Category Archives: President

Winds of War

I stole the title from a friend’s Facebook post. I doubt he’ll mind.

He and I had the identical reaction to Trump’s speech to CPAC on Friday, in which Trump declared that America is about to undergo the greatest military buildup in history. Military buildups have one and only one purpose: going to war. That’s especially true when the nation embarking on the buildup already has the largest and most advanced military in the world, with most of the world’s other large fighting forces aligned with its own.

Worse yet, Trump, who expressed puzzlement at America’s no first strike policy regarding nuclear weapons, has promised a buildup in nuclear weaponry as well.

The only real questions are who and when. Iran? China? Mexico?

These are, as the saying goes, “interesting times.”

And we’re living in them.

Deportation Nation: DHS memos outline Trump’s ‘Deportation Force’

Donald Trump promised voters he would do a lot of things “on day one” in office, but of course he was lying and failed to do so. On his first day in office, Trump broke 34 promises. One of these promises was the one to the nativist and racist anti-immigrant white voters who put him over the top:

“These international gangs of thugs and drug cartels will be, I promise you from the first day in office, the first thing I’m going to do, the first piece of paper I’m going to sign is we are going to get rid of these people day one,” Trump said on the campaign trail in August 2016. In October 2015, Trump said about Obama’s immigration deferred action executive action initiatives, “the first minute in office I will countersign and revoke those executive orders.” He vowed to move 2 million “criminal aliens” out of the country “my first hour in office,” in August 2016. The following month, Trump said he would “give a mandate to everybody, including the local police,” to get the “bad ones” out of the country, also in the first hour.

Didn’t happen. But after stumbling and bumbling through his first month in office, the Trump “Deportation Force” has arrived, and it is as bad as anticipated. New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions:

President Trump has directed his administration to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively, unleashing the full force of the federal government to find, arrest and deport those in the country illegally, regardless of whether they have committed serious crimes.

Documents released on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security revealed the broad scope of the president’s ambitions: to publicize crimes by undocumented immigrants; strip such immigrants of privacy protections; enlist local police officers as enforcers; erect new detention facilities; discourage asylum seekers; and, ultimately, speed up deportations.

The new enforcement policies put into practice language that Mr. Trump used on the campaign trail, vastly expanding the definition of “criminal aliens” and warning that such unauthorized immigrants “routinely victimize Americans,” disregard the “rule of law and pose a threat” to people in communities across the United States.

Despite those assertions in the new documents, research shows lower levels of crime among immigrants than among native-born Americans.

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Latest on Trump-Putin campaign investigations

The always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief Donald J. Trump publicly insists that he has no ties to Russia (while refusing to release his tax records and business records for public scrutiny which likely demonstrate otherwise).

You’re always  asking me about the Russians. I don’t know nothin’ about no Russians!

We know this is bullshit, as David Leonhardt reminds us at the New York Times. Trump’s Russia Motives:

The mystery at the core of the Trump-Russia story is motive.

President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia. He has surrounded himself with aides who have Russian ties. Those aides were talking to Russian agents during the campaign, and some are now pushing a dubious peace deal in Ukraine. Trump recently went so far as to equate the United States and Vladimir Putin’s murderous regime.

But why?

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Trump’s Screaming Racism

Trump’s recent exchange with reporter April Ryan at last Thursday’s press conference has generated a ton of criticism.

Criticism that has been far too kind.

I saw Trump’s presser referred to as a “scream of consciousness.” I agree, but the presser included a scream of something else: racism.

In American politics these days, the unofficial rule is that as long as a politician doesn’t go so far as to use the “N” word, the press won’t use the “R” word. I will: Donald Trump is a flat-out, screaming racist. Racism is the only explanation for his exchange with reporter Ryan, his past birtherism, and countless other remarks. I remember an interview years ago in which he spoke of his “great relationship” with “the Blacks.” The Blacks? Really? Does Trump believe that all Black Americans think and feel the same way, or that they sit around a 40 million-person dinner table to discuss whom they like and don’t like? Continue reading

McCain: Trump is ‘flirting with authoritarianism’ … that’s ‘how dictators get started’

Our Dear Leader Donald Trump escalated his attacks on the news media Friday afternoon when he tweeted that outlets such as the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN are not his enemy but “the enemy of the American People.” Trump calls the media ‘the enemy of the American People’:

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It took the president two tries to properly post his message . . . The first tweet, which was quickly deleted, contained a number of extra spaces and listed the Times, CNN and NBC, ending with this conclusion: “SICK!” The second tweet added ABC and CBS to the list, while removing “SICK!” Both tweets labeled those organizations as being “the FAKE NEWS media.”

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Thursday night, the Republican Party and Trump’s campaign websites posted a 25-question “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey.” The survey formalized Trump’s attacks and his insinuation that media outlets are working against the American people. It’s unclear what, if anything, the data will be used for, and participants are required to give their name, email address and Zip code.

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The social-media ads driving people to the survey were paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee that splits its proceeds between Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Just to be clear, it is not just the always insecure Twitter-troll-in-chief who is declaring that the “fourth estate” is the enemy of the American people, it is the Republican Party establishment. All Republicans are tarred with Trump’s assault on the media unless they publicly renounce it.

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Office of Government Ethics: Kellyanne Conway violated ethics rules

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway’s public endorsement of Ivanka Trump’s product line on Fox News appears to be “a clear violation of the prohibition against misuse of position,” and she should be disciplined, the federal government’s chief ethics watchdog wrote this week in a letter to the White House. Ethics Watchdog Denounces Conway’s Endorsement of Ivanka Trump Products:

On Thursday, Ms. Conway, whose title is counselor to the president, gave an interview to Fox News from the White House briefing room, with the White House insignia visible behind her, defending the president and his daughter.

Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would say,” she said. “I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody; you can find it online.”

Federal ethics rules on conflicts of interest specifically exempt the president and vice president. But for any other executive branch employee, the rules prohibit using public office for personal gain, or “for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.”

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