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Monday, January 15, 2018

Republicans, do you want a race-based immigration system, too? - The Washington Post





"President Trump’s intent could not be more explicit: He wants immigration policies that admit white people and shut the door to black and brown people. That is pure racism — and the Republican Party, which traces its heritage to the Abraham Lincoln era, must decide whether to go along.



Silly me. The GOP seems to have made its choice, judging by the weaselly response from most of the Republicans who were in the Oval Office on Thursday when Trump made vile and nakedly racist remarks.



Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) heard the president clearly: Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries,” the shocked senator reported. At another point, while discussing potential relief for groups of immigrants — including Haitians — who are losing their temporary permission to remain here, Trump reportedly said, “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.”





Republicans, do you want a race-based immigration system, too? - The Washington Post

Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration - The Washington Post



"When President Trump spoke by phone with Sen. Richard J. Durbin around 10:15 a.m. last Thursday, he expressed pleasure with Durbin’s outline of a bipartisan immigration pact and praised the high-ranking Illinois Democrat’s efforts, according to White House officials and congressional aides.



The president then asked if Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), his onetime foe turned ally, was on board, which Durbin affirmed. Trump invited the lawmakers to visit with him at noon, the people familiar with the call said.



But when they arrived at the Oval Office, the two senators were surprised to find that Trump was far from ready to finalize the agreement. He was “fired up” and surrounded by hard-line conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who seemed confident that the president was now aligned with them, according to one person with knowledge of the meeting.



Trump told the group he wasn’t interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that Durbin and Graham had been putting together. And as he shrugged off suggestions from Durbin and others, the president called nations from Africa “shithole countries,” denigrated Haiti and grew angry. The meeting was short, tense and often dominated by loud cross-talk and swearing, according to Republicans and Democrats familiar with the meeting.



Trump’s ping-ponging from dealmaking to feuding, from elation to fury, has come to define the contentious immigration talks between the White House and Congress, perplexing members of both parties as they navigate the president’s vulgarities, his combativeness and his willingness to suddenly change his position. The blowup has derailed those negotiations yet again and increased the possibility of a government shutdown over the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers.”



Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration - The Washington Post

How the U.S. Is Making the War in Yemen Worse | The New Yorker

Trump's 'shithole' comment denounced across the globe - POLITICO





"Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina has shared plans to try to censure Trump.



"I think that the president has really stepped into it here," Clyburn said. "I think that the Congressional Black Caucus has solidified around some efforts that I think will take place next week, and one of which is to pursue a censure resolution. I’m hopeful that we will that and get bipartisan support for it."



By Friday afternoon, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Richard Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, issued a joint statement regarding their plans to introduce a censure resolution next week.



“We are deeply disturbed and offended by President Trump’s remarks regarding Haiti and African countries,” they said.



“These remarks have compelled us to prepare a resolution of censure with our colleagues next week, to condemn President Trump for his racist statement,” the two lawmakers added. “This censure resolution is important because America is a beacon of hope. We have to show the world that this president does not represent the feelings of most of the American people which is part of the reason why he lost the popular vote.”



Trump's 'shithole' comment denounced across the globe - POLITICO

MoveOn Petitions - Congress: Reject Trump's racism



MoveOn Petitions - Congress: Reject Trump's racism

CNN Anchor Can't Hold Back Her Tears Reacting To Trump's S***hole Statem...

Trump Is a Racist. Period. - The New York Times





"I find nothing more useless than debating the existence of racism, particularly when you are surrounded by evidence of its existence. It feels to me like a way to keep you fighting against the water until you drown.



The debates themselves, I believe, render a simple concept impossibly complex, making the very meaning of “racism” frustratingly murky.



So, let’s strip that away here. Let’s be honest and forthright.



Racism is simply the belief that race is an inherent and determining factor in a person’s or a people’s character and capabilities, rendering some inferior and others superior. These beliefs are racial prejudices.



The history of America is one in which white people used racism and white supremacy to develop a racial caste system that advantaged them and disadvantaged others.



Understanding this, it is not a stretch to understand that Donald Trump’s words and deeds over the course of his life have demonstrated a pattern of expressing racial prejudices that demean people who are black and brown and that play to the racial hostilities of other white people.



It is not a stretch to say that Trump is racist. It’s not a stretch to say that he is a white supremacist. It’s not a stretch to say that Trump is a bigot.





Those are just facts, supported by the proof of the words that keep coming directly from him. And, when he is called out for his racism, his response is never to ameliorate his rhetoric, but to double down on it.



I know of no point during his entire life where he has apologized for, repented of, or sought absolution for any of his racist actions or comments.



Instead, he either denies, deflects or amps up the attack.



Trump is a racist. We can put that baby to bed.



“Racism” and “racist” are simply words that have definitions, and Trump comfortably and unambiguously meets those definitions.



We have unfortunately moved away from the simple definition of racism, to the point where the only people to whom the appellation can be safely applied are the vocal, violent racial archetypes.



Racism doesn’t require hatred, constant expression, or even conscious awareness. We want racism to be fringe rather than foundational. But, wishing isn’t an effective method of eradication.



We have to face this thing, stare it down and fight it back.



The simple acknowledgment that Trump is a racist is the easy part. The harder, more substantive part is this: What are we going to do about it?



First and foremost, although Trump is not the first president to be a racist, we must make him the last. If by some miracle he should serve out his first term, he mustn’t be allowed a second. Voters of good conscience must swarm the polls in 2020.



But before that, those voters must do so later this year, to rid the House and the Senate of as many of Trump’s defenders, apologists and accomplices as possible. Should the time come where impeachment is inevitable, there must be enough votes in the House and Senate to ensure it.



We have to stop thinking that we can somehow separate what racists believe from how they will behave. We must stop believing that any of Trump’s actions are clear of the venom coursing through his convictions. Everything he does is an articulation of who he is and what he believes. Therefore, all policies he supports, positions he takes and appointments he makes are suspect.



And finally, we have to stop giving a pass to the people — whether elected official or average voter — who support and defend his racism. If you defend racism you are part of the racism. It doesn’t matter how much you say that you’re an egalitarian, how much you say that you are race blind, how much you say that you are only interested in people’s policies and not their racist polemics.



As the brilliant James Baldwin once put it: “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.” When I see that in poll after poll a portion of Trump’s base continues to support his behavior, including on race, I can only conclude that there is no real daylight between Trump and his base. They are part of his racism.



When I see the extraordinary hypocrisy of elected officials who either remain silent in the wake of Trump’s continued racist outbursts or who obliquely condemn him, only to in short order return to defending and praising him and supporting his agenda, I see that there is no real daylight between Trump and them either. They too are part of his racism.



When you see it this way, you understand the enormity and the profundity of what we are facing. There were enough Americans who were willing to accept Trump’s racism to elect him. There are enough people in Washington willing to accept Trump’s racism to defend him. Not only is Trump racist, the entire architecture of his support is suffused with that racism. Racism is a fundamental component of the Trump presidency."



Trump Is a Racist. Period. - The New York Times

Sunday, January 14, 2018

STASI: Trump's W.H. is real s--thole after racist remarks - NY Daily News

America is on thin ice after the UN denounced President Trump for making his racist "shithole" comments about Africa, Haiti and its immigrants.



"What a s#!thole the White House has become with a f#!%ing moron in charge.

What? You think the language is rough and disrespectful? Then don’t complain to me, send your complaints directly to your President and tell him to stop using that kind of language about other countries (and maybe drop a note to Rex Tillerson about using that kind of language about Trump).

