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Forcing Athletes To Stand For The National Anthem Is Stupid, Not Patriotic
Professional sports are overrun with schmaltzy patriotic displays that are not at all necessary and definitely should not be required for athletes.

By Nathanael Blake
June 7, 2018

President Trump has picked another fight over the NFL and the national anthem. After the league had reached a compromise — players will be allowed to stay in their locker rooms during the anthem, but they will be punished if they protest on the field during it — Trump decided to restart the conflict.
He abruptly cancelled a White House visit by members of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, and angrily tweeted, “Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our national anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling.” With that, the whole stupid controversy kicked off again.

Fortunately, there is a simple resolution available: Stop turning domestic sports into patriotic ceremonies. And if that is too much to ask, stop trying to force athletes to participate.
Professional sports are overrun with schmaltzy patriotic displays. For example, Major League Baseball has the national anthem before the game, some sort of military tribute a few innings in — “honor our military men and women by waving your caps!” — and often more patriotic singing after a few more innings. The renditions are frequently terrible (I habitually mute them if they are part of pregame coverage) and the military tributes do nothing to actually help members of the military.
In fact, professional sports have made money off the military; in the last decade, teams received millions of taxpayer dollars for paid patriotism. That the Pentagon would sponsor these spectacles is unsurprising, as increased displays of sporting patriotism have usually coincided with war. For instance, the singing of “God Bless America” became a regular fixture during baseball games after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In a nation that is at war or otherwise endangered, it is understandable that large gatherings of people would be receptive to patriotic displays. But although this pageantry obviously appeals to many people, there is no real need for a connection between sports and patriotic spectacle. Professional sports did not have to become the locus of public patriotism in this country.

That they have puts athletes in a bind. They are paid to compete at the highest levels of human athletic ability, not to be star-spangled sideline props. But the latter has become expected of them, as a semi-official part of their duties. Sack the quarterback, hit the baseball, make the 3-pointer, participate in patriotic rituals — one of these is not like the others, and it is a demand that is not imposed on the rest of us.
I’ve worked jobs from cooking fast food to teaching undergraduates, and none of them, not even the government jobs, had mandatory patriotic displays. Despite his indignation at others, I doubt that President Trump begins each workday by standing for the playing of the national anthem.
It is therefore understandable that some athletes would resent being treated as props in patriotic spectacles that have nothing to do with their actual job, particularly if they believe that America is failing to address systematic injustices. They should be free to engage in silent protest during these required patriotic displays, even if their cause is wrong.
The peaceful protesting of perceived injustice is in accord with the higher ideals of our nation, whereas mandatory patriotic displays are incompatible with the American belief in liberty and limited government. Protesting during a voluntary ceremony might be rude, but protesting during a ceremony that is required (whether explicitly or de facto) is the only option available to dissenters.

The outrage over the anthem protests is a right-wing version of political correctness that is antithetical to our nation’s culture of freedom. If you don’t want people to protest during patriotic ceremonies, then don’t try to make participation in them mandatory. The president pressuring private organizations to establish patriotic participation policies to his liking is an un-American abuse of power.
Sporting events should not be at the center of our patriotic practices. But if they are, then the athletes should not be required, or even expected, to participate. Their job is to display human excellence in physical competition, not to serve as red-white-and-blue accessories during national pep rallies. If we will not curtail the patriotic bloat attached to professional sports, then we must protect the freedom for athletes to opt out. Contrary to Trump’s apparent wishes, NFL players should be allowed to stay in the locker room during the national anthem, and there should be no pressure for them to do otherwise.
It is silly to argue, as some have, that because the government would not be directly mandating their participation, their freedom would not be infringed upon. Even if the president were not applying public pressure, it is imperative that freedom be preserved not just from government, but also from the mob. The legal protection of free speech (which necessarily includes the right to inaction and silence) will not long survive if it is culturally destroyed. With regard to the NFL and the rest of our nation’s sporting scene, we must be tolerant of those who, for reasons good or bad, do not wish to participate in the patriotic circus.
Mandatory patriotism isn’t patriotic.
Nathanael Blake has a PhD in political theory. He lives in Missouri.

