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  • Tris Mamone wrote a new post, How damaging is 'Comey memo' for Trump? 3 years, 3 months ago

    By Anthony Zurcher
    The White House has denied a report that President Donald Trump tried to persuade the FBI to end its investigation into former aide Michael Flynn.
    It’s not the only Trump crisis of the last […]

    • Finally!! Just announced, a special prosecutor will head the Russian investigation.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mueller

    • Yes, finally!

    • So Rod Rosenstein does actually have a pair then. I was beginning to wonder what Trump had to do before someone took action about him.

    • When this is all over, what should we do about the actual Russian interference in foreign elections?

    • Russian interference is not really what is consequential. It will continue in the USA to as great an extent as Putin can manage just as it does in France, Germany and other countries. What differentiates the USA from any of these countries is what you really need to worry about. Why do American voters keep voting for Republicans who only ever act against the interests of the people who voted them in? How can Republican politicians continue to support someone as vile as Trump despite the protestations of their own constituents? How could the electorate not see Trump for what he really is?

      The answer to most of this is that American politics is so partisan on the Republican side since religion infected it in the 1980s that there is no basic common sense left to direct people’s decisions. The primary motivation to vote for “your side” is demonisation and hatred of the “other side” even though that other side is greatly more likely to act in the best interests of the average voter. Nearly all Republican campaigning these days is negative campaigning, attack ads, and also the vast majority of it is untrue. Lying has become normalised in American politics because it proved to bring with it no penalty. Even when a lie has to be retracted or admitted or corrected enough people still continue to believe the original lie to make the strategy worthwhile.

      For 20 years or more Democrats have tried to rise above the depths that Republicans were willing to sink to and all it has done is hurt them. McConnell and Ryan did everything in their power to obstruct Obama for 8 years including stealing a Supreme Court seat and the electorate didn’t apparently take a blind bit of notice. The average attention span is so short that anything more than a few weeks old is yesterday’s news and no longer consequential.

      Obama will go to his grave knowing he could have done two things at the very least which would almost certainly have guaranteed Hillary winning and the world not being engulfed in this current Trump horror show but he didn’t. The main reason he didn’t do either of them is because he didn’t want to exacerbate the partisanship that already infests politics or be accused of doing so. Firstly when Comey announced that there was no evidence of illegality in Hillary’s email server investigation but then went off on a long sanctimoneous and political harrangue about her supposedly ill advised behaviour which was not his place to comment on he should have been sacked forthwith. It could never have been known at the time but that would also have avoided his 11th hour interference with her chances when he suddenly decided to break protocol and tell everyone he was reopening the investigation because of emails on Weiner’s laptop.

      Secondly Obama could have instantly destroyed Trump’s chances by revealing everything he knew about Russian interference in the election and Trump campaign collusion with it. The magnitude of his error in not doing this is immeasurable and unforgiveable. He simply could not believe that Trump stood a chance of winning anyway but that was the same mistake that nearly everyone else made – the massive underestimation of the stupidity, gullibility and disfunctionality of the American non-urban voter.

      What the Republican politicans get away with all the time, the lying, obstruction, denials, obfuscation, deflection, they only do so because the electorate allow them to. The same people who would not stand for a teacher lying to their children don’t punish Republican politicians for lying to their electorate. It’s essentially a subset of the religious fervour that doesn’t really consider lying for Jebus as real “lying” because it’s a holy war. You do what you have to to defeat the enemy and the ends justify the means.

      Every other western democracy holds its politicans to a higher standard. We accept they are never going to be completely truthful and that they’ll “spin” anything they can for all it’s worth but someone like Trump could not have stood in front of tv cameras in the UK and spouted his bullshit without being booed off stage. The Democratic electorate in the USA hold their own candidates to a much higher standard than the Republican electorate do. Not quite as high as in other countries but more nearly normal at least. That’s why Hillary was so easily tarnished by emailgate and Benghazi and “crooked Hillary” while everything slid off Trump like he was teflon coated.

      Politicians are a mirror held up to their electorate. They can only behave in ways their electorate allow them to get away with. No matter how you slice it, American politics is only so disfunctional because a large proportion of the American people are so disfunctional. If you want to cure the former then first you need to cure the latter.

    • Q for Arkrid or anyone who knows: how much of this investigation, now being led by Mueller, will be public? Will there be hearings on TV like they had with Watergate and will the public be kept up to date on what’s going on; or is everything going to just drag on for months or years with the public remaining in the dark?

      (Sorry if the questions sounds silly; but I am not quite clear about this process as it relates to the public’s being apprised of any and all progress along the way.)

      By the way, anyone who watched Maddow last night knows that “the president” (Trump, that is) has the authority to fire Mueller.

    • Very true, Olgun. (My mother sends me information about stuff like that, American hypocrisy, all the time.) But it’s still wrong, finally, even if it’s we who are the victims this time. The FBI too has a long history of malfeasance, but I am also glad we have the FBI to investigate this matter and others.

      “Meddling” covers a broad range of tactics and methods and motives, and like everything else needs to be examined closely and in the proper historical context. False equivalents can be odious, while identifying hypocrisy is always good. Not sure if we’ve ever used cyber warfare and fake news via the internet to influence an election. That’s a different animal.

    • @Arkrid #7

      The answer to most of this is that American politics is so partisan on
      the Republican side since religion infected it in the 1980s…

      While I agree that is a factor, I do not think it is the biggest factor. IMO, gerrymandering, coupled with unlimited funds for Super Pacs via Citizens United have more to do with how voters are swayed.

      I agree Comey should have been sacked in July and Obama dropped the ball. However, releasing info on Russian influence was a little trickier. He knew the perception could easily be construed as administration interference in the election process. I don’t think we’ll ever know which route would have worked better: his silence in the matter or alerting the public.

    • This morning on the MSNBC show Morning Joe one of the contributors, I think it was Susan Collins, Senator of Maine, said that when the dust settled with the Watergate investigation there were more than forty people sentenced to prison. I wasn’t aware of that number. Could it be that the top Dems (including Obama) are sitting tight and waiting for the full story to come out so that they can deliver a devastating blow to the Repubs a la Watergate and knock out as many opponents as possible, even if that meant that by withholding the info that they had at the time of the election they lost election in the end. Worth it?

      Give them a little rope and hang one idiot or give them several miles of rope and wait to see how many idiots will be hanging at the end of the year.

    • A little rope to hang themselves. I like that expression. 😉 Mika Brzezinski is a joke; poor thing; she looks so ill at ease in front of the camera, always looks like she’s checking herself out in the mirror, and says nothing, just chimes in once in a while with something superfluous. She does deserve credit for banning the mendacious Kellyanne Conway from the show – although I am sure that that decision was corporate.

      Ailes died, you know.

      I agree with you, Vicki; not just about religion. More about what you mentioned along with other things. What we are witnessing is what Marx called the final stages of capitalism, “where global capital will be unable to expand and generate profits at former levels.” Hence the mania for short term profits.

    • Excellent post Arkrid.

    • May I suggest to everyone that if they wish to get a real idea of just what is heading down the turnpike towards Trump then they read this wonderful piece about special prosecutor Bob Mueller.

      http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/18/james-comey-trump-special-prosecutor-robert-mueller-fbi-215154

    • Politico is fake news, and Trump is being persecuted; this is, as he said, a witch hunt. (Kidding, but that’s the kind of crap, minus the expletives, that you can find all over Youtube in the comments sections. So many ignorant, angry, bigoted people out there. So many.)

    • Dan #8
      May 18, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Q for Arkrid or anyone who knows: how much of this investigation, now being led by Mueller, will be public? Will there be hearings on TV like they had with Watergate

      Absolutely not. The Watergate hearings that were televised were Senate hearings and those would also be televised today but a special prosecutor investigation will be extremely secret as its purpose is strictly to determine criminal liability and you absolutely do not disclose what you’re finding out and thus alert potential future witnesses or anyone who might eventually be charged in such a matter.

      What we can expect is at least a year and probably longer of pretty much zero information coming out before this is concluded. I also don’t expect any leaks because Mueller is an absolute professional who holds the utmost respect of those he’s worked with. If Trump has anything to hide then he should be very afraid at this point because this guy is going to find it.

      This appointment is going to have much more profound consequences than just in finding out about Russian interference in the election. It will stymie the Trump administration, quite probably to an almost complete standstill, while it’s running and it will bring enormous pressure onto Trump himself to not tweet or say anything on camera that’s unscripted. If Trump doesn’t heed his advisors on this then we are going to see resignations from people who give up on trying to control him and people like that then have nothing left to lose if they get called to testify before Mueller’s investigation.

      My gut feel is that Kuschner and Ivanka will now desert this sinking ship at some point. If not they stand to get dragged down with it too and they have a hell of a lot to lose in terms of their own business empires.

      I said this a few months ago.

      In his private and business life he could avoid the spotlight whenever he needed to. Find someone to fire each time he screwed something up and blame them instead. Now the spotlight is on him 24/7 and he will burn in its flame like a moth in a candle. The White House is leaking like a sieve. You have to know that lots of his staffers hate him. Nothing he does will stay hidden.

      Trump’s incompetence, narcissism and stupidity has destroyed him in just over 100 days. He may turn out to weather the criminal part of the investigations but the credibility of his presidency is already gone. He will go down in history as the fastest president to get investigated by a special prosecutor at the very least.

      We should be careful what we wish for though. If Trump is impeached we face the possibility of President Pence and I think that evil weasel might prove to be even worse than Trump, maybe much worse. I would like to see the investigations find some real dirt in time for the 2018 elections, let the Dems take back the House and Senate, carry on long enough to stop the Trump administration from achieving any significant legislation and alert the low information public to the danger of what they voted for last time so they don’t do it again in 2020. While Trump is in the Oval Office his stupidity, intemperance and narcissism is on full display. That might be the best thing the Democrats could hope for.

    • Arkrid, allow me to pay you a sincere compliment: your comments are wonderful. You are a Dawkins site treasure at this point. (Sorry for the corny word “treasure”, couldn’t think of any other word.)

      Enjoy the week-end.

    • I’ve just found out from an internet piece that the common UK saying “he’s lost the plot” does not really exist in the USA. There’s another UK saying which any Brit will know might also not exist in the USA. It’s “You would be dangerous if you were smarter” or various variations on that theme. Trump shoots himself in the foot every time he tweets or talks on camera. He’s too stupid to understand the consequences of his words or actions. That prevents him from getting any major legislation through or doing too much damage to the USA or the world. If he were a bit smarter he could do real damage.

      If he goes and Pence takes charge I think the potential damage could be much worse. I actually want Trump to stay in office for the remainder of his 4 years. He’s already a lame duck president just 4 months into his term. We know he’s a moron so we can plan accordingly. We also know that he hates this job and it’s destroying him and his mental state so let it roll. Do not impeach! Just give him more rope. He’ll take every inch and hang himself as sure as eggs is eggs.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #19
      May 19, 2017 at 1:17 am

      We also know that he hates this job and it’s destroying him and his mental state so let it roll.
      Do not impeach! Just give him more rope.
      He’ll take every inch and hang himself as sure as eggs is eggs.

      I would not worry – about timescales!

      Impeachment is a long protracted process with much debate, so the opportunities for foot-shooting and rope entanglement are plentiful!

      Given the quality of Trump’s “knowledge” and intellect, the “advisors” HE (rather than the senate) has appointed, and the sheer impervious resistance to expert advice, those opportunities are likely to be taken at every turn!

      According to Trump’s psychological projection, it is the investigation into Russian associates interventions in the set-up and working of the US government machinery which is “dividing the country” – NOT Trump’s interfering stupidity in incompetently meddling with mechanisms, laws and regulations he does not understand!

    • I haven’t mentioned it before but I keep getting freaked out by the website I view every day – electoralvote.com. It’s updated every day at about 11.30 am UK time and several times now I’ll post something in here at night and they post the exact same thing next day. I can’t honestly believe they read my posts in here but it’s definitely getting quite bizarre. Last night I posted #17 with a salutory final paragraph about maybe not impeaching Trump would be better than doing so because his incompetence is a virtue and Pence could be much worse so be careful what you wish for. This morning electoralvote posted this:

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Pres/Maps/May19.html#item-5

      Democrats Should Not Be Demanding that Trump Be Impeached

      While the Democratic base is demanding Donald Trump’s scalp, from a political standpoint that is a terrible idea. A piece by Jeff Alson makes that very clear, laying out a variety of reasons.

      Trump is incompetent: While Democrats don’t agree with Trump on many issues, they can take heart in knowing that he is not very good at carrying out his own program. He can send out tweets that drive Democrats crazy, but he is unlikely to build a wall on the Mexican border, impose a 45% tariff on goods imported from China, or ban all Muslims from entering the country. Sometimes incompetence is a virtue.

      The Republican brand: It’s tough being a Republican politician now, but getting rid of Trump would help the Republican brand immensely. It would be foolish for Democrats to remove the albatross from around the Republicans’ collective necks.

      President Pence: Although Mike Pence has a calm demeanor, he is extremely right wing and a capable administrator who knows how to work with the legislative branch. He would try to help Ryan to pass his program, plus some things dear to his own heart, such as voter-ID laws. Pence would also get a long and peaceful honeymoon period in which public opinion would favor him.

      In short, be very careful about what you wish for. You might get it.

      Freaky or what?

    • Olgun #21
      May 19, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Excellent analysis on the link!

    • Sorry, Arkrid. #21

      This isn’t going to cover your tracks, you time traveller, you!

    • Alan4discussion #23
      May 19, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Olgun #21
      May 19, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Excellent analysis on the link!

      Indeed!

      There’s a good analysis of Pence here who is undoubtedly a very well practiced liar in his own right as befits someone toadying for Trump. It is beyond all credibility that he claims he knew nothing about Flynn’s contacts with Russia and in fact his lies on this are starting to get caught out.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/05/19/mike-pence-wants-us-to-believe-hes-innocent-dont-buy-it/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.cf424896f146

    • Pence […] a very well practiced liar… -Arkrid

      That is very true; Pence is a total liar too! This lying business is really quite serious. I remember watching his debate with Kaine, who I like. That was, by the way, the worst, most pathetic debate I have ever seen. They had to cover nine topics is one hour. They started off with foreign policy. Two minutes of arguing and then on to a new topic. That should not be allowed. Three topics and very little moderation. I wish they could fix that, but it’s probably by design; the debate commission, or whatever they’re called, were probably pro-Trump. Less time for real debate benefits the liar.

      But what I wanted to say is this: Trump was accused by Kaine of saying that women should be punished for having abortions. Pence shook his head. “Are you saying he didn’t say that?” asked Kaine. Pence continued to shake his head and then changed the subject. Afterwards, the fact checkers and news people showed a clip of Trump saying just that. There were many other lies.

      Liars! And don’t tell me “they all lie.” That’s pernicious, a false equivalence. False equivalences were and are made by Trump’s evil surrogates all the time. And with the public they are all too common, although it is improper. These cynical or ostrich-like people, with no sense of proportion, are fodder for conservative politicians who lie as a way of life. I still hear it; “they all lie.” According to one of many fact checkers, Hillary lied a few times during the debates, like about some trade deal being the “gold standard”. Innocuous stuff. Trump and Pence lied their asses off and have been doing that ever since. Quantity changes quality.

      That is why Trump kept saying crooked Hillary and lock her up. That’s a typical swinish move to take the focus off himself. Common practice among sociopaths and criminals.

      And now we have….well, what we have now: scandals and lies heaped on top of each other – along with real national security issues at stake – and, finally, a legitimate, independent investigation and prosecutor.

      (And the Russia issue is just one part of the disaster called the Trump administration. Let’s not forget that. Science websites have been taken down etc., etc., etc. )

      They fooled too many people this time, Mr. Lincoln.

    • Dan #28
      May 19, 2017 at 11:33 pm

      we have now: scandals and lies heaped on top of each other – along with real national security issues at stake

      Comey was doing his job (of investigating real security risks from Flynn etc.) so Trump fired him for “not doing a good job” (of covering up for Trump’s stooges) – as Spicer pretends and asserts, that this is “in the interests of national security”, while Trump blabbers about the security issues and sackings to the Russian minister and ambassador!!

      Denials of security risks from those in positions of authority, ARE very high security risks!

    • https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/768/cpsprodpb/7993/production/_96132113_138e7b66-dbe2-420c-ac22-28ccd0315dc0.jpg

      One cartoon retweeted 71 times places Mr Trump and the Saudi rulers at the centre of the Yemeni conflict.

      The cartoon shows the Saudi monarch and his son accompanied by Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi submissively welcoming Mr Trump as he exits his jet.

      On one side of the red carpet are bodies of dead Yemenis. On the other side, a man stands over a kneeling woman in a burka with a sword, apparently about to behead her.

      The cartoon was tweeted by @753_yamen_87 who sneered at Arab leaders and commented: “After Trump prohibited Muslim citizens from seven Arab countries from entering America, the Saudi Arab Death [“mahlaka”, a play on the Arabic word for kingdom, “mamlaka”] responds by gathering 17 Muslim leaders to welcome him. #Age_of_decadence.”

    • The Saudis certainly know what little Donny’s favourite things are. Getting presents and being told how great he is and signing things in front of cameras. So they’ve given him a big gold medal he can boast about when he gets back home and let him sign lots of trade deals. I’m sure the trade deals were all going ahead regardless but he can boast about those as well now as if he’d actually negotiated them personally although I doubt he had any clue what was actually in any of the bits of paper he signed. It’s all very predictable and all very pathetic but for little Donny I’m sure it’s like getting taken to the zoo for the day by mummy and daddy and thern getting an ice cream with a Cadbury’s flake in it on the way home. The little chap will sleep well tonight anyway.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #34
      May 21, 2017 at 12:31 am

      It’s all very predictable and all very pathetic but for little Donny I’m sure it’s like getting taken to the zoo for the day by mummy and daddy and thern getting an ice cream with a Cadbury’s flake in it on the way home.

      Of course it could also be the other way round!

      “Hey you 17 VIP Arab leaders!
      Look at this rare performing dinosaur the clever king has obtained on loan, and put on show in his circus ring for the local media, before the exhibit moves on to the Zionist circus next door for different stunts!”

    • Arkrid Sandwich #34
      May 21, 2017 at 12:31 am

      he can boast about those as well now as if he’d actually negotiated them personally although I doubt he had any clue what was actually in any of the bits of paper he signed. It’s all very predictable and all very pathetic

      Given Trump’s level of understanding and compliance with American federal and state laws, it is also predictable that his wellies will plodge through various international laws and treaties – putting his foot in one after another!

