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Is Trump fit for leadership?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:20 pm    Post subject: Time to Censure Trump for ‘Conduct Unbecoming’ Reply with quote

Time to Censure Trump for ‘Conduct Unbecoming’ a President
There is a way to punish President Trump for his ignorant, racist words without resorting to impeachment. He should be censured by Congress.
BY Jonathan Alter

On Dec. 28, Army Pvt. Emmanuel Mensah rushed twice into a burning building in the Bronx and rescued four people. On his third trip in, he died. Mensah was from Ghana, one of President Trump’s “shithole countries.”

Trump’s comment was racist: He was referring only to countries with dark-skinned people. That makes the Fox News blowhards who endorse it racists, too.

It was stupid: We need the help of those nations to fight terrorism and pursue other national interests. Trump just did another huge favor for China, which is already moving aggressively in Africa.

And it was un-American: Immigrants from dysfunctional countries, including those like Trump’s grandfather, who came from impoverished Germany in 1886, built the United States. You can look it up.

Another thing to research: Article 133 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. All senior U.S. military personnel—including women— are subject to a court martial for “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.” Such conduct includes dishonest, indecent, cruel and dishonorable acts. Article 133 charges require no proof of law-breaking. They can be brought for merely “indecorous” behavior, which means acting like an asinine ignoramus.

If the commander in chief were down a few rungs in the chain of command, he would have been court-martialed months ago for “conduct unbecoming,” just as President Clinton would have been court-martialed in 1998 for having sex with a White House intern. It goes without saying that if either president were a mere CEO of a publicly traded corporation, he would have been tossed out on his ear.

But just because the president can’t be impeached (at least not yet), court-martialed or fired doesn’t mean he can’t be punished. It’s time to stop wringing our hands. There are remedies that lie between removal from office and doing nothing.

The best short-term remedy is censure by both Houses of Congress, a move that would begin the essential process of checking Trump.

Andrew Jackson—whose painting Steve Bannon told Trump to hang in the Oval Office—is the only president ever censured (for not turning over certain bank documents). Senator Joe McCarthy was censured in 1954 for dishonoring the Senate with his anti-Communist character assassination, which was engineered by Trump’s mentor, Roy Cohn. Censure is what I and a lot of other people argued was the right punishment for Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky case. It wasn’t enough for Republicans who backed impeachment—some of the same Republicans (I’m looking at you, Orrin Hatch) who today think Trump is “one of the best” presidents.

So why would those Trump enablers censure him over this? They probably won’t. They didn’t when three House Democrats introduced a censure motion after Trump said “both sides” were to blame after neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August.

But some big things have changed since Charlottesville. The implications of another international incident for our standing in the world are clearer now. And GOP incumbents are running scared, with 31 members so far announcing they’re leaving their House seats. That’s seven more than the 24 seats Democrats need to take control in November. Even Republicans know that bigotry is not a good look in an election year.

Could Trump walk back his line? Not likely. Roy Cohn gave him two pieces of advice: Retaliate against your enemies times 10 and never say you’re sorry. The only time on record when he apologized was for the Access Hollywood tape—and he rescinded it late last year with the claim that it wasn’t his voice on the tape with Billy Bush. Even his fanboys couldn’t swallow that one.

With no apology forthcoming, every Republican member of Congress will (or at least should) be asked by their local reporters whether the president owes one. It will be hard for many of them to say no, or to explain to their constituents why the remark was OK. The issue would be further crystallized if Democrats threaten to boycott the Jan. 30 State of the Union Address—a possibility, I’m told by congressional staffers, should no other remedy materialize.

White House aides are apparently already claiming that “shithole countries” is playing well with Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-PC base. But it’s bound to play horribly with the much larger combination of Democrats and independents. For that not-so-Silent Majority, failure to pursue this matter in some fashion is not an option.

