Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Emperor [of Lilliput] holds a stick in his hands,
both ends parallel to the horizon, while the candidates,
advancing one by one, sometimes leap over the stick,
sometimes creep under it backwards and forwards several times…
whoever performs his part with most agility, and holds
out longest in leaping and creeping, is rewarded with
the blue-colored silk…and you see very few persons
about this court who are not adorned with one of
these girdles.
–Jonathan Swift,
Gulliver’s Travels, 1726

Never mind that president-elect Trump and his keenest supporters have gone from boasting to whining in two short weeks. “Mommy, they’re making fun of me on TV. It’s not fair!” Nor that the world’s rudest man purports to give etiquette lessons to the cast of a Broadway play. Nor even that Trump appears on pace to set a new American record for the most campaign promises broken in the shortest time.

(Trump never settles lawsuits. Except when he does, paying $25 million in chump change to reimburse gullible students defrauded by “Trump University.” Given that he’s also the defendant in something like 75 additional lawsuits accusing him of everything from stiffing contractors to deceptive advertising, things could get expensive.)

Alas, Trump seems to confuse the presidency with being the emcee on a “reality TV” program. Or with being Emperor of Lilliput. It’s hard to say. It’s not merely the daily spectacle of veteran Republican hacks and flub-a-dubs like Chris Christie and Rick Perry being escorted into Trump’s garishly-appointed penthouse to perch upon his gilded chairs. The man clearly has no accurate idea of the powers of the presidency: what he can do and what he can’t as the elected leader of a constitutional democracy.

Consider the abandonment of his vow to prosecute “Crooked Hillary” Clinton for her imagined crimes. At campaign rallies, Trump led enthusiastic supporters chanting “Lock her up!” During their second televised debate, he promised Clinton to her face that “If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception.”

Somewhat haughtily, Hillary missed an opportunity to inform Trump that the president of the United States has no such power. There are elaborate mechanisms in the law to prevent the president from meddling in criminal cases. And a good thing too. Do you really want to live in a country whose president can order his political opponents jailed? No, you don’t.

Probably Hillary assumed that anybody who would even consider voting for her already knew that. Indeed, thanks largely to the epic failure of Kenneth Starr’s efforts to prosecute both Clintons during the make-believe “Whitewater” scandal, the Independent Counsel Act was allowed to expire in 1999, and good riddance.

Might Republicans be tempted to bring it back, in the way they bring back massive budget deficits whenever they’re in power? Not to harass an already defeated Democrat, no.

For that matter, no president can order the Department of Justice to drop an investigation, either. Given the harm FBI Director Comey’s unethical meddling in the election campaign did to his own reputation, it’s easy to imagine him relishing an opportunity to tell Trump to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Kellyanne Conway made it sound as if the great man was being magnanimous. “I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her honest or trustworthy,” Conway allowed, “but if Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing.”

Actually, almost two million more Americans voted for Clinton than for Trump, although I doubt she finds the thought comforting.

People aren’t exactly enthralled with Trump’s honesty. In the last Fox News poll before the election, 60 percent of voters said Trump was neither honest nor trustworthy enough to be president. Judging by his performance to date, it’s hard to see those numbers improving.

Meanwhile, Trump invited news media bigshots in for a leaping and creeping session at Trump Tower. According to the New York Post, the president-elect mercilessly bullied the assembled TV executives and talking heads. “It was like a [bleeping] firing squad,” one source claimed.

“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong…’ He called out [CNN president] Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the Post reported.

Talk about ingratitude! The cable news networks decision to treat Trump’s comings and goings as the #1 news story of 2016 is precisely what saddled the country with this big blowhard.

Kellyanne Conway, of course, described the proceedings as “very cordial, candid, and honest.”

The amazing thing is that nobody showed enough backbone to stand up and walk out.

IMAGE: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech on his economic policy at the Alumisourse Building in Monessen, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Louis Ruediger

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Copyright 2016 The National Memo

98 Responses to Reality TV Emperor Or President Of A Constitutional Democracy?

  1. Not really sure of the point here.

    Trump, as President, doesn’t have the powers Trump, as Candidate asserted?

    Trump’s campaign was bluster?

    President Obama’s setting aside extra time to give Trump “president lessons”?

    • Db…Trump is the ultimate snake oil salesman. Like all slick scheisters, he knows that the “art of the deal” is to make money by making others pay for what he wants.

      Right now, the cost of Trump staying in Trump Tower is being billed to the fed as the head of the Secret Service stated last week and also Carlos Gomez, NYPD chief of police said.