      Still! If he sells lots of US made weapons to the Saudis and the Zionists, that should achieve his stated objective of achieving world “peace and prosperity” (see #30)! 🙂 – just like back in the US of A, executive orders permitting the selling of guns to the mentally unstable, improves US citizens’ safety and security! 🙂

      (I suppose it creates “prosperity” for arms manufacturers and gun-runners! – Not so much for the destabilised war-torn, famine infested regimes, under attack!)

    • Beautiful.

    • There’s an interesting article in the WP about Trump’s personality traits by Tony Schwartz the guy who spent a year with him while writing The Art of the Deal for him.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/05/16/i-wrote-the-art-of-the-deal-with-trump-his-self-sabotage-is-rooted-in-his-past/?utm_term=.755d6474d150

      The main points:

      Trump’s emotional maturity never really developed past childhood – he’s still the little boy constantly seeking approval but never being satisfied by any he does get. His sense of self worth is constantly under threat.

      Trump has none of the emotions that normal people feel for others, compassion, empathy, sympathy nor does he even seem to have any built in sense of right and wrong. Everything is transactional with him – contests to be won or lost, the latter never being acceptable.

      Trump is incapable of admitting fault or error and still sees his most abject failures as successes because to accept the truth would crush his fragile sense of self worth.

      In all the time Schwartz spent with Trump he never heard a single person dare to contradict him or tell him he was wrong. The bubble this creates around him means that reality never gets through.

    • After initially encouraging further West Bank settlements, I see that Trump has been babbling empty rhetoric in Israel about everyone “working together and living in peace”!

      This is ironical preaching from a clueless man who cannot work together with the regulatory agencies and experts in his own country, is threatening to tear up agreements with Canada, Mexico, his Pacific trading partners, and the international climate plan in Paris!

      It is also noteworthy that he has just been involved in vilifying Shia Muslims, a massive arms sale to Saudi-Arabia who have been arming various terrorist groups, and he has been escalating tensions with North Korea.

      He may be talking to chosen audiences, but the international press is also listening and looking for any real content or consistency in what he says!

    • “Working together and living in peace.” That’s infuriating.

      Speaking of his audience, I was watching Fox News last night (in a spirit of masochism and morbid curiosity) and someone said that the speech about terrorism that he gave in Saudi Arabia was the greatest speech she had ever heard. All the dumb asses on the panel nodded their heads in agreement. And the viewers did the same, I’m sure.

      We all know that Trump is an idiot, but what about all those ignorant and angry and indoctrinated people out there? The propaganda is only going to get worse. I think he might win a second term and that the Democrats may lose badly in the mid-terms. Why should we expect anything different? I am feeling pessimistic again. Why? Why should we be encouraged? It’s a pathetic country. If you’re not for Trump you’re a socialist or a “libtard” or a “snowflake” (a new term of abuse). That’s our country; millions and millions of frightened, insanely loyal, unthinking, angry, and passionate, hate-filled people. They don’t care about Russia or the environment or even Medicaid or social security. Education? Forget it. Religious freedom? Sounds fine! And the mid east? Forget it! They know nothing about the brutal and illegal occupation and care less than nothing! And their own interests are secondary; loyalty trumps all the rest; they are as recalcitrant as they are dumb. Even if the ACA is repealed they’ll still vote Republican. On and on it goes.

      It’s a lottery at this point. Who outnumbers who? I don’t know if the numbers have changed much since the election.

      We need to get rid of the electoral college vote.

    • Dan

      Watching Trump parading around the “holy land” with his yamaka on and standing in front of the Western Wall pretending to be emotionally engaged with the whole thing, touching the wall with closed eyes etc,. Is he channeling the spirit of the martyrs? The drama makes me sick. Anyways, I wonder why he is wearing the yamaka. Is it some kind of rule that all guys must wear it to walk into the area there? Strange though because with Melania and Ivanka refusing to wear the head scarf (which I was admittedly happy about) then why did he wear the yamaka? Seems inconsistent to me but is there an explanation?

    • The boy wonder, Kushner, is there in the holy lands and finally the problems between the Palestinians and Israelis will be solved once and for all!

    • He wanted, at that moment, to be the Darling of the Jews? I don’t know really.

    • Hi LaurieB. Wearing a yarmulke while in a synagogue or in the Holy Land is considered a sign of respect. And as Trump has respect for nothing (except money) he’s doing this because he is obviously beholden to Israel and its leadership and therefore is doing what someone in his administration said he should do. The man almost certainly knows nothing about Judaism, expect for the fact that he probably believe that Jews own the media he claims to hate, etc. It’s weird and ironic that his son in law is Jewish and his daughter has apparently converted (to Orthodox Judaism no less!) Her conversion is clearly one in name only.

    • Laurie 43

      Kushner is a remarkable and gifted young man. I concur.

    • Steven007

      Her conversion is clearly one in name only.

      Err..if that’s s true then she’s putting an extraordinary effort into it! They do the total sabbath thing and go incommunicado apparently. I don’t think it’s in name only. You know what they say about adult converts…they’re cuckoo for coco puffs and every one of them I’ve met are quite a frightening thing to experience. I think she swallowed the kool-aid.

      I’ve had the bad luck to find myself in social gatherings with two different American women who converted to Islam on two different occasions. Both of these women couldn’t wait to tell me about their conversion experiences, thinking that they’d find me to be sympathetic and admiring of their submission – because I’m married to an Algerian and lived in that country for three years. Both of these women were seriously deluded and really miscalculated. Their stories met a blank stare from me and with one of them I said that going from the Methodist church (we both grew up in it) and going to Islam was, for women, going from the frying pan into the fire. She turned hostile to me at that point. The whole conversation went downhill. We were in a mosque at the time and they were holding funeral services for a friend so of course I was super pissed off about their treatment of the infidels who were there in mourning and were being treated like crap. That’s a whole other story 😉

      For women, wearing a headscarf is also a sign of respect in the Muslim lands and even in the American mosques (which I refuse to do). Just if it’s not completely required of Trump then it’s a blatant political move, transparent ass kissing if there ever was any and then previously, his own wife and daughter disrespect the head covering in Saudi. The whole thing is stupid.

    • LaurieB

      I think she swallowed the kool-aid.

      I would agree to an extent. As a Jew myself (most agnostic/atheistic Jews still refer to themselves as Jews because we are seen as more of a culture than a religion it seems. To the extent where people often say “he looks Jewish”. Growing up I always wondered why no one ever said “he looks Catholic/Episcopalian/Presbyterian/Lutheran/Evangelical, etc”) when I was younger I remember being told by the rabbi that converting to Judaism is much different than converting to other religions. He was obviously saying this with pride. I remembering him saying “unlike Christians we don’t encourage conversion. In fact we make conversion difficult enough to weed out those not truly interested”. I found this meaningful at a young age and even took pride in it. To that extent and echoing the beginning of your post, I agree. But from what I can tell they are classic cherry pickers. Going back to the yarmulke, I’ve never seen Kushner wear one when he’s not in temple. Every Orthodox Jewish (the brand they proudly claim) male I’ve ever seen wears a yarmulke at all times. Most Orthodox branches also require the women to wear babushkas or tichels. Obviously Ivanka does not do this. So yeah, they observe what they observe when it’s convenient.

      I have the feeling that Americans converting to Islam is even worse…

    • Steven007

      Growing up I always wondered why no one ever said “he looks Catholic/Episcopalian/Presbyterian/Lutheran/Evangelical, etc”)

      I laughed at that but it’s only funny because “looks like a Jew” has some really unacceptable bigotry behind it and I can tell you that in 50 years no one has ever said to me -“you look like a WASP”. What would that even mean? I wear boring sensible clothing with non-confrontational pearl jewelry? Eat bland food and belong to the country club?

      Interesting though about the info on Orthodox requirements. Seems like cherry picking then. Is it a whole lot of virtue signaling? Tribal affiliation?

      I think that the atheist Jews are an important group in our community. In the beginning of this adventure, years ago, I looked to that group to see how they handled the cultural attachment piece. Although I gave up most of Christian culture, I saw that one could be an atheist and keep or dispose of what elements were right or wrong, on an individual basis. So no judgement if someone wants to participate in religious traditions in the family or in public. I don’t like to do that but it’s none of my business to drive a wedge between any atheist and their family members who are devout.

    • Steven,

      You’re Jewish? No problem. I still want you to be VP. (Sanders opened the door for you.) Laurie, are you still interested in running in 2020? Don’t renege now, please! I have been working hard raising funds. I sold out to AIPAC; look I’m a pragmatist; what do you want? We have to work within the system.

    • Dan

      I sold out to AIPAC

      No!

    • @Dan

      I had my horns filed down years ago so no one suspects me as being Jewish these days. I jest. Is that even funny? That reminds me of something though. True story. Early in my career in one of my first jobs in the lab I worked for a private lab. It was owned by a consortium of doctors, something that was legal at the time but no longer is. It was run by a non technical business man who knew many of the doctors. He was generally a congenial guy and he took a liking to me. He was a Roman Catholic Italian who was observant but definitely not devout (think Michael Corleone). One day he found out I was Jewish. He came up to me and said “so I heard you’re a Christ killer!” (he pronounced killer, “killah”) I had never heard the term before. I was still young a naïve. I asked him what he meant and he told me the Mel Gibson version of the crucifixion. Quipping back I told him, “sorry for your loss and I suppose I should apologize on behalf of my people”. He reared his head back and laughed and told me I had a good sense of humor. From that point on, periodically (and in mixed company) he’d call me “Christ killah!” and I would always zing back, “careful, you could be next”, and he’d howl with laughter. This was obviously the height of non PC work behavior.

    • Steven #53

      Quite a story.

      You have remarkable self-restraint. I wouldn’t have been able to control myself, would have pushed him down, or reported the SOB to someone, gotten him in trouble somehow, or quit; that’s extremely antisemitic. Then again, it’s hard to know how one would respond; if the job was important to to me and it didn’t bother me I guess… who knows…

      He laughed at your comment because it fit in with his notion of the self-deprecating, zany Jew a la Woody Allen.

      That’s what they said to my mother when she was a kid: Christ killer. Those are, in my view, among the lowest types of humanity: the vicious and ignorant bigots (and I would say the same thing had the situation been different and he had used, say, the N word or the F word, etc.).

      (Right now it’s “the Muslims”; but I could imagine a desperate Donald Trump in a last ditch effort to gain control saying something, with arms outstretched, like: “let’s face it people, the Jews killed Christ. That was the worst thing that ever happened in the entire history of the world; they killed Christ, and now they control the banks, the media…” If it wasn’t for Kushner I think a lot more people would be a bit more worried, but Kushner is their cushion and even makes Trump endearing in their eyes. I call it The Kushner Effect. It’s out there.)

    • Less than two weeks and the USA has now stabbed two allies in the back. First Trump boasting to the Russians about Israeli intelligence on ISIS, now it’s the UK’s turn. The suicide bomber who killed and injured so many in the appalling attack in Manchester which is on all our minds over here was identified by police from his remains. He was known to work as part of a network and his identity was kept secret so as not to alert others until arrests could be made. However his identity had been shared with US authorities who promptly leaked it to the press over there.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-40026413

      I was very puzzled to see the bomber’s name so quickly in US media yesterday but I didn’t yet realise the full implications. Let us sincerely hope that no one slips through the police net because of this and goes on to take the lives of more of our children. However it is clear that our former trustworthy ally which has been run by growups for the last 8 years is no longer being so well run and no longer to be trusted.

      We would also appreciate your idiot president keeping his idiot mouth shut if the most appropriate thing he can think to call the disgrace to humanity who did this is “loser”.

      I’m afraid I’m not feeling very charitable to the USA or its people at the moment. This in some small way is our 9/11, perhaps partly because so many who were killed and injured were just children and it’s hitting us very hard. A beautiful little 8 year old girl just starting out in life, hers now snuffed out in an instant, others just teenagers. I was on a road trip yesterday, 9 hours of driving, much of it in tears as new reports kept coming through on the radio and people’s emails and texts of support were read out. As our security forces try to contain and control this situation and ensure it doesn’t happen again their efforts get hampered by loose lips in the USA. What Trump did in the Oval Office with the Russians didn’t quite bring it home to me since it was “only” about Israel and Syria. Now when it’s our own children’s lives at risk in my own country it suddenly hits home very hard.

    • Analysis of Trump’s verbal capabilities now compared to 20 or 30 years ago reveal he may be suffering from dementia.

      Experts say Trump’s speech deterioration could be a sign of early dementia

      His vocabulary which used to be college level has now dropped to about the level of the average 12 year old. The syntax is so garbled that many sentences are incomprehensible and missing words and incorrectly used words make this worse.

      This all ties in with the numerous stories out of the WH that he has a very limited attention span now, reacts more to pictures and charts than written text and only tends to even keep reading if he sees his own name mentioned. In fact those preparing his daily intelligence briefs try to keep them to one page and try to mention his name in every paragraph so he even keeps reading to the end of that page.

    • Arkrid, I understand your anger. There are tears on this side of the water too. Children are children anywhere.
      This is more of the dysfunction of the USA spreading to the rest of the world. I wish he was gone tomorrow.
      Alot of us have had stress related increases since Trump. They even have a name for it now.
      These idiot cowboys in this country are making me sick. I would like to wake up to a normal day. I would like to wake up in a normal country. This seems like a nightmare..

    • Well the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its report on the second Trump healthcare bill which was forced through the House before either those who voted on it bothered to read it or anyone else had a chance to discuss it. Finally after a miserable couple of weeks for most people there’s actually some good news. Not only will this new bill save a bit of money over 10 years it’ll only take healthcare away from 23 million people rather than the 24 million the first bill was going to do. So win/win basically. Well done Republicans. The 23 million will mainly be poor and/or black so no one gives a fuck about them I suppose and the mega rich will get a nice tax cut so they can buy more yachts. What they spend on yachts will then trickle down into the economy to yacht builders, paint makers, carpenters etc until a few thousand of the 23 million people who lost their healthcare can afford it again.

      However before those lucky few thousand get too complacent the Republicans have also released their budget proposal which will slash spending on education, Medicaid, food stamps, student loans, the EPA and international aid so the rich can get even more tax cuts. More good news for yacht builders.

      Some time ago I described America as really consisting of two countries rather than just one. On one side are the normal humans like we have in the UK and other places and on the other side are the Republicans. I got a bit of flack for it. Does anyone still disagree with me now after 4 months of Trump in power?

    • Alan4discussion #66
      May 25, 2017 at 5:33 am

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40023720

      The White House has denied the president’s budget proposal contains an “egregious” maths error.
      Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers pointed out the spending plan double-counts $2tr (£1.5tr).

      The budget clearly does double count the same $2.1trillion in supposed tax revenues to both pay for tax cuts for the rich but then to also reduce the budget deficit. However it only assumes that $2.1 trillion will be generated in the first place by GDP growing at 3% annually every year in future which is pretty much impossible given that it’s A) never done that before B) it’s currently at just under 2% growth rate and C) the economy is already at full employment with little scope left for more growth.

      In short it’s all just fantasy numbers with little relationship to reality even if whoever prepared it hadn’t got the basic maths wrong as well. It is hard to understand what is going on in this government which now seems to be run by complete incompetents in all departments. It’s possible that people working under the Trump administration have now just given up trying any more.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #68
      May 25, 2017 at 9:38 am

      It is hard to understand what is going on in this government which now seems to be run by complete incompetents in all departments.

      He has a cabinet full of muppets, and he has got rid of the people who gave competent legal and security advice he did not want to hear!

      It looks like the Trump “plan” to safeguard America from Russian intelligence infiltration, is to appoint his regular pet litigation prevaricator, to obstruct the investigations while Trump sits in denial and his fumbling idiots muddle on!

      Alan4discussion #58
      May 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Donald Trump has appointed lawyer Marc Kasowitz to represent him
      in an inquiry into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential election
      and any links to the Trump campaign, US media report.

      Mr Trump has used services of the New York lawyer –
      known as a tenacious litigator – for more than a decade.

    • US President Donald Trump has told a Nato meeting in Brussels terrorism must be “stopped in its tracks”.

      No shit Sherlock. The only question being how of course. I thought destroying ISIS was going to be so easy and so quick or at least it was on the campaign trail. Then of course Dementia Donald has to actually perform and has no clue what to do about anything. I mean who knew that healthcare was so complicated or that running a country is not as easy as running a property company. At least by the end of your trip Jared will have solved the Israel / Palestine problem no? I mean he’s out there with you so he must have a couple of days to sort it all out for us.

      The eight year old girl who died in Manchester this week wasn’t even born when George W Bush invaded Iraq. Now she’ll never know that if anyone is ultimately reponsible for killing her it was him and the Republicans who voted for the illegal war. The war that destabilised the Middle East, gave Al Qaeda thousands more converts and eventually led to the creation of ISIS from the Sunnis who were locked into internment camps and discriminated against by the Shia puppet government that Bush installed in Iraq. Now those same Republicans who voted in lock step for Bush’s lies are fawning over someone even dumber, more mendacious and more amoral. Someone who told the middle east he might be coming for their oil, imposed a travel ban on them, supports Putin who supports Assad but still can’t understand why they are so pissed off with the west.

      The suicide bomber who killed all those children was a vile, reprehensible, filthy criminal but he wasn’t the most dangerous man on the planet. That honour goes to Donald Trump and those who support him, excuse him or don’t speak out against him are as guilty by association.

      The single concrete goal that would do most to make the world a safer place would be to get rid of Trump, his cronies, his surrogates, all the Republicans who vote for his bills and make sure that Republicans never get into power again.

    • Arkrid #72

      Here here.

      I’m not sure I would call trump amoral; immoral? — Hillary Clinton aptly described his budget proposal and the attempt to repeal ObamaCare as “showing unimaginable cruelty.” Trump wants to send more troops to Afghanistan. As Hedges predicted: “the hypermasculine values of military culture [under a Trump administration] will define political and cultural discourse…”

      “At least by the end of your trip Jared will have solved the Israel / Palestine problem no? I mean he’s out there with you so he must have a couple of days to sort it all out for us.”

      Funny! Sad and pathetic, but funny. “A couple of days”; not bad!)

    • Uh…I think “Hear hear” is how it should be spelled.

    • Well it looks like Trump got well and truly served by the President of France who gave him a taste of his own medicine in the handshake bullshit that Trump loves to inflict on everyone else. It’s not quite so easy to bully other presidents is it little Donny compared to your own employees or the surrogates who toady up to you? You can bet that’s now a score to be settled in Trump’s childish mind.

