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Category Archives: Trumpedation


Hasan Piker, Contributor

Political Commentator / The Young Turks
Conservatives don’t own patriotism.
10/18/2017 05:11 pm ET Updated 12 hours ago

If You Think Protesting Racism Is Unpatriotic, But Disrespecting Military Widows Isn’t, You’re Probably NOT A Patriot

I’m getting real sick and tired of certain conservatives thinking they own patriotism and love for America when they have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.

It started with Colin Kaepernick, it has spread, it has infected the league – I would like to ask these players, what exactly are you kneeling for and why have you chosen the flag and the anthem to do it?
Leave it up to Tomi and the good folks over at Fox News to blatantly miss the point of a protest, then admit to not understanding the point and still go along with their propaganda.
Here’s the most concise summarization of why these players #takeaknee. Kaepernick said this around a year ago and was blackballed by the NFL for it:
“Specifically, it’s police brutality. Cops are getting paid leave, for killing people and not being held accountable ― that’s not right.”
It is incredibly revealing to me that Fox News and specifically Tomi Lahren have covered Colin Kaepernick and the NFL protests hundreds of times this past year to now come out and basically admit that they’ve just been criticizing these players without a single clue what they’re going on about. But I guess that’s the point, it’s not about hearing the other side out, but to get them to stop ― by whatever means necessary.
I also like how this is a hypothetical question, as if Tomi would like to know, but that’s “impossible,” so there’s no way of knowing for sure, which is ironically the whole point of this protest to begin with.
Also pretty much every player who’s knelt has been asked about why they’re protesting, so in fact, it would be really easy to check on.
And even if Tomi was incapable of asking the players for ― or reading literally just one article on the issue, she could have at least done her due diligence and asked maybe one veteran, Nate Boyer ― a green beret ― what HE thinks about Kaepernick taking a knee?
Nate served, after all, and everyone at Fox News loves to drape themselves with the flag and respect our troops when it suits them. Nate’s not trans either so they can respect his service.
I bring Nate up because he was also initially mad at Kaepernick and assumed he was disrespecting his service, so he wrote him a letter, and Kaepernick immediately agreed to meet with him.
First thing he said when we met was: ‘I want you to know, I appreciate your service more than anything.’ I expressed to him maybe there’s a different way to demonstrate, where you’re showing more respect for those that lay down their lives for what that flag and anthem stands for. I suggested kneeling.
Colin Kaepernick, at a time when it seemed nearly impossible to do so, sat down and listened. And Nate’s suggestion is why he changed his form of protest from sitting to knee
I urge everyone to watch the video above. It is incredibly powerful and proves that we can find common ground, as long as we have these uncomfortable conversations with those we do not agree with. This was the understanding Nate came to, following their conversation:
I respect those men and women in uniform, but the ones that aren’t doing it the right way, we have to correct it. We need to fix it, he’s right about that. // It is an issue, and we’ve come along way, but we still have a long way to go.
Nate was open to having a conversation and he listened to the other side and was able to change his mind, and it’s terrifying that Fox News promotes the antithesis of that understanding in most of their coverage. An understanding that extends to white supremacists wearing swastikas, but not to people protesting racism.
But here’s why I’ve had it with conservatives hijacking the conversation when it comes to patriotism, respecting the flag, the troops and America.
Are the thousands of veterans speaking out on social media about how these protestors have a right to take a knee not valid? Are the hundreds of NYPD officers who took a knee in solidarity unpatriotic? I can see no other reason as to why Fox News never features these stories in their round the clock anti-protest coverage?
Is there no police brutality problem? Police have killed at least 223 black Americans since Kaep took a knee, perhaps this not an issue for Fox News? Is it not an issue when an unarmed black kid is five times more likely to be killed than a white peer?
How is it that conservatives are able to hijack patriotism, when they use it simply as a talking point to disenfranchise others?
Why is Trump a pillar of American patriotism when he frequently says the most unpatriotic sh*t? So, I’m asking conservatives, is this really the brand of patriot you want to be?
Trump on Mccain: “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured okay?”
I’m sure you all heard how Trump dealt with the one of the widow of the four slain U.S. soldiers in Niger.
First he lied about how other presidents never called family members of those who died in combat. Then when he did call Myeisha Johnson, the pregnant wife of one of the slain soldier’s he chose an unusual form consolation: “Your husband knew what he signed up for.”
Not sure that’s the kind of patriotism you want to promote.
The kind that has also mocked the family of a slain Muslim veteran very publicly. Was that respecting the flag and the military?
Criticizing America in order to make it better for everyone is not unpatriotic, and it is absolutely more patriotic than hurling insults at John Mccain, or letting the insurance markets in certain states implode by not making CSR payments just because Trump wants to undermine Obama’s legacy.
It’s almost like Tomi and her ilk want to pretend they have no idea what the protests are about because their whole goal is to avoid at all costs talking about our racist criminal justice system, even if it makes them all look like a bunch of complete morons.
So this is my message to conservatives who watch Fox News, if you see the problem with trying to pass off bigotry or efforts to silence fellow citizens as patriotism, speak out, have an uncomfortable conversation with others who don’t agree with you – don’t let assholes hijack what it means to be American or patriotic and claim that the people pushing policies that will hurt their fellow citizens are the real patriots.
You can follow me on Instagram and on Twitter for more hot takes. You can find all of my videos on youtube.