      Pretty neat trick when you consider his castle is 58 stories and he is getting maximum security on taxpayer dollar in a place he still gets paid for rent from those who live there.

      • I can recall seeing a Trump interview years ago in which he commented on the deal he and Merv Griffin had worked out. Griffin got Resorts International, and Trump got the Taj Mahal. Trump said that Griffin had made a bad deal and that he, Trump, was the winner. (Trump and Griffin had sued each other, but they reached a settlement–Trump never settles lawsuits!) Shortly after, Griffin sold Resorts International for $350 million (making a profit, I assume), while Trump, the great dealmaker, was saddled with the Taj Mahal and had to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to complete it. (It’s now closed, and Trump didn’t even own it. It was owned by Trump Entertainment, which was owned by Carl Icahn– name selling, again). Trump doesn’t know when he’s lost because he always thinks he wins. In Trump’s defense, he’s still standing. The question is, for how long? And what kinds of deals will he make on behalf of the United States?

        • I am all for forgiving people their transgressions when they actually are sincere and not motivated by greed. Now that you mention it, I do recall that Trump/Griffin battle.

          I live in NJ. Here is what Trump did to not pay a single dime for any of his 6 corporate bankruptcies. He dumped all of them on taxpayers in NJ.

          But here is the real evil of this guy. When he got that $22 million FinCEN fine from the U.S. Treasury, he had no intentions of using HIS money to pay for it. So he calculated how many of the Taj Mahal and his hotel and casino on the marina he could fire and use the wages he didn’t intend to pay them to pay off that fine.

          He got the FinCEN fine for money laundering. Our NJ papers for months on end had stories about how he ferried his Middle Eastern high rollers to the Taj in godawful grey helicopter from his Trump Tower penthouse to AC. This we in NJ saw at least 3 times a week. He inveigled than Governor Christie Whitman, a Republican, to hand him the old Steel Pier to create his own private heliport.

          As for how long Trump will last? He may not make it to his own inauguration. Here’s why. He is refusing to create a blind trust for his real estate empire. He himself stated in the 2nd debate his children would run his business. Now that he won the election, he does what he always does, backtracks.

          From what I hear of my friends who work in NY City, Trump is not planning to live in the White House. His excuse is that Barron, his and Melania’s son needs to finish school in NY City. (The most exclusive private school where only the highest up mucky mucks send their kids at a couple million a pop every year).

          He is hoping he can get the Republicans to gloss over conflict of interest and like always say, “Oh it’s okay. You can be a billionaire tycoon, contract all the business you want in Trump Tower which you own and who is the wiser?”

          • I wouldn’t doubt that Trump feels inadequate. After all, he’s not old money. He probably thinks that being president will make him “better” than the old money crowd. What he doesn’t realize is that to them he’ll always be new money–not to mention the fact that they probably realize that his new money isn’t nearly as big as he claims. So, president or not, he’s still considered gauche by his wealthy peers (although they probably voted for him). Of course, when he flies back and forth from DC to NYC every day, he’ll have to use Air Force One. He’ll probably rent out the White House since he won’t be living there. Not enough gold toilets. At least Biden took the train.

          • I wish it was only that he thinks being president will make him better…He tried that in the 80s when he tried to become a member of the then “In” crowd. These were the upper crust of the upper crust who knew he was NOCD (Not our Class Darling).

            Trump is dangerous for one reason. He knows he is now the president of a super power and can make threats to any foreign leader who doesn’t play his games of wealth. The problem with that? Those foreign leaders may not take what he dishes out.

      • Indeed Ms. Eleanore. There have been any number of stories over the past months showing how Trump lined his own pockets based on the decisions Trump, the candidate, made. My favorite, Trump doubling the rent he charged the Trump Campaign for space in the Trump Tower.

        My problem comes in trying to see what is new in this story. Most of it, to me, seems obvious or old news. I enjoy your NJ specifics, but it doesn’t surprise me.

        • Here in NJ, he got that $22 million FinCen fine. He didn’t pay one dime of it. His fired employees did. He let about 4400 employees in his Taj Mahal hotel and casino and employees of his casino on the marina go so he could use what he should have paid them in wages to pay that fine. He is a master at accounting trickery.

          Fortunately for me, I was an accounting manager and had an employer who pulled that very stunt when HE got fined for performing uncertified lab testing. He fired all but 3 of the key employees to pay that $75,000 fine he got from the EPA.

          See? You think you work for these CEOs and get paid? Not when they have the slickest ways to take it all back.

      • You’d do that to President Obama?

        Has to be worse than mind-melding to a Horta.

        But the presidential extra meetings are a real news story.

