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Apparently Trump U’s primary training was to learn the art of laminating lies upon more lies.MA

By Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large 14 hrs ago

On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted. And tweeted. And tweeted.
Between 9:04 am and 9:37 am, Trump sent 5 tweets — all around the same basic theme: He is being unfairly persecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller even as Mueller and the broader FBI overlook crimes by Democrats.
The tweets are riddled with misinformation and, in some cases, outright falsehoods. Taken together, Trump said 11 things that aren’t true. Here’s the breakdown — tweet by tweet.
1. “Things are really getting ridiculous. The Failing and Crooked (but not as Crooked as Hillary Clinton) @nytimes has done a long & boring story indicating that the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt has found nothing on Russia & me so now they are looking at the rest of the World!” (9:04 am)

Trump is referring here to an article in the Times published Saturday detailing a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a liaison for two Arab princes in which the emissary made clear that his clients wanted to assist Trump’s campaign.
He is also making a tangential reference to a detailed piece published in the Times earlier this week that detailed the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between his campaign and the Russians.
Trump is hanging his conclusion on this one sentence: “A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts.”
What that sentences makes clear is a) no public evidence yet exists and b) the investigation is ongoing.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 1
2. “….At what point does this soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP! They have found no Collussion with Russia, No Obstruction, but they aren’t looking at the corruption…”
There’s zero factual basis — at least that I can find — for Trump putting a $20 million price tag on the Mueller probe. The closest we have come to a fact-based cost for the Mueller probe is back in December, when the investigation’s total cost was $6.7 million.
Trump’s claim that there are 13 Democrats on Mueller’s team is also false. According to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker, five of the 16 known members of Mueller’s team donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. The New York Times says that nine of the 17 known lawyers on Mueller’s team have donated to Democratic campaigns in the past. Then there’s this from the Post’s Philip Bump: “Of the 18 attorneys we identified on Mueller’s team, half gave no money to anyone, according to our analysis. Another five gave $1,000 or less. The one who gave the most also gave to two Republicans.”
RELATED: Meet the Mueller team
It’s not entirely clear who Trump is referring to with the line “two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years” but, presumably, one of them is Mueller himself. The problem with that is that Mueller was appointed FBI director by President George W. Bush, a Republican. President Obama simply kept Mueller on for the length of his 10-year term.
Trump says that Mueller’s team has found no collusion (he misspelled that word in the original tweet), but that too is not accurate. The investigation is ongoing and all of Mueller’s findings have yet to go public.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 4
3. “…In the Hillary Clinton Campaign where she deleted 33,000 Emails, got $145,000,000 while Secretary of State, paid McCabes wife $700,000 (and got off the FBI hook along with Terry M) and so much more. Republicans and real Americans should start getting tough on this Scam.”
First, a truth: Clinton did delete 33,000 emails after she and her attorneys determined they were entirely private and personal communications with no ties to her work as Secretary of State.
Now, to the untruths.
The $145 million figure Trump is referring to is the total donations to the Clinton Foundation by nine individuals who also at one time or another had investments in a Russian company that Clinton’s State Department allowed to buy a majority stake in Uranium One, a Canada-based company with US mining interests. The problems with Trump’s claim, as detailed here by PolitiFact, are considerable and include the fact that the donations to the Clinton Foundation were made prior to the idea of Clinton serving as secretary of State and that State was one of nine agencies who okayed the deal.
Trump’s insistence that someone in the Clinton campaign paid then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife $700,000 as a payoff to drop any investigations into them is a jumble of falsehoods. McCabe’s wife ran for the state Senate in Virginia in 2015. A super PAC affiliated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton ally, donated $500,000 to her campaign. She lost. There is zero evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved in the donation in any way, shape or form, or that McAuliffe made the donation to dissuade Andrew McCabe from looking into alleged wrongdoing by the Clintons.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 2
4. “Now that the Witch Hunt has given up on Russia and is looking at the rest of the World, they should easily be able to take it into the Mid-Term Elections where they can put some hurt on the Republican Party. Don’t worry about Dems FISA Abuse, missing Emails or Fraudulent Dossier!”
The Mueller probe has not “given up” on Russia. It’s worth noting that five people in the Trump campaign orbit have already pleaded guilty to crimes unearthed by Mueller and several — including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates — are cooperating with the Mueller probe.
It’s less clear what Trump is referring to with the phrase “Dems FISA abuse” although he has repeatedly suggested that Obama ordered a wiretap on him at Trump Tower during the campaign (not true) and that the FBI placed an informant in his campaign as spy (knowledgeable sources deny that claim).
As for the missing emails, it is not clear what crime Trump is alleging, although there is little doubt Clinton would have been better served to have a neutral third party go through her emails to determine which were personal and could be deleted and which were not.
Trump’s claim that the so-called “Steele dossier” is “fraudulent” is also not accurate. The more salacious elements of the dossier, gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele, are unconfirmed by the FBI. But the intelligence community has made clear that portions of the dossier are borne out by their own investigation.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 3 (at least)
5. “What ever happened to the Server, at the center of so much Corruption, that the Democratic National Committee REFUSED to hand over to the hard charging (except in the case of Democrats) FBI? They broke into homes & offices early in the morning, but were afraid to take the Server?”
This one is, mostly, accurate! The FBI confirmed that the DNC repeatedly rejected their requests to turn over the email server that had been penetrated by someone allegedly affiliated with the Russians.
Trump’s reference to the raids conducted by the FBI on the homes and offices of people like former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen misses the mark, however. Federal law enforcement did not break into these homes. They conducted raids based on search warrants — and entirely legal process based on, among other things, probable cause.
Untruth/Exaggeration Count: 1