That’s the level of low that the porn star-loving, p---y-grabbing, white supremacist-defending, climate change-denying, truth-averting, freedom of the press-despising, global warming-loving, free speech-hating, conspiracy-believing, history-twisting, strongman-admiring, race-baiting combover king has brought the U.S. to in one short year.

We’re in some deep s#!t when even the UN denounces our President for making racist “shithole” comments about Africa, Haiti and El Salvador and its immigrants (who are mostly people of color) while asking why we don’t have more immigrants from Norway, which is so white you could go snow-blind just from staring too long at the people. And oh, by the way, since Norway for the past 13 years has been designated by the UN as the best country in which to live and the U.S. the 11th, Norwegians probably won’t start breaking down our borders to get here. They even rank Iceland as a better place to live than the U.S. Of course, they have Björk, but still ...

GOP, Dem senators confirm Trump used racist language at meeting

Wasn’t this Hitler’s dream too? A country with a master race of white people? Good thing Trump’s beloved daughter Ivanka has converted to Judaism, or he might be after them instead of sending his dopey son-in-law to negotiate Middle East peace because he’s the Jew in the family. If only his sons would have married Africans, instead of just thinking it’s a place to slaughter endangered species on rich-boy Safari, Trump might like Africans, too.

Tragic truth: In one year Donald J. Trump alone has turned the White House into a sinkhole of ignorance, bigotry and hatred against anyone who isn’t a white man in a suit. True, he used to welcome Steve Bannon, who showed up looking like an out-of-work gym teacher, but that’s because he thought Bannon had his back. Ooops.



OK, I’m not being fair. The Donald does allow people of color to show up on occasion, and he did appoint brain surgeon Ben Carson as HUD secretary even though his qualifications for housing secretary are that he lives in a house.

But yes, on the anniversary of one of the greatest natural disasters in modern times, the Haitian earthquake that killed 230,000 human beings, our President denounced Haiti. Then he invited several token African-Americans to watch him sign a proclamation and to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life after denouncing the continent from which their ancestors came.

Trump has history of racially charged Oval Office remarks: report

They probably shouldn’t have even shown up, but while they were there I wish they would have taken a knee in protest. In fact, on Monday, MLK Day, we all should protest the racist comments of our President by taking a knee whenever he shows up on TV.



DON TALK NOT FIT FOR KING

Not everyone believes that our President is not only off-track but has gone off the rails completely. To get a view from the other side of the train, I turned to my favorite Republican, Congressman Pete King.

“Tell me, Congressman, do you think President Trump is sane?” I asked.


Congressman Pete King says he thinks Trump is sane and that he can't be making these "tough-guy remarks" as President.

“I think he’s sane,” he answered. “He’s iconoclastic. But by not having the discipline to say or not say what’s appropriate, he creates problems. He makes these tough-guy remarks, and you can’t do that as President. It’s 1960s bar humor.

“But the people who came here through TPS came here legally. I think I have the first- or second-highest number of Salvadorans in my district who came here under TPS. There is absolutely no issue — they have mortgages, their kids go to school, they work hard, pay taxes and are a very vibrant, active part of this community.

“Priests have told me that Catholic parishes on Long Island have been kept going strong by the Haitian (immigrants).”

But does the President appreciate this?

“I’ve been in a number of meetings with him and he’ll suddenly start talking about DACA and how were have to take care of these immigrants’ kids,” King said.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s son says Trump's speech rings hollow

Then why does he project a different image to the public?

“I can’t explain it,” the congressman said. “When I hear him say this stuff I feel like I’m back in a bar in the 1960s. I can imagine him sitting in a bar in Queens back then.”

The problem is that Archie Bunker with the bar humor has become the President.

XXX-CELLENT NEWS



It’s hard to keep a porn star down. Literally.

Trump’s Dutch ambassador apologizes for anti-Muslim remarks

After horny porny star Stormy Daniels denied that she’d taken $130,000 shortly before the 2016 election in exchange for shutting her trap about an alleged sexual tryst she had with Donald Trump over a decade ago, another porn star popped up on Friday.

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels said she did not take $130,000 in exchange for remaining mum about the sexual tryst she had with Donald Trump over a decade ago.

Porn actress Alana Evans told the Daily Beast that just one day after the alleged Stormy tryst, Trump chased her around a hotel room “in his tighty-whities.” Oh God. Make it go away.

And please, call your local suicide hotline immediately if you experience the inability to unsee that image and have lost the will to live.

Front page of the New York Daily News for Jan. 13, 2018.

HELP WANTED ON UFOS



The secret airline of Area 51, which sort of doesn’t exist at a U.S. military base and supposedly housing a crashed alien aircraft that sort of don’t exist with dead aliens, is looking for flight attendants for Janet Airlines, an airline that also sort of doesn’t exist.


Not Released (NR)


The secret Las Vegas airline is looking for flight attendants to take trips to Area 51.

Photo by: (homeworks255/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to several news sites, including Newser, the “Air Force-owned planes operated by defense contractor AECOM,” which ferry government employees and contractors from Las Vegas to Area 51, is advertising for flight attendants. Applicants “must be level-headed and clear thinking while handling unusual incidents and situations…” The unusual incidents don’t include dealing with gray aliens who refuse to return their seat backs to the full and upright positions).



UFO expert and best-selling author Whitley Strieber (“Afterlife Revolution” and “Communion”), who knows more aliens from outer space than Trump wants to deport from Earth, said, “It cannot be to fly personnel who have always worked there. Something different must be happening.”

Ya think?

SOMETHING JUST DOESN’T SMELL RIGHT

One of the President’s favorite white guys — and there are a lot of them — is stinking up the joint with his tremendous B.O.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is enjoying a five-year standoff at the Knightsbridge embassy in Ecuador, has such horrible personal hygiene (or make that no personal hygiene) that the embassy staffers are creating a big stink over his bad smell.
Embassy staffers at the Knightsbridge embassy in Ecuador are saying WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

You’d think that a guy who sleeps in the embassy’s former women’s bathroom would at least have learned how to use the indoor plumbing.

What a s#!thole the White House has become with a f#!%ing moron in charge.

What? You think the language is rough and disrespectful? Then don’t complain to me, send your complaints directly to your President and tell him to stop using that kind of language about other countries (and maybe drop a note to Rex Tillerson about using that kind of language with Trump).

That’s the level of low that the porn star-loving, p---y-grabbing, white supremacist-defending, climate change-denying, truth-averting, freedom of the press-despising, global warming-loving, free speech-hating, conspiracy-believing, history-twisting, strongman-admiring, race-baiting combover king has brought the U.S. to in one short year.

We’re in some deep s#!t when even the UN denounces our President for making racist “s#!thole” comments about Africa, Haiti and El Salvador and its immigrants (who are mostly people of color) while asking why we don’t have more immigrants from Norway, which is so white you could go snow-blind just from staring too long at the people. And oh, by the way, since Norway for the past 13 years has been designated by the UN as the best country in which to live and the U.S. the 11th, Norwegians probably won’t start breaking down our borders to get here. They even rank Iceland as a better place to live than the U.S. Of course, they have Björk, but still ...

Wasn’t this Hitler’s dream too? A country with a master race of white people? Good thing Trump’s beloved daughter Ivanka has converted to Judaism, or he might be after them instead of sending his dopey son-in-law to negotiate Middle East peace because he’s the Jew in the family. If only his sons would have married Africans, instead of just thinking it’s a place to slaughter endangered species on rich-boy safari, Trump might like Africans, too.

