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Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Mnuchin Says Putting Tubman on $20 Bill a Matter for Review

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"U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may find himself dragged into the debate about America’s racial history after declining to commit to Obama administration plans to feature abolitionist Harriet Tubman on redesigned currency notes.
Asked in a CNBC interview on Thursday whether he supports his predecessor’s decision to put Tubman on $20 bills, he said, “ultimately we will be looking at this issue. It’s not something that I’m focused on at the moment.” The top issue to consider when redesigning notes is security against counterfeiting, he said. 

Tubman, a former slave who helped others to freedom, was to become the first woman and first minority to appear on U.S. paper currency. Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, is currently on $20 bills. “Right now we have a lot more important issues to focus on,” Mnuchin said.
“People have been on the bills for a long period of time," Mnuchin said. “This is something we will consider.”

Mnuchin Says Putting Tubman on $20 Bill a Matter for Review

(Via.)

Mnuchin Says Putting Tubman on $20 Bill a Matter for Review

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Mnuchin Says Putting Tubman on $20 Bill a Matter for Review: ""

(Via.)

Cobb County Georgia Cop Reassures Woman During DUI Stop: 'Remember, We Only Kill Black People' I lived in Cobb County From 1992-2016| HuffPost

"UPDATE: 5:15 p.m. ― The officer involved in this case has been fired, according to Police Chief Mike Register, who delivered remarks Thursday.

‘I don’t know what is in his heart, but I know what came out of his mouth,’ Register said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ‘We recommend that he be terminated and we are moving forward on that.’ 

PREVIOUSLY:

An outrageous video surfaced online this week showing a Georgia police officer reassuring a woman that she was safe in his presence because she wasn’t black.

‘Remember, we only kill black people,’ Cobb County Police Lt. Gregg Abbott is heard saying on dashcam video obtained by WSB-TV Wednesday. ‘We only kill black people, right?’

The video, which was reportedly captured after the woman was pulled over during a DUI stop, was taken last year and recently resurfaced after WSB-TV submitted an open-records request. The woman can be heard telling the officer that she was afraid to move her hands because she had seen too many videos of police encounters with motorists ending deadly, as was the case for a number of black Americans like Sam DuBose and Philando Castile."

(Via.). Cop Reassures Woman During DUI Stop: 'Remember, We Only Kill Black People' | HuffPost:

Cobb County Georgia Cop Reassures Woman During DUI Stop: 'Remember, We Only Kill Black People' I lived in Cobb County From 1993-2016| HuffPost

"UPDATE: 5:15 p.m. ― The officer involved in this case has been fired, according to Police Chief Mike Register, who delivered remarks Thursday.

‘I don’t know what is in his heart, but I know what came out of his mouth,’ Register said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ‘We recommend that he be terminated and we are moving forward on that.’ 

PREVIOUSLY:

An outrageous video surfaced online this week showing a Georgia police officer reassuring a woman that she was safe in his presence because she wasn’t black.

‘Remember, we only kill black people,’ Cobb County Police Lt. Gregg Abbott is heard saying on dashcam video obtained by WSB-TV Wednesday. ‘We only kill black people, right?’

The video, which was reportedly captured after the woman was pulled over during a DUI stop, was taken last year and recently resurfaced after WSB-TV submitted an open-records request. The woman can be heard telling the officer that she was afraid to move her hands because she had seen too many videos of police encounters with motorists ending deadly, as was the case for a number of black Americans like Sam DuBose and Philando Castile."

(Via.). Cop Reassures Woman During DUI Stop: 'Remember, We Only Kill Black People' | HuffPost:

If You Think Trump’s Summer Was a Bummer, Wait ’Til Fall Starts

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"The five factors that are going to combine this fall to create a perfect storm that will drive Trump crazy and bring our nation to the brink of peril.

RICK WILSON 08.31.17 1:00 AM ET Disasters happen. Nature refuses to cooperate with the best-laid plans of kings and lesser men alike. The 3 a.m. phone call, whether it’s a foreign policy crisis, a natural disaster, or an economic challenge, always, inevitably and inexorably comes. For this president, a man with a notoriously short attention span and a singular focus on his own internal ego monster, the destruction and damage from Harvey is just one part of a perfect political storm approaching Donald Trump and his administration. There are five political elements in the fall forecast that will combine to make Trump’s first autumn in office rough going. First, the basic, fundamental problem is President Short Attention Span himself. Trump’s inability to focus for longer than the duration of a tweet will make his troubles in the coming months much, much worse. Consider last Sunday as an example. At first, he greeted the day with a few on-point messages of support for the people hit hard by Harvey. Then things went off the rails, with a logrolling promotion of Sheriff David Clarke’s book, some bleating about Mexico paying for the imaginary Wall, and a swipe at Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. While FEMA, the State of Texas, and tens of thousands of volunteers buckled down for recovery operations, Donald Trump was engaged in his usual Twitter logorrhea. If you thought that Trump would improve once Steve Bannon, Seb Gorka and a few of the other hangers-on were fired, think again. Trump is always Trump, and never, ever improves. Even the scripted statements and speeches where he reads from the teleprompter are done through gritted teeth, and you can practically see the mania building as he plots his next attention-whoring outrage. John Kelly’s thankless task won’t get easier. The prisoner never loves his warden, even if he obeys the rules from time to time. The White House staff will need to keep the shock collar charged in the next 10 days, as the scope of the deaths and destruction becomes clear. Second, Donald Trump’s disaster on race isn’t over, no matter how many variations of the staff-driven cleanup speeches and remarks he reads. The cat was out of the bag the moment the ‘both sides’ speech lowered the bar on presidential moral character, and it’s cracked the loyalty of his Cabinet and deeply embarrassed an already shamed and disgusted Republican Congress. As much as the Russian propaganda machine and its American fellow travelers on the clickservative right play moral equivalency games where the Old Navy anarchists of Antifa are equal to neo-Nazis, Klansmen, alt-reichers, and the rest of their white-supremacist flotsam, the damage Trump took on this is real and lasting."

(Via.).  If You Think Trump’s Summer Was a Bummer, Wait ’Til Fall Starts

Burning Texas Plant Was Just Fined for Mishandling ‘Explosive Chemicals’

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Burning Texas Plant Was Just Fined for Mishandling ‘Explosive Chemicals’

Exclusive: Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation

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"Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit. This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney. And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump’s tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public."

(Via.)   Exclusive: Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation:

New Hazard in Storm Zone: Chemical Blasts and ‘Noxious’ Smoke - The New York Times

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"HOUSTON — A series of explosions at a flood-damaged chemical plant outside Houston on Thursday drew sharp focus on hazards to public health and safety from the city’s vast petrochemical complex as the region begins a painstaking recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The blasts at the plant, owned by the French chemical company Arkema, came after its main electrical system and backups failed, cutting off refrigeration systems that kept volatile chemicals stable. While nearby residents had been evacuated, 15 public safety officers were treated at a hospital after inhaling smoke from chemical fires that followed the explosions.

The Arkema plant has been identified as one of the most hazardous in the state. Its failure followed releases of contaminants from several other area petrochemical plants and systemic breakdowns of water and sewer systems in Houston and elsewhere in the storm-struck region.

The explosions — more are expected, the company said — will bring fresh scrutiny on whether these plants are adequately regulated and monitored by state and federal safety officials."

(Via.).  New Hazard in Storm Zone: Chemical Blasts and ‘Noxious’ Smoke - The New York Times:

Trump Attorneys Lay Out Arguments Against Obstruction-of-Justice Probe to Mueller - WSJ

"WASHINGTON—Lawyers for Donald Trump have met several times with special counsel Robert Mueller in recent months and submitted memos arguing that the president didn’t obstruct justice by firing former FBI chief James Comey and calling into question Mr. Comey’s reliability as a potential witness, people familiar with the matter said.