        • It shows the yuuuge difference in character between President Obama and Trump. Despite Trump constantly lying and trying to de-legitimize his presidency with his birther movement, President Obama is taking Trump as his apprentice. If the tables were turned, Trump would never be as gracious.

          • True, but this is our country we’re speaking of.

            We each, and every one of us, has an affirmative duty to help Trump not screw it up. President Obama’s taking the extra time. The President of China apparently explained Global Warming.

            And, if the alt-right starts attacking Trump, we may even come to his defense.

          • The trouble with Trump is you never know what he stands for if anything other than what is expedient at the moment. This makes him untrustworthy. I don’t think we should copy the Republican’s obstructionist policy but should proceed with caution as Trump has been known to claim one thing when the truth is the opposite. I would check, double check, and re-check his proposals before agreeing to them if they seem acceptable.

          • But we can’t crash the country out of spite. Particularly as the ramifications of the White Nationalists, armed militias, and alt-right conspiracy fanatics begin to attack Trump for not being pure enough.

          • I agree. When possible Democrats should work with Trump. My problem with him is that he can’t be trusted. I am saying check closely and verify everything. Never take his word for anything.

          • The problem is that Trump listens to various people and does what they tell him until he hears something from someone else to change his mind! He has NO ideas of his own and has NO idea what he’s doing. Of course, the bigger problem is that neither do any of the people who are advising him!!

  2. How about just an entertainer who managed to sense the angst that so many Americans feel; used their frustrations, fears, and prejudices to his advantage, and provided facile solutions to complex problems that convinced millions of Americans that he was the man capable of help them overcome the challenges they are unwilling to tackle by themselves?
    That Donald Trump is totally unqualified and unfit to be President is not even debatable. What remains to be seen is whether or not he is able and willing to listen to what his advisors tell him, and extricate himself from the hateful and destructive rhetoric he engaged himself in throughout the campaign, and take advantage of his political party’s hold on all branches of government to implement policies that were denied to his predecessor, and keep us safe during the next four years.
    At this point, the only thing we can do is wish for the best and prepare for the worst. Like it or not, he is our President. Engaging in McConnell style obstructionism will not accomplish anything. We must support policy proposals that are helpful to us as a nation, such as investment in infrastructure, and voice our concern over policies that are either unconstitutional, detrimental to our well being, or that violate the values that we purportedly embrace.

    • The key words in your statement”Overcome the challenges they are unwilling to tackle by themselves”. Not in all circumstances,but far too many. I agree with your entire statement 100%. Let us hope for the best.

    • I just read in the LA Times this morning that he’s also backing down on climate change and is considering staying in the Climate Change agreement that was made with President Obama and 200 other countries. Hopefully, this is true, but I’m sure it has some of his followers wondering what happened to his comment that climate change is a hoax…..just another change from his campaign rhetoric! Maybe he’s just a “closet” Democrat and we’re going to be fooled….we can only hope! He’s certainly backing down on a lot of his promises already and he hasn’t even been inaugurated!

      • I would not be surprised if the reason he is reconsider his position on climate change is because of business considerations. A new industry focused on clean energy, reduction of carbon emissions, and climate change issues in general, is emerging in most countries. Pulling out of the Paris Accord becoming a pariah, and ceding the initiative to our competitors is economic suicide, and even Trump, a not so successful businessman, is well aware of that. Who knows, maybe Ivanka just came up with a new line of climate change jewelry!

        • We could only hope…..actually, he listens more to Ivanka’s husband than his daughter in most cases. Not sure where HE stands on climate control. I know that Trump was screaming about his golf course in Scotland being flooded if things didn’t change……that might be something that would change his mind.

  3. The author needs to take a civics test. The United States Of America is NOT a Constitutional Democracy, and never has been a Constitutional Democracy. It IS and always has been a Constitutional REPUBLIC. The author needs to learn the difference!
    And I doubt many of the readers here at NM know the difference either, judging from their low information comments and lack of knowledge about our country’s history and its institutions.

      • “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

        AG wants you to believe this is a Republican country, Republican government and Republican form of law.

        Ignore AG…he often goes off on his mentally ill tangents.

      • He does not understand that a Republic IS a form of democracy. A representative democracy in which the ultimate power rests with citizens, not leaders. That is the essence of democracy. People on the right use the talking point that we are a republic not a democracy to justify the fact that they do not believe in democracy. They have a an “either or” mentality, they must have missed the “both and” part of logic class.
        Our democracy was designed to place limits on the majority to prevent the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Sadly we now have the opposite which is very dangerous to our democracy.

