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  • in reply to: Debt Rattle March 16 2020 #55413

    I and everyone I know want to sign up for that crash course in politics. It’s a given that politicians lie habitually. But none has ever lied as much as this president. Anyone who denies that should put down the Kool-Ade. We who need that crash course want to be taught how it is that we can be calmed and reassured by someone who is literally unable to tell the truth. I give him the benefit of the doubt – he can’t help himself. That’s the gift of a true conman – lying comes easier than telling the truth.

    In today’s Times, David Leonhart details the trove of lies that the president has fed us in filling his role of reassuring us. No one needs to read that however – it’s all been published before. If you have been paying attention, and hadn’t taken that course or become intoxicated by the Kool-Ade, you couldn’t possibly deny that his first priority always is his own survival. How do you make excuses for the man who said, “I like the numbers where they are”, as his reason for leaving infected and yet to be infected passengers on a cruise ship?

    You have said repeatedly that where Italy is now is where we will be in the near future. So it doesn’t make sense to compare our numbers to theirs and use that in the president’s defense. Maybe that will be in the course, because that’s exactly what he would do, make irrational comparisons to put himself in a good light, comparisons that look like sound reasoning to people who are too lazy to think for themselves.

    And what is the “work” you imagine him to be doing while he reassures (lies to) us?

    in reply to: Debt Rattle March 6 2020 #54875

    I appreciate the range of sources found on this site. On the other hand I don’t think we need to read every little thing Jonathon Turley has to say.. Or Jim Kunstler. At least Kunstler can write and he’s a fun read. That first paragraph of Turley’s is unintelligible. Unless you know exactly what he is trying to say, it makes no sense. You’d think he could afford an editor.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle February 22 2020 #54217

    “It’s a great honor to be with President Putin. …. We’ve had great meetings. We have had a very, very good relationship. And we look forward to spending some pretty good time together. A lot of very positive things going to come out of the relationship.” That’s the president talking in Osaka, June, 2019. It’s one instance of many when he has had only positive things to say about Putin. When Sanders inferred that Putin is a friend of the president it wasn’t “innuendo”. It was an explicit and widely confirmed assessment of their relationship. Bashing the Trump bashers again.

    If we can for a minute put aside the hysterical aversion to hysterical vilification of Russia, most people would agree that Putin is not a good man. He may be a good leader who has done good things for Russia in the same sense that the Chinese Communist Party has done good things for the Chinese people. But he has done so with a very heavy hand. It seems that you, as a journalist, would find it more alarming that a president who claims that the press is the enemy of the people is chummy with a man that has overseen the murder of over 2 dozen journalists who had been critical of his regime.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle December 28 2019 #52385

    I find it curious that you dedicate so much of your blog space to attacking the cast of characters trying to contain the American “president”, Adam Schiff, Robert Mueller, the main-stream media, the “Deep State”, etc. I agree with you completely that the investigations are a farce. The “president” may be sucking our nation and the planet down the toilet with him but there doesn’t seem to be evidence that legally justifies his removal from office. My intent is not to defend those who are desperate to prove the “president’s” criminality, but I don’t understand what motivates you and the journalists you feature to ridicule the efforts, however misguided, of the “resistance” .

    The Dems are pissed off and frustrated and the ongoing Witch Hunt is their way of beating their heads against the wall. Schiff must know his efforts will come to nothing but he can’t help himself. The New York Times and The Washington Post know they have lost any integrity and objectivity they might have had before 11/08/16, but they are driven by their disgust and hatred. The intelligence services must be working overtime trying to cover the tracks from their previous failed attempts while they plot new ways to engineer a coup. Like Rush gleefully says every day, “They just can’t get over it!”

    The authors of the constitution knew they had created an imperfect document and thought of it as a stop-gap that could be improved upon in a few years. But no one ever got around to doing that and here we are all these years later treating it as if it came directly from God. Contrary to prevailing self-deception, the constitution has many shortcomings, and one of its oversights is that it makes it very difficult to remove a preening despot occupying the executive office. That conundrum is compounded by the gradual usurpation of power finessed by the executive branch, especially in recent years.

    You and many others with their eyes open, know what is going on and feel compelled to bring the Left, the Liberals, the Resisters to their senses. But that doesn’t justify the lopsided proportion of negative opinion posted on TAE which is critical of the Great Witch Hunt compared to the proportion allotted for reporting the myriad transgressions perpetrated by the “president” almost daily. To readers like me you come across as a fan of the Clown in Chief and his policies because you utilize much more space trashing his trashers than you do focusing on his many flagrant offenses.

    The Dems may not be able to get over the results of the last presidential election but you seem to be unable to get over having to witness the futile and frenzied attempts of Democrats to turn back the clock. Sometimes you say things like the Dems and/or the Deep State are attempting a coup (and I recognize the truth in that) and then you say something like, “God help us if they succeed”, as if the office of the President is sacred. Well, if it ever was sacred, it has now been blasphemed and the impostor needs to be removed. Or maybe you are worried about anarchy. It seems to me that we are caught up in kind of a slowly developing anarchy already. Respect among Americans for institutions, for tradition, for honesty and integrity, for other people, has been slowly declining for a few decades and only picked up speed with this “president”. People are realizing they can do whatever they want and that they, too, can get away with it. Or maybe you prefer the slowly developing tyranny that is coming down the road.

