Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

Nice! Not Nice!

August 18, 2017

“Nice! Not Nice!” The President Show, on Comedy Central.

Related:

“Why The President Show Might Just Work,” David sims, The Atlantic

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Border Patrol Hiring Surge

August 17, 2017

President Trump plans to hire and train 5,000 more Border Patrol agents, 500 in the next year. There’s even a mobile app to recruit them. What could possibly go wrong? John Oliver explains.

More:

“Trump’s plan for Border Patrol, ICE hiring surges face timing, security obstacles,” Caroline Kelly Todd J. Gillman, Dallas Morning News

“The Border Patrol’s Corruption Problem,” Jeremy Raff, The Atlantic

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President Trump Clarifies His Remarks

August 17, 2017

President Trump Clarifies His Remarks
On Tuesday, President Trump clarified his thoughts on white nationalist protesters, stating that “you also had some very fine people on both sides” of the violence in Charlottesville. Very fine people like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke  thanked him for his support. Mr. Trump also compared Robert E. Lee with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Political leaders and commentators were quick to express their appreciation:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):  “Your comments give white supremacists ‘a win.'”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “there are no good neo-Nazis.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI-1): “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “It’s wrong. Why can’t he just say that?”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “What the president said yesterday was wrong. There is no moral equivalence between those who are inciting hate and division and those who took to the streets to make it clear that those views are unacceptable. Every one of us must stand against hatred, bigotry, and violence, in both our words and our actions.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R, NJ-7): “Mr. President, there is only one side: AGAINST white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites & the KKK. They have no place in America or GOP.”

Admiral John Richardson: “The shameful events in Charlottesville are unacceptable and must not be tolerated.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R, LA-1): “We must defeat white supremacy”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “…you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R, MI-10): “You can’t be a “very fine person” and be a white supremacist”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK): “Anything less than complete & unambiguous condemnation of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK by the @POTUS is unacceptable. Period.”

Rep. Charlie Dent (R, MI-15): “POTUS must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN, white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville”

(more…)

Kim Thinks Trump Won’t Bite Himself In the Ass. We’re Not So Sure.

August 16, 2017

Kim Thinks Trump Won't Bite Himself In the Ass. We're Not So Sure.

As Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un blunder and bluster their way towards nuclear conflict, one factor may hold Mr. Trump back from a rash military act. It’s something very important to him: His own self-interest. “The president owns a 59 percent interest in Trump Korea LLC,” points out Phillip Y. Lipscy, “a joint venture with Daewoo.”

“Trump World Seoul consists of six properties located in Seoul, Busan, and Daegu. In particular, Trump World I, II, and III are located in the heart of Seoul, which would be subject to heavy North Korean conventional artillery bombardment in the event of a major peninsular conflict.

North Korea may thus perceive threats by the president as noncredible given his personal exposure to financial loss. Despite Trump’s tough rhetoric and sending aircraft carriers to nearby waters, Kim Jong Un may reasonably calculate that the president will not risk annihilation of what the Trump Organization describes as an ‘unmatched project that is a true asset to the Trump portfolio.’

Trump World Seoul also puts the president at risk of personal coercion by the North Korean regime. Kim Jong Un could seek to deter U.S. intervention by threatening to specifically target and destroy Trump’s business assets in the event of U.S. escalation. Kim need not physically destroy a Trump Tower to harm the president’s bottom line: Prominently identifying Trump properties as targets will affect their economic viability.

The president stands to lose personal wealth if a military conflict imperils any Trump property. In the vast majority of cases, insurance coverage for commercial property excludes damages sustained in interstate wars. The president therefore faces a direct, personal incentive to avoid escalating conflicts that could potentially result in the destruction of Trump Organization assets.”

— “The Trump Tower Peace Theory,” Phillip Y. Lipscy, Foreign Policy

On the other hand, playing chicken is second nature to Mr. Trump, and this kind of dispute brings out the playground bully in him. It’s why he’s involved in 3,500 lawsuits, but he can’t lawyer his way out of this.