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By Nick Visser

A Florida congresswoman described President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger as “insensitive” after the president reportedly said the man “must’ve known what he signed up for.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) was in the car with Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, when Trump called her Tuesday and spoke for about five minutes, according to South Florida’s NBC affiliate.

“Sarcastically he said: ‘But you know he must have known what he signed up for,’” Wilson recounted to NBC6. “How could you say that to a grieving widow? I couldn’t believe… and he said it more than once. I said this man has no feelings for anyone. This is a young woman with child who is grieved to her soul.”

Wilson, speaking to CNN, said her community was angry about the comments and described Johnson as a local hero.

The White House declined to comment on the account in statements given to The Washington Post and an ABC affiliate.

“The president’s conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private,” an unnamed official said in the statement.

Four Green Berets were killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month, and two others were wounded. Following a question about why he hadn’t spoken about their deaths publicly or called troops’ families, Trump said Monday that he had written personal letters and that he planned to call later. He then used the opportunity to falsely assert that his predecessors “didn’t make calls” themselves.

Former President Barack Obama frequently called the families of soldiers killed in action and visited those wounded during his administration. President George W. Bush visited troops at the Walter Reed medical center 16 times before he left office.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed on Twitter late Tuesday that Trump had called all four families of those killed, saying he offered “condolences on behalf of the country.”

Trump returned to the subject Tuesday, using the death of Chief of Staff John Kelly’s son in 2010 to illustrate Obama’s record on calling bereaved families, saying his predecessor did not call in that instance. Obama invited Kelly and his wife, Karen, to a breakfast in 2011 for Gold Star families who have lost children in combat. They were seated at a table with first lady Michelle Obama.

Wilson on Tuesday described Trump’s call as “insensitive” in an interview to a local ABC affiliate. She was with Myeshia Johnson and her two children, ages 2 and 6, as she watched the casket carrying her husband arrive at Miami International Airport.

“He should have not have said that,” Wilson told ABC 10, before repeating, “He shouldn’t have said it.”

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The Roman god Janus had two faces one to look backwards and one to look forward. Our month of January is named after him. The idea is to remember the past and look to the future. I would offer that TOTUS is like Janus except his two faces spew lies that cover lies, while telling another lie. It is unfortunate that hardcore Trump supporters do not realize that he has lied to them from the start and has continued to lie in the face of the truth. Trump’s “brand” if you will has always been:

1. Lie, when caught lie again.

2. Another feature of the “brand” is bully, then lie and repeat.

3. Throw anyone under the bus and lie again

4. Sell snake oil whenever possible

5. Lastly if it doesn’t make me look good then I won’t do it and lie again.

It’s called the “Trump Brand” or Trumpism (a non communicable disease).