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This article had many pro and cons in the online version, too many to list, to view access this online at HuffPost.MA

Marc Lamont Hill
HuffPost•May 17, 2018

 

“Hopefully, we can move beyond these arguments and engage in deeper and more nuanced conversations about creating peace, justice and freedom in the region.”
On Monday, one day prior to the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, the Trump administration fulfilled its promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. This move was followed by Palestinian protests in the West Bank and Gaza, with Israeli soldiers killing over 50 Palestinians, including children, and wounding over 1,000 others. Since then, debates have been raging among pundits, policymakers and everyday citizens about the struggle over Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, many of these conversations are animated by the same stale and problematic talking points. Here are seven of the most damaging:
1. These people have been fighting forever.
This is one of the most often repeated and inaccurate comments on the conflict. The truth is that Arabs and Jews have not been fighting forever. Rather, it can be dated to the end of the 20th century or, more acutely, the beginning of the post-World War I British Mandatory period. In addition to being historically inaccurate, such a claim frames the issue as something unsolvable and intractable, in addition to reinforcing longstanding ideas of Arabs as barbaric and inherently violent.

Palestinians want peace. But justice is always a precondition of peace.
2. This is a religious conflict.
This, too, is inaccurate. Palestinians are not a religious monolith. While majority Muslim, the Palestinian community has always included Muslims, Christians and Jews. Also, prior to Zionist settlement at the end of the Ottoman Empire, religious diversity was a feature of historic Palestine. Even after Jewish immigration began, Zionist settlers were mainly secular, as were the indigenous Palestinians.
But this isn’t just a question of historical accuracy. By framing the conflict as religious, we are encouraged to see it as an internecine squabble between two equally earnest parties who are in possession of competing religious texts or scriptural interpretations. Simply put, this is not about religion. It’s about land theft, expulsion and ethnic cleansing by foreign settlers to indigenous land.
3. It’s very complicated.
In a certain way, the issue is indeed complicated. After more than a century of conflict, there is definitely a lot of nuance surrounding various truth claims, policies and solutions. Too often, however, the claim that “it’s complicated” functions as an excuse to sidestep a very simple reality: this is about the 70-year struggle of a people who have been expelled, murdered, robbed, imprisoned and occupied. While there’s certainly a need to engage the finer points of the conflict, we can never lose sight of this basic and very uncomplicated point.
4. Palestinians keep turning down fair deals.
This argument wrongly presumes that any deal that includes the sharing of stolen land with the victims of said theft could be fair. But even in relative and pragmatic terms, this is not true. Think back to the wildly disproportionate U.N. partition agreement of 1947 that allotted 55 percent of the land to the Jewish population even though there only comprised 33 percent of the population and owned 7 percent of the land. Or look to the 2008 negotiations between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that did not allow for a contiguous Palestinian territory nor a real resolution to the struggle over Jerusalem, Palestinians have never been offered a deal that allows for a truly independent, fertile, sufficient, and secure state.

