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Daily Archives: September 15th, 2019


Robert Reich,The Guardian 5 hours ago
In retrospect, what’s most disturbing about “Sharpiegate” isn’t Trump’s clumsy effort to doctor a National Weather Service map or even his brazen move to get the same agency to lie on his behalf.
Related: Republican Trump challengers warn of totalitarian drift in party
It’s how utterly petty his motive was. We’ve had presidents trying to cover up a sexual liaison with an intern and a botched burglary, but never have we had one who went to such lengths to cover up an inaccurate weather forecast. Alabama being hit by a hurricane? Friends, this is not rational behavior.
Trump also cancelled a meeting with the Taliban at Camp David. The meeting was to have been secret. It was scheduled for the week of the anniversary of 9/11. He cancelled it by tweet.
Does any of this strike you as even remotely rational?
Before that, Trump cancelled a state visit to Denmark because Denmark wouldn’t sell Greenland to the US. Hello? Greenland wasn’t for sale. The US no longer buys populated countries. The state visit had been planned for months.
He has repeatedly told senior officials to explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes hitting the US. He believes video games cause mass shootings. He thinks climate change is no big deal.
No president has ever been sent packing. Nixon resigned because he saw it coming. Trump would sooner start a civil war
He says trade wars are “good and easy to win”. He insists it’s Chinese rather than US consumers who pay his tariffs. He “orders” American firms to stop doing business in China.
He calls the chairman of the Federal Reserve an “enemy”. He retweets a comedian’s sick suggestion that the Clintons were responsible for the suicide of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
I think we have to face the truth that no one seems to want to admit. This is no longer a case of excessive narcissism or grandiosity. We’re not simply dealing with an unusually large ego.
The president of the United States is seriously, frighteningly, dangerously unstable. And he’s getting worse by the day.
Such a person in the Oval Office can do serious damage.
What to do? We can vote him out of office in 14 months’ time. But he could end the world in seven and a half seconds.
There’s also the question of whether he’ll willingly leave.
With rumors flying that Trump might exchange him for another lapdog, who knows? Maybe Pence will discover some cojones
Can you imagine the lengths he will go to win? Will he get Russia to do more dirty work? Instruct the justice department to arrest his opponent? Issue an executive order banning anyone not born in the US from voting? Start another war?
By the time the courts order him to cease whatever unconstitutional effort he’s making to remain in office, the election may be over. Or he’ll just ignore the courts.
It’s almost too late for an impeachment. Besides, no president has ever been sent packing. Nixon resigned because he saw it coming. Trump would sooner start a civil war.
Also, being unstable is not an impeachable offense.
Two Republicans who have announced primary challenges to him have suggested another possibility: the 25th amendment.
Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld recently tweeted that Trump is “a clear and present danger” to the US, with the hashtag “#25thAmendment”. Former Illinois representative Joe Walsh says the amendment should be “looked at”.

Last February, former deputy director and acting director of the FBI Andrew McCabe said officials in the Department of Justice had discussed using the 25th.
Ratified in 1967, it allows the vice-president to become “acting president” when “the vice-president and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or such other body as Congress may by law provide” declare a president incapacitated.
The only attribute Vice-President Mike Pence has displayed so far is sycophancy: most recent illustration, overnighting at Trump’s golf resort in Ireland. But with rumors flying that Trump might exchange him for another lapdog, who knows? Maybe Pence will discover some cojones.
Another problem: the amendment doesn’t define who “principal officers” are and the constitution never mentions the word “cabinet”. If Trump thought a revolt was brewing, he’d fire everyone instantly.
I wouldn’t completely rule out the 25th amendment, but the only thing that’s going to get Pence and a majority of Trump’s lieutenants to pull the plug before Trump pulls it on them may be so horrific that the damage done to America and the world would be way beyond anything we’ve experienced to date.
Which is to say, be careful what you wish for.
Pray that we make it through the next 14 months. Then do everything in your power to remove this man from office.
Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian USA.


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Where is the money that was taken from the Pentagon budgets? MA.

Ellie Bufkin 7 hrs ago, The Examiner

The Trump administration reportedly canceled three projects to build parts of the barrier wall at the U.S. southern border in Arizona and California. A Friday court filing by the legal team representing the Trump administration in a civil suit indicated funds for the three construction projects were insufficient to continue building.

The lawsuit, filed against the president and several Cabinet members in February, accuses the administration of illegally declaring a state of emergency in order to obtain funding for the border wall. The Center for Biological Diversity and several other environmental organizations are named as plaintiffs in the case.

“Of the 58 times presidents have previously declared emergencies under the National Emergencies Act, none involved using the emergency powers to fund a policy goal after a president failed to meet that goal through foreign diplomacy (having Mexico pay for the wall) or the congressional appropriations process,” the original complaint said. “Never before has a president used the emergency powers granted to him by Congress in such a manner.”
The lawsuit calls for the president and his administration to cease construction of the barrier at the southern border, citing concerns for wildlife.
“Of particular concern to Plaintiffs and their members, border barriers prevent the passage of wildlife, and could result in the extirpation of jaguars, ocelots, and other endangered species within the United States,” it reads. “The use of funds for such barriers that on information and belief are directed at least in part to investigating and where relevant prosecuting organized criminal activities related to illegal wildlife trafficking further harms Plaintiffs’ interests in protecting and preserving biological diversity.”
The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental activist group, boasts on their website that they have sued the Trump administration and the president personally 158 times.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment on the matter.


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Thanks To Garry Trudeau.

Doonesbury Comic Strip for September 15, 2019


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