Tragic truth: In one year Donald J. Trump alone has turned the White House into a sinkhole of ignorance, bigotry and hatred against anyone who isn’t a white man in a suit. True, he used to welcome Steve Bannon, who showed up looking like an out-of-work gym teacher, but that’s because he thought Bannon had his back. Ooops.

OK, I’m not being fair. The Donald does allow people of color to show up on occasion, and he did appoint brain surgeon Ben Carson as HUD secretary even though his qualifications for housing secretary are that he lives in a house.

But yes, on the anniversary of one of the greatest natural disasters in modern times, the Haitian earthquake that killed 230,000 human beings, our President denounced Haiti. Then he invited several token African-Americans to watch him sign a proclamation and to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life after denouncing the continent from which their ancestors came.

They probably shouldn’t have even shown up, but while they were there I wish they would have taken a knee in protest. In fact, on Monday, MLK Day, we all should protest the racist comments of our President by taking a knee whenever he shows up on TV."

STASI: Trump's W.H. is real s--thole after racist remarks - NY Daily News

The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial - The New York Times

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"When our reality is too ugly, we deny reality. It is too painful to look at. Reality is too hard to accept.

Mental health experts routinely say that denial is among the most common defense mechanisms. Denial is how the person defends his superior sense of self, her racially unequal society.

Denial is how America defends itself as superior to “shithole countries” in Africa and elsewhere, as President Trump reportedly described them in a White House meeting last week, although he has since, well, denied that. It’s also how America defends itself as superior to those “developing countries” in Africa, to quote how liberal opponents of Mr. Trump might often describe them.

Mr. Trump appears to be unifying America — unifying Americans in their denial. The more racist Mr. Trump sounds, the more Trump country denies his racism, and the more his opponents look away from their own racism to brand Trump country as racist. Through it all, America remains a unified country of denial.

The reckoning of Mr. Trump’s racism must become the reckoning of American racism. Because the American creed of denial — “I’m not a racist” — knows no political parties, no ideologies, no colors, no regions.

On Friday, Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, affirmed that Mr. Trump did use the term “shithole” during a White House meeting on immigration with lawmakers. Mr. Durbin rightfully described Mr. Trump’s words as “hate-filled, vile and racist,” and added, “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”

But Mr. Trump is no exception. In framing Mr. Trump’s racism as exceptional, in seeking to highlight the depth of the president’s cruelty, Mr. Durbin, a reliably liberal senator, showed the depth of denial of American racism.

Begin with the eight presidents who held slaves while in the Oval Office. Then consider how Abraham Lincoln urged black people to leave the United States. “Even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race,” Lincoln told five black guests at the White House in 1862. So “it is better for us both, therefore, to be separated.”

Raging then as we are raging now, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison responded, “Can anything be more puerile, absurd, illogical, impertinent, untimely?” He added that “had it not been for the cupidity of their white enslavers, not one of their race would now be found upon this continent.”

Presidential history also includes the social Darwinism of Theodore Roosevelt, the federal-government-segregating, “Birth of a Nation”-praising Woodrow Wilson — and the bigotry that came from the mouths of presidents who are generally seen as essential to racial progress. President Lyndon B. Johnson said “nigger” nearly as often as Ku Klux Klansmen did.

This denial of racism is the heartbeat of racism. Where there is suffering from racist policies, there are denials that those policies are racist. The beat of denial sounds the same across time and space.

I grew up to the beat of racist denial in Queens, not far from where Mr. Trump grew up. I was raised in the urban “hell” of neighborhoods he probably avoided, alongside immigrants from countries he derided last week. In school or elsewhere, we all heard recitals of the American ideal of equality, especially on the day we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Those events often feature recitals of the words “all men are created equal,” which were written by a slaveholder who once declared that black people “are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind.”

Thomas Jefferson was not a founding father of equality. He was a founding father of the heartbeat of denial that lives through both Mr. Trump’s denials and the assertion that his racial views are abnormal for America and its presidents.

Fifty years ago, Richard Nixon transformed this historic heartbeat of denial into an intoxicating political philosophy. His presidential candidacy appealed to George Wallace-type segregationists while also attracting Americans who refused to live near “dangerous” black residents, obstructed the desegregation of schools, resisted affirmative action policies, framed black mothers on welfare as undeserving, called the black family pathological and denigrated black culture — all those racists who refused to believe they were racist in 1968.

Nixon designed his campaign, one of his advisers explained, to allow a potential supporter to “avoid admitting to himself that he was attracted by” the “racist appeal.”

A new vocabulary emerged, allowing users to evade admissions of racism. It still holds fast after all these years. The vocabulary list includes these: law and order. War on drugs. Model minority. Reverse discrimination. Race-neutral. Welfare queen. Handout. Tough on crime. Personal responsibility. Black-on-black crime. Achievement gap. No excuses. Race card. Colorblind. Post-racial. Illegal immigrant. Obamacare. War on Cops. Blue Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. Entitlements. Voter fraud. Economic anxiety.

The denials using these phrases come from both conservatives and white liberals who think people of color are stuck in cycles of unstable families and criminal cultures, and that the deprivations of poverty and discrimination spin out bad people.

Mr. Trump opened his candidacy with racism, calling Mexicans criminals and rapists. Since taking office, he has looked away from the disaster zone in Puerto Rico, he has called some violent white supremacists “very fine people,” and he has described Nigerians as living in “huts.”

When someone identifies the obvious, Mr. Trump resounds the beat of denial as he did before he was president: “I’m the least racist person that you’ve ever met,” that “you’ve ever seen,” that “you’ve ever encountered.”

These are ugly denials. But it’s the denials from those who stand in strong opposition to this president that are more frustrating to me: denials that their attacks on identity politics are racist. Denials that the paltry number of people of color in elite spaces marks racism.

Those denials echo the same ones that frustrated Dr. King in 1963 as he sat in a Birmingham jail cell and wrote, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

Mr. Trump, I suspect, will go to his grave with his heart beating in denial of the ill will of racism. Many others will as well.

Because we naturally want to look away from our ugliness. We paint over racist reality to make a beautiful delusion of self, of society. We defend this beautiful self and society from our racist reality with the weapons of denial.

Denial is fueled by the stigma associated with being a racist. Feeding the stigma is how “racist” is considered almost like an identity, a brand.

But a racist is not who a person is. A racist is what a person is, what a person is saying, what a person is doing.

Racist is not a fixed category like “not racist,” which is steeped denial. Only racists say they are not racist. Only the racist lives by the heartbeat of denial.

The antiracist lives by the opposite heartbeat, one that rarely and irregularly sounds in America — the heartbeat of confession."

The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial - The New York Times

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How Republican Lawmakers Responded to Trump’s Vulgar Immigration Remarks - The New York Times

"How Republican Lawmakers Responded to Trump’s Vulgar Immigration Remarks

By Alicia Parlapiano, Thomas Kaplan, Emily Baumgaertner, www.nytimes.comView OriginalJanuary 13th, 2018



Reports that President Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries” and disparaged Haitians during an immigration meeting on Thursday prompted outcry from some lawmakers, but his comments were followed by notable silence from others. Here’s how Republicans in the House leadership, the Senate and other lawmakers who attended the meeting have responded:



Denounced the President’s Comments

Some lawmakers specifically criticized the president, while others countered the sentiment of his remarks.





Senator Roy Blunt Mo.



Senator John Boozman Ark.

“Our country is made of immigrants. This diversity is what makes our country great and something all citizens should be proud of. No matter where people come from, they all deserve dignity and respect.”



Senator Susan Collins Maine



Senator Jeff Flake Ariz.