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By David J. Lynch 6 hrs ago

The Washington Post


Bill Adler was invited last year to bid on a contract to make commercial sausage stuffers for a company that wanted to replace its Chinese supplier. The customer had just one non­negotiable demand: Match China’s price.

Adler, owner of metal-parts maker Stripmatic Products, thought he could. But even as he readied his proposal, talk of President Trump’s steel tariffs sent the price of Stripmatic’s main raw material soaring.
In April, with prices up nearly 50 percent from October and the first wave of tariffs in place, Adler’s bid failed. His costs were too high.
Today, instead of taking business from China, Adler worries about hanging onto the work he has. He hopes that the president’s tariffs are just a negotiating tactic.
“It’s got to be short-term, or I’ve got to find another way to make a living,” Adler said, only half joking. “It’s going to be an ugly scenario if it doesn’t end quickly.”
Stripmatic’s plight is an example of the hidden costs of Trump’s “America First” protectionism. During decades of increasing globalization, leaders of both political parties reassured critics that the gains from trade were dispersed across myriad less-expensive products — and thus often difficult to identify — while the costs were obvious every time a factory closed.
Now, as Trump seeks to unwind globalization, that logic operates in reverse. The gains from protectionism can be seen in the new solar plants and reopened steel mills that his various tariffs are encouraging and that the president often celebrates.
But the full costs of his policies — in investments foregone and workers not hired — escape casual scrutiny. If Stripmatic’s experience is any guide, protectionism may already be backfiring on Americans and undermining Trump’s stated goal of reclaiming manufacturing from China.
“That is absolutely the lesson,” said economist Phil Levy, who worked on trade policy in the George W. Bush White House. “It is a supply chain. The administration has favored the first link over the later links in the chain. The net effect helps neither American manufacturing nor national security.”
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has minimized the economic cost of Trump’s tariffs, claiming the steel and aluminum tariffs will add a “very small fraction of 1 percent” to prices across the economy, he recently told CNBC. U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer has said that tariffs the administration may impose on Chinese goods have been selected to minimize the impact on consumers.
But tariffs on materials used to make other products ripple through the entire economy. Trump’s steel levies were designed to punish China for swamping global markets with state-subsidized metals and to promote U.S. manufacturing. From where Adler sits, they appear to be doing the opposite. By raising the cost of a key manufacturing input, the tariffs are making many U.S. companies less competitive.
Discouraging metal imports benefits U.S. steel producers. But it also translates into a surplus of steel in markets outside the United States and thus lower prices for U.S. competitors.
As steel prices in the United States rise, Adler worries they will pinch his employees’ bonuses and profit-sharing checks. The 25 percent increase in Stripmatic’s sales that he anticipated from the sausage stuffercontract, the $1 million in new factory investment and the 10 new jobs it would have created have evaporated.
“If it wasn’t for the increase that came on because of the threat of tariffs, then I honestly believe we’d be supplying these domestically,” Adler said of the machines that pack ground meat into sausage casings. “This directly affects my life, my employees, my investments.”
In a $20 trillion economy, 10 jobs may not seem significant. But Trump’s frequent use of tariffs has sparked protests from farmers and industry groups that will be hurt by the administration’s import levies or retaliation from U.S. trading partners. The cumulative cost of the president’s higher import taxes will be a net loss of more than 400,000 jobs, according to a new study by the Trade Partnership, a pro-trade research consultancy.
A bipartisan group of 34 lawmakers wrote to Lighthizer on May 30 warning of “significant unintended adverse conse­quences for the United States” if the tariff wars continue. Republican senators including Bob Corker of Tennessee and Mike Lee of Utah are exploring legislation to limit the president’s ability to erect such trade barriers.
