Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Trump: ‘Emergency! Emergency! I Mean, If I Wanted to….’

January 14, 2019

Trump: 'Emergency! Emergency! I Mean, If I Wanted to....'

After spending a week threatening to declare lack of a border wall a national emergency, President Trump backed off, saying he could do that if he wanted to, but he won’t do that just yet. There are two reasons for him to say that:

  1. Diverting Army Corps of Engineers project money from disaster prevention and recovery for useless political promise fulfillment isn’t a good look; and
  2. Democrats in the House and border landowners would tie him up in court well past 2020.

More:

“No ‘Emergency’ Will Allow Trump to Build His Wall,” Noah Feldman, Bloomberg

“Toddler-in-Chief Doesn’t Wanna ‘Do’ a National Emergency,” Claire Lampen, The Cut

“Bipartisan blowback hits idea of tapping Army Corps for wall money,” Annie Snider, Politico

“Texas Border Landowners Vow To Reject Buyouts For Trump’s Wall,” Nomaan Merchant, AP, via Talking Points Memo

“6 real emergencies that should be more important to Donald Trump than the wall,” Paul Brandus, USA Today

Related:

“That GoFundMe to build a border wall is issuing $20 million in refunds,” Taylor Hatmaker, Techcrunch

“A Border Is Not a Wall. It’s much more interesting.” Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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National Emergency

January 10, 2019

National Emergency

Frustrated with the actual process of governing, President Donald Trump now believes he can rule by fiat like his pals Duterte, Putin, Xi, Kim, el-Sisi, and Erdogan simply by declaring a National Emergency when he can’t get his way.

More:

“Having Failed To Convince Americans There’s a National Emergency, Trump Now Poised to Declare One,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“National Emergency Powers and Trump’s Border Wall, Explained,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

“If Trump declares a state of emergency, he might actually cause one,” Andrea Pitzer, Washington Post

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Oval Office, Networks, and Truth Abused by the Politics of Fear

January 9, 2019

Oval Office, Networks, and Truth Abused by the Politics of Fear

President-for-now Donald Trump put in a prime-time Oval Office appearance on Tuesday in a futile effort to explain away his federal government shutdown, which locked-out 800,000 federal employees and denied services to millions of U.S. taxpayers. Stephen Miller’s sulfurous script was dark with fear-mongering, untruths, and racism, but the delivery by Mr. Trump, a former Reality TV personality, was unconvincing, even though the tale followed many of his long-time personal falsehoods. In a jaw-dropping display of audacity, Mr. Trump claimed he wanted to stop a humanitarian crisis on the Mexican border, a crisis he exacerbated by refusing entrance to asylum seekers and separating children from their families.

Fact-checkers and bookmakers are still busy counting up the president’s counterfactual assertions.

More:

“Trump tried to play a normal president on television. The result was very strange.” Alyssa Rosenberg, Washington Post

“Trump Gets Instant Fact-Check From Fox News’ Shepard Smith After Oval Office Speech,” Matt Wilstein, Daily Beast

“The cascade of false claims as Trump makes his case for a crisis on the US-Mexico border,” Marshall Cohen, Priscilla Alvarez, Geneva Sands, David Shortell and Jeremy Diamond, CNN

“Trump Appeals for Wall, Citing Misleading Statistics of Crisis and Crime Along Border,” Peter Baker, New York Times

“The U.S. Doesn’t Have a Border Crisis. Trump’s Campaign Does.” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“The real crisis is that Trump has no idea what he’s doing,” Matthew Yglesias, Vox

“Gamblers Made $270,000 Betting That Trump Would Lie a Bunch in His Address,” River Donaghey, Vice

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Image (“Trump TV, after Dalton Avalos Ramirez”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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A steel barrier is America’s greatest defense.

January 8, 2019

A steel barrier is America's greatest defense.