Senator Lindsey Graham S.C. AT THE MEETING

“Following comments by the president, I said my piece directly to him yesterday. The president and all those attending the meeting know what I said and how I feel. I’ve always believed that America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals.” »



Senator Charles E. Grassley Iowa

“I think it detracts from the very important issue we got to get solved by March the 5th," the deadline for Congress to find a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which Mr. Trump is ending. "Bottom line, all people ought to be treated with respect.” »



Senator Orrin G. Hatch Utah



Senator Johnny Isakson Ga.

“I did not hear it, but if it’s true, he owes the people of Haiti and all mankind an apology. That is not the kind of statement the leader of the free world ought to make, and he ought to be ashamed of himself. If he did not make it, he needs to corroborate the fact and prove it and then move forward.” »



Senator Ron Johnson Wis.

“Totally inappropriate and he should apologize. When you enter the public realm, I don't care what your past was, I don't know what kind of salty language you might have used, you stop doing it. You have a certain responsibility, a certain decorum that you need to conduct yourself in public with. You have children watching. You have nations watching.” »



Senator James Lankford Okla.

“If these comments are accurate, they are disappointing. I would not talk about nations like this, because the people of those countries are made in the image of God and have worth and human dignity. The United States should lead the world in respect for all people.”



Senator Mike Lee Utah

“The comments attributed to the president are insulting and distracting.”



Senator John McCain Ariz.



Senator Lisa Murkowski Alaska

“What the president said is offensive and doesn't reflect who we are as a country. It is particularly offensive just days ahead of our recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King. I am disappointed and suggest we move quickly to resolve the status of the Dreamers in a way that truly reflects our values.” »



Senator Rob Portman Ohio

“I wasn’t there, but if he said those things, it’s wrong and indefensible.”



Senator Pat Roberts Kan.

“Allegedly it’s an off-hand remark, but even that, it’s most unfortunate. I try to stick to my business, committees, and get us a good farm bill. I’ve worked with the president. He’s been very personable. That kind of language wasn’t used. So I regret it.” »



Senator Marco Rubio Fla.



Senator Tim Scott S.C.

“If these comments are the president’s words, they are disappointing to say the least. The American family was born from immigrants fleeing persecution and poverty and searching for a better future. Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world.”



Senator Patrick J. Toomey Pa.

“I hope the president retracts the suggestion, attributed to him yesterday, that America should not want immigrants from countries which he was accused of describing disparagingly. There are great people — many of whom would make great Americans — in every country on the face of the earth.”



House Speaker Paul D. Ryan Wis.

“So, first thing that came to my mind was very unfortunate, unhelpful.”



“I think it's a big part of our strength, whether you're coming from Haiti — we've got great friends from Africa in Janesville who are doctors who are just incredible citizens. And I just think it's important that we celebrate that.”



Sidestepped or Did Not Denounce the President’s Comments

A handful of Republican lawmakers who attended the immigration meeting at the White House either said they did not recall the president’s comments or did not directly address them. Others sidestepped the controversy or did not directly denounce the president’s comments.





Senator Bill Cassidy La.





Senator Tom Cotton Ark. AT THE MEETING



Senator David Perdue Ga. AT THE MEETING



Senator Ted Cruz Tex.



“I wasn't in the meeting with the president, so I don’t know what he did or didn't say. I can tell you, in my family, Heidi, as a child, lived in Africa. She lived in Kenya and Nigeria when her parents were missionaries there. And my brother-in-law, Heidi’s older brother, has been a missionary with his wife and sons in Haiti for many years.”

“I can tell you the approach that I’ve tried to take in Washington is to stay out of the nastiness and the attacks and the ‘he said, she said,’ and the insults, and try to focus on substance, try to focus on results, delivering results.” »





Representative Mario Diaz-Balart Fla. AT THE MEETING"



How Republican Lawmakers Responded to Trump’s Vulgar Immigration Remarks - The New York Times

False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump’s Nuclear Risk - The New York Times





"t was the sort of nightmare that had only ever been real for most people’s parents or grandparents — the fear of an impending nuclear attack. “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii,” read the emergency alert that residents of the Aloha State received on Saturday morning. “Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”



The authorities quickly announced that the alert was a mistake. But it made tangible the growing fears that after decades of leaders trying to more safely control the world’s nuclear arsenals, President Trump has increased the possibility of those weapons being used.



At a time when many are questioning whether Mr. Trump ought to be allowed anywhere near the nuclear “button,” he is moving ahead with plans to develop new nuclear weapons and expanding the circumstances in which they’d be used. Such actions break with years of American nuclear policy. They also make it harder to persuade other nations to curb their nuclear ambitions or forgo them entirely..."



False Alarm Adds to Real Alarm About Trump’s Nuclear Risk - The New York Times

Porn Star Was Reportedly Paid to Stay Quiet About Trump - The New York Times





"A lawyer for President Trump orchestrated a $130,000 payment to a pornographic-film actress in October 2016 to prevent her from going public with claims of a consensual sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.



The reported payment came shortly before the presidential election and as the actress, Stephanie Clifford, 38, was discussing sharing her account with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the online magazine Slate, according to interviews, notes and text messages reviewed by The New York Times.



Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, said on Friday that in a series of interviews with Ms. Clifford in August and October 2016, she told him she had an affair with Mr. Trump after meeting him at a 2006 celebrity golf tournament. She told him that Michael D. Cohen, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, had agreed during the presidential campaign to pay her the $130,000 if she kept the relationship secret, Mr. Weisberg said, adding that Ms. Clifford had told him she was tempted to go public because the lawyer was late in making the payment and she feared he might back out of their agreement.



In a text message exchange that Mr. Weisberg provided to The Times, he pressed her on details of the agreement.



“Was the Trump lawyer Michael Cohen?” he asked.



“Yep!” responded Ms. Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels.



Stephanie Clifford at a Trump Vodka launch party in 2008. Credit Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

Photo by: Chad Buchanan/Getty Images

She forwarded Mr. Weisberg a draft amendment to the original agreement in which the parties were referred to by pseudonyms. Mr. Weisberg shared it with The Times.



According to the draft, Ms. Clifford was referred to as “Peggy Peterson” and was represented by a lawyer named Keith Davidson. On the other end of the negotiations were other parties referred to as “David Dennison” and “David Delucia.” Ms. Clifford promised to send Mr. Weisberg the original paperwork. But shortly after the text message exchange, Ms. Clifford stopped responding. Mr. Weisberg said that his conversations with the actress were on the record but that he was not prepared to write the story without her consent.



ABC had been in talks with Ms. Clifford about an appearance on “Good Morning America,” but they came to an abrupt end, according to a person briefed on the negotiations.



In an email sent on Friday to The Times, Mr. Cohen did not address the $130,000 payment, but said, “These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011. President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.”



Ms. Clifford could not be reached for comment. But Mr. Cohen released a statement dated Jan. 10 and signed by Ms. Clifford in which she said that her involvement with Mr. Trump was limited to a few public appearances, and that allegations that “I had a sexual and/or romantic affair with Mr. Trump many, many, many years ago” were “completely false.”



“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the statement said.



The White House issued a statement, saying, “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”



The talks with Ms. Clifford were taking place at a delicate time for Mr. Trump, as he sought to dismiss allegations that he had mistreated women, along with questions about his fidelity. They came to pose a dire threat to his campaign after the release of an unedited “Access Hollywood” segment in which he boasted about grabbing women by the genitals uninvited and of an attempt he made to persuade a married woman to sleep with him. (At the time, he was newly married to Melania Trump, who was pregnant with their son, Barron.)



