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Reading: Trump Booed – Civility Police Call for Respecting the Office

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“Respect for the office” is a self-governing citizen’s sin of idolatry. In that context, the Presidency is a graven image. Why should I respect the office of the president when the occupant so clearly doesn’t? Why should I respect the office of the president when it serves as a clubhouse for cheap crooks and mountebanks? Guns don’t kill people, we hear after every mass shooting, only people kill people. So, The Presidency doesn’t commit crimes, only presidents do?

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Reading: Forget Trump’s “Meltdown”—Follow the Testimony

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Early – and very clear – statement of Trump’s scheme. We need the clear statements to unmuddy the waters.

Trump himself, in other words, was putting together a rogue foreign-policy team, run by Giuliani, the President’s private attorney, that would go outside normal N.S.C. and State Department channels to pressure Ukraine. The effort would eventually result in Trump abruptly firing Yovanovitch, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, at Giuliani’s behest, and withholding a White House meeting from Volodymyr Zelensky, the new Ukrainian President, until he agreed to investigate unsubstantiated allegations involving Biden’s son, and also discredited conspiracy theories involving Ukraine working against Trump in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. At the same time, Trump was refusing to release hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, although it had been legally authorized by Congress.

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Reading: Facebook should ban campaign ads. End the lies.

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If you run ‘em, you’re complicit. “We’re in a post-truth era now where the spoils won through deceptive demagoguery are clear. Cable news and digitally native publications have turned distortion of facts into a huge business.”

Until you aren’t: “This is why the social networks should halt sales of political campaign ads now. They’re the one set of stakeholders with flexibility and that could make a united decision. You’ll never get all the politicians and media to be honest, or the public to understand, but just a few companies could set a policy that would protect democracy from the world’s . And they could do it without having to pick sides or make questionable decisions on a case-by-case basis. Just block them all from all candidates.”

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Reading: George Conway: Trump Is Unfit for Office – The Atlantic

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Your civics lesson for the week.

And so it turns out that impeachment is a more practical mechanism for addressing the fact that Trump’s narcissism and sociopathy render him unable to comply with the obligations of his office. It’s also an appropriate mechanism, because the constitutional magic words (other than Treason and Bribery) that form the basis of an impeachment charge—high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

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Reading: The Boris Johnson pantomime will end.

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The British version of Trump’s posturing.

Johnson is captive to the public school cult of effortless dilettantism that despises diligence as vulgar and swotty. He is also a hostage to his own breezy rhetoric.
.…
Here is a British prime minister building on a formidable reputation for dishonesty, welching on debts, revelling in contempt for legal norms and trashing protocols that underpin democracy. He

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Reading: www-m.cnn.com

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A vacant possession.

The problem is that Trump, in his own inimitable way, has created a most imperfect vacuum for the nation. For the foreseeable future the presidency will be both vacant and occupied, with the country reduced to waiting out his tantrum and deciphering its future from a fusillade of tweets and campaign-like rants.
Meanwhile, the nation’s bridges are left to crack, highways buckle, tracks heave, illicit drugs proliferate, medications grow ever-more expensive; diplomats scratch their heads and hind parts, idled by kingly disinterest, allies wonder whether we have their backs or should watch their backs, enemies salivate, polar ice caps slip into the sea, and poor, poor Doral Country Club — under Trump’s storied management — continues, like the rest of us, to struggle.

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Reading: Trump: the only ‘real Americans’ are white | The Guardian

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Commercialization of the civil religion, rituals, and symbols started years ago. Trump’s appropriation of them is possible only because they have become commodities.

Trump has hijacked the American civil religion, a concept that should serve as a basis for unity for citizens and used it in an attempt to further divide us along lines of race, party and religion in the name of political expediency.

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Reading: Trump’s Other Impeachable Offense

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Article III explained fro those who have forgotten 1974.

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Reading: Daring Fireball: All Podcasts Are Shows; Not All Shows Are Podcasts

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“Luminary is not alone in trying to usurp the term “podcast” for proprietary audio shows … “ but it sure is pushy. A dead-end. Signified by the need to appropriate the term.

“These companies are trying to usurp the word podcast for one simple reason: people love podcasts. What I think and hope they are missing is that part of what people love about podcasts is the openness. It’s one of the last remaining areas of the internet that works exactly as the internet was intended to work.”

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Reading: Mueller report. Here’s what you need to know: ██ ██ ███ ███████ █████ ███ ██ █████ ████████ █████ • The Register

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The Register offers up an essay by erasure of a report by erasure of a ****-**** by any other name.