Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

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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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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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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The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

December 18, 2018

The President was elected In the checkout aisle.

National Enquirer publisher David Pecker admitted to felony campaign law violations in the “trap and kill” hush money operation to silence Donald Trump’s mistresses, but his other undeclared contribution to the Trump campaign, worth millions, reached the candidate’s low-information supporters close to home, at the checkout counter magazine rack.

“It was the real-world embodiment of the fantasy online world of trolls, Russian and domestic, who polluted the political discourse. From its perches at Publix and Safeway, it was often doing the same job as Alex Jones, of the conspiracy site Infowars, and the more strident Trump campaign surrogates on Twitter and Facebook.

The Enquirer spread false stories about Hillary Clinton — illnesses concealed, child prostitution, bribery, treason. Each cover trumpeting these tales was arguably more powerful than a tweet from an account with millions of followers.”

“‘Wondering what The Enquirer’s covers were worth to the Trump campaign, I called Regis Maher, a co-founder of Do It Outdoors, the national mobile and digital billboard company. He said a campaign with that level of national prominence would cost $2.5 million to $3 million a month. ‘It’s such a powerful placement,’ Mr. Maher said. ‘Everybody’s gotta go to the grocery store.’”

“More Powerful Than a Russian Troll Army: The National Enquirer,” Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

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2016 Photo (“Quality Journalism Means an Informed Citizenry”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Border Wall: Art of the Threat

December 17, 2018

Border Wall: Art of the Threat

After being schooled on TV by Nancy Pelosi, President Trump is conducting his latest extortion campaign via Twitter and White House Staff Creature Stephen Miller. The Trump Doctrine: Gimme $5 billion for my border wall, or else:

“If we don’t get what we want one way or the other, whether it’s through you, it’s through military, I will shut down the government.”

The deadline is Friday.

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

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Missile Crisis: Trump Warns Russia, Russia Warns Trump

December 6, 2018

Back in October, mustachioed National Security Advisor and Cold War reenactor John Bolton first warned Vladimir Putin that President Trump is just itching to pull the U.S. out of the Reagan-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo now says this will happen in 60 days. President Putin offers to respond by ramping up Russia’s missile development. This would be a good time to refurnish your fallout shelter.

More:

“Trump Hits Replay on the End of the Cold War,” Mark Gongloff, Bloomberg

Related:

“Nuclear War Experts: ‘John Bolton Is an Asshole,'” Matthew Gault, Motherboard

Song: “Russia, Russia (Lay That Missile Down),”  written by Tom Paxton, recorded by Prescott Reed (we don’t know if he’s the balalaika player). 1958.

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Firehose of Falsehood

November 15, 2018

Obvious lies make great propaganda. Carlos Maza explains. A Vox video.

More:

“The Russian ‘Firehose of Falsehood’ Propaganda Model,” Christopher Paul, Miriam Matthews, RAND Corporation

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