Ms. Clifford was one of at least two women whose claims of out-of-wedlock relations with Mr. Trump were kept from public view by way of restrictive legal agreements. Around the same time that Ms. Clifford was talking to Slate, a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, sold exclusive rights to her story about an affair she claimed to have had with Mr. Trump to American Media Inc., the company that owns The National Enquirer, The Journal reported shortly before the presidential election.



American Media, whose chief executive, David J. Pecker, is close with Mr. Trump, never published her story. It told The Journal at the time that it had paid to run fitness columns by Ms. McDougal and for “life rights” to any relationship she may have had to a married man. It denied it had paid to lock down a story that would have been damaging to Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, had denied that Mr. Trump had an affair or that he or his campaign had any knowledge of the talks with American Media.



Ms. McDougal was represented by the same lawyer who represented Ms. Clifford, Keith Davidson.



A Beverly Hills lawyer whose specialty is navigating “the discreet affairs of our select clientele,” Mr. Davidson has represented a number of adult-film stars and models, according to a client list that was once posted on his web site but no longer appears there. Mr. Davidson did not respond to requests for comment."



Porn Star Was Reportedly Paid to Stay Quiet About Trump - The New York Times

Trump asked why 'pretty Korean lady' analyst wasn't in North Korea negotiations | US news | The Guardian

Officials said Trump’s comments ‘raised concern of a lack of cultural sensitivity and decorum’.





"NBC News reported the exchange between the president and a “career intelligence analyst who is an expert in hostage policy”. The analyst, the report said, was briefing Trump last fall on “the impending release of a family long held in Pakistan”.



Citing two officials with direct knowledge of the exchange, NBC said the president asked the analyst where she was from, to which she said New York City. Trump reportedly pressed, asking where “your people” were from.



The NBC report said the analyst said her parents were Korean, leading Trump to ask an adviser why the “pretty Korean lady” was not involved in negotiations with nuclear-armed North Korea.



NBC said it did not interview the analyst, whose identity and agency it did not reveal, citing concern for her privacy. The White House did not immediately comment.



On Twitter on Friday morning, Trump denied having made the “shithole” remark. The senior Democratic senator Dick Durbin, who was in the meeting, subsequently said that he had.



According to NBC, the officials who discussed the “pretty Korean lady” remark “said the president likely meant no harm with his inquiry, but it raised concern of a lack of cultural sensitivity and decorum”.



The NBC report listed other instances of the president speaking with an apparent lack of sensitivity in formal surroundings, in meetings with members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and with Navajo code talkers.



The president reportedly expressed surprise that no CBC members knew Ben Carson, the housing and urban development secretary who is the only black member of his cabinet.



At the code talkers event, in November, Trump joked about the Massachusetts Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, whom he has nicknamed “Pochahontas” over her claim of Native American ancestry."



Trump asked why 'pretty Korean lady' analyst wasn't in North Korea negotiations | US news | The Guardian

Trump’s Immigration Remarks Outrage Many, but Others Quietly Agree - The New York Times





"LONDON — The Czech president has called Muslim immigrants criminals. The head of Poland’s governing party has said refugees are riddled with disease. The leader of Hungary has described migrants as a poison.



This week, Austria’s new far-right interior minister suggested “concentrating” migrants in asylum centers — with all its obvious and odious echoes of World War II.



So when President Trump said he did not want immigrants from “shithole” countries, there was ringing silence across broad parts of the European Union, especially in the east, and certainly no chorus of condemnation.



In fact, some analysts saw the remarks as fitting a pattern of crude, dehumanizing and racist language to describe migrants and asylum seekers that has steadily edged its way into the mainstream. Coming from the White House, such words may be taken by some as a broader signal that racism is now an acceptable part of political discourse.



“What we see now is a conscious policy to reintroduce language that was previously not acceptable in debate,” said Gerald Knaus, the director of the European Stability Initiative, a Berlin-based research organization that has played a leading role in forming recent European migration policy.



To be sure, Mr. Trump’s choice of words drew condemnation from around the world. Botswana and Haiti asked for meetings with American diplomats to clarify what Mr. Trump said and what he believes. The president of Senegal, Macky Sall, was one of many who saw racism in the remarks. “Africa and black people deserve the respect and consideration of all,” he wrote on Twitter.



Even the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, weighed in, declaring Mr. Trump’s comments “particularly harsh and offensive.”



But the political reality is that migration has become a salient issue — and not only for right-wing, populist and nativist politicians. Across many affluent societies, people are anxious about technological change, rising inequality and stagnant wages, and they have focused their ire at the global flows of capital and, especially, labor. There are also concerns about demographic change, as the world becomes less white and as western societies age.



Moreover, the chaos and violence that have driven people from the Middle East, Southwest Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to seek to live elsewhere, even as far away as Australia and Canada, have also raised fears about refugees who do not appreciate the values of the countries hosting them — or even worse, fears of terrorists taking advantage of humanitarian policies to infiltrate societies and then carry out attacks.



Hours before the news of Mr. Trump’s comments broke on Thursday, the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, spoke about the need for more “safe, orderly and regular” migration.



He implored nations to “use facts, not prejudice” to address the challenges of migration.



“Globally, migration remains poorly managed,” he acknowledged. “The impact can be seen in the humanitarian crises affecting people on the move, and in the human rights violations suffered by those living in slavery or enduring degrading working conditions. It can be seen, too, in the political impact of public perception that wrongly sees migration as out of control. The consequences include increased mistrust and policies aimed more at stopping than facilitating human movement.”



Mr. Knaus, of the European Stability Initiative, was one of several commentators who expressed fear that Mr. Trump would only embolden xenophobic rhetoric.



“This will have consequences because it’s widely followed,” he said. “In every Austrian and German village, they follow what the U.S. president is doing.”



Trump’s Immigration Remarks Outrage Many, but Others Quietly Agree - The New York Times

Lawrence on President Trump 'Shithole' Comment: 'Hating Is What He Does'...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Anderson Cooper Gets Emotional Reacting To Trump's Shameful New Statemen...

Time to Say It: Trump Is a Racist - The New York Times





"When it comes to President Trump and race, there is a predictable cycle. He makes a remark that seems racist, and people engage in an extended debate about whether he is personally racist. His critics say he is. His defenders argue for an interpretation in which race plays a secondary role (such as: Haiti really is a worse place to live than Norway).



It’s time to end this cycle.



No one except Trump can know what Trump’s private thoughts or motivations are. But the public record and his behavior are now abundantly clear. Donald Trump treats black people and Latinos differently than he treats white people.



And that makes him a racist.



Is it possible to defend some of his racially charged statements by pointing out that something other than race might explain them? Sure. Is it possible that he doesn’t think of himself as a racist who views white people as superior to nonwhite people? Yes.



But the definition of a racist — the textbook definition, as Paul Ryan might say — is someone who treats some people better than others because of their race. Trump fits that definition many times over:



• Trump’s real-estate company was sued twice by the federal government in the 1970s for discouraging the renting of apartments to African-Americans and preferring white tenants, such as “Jews and executives.”



• In 1989, Trump took out ads in New York newspapers urging the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers accused of raping a white woman in Central Park; he continued to argue that they were guilty as late as October 2016, more than 10 years after DNA evidence had exonerated them.



• He spent years claiming that the nation’s first black president was born not in the United States but in Africa, an outright lie that Trump still has not acknowledged as such.



• He began his 2016 presidential campaign by disparaging Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.”



• He has retweeted white nationalists without apology.



• He frequently criticizes prominent African-Americans for being unpatriotic, ungrateful and disrespectful.



