Don Rickles. But insult comics are quick to point out that there is a crucial difference. “Insult comedy underneath it all is about affection,” said Lisa Lampanelli, known for routines that both insult and reveal what it feels like to be insulted. “I saw Trump be a roastmaster at the Friars Club, but he doesn’t have the skill to do this kind of thing with the right intention underneath it. Is it entertaining to some? I don’t find these tweets entertaining in the least. It’s off-putting and it gets to a scary bully level.”

Social media offers another lens. It’s a medium Mr. Trump exploits brilliantly, and one that has fostered and amplified a toxic subculture of misogyny. Today on Twitter, there was glee about Mr. Trump’s tweet alongside the denunciations. Some piled on with more insults about women. Others were overjoyed that Mr. Trump was upsetting “snowflakes,” that derisive term of art for oversensitive liberals. Still others believed that the president was justifiably striking back against attacks on him from Ms. Brzezinski and her co-host, Joe Scarborough. Some insisted there was no sexism involved, that women aren’t exempt from criticism and have to learn to take it, just as men do.”

INSANE REQUEST FOR VOTER INFORMATION FROM WHITE HOUSE COMMISSION

The insanity emanating from the White House never ceases.  We now have a commission on voter fraud which has made an outrageous data request to states for information on voters.  The real motive for this is to try to find support for Trump's delusion that he would have won a majority of the popular vote but for voter fraud by Democrats.  This is insane!  The data does not include which presidential candidate the voter selected.  Thus, the data will not answer the question.  I'ts just totally dumb and a waste of time and money.

"The political uproar over a White House commission’s request to state election officials for a trove of personal data on the nation’s voters continued as secretaries of state gathered for their annual meeting on Friday in Indianapolis.
The panel was set up to investigate claims of voter fraud, which experts generally agree is rare, after President Trump claimed illegal voting had cost him the popular vote in November’s election, and it has come under attack by election officials from both parties.
As of Thursday evening, 20 states and the District of Columbia had outright rejected the request by Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, which works to promote expanded access to the ballot. Most of the remaining states either said they were studying the request or agreed to provide only public information like lists of voters who are registered.
Some of the reaction was blistering, even from Republican state officials. Mississippi’s Republican secretary of state said last week those behind the request could “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.” (The news organization Mississippi Today reported on Thursday that Mississippi has been providing this data to Interstate Crosscheck, a Kansas initiative with similar goals that Mr. Kobach runs.)
Continue reading the main story

The commission fired back on Wednesday, issuing a statement that called the dust-up “fake news” arising from “obstruction by a handful of state politicians.” Some election scholars say, however, that there are real questions about the panel’s intent.
Here’s what to know about the panel and access to voter data.

What information is being sought?

The commission’s request is voluminous: For 200 million voters, it seeks names, addresses, dates of birth, political affiliations, the last four digits of Social Security numbers, which elections they voted in and whether they are active, inactive or canceled voters. It also requests records of felony convictions, whether voters are registered in other states, and whether they serve in the military or live or cast votes by mail from abroad.
The official request asks for information if it is “publicly available,” which is commonly the case for much of this data.

Why is the commission seeking data from the states?

The panel wants to compare state voter databases with “a number of different databases, looking for the possibility for areas where voter rolls could be strengthened,” Marc Lotter, a spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence, told the investigative news organization ProPublica on Thursday.
Mr. Kobach, who prepared the request without input from at least some of the other commissioners, has a history with this issue: He already oversees the Interstate Crosscheck program that compares voter rolls from some 30 states in an effort to turn up people who vote in two states. Crosscheck has been widely criticized as inaccurate; one analysis found that of the 7.2 million potential double voters the program had identified, no more than four were actually accused of deliberately registering or voting in two states.
Voting rights advocates and some scholars say they have concerns that Mr. Kobach, who maintains that voter fraud is pervasive, may want to build a case for stricter requirements for registering to vote and casting ballots. They also argue that the database comparisons he wants to make will, like the Crosscheck program, vastly overestimate the potential for fraud.
 
See more at
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/07/us/politics/voter-fraud-commission.html

TRUMP ENCOURAGING POLITICAL VIOLENCE (AMONG OTHER THINGS)


I keep running out of adjectives to describe our "President." 