5. Palestinians don’t want peace.
This argument plays on Orientalist narratives of Arabs as innately violent, irrational, pre-modern and undeserving of Western democracy or diplomacy. The argument also castigates Palestinians for resisting their brutal occupation and repression. Occupied people have a legal and moral right to defend themselves. To ask them not to resist is to ask them to die quietly. Palestinians want peace. But justice is always a precondition of peace.
6. Israel has a right to exist!
This claim is a product of U.S. and Israeli hasbara, a term for propaganda. First, this argument is only rhetorically deployed in relation to Israel, as opposed to Palestine or virtually any other nation-states. After all, no one routinely demands that Israel and its advocates declare Palestine’s “right to exist” as an abstract idea, physical space or independent nation. More importantly, however, the claim obscures a more fundamental truth: no country has a right to exist, only people do. By naturalizing the idea that nation-states have a “right to exist,” we undermine our ability to offer a moral critique of Israel’s (or any settler-colony’s) origin story.

No country has a right to exist, only people do.
If a country has a natural right to exist, there is less room to challenge the means by which that country obtains land, interacts with indigenous populations or engages in international and domestic law. After all, it had a right to exist, right? The “right to exist” argument also reified the nation-state, erasing its relatively new emergence as a political imaginary construct. In other words, the idea of nations and nationalism is relatively new. (This is why the whole “there was never a country called Palestine” argument is both ahistorical and dishonest). The argument also limits our ability to imagine the world on different terms and different political formations, including the reconstitution of historic Palestine (or contemporary Israel) as a single democracy for ALL citizens, regardless of race, class, gender or religion.
7. You’re anti-Semitic!
Anti-Semitism is a very real phenomenon around the globe. And we must be vigilant about addressing and destroying anti-Semitism wherever it emerges. Too often, however, this claim is leveled against anyone who critiques or protests the practices of the Israeli nation-state.
Under these conditions, allegations of anti-Semitism become nothing more than a reflexive retort, intended to shut down the conversation. More importantly, this is a key part of Zionist strategy: equating Judaism with Zionism and the Israeli state itself. Under this logic, to critique Israel is to critique Judaism. Such arguments also ignore the fact that the Jewish tradition is one that covets justice and fairness, and its principles are in fundamental opposition with the Israeli government’s actions.
Hopefully, we can move beyond these arguments and engage in deeper and more nuanced conversations about creating peace, justice and freedom in the region.

Marc Lamont Hill is the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at Temple University, a CNN political commentator and former host of HuffPost Live.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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The reason for Trump is dissatisfaction with Government but the focus needs to be directed at the people we elect on the Congressional level. The myriad of political views which are excited by the election and ongoing tweet governance of DJT (TOTUS, #45 or your preferred description) have proven to be more of a distraction than attraction. The assorted Named groups from Conservative to progressive and the subsets that exist all appear to  have a similar agenda and that is get their way without considering how their way affects everyone else. There is and never will be a perfect solution to governing or lawmaking. The best we can hope for is electing people who are as middle of the road as possible. Our current political campaigns are fueled by huge amounts of money since the Citizens United ruling (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a landmark U.S. constitutional law, campaign finance, and corporate law case dealing with regulation of political campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on January 21, 2010 that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit corporations, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.)  Along with this ruling came the darker side of politics, the name calling, the barely true and unlikely true statements. Essentially the idea became a Goebbels-Hitler method of politics. This method follows any National unrest or upheaval, ours was the early 2000’s financial collapse brought on the greed in the Real Estate debacle of sub prime mortgage lending and the shock to some citizens of Having a person of color being elected President. The long string of anti anything or person of color was proudly pushed by this administration with no regard for the long range effects. All of the showy signing of rollback executive orders with no regard or understanding of the harm that will ensue should give ALL of us a reason to vote for people who will (we hope) fight back on these types of roll backs. The multitude of “buzzwords, sound bites and outright lies” should not be the convincing information to vote for anyone. As voters it is our DUTY to get All of the facts even if we don’t like them. With facts one can make a reasonable choice of who represents us. It is well to remember that Washington has the power to corrupt and once we understand that, we must keep backing the most honest of our lawmakers no matter which party they serve under. It is well to remember that this administration conflate lie with the truth as a matter of course along with the extreme conservatives who interfere with the work and funding of Women’s and low income citizens nutritional health. 