• He called some of those who marched alongside white supremacists in Charlottesville last August “very fine people.”



• He is quick to highlight crimes committed by dark-skinned people, sometimes exaggerating or lying about it (such as a claim about growing crime from “radical Islamic terror” in Britain). He is very slow to decry hate crimes committed against dark-skinned people (such as the murder of an Indian man in Kansas last year).



• At the White House yesterday, Trump vulgarly called for less immigration from Haiti and Africa and more from Norway.



If you think this list is incomplete, email me at Leonhardt@nytimes.com.



For more on this topic, read my colleague Nick Kristof wrestling with the topic during the 2016 campaign: “Here we have a man who for more than four decades has been repeatedly associated with racial discrimination or bigoted comments about minorities,” he wrote. “While any one episode may be ambiguous, what emerges over more than four decades is a narrative arc, a consistent pattern — and I don’t see what else to call it but racism.”



And Slate’s Jamelle Bouie: “It’s impossible to know what’s in his heart. But what Trump feels is less important than what he does.”



Time to Say It: Trump Is a Racist - The New York Times

Senator Insists Trump Used ‘Vile and Racist’ Language - The New York Times




Senator Insists Trump Used ‘Vile and Racist’ Language - The New York Times

Joe On Trump's Remarks: How Does GOP Not Immediately Condemn This Langua...

Joe On Trump's Remarks: How Does GOP Not Immediately Condemn This Langua...

Trump Sold Norway F-52 Aircrafts, Which Isn't A Real Thing

My parents were from what Trump calls 'shithole countries' -... Joy Reid explains how her parents were from parts of the world where, according to President Trump, you'll find 'shithole countries' from which the United States should not accept immigrants. All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

 

All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC: ""

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez: Trump could lead the KKK The Illinois Democrat responds to the President Trump's comments calling Haiti and African nations "shithole countries." All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC

All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC: ""

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

‘It’s not a fabrication’: Six times the firm behind the infamous dossier contradicted Trump’s claims - The Washington Post





"It's not made up. It wasn't politically motivated. And it did not set out with the intention to smear President Trump.



That's what the co-founder of a research firm, Fusion GPS, told Congress about a dossier his firm produced during the presidential campaign. Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 hours in August about research that was originally started by a conservative news site, and that Hillary Clinton's campaign paid for to continue. Ultimately, the dossier claimed Trump's campaign colluded with Russia, something Trump has vigorously denied but also something neither special counsel Robert S. Mueller III nor Congress have ruled out.



Against a backdrop of Trump and Republicans claiming the dossier was politically motivated, Senate Democrat Dianne Feinstein released the transcript, without Republican support, on Tuesday.



The Fix skimmed most of the nearly 300 pages of the transcript to bring you the most politically notable nuggets and to note how they contradict what Trump and his supporters have been saying..."



‘It’s not a fabrication’: Six times the firm behind the infamous dossier contradicted Trump’s claims - The Washington Post

Five takeaways from the Fusion GPS testimony | TheHill




Five takeaways from the Fusion GPS testimony | TheHill

Judge blocks Trump administration plan to roll back DACA - CNNPolitics



"(CNN) A federal judge in California late Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration's efforts to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Judge William Alsup also said the administration must resume receiving DACA renewal applications.
But the ruling is limited -- the administration does not need to process applications for those who have never before received DACA protections, he said."

Judge blocks Trump administration plan to roll back DACA - CNNPolitics

Monday, January 08, 2018

Oprah Winfrey’s powerful Golden Globes speech: 'a new day is on the hori...

‘Like, Really Smart’ - The New York Times





By Charles M. Blow Jan. 7, 2018, www.nytimes. 8th, 2018



"I resist applying clinical diagnoses to people, and that includes Donald Trump. I’m not a doctor, and a proper diagnosis would require a personal evaluation.



But I would be basking in false virtue if I simply pretended that I’m not aware that some of the behaviors displayed by this man line up with the symptoms of certain personality disorders.



So I must couch my concerns this way: There is no way for me to know for sure, but all indications lead me to believe that Donald Trump struggles to fit into the frame of what we call normal behavior, and he often fails at it in spectacular ways.



And it is not only you and I worried about the president’s mental stability. According to Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” the book that has so gotten under the president’s skin and into his mind, those closest to him also worry about his mental health.





Trump was so bothered by the book that he took to Twitter over the weekend to defend himself against the damaging portrait it contains: that of a mentally unstable simpleton.



Trump wrote that “throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart” and then upped the self-accolades by writing that being elected would “qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!”



Whatever you say, Wile E. Coyote.



The truth is that it appears that most of the conservative architecture in this country — members of the administration, members of Congress, Fox News, the Republican National Committee, and Trump’s die-hard base — are all engaged in an exercise to defend, excuse, protect and absolve a man and his behaviors, which may well do irreparable damage to the country.



They have learned to praise him in order to steady him. His weakness is an unending need for affirmation. Anyone who provides it, he abides. It’s simple. Also sad. Actually, pathetic.



Trump’s defenders have bolstered his insistence that all questioning of his competence is purely political.



I will be the first to admit that everything in politics has a political component.



Would liberals relish more discord in the conservative caucus? Yes. Would Democrats like to see Republicans dispirited going into the midterm elections? Yes. Would many people like to see Trump’s political wounds worsen and possibly see him impeached? Yes.



Personally, am I opposed to his policies? Yes. Do I find his obsessive Obama-erasure quest both pathological and a poor policy mission? Yes. Am I offended to the highest order by his coddling of white supremacists, his clear hostility to minorities, his anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican rhetoric and his misogyny? You bet!



But can I also have legitimate, nonpartisan, nonpolitical concern about Trump’s stability, fitness and basic intellectual capacity? Of course I can, and so should everyone else.



Let’s start here: From everything I have ever read about the man, he is not particularly smart. This is sometimes hard for people to understand. They equate financial gain with intellectual gifts, but the two are hardly synonymous.



Being gifted at exploitation is not the same as intellectualism. It is a skill, but one separate from scholarship. Being able to see and exploit a need, void or insecurity in people can be an interesting, and even lucrative, endowment, but it is not enlightenment.



He is also not a reader. That is not to say that he can’t read, but rather that, given his druthers, he won’t.



But mental instability — whether a diagnosable disorder or just a combination of crippling character traits — is a problem of another magnitude. That goes to basic competence and substantially raises the stakes.



This is the problem we face: We have a person occupying the presidency who is impetuous, fragile, hostile, irrational, intentionally uninformed, information-averse and semiliterate.



The question we have to put to the elected officials protecting this president, and indeed to all those being paid a taxpayer-funded salary and then concealing, distorting or denying the truth to make this man look competent, is: Don’t you have an obligation, either moral, ethical, patriotic or otherwise, to level with America that you, too, are concerned by Trump’s erratic behavior?



At the very least, don’t the members of the House and Senate, who swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, have an obligation to rebuke this president for his attacks on the press and free speech, both protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution?



These elected officials in particular are not only obsequiously placating a man nursing a god complex, they are displaying a staggering lack of national fealty.



You can’t say that you love America and not take a stand to defend it from harm.



These politicians are taking the politically expedient track for political gain or political survival. They would rather defend a compromised Republican president than have to live in the wake of a deposed one. They would like to try to manage the damage Trump may do, rather than prevent that damage from occurring.



And in so doing, they are moving dangerously close to the day when being a loyal Trump Republican could be seen as being an unpatriotic American."