        • Technically we are a democratic republic based on representative democracy limited in power by the Constitution which is the supreme law of the land protecting the rights of minorities from the whims of the majority. See Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution.
          Our pledge of allegiance also refers to the U.S. as a republic.
          The problem arises because those like Ag the troll doesn’t understand that a democracy and republican form of government aren’t mutually exclusive unless you are talking about a direct democracy which was not limited in power by a constitution or charter.
          They try to fool people into believing that the will of the majority does not matter because the anti-democratic Electoral College silenced the will of the majority this year. However, the Electoral College, a profound mistake championed by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, was intended to serve as a check on the majority in the event a demagogue got the majority of the votes. The theory was that the members of the Electoral College would not vote for the demagogue despite the majority vote and instead vote for a candidate who was fit for office. In reality is more aristocratic than democratic. In any event, it doesn’t make our representative democracy an autocratic republic as some right wing propagandists claim.

          • So now we have the tyranny of the minority. Definitely not what the “original intent” of the Founders was. But Republicans only care about that when they want to justify what they want.

          • True. I think the Founding Fathers would be horrified if they could see what happened to their good intentions and efforts.

    • Now….if you only could decipher the difference between correct and wrong! Here is a start: Racism is wrong, inclusion is correct. Bigotry is wrong, equal opportunity for all is correct. Bullying is wrong, narcissism is a mental disorder, and discrimination against others because of their race, religion, national origin, or gender is wrong. Learn those principles, then you will be on your way to actually understanding what this country is supposed to be about.

      • AG loves to be white male privileged. But if he checks back on his white sharecropper ancestors, he finds they had to work the plantations picking cotton, tobaccco and caning sugar like the black free slave laborers did.

        That AG is a bigot is certainty. At least now we identify his reason for being a racist…poor white sharecropper relatives who resented having to work for a living and didn’t want to get their lily white hands dirty. Now, AG’s relatives are working for another plantation as Walmartians. As we all know, the Walton family pre-Civil War owned 11 plantations.

        It explains AG’s plantation mentality that a white sharecropper is superior to free black slave labor. roflmao

        • Yep. As long as you try to interpret the way our government functions in your self-serving and incorrect method I will continue to deflect them and will place your thoughts in the same bucket of crap where I place the Bundy/Sovereign Citizens with their inaccurate and self-serving interpretations of the Constitution. When you choose to nitpik a word here or there while ignoring the overriding principles of our form of government your foolishness will continue to be “deflected”.
          HMMM.. aglander…..sounds like a Bundyesque handle for another person who mooches off of the generosity of our government while continually expressing your unhappiness that it doesn’t give you enough free stuff. How much public land do you use for your personal; profits?

          • Blocked him, on Mama Bear’s advice.

            Tell me if he comes up with anything original or interesting, please.

          • Don’t block. Just don’t respond. I had my fun with him/her/it but it got tiresome so I ignore. Don’t answer and he/she/it will be gone.

          • Unfortunately, despite many of us blocking these idiots, they still seem to hang in there. Not sure why because there are plenty of other websites that they can go do that think like they do! I guess they think it’s fun to add their 2 cents to our comments…..all it does is show how really uninformed they are!

    • We already knew you’re a moron but trotting out the “we’re a Republic” garbage reminds us once again how slow witted and terminally stupid you are. Of course, it would be pointless to try to argue with a moron, I do mean you. But for others who may read this they may be helped by knowing that the minute someone trots out the we’re a republic argument you immediately know they’re idiots and have limited brain capacity which is all used up on ignorant Con propaganda. Where this stupidity usually comes from is the Federalist Papers which simply debated whether the U.S. was to be a direct democracy or a representative democracy, both democracies to anyone with a brain not rendered useless by the Con sickness. There debate wasn’t about whether we were a democracy or not nor whether it was a majority of the people ruled. So why do morons like Ag make this argument? Well the first reason is because they’re idiots. Another reason is they think it makes them sound smart and knowledgeable, like they know more. Does anyone else reading this know that we are a representative democracy, that we elect people to represent us in Congress? ‘Cause Ag apparently thinks he has just enlightened everyone with this secret and concealed knowledge of this. But in the end the real reason that the people who are behind ignorant fools like Ag leading them around like puppies on leash is because they can get stupid people like Ag to believe that somehow majority doesn’t matter that somehow the writers of the Constitution intended for a majority to not matter. And we all know that in those times there were limits on who counted and who voted but even then it was still the majority that counted. On a side note who really gives a damn what a bunch of slave owning farmers believed 300 years ago, I wouldn’t look to their medical journals if I was sick, I’m not looking for their guidance on my car repairs or my iphone, why the hell do people think their ramblings have a whole lot to do with the modern world, they had some good ideas and some bad ideas but contrary to American psychology it was not Gospel, in fact Gospel isn’t gospel but that’s another subject. So just know that what these morons like Ag get their stupidity from is likely the Federalist papers which in the first place is nothing but the ramblings of people from a couple of centuries ago and in the second place was nothing more than debating exactly how to best organize a DEMOCRACY not whether we were one or not. P.S., if you’re not a sick Con you understand that the argument these morons make for only a certain few counting in the political decisions is not the difference between a representative and direct democracy, it’s the difference between democracy and an oligarchy.