      So his first foreign trip hasn’t been a total disaster yet although if Obama had done what Trump did you can bet the Republicans would be screaming about it from the rooftops. He shoved the Montenegran Prime Minister out of the way to get to the front of a photo op, cozied up to the Saudis and Bahrainis while berating Nato allies, refused to smile and wave with everyone else when President Macron suggested it and we find out he recently gave away yet more classified information by boasting to the President of the Philippines that two nuclear subs were off the coast of Korea.

      We’re starting to see what the Trump campaign’s relentless demonising of the press is now leading to. A reporter in hospital in Montana for asking a polite question and a vicious attempt to blame it on him for being a liberal reporter. At least Gianforte has been charged with assault but sadly he also still won the election. When the free press is under attack then democracy is under attack.

    • Well everything seems to be back to “normal” in the USA now Trump is back home. He’s busy tweeting that everything in the press is fake news over and over again but it’s getting awfully stale now. He’s alienated most of NATO and Merkel has called for Europe to do its own thing as the USA can’t be relied on. Macron of France is right with her and it seems his handshake with Trump I commented on above was quite deliberate. He had planned to stick it to Trump beforehand and crush his tiny hand until Trump gave up which he did. Kudos to the guy.

      4 months in and America is now the world’s pariah apart from with other dictators. A new world order could be starting. Brexit could not possibly have come at a worse time because now the UK has lost much of its standing in Europe and might be stuck with trying to cozy up to this mental case Trump. I wonder if Theresa May is going to do the lapdog thing with Trump like Tony Blair did with Bush and embarrass us all again.

    • I can honestly say I’ve never spent so much time and effort trying to understand another person’s mental state as I have with Trump. I’m not much of a people person at the best of times so this does not come naturally to me but I’ve been surprised at the insights I’ve gained even if some of the answers remain elusive. I think another key to the puzzle fell into place recently though.

      6 months ago I was naive enough to still faintly wonder if Trump could change enough to rise to the gravity of the office. We now know he can’t. It occurs to me that most people change because they learn by their mistakes and by facing the consequences of their actions. I now realise that Trump has never actually faced the consequences of any of his actions. That’s not to say that every action didn’t have a consequence, which they all did – but Trump has never faced any. His narcissism means he can either view failures as a success or even if he admits failure it’s still other people’s fault. He maintains this by almost never doing anything where the blame can only fall on him alone. Everything is done via subordinates. That’s why he wouldn’t pitch the first ball this season. If it sucked there was no one else to blame.

      A man who can’t learn from his mistakes is doomed to repeat them. Other than his base property empire nearly all of Trump’s other ventures have been abject failures. Casinos, Trump University, steaks, wine. But all were done with other people’s money, Trump rarely risks his own, and so again he never had to face any consequences. An analysis I saw recently calculated that during his career Trump has lost about 6 billion dollars of other people’s money. His own net worth might only be a few hundred million rather than the billions he claims. He actually lost a court case trying to prove he was a billionaire which indicates he probably never has been one even though he claims net assets of about 10 billion.

      If his tax returns get revealed by subpoena then the bubble will burst. I suspect he’s more worried about this than any other aspect of the Russia investigation which I’m guessing will never come up with criminal charges against him personally because he’s well enough insulated via subordinates doing the actual dirty work.

      How Kuschner pans out is going to be fascinating though. What happens if Trump has to throw his own son-in-law under the bus to save his own skin? He loses his daughter perhaps as well as the wife who is already suspected of hating him anyway. If he resigns the presidency he loses the immunity the office gives him from almost everything short of impeachment, which is never going to happen, so he’s stuck there even if he hates doing the job and is hopelessly inadequate to its demands. Every day that goes by reveals more of his incompetence and there’s a lot of days still to go in 3 years and 8 months. I surmised before that he would burn in this spotlight like a moth in a candle flame. All that remains to see is how quickly.

    • Another murderous attack on us here in the UK last night and another catastrophic response from Trump. A van mowed pedestrians down while others start stabbing people in a restaurant. 7 dead so far and dozens injured. Trump starts tweeting about his Travel Ban (in caps), once again making it clear it really is a travel ban and not the various things his administration has tried to convince the courts it is. Only later does it occur to him to express any sympathy for those who died. It is of course very hard for him to simulate real emotions such as empathy, having none himself.

      The real problem of course is that most of these attacks are prevented with the help of information from the public, from the communities where the potential attackers live. Trump is alienating everyone with even the smallest potential grievance against the west and turning those into big grievances. He’s also destroying the trust that intelligence services had in each other and particularly in everyone else’s for America. Information that might save lives is less likely to be forthcoming now.

      People will die because of this sick man. It is very possible that some of those who have died recently are because of him and his policies except that as a target he himself is out of reach so others suffer in his place.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #84
      Jun 4, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Trump starts tweeting about his Travel Ban (in caps), once again making it clear it really is a travel ban and not the various things his administration has tried to convince the courts it is.

      Yep! – No problem for Trump with white supremacist gun-toting Americans – Who as immigrants, history suggests, were none too friendly to the native Americans!

      Back in England, my wife’s family is from those darned Scottish immigrants, whereas my side of the family is descended from those nice peace-loving Viking immigrants!! 🙂

      Trump claims to be of Scottish descent, so maybe he would like a project to reinstate Hadrian’s Roman Wall to keep the English out of Scotland! 🙂

      After all! Walls are in vogue, and trumpies were never very good at learning from history!

    • Trump now attacks the Mayor of London for reasons which are unclear. Earlier today the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, informed the BBC that there would be a higher than usual armed police presence in London following the attack last night to keep the streets safe and urging the people not to be alarmed about the police numbers in their own right as not being indicative of any other attack being in progress or specifically expected.

      Trump then selectively quoted just a part of this, ignoring the fact that it was about police numbers and not terrorism, to attack him with “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

      Whether this was stupidity, mendacity or just more evidence of Trump’s mental illness I could not say. Or maybe it’s because the Mayor’s name is Khan and he’s not white.

      I for one have had about enough of Teresa May clinging to what might once have been a special relationship and not just rejecting Trump whole heartedly as other braver European leaders are doing. We can’t trust Trump, it’s clear we’ll never be able to and only maybe if the leaders of enough G7 countries reject him outright will it send a message to Republicans that he is not acceptable on the world stage and nor are they while they support him.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #86
      Jun 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      I for one have had about enough of Teresa May clinging to what might once have been a special relationship and not just rejecting Trump whole heartedly as other braver European leaders are doing.

      Other EU leaders have made it clear that they will maintain amicable relationships with Americans – American States, American businesses and American people. – It is Trump and the trumpoids who are the problem!

      However, Teresa May is desperate to have some wish-thinking “special” brexiteer trade deal to flaunt in the light of the likely serious losses of trade with Europe as a consequence of likely failed brexit negotiations.
      Any deals outside of established world trade groupings and alliances, are likely to token symbolism, and of little value, but the readers of tabloid comics can’t do big numbers or proportionality, so happily buy into junk-news headlines about “great deals” and the “wonderful benefits” of ideology!
      Along with his other nutty anti-co-operation priorities, Trump is a Farage and brexit fan and does not like the EU!

    • Arkrid Sandwich #86
      Jun 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Trump now attacks the Mayor of London for reasons which are unclear.

      Well it seems the reasons were actually known but not to me. Trump is holding a petty grievance against Mayor Sadiq Khan who criticised his Muslim ban and endorsed Hillary last year so Trump is using the deaths of more Brits in another terrorist attack to further his childish desire for revenge. There are no depths to which this vile man will not sink.

      The thing is, Trump could not act this way if he were not being constantly enabled by Republican congressmen for whom no act of his is sufficiently vile to contemplate condemning him. He’s clearly colluded with the Russians to win the election in what can surely only be called treason, he’s tried to block the investigations, we now find out he tried to get the sanctions lifted as soon as he took office and also wanted to give the Russian compounds they had been spying from back to them, he’s given away state secrets, revealed Israeli intelligence, put lives at risk but hardly any Republican will put country before party. It is a party utterly without honour or principles. I have been saying so for a long time in here.

    • What a wonderful concert last night in Manchester to support the dead and injured of the terrorist attack there and also in London. What a spectacular job Ariana Grande did, organising the concert, leading it with such maturity and poise, holding herself together despite the tears.

      Meanwhile Donald Trump took the same opportunity to lauch a petty and vindictive twitter attack on London’s Mayor.

      A 23 year old girl of extraordinary maturity and compassion brought a city, and a country, together in love and determination to never buckle under terrorist attacks while the 70 year old supposed leader of the free world just trashed the memory of the victims for his own childish spite and revenge.

      We in the UK thank you in the USA for the best of what America has to offer, the 23 year old girl and the other acts who came over to support her. What I think ought to happen to the vile orange turd though I might be best advised not to say in here.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #88
      Jun 4, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      Well it seems the reasons were actually known but not to me. Trump is holding a petty grievance against Mayor Sadiq Khan who criticised his Muslim ban and endorsed Hillary last year so Trump is using the deaths of more Brits in another terrorist attack to further his childish desire for revenge.

      Sadiq Khan was and is, an embarrassment to Trump! –

      While Trump was ranting about banning Muslims from the US – Sadiq Khan – a Muslim, – was elected mayor of London – and is currently – as mayor, working with the security services to fight terrorism!
      Trump was asked by the media some time ago, if he was banning the mayor of London from visiting the US!
      Apparently mayors of London (like Saudi princes), can be treated by Trump as cherry-picked exceptions when he is asked embarrassing questions !! 🙂

    • Last year after the town hall debate with Hillary when Trump stalked her round the stage in a way I found extremely threatening and ominous I said it was looking more likely to me that he was a full blown psychopath rather than just a sociopath. This insane, and now repeated, attack of his on the Mayor of the capital city of what is supposedly America’s closest ally in a time of our national mourning is however taking me beyond what I could have expected from even someone as foul as Trump. Does anyone in here still deny or refuse to accept that this man is severely mentally ill?

      If Theresa May declines to condemn him then as far as I’m concerned she can stand with him and therefore against us, her own people. I’m now ready for the UK to break off diplomatic relations with the USA while this vile person is president.

    • Arkrid, others—

      …This insane, and now repeated, attack of his on the Mayor of the capital city…

      As I said on another thread recently, this is not necessarily insane; it can be; but it is most likely a tactic: we are seeing the politics of distraction at work. Trump and his advisers know what the US TV media is like; they eat that shit up, spend a day or more on these tweets and comments, have panels with Washington insiders and paid contributors to discuss inappropriate remarks. I watch it too; it’s fun. But in the mean time we are being distracted from other things – all the surreptitious maneuverings, and the Comey testimony is coming up, etc. They stage things and set things up (such as a bizarre tweet) at key moments. This is typical, is characteristic, of authoritarian regimes in the past and present. We are dealing with a very insidious administration, an administration at war with the liberal tradition, at war with the old ways of doing things; this is, at bottom, a radical insurgency we are dealing with: look at this religious freedom order, the travel ban, etc. Bannon, by the way, is a strong believer in propaganda. His goal is to create a situation where the Republicans will have control of the Congress and the executive branch for fifty years. By the end of the fifty years, what will we be then?

      But that aside, they want to distract us, so that the thugs can continue to engage in thier surreptitious maneuverings and distract the news people and the public from what is really going on, to divert attention away from the dangers the White House is facing, thanks to all the reporting and leaks and the ongoing investigations.

      Do you think my theory sounds plausible? Actually, it was Hillary Clinton who made that point (about authoritarians) with regards to that bizarre tweet.

      Looking forward to hearing what Comey has to say.

    • Dan

      By the end of the fifty years, what will we be then?

      ~gasp~

      Ok, I am NOT waiting fifty years for this disaster to turn around. I need to see positive results at the midterms and a total turn around at the next Presidential election. I’m thinking about the generations that are younger than we are. What kind of place is this to grow up in? I’m still open to a Canadian residency. I can’t see how to get out of this mess with the present bogged down system. I told my Republican family members that Trump could really do a LOT of damage in a short time and this is coming true. Not that I’m looking for praise and that’s a good thing because they’re still hammering me for being a renegade. No buyers remorse with them at all! o_O I’ve had it up to here.

      I’m also going to watch the Comey hearings with some small hope that he’ll move this horror show along in the right direction.

    • Dan #94
      Jun 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      but it is most likely a tactic: we are seeing the politics of distraction at work.

      I would say no, absolutely not. When Trump wants to distract he starts talking about fake news or witch hunts. Things which his base lap up and which seem crazy to rational people but at least don’t do Trump himself any more harm than he’s already done multiple times. However, attacking America’s staunchest ally in the midst of their grief at the deaths of children is so utterly toxic that even his base can’t all support this. Most Americans have some British heritage and the UK has a different relationship with the USA than any other country. In many ways the UK is revered as an example of the things that Americans can’t ever aspire to. We are the ancestor country, we have history going back thousands of years, a culture that you can never catch up to. We have museums with socks in them that are older than your nation. We may be smaller and weaker than in the days of empire, a bit like aged parents now, not as strong but enormously revered.

      It might be possible to get away with attacking France as happened after 9/11 when they wouldn’t support Bush’s invasion plans (Freedom Fries etc), or Italy, or Germany but not the home country. Millions of Trump supporters will have roots here, they will be as shocked at the slaughter of 8 year olds as we are. This is Trump’s unrestrained vengeful child, the ID in Freudian terms, unrestrained by the ego or super-ego it lashes out at a perceived foe for supporting Hillary instead of him last year, regardless of the utter inappropriateness of doing so in a time of grief. When criticism appeared in the press he did what he always does, doubled down and lashed out again, unable to apologise or back down.

      This will cost him dearly. People who merely distrusted him will start to hate him. Those who trusted him will start to suspect they were wrong. Those who thought he was sane but outspoken will now wonder if there really is mental illness or dementia. Disrespecting the deaths of children is a bridge too far.

    • Arkrid 96

      I would say no, absolutely not.

      Okay, I see your point. That reference to the Mayor of London was not a way of diverting attention in this instance, but they do engage in the politics of distraction on an unprecedented scale, which is something new, and that –and I am sure you’d agree – is the mark, or one of the marks, of a corrupt and authoritarian regime.

      In many ways the UK is revered as an example of the things that Americans can’t ever aspire to.

      American movies and television, since its beginnings, has, for the most part, been far, far superior to that of the UK. Our food is better. Our comedians are better. In terms of “popular culture” we are the kings – not including The British Invasion; but Rock n Roll started here as did jazz! Jazz and blues! Our great literary figures are at least as good as yours. We were the first to land on the moon…. Our Constitution is probably a little better.

      Sorry….Getting carried away.

    • Laurie,

      Your Republican family members sound very – how shall I say this? – confident that the fundamental soundness of their own views is beyond question. You have my empathy. I have family members that are almost too progressive (too one-sided at times), which I guess is a luxury problem.

      Time for Maddow. Is she back yet? We’ll see.

      Ciao, for now. (That rhymes!)

    • Arkrid S.

      Trump’s shameless attacks on Sadiq Kahn seem only geared toward doing evil.

      Maybe mentally ill, as you say, and evil. One does not exclude the other, in my opinion. It has to be one or the other or both, at this point.

    • Hello Dan Laurie Arkrid,
      Are we still a country? Trump has isolated us from our allies, wrecked our economy, caused social disturbance and is probably a Russian ally.
      Hmm. I give him another few months…………..

    • Laurie, I’m afraid I’m of the camp that doesn’t want Pence as Potus.
      In the mid terms if we can capture both houses we can neuter Trump for two more years.
      So I would like to not see impeachment unless Pence goes too. I don’t know if there is any incriminating evidence yet.

    • Hi Alf!!

      I am just as worried as you, alf, and I think your fears of Pence are justified. I wish I could offer some words of comfort. All I can say is that we’re all in the same boat, and that I understand and share your anxiety.

      Laurie, me and alf are afraid.

    • ther EU leaders have made it clear that they will maintain amicable relationships with Americans – American States, American businesses and American people. – It is Trump and the trumpoids who are the problem!

      Alan, to be honest I wish none of the worlds leaders would have anything to do with us until we get this under control.
      There is no trusting Trump or a good percentage of the USA.
      Isolation is a good weapon for stupidity.

    • BTW Dan, that would be “Alf and I”.
      We might as well be proper while the Earth is dying……

    • “Laurie, me and alf are afraid.”

      Dang it Dan, get out from under my bed! This is my spot 🙂

    • Guys

      Of course Pence is a freak show! I’m aware of it. But will Pence get us into WW3 ? I think Pence if given the opportunity will attack Roe v Wade immediately, and bring his religious delusions to reality as far as he possibly could. If he only wreaked havoc on the national stage I think we might survive it. With the time Trump has left in office in just the first term he will wreak havoc on the world.

      The Republicans are keeping Saint Pence on a sparkling pedestal entirely removed from the specter known as Trump and co. When everything goes down the shitter they will present their savior, Saint Pence to the world.

      Yes Alf, I agree that the Europeans should have nothing to do with us. I wish they would send blunt statements to that effect straight onto FUX news so Trump’s low information voters will see it, hear it and believe it!

      Low information…right…you know what I really want to say.

      we can neuter Trump

      What, literally? Oh gee that’s brightening my mood significantly…oh wait a minute, I’ve come out as being absolutely opposed to that sort of thing haven’t I. Dammit. So inconvenient.

    • Laurie, I didn’t mean that in a literal sense,…………….well,,,I did! And I’m proud of it!

    • Just for the record, I am opposed to sterilizing Trump. Is he a bad man? Of course, but….

    • I just heard Kellyanne Conway on the Morning Show being asked about Trump’s horrendous remarks about the London Mayor. He, as you know, took his words out of context and made it seem like he was downplaying what happened.

      Once again she wouldn’t answer, seemed offended and again attacked the media for focusing on these irrelevant things that (according to her) are not even accurate. That pig Huckabee did the same thing at the so-called press conference.

      These are thugs, agents of destruction, professional liars! You ask them why Trump did it and they deflect. Why is the press so passive? There seems to be an almost sadomasochistic thing going on here, doing the same thing and expecting different results. Like Lucy withy the football I wish I didn’t have to look at Conway’s face and Huckabee’s face and listen to this fucking garbage all the time. It’s sick!!!

    • Dan

      Just for the record, I am opposed to sterilizing Trump. Is he a bad man? Of course, but….

      For the record I’m against it too and I shouldn’t joke about that sort of thing. You remind me that sterilization has some long dark history in this country. Not funny.

      You have family members that are too progressive? What does that even look like?! I can’t imagine it.

    • Laurie 111

      Just for the record, I am opposed to sterilizing Trump.

      I thought my remark was funny. I just looked up sterilization in American history; you’re right; thought that was just a Nazi thing. Live and learn. Maybe one shouldn’t joke about such things, but black humor has its place. Hard to know where to draw the line.