Maybe President Trump should consult with his Ambassador to South Korea. Oh wait, he hasn’t appointed one.

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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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Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

August 15, 2017

Hatred, Bigotry and Violence

After white nationalists descended on Charlottesville Virginia to protest planned removal of a Robert E Lee statue, a car was deliberately driven into a group of peaceful counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19. The car ramming was called an act of “domestic terrorism” by many from across the political spectrum, who condemned the white nationalist movement behind it. While he first resisted calling out the white racists, domestic fascists, KKK members, and neo-confederates behind the fatal attack, two days later Donald Trump finally joined the critics.

Why was Mr. Trump reluctant to condemn these malignant groups? Because they were early and enthusiastic endorsers of his presidential bid, and he never disavowed their support during or after the campaign, until now. The alt-right, white nationalists, neo-confederates, and old-fashioned white racists form a significant part of his core constituency, and Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” was their event.

While many Republicans were quick to condemn the White Supremacists behind Charlottesville, the GOP has been using a white racist strategy for decades. Donald Trump Trump just shinnied up that poison tree.

More:

“‘Blood and soil’: Protesters chant Nazi slogan in Charlottesville,” Meg Wagner, CNN

“How Donald Trump emboldened Charlottesville white supremacists,” Eric Hananoki, Media Matters

“Charlottesville And The Rise Of White Identity Politics,” Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight

“The Hoods Are Off,” Matt Thompson, The Atlantic

“These are your people, President Trump,” Colbert I. King, Washington Post

“How white supremacy morphed into white victimization,” Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune

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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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Tuckered From Tweeting, Trump Takes a Vacation

August 7, 2017

Tuckered From Tweeting, Trump Takes a Vacation

On Friday President Trump, the man who said he’d be too busy to take vacations, started a 17-day vacation at his golf resort in New Jersey.

Donald Trump has taken 42 golf outings to date during the first 6 months of his presidency.  Taxpayers recently covered $41 million in security costs for New Jersey’s Trump National Bedminster resort.

In other news, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation a “fishing expedition.” Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately went to Siberia’s Lake Baikal, took off his shirt, and picked up his fishing rod.

(more…)

Trump Immigration Policy

August 4, 2017

Trump Immigration Policy

Yesterday President Donald Trump announced his new immigration policy, which would restrict legal entry to the United States to highly-skilled, rich people who already speak English. If that policy had been in place in the past, Friedrich Trump, the president’s German-speaking grandfather, would never have landed in America, and his Scottish immigrant mother, a domestic servant, would have been denied entry. They were “legal” immigrants for the simple fact that they arrived at a time when there was no “illegal immigration” (for white people, anyway).

More recently, while Donald Trump’s two immigrant wives spoke some functional English when they arrived in the US, they were relatively unskilled, unless pouting and walking on a runway counts.

Even Trump policy advisor Stephen Miller, the anti-immigrant zealot and poetry-hating pest, is descended from low-skilled, impoverished  immigrant great-grandparents fleeing anti-semitic violence in Belarus. They arrived in New York Harbor aboard the German ship S.S. Moltke in 1903, the same year the plaque bearing the Emma Lazarus poem describing their plight was installed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, which welcomed them to the United States.

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President Trump’s Busy July: Golf and More Golf

August 2, 2017

President Trump's Busy July: Golf and More Golf
“It’s hard to see how July could have gone much worse for President Trump.

It was revealed that, contrary to his repeated insistence, his son had been tipped off about Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election — and had embraced those efforts with open arms. Trump signed no new legislation, and saw his main policy focus, health care, collapse yet again on Capitol Hill. He lost his press secretary after hiring a controversial new communications director, and then enjoyed the spectacle of that new hire giving a remarkably vulgar on-record interview to a reporter about his chief of staff, who resigned the next day. Trump traveled to Europe to meet with other world leaders, and returned home to unflattering reviews of his conversation with Vladimir Putin. The one that the White House told reporters about, that is.

But the month wasn’t a total wash! Trump managed to squeeze in at least eight rounds of golf over the course of July and, with the exception of one Saturday he was stuck flying back from Europe, hit up one of his personal businesses on every single weekend day.”