      • And like AG has any idea what the Federalist Papers are besides a name. On a side note, An old friend of mine was going off about the 2nd amendment and how the idea of it having nothing to do with a well-regulated militia and how that is supported by the federalist papers – I asked him to show me. THe paper he cited was all about mustering and supplies, you know the well-regulated militia part. I pointed that out to him to the response of “I’ll get back to you”. He never did. He is still a 2A voter.

      • Did one of your goofy friends convince you that if you had no argument of merit in response that substituting pure volume would be misidentified as gravitas?

    • What I’ve seen of Trump these last 3 or 4 decades is that he NEVER EVER abdicates his power throne. He wants to stay in his Ivory Tower Golden Penthouse because in the White House he would be under surveillance 24/7 and would not be able to conduct business. In his penthouse, he can get taxpayers to pay for his time there as president and still condust all the private business he likes.

      Only the dumb morons don’t know how often Trump gets others to pay for the mess he makes.

      Consider: When he got that FinCEN fine for money laundering at the Taj Mahal, he did what he did in Florida. Settled out of court. But, he never paid a single dime for the FinCEN fine. How? Simple. He fired enough employees he owed wages to and used their wages to pay that fine. In effect, he made employees pay for HIS fine.

    • Don’t think so….he’s already said that he plans on staying in his penthouse in the Trump Tower. Apparently, the White House isn’t “gaudy” enough for him based on all those antiques….you know, the ones that tell the history of this country?

    • That would not surprise me in the least. I would also not be surprised if Congress looks the other way, and the Ethic Committee ends up next to the dinosaurs at the Smithsonian museum of natural history.

      • He’s already using his presidency to help his businesses….he’s got foreign leaders staying at his Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. in an effort to curry favor with Trump. If that isn’t an ethic violation….not sure what is. Apparently, from what I understand, there are no hard and fast rules against him running his businesses AND being president, at least none that are actually on the books. It’s just always been a thing that presidents did when elected, but if he chooses not to separate them, all the Ethics Committee can do is keep an eye on pay-for-play opportunities to occur and do their jobs (if they still have them…..he’ll probably do away with the Ethics Committee also if he has the chance)!

        • …and he is leasing a floor at the Trump Tower to the Secret Service because neither Melania nor he are too interested in spending too much time at the Swamp. Needless to say, a large contingent of SS will also be deployed at his Mar-a-lago mansion in Florida. No problem with him enjoying the same protections every other president has before him, but there is something very weird when it involves the head of the Federal government getting paid for his, and his family’s protection.
          In any case, the same members of the congressional ethics committee who were alarmed because of potential conflict of interest when Hillary was presumed to be our next President, are suddenly OK, or look the other way, at the most unprecedented conflicts of interest in U.S. history.

          • I realize this, and I think the people of this nation should call their senators about this. He’s charging the government for an apartment in his building, which should be a basic conflict of interest, all because he doesn’t want to live in Washington, D.C. It should be a law that the president MUST live in the White House!

          • I doubt the GOP controlled House and Senate will question obvious conflicts of interest, such as a President being both tenant and landlord, or any other conflict of interest concerns. That only applies when Democrats are in office or leading during a presidential campaign.

  4. If Trumps lasts until his inauguration, the biggest problem is this: Can he separate himself from being a business tycoon with a worldwide real estate empire from being the president of the people, for the people, by the people of the United States?

    The form of government practiced in the use is not Republican. Some idiots of the right insist the US is not a democracy when that word is used over and over and over in the U.S. Constitution. That is why we must fight these nuts and maniacs. If they can gloss over the word “democracy” they get to allow Trump to turn government into a business.

    He said last week that “the popular vote” should be banished. Not only does that fly in the face of the U.S. Constitution, but it plays to the very NeoNazis who think they now have the spotlight and can force themselves on us ON OUR TAX DOLLARS.

    The righties who want government to be a business only want that for one reason: Their Republican states are in economic dire straits. If they can take full control of our tax dollars and payroll deductions, we become their slaves. That’s how FAR back they want to take this country.