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What if the Native Americans decided to take America back? Do you think they would be seeking the removal of all non native Americans? What if the current and proposed immigration laws were in force in 1875? If the current  or proposed immigration laws were in effect, there would possibly be no Donald Trump as his Grandfather would not have been allowed in the United States. That being said what is wrong with Trump supporters who believe the DACA recipients are stealing jobs or college spots? Each of these people would tell you with impunity that they are not racist but ask the question : when was the last time you had a non white over for drinks, dinner or to watch a sports game? Did you support any non white people running for any elected office? or do you (did you) support the Indians in the movie accounts of “Custer’s Last stand?”. Do you now support giving as much aid to Puerto Rico as is given to Florida and Texas? Depending on the answers you may be dealing with a Racist on one of the many levels of Racism that exist. Our current administration has no good outlook for any of us matter what anyone chooses to believe about their fate and the overt or covert sense of their race. Our President is no more than a racist who has an over inflated ego with a healthy dose of megalomania. If it were not for the luck of his Grandfather and the savvy of his father, Donny would be no different than many of his supporters and no one would know who he is except for his immediate family. It is also possible the he may be a member of any one of the many anti groups.

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Originally published on October 12, 2017 7:02 pm

Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

Donald Trump is not letting go of his fight with the NFL. For the last few weeks, the president has criticized players who kneel in protest during the national anthem. He says they’re disrespecting the flag, the country and the military. While reporting for our podcast Embedded, we found out this was not Trump’s first fight over the American flag. In fact there’s a pattern to how the president uses talk of patriotism to his own advantage.
NPR’s Sonari Glinton and Embedded producer Tom Dreisbach will take it from here. We’ll start with Sonari.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: This story takes place in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. It’s a small, fairly wealthy city of about 40,000 – politically conservative, but it’s that Sunbelt brand of conservative. RPV is kind of the gateway to Orange County and has one of the most beautiful stretches of California coastline that you can find.
TOM DREISBACH, BYLINE: And Donald Trump first came to town in 2002.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Trump, would you like to come up and sit on this side, please?
DREISBACH: He bought up a golf course that was in trouble. The 18th hole had literally fallen into the ocean in a landslide. And Trump promised to fix that course and make it even better.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to build something that I believe will be, in the end, one of the great courses anywhere in the world.
GLINTON: Trump was coming to the rescue, and a lot of people were excited, like Tom Long. He’s a former city councilman, and he’s a Democrat.
TOM LONG: You know, a hole fell into the ocean. The golf course is ruined. I didn’t think there was any realistic possibility of it recovering.
GLINTON: And then the way I – I mean, in this part of the story, (imitating bugle)…
LONG: Yes.
GLINTON: Here comes in…
LONG: In comes the white knight, or at least that’s I think what everyone felt at first.
DREISBACH: Then came the fights. In 2003, Trump sued the public school district. Now, the story’s a little complicated, but here’s the short version. The school district owns some land in the middle of the golf course, and they were supposed to start collecting rent on that land. Trump did not like the deal, so he sued. The two sides eventually settled. The school district got $5 million. Trump got the land. But Trump could not let it go.
GLINTON: Trump was especially angry with the school district’s lawyer. During the lawsuit, the attorney for the schools called Trump pompous and arrogant. And so at this big public meeting in 2005, in front of the entire city council, residents and the media, Trump brought up the lawsuit. Here is the former city councilman Tom Long.
LONG: Why Donald Trump decided to focus on that lawsuit, I don’t know. But what he did is he then commented that the school board’s attorney, Milan Smith, was an [expletive].
GLINTON: Let’s just say the future president called him a two-syllable word which starts with the letter A.
DREISBACH: This was reported in the local paper and confirmed to us by three people who were there. And just some more background on this lawyer, Milan Smith – he was really well-respected, so well-respected in fact that later he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
GLINTON: And that confirmation vote was unanimous. That court rules on some of the really important issues for the Trump administration. Earlier this year, they blocked President Trump’s travel ban for several majority Muslim countries.
DREISBACH: By the way, we asked both the Trump Organization and the White House for comment on this story. Neither responded to our questions. Judge Milan Smith declined to comment.
GLINTON: Now, that incident put the people and the city on notice, but that fight with the school district was just the beginning.
MCEVERS: OK, so yeah, we’re taking a left on a road called…
DREISBACH: Trump National Drive.
MCEVERS: Trump National Drive.
DREISBACH: So we drove out to the golf course with Kelly McEvers because when she’s not hosting this show, she also hosts Embedded.
MCEVERS: You’re looking out over this completely unobstructed, beautiful view of the ocean, and there is one thing that sticks up.
GLINTON: Oh, yeah. Look there.
DREISBACH: The American flag.
MCEVERS: A 70-foot flagpole.
GLINTON: That flagpole is the reason for another one of Donald Trump’s fights with the city of Rancho Palos Verdes. It starts in 2006. And by now, Trump has repaired and renovated the golf course, and it’s open to the public.
DREISBACH: And one day, essentially a flagpole just appears on the golf course.
GLINTON: And it’s not one of those things where everybody in a city doesn’t realize it’s there – right? – ’cause as you can see from every view on this side of the hill that flagpole is fairly prominent.
DREISBACH: But there’s a problem. Trump did not get a permit for that flagpole. And in Rancho Palos Verdes, people are very serious about their views of the ocean. That’s because if you’ve got an unobstructed view, your property values are a lot higher. So the city tells Trump, you need a permit, or you need to take out your flagpole.
GLINTON: And Donald Trump says – he doesn’t think you need a permit to put up the American flag. He writes in a letter to the city council, quote, “the American flag and all it stands for will not be taken down.” In other words, forget your permits. This is about patriotism.
DREISBACH: And this tactic actually starts to work. Some people are like, well, we can’t take down the American flag. It’s the American flag. Other people are like, no, Donald Trump has to follow the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Thank you, your honor. We’re now moving on to…
DREISBACH: By the time it gets the city council, people are pretty upset.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Item number 10 is proposed solution to the unpermitted Trump flagpole and flag at Trump National…
DREISBACH: First you’ll hear Tom Long, and then you’ll hear Steve Wolowitz. He’s the second former city councilman who helps us tell this story. They both say they’ve gotten tons of angry letters from people.