      …too progressive?

      Poorly phrased. My mother can be a little annoying. My sister and I, with the help of her 14 yr old daughter, make fun of her sometimes (behind her back).

      Me: ISIS is terrible, right?

      My niece imitating my mother: We created ISIS!

      Me: what about this Russian hacking business?

      My niece imitating my mother: We have interfered in elections!

      Me: What do you think of Comey?

      Niece: I hate the FBI!

      What about….

      Niece: We, we, we, we, we! We did it! We caused it!

      You get the idea. —But my mother, as I think you know, is an exceedingly wise and enlightened person. That’s on the record too. And no joke.

      Here’s part of a recent exchange, a real one:

      Me: The FBI has a history of abuses? So? What do you want to do, ignore the fact that Trump broke the law and attempted to obstruct justice? I am sick of your articles.

      Mom: No Dan
      Trump must go along with his sick VP and surrounding fascists.
      This article was just about getting a realistic view of the FBI. Corrupt. Don’t forget J Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohen, the McCarthy House on UnAmerican activity. Trump’s father was involved with these hoodlums as he and his family are now. Despicable but they did not come from nowhere. You need to know the history of this country and you get some sense of how we got here now.
      I hope you come up Sunday and stay the week.
      Xxxxmom

    • Come on guys. You know I really meant “political neutering”. As if to make ineffective.

    • It has been puzzling commentators why Trump picked a civil litigator, his long time attack dog Marc Kasowitz, rather than an experienced defense lawyer to defend him in the potential upcoming matters with Congress and the Mueller investigation. It transpires that you reap what you sow. No one else would act for him. He approached several of the top law firms and they all said no. The main reasons were he won’t listen to advice, he might not pay given how prone he is to stiffing contractors and it would be bad for their reputation acting for a person like him.

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/four-top-law-firms-turned-requests-represent-trump-122423972.html

      Maybe finally Trump is going to end up facing the consequences of his actions if this all turns out very badly for him.

    • One has to wonder after Trump’s bizarre tweets about the “TRAVEL BAN” which his administration and lawyers are desperately trying to not call a travel ban, and have argued as such in court, if he is deliberately trying to sabotage it to cover his own arse in case of any future terrorist attacks in the USA. Then maybe he can try to blame everything on the courts for blocking it twice. We know he’s stupid and impulsive but can he be so stupid as to call it, in caps, what he knows was one of the main points it got thrown out because of?

      I suspect he’s now so deep in damage limitation mode with Comey about to testify, and fearful of impeachment or being accused of obstructing justice, that he is prepared to sacrifice anything and anybody, including the security of the USA, to save his own arse. If so then America could be in for a very dangerous time if he makes every decision on how it affects him personally rather than the country he’s sworn to protect. He can’t play the fiddle but I have little doubt he’ll play golf while Rome burns.

    • alf

      I know what you meant. I always give the benefit of the doubt on these word choice matters but then I thought, the enemies of secularism would like nothing better than to wail and gnash their teeth about scary atheists who support infanticide, social Darwinism, euthanasia (see the dirty panties thread) and now add forced sterilization to the list! This website seems like a cozy conversation between a group of like minded friends with the occasional random theist tossed in from time to time. I’m sure I have no idea of how many people are lurking in the shadows. Come out, come out where ever you are.

    • Trump is a bad man, period. This country is pathetic. All the red flags were there.

    • I don’t care what the enemies of secularism think, and I don’t think we should get too hung up on words . We know what’s right and wrong. What’s obscene is this healthcare bill, and the denial of climate science, and the lies.

      (Wish I hadn’t posted all that personal stuff about my mother. I act like a stupid moron sometimes.)

    • I have just been watching Tv coverage of the senate committee questioning Comey about the FBI investigations and discussions with Trump!

      What a contrast in Comey’s professional perceptions and understanding of what can be presented openly in public with clarity, what is confidential, what is prejudicial to on-going investigations, and what is classified and restricted to closed sessions for security reasons – when compared to Trump’s reckless Twitterings, blitherings, and petty tantrums!

    • Dan

      I admire your mother for her stand on many issues and for the fact that she took action in the past to prove her devotion to human rights. Silly stories couldn’t change that. I do wonder what it must be like to have a liberal family. Your comment made me chuckle.

    • Laurie

      Thank you.

      Depends on which liberal family we’re talking about, I suppose.

      I am very lucky, have (and have had) great parents. And your folks must have done something right; you’re great. Love all your comments.

    • Aaarrrgghh!! Free market fundamentalism. As bad as religious fundamentalism. These Republicans! We’ll have another meltdown, in addition to the one in the Antarctic and elsewhere. And Trump likes this. I miss Obama.

      Short-term profit. Collusion. Corruption. Greed. Stupidity. Vile, sick. These Republicans are indeed monsters, agents of destruction: immoral, unenlightened, and spiritually (?) impoverished.

      House Republicans Are Trying to Pass the Most Dangerous Wall Street Deregulation Bill Ever

      The legislation proposes a significant unwinding of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, one of President Barack Obama’s signature achievements, which imposed new regulations across the financial system in the wake of the 2008 meltdown.

      Passage was a major victory for Hensarling, a fierce fiscal conservative who opposed the bank bailouts under the Bush administration and has led a crusade for years against Democrats’ response to the crisis.

      Hensarling argues that the economy and consumers would benefit from his vision in which market forces rather than government regulation would keep the financial system in check.

      (Quotes from Politico)

    • Phil (others)

      The Russia thing is important, but it bothers me that no one on the major cable news channels is talking about all the terrible things that are happening: an abominable religious liberty order, financial deregulation, climate change denial, attempting to repeal the ACA, and so much more. A lot more.

      The mainstream media is failing us, for the most part. That’s very serious. It is like People Magazine; they put the same people, like Jennifer Aniston, on the cover – because it’s easy; it works, it brings in the dough. I know someone who used to work for a magazine; that’s what they do, how they think: status quo and bottom lines.

      Capitalism does not appear to be working in the US. Do you agree?

    • Something tells me that Comey’s testimony and the ongoing investigation will not result in impeachment. Nor do I think the Republicans will necessarily do that bad in the mid-terms. There are just too many “low information” (or “stupid”; take your pick) voters. Trump may even win a second term. This idea of the Democrats being “status-quo” has caught on, and in spite of everything and whatever happens the low information/stupid voters like that idea and would vote for a monster rather than vote to maintain what they’ve been told is the status quo. I just spoke to a Trump supporter who lives in my building. Like talking to a wall. My God. He despises Hillary, of course. And thinks the media is unfair to Trump. This guy’s a doctor! Dumb ass.

      This mentality has spread to the UK too, I think. Anything but the “status-quo”. Give us an earthquake, an asteroid, anything… Pathetic how dumb people are. It’s awful. I don’t blame them; I really don’t; it’s not their fault entirely. It is only partially their fault. Many reasons why people are dumb: bad parenting, too much TV, too much… Hell, I don’t know what it is… Genes? That’s no answer.—I think it’s all of these things – along with a whole host of other factors.

      My pessimism and my own brand of misanthropy is back.

    • Dan #126
      Jun 10, 2017 at 8:28 am

      This mentality has spread to the UK too, I think. Anything but the “status-quo”. Give us an earthquake, an asteroid, anything… Pathetic how dumb people are. It’s awful.

      It has spread to the UK to some extent, but there again, Theresa May’s government which was dancing on puppet strings to placate its nutty right wing, called snap election to “win a massive landslide increase in its majority of MPs” – and in a classic own goal, has lost its overall majority in the House of commons, so is trying to patch together some support from the 10 Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party MPs to prop up a lame government in a “hung” parliament!

    • Dan

      The panic I felt during and after the election has now morphed into a toxic bitter resentment and despair over the prospects of this country for the future. Will we recover from the damage these greedy psychopaths are doing to the country and the Americans and to others around the world? My natural optimism is being ground down into the dirt. My husband is sick to death of my declarations involving the collection of new nationalities for the good of the generations to come. 🙂

      I’ve had the same experience with Republican Trump supporters as you describe above. Hopeless pure aggravation. No possibility of productive civil discussion. They bark out Fox news slogans and shallow ignorant statements. Ask them to explain the statement and they give you a blank stare. “Low information” is an extremely generous adjective. I will use that term in public but the words that are in my mind are; stupid, brainwashed, selfish. I’ll take my lumps for that because I do feel bad about it to some degree. I don’t want to feel that but in the moment I can’t stop my mind from going there.

      A few days ago my two daughters were here for a visit with a couple of their friends. I pressed them for their opinions about the twenty somethings and how they think the next election will go. Are they informed about the situation? Are they upset? Are they thinking about the future consequences of the actions of the administration?
      I was not very satisfied with their answers and although they were disgusted with Trump, much of the criticism seemed too shallow for my liking. Except for one of them…

      One of the friends just graduated from Suffolk U. (political science) here in Boston and she was discouraged. She said that she is worried about the midterms and she doesn’t count on the young people to turn out for a decisive vote. She hopes the boomers flood the voting stations and vote against Trump & co. Neutralize him at the very least. She just landed her first job as manager for a campaign for a city rep of town of Cambridge (where Harvard, MIT, etc are located across the river from Boston proper.) I know my daughters will jump in and volunteer for this. I reminded the friend that there is a huge science crowd in that town and no doubt, high number of atheists and secularists in general. I mentioned that there must be some resources for the campaign to help her access this ever increasing voting block. I will look into this for her and if she agrees I will do what I can to help her liberal candidate.

      I want the midterms to get here quickly and be over with so we’ll know better where we stand.

    • I am encouraged by the young in the UK starting to wake up. They played a large part in kicking T.May in the teeth.

      My daughter circulated a spreadsheet to help people with strategic voting for maximum May protest. Both my kids seem increasingly politically engaged. My son is shifting his post MA work to involve an attempt at creating share-able social narratives and identities rooted in place yet independent of migration status. He sees a rather poisonous closing in and narrowing here that is quite toxic and needs challenging.

    • Phil & Olgun

      They played a large part in kicking T.May in the teeth.

      This was mentioned in news coverage of that election here. A distinct note of optimism. Very encouraging about all of the participation.

    • Dan

      Capitalism does not appear to be working in the US. Do you agree?

      Yes. It and the psychopaths at the helm have purchased too much power. Regulation not deregulation is needed. The very worst thing to happen is taking the brakes off the financial sector yet again or rather even more!

      Mixed economies work because of the different times scales the sectors can work in. Same old drum here sorry, but doing everything we can to lengthen investment cycles and make money from services, sustainable manufacturing, and resources, the circular economy, is essential to create stability and the independent thriving of all communities free from the threats of global upset.

      The US media need remaking. The BBC at least raises the bar to middlebrow-with-integrity in the UK. It shouldn’t work but it does surprisingly well. In the US the FCC needs a complete revamp and should mandate much higher standards. “Fox News” is a blatant oxymoron. Its viewers know less actual facts than those watching no news.

      Al-Jazeera (Eng) continues to rise in my estimation.

      The problem is entirely rooted in the ownership of the media. This is the means of mass control after religion gives up the (holy) ghost.

    • Ollie, Laurie..

      My friend’s daughter a lawyer at 25 is earning enough money to buy a small north of England village….almost. She is an enthusiast for much higher levels of taxation at her level.

      And bravo to your boy, Ollie.

      I’ve always thought this might be the last (or penultimate) hurrah of the scared and mentally elderly. There will be a back-swing because the current phobic chicken little screeching is too ugly and blatantly wrong to sustain. I hope for longer term stability if we can only lift more people out of poverty so they become less biddable by the klepto-scaremongers.

    • Olgun #135
      Jun 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Oh, on a more personal note,
      I believe, mobilising the Turkish Cypriot community,
      we managed to get a racist, sexist, lying, anti gay marriage conservative
      out of a north London borough.

      Unfortunately it looks like Theresa May is going to drag a bunch of homophobic, anti gay marriage, anti-abortionists from Ireland, into more influential parliamentary positions!

    • Olgun #137
      Jun 10, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Hope those who lost their seats pull her down.

      Careful what you wish for!

      Boris of the Trump-hair is manoeuvring!

      I am disappointed that she did not lose a few more seats, and be forced to learn to work with a consensus of views. –
      Still – there could always be a few sick-leaves or by-elections!

    • Laurie

      “My natural optimism is being ground down into the dirt.”

      I am, of course, sorry to hear that; but I have to say that I smiled when I read that line; it’s a good line, funny in a weird way. It would be a good line in a movie.

      I can’t be a pessimist if everyone else is going to turn into one too! Let me cheer you up: We’ll be okay. How’s that? I mean it too (I think).

      (I paid you a nice and sincere compliment somewhere above. 123. Did you see it?) 🙁

      I like what Phil said about the young people starting to wake up. That’s true (I think). I was annoyed and disappointed, however, when I heard that many of Sanders’ young supporters ended up voting for a libertarian flake rather than the steady and imperfect Hillary. And some of these politically engaged and conscientious young “progressives” voted for the outsider Trump, I’m afraid.

      This deregulation business is awfully troublesome.

      Alan, or Olgun or Phil,

      Is Corbyn that bad? My mother likes him so I figure how bad can he be? You can be honest. Don’t feel constrained. Alan is deeply critical of the guy, considers him to be a real phony and unprincipled.

    • Dan #140
      Jun 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      Is Corbyn that bad? My mother likes him so I figure how bad can he be? You can be honest. Don’t feel constrained. Alan is deeply critical of the guy, considers him to be a real phony and unprincipled.

      Corbyn is like Trump! He is really good at telling crowds of supporters what they want to hear, and motivating crowds of superficial ideological thinkers to voice support.

      He is absolutely hopeless at organising an effective political party which puts forward properly evaluated and co-ordinated policies, or picks out big issues which need to be challenged.
      If a crowd like the sound of disjointed sound-bites and will cheer, that’s fine by him: – even if the crowd adopted the perverse ideas from reading the junk news propagandists and have no idea what the bigger implications are!
      He is quite prepared to throw away whole packages of workers’ / citizens rights, and trade agreements, which have been hard won in Europe – and then pose as the “workers’ and business (martyred?) champion”, trying to win bits of them back again, in negotiations from a weak position.

      Like Theresa May, his priority has been to adopt vague bits of nutty UKIP brexiteer policies, to regain votes from the mindless rebels of UKIP, and become prime minister, without regard to the damaging effects of those policies to the national interest.
      The UK has been, and still is suffering from a popularist, divisive consensus, of fanciful, asserted, ignorant, stupidity!

    • For me Corbyn is fatally incomplete, as are the people he most immediately surrounds himself with (this latter based on personal experience.) The problem is an understanding of industry/business beyond coal and steel.

      I have no problem with most of his policies at the moment. Tuition fees are a monstrous imposition on the young and will cripple lives for the poorer student. It is socially divisive without limit. Strategic re-nationalisations of some infrastructure/utilities is exactly where we need that longer term investment and a degree of dirigisme like the Chinese. But he may not manage to release the potential of the entrepreneur until he gets more sanguine about what old money businesses truly need to die and not be preserved as a social salve. I see very little understanding of economics and the levers they offer for change. (How can we create a banking system like the German one working with the Mittelstand sized companies? George Osbourne, onetime conservative chancellor of the exchequer, pushed for this but was thwarted by the time scales needed for such a culture change. Labour seems to shun policy making that could be mistaken for supporting wealth generation. ) His tacit support for Brexit covered by a feeble remain stance angers me now and speaks to a horrid populist pandering not consistent with a brave outward facing, modern Britain.

    • Just a note on benefit fraud. Of Benefit and Tax Fraud and excluding other criminal and business frauds which greatly exceed these two, benefit fraud is 8% of tax fraud. The poor perpetrate BF, the rich mostly TF. Fraudulent benefits are spent at the local supermarket buying food and clothes. It is re-injected into the economy. TF often is about money going off shore to be hidden. It is often taken out of the economy and benefits few in the taxing nation. The same will tend to apply to the grander frauds that dwarf both these two.

      All Fraud £73bn
      Tax Fraud £18bn
      Benefit Fraud £1.6bn

      Like immigrants (net a boon to the UK economy) benefit fraud is mostly a scare story used by the kleptocrats to distract from their own ongoing thefts and ensure they retain power creating unity through a mostly phantom enemy.

      President Nixon almost had it right. Universal Basic Income. Cheap to administer and exactly the way that tricks like quantitative easing should have been applied, rather than benefiting the rich who take money out of the economy as a habit.

      UK 2013 figures.

    • Olgun #147
      Jun 11, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Theresa May has demonstrated her abilities to throw away a firm stable position and trade it in for a worse one.
      Fortunately she has done this to the Tory party, – and some may take this as a warning and stop her and her brexiteers, from doing it to the country!

      Apparently and unsurprisingly, trying to get an agreement between the Tories and the religiously deluded Irish of the DUP, is taking some time and running into some difficulties!

    • Olgun

      How embarrassing that we are looking to the young to show the way!!

      In America [and Britain] the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
      Oscar Wilde

    • Interesting stuff from former NY attorney Preet Bharara who was also fired by Trump while he was investigating Trump associates in a similar way to Comey. Their stories seem to agree on many levels.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bharara-says-trump-phone-calls-made-him-uncomfortable/2017/06/11/53d4b090-4ebe-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpbharara-731pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.032cab9363e4

      He says Trump tried to cultivate a relationship with him too, kept phoning him inappropriately, Preet reported this to the AG’s office as he was not comfortable with it, then Trump fired him the day after Preet refused to take yet another phone call from Trump. This was in the midst of Preet investigating Tom Price’s share dealings which appeared to be insider trading.

    • Olgun

      Not sure myself, Olgun. Cynical, as always, I guess he means – and this is what I wanted to convey – that “experience”, as opposed to youthful naivete (in the best sense), is not always a good thing. That’s how I interpreted it. But he may have meant something else.

    • Does Price have conflicts of interest? Does Pruitt? The National Review says no. So the answer is yes. Conservative media is a hundred times more biased tha the so-called liberal media.

      Price, Pruitt, DeVos, Bannon, Spicer, et al., and Trump’s surrogates: agents of destruction.

      I can hardly repeat that phrase enough. It is the most apt description there is.

      We need campaign finance reform, and we need to lift the “biddable” people out of poverty, as Phil says, and improve the public school system, especially in the Red states, but across the board. We can do this!

      Arkrid, I’m not an engineer like you, but I share your feeling of frustration about not being able to fix something that is broken.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #151
      Jun 11, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      Interesting stuff from former NY attorney Preet Bharara who was also fired by Trump while he was investigating Trump associates in a similar way to Comey.

      There are improper defences to vested interests, hints of corruption, and attacks on the honest and competent all over this “swamp” administration!

