Tag Archives: trump

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.

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.

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.

Reading: An Ode to ‘Desperate Don’

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It’s not an ode. More of a note towards grappling with reality. Would have been more effective as an ode, but trump doesn’t deserve one.

it is when Trump lies out of desperation, out of the fear of being found out, blamed, reprimanded, possibly even abandoned, that most people can relish it. It is in those moments that Trump is most human and our ire toward this liar is most vindicated and validated.

Reading: Trump’s Attack on Campus Free Speech

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How to manipulate free speech guarantees.

The Trump Administration needed to deal with the problem that the colleges with the worst speech codes are conservative religious colleges. The solution was to include a hypocritical rule in the Executive Order that says private colleges will be judged only by “compliance with stated institutional policies.” Since conservative colleges openly state that they suppress free speech, they will be immune from any action (not that any Trump official would ever dare to punish a conservative college).

By contrast, if a more liberal private college aspires to protect free speech, they can have their federal funds taken away based on a Republican bureaucrat’s regulatory interpretation of the campus’ values. This Executive Order will tend to reduce free speech at private colleges, because colleges will have an incentive to remove any promises to protect free speech in order to avoid being vulnerable to federal funding cutbacks. And if private colleges have policies that provide stronger protections for free speech than the First Amendment (as many do), they can lose federal funding even if they meet First Amendment standards.