LONG: At one end of the spectrum – someone telling me that how dare I even consider voting to take down the flag. And if I did do so, I should be taken out the next morning and shot.
STEVE WOLOWITZ: Then there was a very long letter that this is a litmus test of our own patriotism. It reminded me of shades of McCarthyism because we wouldn’t pass this writer’s test.
GLINTON: Now, that second city councilman, Steve Wolowitz, says at one point, he thought the whole fight was just an attention grab for Trump’s new golf course.

WOLOWITZ: Now, I have to offer congratulations to all of us for providing the very type of publicity that a real estate developer seeks.
GLINTON: In the end, the council votes.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Councilman Gardiner…
GLINTON: The flagpole stays.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The motion passes.
GLINTON: Trump gets his way, and Steve Wolowitz is left on the losing side. Now, that all happened in 2006, but Wolowitz still thinks about it.
WOLOWITZ: And to this day, people will stop me in the community, and they’ll say, weren’t you the guy who voted against the flag? And I’d take the time to explain to people that local laws, state laws and federal laws are there to protect us, and I can’t ignore those.
DREISBACH: Steve Wolowitz lived in Rancho Palos Verdes for four decades. He’s been a Republican his entire life. He’s worked with just about every community organization you can think of from the Chamber of Commerce to the Rotary. And for all eight years he served on the city council, he also dealt with Donald Trump.
GLINTON: He was there when Donald Trump insulted the school district’s lawyer, there for the flagpole. And he was around for the other fights Trump had with the city, like the hundred-million-dollar lawsuit Trump filed. So he got to know Donald Trump long before the presidential campaign. And we wanted to know what Steve Wolowitz thought on Election Day.
WOLOWITZ: Some of my friends and colleagues would hear and see everything I heard and saw, and they still supported him. I didn’t. That’s from – coming from a lifelong Republican, by the way.
GLINTON: But I wonder. As a lifelong Republican, as someone who – in this community for 40 years, how does that make you feel?
WOLOWITZ: I feel sad.
DREISBACH: In 2008, this city voted for John McCain. In 2012, they voted for Mitt Romney. Then in 2016, they had Donald Trump on the ballot, a man they knew. And they voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. I’m Tom Dreisbach.
GLINTON: I’m Sonari Glinton. NPR News.

Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Our ability to make voting decisions is based on what we know to be factual, not all of us agree on everything but facts remain fact and will not change. Knowledge of issues is the key to voting the right people in office.MA

Ethan Wolff-Mann 16 hours ago

President Donald Trump unveiled his tax plan earlier this month. But despite tweets and extensive news coverage, the public holds a massive blind spot about the plan’s details, its potential effects on taxpayers and their own financial situation.
According to survey data of 1,570 adults compiled by data-driven marketing company Fluent, many people are still in the dark over proposals that could affect their finances and the economy significantly over the coming years should Trump’s tax plan become law.
Not everyone is expected to recite the details of the proposal, but the survey yielded a particularly surprising result: Only 53% of Americans had heard about Trump’s tax proposal. A sizeable 47% of survey respondents said they didn’t know anything about it.
Trump’s tax plan, broadly speaking, collapses the seven-bracket system currently employed to a three-bracket model, lowering the highest tax bracket to 35% from 39.6% and raising the lowest bracket to 12% from 10%. The middle brackets would be condensed to a 25%, though it’s not immediately clear which ones will be grouped with the highest and lowest or remain in the middle. In addition, Congress may add a fourth bracket for ultra-high earners, the cutoff and percentage has not been specified and will be up to them if they proceed. For businesses, the proposal also slashes the corporate tax to 20% from 35%. Besides the brackets and rate changes, the tax plan would double an individual’s standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for joint-filers.
These changes are some of the largest to the tax system in decades, but 55% of the people who are familiar with the proposal have no idea about the proposal’s potential effects. For the rest of that same group, 20% think it will help them and 25% think it will hurt them.
Results show an expected partisan gap occurred between Trump supporters and non-Trump supports. Fifty-one percent of people who do not support Trump — Democrats, Republicans, and independents — view the changes as a massive tax cut for the wealthy. Fifty-four percent of Trump supporters, who the study found favor a single income-tax bracket for all, see it as a chance for economic stimulus, and 51% think it will help the middle class. Just 12% of those anti-Trumpers agree.
The survey also sought to reveal what people want their tax dollars spent on. For both Trump supporters and non-supporters, health care  and education led the way by a significant margin, though the ‘Make America Great Again’ crowd put military spending as a close third behind education. With the exception of military spending, priorities were almost identical similar in-line across party and Trump divides, with health care, education, military, infrastructure, justice, safety net-style programs, and foreign aid prioritized in that order.
Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann. Confidential tip line: emann[at]oath[.com].

It is a safe bet to think that TOTUS has not read Mr. Sanders plan, it is possible it was given to him in a shortened form (easy to read) with negative notations. This has been the normal way that Modern politics works: give inadequate information to base a decision on and maintain the Party line at all costs (usually to the taxpayers). MA.

Yahoo News
Michael Walsh 15 hours ago

President Trump to Republican senators: I told you so.
The commander in chief lamented on Thursday afternoon that the Republicans have been unable to follow through on their campaign promises of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. In a series of tweets, he suggested this failure gave Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders an opening to advance his plan for a single-payer health care system, also known as Medicare for All, which Trump denounced as “a curse” on the United States and the American people.
But Trump assured fellow Republicans that he would save the country from this fate by vetoing any single-payer health care legislation that comes across his desk.
This is far from the first time Trump has chided Republicans in Congress for coming up short in their efforts toward health care reform or attacked Sanders for his Democratic Socialist ideals and proposals.
Earlier Thursday, aboard Air Force One from Fort Myers, Fla., to Washington, D.C., Trump criticized Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for the health care defeat. In late July, McCain effectively killed the GOP replacement plan, known as the Health Care Freedom Act, by joining two other Republicans (Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska) who opposed the plan — ending in a 49-51 vote.
“It was a very unpleasant surprise,” Trump told reporters. “Now we have people talking about single-payer. So Republicans have to stick together better. We had the votes. John McCain changed his mind, pure and simple. If the Republicans don’t stick together, then I’m going to have to do more and more.”
Sanders has long been a supporter of universal health care and introduced his Medicare for All bill in the Senate on Wednesday, boasting that it already has 15 co-sponsors and the support of dozens of grassroots organizations.
“Now I know that taking on the insurance companies and Wall Street and the drug companies and the medical equipment suppliers — all those people who profit off our dysfunctional health care system — is not going to be easy fight,” he said in a video. “And the only way that we win this is when the American people stand up as they are and demand real change.”

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My Question is: What about the Native Americans? MA.

By Craig Bannister | September 5, 2017 | 12:19 PM EDT

Laura Ingraham says illegal aliens aren’t the only ones who want “a better life.”
“Americans are dreamers, too,” conservative pundit Laura Ingraham declared Tuesday as Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for illegal aliens (DACA) is being “rescinded.”