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MAY 16, 2018
Kuttner on TAP
Trump’s Selling Out His Country for Personal Gain Continues. When the news broke that President Donald Trump was chiding the Commerce Department for sanctioning a Chinese tech company, ZTE, everything about the move was puzzling. ZTE epitomized why the Trump administration was taking a harder line against Beijing.
ZTE sold products containing U.S. products to Korea and Iran, and then tried to cover it up. The FCC has refused to prohibit U.S. carriers from buying equipment made by ZTE for fear of hidden “back doors” that could spy or introduce malware.
Yet Trump suddenly undercut his cabinet department last week with a mysterious tweet:
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
Why on earth would Trump undermine his government’s own policy? One likely explanation soon became clear. On Tuesday, The National Review reported:
The Chinese government is extending a $500 million loan to a state-owned construction company to build an Indonesian theme park that will feature a Trump-branded golf course and hotels.
A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned construction firm Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal last week with the Indonesian firm MNC Land to build an “integrated lifestyle resort,” as part of Beijing’s global influence-expanding “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative.
The project will include a number of Trump-branded hotels, a golf course, and a residence. While the $500 million loan will not be directly allocated to any of the Trump-branded features, Beijing’s contribution of half the project’s total operating budget ensures the success of the broader theme-park venture.
This is not an explicit quid pro quo, of course, but Trump’s habits of subordinating the national interest to the profits of his family businesses continue. First Russia, now China. There’s a simple word for these habits: treason. ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

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Meyerson on TAP
A new report out from the National Center for Education Statistics—one branch of the Department of Education that Betsy DeVos hasn’t gotten around to dismantling yet—finds that 94 percent of schoolteachers spend their own money buying supplies for their classrooms and students. On average, the teachers spend $479 a year.
(Having accompanied my daughter on several occasions to a Staples outlet during her years of teaching in inner-city Brooklyn, I can personally attest to the study’s findings that teachers—and on occasion, teachers’ parents—buy such basics as paper and pens when their schools run short.)
Rather than adequately funding public schools, our federal and some state governments have allowed teachers to take tax deductions, up to $250 annually, for their out-of-pocket school expenses. In their budget-balancing zeal (joke), Republicans initially proposed to eliminate that deduction in their tax bill, but were compelled to drop that proposal. Now, House Democrats have introduced a bill that would raise the allowable deduction to $500—not that the bill is going anywhere so long as Republicans control the government.
It makes you wonder if teacher colleges offer a course in school-supply shopping. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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By John Bowden – 05/08/18 08:17 PM EDT

The Hill

Former CIA Chief John Brennan: Trump’s ‘Madness Is A Danger To Our National Security’
Trump has “undermined global confidence in U.S. commitments” and “alienated our closest allies,” Brennan said.

Former CIA Director John Brennan ripped President Donald Trump over his decision on Tuesday to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear treaty.
Brennan wrote on Twitter:

Brennan, now an analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, made similar comments on the air.
“This is not just foolish, this is dangerous,” he said. “And Mr. Trump has repeatedly misrepresented the facts of the nuclear deal with Iran. He’s basically lied to the American people and lied to the world about what that deal entails.”
Brennan was not alone in criticizing the move. The leaders of the United Kingdom, France and Germany issued a joint statement expressing “regret and concern.” In Iran, one lawmaker said “Trump does not have the mental capacity to deal with issues,” and members of parliament burned a paper version of an American flag and a symbolic copy of the Iran deal.
Brennan has been a constant critic of the president since leaving office on Trump’s 2017 inauguration. In March, he slammed Trump for hailing the Justice Department’s decision to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe just two days before retirement.
“You may scapegoat Andy McCabe,” Brennan wrote at the time. “But you will not destroy America… America will triumph over you.”

Earlier this year, Brennan described himself as “nonpartisan” and told NPR he had respect for both Democratic and Republican presidents he has served. Trump, however, was different.
“I think he is dishonest. He lacks integrity. He has very questionable ethics and morality. And he views the world through a prism of how it’s going to help Donald Trump,” Brennan said. “And I just think that he has not fulfilled the responsibilities of the president of the United States office.”