    • Before the election he said that the Electoral College was corrupt and should be abolished. His opinions go back and forth so much, I expect his head to go in complete circles or explode. Maybe what he actually needs is an excorcist.

      • Comey made the excuse “before” the election that he couldn’t disclose the contents of the DNC emails that were hacked by the Russians, because “it might influence the outcome of the election.” What is his excuse now?

        Once you do the math, you see that the desperate Republicans scraped the bottom of the barrel to steal yet another election. Here is how: First, they knew Trump has over 100 businesses in 118 foreign countries, including Russia, China and India. Never let it be said that any Republican man ever lets an opportunity to “WIN WIN WIN” get past them. The fact that Comey won’t disclose undacted hacked emails proves that the election was rigged. All the hackers did was collect data on Clinton supporters and voters and they had the ability to alter or delete votes.

        The Republicans now saw 45% of women didn’t vote for Hillary. BS. If women are 52% of the population, they want us to swallow that line of crap that only 7% of women voted for Hillary? She has more than 1,650,000 more popular votes than “Mongrel Man.”

        Now, all they want is for to just “go along?” When they rigged the Electoral College votes? If one single dime of bribe money passed to any of those electors, the magnitude of a Constitutional crisis would end the GOP permanently.

    • Who’s gonna take over the House? the corporate Democrats? The same ones who lost to the most dishonest unpopular lying piece of garbage ever to stand for election? Nope, it ain’t gonna be that party. Especially since that party isn’t too terribly different when it comes to economics and neoliberalism. They’ve got the same exact policy prescriptions as the sick Cons with a little abortion, gay rights, and we feel a little bad that cops are murdering minorities & everyone. We’re not gonna do anything about it, but we feel bad (see emails released regarding Black Lives Matter). The Democratic Party in its current form will fail until we have a real left wing liberal party that fights for working people which is nearly all of us. But that requires them to tell the donors that no we won’t take your money. The most popular President ever elected in this country, sent back to office four times, so many they changed the law to stop it from ever happening again gave the workers Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Millions of Public Sector jobs, the National Parks we enjoy today, electrification of the country. Damn near everything we enjoy and count on today came from this period and this President. Because of him, my mother who worked all her life gets at least something, it’s not enough and it should be more but it is something. And now the sick Cons wanna take it away and for the last 8 years at least Barack Obama and every nearly every Democrat was right on board with that, taking more from the poorest and once again giving it to the wealthiest.

      • Are you white? Is your family white? Because the only reason the New Deal had as many successes as it did was because FDR basically sold out African-Americans, women and other minorities. (Not to mention what he did at Yalta). He was the one who ordered the Japanese interned, he was the one that ordered the SS Louis, containing Jewish refugees, turned back and returned to Europe and to certain death in Germany, he was the one who refused to sign an anti-lynching bill because he knew that if he did he would lose the South which was integral to getting the New Deal passed. Did he integrate the armed forces? Nope, Truman did. Women had no protections – All those Rosie the Riveters who had contributed to the war effort were dismissed and white men got the bulk of those good-paying post WWII jobs.Integrated housing? Sorry, you had to wait till the 60’s at least. Social Security yes but you had to wait till LBJ for Medicare. And FDR had to do what he did and the way he did it, because the New Deal would have died and the robber barons would have been in the driver’s seat. Because that’s what politics is – compromising even in the worst of circumstances because otherwise everything could be lost. So f*ck off with the FDR as saint crap. He was a superb politician but his successes were also built on the backs of minorities and women.

          • I’m a supporter of both Clintons so not necessarily. But as I get angry when the right wing alludes to a mythical past when the US was an complicated place to live, I get just as mad when the left references FDR as this purist liberal icon. (Oh, and he HATED Alexander Hamilton and did as much as anyone to write him out of history. It was FDR who pushed for the building of the Jefferson Memorial so that the slave holder Sage of Monticello would be the face of this country.)

      • RED: There many decent and compassionate and thinking politicians in our country. Some are Democrats, and others are Republicans. Dems and Republicans can work together on the key issues that affect people’s lives. They can support economic and business activities that can generate meaningful jobs in the urban and rural areas. What we can do is impeach or vote out people like Mitch McDonald who have decided to sabotage the government by blocking every reform that comes on their way. Get them out and bring in people that can deliberate and come up with practical solutions. We do not need obstructionists.

    • It’s time for the news media to stand up and start doing what they are supposed to do….which is to report the news, ALL of the news….good or bad! If Trump doesn’t like it, he can sue and lose!

