Posts Tagged ‘ Trump ’

A particular specialty was insulting other monarchs

Jun 7th, 2018 5:01 pm | By

Apropos of nothing Miranda Carter at the New Yorker asks what happens when a bad-tempered distractable doofus runs an empire.

One of the few things that Kaiser Wilhelm II, who ruled Germany from 1888 to 1918, had a talent for was causing outrage. A particular specialty was insulting other monarchs. He called the diminutive King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy “the dwarf” in front of the king’s own entourage. He called Prince (later Tsar) Ferdinand, of Bulgaria, “Fernando naso,” on account of his beaky nose, and spread rumors that he was a hermaphrodite. Since Wilhelm was notably indiscreet, people always knew what he was saying behind their backs…

…One of the many things that Wilhelm was convinced he was

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It’s about attitude

Jun 7th, 2018 11:18 am | By

Yes sure enough – Trump is supposed to be “preparing” for his meeting with Kim, and he doesn’t want to go to Canada for the G 7 because it will take time away from his “preparation,” but if you ask him he will promptly say that he doesn’t need to prepare because it’s not about preparation, it’s about attitude.

During a White House pool spray with Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe on Thursday, President Trump said he doesn’t think he has a lot of preparation to do ahead of a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in which the two leaders will discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

“I think I’m very well prepared. I don’t think

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The darkness at Trump’s core

Jun 7th, 2018 10:47 am | By

Charles Blow starts his essay on Trump’s passionate love for hatred by noting that we get exhausted by him and by the torrent of terrible news he creates.

When my enthusiasm for resisting this vile man and his corrupt administration starts to flag, I remember the episode that first revealed to me the darkness at Trump’s core, and I am renewed.

He then tells the story of the Central Park 5 – the forced “confessions” after more than 24 hours of interrogation without food sleep or water, and the exoneration via DNA evidence years later.

A few days after the attack, long before the teenagers would go on trial, Donald Trump bought full-page ads in New York newspapers — you

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Skip the lectures

Jun 7th, 2018 9:41 am | By

Trump is having a sulk about his boring homework of going to stinky old CANADA when he hates Canada and would much rather watch tv and eat ice cream.

The president has vented privately about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as their trade tensions have spilled into public view. He has mused about finding new ways to punish the United States’ northern neighbor in recent days, frustrated with the country’s retaliatory trade moves.

To…punish Canada? For what? For Trudeau not saying “how high?” when Trump says “jump”?

And Trump has complained to aides about spending two days in Canada for a summit of world leaders, believing the trip is a distraction from his upcoming Singapore summit with North Korean

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So unfair, and vicious

Jun 6th, 2018 10:26 am | By


A year ago:

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They just get lower and lower

Jun 6th, 2018 10:08 am | By

Another day, another

The AP article on Rudy’s jaunt to Tel Aviv:

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is trying to frame President Donald Trump.

Football players who kneel while a patriotic song is sung are Disloyal but the president’s lawyer talking shit about the US justice system in a foreign country is Loyal+++.

“There are a group of 13 highly partisan Democrats who make up the Mueller team, excluding him,

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No here’s what REALLY happened

Jun 5th, 2018 11:42 am | By

Now the White House press secretary has put out a statement with a new story about why Trump picked a fight with some football players.

(I know this is small potatoes compared to the boulder-size ones, but I’m morbidly fascinated by this kind of culture war bullshit.)

After extensive discussions with the Eagles organization, which began in February, the team accepted an invitation from the President to attend a June 5 celebration of their victory in Super Bowl LII at the White House.

On Thursday, May 31, the team notified the White House of 81 individuals, including players, coaches, management, and support personnel, who would attend the event.  On Friday, the Secret Service cleared them for participation.  These individuals, along

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A fragile egomaniac

Jun 5th, 2018 11:21 am | By

Philadelphia’s mayor issued a statement about Trump’s abrupt last-minute cancellation of the celebration he had offered the city’s football team.

Mayor Kenney released the following statement on the recent decision of President Trump to disinvite the Philadelphia Eagles from visiting the White House:

“The Eagles call the birthplace of our democracy home, so it’s no surprise that this team embodies everything that makes our country and our city great. Their athletic accomplishments on the field led to an historic victory this year. Fans all across the country rallied behind them because we like to root for the underdog and we feel joy when we see the underdogs finally win. I’m equally proud of the Eagles’ activism off the field. These

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Salute the flag or else

Jun 5th, 2018 10:20 am | By

Chris Cillizza itemizes the wrongs in Trump’s idiotic “statement” yesterday on why he was telling a football team that they can’t come to his our house.

2. Trump doesn’t own the White House. Trump seems to be treating 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue like one of his Trump properties. If only you had done things the way I wanted them done, then maybe you could be reclining in one of my 5-star hotels right now — or playing golf at one of my award-winning courses. That is how Trump thinks.

But it’s not his, and he’s not supposed to brandish it to punish people for dissent. He’s not supposed to punish people for dissent at all.

3. Trump’s definition of

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De gustibus

Jun 5th, 2018 9:34 am | By

Michelle Goldberg cites a disquieting statistic:

Whatever Trump does, most Republicans will probably go along with it. In 500 days, Trump has managed to turn much of what remains of his party into an authoritarian cult. Among Republicans, he has an 87 percent approval rating; the only modern Republican president who was more popular with his own party at this point in his term was George W. Bush, and that was mere months after Sept. 11. A recent poll of voters in congressional swing districts found that 71 percent of Republicans “mostly like” Trump’s handling of F.B.I. and criminal justice officials.