‘Like, Really Smart’ - The New York Times

Trump Administration Rules That Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave, Officials Say Trump is a truly evil man, - The New York Times





Trump Administration Rules That Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave, Officials Say - The New York Times

A Golden Globes Draped in Black Addresses #MeToo - The New York Times



A Golden Globes Draped in Black Addresses #MeToo - The New York Times

Sunday, January 07, 2018

How POTUS Got His Mooch Back

The ‘stable genius’ isn’t even functioning as president - The Washington Post





"...Trump’s emotional and mental limitations should debunk a number of rationalizations from his devoted cultists, who insisted he was the best choice in 2016, cheered his first year in office and continue to pretend he’s fit for office. He’s sounding presidential. No, he’s reading off a teleprompter, likely with very little comprehension. He’s playing four-dimensional chess with Kim Jong Un. No, he’s impulsively lashing out, with the risk of provoking a deadly clash. He’s a master manipulator when he shifts from position to position, sometimes in the same sentence. No, he likely doesn’t realize what contradicts what or remember what he originally said. His use of alternative facts is a brilliant scheme to control the press narrative. No, he’s incapable of processing real information and driven by an insatiable need for praise and reaffirmation.



Seen in the context of his intellectual and emotional limitations, some decisions should set off alarm bells. Take the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “Bad. Obama’s deal. Worst ever. Get rid of it. People will love me if I get rid of it.” That is very likely the sum total of his “thinking” on the subject. He’s not considering the next step, the reaction of allies, the implication for America’s standing in the world, the available evidence of Iranian compliance or any other data point that would go into a rational consideration of  United States’ policy. Policy isn’t being made or even understood by the president. What comes from his fears and impulses is whatever aides are able to piece together that might satisfy his emotional spasm of the moment without endangering the country. (The compromise was to “decertify” the deal, freaking out our allies but leaving the deal in place — for now.)..."





The ‘stable genius’ isn’t even functioning as president - The Washington Post

What Michael Wolff got right about Donald Trump.

 

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“Wolff dangles stories from election night 2016 to convey Trump’s shock at winning: He ‘looked as if he had seen a ghost,’ Wolff writes, and Melania was ‘in tears.’ Some reporters recall seeing just the opposite. But there’s lots of evidence that Trump didn’t think he’d win. He didn’t prep for debates. Aides couldn’t talk him into lending his campaign more than $10 million, even as he languished in polls and faced warnings of a landslide defeat. In the campaign’s final weeks, he spoke pre-emptively of an international conspiracy that had already rigged the election against him.

As president, Trump can’t stop marveling at his victory. ‘I’m president! Hey, I’m president!’ he exclaimed months ago, in one of several such public outbursts. ‘Can you believe it?’

Since Trump never planned to be president, he never committed to the habits or practices a good president would need. In office, he has minimized his work schedule, spending time on TV and golf instead. This has been well documented, often by Trump’s own tweets. He sits in bed, phoning friends and acquaintances, grousing about his job, his staff, and the media. He doesn’t listen to aides. They can hardly get him to read things.

Why would a man run for the presidency and then run away from it? Because, while he may have coveted the glory, he never wanted the job."

(Via.).  What Michael Wolff got right about Donald Trump

The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump | The New Yorker

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"Chaotic, corrupt, incurious, infantile, grandiose, and obsessed with gaudy real estate, Donald Trump is of a Neronic temperament. He has always craved attention. Now the whole world is his audience. In earlier times, Trump cultivated, among others, the proprietors and editors of the New York tabloids, Fox News, TMZ, and the National Enquirer. Now Twitter is his principal outlet, with no mediation necessary. The President recently celebrated the holidays at Mar-a-Lago, the Domus Aurea of Palm Beach, and nearly every day, before setting out for the golf course, he thumbed his bilious contempt for . . . such a long list! Science itself did not escape his scorn:"

(Via.). The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump | The New Yorker

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Stephen Bites Into The Juicy New Trump Book

Trump administration seeks $18bn from Congress for Mexico border wall | US news | The Guardian

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“The Trump administration is seeking nearly $18bn from Congress over the next decade to start extending and reinforcing a border wall with Mexico, the first financial blueprint for the president’s election campaign promise.
Details of the plan revealed on Friday would fund 316 miles of new barriers and bolster an additional 407 miles of existing barriers, adding up to a significant expansion of walls and fencing along the southwestern border.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a branch of homeland security, submitted the details to Congress. Democrats and Republicans in Washington are gearing up for a fraught battle over the proposed wall and the status of young undocumented migrants, two issues that have become entangled and risk triggering a government shutdown on 20 January if no deal is reached."

Trump administration seeks $18bn from Congress for Mexico border wall | US news | The Guardian

Donald Trump mounts extraordinary defence of his 'mental stability' | US news | The Guardian

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"President boasts of being ‘a very stable genius’ but Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff says his explosive book will ‘finally end this presidency’

In an extraordinary and unprecedented public defence of his own mental stability, Donald Trump issued a volley of tweets that seemed guaranteed to add fuel to a growing constitutional crisis. 

Suggestions that he was mentally unfit to be president were out of “the old Ronald Reagan playbook”, Trump wrote on Saturday.

“Actually,” the president added, “throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.”

He also said he “would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!”

Michael Wolff, the author of the book that precipitated fierce debate over Trump’s fitness to be president, declined to comment on Trump’s latest claim."

Donald Trump mounts extraordinary defence of his 'mental stability' | US news | The Guardian

President boasts of being ‘a very stable genius’ but Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff says his explosive book will ‘finally end this presidency’

In an extraordinary and unprecedented public defence of his own mental stability, Donald Trump issued a volley of tweets that seemed guaranteed to add fuel to a growing constitutional crisis. 

Suggestions that he was mentally unfit to be president were out of “the old Ronald Reagan playbook”, Trump wrote on Saturday.

“Actually,” the president added, “throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.”

He also said he “would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!”

Michael Wolff, the author of the book that precipitated fierce debate over Trump’s fitness to be president, declined to comment on Trump’s latest claim.

 

Friday, January 05, 2018

Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6 - The Verge

"Chrome is now the most popular browser across all devices, thanks to Android’s popularity and the rise of Chrome on Windows PCs and Mac computers. As Google continues to dominate our access to the web, information through its search engine, and services like Gmail or YouTube, Chrome is a powerful entry point in the company’s vast toolbox. While Google championed web standards that worked across many different browsers back in the early days of Chrome, more recently its own services often ignore standards and force people to use Chrome.

Chrome, in other words, is being used in the same way that Internet Explorer 6 was back in the day — with web developers primarily optimizing for Chrome and tweaking for rivals later. To understand how we even got to this stage, here’s a little (a lot) of browser history. If you want to know why saying 'Chrome is the new Internet Explorer 6' is so damning, you have to know why IE6 was a damnable problem in the early ‘00s."

(Via.).  Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6 - The Verge:

White House Immigration Demands Imperil Bipartisan Talks - The New York Times

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"WASHINGTON — The White House on Friday presented Congress with an expansive list of hard-line immigration measures, including an $18 billion request to build a wall at the Mexican border, that President Trump is demanding in exchange for protecting young undocumented immigrants."

(Via.) White House Immigration Demands Imperil Bipartisan Talks - The New York Times:

Trump’s effort to stop publication of scathing book is a break in precedent - The Washington Post

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"...The threats did not appear to work, at least as far as the book is concerned: Wolff and his publisher announced Thursday that publication had been moved forward four days to Friday because of what they described as “unprecedented demand.”

But legal experts and historians said the decision by a sitting president to threaten “imminent” legal action against a publishing house, a journalist and a former aide represented a remarkable break with recent precedent and could have a chilling effect on free-speech rights." 