Even so, passing a censure resolution obviously requires at least some bipartisanship. That’s why the language of the rebuke should come from Article 133. Keeping it in military terms—terms, by the way, that even Trump would understand—puts pressure on Speaker Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, to at least let their chambers decide. Members wouldn’t have to debate immigration or foreign policy or even racism, merely vote that the president’s conduct was… unbecoming. Who can argue with that?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:58 pm    Post subject: Clueless, I tell you!! Reply with quote

Trump Sold Norway F-52 Aircrafts, Which Isn't A Real Thing


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:40 am    Post subject: Trump failed his freshman year, not fit to serve Reply with quote

Trump Failed His ‘Chaotic’ ‘Disaster’ of a Freshman Year in Office and Is ‘Not Fit’ to Serve as President, Americans Say
Ryan Sit, Newsweek

President Donald Trump—purportedly “like, a really smart person,” and a “very stable genius”—failed his freshman first year in office, a new poll found.

A plurality of American voters who were asked to grade Trump’s first year in office gave him an "F" or a "D," according to a Quinnipiac University Poll published on Wednesday.

“It’s been a very tough freshman year for President Donald Trump, by any measure,” Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement about the survey.

Only 16 percent of respondents gave Trump an "A," while 39 percent failed him and 17 percent gave him a "D." Another 16 percent of voters gave him a "B" and 11 percent graded Trump a "C."

Only 36 percent of respondents approve of the job Trump has done, while 59 percent disapprove, according to the poll.

The majority of voters, however, think Trump still has some potential.

“It’s a mixed bag,” Malloy told Newsweek. Fifty-three percent of voters said Trump is intelligent, compared with 44 percent who do not. Another 59 percent considered the president “strong” compared with 39 percent who don’t. Asked if Trump is honest, 63 percent said he wasn’t while just 34 percent said he was truthful.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject: A Year of Donald Trump in the White House Reply with quote

A Year of Donald Trump in the White House
By Adam Gopnik

Living as we do, on what is—as hard as it may be to believe—the first anniversary of Donald Trump in power, we find ourselves caught in a quarrel between Trump optimists and Trump pessimists, and one proof of how right the Trump pessimists have been is that the kind of thing that the Trump optimists are now saying ought to make you optimistic. Basically, their argument amounts to the claim that the stock market remains up, the government isn’t suspended, and the President’s critics aren’t in internment camps. In the pages of The Economist, as in the columns of the Times, one frequently reads some form of this not-very-calming reassurance: Trump may be an enemy of republican government, and a friend to tyrants, while alienating our oldest friends in fellow-democracies, but while he may want to be a tyrant, he isn’t very good at being one. This is the Ralph Kramden account of Trumpism: he blusters and threatens and shakes and rages, but Alice, like the American people, just stands there and shrugs him off sardonically.

Those in the Trump-pessimist camp are inclined to point out not only that the final score is not in yet but that the game has only just started. In real life, as opposed to fifties sitcoms, the Ralph Kramdens tend to act on their instincts. Trump’s Justice Department has already reopened an investigation of his political opponent, after he loudly demanded it—itself a chilling abuse of power. And if, as seems probable, Trump tries to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel on the Russia investigation, we will be in the midst of a crisis of extreme dimensions.

But, even in the absence of overt criminality, Trump pessimists may also point to how degraded our discourse has already become—how the processes variously called “normalization” or “acceptance” or just “silent stunned disbelief” go on. We know that Trump fired James Comey, the F.B.I. director, because he wanted him to stop investigating contacts between members of Trump’s campaign and Russia—and Trump announced this fact in public, despite having had subordinates come up with more plausible-sounding rationales for him to cling to. And surely no one can doubt that, had Hillary Clinton become President and, say, a meeting had then been discovered to have taken place between members of her campaign and a mysterious visitor from an autocratic foreign power offering information designed to subvert democracy, with an accompanying e-mail from Chelsea Clinton saying “Love it!,” we would now be in the midst of Clinton’s impeachment hearings, with the supposedly liberal press defending her faintly, if at all.

Meanwhile, the insults to democratic practice continue. In any previous Administration, reports that the resident of the White House had paid off a porn star to be silent about an alleged affair would be a defining—and, probably, Presidency-ending—scandal. With Trump, Stormy Daniels hardly registers at all as a figure, so dense and thick on the ground are the outrages and the indignities, so already bizarre is the cast of characters. (It’s as if we have been watching some newly discovered season of “The Sopranos,” what with the Mooch and Sloppy Steve. Who now can even quite recall poor Sean Spicer?)