One memo submitted to Mr. Mueller by the president’s legal team in June laid out the case that Mr. Trump has the inherent authority under the constitution to hire and fire as he sees fit and..."

(Via.).  Trump Attorneys Lay Out Arguments Against Obstruction-of-Justice Probe to Mueller - WSJ:

During a summer of crisis, Trump chafes against criticism and new controls - The Washington Post

"President Trump spent the final days of August dutifully performing his job. He tended to the massive recovery from Hurricane Harvey. He hit the road to sell his tax-cut plan. And he convened policy meetings on the federal budget and the North Korean nuclear threat.

Behind the scenes during a summer of crisis, however, Trump appears to pine for the days when the Oval Office was a bustling hub of visitors and gossip, over which he presided as impresario. He fumes that he does not get the credit he thinks he deserves from the media, or the allegiance from fellow Republican leaders he says he is owed. He boasts about his presidency in superlatives, but confidants privately fret about his suddenly dark moods.

And some of Trump’s friends fear that the short-tempered president is on an inevitable collision course with White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly."

(Via.).  During a summer of crisis, Trump chafes against criticism and new controls - The Washington Post:

Is Robert Mueller Trying To Keep Trump From Issuing Russia Probe Pardons...

Kellyanne Conway to CBN: President Trump Exemplifies Humility. How could you do this I don't care outside of money. This is real prostitution.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

James Mattis Contradicts President Donald Trump: Always Diplomatic Optio...

REPORTER GOES OFF ON Oil INDUSTRY Than GETS CUT OFF While covering Hurri...

I GAVE THE PRESIDENT A CHANCE AND I REGRET IT! What a dumb decision.

Legal challenge to Arpaio pardon begins - The Washington Post



"Put simply, the argument is that the president cannot obviate the court’s powers to enforce its orders when the constitutional rights of others are at stake. “The president can’t use the pardon power to immunize lawless officials from consequences for violating people’s constitutional rights,” says one of the lawyers who authored the letter, Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People. Clearly, there is a larger concern here that goes beyond Arpaio. “After repeatedly belittling and undermining judges verbally and on Twitter, now President Trump is escalating his attack on the courts into concrete actions,” says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. “His pardon and celebration of Joe Arpaio for ignoring a judicial order is a threat to our democracy and every citizen’s rights, and should not be allowed to stand.”



Legal challenge to Arpaio pardon begins - The Washington Post

Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe - POLITICO Trump cannot pardon a crime charged by the State of New York.

Robert Mueller. | AP



"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions, according to several people familiar with the matter.



The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.



The two teams have shared evidence and talked frequently in recent weeks about a potential case, these people said. One of the people familiar with progress on the case said both Mueller’s and Schneiderman’s teams have collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering.



No decision has been made on where or whether to file charges. “Nothing is imminent,” said one of the people familiar with the case.



Manafort has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has previously denied it. A spokesman for Manafort didn’t return phone calls seeking comment."



Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe - POLITICO

Confidence in Trump low worldwide | Pew Research Center

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"Relatively few people across the globe have confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump to do the right thing when it comes to world affairs. And some of his most prominent policy proposals – such as building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, withdrawing from trade and climate agreements, and restricting people from some Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. – are deeply unpopular. Opposition to the United States’ possible withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement is less intense worldwide, and such a move would be welcomed by a majority of the public in Jordan and Israel.

In terms of personal characteristics, Trump is seen by most publics around the world as arrogant, intolerant and even dangerous. At the same time, he is seen by sizable percentages as a strong leader.

Despite widespread unease over the new U.S. president’s character and his policies, the prevailing view across the publics surveyed is that the relationship between the U.S. and their country will not change during Trump’s tenure. Those who do anticipate change, however, are more likely to expect relations to worsen rather than improve, particularly in Western Europe.

With Trump in office, confidence in U.S. president drops precipitously

Across the 37 countries surveyed in 2017, a median of only 22% say that they have at least some confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs. Almost three-quarters (74%) have little to no confidence in the new U.S. leader.

Trump’s greatest support in the current poll comes from Filipinos, 69% of whom say they have confidence in the U.S. president. Other publics in which more than half offer a positive opinion of him include a diverse array of countries such as Nigeria (58%), Vietnam (58%), Israel (56%) and Russia (53%).

In contrast, only 5% in Mexico and 7% in Spain have confidence in Trump. He gets consistently low ratings across Latin America and Europe, where medians of only 14% and 18% respectively have confidence in him.

Around the globe, confidence in the U.S. president is at some of the lowest levels measured by Pew Research Center over the past decade and a half."

(Via.). Confidence in Trump low worldwide | Pew Research Center:

Is Trump's Mission to Undo Obama's Legacy? | MSNBC

Is Trump's Mission to Undo Obama's Legacy? | MSNBC: ""

It’s Time: Congress Needs to Open a Formal Impeachment Inquiry - Lawfare

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"Last Tuesday, the New York Times published a foggy story noting that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell "has mused about whether Mr. Trump will be in a position to lead the Republican Party into next year’s elections and beyond."
The time for musing has passed. It’s now time to begin a serious conversation about the impeachment and removal of President Trump by opening a formal impeachment inquiry.


The evidence of criminality on Trump’s part is little clearer today than it was a day, a week, or a month ago. But no conscientious member of the House of Representatives can at this stage fail to share McConnell’s doubts about Trump’s fundamental fitness for office. As the Trump presidency enters its eighth month, those members of Congress who are serious about their oaths to "support and defend the Constitution" must confront a question. It’s not, in the first instance, whether the President should be removed from office, or even whether he should be impeached. It is merely this: whether given everything Trump has done, said, tweeted and indeed been since his inauguration, the House has a duty, as a body, to think about its obligations under the impeachment clauses of the Constitution—that is, whether the House needs to authorize the Judiciary Committee to open a formal inquiry into possible impeachment.


It’s not a hard question. Indeed, merely to ask it plainly is also to answer it.

It’s Time: Congress Needs to Open a Formal Impeachment Inquiry - Lawfare:

Comey's friend calls for impeachment

Digging Into "Transgender Ban"

Dana Bash: Trump spent his Texas time congratulating himself because ‘th...

Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant - The New York Times

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"WASHINGTON — In the hours after European antitrust regulators levied a record $2.7 billion fine against Google in late June, an influential Washington think tank learned what can happen when a tech giant that shapes public policy debates with its enormous wealth is criticized.
The New America Foundation has received more than $21 million from Google; its parent company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt; and his family’s foundation since the think tank’s founding in 1999. That money helped to establish New America as an elite voice in policy debates on the American left.
But not long after one of New America’s scholars posted a statement on the think tank’s website praising the European Union’s penalty against Google, Mr. Schmidt, who had chaired New America until 2016, communicated his displeasure with the statement to the group’s president, Anne-Marie Slaughter, according to the scholar.
The statement disappeared from New America’s website, only to be reposted without explanation a few hours later. But word of Mr. Schmidt’s displeasure rippled through New America, which employs more than 200 people, including dozens of researchers, writers and scholars, most of whom work in sleek Washington offices where the main conference room is called the “Eric Schmidt Ideas Lab.” The episode left some people concerned that Google intended to discontinue funding, while others worried whether the think tank could truly be independent if it had to worry about offending its donors.