    • In America [and Britain] the young are always ready to give to those
      who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
      Oscar Wilde

      Dan/Olgun, The irony is I took the known wit and often sarcastic/sardonic Wilde at his ‘word’. It read to me as if Wilde was poking fun at the young thinking they have all the answers. Idealism and naiveté is not the exclusive province of the young, but these attributes are cultivated in the young mind. Generally maturity changes these into more realistic worldviews.

      But Olgun’s link seems to disagree. In fact the ‘explanation’ [IN CONTEXT – THE AMERICAN INVASION] reads to me as almost satire. Implying that young boys and girls correct their parents in front of adults and strangers flies in the face of every parental convention I’ve ever read from that period of history (perhaps less so today). Take the opening salvo of the explanation: “From its earliest years every American child spends most of its time in correcting the faults of its father and mother […]” – this is surely satire. It seems to say that a toddler begins correcting her parents immediately; that this continues into childhood and obviously into adolescence. This is ridiculous on its face, particularly given the period.

    • Hi Olgun. I think you’ve been reading too much of Dan’s philosophizing (all due respect, Dan!) I agree with your interpretation if taken at face value, I’m merely saying I find it (that interpretation) preposterous! Are there young people that can teach us a thing or two? Of course! But to imply that ALL children of ALL adults have lesson upon lesson of their magical nascent wisdom to impart to their dim parents is simply ridiculous on its face. I will repeat verbatim this quote (my emphasis) – “From its earliest years every American child spends most of its time in correcting the faults of its father and mother […]” That’s just ridiculous. Simple as that. That’s really all I can read into it. Because the great Oscar Wilde said it does not make it so. He’s wrong.

    • Olgun, I was merely being rhetorical in a clumsy manner (including a clumsy jab at our friend Dan; philosophy is far too dusty a topic for me); I certainly mean you no offense. In fact it seems I’m the one who does not “understand”. Or I understand all too well and simply disagree. I can agree that parents can learn from their children in the manner you allude to with your last sentence. But that is an altogether different kind of learning than the one ascribed by Wilde (or interpreted/misinterpreted after the fact).

    • I agree, another learned opinion would be nice. Alas, it seems to be a slow news day here. What I find dusty others find exciting. Perhaps we need to talk about soiled Orthodox Jewish women’s panties?! That was [ahem] a joke…

    • If any further proof were needed of the full extent of Trump’s narcissism and mental instability you might want to force yourself to watch the 11 minutes of this video of Trump’s so called cabinet meeting today. It isn’t easy viewing. Trump started off by saying he’d achieved more in 143 days than almost any president in history and then forced every person in the room to give a little speech praising him and saying what an honour it was to work for him. You can imagine Kim Jong Un doing similar things and then executing anyone who doesn’t praise him lavishly enough with an anti-aircraft gun.

      http://us.cnn.com/2017/06/12/politics/donald-trump-cabinet-meeting/index.html

      Not a single person who works for Trump can have any shred of self respect left, if they had any to start with of course.

    • Arkrid,

      Yes Trump is like a petty dictator, has many of the same sensibilities and proclivities. Moreover, his policies suck. He is not a good man, and he needs to go, along with this hyper-capitalism (obsession with the free market), this current tidal wave of libertarianism (and racism is part of its history), which will eventually destroy us: our country and our economy.

      Olgun, Steve

      Thanks, Olgun. I was not familiar with the original article.

      I think an article or an aphorism or a play or a novel is good if there’s enough there to generate different interpretations and differences of opinion.

      There’s a marvelous dialogue, which was in a book I had; it was not quite the complete works of Wilde but had a lot in it. (Lent it to someone. Lost it.) But these two guys are having a very civil difference of opinion about age versus youth: one guy praises the young and expresses criticism of the old, whereas the other guy does just the opposite. What was interesting and funny is that all the arguments, from both characters, had a ring of truth to them – in spite of the fact that they kept contradicting each other.

      I suppose the young in this or any context is, or can be, a double-edge sword.

      I think it is safe to say that Wilde was enamored of youth – and I most definitely do not mean it that way.

    • I suspect that most people still don’t really understand everything that Trump is capable of or how far he is prepared to go to save his arse so I’m going to throw a few suppositions out. I have no doubt that Trump is already weighing up the possibility of firing Mueller, or at least ordering Rosenstein to do so, that if necessary and if he goes this route he’ll replace Rosenstein if he refuses to fire Mueller and go the full Nixon until he finds an AG who will obey him.

      Trump’s main concern seems to be Flynn and what he knows so his easiest way to get Flynn off the hook is to pardon him for everything that has or might have happened. The same might apply to everyone else accused of a crime such as Sessions and Kuschner for not listing meetings with Russians on their security clearance forms.

      It has never been tested but there seems to be the possibility that a President can pardon himself. Even if it is not clear one way or the other, Trump could just do it and force congress to prove otherwise. That would entail a legal case going up to the Supreme Court but let’s say Trump loses that case but simply ignores it, or indeed anything else Congress try to do such as impeachment. He’s protected by the Secret Service, he’s C in C of the armed forces. How do you physically remove him from office if he won’t go? What if in retaliation Trump gets his AG to charge everyone in Congress trying to impeach him with treason?

      In 4 years time what if Trump just refuses to leave office or let an election take place? Maybe he declares martial law, starts disappearing people who try to run against him. Appoints puppets who’ll just do his bidding to be Defense Sec and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and mobilises the army.

      On past performance we know that anytime Trump is attacked he doubles down, he has no morals so he has no limits to how far he’s prepared to go to win. I don’t doubt he’ll create a consitutional crisis without batting an eyelid, that he’ll use, and indeed exceed, every possible presidential power available to him and if necessary just claim presidential power if none exists. I think he’ll burn the country to the ground if necessary.

      I really wonder if the possibility exists of America becoming a dictatorship before enough people realise what is happening to stop it. That’s essentially what Russia is. People are being arrested in the hundreds at present for demonstrating against Putin. Maybe that’s what’s in store for people demonstrating against Trump.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #164
      Jun 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      It isn’t easy viewing.
      Trump started off by saying he’d achieved more in 143 days than almost any president in history, and then forced every person in the room to give a little speech praising him and saying what an honour it was to work for him.

      If we remove the delusional rosy-viewing bias blinkers, and move into objectivity mode, his statement is approximately correct!

      Trump started off by revealing he’d disrupted and destroyed more useful working systems in 143 days than almost any president in history, and then forced every selected sycophant yes-man in the room to give a little speech praising him and saying what an honour it was to work for him.

    • Hi folks. I’ve been rather quiet in here recently. Partly because of something in my own life which is weighing a bit but also because the situation in the USA is so depressing it’s getting harder to keep facing it and writing about it. It grinds you down over time. What Republicans are trying to do on healthcare, or tax cuts for the rich as it really is, is so appalling it just feels like a huge tsunami of evil rolling towards you and nothing you can do to stop it. The constant spin and lies, Trump now trying to blame Obama for not fixing the Russia situation he still won’t even admit exists. That would even seem to be an oxymoron but of course logic plays no part in any of this.

      There have been a couple of things I thought were interesting but never got round to posting about. A couple of weeks ago on one of the MSNBC shows, maybe Lawrence O’ Donnell but I can’t remember, there was a Republican congressman who had once been a climate change denier but is now fighting actively to try and prevent it. What changed him was his son telling him this was real and he’d better get his act together. What was fascinating was why he had always denied it though. One reason was he knew very little about it despite the reams of info which he had never bothered to look at. The main reason though was that Democrats were on one side of the issue so he was automatically on the other. Whatever they liked he hated just from a default position. Facts didn’t matter until his own son finally got through to him.

      This single case encapsulates for me almost the entirety of the partisanship and hatred which now exists in Republican politics since the Reagan era. It’s why they are so desperate to repeal Obamacare despite having nothing better to put in its place. In fact what they replace it with is almost irrelevant in terms of how many people they hurt in the process. A Democrat brought it into law and not just any old Democrat but a black, muslim Kenyan one and they hate him and everything he accomplished with a vitriol that defies description. If 20 million people lose their healthcare then tough because they want to erase everything Obama did from history.

      Obamacare was not so dissimilar to Romneycare which Republicans seem to have had no problem with and I’m sure that if Obamacare had been introduced by a Republican president they’d defend it to the hilt. But facts don’t matter. All that matters is Democrats are for it so they automatically hate it.

      In a political climate that is so partisan and vitriolic there can never be any meeting of minds across the aisle. Hatred of the other side drives everything for Republicans. A hatred so deep that even the possibility of collusion with Russians by their own side in what amounts to treason is less important than just opposing everything that Democrats want. A hatred so deep they’ll stick with someone as disgusting as Trump rather than put country first. Watching Marco Rubio sucking up to Trump now after what they said about each other during the campaign sickens me. The same with Ted Cruz. Gingrich attacking Mueller ferociously now after initially saying what an honest man he was and that hopefully everyone would just shut up and let him get on with his job.

      This is not just a matter of corrupt and evil politicans. It’s an electorate who feel the same way about the other side and enable the politicians to act as they do. It’s a cancer in society that needs to be cut out if things are to ever improve.

      This article today about the number of presidential appointees who have been convicted of crimes in both Republican and Democratic presidencies is enlightening.

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Senate/Maps/Jun26.html#item-7

      Since, and including, the Nixon years there have been 120 indictments and 89 criminal convictions of Republican presidential appointees. The score for Democrats is only 3 indictments and just a single conviction. Even if you exclude the Nixon years and Watergate there have been 44 indictments and 34 convictions for Republican presidential hirees from Gerald Ford onwards, the vast majority of those under Reagan and Bush 2. It’s hard not to conclude that Republicans appoint liars and crooks into office and that Democrats don’t. It’s also abundantly clear that this is what Trump is doing too and of course that he is both of those himself.

    • Nice piece.

      Best wishes, Arkrid.

    • Yes. Ditto. Well said, as always. That sort of commentary – the truth, basically – is not heard often enough on the news. And it’s nice to hear, for a change, something other than “both sides are too blame.” No.— Any democrat who supported any of the proposals that have been put forward by the Republicans since Trump got in would not be compromising; he or she would be engaging in something other than compromise, something more along the lines of doing harm to the people. But they would work with the Republicans if it seemed reasonable and right to do so. That can’t be said of the republicans.

      It’s a cancer in society that needs to be cut out if things are to ever improve.

      I posted an article and comment (43) recently on the Falwell thread about red states and how so many voters vote agains their own interests, and how we can perhaps remedy this over time. Not sure how good the comment is, but I am trying to come up with solutions; it’s so damned hard.

      (Phil, I wrote something on the Life Driven thread. You are under no obligation to read it. Just letting you know.)

    • Religion poisons everything but so does racism and the two things both work in very similar ways.

      Too simple, Arkrid, although I share your disgust with most of the aspects of religion that I know about. Religion does not poison everything – and if religions (plural) do, they poison in different ways, as there are different religions, cultures, contexts. Nor is religion similar to racism in all or even most cases. My friend, an African scholar and a late-Wittgensteinian, wrote this. It’s part of a longer message .

      “Try growing up in dire poverty in Nairobi in a Church – and – mosque – going society, then imagine that there are churches were even poor people can directly experience “revelation”: imagine that as a vehicle for the suffering, to band together as second-to-none in God’s eyes, and feel exalted. And assist one another. And perhaps to contest powers around them and make more of a space for their own autonomy.”

    • In rural areas, 42% see them as a burden while only 16% of city dwellers say that.

      Is that racism or ignorance (lack of education)? Or both? It’s both.

      This presidency is so fucked up it isn’t even funny! I’m sick of it, and sick of the complacent, gleeful, unencumbered reporters on TV. It almost seems like a conspiracy concocted by the devil to destroy the very soul of America, to poison its life blood, and to ultimately destroy us in a physical sense. (A lot of saber rattling right now vis-a-vis Syria, North Korea.)

      http://www.politicususa.com/2015/11/17/red-state-stupidity-confirmed-9-10-education-states-america-vote-republican.html

    • even poor people can directly experience “revelation”

      Yep. Get poisoned.

    • Yep. Get poisoned.

      Yes; I suppose you’re right.

      I just don’t like blanket statements like “religion poisons everything”; because we know that but they don’t. Perhaps this is one blanket statement that is true. Even so, it behooves us to try to understand why religion is “true” for so many, and to really dig deep, to try to penetrate into the inner meanings associated with this phenomenon – rather than just repeating the obvious, that “they” are all deluded and poisoned. It is an unpleasant and arduous task, but is to be preferred to issuing statements that are obvious to you and me, and to be preferred to continuous judgment and condemnation.

    • phil rimmer #179
      Jun 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      even poor people can directly experience “revelation”

      Yep. Get poisoned.

      Literally in the case of shamen and other users of psychedelic drugs – in addition to those immersed since childhood in “the opium of the masses”!

    • Another little insight into the deeply damaged Trump persona and that no matter how much we might like to think we understand how overwhelmingly huge his ego is it’s still probably even bigger than that. Hanging on the walls of his golf resorts in Scotland and the USA is a framed cover of the March 1st 2009 Time magazine issue with a photo of the Donald filling it and exultant headlines about his Apprentice show.

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Senate/Maps/Jun28.html#item-8

      Except there never was a March 1st 2009 issue of Time magazine. The cover is a fake and a rather badly done one at that. He who keeps ranting about fake news seems to have no problem creating it himself to laud his self perceived greatness. Mad as a box of frogs.

    • Dan,

      If I said Religion Contaminates Everything, perhaps it is easier to see what I think the real intent of the aphorism is. Poisoned to death is not the claim but degraded, lessened, infantilised, a natural humanity thwarted, etc. etc. It has gone everywhere, yet there is not a single virtue it once achieved in the long ago that cannot now stand proud on its own two feet. Its residuum just degrades a once noble history. GUT V1.0 (600BCE was its best before date.)

    • Phil,

      I agree. (I gave you a “like.”)

      I posted this before and no one commented. I think everyone should here this speech. It’s the most important political speech in 40 years. I’ll try again. He may go a bit too far, wants to abolish capitalism altogether; and he’s too critical of Obama and Hillary; but apart from that his remarks about Trump and his mad agenda are spot on; this is the truth; the bitter truth, Arkrid, Phil, Laurie, others, please check this out, if you can.

    • “Hear”, not “here”.

    • Dan

      I watched it the last time you posted it but will watch again when I get a minute tomorrow.

    • Paul Manafort has now registered retroactively as a foreign agent after admitting to receiving over $17 million for lobbying the USA on behalf of the Ukraine. Along with Flynn he’s now guilty of a felony for failing to register foreign interests in advance and declaring the earnings. So Mueller now has both of them firmly by the balls to turn witness against Trump if necessary. It’s not exactly looking good for Kushner either who shortly before election day got a $285 million loan from Deutsche Bank while they were embroiled in Russia money laundering accusations from NY state legislators. Maybe Kuschner did nothing provably wrong here but it’s curious how everything connected with Trump points to Russia. It boggles the mind though how both Manafort and Flynn thought they could get away without registering foreign interests and also work in a presidential campaign or even its administration under the full spotlight of media attention and not get found out. Are these people just stupid, or so arrogant they don’t think the law applies to them? I’m sure the latter is what Trump thinks but he seems to surround himself with people equally stupid and arrogant.

      However Manafort’s $17 million looks like chump change compared to what Trump’s latest lawyer appointment has just been found out on.

      http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2017/Senate/Maps/Jun29.html#item-8

      The Donald hired Jay Sekulow to, in essence, run his Russiagate PR campaign. Sekulow is not only a lawyer, but also a talk show host and frequent guest on right-wing television programs. Thus, he’s very smooth in front of a microphone or a camera. He’s also an activist, as leader of several ultra-conservative political PACs that raise money by targeting poor people and frightening them into making lots of small donations to combat the evil Muslims, or the evil undocumented immigrants, or the evil Obamacare, or whatever other nuisance is the evil do jour.

      On Wednesday, some very troublesome information was made public: Sekulow has reportedly steered a large amount of the money collected by his PAC Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE) to himself, to members of his family, and to their businesses. How much? A mind-boggling $60,000,000.

      In any event, this story immediately raises two questions. The first is: Does Donald Trump know anyone who doesn’t have major skeletons in their closet? The second question is: Does anyone in the White House understand how bright the spotlight on them really is?

      It seems every day there’s a new revelation that on its own would have been the major scandal of an entire presidential administration but for the Trump administration it’s just yet another horror story in a list that’s now so long we can barely keep up with it. One has to wonder if the Trump administration actually does any vetting at all of those who work for it or even in some incomprehensible twist if they only appoint crooks. I suspect there are very few honest men, if there are any of those left in American politics, who would want to work for Trump anyway.

      Meanwhile the average of two polls just conducted show that only 1 in 7 people (14%) approve of the Senate version of the healthcare bill. That means even most die hard Trump voters are against it. Republican state governors are also coming out against the bill now that the CBO has scored it as 22 million people losing their healthcare entirely over the next 10 years and it cutting $770 billion from Medicaid.

      So why did the House vote for, and now the Senate are pushing for, something that will cripple the country’s healthcare system, cause millions of deaths and you would hope guarantee that Republicans never get into office again in living memory? I have no answers. It’s beyond all comprehension for this Brit because we don’t have people in my country who think or act like Republicans do. It’s like an entirely different species to me, some sort of weird alien race I can never hope to understand. And yet there are still some congressmen who don’t want to vote for it because it’s not harsh enough!!

    • Arkrid Sandwich #188
      Jun 29, 2017 at 10:26 am

      It’s beyond all comprehension for this Brit because we don’t have people in my country who think or act like Republicans do. It’s like an entirely different species to me, some sort of weird alien race I can never hope to understand.

      I don’t want to be pedantic – BUT aren’t you forgetting that mini Trumpoid, and now Faux News political journalist: – Farage?

    • Arkrid

      Yes you do have people in your country that think like republicans do. I have met them and heard them. They are the ones that are over here. And I assume that there are quite a few “moral monsters” (James Baldwin) where you are, cut from the very same cloth as Bannon, Rand Paul, Cruz, Spicer, Trump, et al.

      I know a few people from the UK and have heard a few British reporters on Fox News and elsewhere who are as bad as any American.

      My former neighbor, a landlord, was from the UK; he was in love with Ayn Rand. He was a greedy libertarian, a sleaze bag (but kind of nice too, if you can believe it). Don’t kid yourself. The UK is not as sick as we are (different culture, history, system, etc.), but, at their worst, they are as bad as we are. They are out there. There’s a British guy on Fox news who is as bad as Hannity. You probably have nice friends and just haven’t had the displeasure of running into our Republican counterparts over where you are.