Yet if tiny Stripmatic demonstrates the double-edged nature of tariffs as an instrument of economic policy, the company’s experience should offer minimal comfort to the president’s political adversaries.
Despite the market turmoil unleashed by the president’s actions, Adler remains appreciative of the business tax cut that Trump secured last year and the administration’s broader deregulation efforts.
He was a reluctant Trump voter in 2016 and remains wary of the president’s bombastic style. But Adler likes having someone in the White House who respects business owners in a way that he doesn’t believe leading Democrats do.
With a new General Motors order for SUV parts, business is good — for now. This year, Adler added eight workers and spent $1.3 million on new factory equipment.
But times would have been better if he had landed that big food- processing-equipment contract. Rising labor costs in China and Stripmatic’s increasing efficiency gave him a real shot at a major win. He blames Trump’s trade policies for costing him the job and for imperiling Stripmatic’s future, as almost one-quarter of his sales come from abroad.
“Our customers source on a global market,” he said. “I’m going to be at least 30 to 40 percent disadvantaged on steel. . . . I’ve lost my competitive advantage.”
Stripmatic, dating to 1946, is among thousands of mostly unknown manufacturing companies that make up the backbone of industrial America. From a 60,000-square-foot plant just off the highway a few miles south of downtown Cleveland, Adler’s roughly 40-person team churns out tubular metal products.
Most are unremarkable parts that fit inside larger components, such as shock absorbers, or structural spacers that support the frame of Dodge Ram trucks and Jeep Wranglers. The company specializes in mass production of carbon steel parts.
Adler, 61, a Cleveland native, worked briefly in a local steel mill while attending college and then sold aluminum for several years before buying the company in 1992 with his wife, Liz. In about five years, they built the company to about $8 million in sales from less than $1 million and retired their debt.
But Chinese factories emerged as low-cost competitors with China’s 2001 membership in the World Trade Organization. As several of his large customers turned to less expensive Chinese rivals, Adler fine-tuned his operations to reduce waste.
He introduced automatic sensors that could check more than 100 parts every minute, more than three times the number a human could handle, and shifted his workers into higher-skilled positions.
“We were able to become more competitive and maintain our profit margins,” he said.
Adler is a veteran of an earlier bout of protectionism, the 2002 steel tariffs, which pushed one-fifth of U.S. metal-stamping businesses into collapse, according to the Census Bureau. Stripmatic laid off a handful of workers and froze hiring for four years.
Sales stagnated for several years, but Adler hung on. Efforts to diversify away from a near-total dependence on the auto industry into products such as plastic toys never worked out. That’s one reason the recent loss of the food-processing job was so painful.
Inside the factory, enormous metal presses rhythmically pound rolls of steel into auto and truck parts, the noises resounding like an industrial orchestra. The modern arc of metal stamping is on display, from a modified century-old device that bends unused steel into tight coils to a 4,000-watt laser-welding station at the opposite end of the plant, which instantly stitches a tight seal on metal parts.
Massive yellow, blue and green bins hold tens of thousands of metal parts. Roughly 20 percent are exported to factories in Mexico; an additional few percentage points go to Taiwan and Brazil.
As he stands on the plant floor, a ruddy-faced Adler wonders what this scene will look like in a few months. He’s in a fiercely competitive business, and his profits will melt if Trump’s tariffs remain indefinitely.
Already, prices for one type of steel that Adler uses — hot-rolled coil — are roughly twice what they were when Trump was elected, according to one widely used Midwestern index. And they are headed higher. “I don’t think they’re done yet. That’s the problem,” said Tony Scrima, 58, his plant manager, who’s worked here since he was 18.
Adler’s big worry is his Mexican customers. He hopes they won’t bolt for a cheaper, non-American alternative. But he can’t be sure what the president plans. “I try to erase what he says and look at the [economic] levers he’s pulling,” Adler said. “Is this all a negotiating tool to end up with a good result? I don’t know. But if it is, it’s got to go fast.”