I.  his now infamous doctored video showing him beating up a man with a CNN logo pasted over his face is unbelievable.  It drove his favorable rating as President down even lower and got negative comments from Republicans.  What description fits here?  Bully?  Narcissist with an extremely fragile ego?  Immature, spoiled teenager? Will this inspire the wackiest among his supporters to violence against the media. Will politi al violence become part of the repertoire of Trump supporters?

Trump has a record of encouraging violence against those who heckled at this meetings while on the campaign trail.  See videos at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-national-space-council_us_59581eeee4b05c37bb7ed0f7?utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&utm_source=politics_fb&utm_medium=facebook&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013&section=politics

Will political violence become part of the repertoire of Trump supporters?  Remember Mussolini's violent 'blackshirt' supporters?  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackshirts

2.  The clown show part of his schtick continued with the quote below.

“We know what this is, space. That’s all it has to say: space,” Trump said as he prepared to sign his executive order [re-establishing the National Space Council]. He then turned to Aldrin and asked, “There’s a lot of room out there, right?”
“To infinity, and beyond,” Aldrin quipped as others laughed. But Trump apparently didn’t get the reference to Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase in “Toy Story.”
“This is infinity here. It could be infinity,” Trump answered in a rambling response. “We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something — but it could be infinity, right?”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-national-space-council_us_59581eeee4b05c37bb7ed0f7?utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&utm_source=politics_fb&utm_medium=facebook&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013&section=politics

What description fits here.  I'll go with 'dumb,' or 'airhead.

3.  See this editorial re the "President," Nixon and role modelling
                  
"Maybe we should all take a moment to feel a little sorry for Donald Trump, who reacted to criticism on Thursday by tweeting a stream of coarse insults at the television journalist Mika Brzezinski.
After all, he so clearly lacks the toughness of George Washington, who once privately observed that his critics’ “arrows … never can reach the most vulnerable part of me.” He lacks the confidence of Dwight Eisenhower, who said, when asked if he thought his press coverage was fair, “Well, when you come down to it, I don’t see what a reporter could do much to a president, do you?”
And — are we really about to write this sentence? — Mr. Trump lacks the grace Richard Nixon showed, at least in public. At the height of Watergate in late 1973, Mr. Nixon blurted at a news conference, “I have never heard or seen such outrageous, vicious, distorted reporting in 27 years of public life.” Yet he added, “I am not blaming anybody for that. Perhaps what happened is that what we did brought it about.”
Mr. Trump may be a more tender soul, or less resilient. In any case, he can’t seem to take the heat.
Continue reading the main story
Probably no one in the world draws as much scrutiny and criticism — even mockery — as an American president, and each president understandably chafes. But for Mr. Trump, every barb seems to hit home, and he vengefully attacks his tormentors . . . 
He does not appear to realize that he is embarrassing himself. This is what both Republicans and Democrats have been trying to tell Mr. Trump since his tweeted attacks on the MSNBC co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski, which were capped by the claim that he refused to spend New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago with Ms. Brzezinski, who was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.”
“People may say things during a campaign, but it’s different when you become a public servant,” Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, told The Times. “I see it as embarrassing to our country.” Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, said Mr. Trump’s tweets “do not provide a positive role model.”
Add to the nastiness of the attack its creepy misogyny. Here again was Mr. Trump, whose casual boasting of sexual assault nearly upended his candidacy, denigrating women with references to “bleeding.” “This is not okay,” Representative Lynn Jenkins, Republican of Kansas, said on Twitter. “As a female in politics I am often criticized for my looks. We should be working to empower women.”
Mr. Trump’s advocates are trying, implausibly, to present his online demonstrations of self-pity as feats of macho toughness. The spokeswoman for Melania Trump (who has named anti-cyberbullying as a potential advocacy project) said the tweets showed that “when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, said Mr. Trump was “fighting fire with fire.”

Mr. Trump’s behavior sabotaged a day that included critical talks on the Senate health care bill, a speech on energy policy and the arrival of South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks on the North Korean nuclear threat. Thursday ended with Mr. Trump awkwardly awaiting Mr. Moon’s motorcade, as reporters shouted, “Mr. President, do you regret your tweets this morning?”
The big question for all of us is whether with his foot-stamping and his vulgarity Mr. Trump, in defiance of all his predecessors, is creating a new model for future presidential behavior. Can the etiquette of professional wrestling and reality television truly pass as acceptable for the Oval Office? The breadth and depth of bipartisan repugnance for this president’s insults suggests, thankfully, that the answer may prove to be no."
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/opinion/president-trump-melting-under-criticism.html