Appearing on Fox News Channel, Ingraham argued that Americans’ dreams are being compromised by the acceptance and coddling of illegal aliens:
“Americans are dreamers, too. They have a lot of dreams that have not been fulfilled because of a variety of reasons — a lot of them have to do with politicians not doing what they said they were going to do.”

“So American citizens want a better life. They want their kids to be in schools that aren’t overcrowded. They want health care that doesn’t rise in its cost [by] 20 percent, 18 percent a year.”

“We don’t rule by emotion. We rule by law,” Ingraham said. She also dispelled the notion that DACA was simply protect pre-teen illegal aliens, noting that the program even protects 36 year-olds.
Ingraham suggested that, if Congress passes an amnesty bill, the American public won’t stand for it:

“So if Congress wants to push basically a de facto amnesty of a million people and think that somehow Middle America is going to stand up and cheer, good luck.”

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• Sam Becker

• September 04, 2017

President Donald Trump has created logistical headaches at the taxpayers’ expense. Under normal circumstances, Americans would assume a Republican president would usher in an era of fiscal responsibility. Of budget slashing. Of belt tightening and more efficient government programs. But these are not normal circumstances, and Donald Trump is not a typical Republican president. Although changes are coming and some people are going to benefit, taxpayer money has been flowing rather freely on Capitol Hill since the election.
A report from The Washington Post outlines that the taxpayers are fronting a lot of money to pay for the Trumps and their “elaborate” lifestyles. Trump and his family have a complicated web of business interests, investments, and properties. And life in and around the Oval Office is quite different from what they’re used to.
The resulting “logistical nightmare,” as the Post calls it, comes at the expense of the taxpayers. That means you, the American people, are paying for Trump’s trips to Florida. And you’re paying for the security of Trump Tower in New York in addition to many other things. You might not like it, but there’s little you can do about it — at this point, at least, with Republicans in Congress unlikely to tell Trump to cool it on the expenditures. Just how is Trump and the rest of his family burning through your tax dollars? Here are 10 ways that we know of — so far.

1. Securing Trump Tower

One of the most obvious and expensive ways in which taxpayers are getting nailed concerns Trump Tower in Manhattan. The first lady and Trump’s son Barron are living there, and that requires round-the-clock security and Secret Service protection. That amounts to roughly $500,000 per day in expenses — all paid for by the American people. The people of New York City are also fronting the bill for an extra 200 police officers.
2. Weekends at Mar a Lago

You might have heard that Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida resort, has the unofficial moniker of “White House South.” Trump likes it and has been spending his weekends there at the beginning of his presidency. But it’s not cheap. With just three visits, he’s burned through more than $10 million in taxpayer money. It’s unclear as to whether Trump plans to continue his weekly journeys. But what’s important is it’s mighty expensive.
3. Golf
Trump likes to golf. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a great way to get some exercise and escape the pressures of the office. Former President Barack Obama liked to golf, too, as did George W. Bush. Obama was also criticized for it — and quite often. Now Trump has been golfing on the taxpayers’ dime, even if it’s with foreign dignitaries. It’s important to give our leaders a break, but if you’re going to criticize one president for hitting the links, you’ve got to get them all.
4. Attacking businesses

The Trumps have had several public spats with big companies, and it’s not only troublesome in terms of ethics violations. Trump, while drawing a salary from the taxpayers (along with others, such as Kellyanne Conway), has gone after Nordstrom for dropping his daughter’s clothing line, as well as many media companies. So far, there’s a list of more than 60 companies Trump has targeted on Twitter, all as the American people pay him as president.
5. Re-election events

The president likes to get out among his fans. He’s already held a big rally in Florida. And with the 2020 race set to heat up sooner than we all would like, Trump will get to be back on the campaign trail in full force. He was able to bill his own businesses more than $8 million during 2016. Given that he’s the sitting president this go-around, taxpayers will be fronting some of that money for security and transportation.
6. Promoting the Trump brand abroad

One particularly maddening way in which the Trumps seem to be profiting off of the presidency is by paying for members of the family to fly around the world to promote the Trump brand. Case in point: Eric Trump recently took a trip to Uruguay to look over the family’s business interests. That single trip, which, by law, required Secret Service protection, cost taxpayers almost $100,000.
7. Trump’s D.C. hotel