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Michelle Obama on 2016 election: ‘What is going on in our heads where we let that happen’
Brooke Seipel 8 hrs ago

© Provided by The Hill
Michelle Obama on Saturday discussed the 2016 presidential election at the United State of Women summit, during which she said she is still reflecting on the outcome and asking how “we let that happen.”
“In light of this last election, I’m concerned about us as women and how we think,” she said at the event. “What is going on in our heads where we let that happen, you know?”
The former first lady was discussing encouraging young women to dream big, and how to reflect on standards for women after Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton lost the election and the United States didn’t elect its first woman president.

“When the most qualified person running was a woman, and look what we did instead, I mean that says something about where we are,” Obama said. “That’s what we have to explore, because if we as women are still suspicious of one another, if we still have this crazy, crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men… if we’re not comfortable with the notion that a woman could be our president compared to… what, then we have to have those conversations with ourselves as women.”
She went on to add that she wished “girls could fail as bad as men do and still be ok.”
“Watching men fail up is frustrating. It is frustrating watching men blow it, and win,” she later added while discussing standards for women.
During her discussion as the keynote speaker at the United State of Women summit, Obama also touched on the importance of education for women and encouraging young girls to speak their minds.
The United State of Women describes itself on its website as a “national organization for any woman who sees that we need a different America for all women to survive and thrive.”
Thousands of women attended the summit, based in Los Angeles, this weekend which says its goal is to leave women “with new ideas and partners, hands-on training, and the tools and resources they need to make change at all levels.”

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By Paul Begala
Updated 11:41 PM ET, Tue May 1, 2018
Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, was a political consultant for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992 and was counselor to Clinton in the White House. He was a consultant to Priorities USA Action, the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
(CNN)Add the name of White House chief of staff John Kelly to the astonishingly long list of close Trump aides who have reportedly disparaged the President’s intellect, in his case referring to the leader of the free world as “an idiot.” Kelly called the report “total B.S.”
But, like the dog that didn’t bark, Kelly’s statement reveals more by what it does not say. It does not say the President is bright. It does not say he is engaged. It does not say he digs into the impossibly difficult issues that come into the Oval Office each day. And Kelly’s silence on those matters is telling.
Of course, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called President Trump “a [expletive deleted] moron” then heroically refused to participate in the ritualistic dishonest denial. Tillerson told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I’m not going to get into that kind of petty stuff.”
National security adviser H.R. McMaster, according to a report in BuzzFeed, has called President Trump an “idiot,” a “dope” and a man with the brain of a “kindergartner.”
In Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury” (which ought to be taken with an entire salt lick), the former chief of staff Reince Priebus and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refer to the President as an “idiot.” Then-chief economic adviser Gary Cohn says Trump is “dumb as [poop],” and is “an idiot surrounded by clowns.” (Note that this was at the time that Cohn himself was one of the people surrounding the President. Does that make him Clarabell?). And billionaire media baron Rupert Murdoch reportedly called President Trump “a [effing] idiot” after a phone call on immigration.