    • Look, of course there’s a few in the UK and other western democracies who aren’t that disimilar to the Republicans but it’s a few. There are 62 million over there who thought that electing president psychopathic 6 year old was a good idea.

      Talking of which it’s curious how the epithets that president 6 year old uses when he can’t control his tweet impulses any longer are ones that really apply to himself. “Low IQ crazy Mika”, “Psycho Joe”, “Crooked Hillary”. I wonder if deep inside him, the storm that rages inside Trump is caused more by self loathing than directed at those he attacks. However such psychobabble is not really my field of expertise.

    • Trump’s insanity and Russiagate are consuming so much oxygen that much of what is going wrong in other parts of government flies under the radar. Here’s a piece about how Tillerson is gutting the State Department to the point where after only a few months it’s almost totally disfunctional. He’s blocked all incoming hires of foreign service officers, blocked all lateral moves within departments and three people have to leave before one can be hired. Furniture from now empty offices litters the hallways.

      http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/29/how-rex-tillerson-destroying-state-department-215319

      As the article goes on to say, the reasons are unclear. America is not in a time of austerity, the recession is long past, unemployment is low and tax revenue high. Money is not in short supply. Nonetheless the very fabric of government itself is being dismantled. Maybe the savings are to go into more tax cuts for the rich as the USA closes its borders and bows out of all foreign involvement. I don’t imagine North Korea needs much of a state department either. Is that to be the future of the USA? A country hiding behind its own borders, no immigration, no participation in world affairs or climate change, a madman at the helm and his bunch of incompetent sycophants squabbling and bickering as Rome burns around them? They don’t know how to run a government so they just close it down instead?

      I suggest you all pay less attention to the things that are making the most noise and pay more to what Carson is doing at HUD, Devos at Education, Tillerson at State, Perry at Energy.

    • Arkrid,

      Yeah, you’re right; we’re much worse.

      What is Carson doing? I forgot about that creepy psychopath. I’ll look into it. And Devos? Price? How much destruction has there been while Trump deliberately distracts us all with his tweets?

      By the way – and I’ve said this before – Mika Brzezinski is the biggest jackass on TV. Bar none. Trump was wrong to say what he did. But we all know that he’s unfit.

      That being said, I really can’t stand that lady. She just says “yeah” and “right”, makes a semi-pertinent, short comment once in a while, and the rest of the time reads the prompter, checks herself out in the camera like she’s looking in the mirror, rolls her eyes, pouts, makes faces, looks self-conscious. She is so irritating, never says anything. And she gets paid big bucks. Watch that show some time if you can. She’s a joke. Is it on over there? And Joe is all over the place and keeps interrupting her (which is rude, even if she is an air head). I hate Morning Joe.

    • Dan

      I started watching Morning Joe a few years ago because I hated all of the other shows worse than M.J. so I guess that’s not much of an endorsement. I know you’ve said in the past that you weren’t a fan of Mika and that’s your opinion and that’s fine. Joe aggravates me everyday with his blustering and interrupting and off topic rants, but all in all, I still think the show is ok. Her eye-rolling doesn’t bother me because I think she has the patience of a saint to put up his mansplaining and talking over the top of her. I hope she IS well paid for that. I would have walked away from that table a hundred times.

      But anyways, setting all of our opinions aside, (because no one is holding a gun to our heads and forcing us to watch that show) I was taken aback by the new low that our ignorant pig of a President has displayed. I won’t say I’m surprised because his life-long record of treating women like sex objects is well established. The level of arrogant self entitled misogyny that Trump displays on a daily basis frightens me and I fear that we only see the tip of the iceberg on his bad behavior with women.

      I’m watching M.J. right now and Mika and Joe have just come on and made their statements about Trumps bizarre tweet storm against them. I thought she was very graceful about the whole thing. I hope American women are outraged by this attack of her but of course there will always be those gender traitors who jump right into victim blaming, complicit with the sadistic oppressive bullies like the one sitting in the oval office right now. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders making supportive statements and excuses for Trumps despicable behavior won’t be forgotten by women here. Trump is psychologically twisted. The whole thing was just ugly.

      After the segment of their reaction to the latest display of hate, the show has now moved on to important policy issues as they should. As Arkrid said in #192, these infantile outbursts are a distraction from the destructive actions going on everyday in D.C.

    • Here is an excellent article on why people vote Republican from someone who used to be one and then swapped sides. It throws a lot of light on something I have often said in here I struggle to understand as well as tips on how Dems can communicate with Repubs in ways that they may better understand.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/why-the-republican-brand-is-so-strong-where-i-live

      So, here is why your friend voted for Trump. She was voting for the perceived Republican Brand, not for Trump.

      The Republicans have done an excellent job of defining their party in terms of class and social status. This status is primal and tribal. It is not easily shaken. Here are four components that underlie Republican Party affiliation:

      1. Perceived Affluence—If you were born into wealth, Republicanism is a family tradition and, frankly, an obligation. If you weren’t, voting Republican suggests an economic class status that is free to obtain.

      2. Power Association—If you are a Republican, you need no one. The brand conveys that you are quite capable of going it alone and succeeding. The feeling of strength that comes with that is intoxicating, even if it is not remotely true.

      3. Economic Justice—Republicans are convinced that Democrats want to take taxpayers’ hard-earned resources and give them to the undeserving out of misguided sympathy. The favor in this perceived redistribution effort is intolerable to Republicans.

      4. Faith Fortification—The Republican Brand is seen as an imprimatur of the faithful. It is a stamp of Christian fidelity, regardless of any actual ascription to Christian principles.

      This makes a lot of sense to me. Some of the things that I constantly see being criticised about Dems are they can’t shake off the image of being wishy-washy liberals, they are weak, they always seem to only manage to bring a knife to a gun fight, Repubs vote in lockstep, organise and get things done, Dems vote their conscience and thus divide and conquer themselves.

      Reading this article and then thinking about it and writing about it has caused me to consider this. On points 2 and 3 above about Power and Economic Justice it strikes me that underlying a lot of Repub philosophy is actually something very Darwinian and “survival of the fittest”. That the strong should succeed on their own merits and the weak shouldn’t get handouts or social care, they should be left to die out and leave the strong to improve the general fitness of the species. How extraordinarily ironic then that such a philosophy should be espoused by people who in the main don’t even believe in Darwin because their faith, Point 4, makes that impossible for them.

      So this suggests an entirely different strategy in trying to persuade Repubs why the Trumpcare bill is so bad. Instead of whining it will take away healthcare from 22 million people which I suspect most of them don’t give a damn about as long as they aren’t one of the 22 million how about the argument that a strong and inclusive healthcare system makes a for strong, fit and productive workforce? That in turn leads to full employment and high tax revenues which can then be spent on the military so that the USA can crush all the other puny humans. World domination could be within reach again with a healthcare system that turns every American into a superhero, a paragon of fitness, capable of doing two full time jobs instead of just one. Americans who can dig coal faster than anyone in the world. Americans who can drill for oil in the harshest terrain and fell mighty redwoods with a single blow. Americans who can lift and assemble the huge lumps of wrought iron and gas guzzling V8 engines that are needed to build proper cars like daddy drove in the 50s not the flimsy little ricemobile imports they are stuck with today. All this could be yours but for the lack of an inclusive healthcare system.

    • Arkrid

      Regarding how to talk to Trumpists about health care:

      When trying to discuss universal healthcare with the super capitalist free market Trump crowd I’ve had some success with the idea that if they really are as pro-business as they say they are then why are they supporting the idea of job based health insurance? As a former small business owner I can say that all of the paperwork and financial responsibilities of dealing with employee health care plans is a drain on the business in time and money. How can we compete with international companies that have all of this taken care of by their governments? Entrepreneurs here in the States are being strongly discouraged by all of this health insurance red tape and financial responsibility. If only all American citizens and residents would chip in and take the onerous business of health insurance away from our beleaguered small business owners then just think of how American businesses would surge ahead! American insurance companies are really the great evil here. They’re profiting handsomely by preying on our ingenious young entrepreneurs.

      Conclusion: If we really do support our excellent Capitalist free market system then we need to remove the burden of health care from the companies both large and small and make the free loaders chip in and pay for their own health care insurance. (Do not say the word “taxes”).

      This conversation is aimed at the very people described in comment 196. Personally, I have a different view of why universal health insurance is necessary. It has to do with human rights and compassion and good management policy.

    • Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski now allege that three White House officials at different times tried to blackmail them into stopping attacking Trump or face damaging articles about themselves in the Enquirer magazine.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40458145

      Allegedly the WH officials said these stories could be made to “go away” if the couple fell into line. If any of this proves to be true it’s an outrageous abuse of the Executive branch power but it seems all too likely given Trump’s usual standards of behaviour and paranoid delusions.

    • Laurie 194

      I thought she was very graceful about the whole thing.

      Yes, I acknowledge all your points. There are worse shows. I simply am too distracted by her facial expressions, her weird way of looking into the camera, etc., to enjoy the show. I turn it on once in a while. I saw the segment where the statement was delivered too. Even that seemed scripted. She’s too dumb to even make a statement on the fly. She wasn’t graceful; she is unencumbered and in over her head, seemed jubilant that morning after Trump had won in spite of her claiming to “be a democrat”, i.e. maybe caring about the issues.

      Trump’s tweets and Huckabee’s daughter defending the Don and Conway too and and all of this shit (reactionary politics gone mad, healthcare, class warfare, etc.) is starting to really depress and anger me in a serious way! And it has now entered my dreams. I dream of tanks and bombs now quite often, like I am in a goddamned war or something. Prophetic? “God” help us.

      (Mika might be intelligent and nice in real life but she should find some other kind of work, imho. And Trump is a sexist; but hell, we all knew that.)

      Happy 4th, Laurie. Stay cool.

    • I’ve been listening to reports about the guy now working for Trump who is, apparently, committed to the great cause of voter suppression. And Sessions! It all makes sense now. I had a moment of clarity. Trump’s statement: “three million voted illegally” was not Trump being a buffoon; he is part of a conspiracy, led, presumably, by Bannon, to destroy our social state. This has been long in the making. They do not believe in Democracy.

      Far right radicals, with the aid of the religious right, are attempting to subvert our democracy. Propaganda and voter suppression, denigration of the press, lies, and the blurring of reality and unreality: all the classic marks of incipient fascism, tyranny, oligarchy, authoritarian regimes, totalitarian societies… Call it what you will. It’s all of those things. How much harm can they do? would the harm be irreversible? and can our system of checks and balances protect us? I don’t know. But these people are extremely dangerous and nefarious. A crisis is what it is; and most people are just driving their cars and drinking beer. That’s how it always is. The illusion of normalcy… Why is every reporter on CNN and MSNBC smiling? Come on; no more kidding around. Let’s get serious. (That means you too, Alec Baldwin. Your impression isn’t funny anymore. Not to me, it isn’t.) The reporters should be frowning! Frown once in a while! Cry! Scream! Let it out! This is horrible! I hear that the number of people who will lose their health insurance is now over thirty million, according to the CBO’s latest calculation…

      If Justice Kennedy retires under our would-be fuhrër, worse evils than the travel ban (just the beginning) will befall us.

      Where’s the outrage? Where?

    • Dan

      I agree that the M. Joe statement was scripted. I expected that and I would have done the same thing. I think they were being very careful about the wording and had decided ahead of time just what would be disclosed and what would not. No matter what we think of Mika (I like her just fine) she came off as a victim and Trump came off as an infantile misogynist and I’m pleased as punch about that.

      Can you believe what a caustic ass Conway was about this whole incident? I can’t even stand to look at her when she talks and then she goes and praises Trump for “hitting back even harder”. I can’t even express what a treacherous vile person she really is. And then there’s Ivanka the dainty princess who claims to be an advocate for women’s rights – give me a break. She’s an advocate for wealthy women who want to rake in a few more million bucks but poor women with too many kids, no education and no medical insurance? Then she’s nowhere to be found.

      starting to really depress and anger me in a serious way!

      Yes I agree. Dan, is this how the Obama haters felt for eight years? Is it the same thing? I don’t want to turn into those haters. Tanks and bombs? That seems like a guy thing but I do have a certain appreciation for the nice neat Utilitarian solutions in this life. What would Jeremy Bentham do? I feel the old man glaring at me right now from his auto-icon display over there at the University. Present but not voting.

    • LaurieB #202
      Jul 1, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Can you believe what a caustic ass Conway was about this whole incident? I can’t even stand to look at her when she talks and then she goes and praises Trump for “hitting back even harder”.

      I’ve seen that sort of attitude before, – but that was when I was in playgrounds, separating squabbling naughty children from problem families!

    • Laurie,

      Tanks and bombs! No, Laurie, let me explain; you misunderstood me as I wasn’t being clear. I was not suggesting military action when I mentioned my now recurrent dream; I am violently opposed to war; I am a frightened victim in the dream, not a soldier. In the dream I am hoping I am not blown to smithereens. (Funny how I am always looking out the window in my dream and viewing the war stuff from my old building (9E), the place I grew up. One time I saw a mushroom cloud!)

      A guy thing? Yes and no. Don’t kind yourself; a lot of female war mongers out there too, unfortunately. Not as many, I hope.

      Hatred is bad in itself. Or is it? As Melville said, only fools hate. But it’s just a word; it’s all about context. One can hate racism and sexism; that does not make one a “hater” like the Obama haters. This is semantics; and you’re right; one can let hate poison one – even of one is right minded and just. You raise interesting points, make me think.

      “Violently opposed to war.” Do you think that would have made my hero Mr. Wilde smile?

      Bentham? Who’s he?

      Just heard a conservative schmuck talking about that ancient lie again: the free market. Yup; the free market’s gonna take care of everything! Bullshit!

    • Dan

      Yes I saw someone parroting the same old free market crap on TV today. What the hell is wrong with these people? Just try telling them that free market is fine for some things but not for everything – like health care, easy example. They look at you like you’ve got two heads. Do they even try to consider different solutions to a problem? They seem incapable of dealing with any thought that doesn’t fit into their safe little boxes. Fear based thinkers.

    • Did you see this? I think it’s a mistake to focus too much on Trump as he is part of something much larger than he is as an individual. But he is unhinged and deranged, not mentally capable of carrying out his duties as president.

      http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/02/media/president-trump-cnn-video/index.html

    • AGENTS OF DESTRUCTION!

      (I hope the wise and discerning Hillary-hating Bernie or Bust folks are feeling rueful and sick.).

      WASHINGTON — In the four months since he took office as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or otherwise block more than 30 environmental rules, a regulatory rollback larger in scope than any other over so short a time in the agency’s 47-year history, according to experts in environmental law.

    • I don´t really see why everybody is so upset about medling from without.. The USA have been medling in other countries politics since there is a USA.. And not always with the intended effect…
      We just have to wait for this blistering idiot to do something unlawfull and hope he gets impeached (but what will we get in return… President Pence… That´s not really a win-win-sizuation, or ist it?)

    • Further analysis on the #213 link:

      Analysis: A grim situation for Trump Jr

      Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

      Whether by plan or happenstance, Donald Trump Jr is stumbling into an increasingly dire situation.

      The pattern has been set.
      The New York Times runs a story, Trump Jr issues his response, then the noose tightens.

      First he said the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was about adoption issues. Then the Times reports that Trump Jr thought he would learn damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

      The presidential son says he was conducting routine opposition research. Then the Times reports that he was told it was the Russian government itself that was coming to his father’s aid.

      In a traditional campaign, a foreign government’s attempt to offer incriminating information about an opponent – or even the hint of such an overture – would set off all kinds of alarms. The FBI would have been notified. Senior staff would have insulated themselves from incrimination.

      The Trump team was not a conventional campaign. And time and time again, it made novice mistakes or, more ominously, took unprecedented risks.

      Its candidate prevailed, but it has led to countless political headaches. Now it appears the president’s own family, and his presidency itself, could be in peril. They have only themselves to blame.

    • Anti theist preacher

      I love the whole Russia meddling topic. Maybe we’ve meddled too, but I don’t know if we’ve used cyber warfare the way the Russians have. The whole purpose of this investigation is to establish collusion. Along with that will be exposure of obfuscation and lies: Trump and members of his inner circle and campaign will be exposed as the liars and hypocrites that they are. And even if Pence gets in, some of those arrogant and angry people that supported Trump and believe everything he says and look upon the investigation as a “witch hunt” because that’s what they heard him say, will be beaten into submission, will learn some humility after they realize that they were led by the nose. Maybe exposure of collusion, lies, and a coverup, will make them question their own stubborn refusal to question what they hear, make them think twice about their loyalty to a demagogue and a liar when the recognition dawns on them that that’s what they voted in. Maybe they’ll question their own judgment for a change, so that next time around they will be a little wiser and the rest of us will be a little better off.

      Or maybe it’ll accomplish nothing. I hope it weakens the Republicans a little.

      At the very least we’ll be able to say: remember Trump? You thought he was going to make America great again….

    • Now Trump, that disgusting deputy press secretary (who is very religious, just like her old man Huckabee), and Fox News (The Goebbels channel) are trying to present yet another false equivalent by distorting a report from Politico, and saying that an operative with the DNC was “colluding” with the Ukraine to get info about Manafort. More deflection. Sociopaths do that. This is sociopathic behavior. I like the phrase “whataboutism”.

      It’s important to remember that what’s ultimately concerning about Russiagate is the possibility that the Trump campaign—including staffers now employed in the White House by the president—worked with a hostile government whose leaders attempted to influence and disrupt the election with cyberattacks. The Chalupa story is about officials in an embassy passing along opposition research to a Democratic operative and reporters. The two episodes are not close to being the same, but that fact obviously won’t stop Trump’s supporters from deploying the story for yet another round of Clinton whataboutism. (Slate, Osita Nwanevu, July 11)

    • It’s been three weeks since I posted in this thread and as could probably have been predicted back then the Trump administration just lurches from one crisis to another in a display of incompetence and mendacity that boggles the mind. Uday, or is it Kusay, Trump junior, changes his story about the Russian lawyer meeting so many times I’ve lost count. Alternatively he has either never had any meetings with Russians set up for him, he has but they were only about adoptions of babies, ok Clinton was mentioned but no information about her was ever provided, yes there was a meeting but it was purely for opposition research, ok dirt about Clinton was the whole point of the meeting and he was delighted about that especially “later this summer”.

      It’s clear to any onlooker that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Trump junior lies as easily and as ludicrously as Trump senior with one fatuous story after another coming in quick succession. This is obviously an entire family who believe that if you have enough money then the rules that apply to most people don’t apply to you and lying, deflecting and obfuscating are just part of the game. As more and more details emerge, the number of people at that meeting has now grown to eight including Manafort and Kushner, both of whom also “forgot” to mention it in their government disclosure forms.