Those worries seemed to be substantiated a couple of days later, when Ms. Slaughter summoned the scholar who wrote the critical statement, Barry Lynn, to her office. He ran a New America initiative called Open Markets that has led a growing chorus of liberal criticism of the market dominance of telecom and tech giants, including Google, which is now part of a larger corporate entity known as Alphabet, for which Mr. Schmidt serves as executive chairman.
Ms. Slaughter told Mr. Lynn that “the time has come for Open Markets and New America to part ways,” according to an email from Ms. Slaughter to Mr. Lynn. The email suggested that the entire Open Markets team — nearly 10 full-time employees and unpaid fellows — would be exiled from New America.


While she asserted in the email, which was reviewed by The New York Times, that the decision was “in no way based on the content of your work,” Ms. Slaughter accused Mr. Lynn of “imperiling the institution as a whole.”
Mr. Lynn, in an interview, charged that Ms. Slaughter caved to pressure from Mr. Schmidt and Google, and, in so doing, set the desires of a donor over the think tank’s intellectual integrity.
“Google is very aggressive in throwing its money around Washington and Brussels, and then pulling the strings,” Mr. Lynn said. “People are so afraid of Google now.”


Google rejected any suggestion that it played a role in New America’s split with Open Markets. Riva Sciuto, a Google spokeswoman, pointed out that the company supports a wide range of think tanks and other nonprofits focused on information access and internet regulation. “We don’t agree with every group 100 percent of the time, and while we sometimes respectfully disagree, we respect each group’s independence, personnel decisions and policy perspectives.”


New America’s executive vice president, Tyra Mariani, said it was “a mutual decision for Barry to spin out his Open Markets program,” and that the move was not in any way influenced by Google or Mr. Schmidt.


“New America financial supporters have no influence or control over the research design, methodology, analysis or findings of New America research projects, nor do they have influence or control over the content of educational programs and communications efforts,” Ms. Mariani said. She added that Mr. Lynn’s statement praising the European Union’s sanctions against Google had been temporarily removed from New America’s website because of “an unintentional internal issue” unrelated to Google or Mr. Schmidt.
Ms. Mariani and Ms. Sciuto said Google is continuing to fund New America.


It is difficult to overstate Mr. Lynn’s influence in raising concerns about the market dominance of Google, as well as of other tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook. His Open Markets initiative organized a 2016 conference at which a range of influential figures — including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — warned of damaging effects from market consolidation in tech."

Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant - The New York Times

Trump visits Texas but fails to address the victims of Harvey | MSNBC

Trump visits Texas but fails to address the victims of Harvey | MSNBC: ""

Trump’s Real-Estate Ambitions in Moscow | The New Yorker





"On October 11, 2015, four months after Donald Trump entered the Presidential race, he offered a notable compliment for Vladimir Putin. At the time, Russia was facing increasing international isolation—and was under economic sanctions—over Putin’s seizure of Crimea and meddling in eastern Ukraine. Earlier that month, President Obama had condemned Putin’s air strikes in Syria. “I think that I would probably get along with him very well,” Trump said of Putin on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” without offering any criticism of the Russian leader. Many wondered why Trump, while running for the Presidential nomination of the anti-Russia Republican Party, was being so obsequious toward the former head of the K.G.B., who has a long record of human-rights abuses.



Perhaps we now have a clue. On October 28, 2015, about two weeks after that interview, Trump signed a letter of intent to build a Trump-branded building in Moscow, according to the Washington Post.



The long-distance romance continued after the letter was signed. Putin reciprocated Trump’s praise in December, calling Trump a “talented person” and “the absolute leader of the Presidential race.” Trump responded with a prepared statement. “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond,” Trump said. “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”

The encomiums to the Russian President kept coming in the following weeks. In one of the most shocking statements of his campaign (a high bar), Trump seemed to defend Putin allegedly ordering the murder of journalists. “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” the candidate said on MSNBC, on December 18th. He added, “I think our country does plenty of killing also.”

The Trump Organization’s efforts to build in Moscow finally fell apart, in late January, 2016, because, according to the Post, “they lacked the land and permits to proceed.” But, despite this failure, Trump’s pursuit of the deal while he was campaigning on a platform of friendlier relations with the Russian President—a foreign adversary who controlled the deal’s fate—is scandalous, even without any other context. And additional details, unearthed this week by the Times and the Post, about the Trump Organization’s attempts to secure the deal make the scandal far worse.

As the Times reported, in September, 2015, Felix Sater, the longtime Trump Organization associate who brought the company real-estate deals—including Trump’s SoHo hotel, which was built by Russian developers—e-mailed Michael Cohen, who was then the company’s executive vice-president, pitching a Trump development in Moscow in terms that tied together Trump’s business interests and his political ambitions. “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” Sater wrote. “We both know no one else knows how to pull this off without stupidity or greed getting in the way. I know how to play it and we will get this done. Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will.”

According to the Post, in mid-January, not long after Trump made his remarks about the murder of journalists, Cohen tried to engage the assistance of Putin’s confidant and spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. “Over the past few months I have been working with a company based in Russia regarding the development of a Trump Tower-Moscow project in Moscow City,” he wrote, to Peskov’s publicly available e-mail address. “Without getting into lengthy specifics, the communication between our two sides has stalled. As this project is too important, I am hereby requesting your assistance.”

These revelations present two obvious problems for the President. First, Trump was taking a policy position—one deeply at odds with his own party—that would benefit him personally. It’s a startling conflict of interest. Second, his statements and actions, and those of his subordinates and their associates pursuing the deal, may fuel the obstruction-of-justice inquiry against Trump that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, began pursuing this spring, after the firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey. The more it looks like Trump had something to cover up, the stronger an obstruction charge would be.

Meanwhile, as Russia maintains its hold over Crimea, continues its intervention in eastern Ukraine, and flies fighter jets without transponders over the Baltics, the President still refuses to single it out as a notable threat. “I consider many countries as a security threat,” he said on Monday at the White House, when asked by a Finnish reporter about the Russian jets. Trump added, “Hopefully, we won’t have to handle them, but if we do, we will handle them.”



Trump’s Real-Estate Ambitions in Moscow | The New Yorker

How the pardon power could end Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post




"Philip Allen Lacovara, a former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department, served as counsel to Watergate special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski.



President Trump’s pardon of former Arizona sheriff and civil rights abuser Joe Arpaio raises the question of whether the president may act with impunity to pardon individuals caught up in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia. Based on my experience studying the pardon power during the Watergate investigation, I believe the answer is no.



Almost certainly, a presidential decision to preemptively pardon any of those caught up in Mueller’s investigation, whether former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn or Donald Trump Jr., would be effective and would spare those pardoned from prosecution, at least on the federal level.



So Trump may be tempted to use this mechanism to extricate himself from what he calls derisively “the Russia thing.”



But issuing pardons to his own friends, associates and relatives could be a perilous path for Trump, creating additional exposure on two levels, criminal and political — both flowing from an important proposition that is often overlooked in the debate over presidential power. Our legal system provides mechanisms for probing the intent and motives behind the exercise of power. The president may have the power to grant effective pardons in the Russia investigation, but both Congress and the federal prosecutor are entitled to determine whether the exercise of that power violates constitutional and statutory norms."



How the pardon power could end Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post

It’s a Myth That Corporate Tax Cuts Mean More Jobs - The New York Times







“The arithmetic for us is simple,” AT&T’s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, said on CNBC in May. If Congress were to cut the 35 percent tax on corporate profits to 20 percent, he declared, “I know exactly what AT&T would do — we’d invest more” in the United States.



Every $1 billion in tax savings would create 7,000 well-paying jobs, Mr. Stephenson went on to say. The correlation between lower corporate taxes and more jobs, he assured viewers, runs “very, very tight.”