Worse still, in a sense, is the degradation of memory that this circus enforces. Not long ago, Bret Stephens, who left the Wall Street Journal for the Times and has been an admirable mainstay of the anti-Trumpist movement among conservatives, wrote a touching piece about his father, and the decency of the values that he exemplified, especially when it came to the treatment of women, in the workplace and outside it. “Our culture could sorely use a common set of ideas about male decorum and restraint in the 21st century, along with role models for those ideas,” Stephens wrote. “Who, in the age of Trump, is teaching boys why not to grope—even when they can, even when ‘you can do anything’?” But nowhere did Stephens acknowledge that, less than a year ago, America did have, in President Barack Obama, a near-perfect model of male decorum and restraint, who in his own behavior and words taught boys how to be men who honored and respected women.

The point is not that what Obama did was necessarily always admirable, but that amnesia about even the very recent past has become essential to the most decent conservative politics; only by making the national emergency general and cross-party can it be fully shared rather than, as it should be, localized to the crisis of one party and its ideology. In plain English, it becomes necessary to spread the smell around so that everyone gets some of the stink on them. This is why we have to read so much undue hand-wringing about our national crisis in civic values and family piety rather than recognize the abandonment of republican values that began when the mainstays of the conservative party decided to embrace Trump instead of—as their French equivalents had done, when confronted with the same choice between an authoritarian nationalist and a moderate centrist —reject him. It is always appealing rhetorically to insist that all of us are at fault. We’re not. The attempts to pretend that the Trump era is part of some national, or even planetary, crisis, stretching out from one end of the political spectrum to the other, obscures the more potent reality. Had Mitt Romney and the Bushes not merely protested, or grumbled in private, about Trump but openly endorsed Hillary Clinton as the necessary alternative to the unacceptable, we might be living in a different country. For that matter, if, during the past year, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell had summoned patriotism in the face of multiple threats to the norms of democratic conduct, then we might not be in this mess. They didn’t, and we are.

Needless to say, the degradation of public discourse, the acceleration of grotesque lying, the legitimization of hatred and name-calling, are hard to imagine vanishing like the winter snows that Trump thinks climate change is supposed to prevent. The belief that somehow all these things will somehow just go away in a few years’ time does seem not merely unduly optimistic but crazily so. In any case, the trouble isn’t just what the Trumpists may yet do; it is what they are doing now. American history has already been altered by their actions—institutions emptied out, historical continuities destroyed, traditions of decency savaged—in ways that will not be easy to rehabilitate.

And yet there are grounds for optimism. Institutions may crumble, but more might yet be saved. Restoration may be no more than two good elections and a few steady leaders away, as long as the foundational institutions of democracy—really, no more than fair voting and counting, but no less than those, either—remain in place. Political results are far more often contingent than overdetermined, much more to do with accident and personality than with irresistible tides of history. This is what makes them controllable. After all, not long ago a rational woman won the popular vote for President, rather easily, and only a bad electoral system prevented her from taking office. Part of the power of tyrants and would-be tyrants is to paralyze our self-confidence. The famous underground societies of the Eastern European countries, built under Soviet tyranny, were exercises not in heroism but in normalcy: we like this music, this food, these books, and no one can tell us what to think about them. What has happened is worse than we want to pretend. But it happened for highly specific and contingent causes, and the means of remedying them have not yet passed.

Meanwhile, our primary obligation may be simply not to blind ourselves to the facts, or to compromise our values in a desperate desire to embrace our fellow-citizens. Any anti-Trumpist movement must consist of the broadest imaginable coalition, but it cannot pretend that what we are having is a normal national debate. The reason people object, for instance, to the Times running a full page of Trump-defending letters is not that they want to cut off or stifle that debate; it is because the implication that Trumpism is a controversial but acceptable expression of American values within that debate is in itself a betrayal of those values. Liberal democracy is good. Authoritarian nationalism is bad. That’s the premise of the country. It’s the principle that a lot of people died for. Americans never need to apologize for the continuing absolutism of their belief in it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:26 pm    Post subject: The great dealmaker... Reply with quote