President-for-now Donald Trump says the U.S. needs a steel barrier to protect it from a national crisis:

Mr. Trump wants $5.7 billion in tax dollars to build a 234-mile steel wall of unknown design, a sort of pig-iron-in-a-poke situation. A project like that could require as much 3 million tons of steel, according to industry sources. That must please all the former steel company execs and lobbyists in the Trump administration.

“I intend the call the heads of United States Steel and a couple of other of our great steel companies” said the president. “I will have them come up with a template or design of a beautiful steel product, which we now may use and use that as our barrier.”

Actually, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has some very effective steel barriers, and they’re quite compact. Mr. Trump should try one out, for size. Oh wait, that might be awkward. Federal prison guards aren’t being paid due to the president’s shutdown.

More:

“Trump Offers a ‘Steel Barrier,’ but Democrats Are Unmoved,” Michael Tackett and Catie Edmondson, New York Times

“Trump Sees Border Wall As Another Boost For U.S. Steel Industry,” Jim Zarroli, NPR News

“Most illegal immigration doesn’t come through the Mexican border where Trump wants to build his wall,”Carmin Chappell, CNBC

Related:

“Trump Was Never a Great Dealmaker. The Shutdown Proves It.” Timothy L. O’Brien, Bloomberg

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Image (“Beautiful American Steel”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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How polarizing is Donald Trump?

January 4, 2019

“From the very start of Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans have been divided along partisan lines in their views of him. But partisan divisions in U.S. politics are certainly nothing new.

Do views of Trump represent a change from how past presidents have been seen? How do changes in the country that have occurred in recent decades connect to the way the president is viewed today?”

The Pew Research Center explores, using polling data.

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Trump Tantrum Prolongs His Government Shutdown

December 29, 2018

Trump Tantrum Prolongs His Government Shutdown
As the end of the year approaches, President Donald Trump has thrown a temper tantrum, shutting down the federal government, and barricaded himself in the White House until his extortionate demands are met. If congress wants to reopen the government, he wants $5 billion for a border wall of undetermined design. No wall, no government.

Seeking new threat targets, Mr. Trump now says he’ll shut down the southern border if he doesn’t get his way, a move that would violate international law and cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars.

The chief executive continues to sulk in the White House, foregoing a planned Mar-a-Lago New Year’s party.

More:

“Trump struggles to make a coherent case for his border wall,” Steve Benen, MSNBC

“More Americans blame Trump for government shutdown: Reuters/Ipsos poll,” Chris Kahn and Ginger Gibson, Reuters

“Most Americans would rather spend the $5 billion Trump is demanding for the border wall on infrastructure, education, or healthcare,” Bob Bryan and Walt Hickey, Business Insider

“About That Wall Trump Said Mexico Would Be Paying For: QuickTake,” Mark Niquette, Bloomberg, via Washington Post

“No Deal in Sight: Shutdown Here to Stay Amid Border Wall Stalemate,” John T. Bennett, Roll Call

“Trump: Give Me a Wall or I’ll Engineer a Recession,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

Related:

“Trump admin to unpaid federal workers who can’t make rent: beg, barter, and get a lawyer.” Boing Boing

“Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Mar-a-Lago’s New Year’s Eve Party Despite Trump’s Shutdown,” Ryan Bort, New York Post

“Five lessons that never seem to be learned from shutting down the government,” Leon Panetta, Washington Post

“The Border Wall Is a Symbol of Our Symbolic Politics,” Jonah Goldberg, National Review

Update:

“Trump Gripes About Lonely Xmas With No One But ‘Machine Gunners’ Who Don’t Smile,” Nicole Lafond, TPM Livewire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Petulant President’s Resignation Response

December 23, 2018

Petulant President's Resignation Response
On Thursday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned as Secretary of Defense after President Trump precipitously ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria without Pentagon consultation. His letter of resignation is a clear-eyed, well-reasoned, stinging rebuke to Mr. Trump’s chaotic decision-making and leadership. Secretary Mattis said he would resign at the end of February to allow for a smooth transition of Defense Department leadership. President Trump responded with the  thoughtfulness and grace that has characterized his administration, posting a Tweet announcing that General Mattis will be gone by January 1st. His successor, a Trump appointee, was a Boeing executive for 30 years and, like the Commander-In-Chief, has no military experience.