Among Republicans he has an exceptionally high approval rating.

That’s appalling. That terrible mean bullying venomous vindictive … Read the rest

A day that will live in infamy

Jun 4th, 2018 10:12 am | By

The Times leans back and puts its feet up and swirls the ice cubes around in its glass of bourbon, and drawls comfortably that the legal thinking on whether Trump can pardon himself isn’t quite as simple as he thinks.

President Trump declared Monday that the appointment of the special counsel in the Russia investigation is “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” and asserted that he has the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take extraordinary action to immunize himself from the ongoing probe.

Yes but that’s not the only prospect that extraordinary assertion raises. It also raises the prospect that he thinks he can do anything at all with impunity. Why should we assume that Trump is thinking … Read the rest

This is not a drill

Jun 4th, 2018 9:40 am | By

To be exact…Trump’s announcing this is surely an emergency. He’s saying he’s not constrained by any law, because he has an absolute right to pardon himself.

We can’t be having a president, with the powers a president has, who thinks and says he is bound by no law.

He could do anything. He’s a lunatic, and a rage-prone vindictive impulsive lunatic at that. He’s all of that and he claims the law cannot touch him.

Sure looks like an emergency to me.… Read the rest

Trump declares himself above all law

Jun 4th, 2018 9:23 am | By

Trump walks farther out on the tightrope.

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A single entity personified by the president

Jun 3rd, 2018 10:12 am | By

Matt Yglesias underlines the dangers in what Trump’s legal muscle says.

The key passage in the memo is one in which Trump’s lawyers argue that not only was there nothing shady going on when FBI Director James Comey got fired there isn’t even any potential shadiness to investigate because the president is allowed to be as shady as he wants to be when it comes to overseeing federal law enforcement. He can fire whoever he wants. Shut down any investigation or open up a new one.

Indeed, the President not only has unfettered statutory and Constitutional authority to terminate the FBI Director, he also has Constitutional authority to direct the Justice Department to open or close an investigation, and, of

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The sacred responsibility of the President

Jun 2nd, 2018 5:40 pm | By

The Times published the whole letter with annotations. It’s a lot.

To take one item at random…

It is also worth responding to the popular suggestion that the President’s public criticism of the FBI either constitutes obstruction or serves as evidence of obstruction. Such criticism ignores the sacred responsibility of the President to hold his subordinates accountable — a function not unlike public Congressional oversight hearings. After all, the FBI is not above the law and we are now learning of the disappointing results of a lack of accountability in both the DOJ and FBI.

And that’s what Trump is doing, is it? Performing his sacred responsibility to hold his subordinates accountable? By screaming insults at them on Twitter … Read the rest

Because he has unfettered authority

Jun 2nd, 2018 3:29 pm | By

Trump’s lawyers are seriously arguing, in a long memo to Mueller, that Trump can’t obstruct justice because as president he is justice himself.

President Trump’s lawyers have for months quietly waged a campaign to keep the special counsel from trying to force him to answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, asserting that he cannot be compelled to testify and arguing in a confidential letter that he could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.

Including federal investigations into his own crimes. So a president can do anything at all and then simply shut down or forbid all federal investigations because his authority is that absolute.

So they’re saying … Read the rest

The baleful impact

Jun 2nd, 2018 9:59 am | By

Tom McCarthy at the Guardian talks to a couple of legal boffins about Trump’s erosion of democratic and legal norms.

“We’ve never had a president attack the intelligence and law enforcement agencies that work for him in this way,” Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and former assistant attorney general under George W Bush, said in an email. “He’s attacking them in order to discredit the Mueller investigation. But the baleful impact on those agencies’ morale and on public trust in them unfortunately extends far beyond that investigation.”

While whispers of a “constitutional crisis” are in the air, many mainstream analyses reject that idea, pointing out among other things that the Mueller investigation continues full steam ahead, no

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Smiling photo-op

Jun 1st, 2018 5:55 pm | By

Trump loves Kim again.

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The greatest gift a President can bestow

Jun 1st, 2018 11:33 am | By

Rachel Maddow did a brilliant cold open last night about Trump and pardons and Nixon and Haldeman and criminal obstruction of justice. Her opening segment sometimes loses me, but this one was genius.

One part of it was about Camp David (complete with photos of various buildings there and explanation that they are named after trees and that the presidential building is called Aspen and sometimes people talk about the president at Aspen and they don’t mean the one in Colorado), and the fact that Bob Haldeman made a recorded diary entry at the end of every day as Chief of Staff, and he made one after a conversation with Nixon at Aspen right before the indictments and firings. It’s … Read the rest

Trump repeatedly used the word ‘wacky’ to describe the shooter

Jun 1st, 2018 10:36 am | By

Trump met yesterday with families of the people killed in the Santa Fe school shooting slaughter.

One mother said he showed sincerity and compassion. Another, not so much.

Rhonda Hart, whose 14-year-old daughter, Kimberly Vaughan, was killed at the school, told The Associated Press that Trump repeatedly used the word ‘wacky’ to describe the shooter and the trench coat he wore. She said she told Trump, “Maybe if everyone had access to mental health care, we wouldn’t be in the situation.”

Hart, an Army veteran, said she also suggested employing veterans as sentinels in schools. She said Trump responded, “And arm them?” She replied, “No,” but said Trump “kept mentioning” arming classroom teachers. “It was like talking to a toddler,”

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