The Trumps recently opened a fancy new hotel in Washington, D.C., a location they lease from the government. This has been tagged as a big conflict of interest, with a report from a Republican senator’s office showing Trump was granted $40 million in tax credits. It doesn’t look like anyone’s going to press for changes on this front.
8. Rallies

We brought up re-election expenses, but most of that stuff is down the road. That hasn’t stopped Trump from holding a big rally in Florida, only a few weeks into his tenure. That rally, and any future rally, comes with a hefty price tag. And like it or not, you’re fronting the money to put them on — or at least for elements within them. Security, transportation, and other costs add up quickly.
9. Questionable appointments

“Questionable appointments” aren’t really an expense. But the American people expect competent, qualified people to fill Cabinet and senior staff positions. So far, Trump has given those jobs to some questionable people — all of whom will be getting paid by the taxpayers. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is one example, with many wondering about his qualifications. The same goes for Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Scott Pruitt, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Rex Tillerson, and more.
10. Renting office space (from the Trumps)
The Pentagon might need to lease space in Trump Tower for when the president spends time in New York. We’ve already discussed expenses related to keeping Trump Tower as “White House North.” But it appears the Pentagon might actually need to lease space for when the president spends time there. That could cost as much as $1.5 million per year — money paid to the Trumps.

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Apparently it is OK to disassociate the Law Enforcement Agencies from the communities they serve and live in. Mr. Sessions is as anti American as any enemies of the U.S. MA.

Alan Pyke

Aug 29, 2017, 8:53 am
Attorney General Jeff Sessions struck a new blow in his war against police reform on Monday, announcing that President Donald Trump will rescind an executive order from his predecessor restricting local cops’ access to hardware designed for war zones.
The long-predicted move puts grenade launchers and bayonets back on small-town police department shopping lists. It also guts accountability measures for a much longer list of defensive equipment and  military tools which had remained available to police  under President Barack Obama’s reforms.

But the most striking thing in a speech riddled with falsehoods was Sessions’ presentation of the thinking behind the administration’s move — dismissing police reform efforts as harmful to public safety.
“These restrictions that had been imposed went too far,” the attorney general said before the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in Nashville. “We will not put superficial concerns over public safety.”
Sessions was speaking to a receptive audience. Tennessee’s Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security, David Purkey, opened by characterizing police as soldiers in a war for decency.
“You, my young friends, stand in the gap for this country. This country offers inspiration, and intimidation. We offer intimidation through our military,” Purkey quoted Marine Corps Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis as having told soldiers in the field. “When I look out on this crowd,” Purkey went on, broadening the warzone sermon to include the police audience in Tennessee, “I see a group of men and women who stand in the gap for this country.”
Sessions later characterized the new Trump order as part of its broader rejection of civilian complaints about police.
“We will always seek to affirm the critical role of police officers in our society, and we will never participate in anything that will give comfort to radicals who promote agendas that preach hostility rather than respect for police,” he said.

The rise of these so-called “radicals” and the spread of distrust for police from minority communities to a wider band of the American public is directly connected to the kinds of abuses of force that Sessions ignored in his remarks. While a new wave of public attention to individual police killings of unarmed black and brown people in recent years helped galvanize reform efforts, the drive for change draws on a long-running conversation about systematic rights violations by police.
Obama’s order came out of a deliberative process informed by input from police, civic leaders, private researchers, and Pentagon officials. Its new controls on military materiel were modest, flexible, and grounded in decades of police violence and unnecessary death.