As Congress prepares to take up tax legislation this fall, including an effort to reduce the corporate tax rate, this bold jobs claim merits examination. Notably, it comes from the chief executive of a company that’s already paying comparatively little in federal taxes.



According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, AT&T enjoyed an effective tax rate of just 8 percent between 2008 and 2015, despite recording a profit in the United States each year, by exploiting tax breaks and loopholes. (The company argues that it pays significant taxes, at a rate close to 34 percent in recent years, but that includes deferred taxes and state and local levies.)



Despite the enormous savings AT&T has realized, the company has been downsizing. Although it hires thousands of people a year, the company, by our analysis at the Institute for Policy Studies, reduced its total work force by nearly 80,000 jobs between 2008 and 2016, accounting for acquisitions and spinoffs each involving more than 2,000 workers.



The company has also spent $34 billion repurchasing its own stock since 2008, according to our institute report, a maneuver that artificially inflates the value of a company’s shares. This is money that could have gone toward research and development or hiring.



Companies buy back their stock for various reasons — to take advantage of undervaluation, to reward stockholders by increasing the value of their shares or to make the company look more attractive to investors. And there is another reason. Because most executive compensation these days is based on stock value, higher share prices can raise the compensation of chief executives and other top company officials.



Since 2008, Mr. Stephenson has cashed in $124 million in stock options and grants.



Many other large American corporations have also been playing the tax break and loophole game. Their huge tax savings have enriched executives but not created significant numbers of new jobs."



It’s a Myth That Corporate Tax Cuts Mean More Jobs - The New York Times

Did Team Trump Reveal Their Middle Man to Moscow?: The Daily Show

Texas Blowhards Deserve to Have Their Hurricane Harvey Hypocrisy Called Out





"You could say calling Texas politicians hypocrites because they voted against Hurricane Sandy aid but presumably want every federal dollar they can get their hands on now is shooting fish in a barrel. That, of course, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Some fish end up in barrels for a reason.

We should certainly feel sorry for the people affected. In fact if you want to get really political about it, the flooding mainly afflicts one of the few counties in Texas that voted against Donald Trump (although in 2012, Harris County did go narrowly for Ted Cruz, the poster boy of Texas hypocrisy for all his hyperbolic fulminating about the Sandy vote)."



Texas Blowhards Deserve to Have Their Hurricane Harvey Hypocrisy Called Out

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Why James Mattis’ viral rebuke of Trump was so disturbing.

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Duh!  "President Trump has left us so numbed by his deceit and dishonor that it’s hard for anything said by or about him to shock us. Even so, the remarks this past weekend by two of his top Cabinet officers should sound the alarm bells louder than usual.



On Fox News on Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked about a U.N. committee’s recent warning about racism in America, which criticized Trump’s wavering attitude toward the neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia. Tillerson replied, “I don’t think anyone doubts the American people’s values,” including those touting “equal treatment of people the world over.” But when asked whether Trump shared those values, he replied, “The president speaks for himself.”

Around the same time, a recent video emerged on Facebook of Secretary of Defense James Mattis telling a small group of American troops, “You’re a great example of our country right now.” He went on, “Our country, right now, it’s got problems that we don’t have in the military. You just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it.”



Why James Mattis’ viral rebuke of Trump was so disturbing.

Profiles in Tremendousness: Pardon Edition - Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The Dai...

Ex-neo Nazi: What white supremacists hear from Trump | MSNBC



Ex-neo Nazi: What white supremacists hear from Trump | MSNBC

Public rifts between Trump and some senior officials widen in the wake of Charlottesville - The Washington Post

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(Via.). Public rifts between Trump and some senior officials widen in the wake of Charlottesville - The Washington Post

Trump defends Arpaio pardon, assumed ‘ratings would be far higher’ by announcing during hurricane - The Washington Post

"

"President Trump defended his controversial pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio on Monday, saying his decision to announce it during Hurricane Harvey likely earned it “far higher” ratings. Speaking at a joint news conference with the president of Finland, Trump made his first comments on Arpaio since his decision to pardon the Arizona lawman Friday — defending both the timing of the pardon late Friday evening, as Harvey made landfall, and the decision itself. “He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona, he’s very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration, he is loved in Arizona,” Trump said. “I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly when they came down with their big decision to go get him, right before the election voting started.” He added: “I thought that was very, very unfair thing to do.”

 

(Via.). Trump defends Arpaio pardon, assumed ‘ratings would be far higher’ by announcing during hurricane - The Washington Post

Monday, August 28, 2017

Trump exemplifies abuse of power - The Washington Post

"President Richard Nixon faced impeachment not for any crime but, under the first article of impeachment, because, “in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice.” It does not say — and it was not established — that he committed a crime. In essence, the House of Representatives concluded that impeachment and removal would be justified if Nixon used the instruments of power not for the country’s benefit but to save his own political skin (“using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation” of the Watergate break-in).



As one charged with enforcement of the laws and the fair administration of justice, the president is not acting in the public interest when he uses his powers as a shield against inquiry. That seems particularly relevant as we begin to look at the case for impeachment against President Trump. Following on The Post’s blockbuster story that Trump was seeking a major deal with Russia at the time he was running for president, the New York Times reports:



A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.



The business associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a political boon to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.



“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”



As the Times notes, there is no evidence Sater “delivered” for Trump, but what we do get is a clear picture, in conjunction with previous disclosures, of gross conflicts of interest and abuse of power."



Trump exemplifies abuse of power - The Washington Post

Top Trump Organization executive asked Putin aide for help on business deal - The Washington Post



Top Trump Organization executive asked Putin aide for help on business deal - The Washington Post

Rachel Maddow: TRUMP'S business sought deal on a Trump Tower in MOSCOW w...

New Details Emerge Of President Business

With Arpaio pardon, Trump's 'law and order' vow becomes a cynical joke | MSNBC

NewImage

“Over the course of seven months, Donald Trump has made several outrageous moves, but the president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio is among the toughest to defend. To be sure, this is a story with multiple angles. The White House waited until late on a Friday evening, with much of the country focused on a major national disaster, to announce that the president was abusing his power to aid a political ally. It was a dishonorable act, done in a dishonorable way.

Arpaio, among other things, was accused of violating people’s civil rights. When a court ordered him to stop, the Arizonan ignored the order, which led a judge to find Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt. The racial aspect of this is tough to miss: on the heels of Trump’s inflammatory response to Charlottesville, the president delivered his first pardon to help his confederate – who deliberately targeted people of color – before he could face any consequences for his illegal actions.

In fact, in Friday night’s announcement, the president praised Arpaio for his crimes, which the disgraced former sheriff committed without remorse.

All of which raises some important questions about Donald Trump and his appreciation – or lack thereof – for the rule of law.

As a candidate, the Republican embraced the restoration of ‘law and order’ – a phrase with a complex racial history – as of one of his campaign’s core promises. Elect Trump to the presidency, he assured Americans, and we’d see a president who’d demonstrate an unflinching commitment to law enforcement and forceful execution of the nation’s laws.

It wasn’t long before the vows were exposed as absurd. Once he was inaugurated, Trump fired U.S. attorneys under unusual circumstances, fired an acting U.S. Attorney General who dared to give the White House sound legal advice, and fired the director of the FBI in the hopes of derailing an ongoing investigation. The president hadn’t even been in office four months when it became painfully obvious that his interest in the rule of law was something of a joke.

But Friday night, when he hoped Americans weren’t looking, Trump took this broken promise in a farcical direction. A day later, a Washington Post report took the story in an even more alarming direction.

As Joseph Arpaio’s federal case headed toward trial this past spring, President Trump wanted to act to help the former Arizona county sheriff who had become a campaign-trail companion and a partner in their crusade against illegal immigration.