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Washington Post
Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, Kelly Meg
8 hrs ago

© Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post
In the 497 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump has made 3,251 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.
That’s an average of more than 6.5 claims a day.
When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. But the average number of claims per day keeps climbing as the president nears the 500-day mark of his presidency.
Subscribe to the Post Most newsletter: Today’s most popular stories on The Washington Post
In the month of May, the president made about eight claims a day — including an astonishing 35 claims in his rally in Nashville on May 29.
Among the claims at the rally: He more than tripled the projected savings from repealing Obamacare, and said the individual mandate was unconstitutional even though the Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., said it passed constitutional muster. He once again falsely said he passed the biggest tax cut in U.S. history, when it’s only in eighth place. He inflated the trade deficit with Mexico. And he offered a long list of false statements about immigration, ranging from mischaracterizing the visa lottery to whether his long-promised wall is being built. (It’s not.) He also twisted the words of Democrats, casting words of sympathy for undocumented immigrants as support for MS-13 gang members.
But perhaps the president’s most astonishing claim in May came on the last day of the month, in the form of a tweet.
Initially, the White House had said FBI director James B. Comey was fired May 9, 2017, because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.
But here’s what Trump himself said to NBC’s Lester Holt just two days after the firing: “I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.”
Moreover, the New York Times reported that Trump, in a meeting with Russian officials the day after the firing, said: “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” Those quotes appeared in a White House document summarizing the meeting.
Our interactive graphic, created with the help of Leslie Shapiro and Kaeti Hinck of The Washington Post’s graphics department, displays a running list of every false or misleading statement made by Trump. We also catalogued the president’s many flip-flops, since those earn Upside-Down Pinocchios if a politician shifts position on an issue without acknowledging that he or she did so.
Trump has a proclivity to repeat, over and over, many of his false or misleading statements. We’ve counted at least 122 claims that the president has repeated at least three times, some with breathtaking frequency.
Almost one third of Trump’s claims — 931 — relate to economic issues, trade deals or jobs. He frequently takes credit for jobs created before he became president or company decisions with which he had no role. He cites his “incredible success” in terms of job growth, even though annual job growth under his presidency has been slower than the last five years of Barack Obama’s term. He also loves to cite unemployment figures, even though he repeatedly said during his campaign that the unemployment rate was phony and could not be trusted.
Not surprisingly, immigration is another source of Trump’s misleading claims, now totaling 379. Nineteen times just in the past three months, for instance, the president has falsely claimed his long-promised border wall with Mexico is being built, even though Congress has denied funding for it.
Misleading claims about taxes — now at 299 — are also a common feature of Trump’s speeches. Seventy-five times, he has made the false assertion that he passed the biggest tax cut in U.S. history.
But moving up the list quickly are claims about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether people in the Trump campaign were in any way connected to it. The president has made 265 statements about the Russia probe, using hyperbolic claims of “worse than Watergate,” “McCarthyism” and, of course, “witch hunt.” He often asserts that the Democrats colluded with the Russians, even though the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign were victims of Russian activities, as emails were hacked and then released via WikiLeaks.

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23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

This is not the  “2 Corinthians” but sums up the Trump Presidency to date. The past 2 years of this administration has the capacity to show us the value of really paying attention to who we elected and have elected to serve all of the American people (this means all of the people who currently reside, work and live in the United States and it’s territories). The current leadership is Congress have been taken hostage by extreme right factions who much in the mindset of the 1600’s era “witch hunters” and religious zealots. it is well to consider how “Religious” are people who purport to believe in God yet deny the religious rights of others using subterfuge and misstatements to justify what “they interpret” as right or wrong. The big push in this administration is to install as many “Conservative” judges as possible in lifetime positions that will push us all into the right of center spiral which would be just as inappropriate as left of center. Our position should be an equalizing mix of center right, center left and center in order to have the best governance. As a Nation we will never all agree on everything but we do need to agree on somethings and be able to have a discussion or at least have representatives who can present our views for discussion. If the elected entity is not representing all of their voting base in as equitable fashion as possible then their time in office should be short. Religion should never be a factor in politics as politics is a part of governing and governing is a state function aka “separation of church and state”.

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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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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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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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 . . .

“What we got here is a failure to communicate”. This one of the most remembered lines from “Cool Hand Luke”, we currently have a massive miscommunication or under communication issue across the country. The widely accessible media information is now divided into so called “fake News” and real news. It seem that the majority of  “fake news” comes from on air personalities who are not journalists but more provocateurs who comment on current events under the guise of relaying true events. It is unfortunate that our TOTUS et al have used these outlets as purveyors of facts rather than the generators of biased and single sided information based on alternate facts. These semi news organizations have and probably will continue to garner support from folks who want to believe salacious and biased information rather that what is true. The failure is not so much in the communication but more the skewing of the information to present a particular sense of the real information that is available elsewhere. It is unfortunate that our CIC has not grown into the job and probably will not given the past two years of this administration. There is a fine line between Governing and ruling, since this is not a Monarchy, there should be no line to navigate just a willingness to have factual and realistic  conversations about administering a culturally diverse country. There is no one size fits all in this and apparently TOTUS does not understand that.