'MOST Unqualified, MOST Ignorant Ever': Conservative BURN Trump and SLAP Down His Lackey
A never-Trumper Republican, Max Booth, want no parts of Trump lackey, Jonathan Wachtel, nonsense talk about the media is to be blamed for Trump white house chaos and lack of dealmaking.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Can you lead if you can't read? Reply with quote

President Donald Trump Reportedly Doesn't Read His Daily Intel Briefing
Breaking with presidential tradition, The Washington Post reports Trump does not read hsi Presidential Daily Brief document choosing instead to rely on an oral briefing. Gen. Barry McCaffrey reacts.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:37 pm    Post subject: A Presidents' Day without a Real President Reply with quote

The posts here are relevant to Trump's fitness for leadership:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:23 am    Post subject: Can Trump Read? Reply with quote

Can Trump Read? President Shares Poll That Shows Democrats Ahead But Claims GOP Is Leading
Harriet Sinclair, Newsweek•February 18, 2018

President Donald Trump appeared unsure how to read polling data properly after sharing the results of a survey that shows Democrats leading a generic 2018 Congressional matchup—with the president boasting that the GOP was ahead.

The strange observation came on Sunday, when the president tweeted that the Republican Party had made a “big gain” and was leading in the Generic Congressional Ballot—which it was not.

“Great Pollster John McLaughlin now has the GOP up in the Generic Congressional Ballot. Big gain over last 4 weeks. I guess people are loving the big Tax Cuts given them by the Republicans, the Cuts the Dems want to take away. We need more Republicans!” Trump wrote, appearing to misquote the very poll to which he was referring.

The president appeared to reference the McLaughlin and Associates poll shared on February 9, which showed that the Democrats were leading the Republicans by 45 percentage points to 42 percentage points on the Generic Ballot for Congress.

The poll did show that voters felt there should be a move away from the policies of former President Barack Obama, with 44 percent supporting Obama-era policies and 47 percent wanting to put some distance from them—numbers that may have confused the president in what appears to be yet another Twitter gaffe.

President Donald Trump holds a meeting on his infrastructure initiative at the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 12. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Indeed, Trump has previously shared polls that put his approval rating at less than 50 percent, which is odd, given that anything below 50 percent means that a majority of Americans disapprove of him.

The president also routinely touts only polls that paint him in the most positive light, Politico reported at the end of last year, with Trump liking the polls that make him feel good and claiming that the polls that do not show him having widespread support are simply “fake news.”

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:44 am    Post subject: Trump ranked worst president in US history Reply with quote

Donald Trump ranked worst president in US history by nearly 200 political scientists
The Independent Emily Shugerman

Nearly 200 of America's top political scientists have voted Donald Trump the worst president in US history.

According to the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey, Mr Trump ranks even lower than disgraced President Richard Nixon – even among conservatives. Abraham Lincoln, unsurprisingly, takes the top prize. Mr Nixon sits at 33.

The study, conducted every four years, surveys social science researchers from the American Political Science Association’s section on presidents and executive politics. It asks the experts to rank each president’s greatness on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being great, 50 being average, and 0 being a total failure.

Mr Trump averaged a score of 12.34, bumping James Buchanan – the president who saw the US descend into the Civil War – out of the bottom spot. The result comes just months after Trump finished his first year in office as the most unpopular president in modern history.

Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, jumped 10 places since the survey was last conducted in 2014, to spot number eight. George W Bush also climbs in the rankings, making it five places up to number 30.

Bill Clinton did not fair was well as the other living presidents, dropping five places down to 14th. Only Andrew Jackson dropped more – down six places – possibly owing to increased attention on how he treated Native Americans.

The top seven presidents remained the exact same, with Abraham Lincoln on top, followed by George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Mr Trump was accompanied in the bottom five by Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, William Harrison, and Mr Buchanan.

Researchers Brandon Rottinghaus, of the University of Houston, and Justin Vaughn, of Boise State University, said they surveyed 170 political science experts for the study. Of those experts, 57.2 per cent identified as Democrats, 12.7 per cent as Republicans, and 27.1 per cent as independents.

While Republicans and Democrats differed on how they viewed figures like Mr Obama and Mr Bush, they were in fairly close agreement on My Trump: Conservatives voted him 40th out of 45.