The president asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions whether it would be possible for the government to drop the criminal case against Arpaio, but was advised that would be inappropriate, according to three people with knowledge of the conversation.

Instead, Trump let the case go to trial, knowing all the while that he’d negate the ruling if, after Arpaio’s case was adjudicated, his politically ally was found guilty.

In case this isn’t obvious, a president isn’t supposed to intervene with the Justice Department about an ongoing criminal prosecution of someone the president likes. What’s more, note that Trump didn’t even bother to consult with his own Justice Department – or pay any attention to the department’s pardon protocols – before rescuing his right-wing pal who acted as if he were above the law.

There’s also the near future to consider. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is moving forward with his investigation into the Trump-Russia affair, and as of Friday night, everyone received a stark reminder that this president is comfortable abusing the powers of his office to keep his allies out of prison.

Indeed, it’s easy to imagine Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn waking up on Saturday morning with a spring in their step. After all, in Donald Trump’s America, loyalty to the law is nice, but loyalty to the president is almost literally a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Trump has told a staggering number of lies since entering politics, but his vow to restore ‘law and order’ may be the most painfully ridiculous of them all. It’s difficult to guess where this story goes next, but let’s not forget that as recently as last month, the president reportedly sought information on his power to issue pardons to White House aides, members of his family, and even himself.

Trump boasted on Twitter soon after that ‘all agree’ an American president ‘has the complete power to pardon.’"

(Via.). With Arpaio pardon, Trump's 'law and order' vow becomes a cynical joke | MSNBC:

Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’ - The New York Times

NewImage

"WASHINGTON — A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.

The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin. He predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.

‘Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,’ Mr. Sater wrote in an email. ‘I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.’

A portion of an email Felix Sater sent to Michael Cohen on Nov. 3, 2015. The emails show that, from the earliest months of Mr. Trump’s campaign, some of his associates viewed close ties with Moscow as a political advantage. Those ties are now under investigation by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees.

Continue reading the main story The Trump White House The historic moments, head-spinning developments and inside-the-White House intrigue. Appeals Court Appears Inclined to Exempt Relatives From Travel Ban AUG 28 Trump Eyed ‘Far Higher’ Ratings in Pardoning Joe Arpaio as Hurricane Hit AUG 28 A Shark in the Street, and Other Hurricane Harvey Rumors You Shouldn’t Believe AUG 28 Trump Reverses Restrictions on Military Hardware for Police AUG 28 Trump’s Legal U-Turns May Test Supreme Court’s Patience AUG 28 See More »

(Via.).  Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’ - The New York Times:

What Trump's Generation Learned About the Civil War - The Atlantic

A scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama, an 1883 cyclorama painting depicting the climactic clash between Union and Confederate forces during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.



This is very true.  I argued with my teachers about this in class throughout high school.  I went to 8th Street Bookstore in the Village and Liberation Bookstore in Harlem to learn the truth.  This is so important because I met a former student of mine, in the military reserve, taking courses from an Alabama school which is teaching  the same garbage history myth I spewed out.  My father had me read Carter Woodson's the miseducation of   the Negro then in college I met Tilden Lemelle, Myrna Bain and Dr. John Henrik Clarke​ who changed my life and guided my research past the lies to original source materials.  You cannot learn history from textbooks.  Original sources is the only way.  I remember a high school history teacher telling our class the Civil War was not about slavery.  I went to the library and borrowed a book with the original declarations of secession from South Carolina, Georgia Mississippi and the other States that declared War on the United States.  Mrs. Dreiband my teacher was  shocked and apologized in front of the class.  At graduation I was the first recipient of the school's history award. This was 1971. I was attending a private school on Staten Island which I hated due to it''s violent racism "Richmond Town Prep".. In 1968 there was a teachers strike in NYC because Black parents in the Brownsville Ocean Hill section of Brooklyn.  The teacher's union led by a racist man named Albert Shanker opposed Black input into the curriculum they hired and the hiring of Black teachers and the transfer of racist and incompetent White teachers.  The union went on strike for 52 days.  My mother, a teacher refused to strike.  We lived and she taught in overwhelmingly White and racist Staten Island.  Her school was closed.  For 52 days she took the bus, Staten Island Ferry and subway to the Board of  Education Headquarters on Livingston Street and Brooklyn and sat in the office every day of the strike.  I was so proud of her and still am for being on the right side of history.  



John H Armwood



What Trump's Generation Learned About the Civil War - The Atlantic

Trump to lift military gear ban for local police - CNNPolitics





"Washington (CNN)The Trump administration will unveil a new plan Monday to roll back limits on a controversial program that provides local law enforcement agencies with surplus military gear, marking the end of a policy implemented during the Obama administration.



President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2015 prohibiting the transfer of a host of equipment, including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms following controversy over the "militarization" of the police response to unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

"We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there's an occupying force as opposed to a force that's part of the community that's protecting them and serving them," Obama said at the time. "It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message."

President Donald Trump will sign a new executive order Monday rescinding Obama's directive and Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed the policy change during a speech at the annual conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received multiple standing ovations and appeared touched by the warm welcome.

"(W)e are fighting a multi-front battle: an increase in violent crime, a rise in vicious gangs, an opioid epidemic, threats from terrorism, combined with a culture in which family and discipline seem to be eroding further and a disturbing disrespect for the rule of law," Sessions said, as he walked the audience of mostly law enforcement officials through a broad tour of his policy changes at the Justice Department over the past several months.

"The executive order the President will sign today will ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence and lawlessness to become a new normal," Sessions added.

Trump's new executive order was first reported by USA Today.

Civil rights groups swiftly blasted the equipment policy shift Monday, saying the Obama-era guidelines were critical to rebuilding trust with communities of color.

 Read STATE: Ferguson, affected."


Trump to lift military gear ban for local police - CNNPolitics

I am a ‘dreamer.’ I cannot rest easy. - The Washington Post





"Christian Bardales is a student at George Mason University.



Guatemala, land of eternal spring — this is the country I left at age 6, now a foreign nation not my own. I am 21. I have spent most my life here, in the great United States of America, once a foreign nation not my own.



I had no say in coming, the choice was made for me. It was a decision made by my two loving and supportive parents, who wanted nothing more than to give me the life they never had. A life of opportunity. A life where hard work and determination could make even my wildest of dreams possible.



My parents left their homeland, my homeland, with nothing but the clothes they carried, determined to prosper in this land of liberty. And now this is my home. Virginia is my state. Sterling Park my neighborhood. George Mason my university. The United States, the land that I love.



I am a “dreamer.” I am living, walking, talking, prosperous proof that my parents’ sacrifices and hard work are paying off. I am Generation 1.5, both a child of immigrants and an immigrant myself.



By the grace of the living God I believe in, my parents’ journey was made possible. We arrived here safe and sound, and then my parents got right to it, working diligently at jobs the more privileged in this country did not want.



I was enrolled in first grade without knowing a lick of English. Now I am studying to become an engineer, and I thank the Obama administration, too, which let a ray of hope shine into the lives of 1.5 dreamers like me.



Through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, we children of immigrants could obtain work permits and a Social Security number. Without DACA, I would have been consigned to the shadows, like so many before me, limited in what opportunities I could pursue. But now I can thrive just as the citizens of this country can thrive, though I am still not one of them. I can obtain a license to legally drive a car. I can be legally employed. I could also apply to colleges and get quoted in-state tuition, making a once near-impossible goal a bit more attainable.