“As of July 31, Trump’s visited his own properties on 57 of the 193 days he’s been president, a rate of once every 3.4 days. He’s played golf once every 5.7 days ….”

— “Trump had a terrible July, but at least he played a lot of golf,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

See the chart here

Related:

“First Golfer: Donald Trump’s relationship with golf has never been more complicated,” Alan Shipnuck, Golf

“Commander in cheat: Trump regularly breaks the rules of golf, exaggerates his handicap,” Taylor Link, Salon

“Does Trump Suck At Golf? An Impartial Investigation,” Erin Gloria Ryan, Daily Beast

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Top image (“President Trump Addresses the Issues”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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You Paid $41 Million So Trump Can Golf In New Jersey

July 28, 2017

You Paid $41 Million So Trump Can Golf In New Jersey

“Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, announced Wednesday that the small town of Bedminster — population 9,000 — has been designated a priority for the Secret Service.

The township is home to Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, one of Trump’s favorite retreats. His daughter Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were married there, and Trump summoned advisers there for post-election transition planning.

With the official designation as a presidential residence, Congress appropriated up to $41 million to cover security costs incurred between the Jan. 20 inauguration and Oct. 1, which starts a new fiscal year. Trump’s residences in Florida and New York already get such funding.

The costs are incurred by state, county and township law enforcement officers when Trump comes to town, as he did this month for the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament.”

— “Trump’s Third Home Away From Home To Cost Taxpayers Millions,” Peter Overby, NPR News

More:

“15 Surprising Facts About Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey,” Ashley Hoffman, TIME Magazine

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Can The Honorary Boy Scout President Be Impeached?

July 26, 2017

Can The Honorary Boy Scout President Be Impeached?

The programs of the Boys Scouts of America teach young men civic engagement and citizenship, and since 1910 the sitting President of the United States has always been the organization’s Honorary President. On Monday, President Donald Trump addressed 40,000 Boy Scouts at their annual Jamboree in an exercise that can only be called child abuse. The BSA leadership had reminded scouts and scoutmasters that their organization is nonpartisan and above politics, but their current Honorary President didn’t get the memo:

“Over the next 35 minutes, the president threatened to fire one of his Cabinet members, attacked former president Barack Obama, dissed his former rival Hillary Clinton, marveled at the size of the crowd, warned the boys about the ‘fake media,’ mocked pollsters and pundits, and said more people would say “Merry Christmas” under his presidency. He also told a rambling tale about a famous, now-deceased home builder that meandered from a Manhattan cocktail party to a yacht and then to places that the president would only allow the boys’ imaginations to go.”

— ” Trump’s Boy Scouts speech broke with 80 years of presidential tradition,” Katie Mettler and Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

[The full transcript of the speech is here.]

The speech “had the feel of a third world authoritarian’s youth rally,” tweeted former acting CIA director John McLaughlin.

The President introduced several of his cabinet members who were Boy Scouts, but Eagle Scout Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, was conspicuously absent. Another Eagle Scout was MIA, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a Boy Scout board member who advocated letting gay boys join the scouts.

Mr. Trump’s last known involvement with the scouts was in 1989 when he paid Don Jr.’s Boy Scout registration fee. He took the $7 out of his charitable foundation.

More:

“Trump speech to Boy Scout Jamboree elicits widespread criticism for its partisanship, and profanity,” Jackie Calmes, Los Angeles Times

“After Trump Injects Politics Into Speech, Boy Scouts Face Blowback,” Alan Blinder and Mitch Smith, New York Times

“Boy Scouts of America distances itself from partisan politics after Trump speech,’ Politico

“The 14 Most Inappropriate Moments From Trump’s Speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump Tramples on Boy Scout Values,” Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker

“Despite that Trump rally, Scouting is about citizenship and togetherness,” Rosecrans Baldwin, Los Angeles Times

Update:

“Boy Scouts dispute Trump claim that their leader called his speech ‘the greatest,'” Jacqueline  Thomsen, The Hill

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

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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