Trump’s effort to stop publication of scathing book is a break in precedent - The Washington Post

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Donald Trump Lies About Everything, Including Steve Bannon |It is absurd for the president to claim: “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency.” The Nation

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Donald Trump Lies About Everything, Including Steve Bannon | The Nation

Rep. Castro: I've heard about crimes by the administration in... | MSNBC



Rep. Castro: I've heard about crimes by the administration in... | MSNBC

My Button’s Bigger Than Yours - The New York Times





"So, to start the year, our president bragged that he has a “much bigger” nuclear button than the guy in North Korea.



Coming next week: Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un compare finger length, shoe and head size. That last is complicated by the fact that they have what are two of the worst government-leader haircuts in history. Honestly, you’d think Kim had executed every barber in his country.



If it wasn’t for the exploding-planet aspect of all this, it’d be sort of funny. We have here two very silly egomaniacs. Kim’s government claims that he learned to drive when he was 3 and that he makes breakthrough medical discoveries in the treatment of cancer in his spare time.



Meanwhile on our side, Trump recently gave himself credit for ending commercial airplane fatalities. (“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation.”) The White House — which spends its entire life explaining why the last crazy tweet wasn’t all that crazy — claimed this was due to the president’s “initiative to modernize air traffic control,” a proposal that was never passed into law. Also, the Federal Aviation Administration, which is in charge of air safety, is run by an Obama appointee.



Also, there haven’t been any commercial passenger deaths in the United States since 2013. And Trump once had an airline of his own that had a crash landing three months into operation, piled up massive debt and eventually folded. We could go on and on. As many did on Twitter. (“We had no gas explosions in our house this year. Thank you, Mr. President for your hands-on leadership.…”)



But O.K., moving forward.



In North Korea, Kim celebrated the new year with an address to the people in which he assured them “that I have a nuclear button on the desk in my office. All of the mainland United States is within the range of our nuclear strike.”



Do you think the North Koreans felt that was a good way to welcome in 2018? On the one hand, they do seem to like the idea of being able to win a nuclear war with the United States. On the other hand, you can’t help wondering if some of them might have preferred a couple of nostalgic songs.



As Russell Goldman explained in The New York Times, Kim probably does not actually have a button — and it would take North Korea a long time to actually get its missiles ready to fire anywhere.



However, it’s perfectly possible his minions put a big, red, make-believe button on his desk to make him feel manly. This is, after all, a guy who pretends that he climbed the country’s highest mountain wearing a long topcoat and dress shoes. Whose dictator-father, according to an official biography, never needed to use a toilet.



Obviously, engaging in a public transoceanic personal argument with Kim is useless. But Trump responded that he had a nuclear button, too, and “it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”



The fighting between the two men goes way back, although on Trump’s part the insults (“maniac”) have been interspersed with totally opposite assessments (“smart cookie”). So all we know for sure about our side of the debate is that Trump doesn’t have a button, either. There is an aide carrying a briefcase, which is a little less threatening but of course much less awesome if you’re exchanging insults with a guy whose government claims he can make the weather change.



All this is the reason the whole nation is so excited about the return of Mitt Romney.



Really, two years ago if somebody told you that in 2018 Mitt might make a comeback by running for the Senate, you’d have found it a slightly less exciting prospect than a reboot for “American Idol.” But here we are. Suddenly Romney seems like the second coming of — oh, I don’t know, Dwight Eisenhower without the medals?



Everyone presumes Mitt could win a Senate election, and why not? He’s very popular in Utah. It’s a super red state, and no other Republican would run against him. Unless Steve Bannon finds another Breitbart centerfold the way he did in Alabama, and then we can have an exciting race with Romney versus a far-right puppy-beater who lives in a cabin on a hill surrounded by machine gun turrets.



So there he’ll be in the Senate, his old self-righteous self, waiting for the chance to take a principled stand against the White House. And maybe angling to take Trump on in 2020. It’s true that he’ll be 73 by then, but given the current lineup of presidential possibilities, that would make him a youth vote candidate.



Who would ever have thought that Mitt Romney could look that good? But at least he has all his buttons."



My Button’s Bigger Than Yours - The New York Times

Trump’s Attention Economy - The New York Times





"On Tuesday, Donald Trump unleashed yet another tweet storm from within his unceasing drought of competence.



In a series of 16 tweets, Trump lied, boasted, lashed out, bemoaned, provoked, belittled and prodded.



In other words, Trump began this year the way he ended the last one: eroding and reducing the office of the presidency on a daily basis.



His most consequential tweet was a boast about destructive power:



“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”



Sir, this is not a missile-measuring contest. No one wants to think about the size of your button. You seem to think that the effects of a nuclear strike would be the verification of your virility rather than the loss of innumerable lives.



This is not the way you conduct diplomacy. You don’t get into a Twitter battle with another world leader. You don’t drag America down because you want to pump yourself up.



It’s not about you! But in Trump’s universe, he is the center around which everything and everyone else orbits.



He is so addicted to adulation and allergic to even the most legitimate of criticisms that he is rendered emotionally helpless, constantly boxing with shadows and dodging the truth.



In his mind, no one is ever fair to him, because for him fairness is being allowed to lie with ease, profit with impunity and defy convention without consequence.



This is why we keep seeing these outbursts: A man who built a life and a career flouting the rules is being forced to play by them and may even be punished under them. There is no way to stop the process that is already in progress.



The special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his team show up every day working on their investigation and building their cases. We have no idea what they know, but it is clear their search weighs heavily on Trump.



This investigation is driving Trump to distraction. No matter how much his attorney tries to assure him that the investigation will end soon and well for him — and no matter how much Trump may believe that — Mueller is in no rush and is no rube.



Trump is trapped. He and his minions can lie to the public, but they can’t lie to Mueller. Whatever truth there is to find, Mueller will find it. And from what we already know, there seems to have been quite a bit of funny business within the Trump campaign.



Even the disheveled, self-important, would-be impresario Steve Bannon won’t deny the stench that emanated from Trump Tower during the campaign. According to The Guardian, in Michael Wolff’s forthcoming book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Bannon described the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”



Bannon also reportedly told the author, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”



Trump didn’t take well to his former disciple’s apostasy, saying in a statement:



“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”



That’s a lie. Steve Bannon had everything to do with Trump and his presidency. Bannon was the brain to Trump’s bluster. That is to say not that Bannon was particularly smart but that he was sinisterly manipulative.



The same way that Bannon has an almost supersensory ability to divine ways to tie together white supremacy, cultural anxiety, class warfare, xenophobia and government distrust, Trump is supremely aware, on a gut level, that we live in an attention economy.



Not only is our influence — and sometimes even our worth — determined by the amount of attention we garner; the amount of attention we have to give — or should I say “pay” — is a limited commodity and whoever owns it owns us to some degree, even against our will.



So, through it all, and perhaps because of it all, Trump frantically slings spaghetti at the wall, in the hope that some strands will stick and also that the wall itself will become defaced.



It is Trump’s strategy; it is Trump’s ethos.



If this were almost any other person, we could simply ignore him and starve the beast of oxygen. But we can’t. This person is the president of the most powerful nation on earth. He won, even if aided by the enemy. He lives in the White House. He travels on Air Force One.



Trump has America, and indeed the world, in a vise grip. We want to ignore the absurdity of his every utterance, but to do so is on some level a civic and moral abdication.



We are adrift in Trump’s ocean of idiocy, hoping and praying that Mueller will toss us a lifeline."



Trump’s Attention Economy - The New York Times