I am thankful, but I cannot rest easy. I can’t get financial aid for school, reserved only for citizens, and I can’t leave the United States because I won’t be allowed back in. This makes one of my dreams — to travel the world, to see family in Guatemala — not feasible as of now. And I can’t escape the reality that some are pushing the Trump administration to end what the Obama administration started.



But I remain thankful, because now I can work legally, and I can use this income to pay my way through college, out of pocket, even if it takes me longer to graduate. I am thankful that I can pay taxes, even if the money goes into a system that for now won’t make me one of its own. I am thankful that the Trump administration has allowed the DACA program to continue, and even to grow.



I am thankful, yes. I am the son of two honest and hard-working immigrant parents from Guatemala. I am a dreamer 1.5. But I am also a whole lot more than that."



I am a ‘dreamer.’ I cannot rest easy. - The Washington Post

Pants on Fire! Paul Ryan uses old stat to claim counties will have no Obamacare insurer in 2018


Trump’s business sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow while he ran for president - The Washington Post




"While Donald Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers.



As part of the discussions, a Russian-born real estate developer urged Trump to come to Moscow to tout the proposal and suggested that he could get President Vladimir Putin to say “great things” about Trump, according to several people who have been briefed on his correspondence.



The developer, Felix Sater, predicted in a November 2015 email that he and Trump Organization leaders would soon be celebrating — both one of the biggest residential projects in real estate history and Donald Trump’s election as president, according to two of the people with knowledge of the exchange.



Sater wrote to Trump Organization Executive Vice President Michael Cohen “something to the effect of, ‘Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a president?’ ” said one person briefed on the email exchange. Sater emigrated from what was then the Soviet Union when he was 6 and grew up in Brooklyn.



Trump never went to Moscow as Sater proposed. And although investors and Trump’s company signed a letter of intent, they lacked the land and permits to proceed and the project was abandoned at the end of January 2016, just before the presidential primaries began, several people familiar with the proposal said.



Nevertheless, the details of the deal, which have not previously been disclosed, provide evidence that Trump’s business was actively pursuing significant commercial interests in Russia at the same time he was campaigning to be president — and in a position to determine U.S.-Russia relations. The new details from the emails, which are scheduled to be turned over to congressional investigators soon, also point to the likelihood of additional contacts between Russia-connected individuals and Trump associates during his presidential bid.



White House officials declined to comment for this report. Cohen, a longtime Trump legal adviser, declined to comment, but his attorney, Stephen Ryan, said his client “has been cooperating and will continue to cooperate with both the House and Senate intelligence committees, including providing them with documents and information and answering any questions they may have about the Moscow building proposal.”



In recent months, contacts between high-ranking and lower- level Trump aides and Russians have emerged. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a U.S. senator and campaign adviser, twice met Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.



Donald Trump Jr. organized a June 2016 meeting with campaign aide Jared Kushner, campaign manager Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer after the president’s eldest son was promised that the lawyer would bring damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help the campaign.



Internal emails also show campaign adviser George Papadopoulos repeatedly sought to organize meetings with campaign officials, including Trump, and Putin or other Russians. His efforts were rebuffed.



The negotiations for the Moscow project ended before Trump’s business ties to Russia had become a major issue in the campaign. Trump denied having any business connections to Russia in July 2016, tweeting, “for the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia” and then insisting at a news conference the following day, “I have nothing to do with Russia.”



Trump’s business sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow while he ran for president - The Washington Post

Unemployment in Black and White - The New York Times





"The recent finding by The New York Times that black students are still vastly underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities is one sign of how little the country has managed to do to close racial gaps.



Unemployment rates among black workers give a similarly gloomy picture. The jobless rate for black Americans is generally about twice that of white Americans, a ratio that improves only somewhat in “good” times, like the present, and persists no matter the level of educational attainment. The overall unemployment rate for black workers is now 7.4 percent and for white workers is 3.8 percent. For college-educated workers, the recent average jobless rate was 4.2 percent for blacks, compared with 2.5 percent for whites.



The hard truth is that the persistence of twice-as-high joblessness for black workers has led policy makers to accept it is as normal. Just look at the Federal Reserve. Monetary policy is supposed to foster stable prices and full employment. But the Fed has historically favored inflation fighting over boosting employment, a policy bias that generally leads it to raise interest rates before the job market is as strong as possible, as measured by low unemployment and rising pay for all groups of workers. The Fed has already raised rates twice this year and many Fed officials appear to favor a third increase by year’s end, with evident disregard for the fact that black unemployment is now at levels that prevailed for white workers in 2012, when the economy was still very much in the shadow of the Great Recession.



Another hard truth is that even when the economy picks up and employers are on a hiring binge, black people have a harder time getting jobs and are paid less than similarly situated white workers. That is exactly what happened from 1996 to 2000, the last genuinely hot job market, and it points clearly to racial discrimination, not just in hiring, but in a range of public policies that disproportionately affect black people. These include the dearth and high cost of child care, which harms single mothers the most; poor public transportation in many rural and suburban areas, which makes keeping a job difficult; and mass incarceration of black men and the barriers to employment that go with it.



Other factors include erosion and weakness in the enforcement of labor standards and legal safeguards. The wage gap between black and white workers is larger now than it was in 1979 or in 2000, and has grown the most for college graduates.



The whole economy is weighed down by the higher unemployment among black Americans, in part because it deprived the economy of consumer demand, the main engine for growth. Worse, the job and wage gap signals a loss of human potential, a singularly valuable form of capital. The economy cannot be said to be at full employment while black workers lag behind their white counterparts. Nor can the society be said to be just or healthy."



Unemployment in Black and White - The New York Times

White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement - The New York Times





"Today’s white nationalists prefer to address their target directly, which is also what they like about Donald Trump.

When white nationalists converged in Charlottesville, Va., ostensibly to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, they chanted, “You will not replace us,” and “Jews will not replace us.” But why were Jews a target of a neo-Confederate action, and who was the more generalized ‘you’?



White nationalists may have carried Confederate flags, but they also shouted the Nazi slogan “blood and soil.” Congregation Beth Israel was directly threatened by armed demonstrators during Sabbath services. And Chris Cantwell asserted in the viral Vice video that Trump was insufficiently racist because he gave “his daughter to a Jew.” These facts are central to any attempt to make sense of Charlottesville.



But the referents of the “you” chant are less clear, and unpacking this “you” is equally crucial for understanding Charlottesville. Most immediately, “you” is anyone who supports the removal of Confederate memorials. In other words: “You” will not replace “our” history and heritage with your liberal counternarrative of diversity and inclusion.



But the broader field of address includes anyone who is not a white nationalist, including white “race traitors,” but most important, black, Latino, Muslim and indigenous activists who have organized powerful movements in recent years to affirm the value and dignity of their lives and communities beyond the logic of white supremacy.



In the context of these movements, “You will not replace us” reiterates the core message of slogans like “All lives matter” and “White lives matter.” It’s another way of reasserting the supremacy of whiteness and its irreplaceable, but precarious, value in a fundamentally confused zero-sum game where one group’s gain must equal another group’s loss. From this perspective, “You will not replace us” means something like, “White lives matter uniquely” or “You will not make us feel like we don’t matter by asserting that you do.”



The collective “you” addressed by this slogan is a counterpoint to the white nationalist “us” that is struggling to constitute itself through events like Unite the Right. Paradoxically, even in its refusal to be replaced, the “we” depends rhetorically and constitutively upon both an opposition to “you” and an address to “you” in order to assert itself.