    We are talking about a man who still thinks of himself as the star of his own reality TV show, where nothing and nobody stand in his way and his power is absolute. He’s popular because a lot of people like TV. They’ve grown up with TV and it informs their lifestyle, their conversation, their self-image, and their consumption habits. Television is about the star, the celebrity, and celebrities tend to become overly self-important, pompous and narcissistic due to the constant adulation heaped upon them. Combine that with a primal hunger for power and you have our “president”. He thinks he is the authority on literally everything. First he said his replacement on the TV show he starred in for 14 years was a failure. Right then, everyone should have realized where his head was at. He assumes it his privilege to second-guess professional athletes and their coaches. He doesn’t hesitate to tell the leaders of other countries that he has a better idea for handling their internal policies. He thinks he knows better than the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank how to steer the economy. He tries to humiliate anyone who doesn’t fall in line with his objectives.

    The “president” may be inarticulate, but he is glib and smarmy. He is expert at cutting off another speaker and he possesses enough of a threatening demeanor to consistently get away with it. His street smarts have successfully enabled pervasive self-promotion, dishonesty when necessary, and a skill for “working the system”. With the help of his lawyers and accountants he really is an expert on bankruptcies and tax avoidance. He also excels at blaming others when things go bad (Obama has been his most frequently abused scapegoat), taking credit for anything that goes right, and never apologizing or admitting to mistakes. His success has also been abetted by a natural mean-spiritedness and an instinctive ability to belittle an opponent or any innocent target within his discriminatory cross-hairs.

    Our “president” has always surrounded himself with low-lifes and grifters, people who know how to cut corners, tell a white lie with flair, dirty-tricksters. Not down-right thugs, but people who would know a thug if you needed one. Lots of creative accountants and resourceful lawyers. His long-time friend and mentor was Roy Cohn, who as a lawyer, had defended mob bosses and Joe McCarthy. Cohn’s career was studded with accusations and indictments against him for extortion, bribery, blackmail, and tax fraud. Another confidant has been Roger Stone who started out in politics “practicing the black arts”, as he, himself, has put it, on behalf of Richard Nixon. Stone and Paul Manafort, “the president’s” 2nd of three campaign managers have been partners in a lobbying firm since 1980. One of their first clients was Donald Trump. They have also represented African warlords and the tobacco industry. Stone has been a promoter of conspiracy theories such as: Lyndon Johnson was responsible for JFK’s assassination and Barrack Obama’s presidency was illegitimate because he was not a legal citizen.

    The “president’s” most senior appointments have included an anti-conservation Interior Secretary who opened up federal lands and waters to exploration for oil and gas (He was forced to resign from this position, not for working at a cross-purpose to the mandate of the department, but for fraud); an EPA administrator who, prior to that posting, had brought 13 lawsuits against the EPA; an Education Secretary who, in her home state of Michigan, had been a lobbyist and major funder of private for-profit schools, most of which under-performed neighboring public schools.

    The “president” is a habitual liar. Everyone lies and politicians are the most consistent liars. But the lies of politicians are far more influential and potentially damaging because they are public and they reach a wide audience via the megaphone of every available media conduit. The charismatic Clown in Chief is as comfortable with lying as with speaking the truth and half of an enthralled American audience has no interest in distinguishing between the two. The enthralled still believe the trope that he is a successful businessman even though it’s common knowledge that he declared bankruptcy 4 times. Bankruptcy is a legal maneuver used to avoid paying debtors. He borrowed money, built casinos or hotel, and then deployed his lawyers and accountants to free him from having to repay the borrowed money. He doesn’t share his tax returns because with the help of legions of accountants/lawyers he avoided paying tax. When his returns are finally released, his devotees will see that our “president” showed his patriotism to America by not paying taxes on his swindled earnings. That was his contribution to making America Great Again. But a lot of people love an artful scofflaw, so he probably doesn’t need to worry.

    The “president” is a sexual predator. The evidence for this is overwhelming and incontrovertible. Reminding your readers of this once in a while is more important than repetitive derision of the Schiff follies. If it’s not yet against the law for the putative leader of our country to grab women’s crotches, then something needs to change.

    Why would you be surprised that otherwise smart people can’t stop themselves from standing in the way of a rampaging rogue, who seems to only gather speed with each ineffective shot fired.

    I often say that The Post and The Times, Rachel Maddow, et al would better serve the public if, instead of expressing wasted outrage at every marginally significant detail that has come out the Mueller investigation and the Impeachment hearings, they kept a running list of the transgressions perpetrated by the Clown in Chief and his administration. With regular unbiased, well researched updates (no unnamed sources) on how those policies are affecting Americans and disenfranchised people around the globe. Put it on the front page, above the fold, and then devote the rest of the news to all the other significant events going on around the world outside of the Swamp Circus.