More:

“Trump, Angry Over Mattis’s Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early,” Helene Cooper, New York Times

Related:

“Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming,’” Tara Copp, Military Times

“John McCain Once Called Trump’s New Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan a ‘Fox in the Henhouse’ Over Ties to Boeing,” Ramsey Touchberry, Newsweek

“Someone please get President Trump on the golf course,” Dallas Morning News editorial

Update:

“Trump is now saying he ‘fired’ James Mattis,” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

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Merry Christmas: Trump Shut Down the Government

December 21, 2018

Merry Christmas: Trump Shut Down the Government

“I am proud to shut down the government…I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not gonna blame you for it.” — Donald Trump, December 11, 2018

“The Democrats now own the shutdown!”  — Donald Trump December 21, 2018

President Trump has shut down the federal government because Congress didn’t fund his imaginary border wall. The senate had passed a wall-less continuing resolution funding the government through February, but Mr. Trump turned it down, so the federal government can’t pay its bills past midnight tonight. It’s no big deal to Donald Trump, who has a habit of stiffing people who work for him and has been bankrupt six times.

Donald Trump promised to make Christmas great again, but all we’ve got so far is much greater drama. Somebody’s getting a stocking full of beautiful clean coal on Tuesday.

More:

“Trump last week: I’ll own the shutdown. Trump now: It’s the Democrats’ fault.” German Lopez, Vox

“‘He takes no ownership — that’s just Trump’: President eschews responsibility for a shutdown he once craved,” By David Nakamura, Washington Post

“The ‘all-I-want-for-Christmas-is-$5-billion-for-the-wall’ shutdown,”  John Bresnahan, Politico

“From Parks to Airports, How a Shutdown Would Affect Federal Agencies,” Glenn Thrush and Mitchell Ferman, New York Times

“She wanted to buy her grandkids a bike for Christmas. But now the shutdown looms.” Washington Post

“Why Trump Can’t Build His Wall,” Jonathan Bernstein, Bloomberg

Updates:

“Partial shutdown likely to extend past Christmas,” Associated Press

“‘Very possible’ shutdown could last into new year, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney says,” Erica Werner, David Weigel, and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

“Trump Gripes About Lonely Xmas With No One But ‘Machine Gunners’ Who Don’t Smile,” Nicole Lafond, TPM Livewire

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

December 20, 2018

The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

This week New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced that she is euthanizing the rogue Donald J. Trump Foundation. The so-called nonprofit outfit was directly run by Donald Trump and three of his spawn. Rather than engaging in charitable actives,said the AG, there was a“shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation—including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.” This included funding Trump Senior’s election campaign, promoting his businesses, paying off his legal obligations.

As Charles Blow observes, “How can a family that can’t run a charity run a country?”

More:

“Trump’s Crooked Foundation Dissolves, But Investigation Continues,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

Clinton Foundation exec mocks Trump Foundation closing amid legal trouble
BY Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

“What the Collapse of the Trump Foundation Tells Us About Donald Trump,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Trump lashes out at New York attorney general who sued his foundation,” David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

“Trump Foundation dissolves, but Trump abuses and pursuit of personal gain live on,” Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen, USA Today

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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GOP: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

December 19, 2018

GOP: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

Former American University grad student Maria Butina pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation, and seeking to influence U.S. conservative politicians through the National Rifle Association. It’s a salacious spy story of sex, guns, money, and the National Prayer Breakfast, and it’s packed with oligarchs, Republicans, lobbyists, Treasury officials and Kremlin connections, a saga spanning the globe from Siberia to South Dakota.

Ms. Butina, deemed a flight risk, has been imprisoned since her indictment in July. We hope she’s been able to continue with her Tai Chi in jail. There are indications she will be testifying before a federal grand jury sometime soon.

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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