The one area where Mr Trump did come out on top was in the “most polarising” section, in which the researchers asked the scientists to list the five presidents they found most divisive. Mr Trump was ranked most polarising by 90 of the 170 respondents, and second-most polarising by another 20.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:10 pm    Post subject: A President Who Won’t Defend Our Nation Reply with quote

We Have a President Who Won’t Defend Our Nation
This is the first time across all the dust-covered years of our history, that an elected commander in chief chose to tweet instead of plan to defend the country.
Mike Barnicle
02.19.18 8:30 AM ET

All through the past week, it seemed as if the nation was slouching through each day burdened by the whiplash of headlines that defined hourly a new, distorting definition of what it now means to be president of the United States. It began Tuesday, when Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats informed the U.S. Senate intelligence committee that “frankly, the United States is under attack.”

Coats sat at a long table alongside the directors of the CIA, the FBI, and the head of the National Security Agency. All were in agreement: Russia had declared war on our country.

The president, Donald Trump, did nothing. This is the first time across all the dust-covered years of our history, centuries filled with courage and honor, that the elected commander in chief chose to tweet instead of plan to defend the country.

Tuesday became Wednesday and the Senate used the time to prove it has evolved into an assembly paralyzed by partisanship, polarization, and a politics so petty and cynical that even an overwhelmingly popular policy—allowing thousands brought here years ago by their parents—could not gain approval to stay. Dreams of simply being able to continue living the lives they’ve led for years, crushed and nearly dead.

The president, Donald Trump, did something. He poked and prodded open wounds. Pulled at scabs of intolerance and resentment. Lied and kept changing his position on the issue of “The Dreamers” and the more he lied, the more he tweeted, the more he defined who he is: a man of no substance, no real feeling.

Then on Wednesday, a school door opened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, and the latest merchant of death, a 19-year-old man, stood in a corridor holding an AR-15. Within minutes, hallway floors were slippery with blood as the shooter roamed room to room with full magazines and a weapon that sounds like a cannon when fired indoors.

Students screamed. Ran. Died. The gunman’s appetite waned within minutes, and minutes were all it took to hang a casualty count of 17 on a disgraceful scoreboard filled with so many past massacres that the total is often lost. The numbing reality is that the most powerful country the world has ever known is so weak it cannot stop murders committed with ease by people who simply have to show up and squeeze a trigger.

The president, Donald Trump, said nothing. He tweeted his sorrow and regret that more students did not come forward with warnings about the demons inside the teenager who escaped from the school in a pack of fleeing students before stopping for a cold drink at a Walmart.

On Thursday, a nation’s eyes filled with tears as the wails of survivors, the unrelenting pain and grief of parents, pain that will never diminish or disappear, all tumbled together alongside the unsurprising absence of courage from so many politicians that it was easy to sense the nuts and bolts of the Republic, the foundation of our democracy, the rules, the morality, the compassion, the deeply ingrained characteristics that have kept the light that is America shining so brightly for so long, to feel all of it coming loose in a slowly moving earthquake whose disruptive core is located in the Oval Office.

The president, Donald Trump, appeared on TV. He forgot to use the word “gun.”

Friday dawned with dead young students being prepared for burial in Florida. And in Washington, Robert Mueller, who has worn the nation’s uniform in war, headed a Homicide Unit, and changed the culture of the FBI in the wake of September 11th, announced the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian business outfits for conspiring to conduct cyber-warfare against the United States. The men who sat at the table Monday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee no doubt nodded in agreement.

The president, Donald Trump, did not. He began to tweet, an activity that would consume him most of Friday, through the weekend and nearly all Sunday morning. His tweets became increasingly deranged.

He ended the week having done nothing to defend the country. He ended the week thinking only of himself, not an unusual event. He ended the week as he began it, wrapping himself in a fantasy that is slowly drifting away.

So we have the dead children in Florida. We have those living at the margin, people who gave one of the few things they truly own, a vote, to Trump and they too will be disappointed by this man who has no beliefs, no emotional IQ, no understanding of the history and honor necessary to lead this wounded nation. We have others who have been here for decades and want only the opportunity to stay and participate in the only country they’ve ever known. And we have 535 individuals in Congress, a majority of them having dropped their duty to represent a common good.

And now we have another President’s Day.

But this time we do NOT have a true and trusted president.

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