Pentagon tried to give $1.2 million in guns and bombs to a fake police department
The military is so eager to put war machines in cops’ hands that it doesn’t bother making sure they’re, you know, actually cops.
Protests and violence in Ferguson, Missouri following the police killing of Michael Brown provided the immediate motivation for Obama’s reforms. The heavily armored police response in St. Louis County provided striking visuals of cops as an occupying military force — the tip of a counter-insurgency spear, not a shield that protects and serves.
But mass-protest crowd control is almost a more appropriate use of such heavy equipment  than has been typical over the 25-year history of the “1033” program modified by Monday’s order. When a police agency obtains a new tool or stands up a new unit, its mere existence creates an imperative: Leadership must find some reason to use the new toys, send out the new tactical team. As paramilitary-style police thinking, tactics, and equipment found their way into even the smallest towns in America, where situations that actually require armored vehicles are rare, the imperative to justify equipment and personnel bred monstrous outcomes.
Sessions repeatedly depicted the now-canceled restrictions on Pentagon equipment dispersals to police as a cosmetic move born of a misguided focus on perceptions over reality. In his telling, concern about militarized policing inside U.S. borders is feckless posturing that endangers police and harms public safety.
Sessions was roasting a straw man. The actual argument is that police should act from a sense of unity with those they serve rather than from the mindset of an occupying military force. The claim Sessions sidestepped is that the cop-as-conquistador mentality actually brings more violence into communities, not less.

So-called “dynamic entry” police raids – the type of GI Joe police activity encouraged throughout the War on Drugs and enabled by Pentagon equipment  – are deadly and prone to error. More than 120 civilians and dozens of police officers have died in such raids since the 1990s, including 94 such deaths from 2010 to 2016 alone. These numbers are almost certainly low, as statistics about police violence always are thanks to lax recordkeeping.
Raids that don’t go deadly can still inflict gore on innocents. When Georgia police burst into a family home before dawn in 2014, 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh was sleeping in his playpen. An officer chucked a flash bang grenade in with him, tearing a massive hole in the toddler’s chest. The child survived, and the officer was acquitted on federal charges after state officials declined to prosecute any of the police involved in the raid.
When officers are trained to think like soldiers on foreign soil, they  learn to regard the “natives” around them with constant suspicion. That disposition makes investigators sloppy, eager to have their gut belief that something fishy is going on confirmed by any means possible. It only takes one cunning jailhouse snitch, familiar with the rewards of giving an officer the basis for a warrant he wants, to get a SWAT team  dispatched to a sleepy family home.

Florida sheriff cuts tough-guy video with masked SWAT team
Guilty people aren’t the only ones who should fear nighttime raids.
Sessions never mentioned actual paramilitary tactics like these drug raids in his speech. Instead, he pretended that the Obama restrictions had kept life-saving gear like bulletproof vests and helmets out of police officer hands. That is a lie.
Only five categories of equipment were flat-out prohibited from the police recycling system: grenade launchers, bayonets, high-caliber ammunition, track-driven armored vehicles, and certain types of camouflage.
All other materiel covered by the 1033 redistribution program – including the safety gear Sessions cited in Monday’s remarks – remained accessible to local cops as “controlled equipment.” Departments were required to provide specific justifications for their requests, to establish training and use protocols for the gear, and to more closely track how officers actually use controlled equipment.
“These guidelines were created after Ferguson to ensure that police departments had a guardian, not warrior, mentality. Our communities are not the same as armed combatants in a war zone,” Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights head Vanita Gupta said in a statement. The rules would have meant greater scrutiny for the kinds of reckless assaults on civilian homes that lead to flash bangs in baby cribs and needless firefights between startled, sleeping homeowners and the black-clad invaders they do not realize are police. They would not have sent first responders into harm’s way in flip-flops and Jimmy Buffett tee-shirts as Sessions insinuated.

Still, the FOP convention crowd ate it up.
The most prominent U.S. leaders are not just walking back policies that curb law enforcement’s institutional instinct toward dominance and hard power. They are actively decrying police critics as radical cop-haters, diminishing their nuanced observations about the incentive structures in our criminal justice system into simplistic notions of good and evil.
The remilitarization of American policing — seen in both Sessions’ speech on Monday and in Trump’s blithe endorsement of police brutality in July —  is sold by the administration as simply deferring to what police say they need.
Yet the portrayal of Trump as an open ear and blank check for cops doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. When police’s experience in the field leads them to conclusions opposite to Trump’s own preferences, he is happy to ignore them. Cops across the country have made clear that the administration’s push to deputize them into immigration enforcement work does grave harm to public safety in communities where people fear deportation. They reject Trump’s desire to enlist them into his crackdown on undocumented immigrants, specifically because it makes people less likely to call 911 or cooperate with investigators.
If the administration were serious about promoting public safety, it would listen to the people who disagree with them about where safety comes from and what role police play in ensuring it.

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