      Meanwhile Jeff “I don’t recall” Sessions whose memory seems to be as poor as his grasp of the truth is revealed once again to be a consumate liar in his own right. It seems he did discuss the Trump campaign and potential Russia / America relations with ambassador Kislyak despite repeatedly claiming to have not done. Given that Trump has just also thrown Sessions, one of his staunchest allies, under the bus for recusing himself from the Russia investigation it may be that a presidential pardon for Sessions is not on the cards although he joins the ever growing list of people who are likely to need one.

      The cruel, evil and disgusting health care bill which would take health care away from tens of millions of people has died for now it seems although even a small change in the membership of the Senate might see it struggle back to life and John McCain’s own health could play a part here. A while back I opined that his bizarre display in a senate hearing appeared to be incipient dementia rather than merely tiredness as he claimed and we now find out it may well have been symptoms of the brain tumour he’s just been diagnosed with.

      Melissa McCarthy is now apparently out of a job after Sean Spicer resigns in a huff. It’s hard to blame him either. He’s lied his little cotton socks off for Trump for 6 months now, utterly destroyed his own credibility and all he’s got for it is to be replaced by financier Scaramouchio Fandango who has no experience of communications roles but lies as fluently as anyone else associated with Trump from the few appearances of his I’ve seen on tv.

      And what of the big dog himself? The big, fat, orange, bald, combover queen who has barely had a mention in my ramblings so far which makes a change. Well his behaviour continues to disgust, appall, nauseate and repel all of us who are even remotely sane as of course it always will. Expert analysis of his bizarre speech patterns in recent interviews reveals even more deterioration in his linguistic ability which is now down to, or even below, that of a small child at times. It seems to vary a lot which is not unusual in dementia but at its worst Trump is now utterly incomprehensible. This can’t have escaped the notice of those close to him and perhaps medical investigation has already taken place.

      His treatment of those who have suppported him is astonishing. His recent lambasting of Sessions, replacement of Spicer, shake ups in his legal team make you continue to wonder why anyone would support this evil capricious whackjob when you can’t rely on his own support any further than you could spit a rat. As per usual he blames everyone and everything but himself, the very wellspring of all that goes wrong in his own particular orbit. Everything he touches turns to shit because he’s utterly incompetent, clueless, stupid, erratic and completely devoid of self control. He undermines his legal team with every tweet, rarely opens his mouth other than to change feet and barges from crisis to crisis like a bull in a china shop. In six months of governance he has achieved precisely nothing apart from cracking down on law abiding immigrants as swarms of ICE teams rip Mexican and other immigrant families apart, and putting climate change action back for what could be decades.

      Actually maybe that’s not quite true. What he has in fact achieved is to make chaos the new normal. Behaviour that would have led to impeachment in earlier times and stunned the American people to their core is now just a daily occurence. Lies that would set any honest man’s pants on fire fall from his lips every time he opens his mouth. All inconvenient truths are now Fake News and all incomprehensible lies are now Fake Truths in what has become the first Fake Presidency. The free world is now led by a madman and not even a vaguely competent madman. Just a madman, with a mental age of about 6.

      There’s a saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. How many times have Trump supporters now been fooled and what does that say about them?

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      It’s nothing short of a coup.

      The Trump presidency is a bona fide conspiracy; we are being taken over by traitors, a hostile enemy, domestic terrorists, from within the US itself. They want to seize everything. No more government funding for anything: research, social and cultural programs, health services… No more “handouts.” It’s all about increasing the wealth and power of the few.

      Trump is not fake; he is all too real. So are all the other despots and oligarchs – past and present.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #222
      “There’s a saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. How many times have Trump supporters now been fooled and what does that say about them?”

      That they’re brainwashed (nearly?) beyond redemption, like religious nut-cases (which many of them may be anyway). They have been screwed over royally by Alzheimer Ronnie, by Newt and his band of thugs, by Deserter Dubya, by the scum who won (putsched in?) the 2010 midterm elections, and now with Duhnald, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Cognitive dissonance on a cosmic scale. I usually do not make such sweeping statements, but as far as I can see, there are only two types of Trump voters: putrid criminals and putrid morons. The former are the very, very much smaller group, but they desperately need the gullible morons. Whatever mental diarrhea the latter have been fed, it seems to have had the equivalent effects of a lobotomy removing the higher brain functions.

      “It seems to vary a lot which is not unusual in dementia but at its worst Trump is now utterly incomprehensible. This can’t have escaped the notice of those close to him and perhaps medical investigation has already taken place.”

      Even the Roman Curial “church” has provisions for removing a pope in the case of insanity (don’t ask me for details about how this is to be determined, and the removal then effected – there’s these Swiss Guards in the Vatican …). The Founding Fathers probably never imagined anyone so deranged as having a snowball’s chance in hell to get elected president. Now in Germany, while a doctor is allowed to consign someone to a psychiatric institution, this consignment must be confirmed by a judge from the appropriate court within 24 hours or so. And judges do this on weekends if it is necessary, as I know from personal experience. As far as I know, this is not necessary in the US, the doctor can act on his / her own authority. But what to base such a decision on? (The guy has access to the freakin’ nuclear briefcase!) I just don’t see Duhnald submitting to a psychiatric examination. And I have had the misfortune of witnessing the slow descent into dementia of a loved one, in retrospect the first symptoms may have shown themselves nine years before consignment became inevitable. But there was a huge difference between the beginning and the end of those nine years. Now with Duhnald being a raging lunatic in his “normal” behavior (or perhaps it has already become abnormal even for him?), how does one detect the differences that clearly point towards the need for serious medical treatment? Which doctor would dare put this lunatic in the loony bin where he belongs? (Is redecorating the Oval Office with padded walls a realistic alternative?)

      And P.S. The Republican Party ended up with a presidential candidate who entered the primaries a bit late, but then managed to bamboozle the pathetic US media (listed currently as 43rd on the Press Freedom Index, having been as low as 53rd during Dubya’s time, was occasionally better – 20th – in Obama’s early times, then going as low again as 49th later on – the frothing-at-the-mouth Obama bashing led by the Goebbels Channel aka Fox News) into slavering at his every outrageous statement (RATINGS!!!) that left even some right-wing nutcases flabbergasted. The guy was 70 at the time. But. Barack Obama is now 55. The best that the Democratic Party could come up with is a (then) 69-year-old woman and a 73-old man?!?!? I mentioned the pope above. Fer cryin’ out loud, this was a US presidential election, not a conclave in the Sistine Chapel!!!!!

    • Dan #223
      “It’s all about increasing the wealth and power of the few.”

      In one word, neo-feudalism. Rule of the criminal parasites. That sharp-bladed thingy that came into fashion during the French Revolution sure looks like a desperately needed tool to save the US more and more. Do you send a dog infested with rabies to a dog psychologist?

    • There’s an interesting article in the WaPo about rural voters, many of whom are oblivious to the horrors of the Trump administration we write about in here every day. People who are simply not concerned with non-local news, who maybe don’t even have internet because broadband doesn’t always even reach these areas.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-trump-country-russia-just-isnt-big-news-heres-why/2017/07/21/8514f49e-6cc3-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.d1df526aa3ed

      As one diner in an Ohio restaurant said of the Trump – Russia controversy, he’d not heard anything about it. That’s taking low information to a whole new level but it is maybe not as surprising as you might think. I have to spend hours a day trying to cover every aspect of the Trump Presidency. No matter how many news sites and MSNBC programs I watch there’s always something I’ve missed and often it’s my electoralvote.com website that fills in the blanks each day for me. It’s an invaluable resource. But how many people have the time or inclination to follow all this news? Many no doubt follow none of it at all and if they do they’ll maybe only see Fox News and never get a true picture of what’s going on.

      Of course the last thing the Republicans want is an informed electorate, either in terms of news, climate change, science or just general education because informed voters are much harder to fool. What they want is religious idiots. Pliable, malleable, stupid, poorly informed.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Arkrid, Grumpy, others

      The Russia issue is highly significant. I don’t agree with Chomsky that it isn’t. But Chomsky is half right in so far as there is something else going on that is even more significant, and that is this:

      It’s essentially about returning to a gilded age and thus creating a living hell for the excluded – and hiring agents of destruction to take over the agencies they have been assigned to. Pruitt and Devos et al. are nothing more than plants. Their job is circumvention, making sure that these agencies receive no federal funding. That is what it is about. If I may be allowed to quote myself it’s about “destroying federal funding and the programs along with it in order to create god knows what, a hell on earth where the wealth of the few is increased at the expense of everyone else…”

      “It’s about bigoted, corrupt, inhumane wealthy elites gaining ascendancy. Nothing particularly new, but shocking none the less. (Never thought they could pull it off. I think they can – from the looks of things.)”

      Meanwhile, the gleeful corporate media, with the help of the Republicans, who basically support their great and beneficent leader, Trump’s surrogates, and The Goebbels Channel and Sinclair, and the slick new communications director, will lull the low-information public into tranquility and acquiescence.

    • Honest Abe’s old saw about not being able to fool all of the people all of the time (and some always, all sometimes). I find it hard to believe that he did not see the utter irrelevance of all-all. That some-always is all that criminal politicians need. And maybe he couldn’t imagine that there was a fourth case. Assuming the three cases above to be something needing to be convinced (or not) during an election campaign, there is then the mass of ignorant morons who need no fooling during a campaign, they are brainwashed quasi-lobotomized zombies that no Republican campaigner needs to waste effort on fooling.

      My hypothesis is that this only works for the Republicans. I have a vague memory about reading that Hillary Clinton neglected to campaign in some states that her advisors considered to be secure blue states. Some blue voters there had at least enough mental capacity to be fooled by Duhnald’s tsunami of lies – but this hypothesis assuming people were merely fooled does not take into account that the Republicans may have been up to their dirty tricks that they have been perfecting since Florida 2000, as then uncovered by Greg Palast. His take is that Duhnald and his criminal minions stole the 2016 election at least as brazenly as Dubya’s criminal minions did way back when. Perhaps even with outside help that Dubya could only have dreamed of.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      This constant cry from Trump about fake news disqualifies him from being the president, as it is hurting the public. But I don’t know if that’s a legal argument. And impeachment is a political process.

      He should be proud of himself: he is just like Saddam Hussein and other fascist dictators in this regard – denying everything, blaming others, pointing the finger. Trump wants total control. It’s sickening that we have to deal with this shit now instead of having people in the White House and Congress who are progressive and humane and who can really be of service and come up with real solutions to the problems we’re facing as a nation.

      The scum that work for and around Trump are moral monsters. Scaramucci who professed his “love” for Trump repeatedly on camera the other day, is a good, slick little Nazi.

    • Dan

      Did you catch this clip on Maddow last Friday?

      Ethics isn’t something this administration is emphasizing.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Laurie

      I missed most of Friday’s show. I did see the interview with Walter Shaub on Wednesday, I think, and enjoyed hearing what he had to say very much. A good, decent, well spoken, capable man. I wish him success.

      “The current situation has made it clear that the ethics program needs to be stronger than it is. At the Campaign Legal Center, I’ll have more freedom to push for reform. I’ll also be broadening my focus to include ethics issues at all levels of government.”

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Re Propaganda

      Very serious. Dire. None of us in the US have seen anything like this in our lifetimes. Nazi style propaganda, state run media (!), lies on a continuous basis from Trump himself and the cowards, thugs and sycophants (brown nosing brownshirts) that speak on his behalf.

      The truest think Joseph Goebbels ever said:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

      The lies they are telling and repeating about the Affordable Care Act are SICK. Sanders is right: this bill, if passed, would be as bad as 9/ 11. An attack from within of the same magnitude (if not worse). It would be another 9/ 11.

      We all know Fox:

      Fox & Friends: The market is soaring because investors don’t believe “fake news” about Trump colluding with Russia.

      @jessebwatters on @DonaldJTrumpJr meeting with Russian attorney: “I believe Don Jr. is the victim here.” #TheFive

      @KatrinaPierson: “This whole Russia nonsense is a hoax. We still to this day have not seen the DNC server that they claim was hacked.”

      Now get ready for Sinclair.

      https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/07/18/don-t-be-fooled-sinclair-trying-bring-fox-news-model-your-local-news-station/217296

      Over the last few months, Sinclair has been requiring its stations to run more commentaries from pro-Trump personalities and expanding its reach to greater numbers of unassuming viewers in new local media markets. Now it’s defending these clear moves to mimic the aspiring state media over at Fox with warped, brainwash-y logic: The conservative propaganda it pushes on its viewers is necessary because the rest of the media is biased.

    • Well who would have thunk it, the man who lies pathologically about everything also lies and cheats about his golf.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2017/08/02/dc3502d6-77be-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-d%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e91e87bf85b3

      Trump moves his ball if it’s in a bad lie, drives his golf cart onto the greens, frequently puts another ball down and plays a second shot if his previous one went astray and then pretends the bad shot never happened, lies about his handicap, his round scores and claims to have won 18 championships although not a single one of those could be verified by the reporter.

      Of course we could have guessed all this without the article because Trump’s essential pathology has been revealed for all to see by the spotlight of attention on him for the last couple of years. He fails at almost everything he does but the bigger the fail the bigger the lie he needs to claim how great everything went.

    • Politico has published the full transcript of an interview Trump gave to the Wall St Journal on 25th July, the day after his atrocious and inappropriate speech to the Boy Scouts.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/01/trump-wall-street-journal-interview-full-transcript-241214

      It’s clear from the rambling and inarticulate Trump responses to questions that he has almost no grasp of any current topics, struggles to remember people’s names and turns many questions back to talking about his rallies and how huge the crowds were and how great his speeches were. However the bat shit crazy point which suggests dementia or that he no longer has any grip on reality at all is where he claims the following.

      In respect to his speech the previous day to the scouts and a comment from a WSJ reporter that the reaction to this was “mixed” Trump got very animated.

      from the time I walked out on the stage — because I know. And by the way, I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there. That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.

      And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful. So there was — there was no mix.

      Funny then how the Scouts denied anyone called Trump after the event and the actual head of the Scouts wrote to his members 2 days later apologising for the inappropriate nature of the Trump speech they had been forced to listen to.

      Trump also claimed recently that the President of Mexico phoned him to congratulate him on his border policies. The sheer improbability of this boggles the mind but if there were any remaining doubt the President of Mexico responded that they had not had any phone calls for a month.

      We all know that Trump lies pathalogically but lying about imaginary phone calls from people who are actually alive and can be asked to rebut his claims suggests more than just pathology. Sociopaths and psychopaths are generally very good liars but Trump seems to live in a fantasy world of his own making where these lies are his truths but in the real world they make no sense.

      So we have to ask ourselves, just how dangerous could a man who lives in a dream world be if some sort of major shit hits the fan in the real world, like with N Korea or Syria or Russia and Trump just retreats into his fantasy place and either presses the red button or simply can’t deal with reality at all any more? Electoralvote.com had this yesterday.

      Continuing with the John Kelly theme, Newsweek reports some very interesting news about the new chief of staff. It would seem that, while he was serving as Secretary of Homeland Security, he and Secretary of Defense James Mattis coordinated their schedules, such that one or the other would always be near Donald Trump. That way, should the President ever be tempted to launch a military or nuclear strike, there would be an experienced, high-ranking military officer available to discuss it with him (and, ideally, to talk him out of it). Presumably the arrangement will continue, and will be even easier to execute, now that Kelly is in his new job.

      I have to wonder if the real reason Kelly took the thankless task of becoming Chief of Staff to a deranged person was to try and protect his country and the world from what Trump might do to it.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Danger! Danger! Nazi style propaganda machine on the rise. Trump’s own personal propaganda machine. He is taking credit for job creation numbers and the rise in the stock market, etc, – but jobs were rising and the stock market was rising before he took office, very deceptive. (This is the beginning of a bitter struggle for the survival of American Democracy. Perhaps the war is already over. This is online, only the beginning. Wait until the right wing, Trump supporting Sinclair conglomerate controls a huge, unprecedented amount of local TV stations across the country. That is scheduled to happen by the end of the year. People will turn on the news and won’t even know that it is being controlled by right wing political propagandists.)

      Look at this repugnant fascist, this sick jerk:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA6CzW-S8VE&t=4s

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Alt right, Breitbart, Birtherism, Bannon, Gorka, Miller, “Make America Great Again”, travel ban, Sessions, voter suppression, the new legal immigration policy, the wall, Charlottesville, “violence on all sides“…

      Anyone out there still not convinced that Trump is one of the most hateful men in the world and that this is a racist administration?

      Enough is enough!!! No more!!!! There has to be a legal way to remove these thugs from power. Goddammit!

      Pharmaceutical ads now. Jesus! One after the other. Sometimes I HATE America!!

    • Dan

      The alt-right just showed their true colors in Virginia today. Let’s see who will continue to support them and who will finally break ranks. Let’s see if Bannon takes the fall for this one.

    • Hello Dan, Laurie, Phil, Alan,,,,,,,
      Well, we all saw this coming. I am somewhat encouraged by the response by the locals in Virginia.
      I hope this does enlighten some who thinks this “alt-right” is not anything more than than the KKK.
      I already had a run in with a jerk who came around from in back of me in parking lot and swerved in front.
      He was carrying a firearm (open carry here) and asked me if I wanted to do anything about it.
      Little does he know I know the Police chief and half of the officers, and several council members.
      I just laughed at him.
      This is getting to the point where the worst fears we could have guessed is coming true.
      Three people were murdered today by the driver of the Dodge. He will be up for triple murder charges and may get capital punishment. That will anger the KKK types more.
      We are not far from a civil war. The constitution is failing to remove a dictator, we are extremely close to thermal nuclear war, we have a White House with traitors owned by Russia.
      Huh………….Couldn’t we have just a few more years of peace, (such as it was) before I die?
      I’ll try to be quick.

    • alf

      The words “domestic terrorism” are being used in connection with white supremacist and neo-nazi on CNN. Finally they’re telling it like it is. The interviews feature guests using strong language against the response by Trump, the enabler. This nasty incident will be a litmus test for politicians and citizens too. This was really beyond the pale. I hope we get results.

    • I think the people who voted for Trump have been clinging desperately to a number of things which they can no longer pretend might happen. Firstly that Trump’s vindictivenesss and viciousness was just campaign trail rhetoric but it’s very clear now that he really is a revolting slug all the time as the Australian parliament branded him.