Notably, these neatly dressed angry white men did not chant, in the third-person, “They will not replace us.” (Granted, “they” doesn’t rhyme as well with “Jew.”) By formulating the chant as an address in the second person, the emerging “we” sought to draw its others — “you” — into direct confrontation. As the philosopher Andrea Pitts has argued in response to Arizona’s ethnic studies ban, when the state addresses “proper” subjects such as taxpayers and citizens in laws and speeches about “illegal” others in our midst, they also indirectly address marginalized communities, sending a message of exclusion and intimidation, while maintaining the plausible deniability of civil discourse. Today’s white nationalists prefer to address their target directly, and this is also what they like about Donald Trump.



The shift from “You” to “Jews” (and from the second person to the third person) makes explicit the totalizing nature of the opposition between “us” and everyone else. What do Jews have to do with General Lee? In one sense, nothing, apart from the usefulness of anti-Semitism for providing a “general framework of the development of the nation-state,” as Hannah Arendt argued in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”



But today’s white nationalists seem less interested in the nation-state than in the nation as against the state (or at least, against “government”). If we understand a nation as an ethno-cultural concept defined by a sense of shared identity, history and ancestry, and the state as a political concept defined by a set of institutions, documents and structures, then it’s pretty clear that most white nationalists want precisely that: a white nation (although Cantwell and others want an “ethno-state”). But the fact that white men already occupy most positions of power in the United States is tangential to their primary interest in the nation. Trump seems to share this affection for America the Nation, and accordingly finds America the State’s institutions irrelevant and bothersome.



The distinction between nation and state helps to explain why Confederate statues are so important to white nationalists, and why Jews were the seemingly odd targets of a protest ostensibly about the removal of a Confederate statue. By identifying with the Confederacy, white nationalists (whether from the Southeast or the Midwest, or even from Quebec) get to adopt the position of an underdog white nation struggling against oppression and occupation by both a coercive state power, and by a group of “coastal elites” — a thinly veiled euphemism for rich, well-educated, powerful Jews — who are seen as not sharing “our” identity, history and ancestry, but who have nevertheless illegitimately seized the important nonstate sites of power: control of the banks and the ideological power of the media.



Framed this way, with the Jews as “global conspirators” on one side and the hoards of black and brown upstarts on the other, the demonstrators get to be activists in a valiant struggle for liberation from both sets of oppressors. The statues, which from one perspective might be construed as the effigies of losers, are from the perspective of white nationalists inspiring signs that the struggle continues, that Dixie will rise again.



In her book, “Queer Phenomenology,” Sara Ahmed shows how a sense of the “ ‘we’ emerges as an effect of a shared direction toward an object.” When the “Unite the Right” protesters tore themselves away from Reddit and Breitbart to march with their tiki torches in Charlottesville, they were gravitating toward an object that they hoped would make them a real “we,” that is, “united.” And just in case the statue didn’t work, they also brought a lot of extra swag with them: flags, homemade shields and a boatload of semiautomatic weapons.



The collective ownership of these symbolic objects is crucial to the white nationalist movement. In a landmark essay in critical legal scholarship, Cheryl Harris argues that in the United States, whiteness functions as a kind of a property. A key feature of this property is the right to exclude others from laying claim to whiteness. It is just this right, and this equation of persons with property, that Cantwell asserts when he claims that Trump gave his daughter to a Jew, and remarks that “I don’t think you could feel the way I do about race, and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl.”



He is at once invoking the age-old, bedrock, patriarchal claim that women are chattel, and denying Kushner’s prima facie whiteness as a postwar American Jew. From this perspective, “You will not replace us” means more than just “You will not take down our statue.” It means, “You will not take away our right to exclude.” This can be finessed into a more defensive message appealing to a broader base: “You will not exclude us.” You will not make us feel like we don’t matter by asserting that you do.



Historically, in the United States, white people are the replacers, not the replaced. The chant, “You will not replace us,” seems to bear an unconscious trace of this history, even as it disavows the contingency of settler nationhood. The historian Patrick Wolfe argues that “settler colonialism destroys to replace,” but that “the process of replacement maintains the refractory imprint of the native counterclaim.”



We need to pry apart the equation of personhood and property at the core of white supremacy, understood as a political system and not just a collection of individuals with extreme viewpoints. This equation of personhood and property goes all the way back to Locke’s “Second Treatise on Government,” which was arguably an inspiration for the American Revolution. Both the American nation and its individual states have been founded on the constitutive exclusion of indigenous people, slaves, women and poor people from full citizenship. In order to address the violence of white (settler) nationalism, we need more than just virtuous tweets against white supremacists. We need to move toward a different understanding of power.



While on some level the people who marched in Charlottesville were motivated by a perverse, exceptional hate, they were also, on another level, driven by a very ordinary desire for power. But that desire is based in an impoverished understanding of power as the replacement and domination of others.



With this definition of power still firmly in place, it will be difficult to come up with any compelling reason white people should divest from the privilege of whiteness.



White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement - The New York Times

White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement - The New York Times





"Today’s white nationalists prefer to address their target directly, which is also what they like about Donald Trump.

When white nationalists converged in Charlottesville, Va., ostensibly to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, they chanted, “You will not replace us,” and “Jews will not replace us.” But why were Jews a target of a neo-Confederate action, and who was the more generalized ‘you’?



White nationalists may have carried Confederate flags, but they also shouted the Nazi slogan “blood and soil.” Congregation Beth Israel was directly threatened by armed demonstrators during Sabbath services. And Chris Cantwell asserted in the viral Vice video that Trump was insufficiently racist because he gave “his daughter to a Jew.” These facts are central to any attempt to make sense of Charlottesville.



But the referents of the “you” chant are less clear, and unpacking this “you” is equally crucial for understanding Charlottesville. Most immediately, “you” is anyone who supports the removal of Confederate memorials. In other words: “You” will not replace “our” history and heritage with your liberal counternarrative of diversity and inclusion.



But the broader field of address includes anyone who is not a white nationalist, including white “race traitors,” but most important, black, Latino, Muslim and indigenous activists who have organized powerful movements in recent years to affirm the value and dignity of their lives and communities beyond the logic of white supremacy.



In the context of these movements, “You will not replace us” reiterates the core message of slogans like “All lives matter” and “White lives matter.” It’s another way of reasserting the supremacy of whiteness and its irreplaceable, but precarious, value in a fundamentally confused zero-sum game where one group’s gain must equal another group’s loss. From this perspective, “You will not replace us” means something like, “White lives matter uniquely” or “You will not make us feel like we don’t matter by asserting that you do.”



The collective “you” addressed by this slogan is a counterpoint to the white nationalist “us” that is struggling to constitute itself through events like Unite the Right. Paradoxically, even in its refusal to be replaced, the “we” depends rhetorically and constitutively upon both an opposition to “you” and an address to “you” in order to assert itself.



Notably, these neatly dressed angry white men did not chant, in the third-person, “They will not replace us.” (Granted, “they” doesn’t rhyme as well with “Jew.”) By formulating the chant as an address in the second person, the emerging “we” sought to draw its others — “you” — into direct confrontation. As the philosopher Andrea Pitts has argued in response to Arizona’s ethnic studies ban, when the state addresses “proper” subjects such as taxpayers and citizens in laws and speeches about “illegal” others in our midst, they also indirectly address marginalized communities, sending a message of exclusion and intimidation, while maintaining the plausible deniability of civil discourse. Today’s white nationalists prefer to address their target directly, and this is also what they like about Donald Trump.



