The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides for the succession of power when the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” It empowers the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove an incapable president, over his objections, with the approval of two-thirds of both houses of Congress.
As Donald Trump transforms the presidency into a reality show, his former conservative allies are becoming his adversaries, and waking up to the sickening reality that the U.S. government is headed by a clown who could turn into one of history’s greatest war criminals in the four minutes it would take him to order a nuclear attack.
Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone is, by all accounts, a contrarian. He was a free thinker at West Point, a communist in the U.S. Army, a soldier who reads Gramsci, and most tragically, a threat to the peace of mind of Senator Marco Rubio.
On Monday, a senior Facebook executive repented some more, reporting that $100,000 from Russian-sponsored troll farms bought 4.4 million page views before the 2016 election. “We understand more about how our service was abused and we will continue to investigate to learn all we can,” said vice president Elliot Schrage.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team have a big advantage in the Washington debate about the story of the Trump campaign and the Russian government: a wellspring of new evidence gathered by the FBI and the NSA, with warrants approved by the federal courts.
President Trump’s rage about how certain unnamed “sons of bitches” (i.e., Colin Kaepernick) are disrespecting the national anthem is an old story in American life. The national anthem, intended to be a song of unity, has also long divided us. For Trump and millions of Americans, the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” is a ritual intended to affirm a version of patriotism that is historically ethnocentric and jingoistic.
Two senior Capitol Hill Republicans plan to introduce a congressional resolution calling for full disclosure of U.S. government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) will introduce their JFK resolution before the end of the month, according to Jones.
President Trump’s mental incoherence has a clinical character and Dr. Stephen Bannon has just the cure: “Pay no attention to the orange-haired man tweeting at you; at least not when Breitbart News tells you not to.” The sartorially challenged Goldman Sachs veteran, now running Breitbart after a failed attempt to run the U.S. government, is responding to the new political reality diagnosed by Bill Maher: Trump isn’t bipartisan; he’s bipolar.
For a red-state campaign rally, President Trump’s speech to the United Nations was a stirring package of moralistic rhetoric, nationalistic posturing and self-righteous rage. For a meeting of international leaders, the president’s address was a garbage can of ideological arrogance, cultural contempt and political shortsightedness.
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s case against the former beauty pageant entrepreneur in the Oval Office is taking shape. At the same time, Trump is trying to rescue his presidency with talk of “unity.” In the past 48 hours, Trump has floated the possibility of a deal with the Democrats on the Dreamers, held an ostentatiously public meeting with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the only African-American Republican in the Senate, and criticized congressional Republicans.
“Unless something changes, which I’m [still] hoping, this confirms the two nastiest judgments of critics of single-payer,” said Gerald Friedman, a University of Massachusetts economist and expert on financing universal healthcare coverage. “The liberals are saying, ‘The single-payer community doesn’t know how to do policy, so they need to come to us, the wonks, and we’ll tell them how to do it’—and in the process, we won’t do single payer, we’ll do something else. And the conservatives who say, ‘Single payer will be so expensive that even its supporters are scared to talk about how much it will cost and how much it will raise your taxes.’”
“What Trump did do last week, whether he knows it or not, is create a governing coalition of 150 Republicans and all Democrats,” says Politico. Whether Trump is willing and able to use this potential coalition to govern is the question that will dominate Washington through the end of the year. The prospects are not bright.
Pillar and some other CIA analysts believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction but doubted some of the evidence produced by the White House and advocates of war. Their caution was discarded by CIA director George Tenet who told President George W. Bush that it was “a slam dunk” that declared Iraq had nuclear, chemical and biological weapons capability.
President Trump’s fragile ego was so tickled by his hurricane relief and debt ceiling agreement with Democratic leaders that he acted on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s sly suggestion that he tweet about the Dreamers’ program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
With the election of Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan made a Faustian bargain. They embraced Trump—an impulsive and ignorant man, filled with racial animus—with the hope they could ride his popularity with conservative voters to enact their agenda of tax cuts and deregulation.
The shambling White House adviser flamed out after eight months in the White House with an impressive string of failures: the ineptly drafted and partially blocked Muslim travel ban; the mirage of a trillion-dollar infrastructure program that never materialized; the leaked plan to raise taxes on the rich that went nowhere; the failed effort to elect Marine Le Pen in France; and the advice not to send more troops to Afghanistan, which Trump ignored.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller has the image of a stodgy bureaucrat—and for good reason. He is one. A career civil servant with a couple of stints in private practice, his hang-dog face rarely cracks a smile, only an occasional wry grin. A registered Republican, he came to prominence when President […]
While Houston drowns and North Korea provokes, the case for the impeachment of President Trump is growing stronger. The news of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction and Kim Jong Un’s latest missile test has obscured a series of unrebutted revelations that strengthen the already sturdy case that the president has obstructed the FBI investigation into the ties between his campaign and the Russian government.
Finbarr O’Reilly was a canny Canadian war photographer embedded in Helmand province in Afghanistan. T.J. Brennan was a boisterous, profane and skeptical Marine sergeant who played host to O’Reilly in 2010, as he and his men undertook the thankless mission of fending off invisible Taliban fighters in a moonscape of dusty villages. One day, Brennan, while out on patrol, was knocked down by the shockwave of a rocket-propelled grenade. O’Reilly took a photo of the wounded warrior, and they fell in love.
Just four days after the nation saw how scores of heavily armed men hindered police seeking to preserve public order in Charlottesville, the people of San Antonio got another taste of what “open carry” laws mean for the freedom of expression. When the city council opened debate on a proposal to relocate Confederate statues from San Antonio’s Travis Park, about 10 men showed up wearing kevlar vests and carrying assault rifles.
America’s most famous airline pilot has shot down President Trump’s proposal to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system. “Our air traffic control system is the best and safest in the world,” declares Captain Chesley Sullenberger in a new video produced by the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
In May 1964, top CIA officials stonewalled the official investigation of the murder of President John F. Kennedy by concealing or downplaying evidence about the Cuban contacts of the accused assassin, according to newly declassified documents.
While the downfall of President Donald Trump is far from assured, the signs are multiplying that the Republicans are preparing for a world in which Trump is no longer commander-in-chief. This is not the dreaming of the liberal resistance or the conservative #NeverTrump crowd; we’re talking about the actions of the Republican leadership, rank and file and Vice President Mike Pence himself.
Nature abhors a vacuum, and the military nature abhors a power vacuum, as the convulsions of the Trump administration in the first week in August show. While the president grows weaker in terms of public support, party loyalty and vulnerability to investigation, the military officers around him are growing stronger.
While the Washington press corps and the rest of the world was distracted last week by the antics of the Mooch, Spicey, and the Donald, Bill Browder, an American-born British banker, was relegated to the side stage of C-SPAN3. For the Senate Judiciary Committee and the hard-core cable audience, Browder laid out what NPR called “a terrifying and complex picture of Putin’s Russia.”