Subtle as ever, Donald Trump sent a clear signal to former aides with his unexpected pardon of Lewis “Scooter” Libby on Friday afternoon: If you cover my ass when the special counsel asks questions, and you too can expect presidential clemency. “I don’t know Mr. Libby, but for years I have heard that he has […]
Politics involve action and reaction. The Reagan era led to the punk rock movement and a new generation of liberals. Bill Clinton’s election led to a conservative Congress, but the ensuing Democratic push-back gave us the golden era of the late 1990s. In today’s clip, taken from Chris Rock’s new Netflix special, the inimitable comedian […]
You know things are out-of-control awful and weird in Washington when you think wistfully of the Bush years from time to time. You can shake it off and recall the horrors of life with George W. Bush and his twisted vice president Dick Cheney, but there is something still more ominous about Trump and Pence. […]
The Russian collusion saga continues apace. On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after he was promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. Paul J. Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended the meeting.
With the Democratic Party struggling to redeem itself in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss, Obama’s Wall Street payday sends exactly the wrong signal at a very bad time.
A little-noticed inspector general report, released in 2013, depicts Trump appointee James Renne as a central player in an anti-gay purge at the Office of Special Counsel during the Bush administration. The report found that employees were targeted for no legitimate reason, pointing to “facts which reflect that…Mr. Renne may have been motivated…by a negative personal attitude toward homosexuality and individuals whose orientation is homosexual.”
Having opposed President Obama’s initiative to punish Assad following that attack, Donald Trump clearly has no idea what to do now that his missiles have landed in Syria. Nor do Congressional Republicans, whose enthusiastic support for Trump’s action today rings hollow for anyone who remembers how they rejected Obama’s request to authorize military force in 2013.
When Congress returned home, Republicans got clobbered at town hall meetings. These scenes made me check up on our democracy’s wellness. Bad news: The body politic’s muscles got flabby in the last 16-17 years. Blood pressure up, and too many Cheetos, not enough kale.
Alan Bersin, who spent almost five years as President Clinton’s “border czar,” says a border wall won’t address the real challenges confronting the U.S. border enforcement system: hopelessly understaffed immigration courts and lawlessness and poverty in Central America.
During his presidency, Obama greatly expanded the U.S. deportation machine, overseeing a higher number of border patrols than any previous administration. That deportation machine is now being handed to Trump, whose administration is aggressively delivering on his fascist and white supremacist campaign pledges to slam the door on refugees and migrants.
While six of the past seven presidents, Republicans and Democrats, have relied on the same federal law to keep certain groups of foreigners out of the United States, Trump’s ban clearly discriminates against people based on their religion and is much broader, banning all people from multiple countries, including those whose status had already been determined.
According to Newsweek, senior Trump administration staffers including Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer, and Steve Bannon have active accounts on a Republican National Committee email system. The system (rnchq.org) is the same one the Bush administration was accused of using to evade transparency rules after claiming to have “lost” 22 million emails.
Thomas Jefferson was so dismayed by political deceptions that he coined a word for it. “Twistifications” referred to a brew of willful misinformation, tortured logic, and artful language designed to sway credulous audiences. Can President Trump get away with his multiple misdirections and twistifications for 1,460 days of intense scrutiny?
Erring on the side of recklessness comes at a high price. It undermines the constitutional rights America values most. It harms our international image. It hands a recruitment tool to terrorists. We know this now. Time to apply the lesson.
The Trump administration’s reported proposal to move the White House press briefing to a large room that can accommodate pro-Trump sycophants and propagandists is brazen and destructive. But it’s also not entirely new — the Bush administration adopted a similar strategy in 2004.
The Great and Powerful Trump is the weakest and most vulnerable president in at least 140 years. Behind the scowl and the curtain there is a diminished man who cannot shake off the circumstances surrounding his election. Emerging from the 2016 election, Donald Trump carries a quintuple burden of illegitimacy.
According to the Senate Historical Office, there were four cases since 1970 in which a Senate controlled by the president’s party did not confirm the president’s nominees. In each case, the failed nominee had either ethical, financial, or legal lapses in their records.
We’ve been suckered with this tax holiday scam before. In 2004, George W. Bush pulled it on us — and instead of creating jobs, the corporate tax-dodgers eliminated thousands more of our jobs! The way to know whether or not Trump’s tax holiday will benefit workers is to see if it requires that corporations actually create the thousands of good jobs promised before they get the tax break. Anything less is just another swindle.
With Tillerson as the country’s top diplomat, the opportunity to redefine the rationale and methods for the entirety of our interactions with other nations is unparalleled. While this has been true to some extent since World War II, this appointment institutionalizes the view that our national diplomacy will be guided by resource acquisition.
Concerns about censorship under Trump have transformed the arcane art of saving web pages at the end of a president’s term into a crowdsourced effort with hackathons, fundraising, and pleas for help on Twitter.
16 years ago, thousands of protesters lined the inauguration parade route of the incoming Republican president. “Not my president,” they chanted. But despite the enormity of the rally, it was largely ignored. Instead, pundits marveled over how George W. Bush “filled out the suit.”
Since Republicans took control of the Senate at the beginning of the 114th Congress in 2015, senators have voted to confirm only 22 of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees. That’s the lowest total since 1951-52, in the final years of Harry Truman’s presidency
Obama pledged in his 2008 presidential campaign to close the military prison, but his efforts have been blocked by mostly Republican opposition in Congress. The Democratic president has instead reduced the population there by transferring prisoners to other countries.
Endorsing the National Popular Vote would be a critical first step toward reshaping our electoral system. Reform from the top will encourage future Presidents, all elected by majority, to address the other distortions to our democracy, including gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, and the unfettered flow of money into politics.
Trump made scores of promises he could not possibly fulfill. The biggest was the same one fascist strongmen always offer: transcendent national renewal, built upon the cleansing of dangerous untermenschen from the body politic.