The shift from “You” to “Jews” (and from the second person to the third person) makes explicit the totalizing nature of the opposition between “us” and everyone else. What do Jews have to do with General Lee? In one sense, nothing, apart from the usefulness of anti-Semitism for providing a “general framework of the development of the nation-state,” as Hannah Arendt argued in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”



But today’s white nationalists seem less interested in the nation-state than in the nation as against the state (or at least, against “government”). If we understand a nation as an ethno-cultural concept defined by a sense of shared identity, history and ancestry, and the state as a political concept defined by a set of institutions, documents and structures, then it’s pretty clear that most white nationalists want precisely that: a white nation (although Cantwell and others want an “ethno-state”). But the fact that white men already occupy most positions of power in the United States is tangential to their primary interest in the nation. Trump seems to share this affection for America the Nation, and accordingly finds America the State’s institutions irrelevant and bothersome.



The distinction between nation and state helps to explain why Confederate statues are so important to white nationalists, and why Jews were the seemingly odd targets of a protest ostensibly about the removal of a Confederate statue. By identifying with the Confederacy, white nationalists (whether from the Southeast or the Midwest, or even from Quebec) get to adopt the position of an underdog white nation struggling against oppression and occupation by both a coercive state power, and by a group of “coastal elites” — a thinly veiled euphemism for rich, well-educated, powerful Jews — who are seen as not sharing “our” identity, history and ancestry, but who have nevertheless illegitimately seized the important nonstate sites of power: control of the banks and the ideological power of the media.



Framed this way, with the Jews as “global conspirators” on one side and the hoards of black and brown upstarts on the other, the demonstrators get to be activists in a valiant struggle for liberation from both sets of oppressors. The statues, which from one perspective might be construed as the effigies of losers, are from the perspective of white nationalists inspiring signs that the struggle continues, that Dixie will rise again.



In her book, “Queer Phenomenology,” Sara Ahmed shows how a sense of the “ ‘we’ emerges as an effect of a shared direction toward an object.” When the “Unite the Right” protesters tore themselves away from Reddit and Breitbart to march with their tiki torches in Charlottesville, they were gravitating toward an object that they hoped would make them a real “we,” that is, “united.” And just in case the statue didn’t work, they also brought a lot of extra swag with them: flags, homemade shields and a boatload of semiautomatic weapons.



The collective ownership of these symbolic objects is crucial to the white nationalist movement. In a landmark essay in critical legal scholarship, Cheryl Harris argues that in the United States, whiteness functions as a kind of a property. A key feature of this property is the right to exclude others from laying claim to whiteness. It is just this right, and this equation of persons with property, that Cantwell asserts when he claims that Trump gave his daughter to a Jew, and remarks that “I don’t think you could feel the way I do about race, and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl.”



He is at once invoking the age-old, bedrock, patriarchal claim that women are chattel, and denying Kushner’s prima facie whiteness as a postwar American Jew. From this perspective, “You will not replace us” means more than just “You will not take down our statue.” It means, “You will not take away our right to exclude.” This can be finessed into a more defensive message appealing to a broader base: “You will not exclude us.” You will not make us feel like we don’t matter by asserting that you do.



Historically, in the United States, white people are the replacers, not the replaced. The chant, “You will not replace us,” seems to bear an unconscious trace of this history, even as it disavows the contingency of settler nationhood. The historian Patrick Wolfe argues that “settler colonialism destroys to replace,” but that “the process of replacement maintains the refractory imprint of the native counterclaim.”



We need to pry apart the equation of personhood and property at the core of white supremacy, understood as a political system and not just a collection of individuals with extreme viewpoints. This equation of personhood and property goes all the way back to Locke’s “Second Treatise on Government,” which was arguably an inspiration for the American Revolution. Both the American nation and its individual states have been founded on the constitutive exclusion of indigenous people, slaves, women and poor people from full citizenship. In order to address the violence of white (settler) nationalism, we need more than just virtuous tweets against white supremacists. We need to move toward a different understanding of power.



While on some level the people who marched in Charlottesville were motivated by a perverse, exceptional hate, they were also, on another level, driven by a very ordinary desire for power. But that desire is based in an impoverished understanding of power as the replacement and domination of others.



With this definition of power still firmly in place, it will be difficult to come up with any compelling reason white people should divest from the privilege of whiteness.



White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement - The New York Times

Fascism, American Style - The New York Times





"As sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., Joe Arpaio engaged in blatant racial discrimination. His officers systematically targeted Latinos, often arresting them on spurious charges and at least sometimes beating them up when they questioned those charges. Read the report from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and prepare to be horrified.



Once Latinos were arrested, bad things happened to them. Many were sent to Tent City, which Arpaio himself proudly called a “concentration camp,” where they lived under brutal conditions, with temperatures inside the tents sometimes rising to 145 degrees.



And when he received court orders to stop these practices, he simply ignored them, which led to his eventual conviction — after decades in office — for contempt of court. But he had friends in high places, indeed in the highest of places. We now know that Donald Trump tried to get the Justice Department to drop the case against Arpaio, a clear case of attempted obstruction of justice. And when that ploy failed, Trump, who had already suggested that Arpaio was “convicted for doing his job,” pardoned him.



By the way, about “doing his job,” it turns out that Arpaio’s officers were too busy rounding up brown-skinned people and investigating President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to do other things, like investigate cases of sexually abused children. Priorities!



Let’s call things by their proper names here. Arpaio is, of course, a white supremacist. But he’s more than that. There’s a word for political regimes that round up members of minority groups and send them to concentration camps, while rejecting the rule of law: What Arpaio brought to Maricopa, and what the president of the United States has just endorsed, was fascism, American style.



So how did we get to this point?



Trump’s motives are easy to understand. For one thing, Arpaio, with his racism and authoritarianism, really is his kind of guy. For another, the pardon is a signal to those who might be tempted to make deals with the special investigator as the Russia probe closes in on the White House: Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.



Finally, standing up for white people who keep brown people down pleases Trump’s base, whom he’s going to need more than ever as the scandals creep closer and the big policy wins he promised keep not happening.



But the Trump base of angry white voters is a distinct minority in the country as a whole. Furthermore, those voters have always been there. Fifteen years ago, writing about the radicalization of the G.O.P., I suggested the hard core of angry voters was around 20 percent of the electorate; that still seems like a reasonable guess.



What makes it possible for someone like Trump to attain power and hold it is the acquiescence of people, both voters and politicians, who aren’t white supremacists, who sort-of kind-of believe in the rule of law, but are willing to go along with racists and lawbreakers if it seems to serve their interests.



There have been endless reports about the low-education white voters who went overwhelmingly for Trump last November. But he wouldn’t have made it over the top without millions of votes from well-educated Republicans who — despite the media’s orgy of false equivalence or worse (emails!) — had no excuse for not realizing what kind of man he was. For whatever reason, be it political tribalism or the desire for lower taxes, they voted for him anyway.



Given the powers we grant to the president, who in some ways is almost like an elected dictator, giving the office to someone likely to abuse that power invites catastrophe. The only real check comes from Congress, which retains the power to impeach; even the potential for impeachment can constrain a bad president. But Republicans control Congress; how many of them besides John McCain have offered full-throated denunciations of the Arpaio pardon?



The answer is, very few. Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, had a spokesman declare that he “does not agree with this decision” — not exactly a ringing statement. Yet Ryan did better than most of his colleagues, who have said nothing at all.



This bodes ill if, as seems all too likely, the Arpaio pardon is only the beginning: We may well be in the early stages of a constitutional crisis. Does anyone consider it unthinkable that Trump will fire Robert Mueller, and try to shut down investigations into his personal and political links to Russia? Does anyone have confidence that Republicans in Congress will do anything more than express mild disagreement with his actions if he does?



As I said, there’s a word for people who round up members of ethnic minorities and send them to concentration camps, or praise such actions. There’s also a word for people who, out of cowardice or self-interest, go along with such abuses: collaborators. How many such collaborators will there be? I’m afraid we’ll soon find out."



Fascism, American Style - The New York Times