The tumultuous relationship between Trump, Kelly 02:32. I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Those closest to the President think, well, it’s pretty clear what they think.
But I dissent.
I think Donald J. Trump is plenty bright. Not in the intellectual, Mensa-meeting sense, but he has, I think, an undeniable intelligence. He is street smart, savvy, clever. No one can be that conniving and be an idiot.
So why the disconnect? Why do I as an outside analyst see an intelligence that those closest to the President do not? Because there are different kinds of intelligence that are useful for different purposes. The kind of intelligence I believe Trump has is enormously useful if you want to, say, be a politician — even better if you want to be a demagogue.
He has a cynical, innate intelligence for what his base wants to hear. It’s like a divining rod for division, prejudice and stereotyping. His relentless rhetorical repetition (“No collusion, no collusion, no collusion”) is brilliantly designed to tell folks who are predisposed to like him what they want to hear. Forget the objective reality that his campaign chairman, his son and his son-in-law all met with Russians who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government, helping make the case for why Robert Mueller should be investigating potential collusion.
He has an unerring sense for how to command media attention, whether it was assuming a pseudonym and leaking the “Best Sex I Ever Had” myth to the New York tabloids, or dominating water coolers across the country by attacking NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem. It’s like he knows what every bar stool blowhard is about to say before he or she even says it.
His penchant for third-grade nicknames undoubtedly demeans the discourse, and yet otherwise sophisticated people repeat them: “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco,” “Crooked Hillary.” So who’s really the idiot?
The problem is, Trump’s idiosyncratic intelligence, while enough to propel him to the White House, does not serve him well for the job of President. He lacks, by most accounts, the broad curiosity, the policy depth, the healthy skepticism of his own positions, the attention span, the appreciation of nuance, and most of all, the intellectual humility that successful presidents must have.
Serving President Clinton in the West Wing was the highlight of my professional life. He is the smartest person I have ever known — and he never, ever acted like (or felt like) the smartest person in the room. He paired his astonishing intellect with an immeasurable empathy, and the combination brought out the best in everyone around him.
He didn’t merely want to know; he wanted to understand. Then he would integrate, cross-pollinating new information about farm prices with the latest briefing on the French military budget, and seeing the world in subtle hues. It is impossible to imagine any of his top aides speaking as contemptuously of him as President Trump’s do of him. Finally, a word of caution for the Democrats: Don’t attack Donald Trump’s intelligence. Liberals already suffer from the conceit that they are more intelligent, and it can make them insufferable. Plus, in a weird way, calling President Trump stupid excuses his intentional acts of malice. So, don’t call him “moron” or “idiot;” call him what he is: a conniving, corrupt con man, a dangerous, divisive demagogue — and, most sobering of all, the man who carried 30 states in the last election, and may well do it again if Democrats don’t focus their fire more effectively.

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Bob Bryan 6 hrs ago

© Provided by Business Insider
Over 1,100 leading economists sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the president to reverse course on recent trade tactics — lest the US repeat one of the biggest mistakes of the Great Depression.

The letter, organized by the conservative-leaning National Taxpayers Union, warned that recent tariffs and trade protectionism were harmful to the US economy. The economists cited a 1930 letter that warned Congress against passing the Smoot-Hawley Act, a large package of tariffs that many studies cite as a major reason for the depth of the Great Depression.
“Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930, and Americans across the country paid the price,” the letter says. “The undersigned economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake. Much has changed since 1930 — for example, trade is now significantly more important to our economy — but the fundamental economic principles as explained at the time have not.”
The Smoot-Hawley tariffs, much like Trump’s measures, were designed as protection for US industries. But they ended up making the situation worse.
Included on the new letter are 14 Nobel laureates and economists from across the political spectrum, including former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
The letter also quotes the warnings from the 1930 letter, which warns that tariffs raise prices on consumers, damage industries that rely on trade director or indirectly, hurt the fortunes of American farmers, and lead to retaliatory measures from other countries.
The 1930 letter also painted the tariffs as a threat to national security.
“Finally, we would urge our Government to consider the bitterness which a policy of higher tariffs would inevitably inject into our international relations,” the 80-year-old letter read. “A tariff war does not furnish good soil for the growth of world peace.”

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This Old Trump Tweet Is Coming Back to Haunt Him — Because, Well, Just Read It
May 2, 2018 by Victoria Messina
First Published: March 14, 2018
It’s no secret that President Donald Trump isn’t the best at keeping officials in his administration around for very long. Though it feels like he’s been in the Oval Office for centuries, it’s only been a little more than a year — and in that time more than 30 of his staff members have either resigned or been fired from their posts. Notable departures include Sean Spicer, former White House Press Secretary, James Comey, former FBI Director, and Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist — just to jog your memory, since these departures seem to happen so often that they all blend together.
Trump’s most recent staff switch up came when he announced on March 13 that he had fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. As soon he shared the news — on Twitter, naturally — many were quick to call out his alarmingly high turnover rate, and some even resurrected an old tweet from the president in which he slammed Barack Obama for the amount of staff change-ups he made during his time in office. Way back in January 2012, just one day after Obama announced that his second Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, would be stepping down, Trump tweeted, “3 Chief of Staffs in less than 3 years of being President: Part of the reason why @BarackObama can’t manage to pass his agenda.”
Little did he know that six years later he’d wind up in the White House, already on his second Chief of Staff before even reaching his two-year mark, with his third COS, John Kelly, possibly on his way out soon.
We’ve said it before and we’ll likely say it again: for almost all of Trump’s controversial statements or decisions, there’s always a corresponding tweet from his past that totally contradicts it. And everyone on social media isn’t about to let him off the hook for it . . .

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