    • Hardly.

      I’ll lay money that within 4 weeks of an indictment being handed down, Trump will pardon all involved. Hours if any of his relatives are involved.

        • Sadly? Yes. He can. Think about this. Who did he choose for AG? A man whose job is to be a legal voice of the people? Or a legal voice for Trump? He now has the power over the FBI, the CIA, the NSA and the DOJ.

          He won’t pardon himself. He will do what he always does…get others to do it for him.

          He has already said he will not appoint any independent counsel. He’s chosen Bannon for his chief advisor. Bias Bias Bias Bias…and Trump goverment, Trump law and Trump Power.

    • You don’t know Trump like I do. He will pay off those multi million dollar CPA on his “accounting” team to fall on their sword for him. CEOs do that all the time. Cheney did it with Scooter Libby remember? Libby went to jail for 3 years. Cheney? Slick as a baby’s bottom and now we have the REAL Teflon Don.

      • Actually Bush commuted Libby’s sentence so he did not serve it, although the felony conviction stands. Cheney was furious that Bush did not pardon him.

    • Unfortunately, you’re right! As I said above, had I been there and had he started chastising my fellow journalists, I would have been out of there in a heartbeat!!

  5. Trump is famous here in the Metro area for making others pay for what he wants. Isn’t that what he is doing right now? He has all of 5th Avenue, the world’s busiest street and 55th and 56th streets blocked off to pedestrians and vehicular traffic. In order to get into his Maximum Security 58 story Trump Tower, residents who rent from him have to have fingerprinted and photo IDs. This for the $10K a month they pay in rent right?

    Which brings us to another point. He lives in the building he owns, is now forcing us to pay for his “residence” with our taxes ALL while he collects millions in rent.

    • And taxpayers will pay an estimated $1 million per day for security at Trump Tower. When Trump freeloads he does it on a grand scale. Yuuuuuge.

      • There already has been on attack threatened by a Yemeni ISIS supporter on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. So now, the annual event is taking the hit because of the traffic snarling all along the parade route thanks to Trump Tower security and the need to make sure those patronizing the parade are ID’d.

        At this juncture? I am betting his problem won’t be with anti Trump protesters…It will be with the Richard Spencer and his White Supremacists.

        The NY Times had an interview with Trump. Trump had to walk the 1 mile to the NY Time building due to NO pedestrians and No vehicles allowed on 5th Avenue for over a two mile radius.

        The Times reported that Trump stated he does not supporter the White Nationalists. He managed to whine about the cast of Hamilton and anti Trump protestors but not to the White Nationalists. Like the coward he is, he went to the NY Times instead to get maximum spotlight attention.

      • We all need to contact our respective congressmen/women and let them know that we do NOT want our hard-earned tax dollars to pay for this….especially since there is a perfectly good home for him in Washington, D.C., which is where he should be!!

    • I wonder when the residents of the building, as well as the shops that are near the building and are now blocked, will start having a hissy fit and try to do something about this. There’s a perfectly good home for the president to live in…..he needs to get his butt to Washington DC and quit causing problems for the residents of his building!! As for the money we’re having to pay for security at the penthouse….I’m letting my senator know that I’m not happy seeing my hard-earned tax money being used for this ridiculousness!!!

  6. I was just reflecting on Baha’u’llah’s admonition about an impending event. The excerpt can be found online, in which He stated—“The world is in travail, and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight, that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly. Its perversity will long continue. And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake. Then, and only then, will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody.”
    We’ve often wondered what form this event would take: A climatic catastrophe?; Some biological threat?; Unhinged social unrest in the form of racist-inspired hate? Or maybe a series of events put in motion by a serious mistake in choice of policy and/or leadership leading up to an event causing world society to crack, much in the proverbial manner of “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
    Lord Byron in the 19th Century wrote the poem “Darkness” while musing on the decimation of the forests and the dismal change in the weather with friends. Mary Shelly was with Byron and others, and she would be similarly affected by what she saw and was inspired to write the story “Frankenstein”. It wasn’t until 1847 that scientist were able to connect the year w/o summer of 1816 with the Tambora volcano blast in August 1815 in Indonesia.

    Maybe, the unsettling spate of deaths of black males by policemen in 2015, the rancorous GOP primary events, Trump’s election, and the coming out of darkness by racist extremists will be our Tambora which may lead to what Baha’u’llah foresaw and warned us of.