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Eliza Newlin Carney
August 24, 2017
It’s easy to reject racism when it waves a torch or a Nazi banner. But what about when it wears a suit and tie?
When it comes to hatred and discrimination, white supremacists and neo-Nazis stand in a class by themselves. But the public condemnation heaped on far-right nationalists, and on President Donald Trump for pandering to them, should not be reserved just for the nation’s most blatant racists.
For most Americans, it’s instinctual to reject those who wave Ku Klux Klan–style torches or banners bearing swastikas. But what about the racists who boast law degrees and sparkling resumes, and sport suits and ties? These haters, too, have flourished in the Trump administration. And their policies of bigotry, safely cloaked behind mainstream-sounding think tanks and federal commissions, can do as much or more damage as the thugs on the street.
The poll taxes and literacy tests of that period may be gone, but they’ve been replaced by GOP-authored voting restrictions, such as voter-ID laws and barriers to registration, that disenfranchise African American and Latino voters.
This is particularly true in the arena of voting rights, which lies at the heart of recent clashes over Confederate monuments that were, for the most part, built at the height of the Jim Crow era. The poll taxes and literacy tests of that period may be gone, but they’ve been replaced by GOP-authored voting restrictions, such as voter-ID laws and barriers to registration, that disenfranchise African American and Latino voters.
President Trump isn’t the first Republican to bandy about unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud, or to use racial code words to rally white voters. But Trump’s call before the election for his supporters to monitor the polls in “certain areas,” and his baseless claims following Election Day that three million to five million noncitizens had voted illegally, took the GOP campaign to intimidate and challenge nonwhite voters to a new level.
Most importantly, Trump’s “election integrity” commission, established in May and dominated by conservatives who have built their careers on promoting voter-fraud myths and ballot restrictions, may set the stage for sweeping new national restrictions on registration and voting. The commission’s de facto head, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has pushed to require voters in his state to show proof of citizenship just to register.

Another commission member, J. Christian Adams, is the president of a group that has repeatedly threatened legal action against local election officials, typically in jurisdictions dominated by African American or Latino voters, if they don’t purge their voter rolls. That group, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, is just one of several conservative organizations devoted to imposing new restrictions on voters in the name of battling supposed voter fraud—which numerous credible studies have concluded is virtually nonexistent.
The best-funded of these groups (with a budget of $4.6 million in fiscal 2015) is the so-called American Civil Rights Union, which also uses lawsuits as a means to force voter-roll purges in minority-dominated voting jurisdictions. There’s also True the Vote, which announced plans in 2011 to recruit one million citizens to serve as poll watchers in 2012, and which was investigated by the Justice Department following allegations of voter intimidation.
The newest such group on the scene, run by former Trump campaign aides and dubbed Look Ahead America, has announced plans to block “fraudulent” votes by deploying poll watchers carrying video cameras. (The group’s main purpose, its organizers say, is to register new conservative voters.)
They are not on the streets swinging clubs alongside neo-Nazis and white nationalists, and they use legal briefs and positions papers, not violence, to achieve their aims.
The conservatives leading the charge against supposed voter fraud cast themselves as patriots protecting the integrity of the vote. They are not on the streets swinging clubs alongside neo-Nazis and white nationalists, and they use legal briefs and positions papers, not violence, to achieve their aims. But a string of court rulings have found their voter restrictions in Texas, North Carolina, and elsewhere are both unconstitutional and explicitly discriminatory.
Last year, a federal appeals court rejected a package of North Carolina voting laws, enacted in 2013, on the grounds that many of its restrictions targeted African American voters “with almost surgical precision,” a finding upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The year the omnibus bill was enacted, conservative activist and GOP precinct chairman Don Yelton told The Daily Show that it was “going to kick the Democrats in the butt,” and that if it “hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”
Conservatives who champion voting restrictions may not have the same motives as white nationalists, but the outcome of their actions, from the perspective of targeted groups, is the same, says Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
“The aims of vote suppression, in fact, reinforce the aims of the white supremacist groups,” says Weiser. “And if folks claim to oppose the white supremacist groups, they should also oppose the agenda of those groups and efforts to undermine African American and minority political power.”
After all, the Klan first arose during Reconstruction to stop blacks from participating in politics—in particular, from voting. Sound familiar?

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