      Secondly that his absurd campaign promises had some reality to them and he’d abide by them. They can now see that health care for everybody at a “fraction of the cost of Obamacare” turned into health care both getting far more expensive and also being ripped away from over 20 million poor people entirely to give tax cuts to the mega rich, that there is unlikely to ever be a wall and even if so then Mexico isn’t going to pay for it. He said he’d be too busy to play golf again for 4 years. He’s played every 5 days on average and wasted much of the rest of his time at rallies with the faithful. It’s not apparent that he’s ever done any actual work.

      Thirdly that he’d rise to the dignity of the office but the word dignity is apparently not in his vocabulary. He supposedly has “all the best words” but not this particular one.

      What I find ironic is that the key agent of his downfall is his own twitter feed which he still thinks helps him communicate with his base. What it actually does is constantly remind people how childish and vindictive he is when he launches attacks on those who he’s fallen out with for no good reason and how he throws anyone under the bus to try and absolve himself of blame like Sessions and McConnell.

      The true measure of how far his popularity has fallen with that base is the number who are “strongly favourable” of his performance. That’s now more than halved to just 18%. Even those who are just somewhat favourable is as low as 33% depending on which poll you go by.

      It’s curious how what goes around comes around. When terrorists drove a van into pedestrians in London, Trump took to twitter not to condemn the attack but to launch a vicious one of his own on the Mayor of London who had said he thought Hillary was a better candidate a year previously. It’s hard to imagine a better way of showing people how childishly you cling to petty grudges and how blind you are to when it’s appropriate to say or do something. Now that a similar act of terror has killed one so far and injured 20 more in Virginia he’s issued a feeble statement that failed to condemn the perpetrators and tried to say that none of this is his fault because it used to happen under Obama too and even before that. It’s a cowardly cop out and another squandered opportunity to make the best of a situation where he actually always unerringly says the worst possible thing you can imagine.

      I am not at all despondent though. He’s the constant agent of his own destruction and Congress and others are taking steps to limit what damage he might do. Happily he’s too stupid to be really dangerous. Pence would be far worse so be careful what you wish for.

    • Arkrid Sandwich #252
      Aug 13, 2017 at 1:06 am

      He said he’d be too busy to play golf again for 4 years.
      He’s played every 5 days on average and wasted much of the rest of his time at rallies with the faithful.

      Yep! He does not waste time or strain the poor little president’s brain with long tedious consultations or meetings with expert scientific advisors, economists, or diplomats!
      In fact he has saved loads of money on salaries by dismissing many of them 🙂

      It’s not apparent that he’s ever done any actual work.

      We could count up all those minutes spent signing executive orders in from of cameras! I don’t know if we can count any time for actually reading them before signing!

      Thirdly that he’d rise to the dignity of the office

      Ah! But surely the “office” is honoured, merely by Trump’s presence! (Look at all the chanting cheerleaders who endorse this with dignified banner waving and jumping around! 🙂 )

      but the word dignity is apparently not in his vocabulary. He supposedly has “all the best words” but not this particular one.

      I think you are confusing standard English with “alternative facts, and the Trump “New-Speak” dictionary! (More is less , truth is lies, Big-Bother is always right and always GREAT! etc.)

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Happily he’s too stupid to be really dangerous.

      I don’t know about this, Arkrid. Somehow I can’t bring myself to feel happy. He has already done tremendous harm, has emboldened the scum of the earth, the white supremacists.

      Plus a lot of other shit happening and not getting enough media coverage. One of many examples of under covered horrors:

      Trump kills teen pregnancy prevention programs

      TRUMP DOES NOT NEED CONGRESS TO LAUNCH NUCLEAR WEAPONS!

    • Correction: One civilian killed. Two officers killed from the Helo crash.
      As a minority in the USA, I feel like this woman risked her life for people like me.
      I’m a little angry. But this needs to come out in the open. The wound will not heal until
      the infection is removed.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago
    • “The Daily Stormer wrapped up its coverage of Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville by attacking House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for speaking out forcefully against white supremacists and neo-Nazis. It ended with nary a word about Trump — but an optimistic note to those who had protested in Charlottesville, and a word of warning to everyone else.”

      “And to everyone, know this: we are now at war. And we are not going to back down. … We are going to go bigger than Charlottesville. We are going to go huge. We are going to take over the country. … We learned a lot today. And we are going to remember what we learned. This has only just begun.”

    • At what point will they start random terrorist attacks?
      At what point do I have to move to another country or arm myself.
      I’m way too old and busted to be dealing with this.
      Now, its the North Koreans AND the american terrorists I get to worry about.
      Today Seattle was targeted.
      Another round of violence and arrests. Kinda stupid to come to a city known for its liberalism. Unless Breitbart is inciting this.

    • Dan #255
      Aug 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Arkrid Sandwich: “Happily he’s too stupid to be really dangerous.”

      I don’t know about this, Arkrid. Somehow I can’t bring myself to feel happy. He has already done tremendous harm, has emboldened the scum of the earth, the white supremacists.

      True, but it’s not like white supremacists are going to take over the country or bring government crashing down. It’s just one more in a long line of stupid disaffected cults who come and go over history. What Trump is really doing though is finally showing the American people just how bad things can get when voters are low information idiots easily taken in by rhetoric and seemingly unable to judge the true quality of a person’s character.

      Maybe some civil unrest is a small price to pay for letting people see just how appalling Republicans are, how they have no compunction about even killing millions of the poor by taking away their healthcare to give tax cuts to the rich, or destroying the planet by ignoring climate change, destroying the EPA, crippling the education system and science research.

      This constant cycle of disaffection with whoever was last in power no matter how good a job they did and trying “experiments” with outsiders to “shake things up” has to stop. I thought that the damage Bush caused with Iraq and then the economy and banking system would have taught people some lessons but memories are short and people are unfailingly stupid. Maybe it needed someone as awful as Trump to really bring the lesson home.

      In the short term Trump is no doubt bad but maybe in the longer term he’ll prove to be the shock to the system Americans needed to see where they really need to vote in their own best interests instead of against them. Trump’s great ability is to destroy the credibility of everyone who comes into contact with him. He sprays them with his taint like a skunk and they can never again wash it off. He’s turned the WH into turmoil, left a trail of bodies behind him in only 6 months, he’s doing untold damage to the Republican party and he’s mobilising Democrats like never before. He’a also pointed out just how damaging the Electoral College system and gerymandering can be.

      We know he’ll never change so he’s going to continue destroying republicanism for 3 more years and maybe giving Dems time to find a proper message and a decent candidate for the following 8.

    • Alf

      Kinda stupid to come to a city known for its liberalism.

      I think you’re right. It entirely announces an intention to incite and achieve a high profile to draw fellow lice from the woodwork….

    • Arkrid,

      Trump breaking every fucking thing may be the opportunity to rebuild and put expertise more resiliently into the state. I wish he’d break the banks too.

      Institutions like the judiciary and law enforcement chiefs need to be extricated from political and populist meddling. The tyranny of the masses needs the filtering of non partisan expertise, at least until education is superb and comprehensive.

      I would also recommend parliamentary democracy, but that for sure ain’t gonna happen.

      I’m still pine for the United States of Canada and the United States of Dixie. In this, global warming is our friend….

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      AS

      In the short term Trump is no doubt bad but maybe in the longer term he’ll prove to be the shock to the system Americans needed to see where they really need to vote in their own best interests instead of against them.

      Not so sure. That’s a big maybe. I think what you’re talking about is the politics of worse (la politique du pire); but that’s analogous to letting addicts “hit bottom”. It’s a nice concept; but often times the addict dies in the
      process. He made a speech today and actually said the words “white supremacists” and “nazis” to get the media off his back but his policies won’t change: tax breaks for the rich, crippling the education system, all the things you mentioned. What bothers me is that Trump has alt-right people (Trump, Miller, others) working for him, advising him, guiding him. And meanwhile the, lies the deception, and the propaganda will continue.

      He is still bragging about the stock market and the economy. Most people don’t know how to interpret that, and analyze it; and he knows that. Higher stock prices tend to be good for those who hold stocks, which typically benefits the wealthiest one percent.

      Shock. You can’t easily shock the stupid morons, the cap wearing cows, that go to his rallies. Maybe some of the less dull and intransigent fence sitters will assess the situation with some degree of objectivity, get smarter and be able to change; but I doubt it. If they’re still on the fence now they’re still biddable, still angry, low information voters (fodder).

      It’s a lottery, a numbers game; how many people read and are informed and are right minded and how many people aren’t. I don’t see too many people being capable of being shocked. It’s never happened like that. They are like addicts, addicted to loyalty. The meltdown of 2008, as Phil said, didn’t do anything.

      I hope your optimism is more warranted than my reasoned pessimism.

      Maybe the democrats will develop a proper message and be able to get it out. But in this post truth, sick era of right wing populism (neo fascism) and with all this distrust and lack of comprehension of the value of “government”, it will be mercilessly attacked along with the messenger(s) with every trick in the book.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Been thinking. It could be that Trump is finished. No legislation passed. Mueller working hard. Deregulation won’t win enough votes. Approval ratings at an all time, historic low.

      The only thing he’s done is hire a new Supreme Court judge.

      (Apart from 2020 or the midterms or even impeachment, Michael Moore made the point last night that he has federal agencies under his control and his agents of destruction are busy doing harm, are doing harm and no one knows about it. There will be unforeseen consequences of these surreptitious maneuverings for years to come.)

      And Fox News is working hard. And he’s getting tons of exposure. People like what they are familiar with.

      Finished? Maybe. Not sure.

    • Alan4discussion #269
      Aug 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm
      President Trump has said he is scrapping two business councils after more bosses quit over his handling of violent clashes in Virginia.

      Except in reality the CEOs had shut the councils down already so Trump is desperately trying to save face and claim it was his idea after previously saying he had loads more CEOs lined up. Ha ha.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/the-swift-embarrassing-death-of-trumps-business-councils

      But on Wednesday morning, the CEOs of Campbell Soup and 3M joined other business and labor leaders in announcing their departures from the manufacturing council. And at roughly the same time, Stephen Schwarzman, head of the Strategic and Policy Forum, held a call with members of that group to initiate its closure.

    • Bannon is fired.

      http://us.cnn.com/2017/08/18/politics/steve-bannon-white-house/index.html

      I’m not sure how much to rejoice because loathsome though Bannon is he also kept everything in the White House off balance and unable to achieve much. The main thing is it’s another crushing blow to Trump’s ego and his appalling track record of picking people who never should have been. Only really bad managers keep picking the wrong people and then having to sack them. Sad, Loser, Bigly fail, to throw Trump’s own kinds of words back at him.

    • It seems even with his die hard supporters the lustre is rapidly wearing off the Trump brand now. The latest poll numbers are still heading down after Charlottesville and his rally in Phoenix seems to have not gone so well. Not very well attended to start with and reading the coverage of it he apparently rambled and ranted on for 75 minutes as hundreds of those who had actually turned up steadily left the arena again, either from boredom or because it was roasting hot and security had confiscated everyone’s water. At one point Trump indicated he thinks that clean coal technology is just coal that’s been washed.

      “We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it’s just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine, where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal, they’re going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania,” Trump said, completely misrepresenting what clean coal is.

      He attacked John McCain again and is said to no longer be on speaking terms with Mitch McConnell. It would appear that even trying just a little bit to stay on good terms with people you need to do business with is not a concept that has ever occured to him. This is all excellent news for Dems of course as Trump torches everything and everyone he comes into contact with.

    • And Pence is just sitting there as cool as a cucumber…waiting…patiently waiting…

    • “This is all excellent news for Dems of course…”

      No. It’s good news for humanity as his policies will hurt everyone, and he’s quite capable of blowing us all up, the fucking piece of shit. You’ve read the articles: he’s cutting everything that has to do with the environment, cutting and slashing spending for much needed programs left, right and center. Trump is a sick jerk, is still lying about the fake news. Did you hear that scumbag speaking in wherever it was? He lied to his paid crowd with the token black standing there in the back, and left out the controversial words “on all sides”. Then he promised to pardon some racist hillbilly cop. I couldn’t even watch. He’s a racist, a stupid jerk, and enough is enough. Pence is a liar. Hate him too. There’ll all sick.

    • “This is all excellent news for Dems of course…”

      No. It’s good news for humanity as his policies will hurt everyone, and he’s quite capable of blowing us all up, the fucking piece of shit. You’ve read the articles: he’s cutting everything that has to do with the environment, cutting and slashing spending for much needed programs left, right and center. Trump is a sick jerk, is still lying about the fake news. Did you hear that scumbag speaking in wherever it was? He lied to his paid crowd with the token black standing there in the back, and left out the controversial words “on all sides”. Then he promised to pardon some racist hillbilly cop. I couldn’t even watch. He’s a racist, a stupid jerk, and enough is enough. Pence is a liar. Hate him too. There all all sick.

      Look at this. WTF?

      Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proclaimed that “our lives are too short to let our differences divide us.” Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., led everyone in singing a few lines of “How Great Thou Art.” Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed for the politically and racially divided nation and asked the Lord to shut the mouths of “those in this country who want to divide, who want to preach hate.” And Vice President Pence declared that “President Trump believes with all his heart … that love for America requires love for all its people.” Meanwhile, a supporter seated directly behind stage even wore a T-shirt that stated: “Trump & Republicans are not racist.”

    • “This is all excellent news for Dems of course…”

      No. It’s good news for humanity as his policies will hurt everyone, and he’s quite capable of blowing us all up, the fucking piece of shit. You’ve read the articles: he’s cutting everything that has to do with the environment, cutting and slashing spending for much needed programs left, right and center. Trump is a sick jerk, is still lying about the fake news. Did you hear that scumbag speaking in wherever it was? He lied to his paid crowd with his token black gesticulating there in the back, and left out the controversial words “on all sides”. Then he promised to pardon some racist hillbilly cop. I couldn’t even watch. He’s a racist, a stupid jerk, and enough is enough. Pence is a liar. Hate him too. There all sick.

      Look at this. WTF? MLK’s niece? Nice.

      Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson proclaimed that “our lives are too short to let our differences divide us.” Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., led everyone in singing a few lines of “How Great Thou Art.” Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed for the politically and racially divided nation and asked the Lord to shut the mouths of “those in this country who want to divide, who want to preach hate.” And Vice President Pence declared that “President Trump believes with all his heart … that love for America requires love for all its people.” Meanwhile, a supporter seated directly behind stage even wore a T-shirt that stated: “Trump & Republicans are not racist.”

    • Dan

      All of that and you forgot to mention the women sitting there smiling and waving their signs, Women for Trump!! This is an outrage. I’m disgusted.

    • Yeah. I know exactly how you feel.

      Speaking of women: time for Rachel!

      Shit, I’m late!

    • As I said above, a few days ago, Trump has already done considerable harm. I don’t know what the effects will be or how easy it will be to repair the damage that is already underway.

      The Complete List of Regulations Trump has Undone:

      The economy

      Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The trade deal would have established a trade partnership between the United States and countries on the Pacific Rim.

      Revoked a rule that expanded the number of people who could earn overtime pay.

      Reversal of a rule that would mandate that oil and gas companies report payments to foreign governments. The Securities and Exchange Commission will no longer receive this information.

      Ended limits on the ability of states to drug test those seeking unemployment benefits.

      Revoked an executive order that mandated compliance by contractors with laws protecting women in the workplace. Prior to the 2014 order, a report found that companies with federal contracts worth millions of dollars had scores of violations of labor and civil rights laws.

      Repeal of a rule allowing states to create retirement savings plans for private-sector workers.

      Cancelled a rule mandating that financial advisers act in the best interests of their clients.

      Repeal of a bill that mandated that employers maintain records of workplace injuries.

      Killed a rule mandating that government contractors disclose past violations of labor law.

      The justice system

      Rescinded an Obama effort to reduce mandatory sentences. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered that prosecutors seek the most stringent penalties possible in criminal cases.

      Cancelled a phase-out of the use of private prisons.

      Reversed the government’s position on a voter ID law in Texas. Under the Obama administration, the Justice Department argued that the law had discriminatory intent. Under Sessions, Justice withdrew that complaint. On Wednesday, a federal court threw out the law.

      Reviewed Justice Department efforts to address problematic police departments. An effort to address concerns in the Baltimore Police Department was delayed.

      The environment

      On Friday, Politico reported that some representatives of oil and gas companies are worried that Trump’s moving too quickly to reverse regulations on their industry. “[Y]ou don’t need to roll things back so far that it opens an opportunity for outsiders to criticize, or something bad happens,” one analyst said.

      Withdrew from the Paris climate agreement.

      Blocked the Clean Power Plan. The plan implemented under Obama focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

      Ended a study on the health effects of mountaintop-removal mining. The process involves blasting away the tops of hills and mountains to get at coal seams under the surface.

      Rescinded a rule mandating that rising sea levels be considered when building public infrastructure in flood-prone areas.

      Reversed an Obama ban on drilling for oil in the Arctic.

      Reviewed the status of national monuments for possible reversal. In April, Trump signed an executive order ordering a review of monuments added in the past 20 years, opening up the possibility that some areas previously set aside would have that status revoked.

      Withdrew a rule regulating fracking on public land.

      Rejected a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The month after this decision, a group of farmworkers were sickened by exposure to the chemical.

      Reversed a ban on plastic bottles at national parks.

      Repealed a ban on lead bullets. The bullets were banned under Obama because the lead can poison wildlife.

      Rescinded a limit on the number of sea animals that can be trapped or killed in fishing nets.

      Delayed and potentially rolled back automotive fuel efficiency standards.

      Repealed the Waters of the United States rule. This rule expanded the definition of water bodies that were protected by the Environmental Protection Agency.

      Ended a rule banning dumping waste from mining into streams.

      Reversed a rule banning hunting bears and wolves. The ban applied to federal refuges in Alaska and prohibited hunting predators using certain methods.

      Repealed a rule that would have centralized federal land management.

      Removed a bike-sharing station at the White House.

      Foreign policy and immigration

      Cut the number of migrants and refugees allowed from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

      Repealed a rule allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military.

      Rolled back of Obama’s outreach to the Cuban government.

      Ended the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program. DAPA extended protections for some immigrant parents whose children were citizens of or residents in the United States.

      Education

      Rolled back school lunch standards championed by Michelle Obama.

      Withdrew federal protections for transgender students in schools. Under the rule approved by Obama, transgender students could use school bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identities.

      Reversed a rule that mandated how achievement is measured in schools.

      Repealed a rule mandating certain requirements for teacher-preparation programs.

      Other areas

      Halted or cancelled hundreds of other minor regulatory actions.

      Revoked a ban on denying funding for Planned Parenthood at the state level.

      Repealed a rule mandating that Internet service providers seek permission before selling personal information.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/08/24/what-trump-has-undone/?tid=pm_politics_pop&utm_term=.8d8414cbe5b7