    • Thanks again for sharing the wisdom of the universe, Aaron. There are times when I just relax and think “there is not anything I can do to intervene with destiny”

      • He said in a Tablet that since the leaders of His time rejected His call to reduce armament spending and expending on their personal well-being in order that “The Most Great Peace” be established. But since they all rejected His admonishment(except for Queen Victoria), the world now has to settle for “The Lesser Peace”. This is sort of a consolation that involves nations uniting to establish political peace, a peace process driven by nations primarily, and not by the Baha’is except in building up a definite sense of “Baha’i Community” world-wide, and by offering to cities, villages, towns, socio-economic projects. Most nations where Baha’is are allowed to practice openly their beliefs have Baha’is engaged in Children, pre-Youth, adult “Ruhi” classes(see “Ruhi Institute” (www.ruhi.org) ), and Youth classes where all the children and youth Baha’i and otherwise are provided education on morals development and doing service in the communities they reside in. Adult Baha’is are enjoined to be of service in their respective communities as well.

        But—He warned that if things aren’t noticeably improved by the nations then there is the distinct possibility of us annihilating ourselves, and that(in His words) from the “…midmost heart of the ocean a new race will come forth” [my paraphrase]. I take that to mean that just as life, including humans, came forth from the ocean in stages of development and proceeded onto dry land, with humans and lower species taking on different outer forms. But humans always were “human” in spirit and capacity, and just different in phenotype. This is the “missing link” that Darwin and later scientists couldn’t conceive of, and therefore erroneously think that man ascended from the “ape”, when he was always “human”. This we learn courtesy of Abdu’l Baha’s response to a question cited in “Some Answered Questions” regarding “the modification of species”.

      • I should qualify my first response to you. I nor any other Baha’i, or Baha’i institution, has the authority to interpret what Baha’u’llah wrote, except for Abdu’l Baha and Shoghi Effendi. So what I said is based solely on my own reasoning. Not even The Universal House of Justice has the authority to interpret, but they and other entities in “The Baha’i Administrative Order” are given the right to decide, based on consultation and majority vote, how to apply Baha’i principles and in making decisions in response to issues that arise.
        That being said, there just might be some way for humanity to survive and rebuild w/o having to wait for humankind to evolve over a similar time period as before. Just my personal opinion.

        • Let’s hope, Aaron, because the next 4 years are going to be tough for everyone! I just hope that we survive it and get him out in 2020. We need to come up with some really spectacular people to run against him. My feeling is that once his so-called “followers” see how ridiculous he is and see the disasters that he will wrought in the next 4 years, we may have a big chance to get the presidency back! We can only keep our fingers crossed, but it ain’t gonna be pretty in the meantime! We all need to pray to whatever God that we pray to that we can get through this……

  7. Personally, I would have been out of that room so fast, they wouldn’t see my dust!!! What a deceitful idiot! What gives him the right to call our journalists for doing their job? Has he NEVER heard of the 1st Amendment? He’d better learn quickly that all the power he THINKS he has as president is NOT as much as he had hoped!

  8. “The amazing thing is that nobody showed enough backbone to stand up and walk out.” Those are my thought exactly. I’m not a psychologist but clearly Trump has some serious mental health issues. Perhaps they just wanted to be witness to the range of psychotic behavior he is capable of.

  9. Trump’s coterie of cullions apparently have no morals or feel any ethical constraints. Kellyanne Conway can spit out bald faced lies so fast it can be hard to count them all. Boris Epshteyn, Stephen Bannon, Chris Christie, Uday and Qusay, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, Sean Hannity, Corey Lewandowski, and other practitioners of the art of prevarication have served their Glorious Leader well. Trump must be so proud of Uday and Qusay and how well they have learned from him.
    It’s too bad the media gives them unfettered ability to spread their half-truths, misstatements, innuendo, and lies. I guess that’s why Oxford Dictionary chose “post-truth” as the 2016 word of the year and gaslighting became a staple of the Trump campaign. Thanks for nothing MSM.

    • It’s really sad that most of his nominations to the top positions in his presidency are all unqualified! The one that he chose for Dept. of Education has NEVER been a teacher, has no degrees to speak off, and is pushing charter schools; he’s looking at Ben Carson for HUD….not sure what Ben has done to qualify him for THIS position; his ambassador to the UN has NO foreign experience whatsoever; and I could go on and on! He said he was going to nominate people who were intelligent and qualified to advise him, but to date, I haven’t seen a SINGLE nomination that I would call “qualified” to do much else except empty trash or walk dogs!

  10. mr trump prided himself on his “antics” and his ability to “read” a crowd..he appealed to nastiness and divisiveness and basic insecurity in people through his reality show techniques, and he succeeded..he is now “softening” his stance on just about everything he has said,but who knows..he changes daily..

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