    Those transgressions occur with such frequency that each is soon replaced by another. All are quickly overwhelmed and obscured by the ongoing Witch Hunt. Some have been widely reported, others barely mentioned, but all quickly lost in a fog of media too obsessed with Russiagate and Ukrainegate. When everyone who has a shred of empathy for other humans should be screaming bloody murder Congress and the MSM can only behave like chickens with their heads cut off. Here is a brief summary of some of the actions taken by the “president”:

    This “president” and his craven minions have decreed that many environmental regulations be removed, regulations designed to keep toxic chemicals out of the air, water and earth that we and other creatures depend upon for sustenance;

    The “president” endangered the lives and welfare of (mostly poor) women by denying funding to family planning clinics which include referrals for abortions among their many services;

    The “president” has single-handedly taken several actions to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, thereby obstructing access to healthcare for millions of people;

    The “president” has prevented entry into the U.S. by citizens of certain countries, as well as, many people seeking refuge here. This was not done for the ostensible reason of protecting the U.S. from terrorists, but to discriminate against Muslims and the desperately poor. This serves his agenda and garners political support from racist Americans;

    The “president” and his rich cronies in the Congress made the rich richer by greatly reducing the tax on capital gains;

    The “president” and his appointees have made every attempt to remove climate change from the public conversation, by denying the science, by removing access to studies which support the science, by firing some scientists and muffling the voices of others. He has the authority to decide that the U.S. would be the only country in the world to deny the urgency of reducing carbon emissions;

    The “president” has robustly supported the occupation of Palestine and the inhumane treatment of its residents by Israel;

    The “president” has publicly appeared with and unreservedly voiced his praise and support for autocratic leaders of countries who share his disregard for human rights, El-Sisi of Egypt, King and Prince Salman of Saudi Arabia, Orban of Hungary, Erdogan of Turkey, Duterte of the Philippines, Bolsonaro of Brazil, Putin of Russia, and Kim Jong Un of North Korea;

    The “president” recently pardoned two war criminals and restored the rank of another, a Navy Seal. The Secretary of the Navy was forced to resign because he was opposed to honoring the Navy Seal, who was called ”freaking evil” by a member of his team in court testimony.

    Pardon me for saying so, but you need to get your priorities straight. If you think you are speaking up for Democracy, then please realize that we didn’t really have one anyway. The congress people in Washington rarely take any beneficial action on behalf of most citizens. They wouldn’t be solving the real problems that confront us anyway, whoever is occupying the oval office. Racism, healthcare, education, human rights, etc., etc. are issues that need to be addressed by a real leader, not a self-obsessed celebrity. The electoral college should be abolished and the election system overhauled. Trump lost the popular vote by the greatest margin ever for an elected president.

    It is a coup attempt. Call it that if you want. But everything is at stake. Please stop giving support to the “president” by denigrating the people who are opposing him.

    Larry Simpson

    in reply to: Elizabeth Warren’s “Foreign Policy” #52066

    Almost all of what you say here is spot-on. As I read it, “talking” between the opposing parties is the most effective method for resolving conflicts. I apologize for over-simplifying what you have at greater length expressed so well. One would think that that common sense solution is obvious to everyone, experts and the ordinary citizen alike, but it’s mind-blowing that more talking and negotiating doesn’t get done.

    The problem with your argument arises when you say the Democrats and their forever investigations are preventing Trump from holding a conference with Putin. I’m sorry, but that is really funny. He’s the president. He can do whatever he wants, as he has demonstrated almost every day. He’s free to ignore the investigations just as he has been free to cooperate with them. But he can’t help himself. He’s unable to disengage from the attention and the spotlight.

    But even if he could rise above his twitter fits and really make an attempt to resolve any conflict, where do you get the idea that he can actually have an informed conversation with anyone about anything other than real estate and bankruptcy law?. He has demonstrated no knowledge about what is going on in the world and has no interest in using the expertise of anyone else to find out. He thinks he is the expert on everything and his idea of negotiating is my “way or the highway”. Also, unless he is reading from a script, he can only express himself through broad generalizations, slogans, and repetition. He has no capacity for the granular or nuance. We don’t want him at the negotiating table.

    in reply to: Debt Rattle December 20 2016 #31832

    When you say “sad” in reference to talk of Trump’s fascist potential, I understand where you are coming from. You, among many other rational left-leaning pundits will be slow to admit that you have made a mistake by ignoring the obvious warning signs of Trump’s oligarchic behavior. They were obvious first of all in his real passion, reality tv. They were obvious during the campaign when he was pathologically able to talk louder than everyone, including “moderators, tell people (including moderators), to shut-up so he could continue interrupting them, mug for compliant camera operators while someone else was talking, etc. And now he is hitting you over the head with the choices he is making for people to run our government: sycophants, billionaires, generals, people heading departments and cabinets whose beliefs are antithetical to the heretofore assumed mission of the positions they are filling. And they will have complete loyalty to him because they know they are not suited to their jobs and are grateful for their undeserved opportunity. And because they don’t want to hear those words: “You’re fired!” Please don’t take too long to come to your senses.

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