AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 218873 times)

Offline RE

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Gorsuch for SCOTUS
« Reply #210 on: January 31, 2017, 11:18:48 PM »
This was the first "well done" move of the Trumpty-Dumpty administration in the early days of their authority.

First off, the choice of Gorsuch is a good one, his credentials are impecable.  Not that I like his politics or expect to approve of his rulings any more than I liked Scalia, but you can't say the guy is not qualified for the job as you can with most of the rest of The Donald's appointments so far.

Beyond making a pretty good choice from the conservative POV, His Trumpness managed to keep this one a secret right to the last minute, no leaks got out on who the choice would be and they snuck him into Washington for the Big Announcement without any major Newz Outlet revealing the choice beforehand.  Given how much scrutiny there is on El Trumpo right now, this was quite a feat.

The Dems commit to fighting against this nominee, but that is likely a losing cause.  The Reps were able to hold up a new nominee long enough to get Trump into office, and there is no way now that a SCOTUS Judge the Dems like will be nominated.  So theymight as well approve this guy and move on to some other battles maybe they can win, and hope none of the other Lifetime Appointees who are more or less on their side croak or retire.

The whole concept of Lifetime Appointment to this job is to me quite irritating.  You get stuck with ideologues on the bench who are there for DECADES.  You can't get rid of them just about no matter WHAT they do or how they rule.  How is that "democracy"?

In practice, the "Lifetime Appointment" appears to last around 20-30 years, depending how old the judge is when appointed and when he croaks.  Gorsuch is just under 50, so he could easily have a good 30 year run in this post.  That means he is there to close to 2050!

In order to have decent continuity on the SCOTUS,  I don't favor a real short 4 year term like for the POTUS, or 6 years like a Senator, but I think 10 years is quite sufficient, 15 the MOST.  There also should be some type of official Review Process of their work, and a mechanism to remove them before the term has expired.

In any case, I think the FSoA Goobermint will collapse long before Gorsuch retires or buys his ticket to the Great Beyond.  Politically, he sounds a lot like Scalia, but more pleasant in negotiations and more erudite.  So the overall court balance does not change too much if/when he is installed on the bench there for the rest of his life, or the rest of the life of the FSoA Goobermint.  The real problems arise if more of the progressive side of the bench croaks or retires in the next 4 years.

Just have to see how that goes.  I do think Gorsuch will be approved though, and The Donald could have picked a much worse one than this.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-trump-kept-gorsuch-nomination-a-secret-until-the-clock-struck-8/2017/01/31/c745c23c-e828-11e6-bf6f-301b6b443624_story.html?utm_term=.4f8939c3c1d5

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How Trump kept Gorsuch nomination a secret until the clock struck 8
Trump announces Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court pick
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President Trump has announced Judge Neil Gorsuch of Colorado as his pick for the Supreme Court. (Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)
By Philip Rucker January 31 at 10:36 PM

Tuesday night’s presidential announcement of a Supreme Court nomination had all the makings of a Donald J. Trump production — except for this: The secret held.

When President Trump strode down the red-carpeted hallway of the White House to take the lectern beneath the crystal chandeliers of the East Room and face a bank of live cameras — in prime time, at 8:02 p.m. sharp — his viewers did not know for certain which of the finalists might step forward to claim a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court.

It was Judge Neil Gorsuch who did so, walking from a side room with his wife, Louise, to join the president at center stage.

“So was it a surprise?” Trump asked in his remarks.

It was.
President Trump, right, shakes the hand of Judge Neil Gorsuch during a Supreme Court nominee announcement in the East Room at the White House on Tuesday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

And that counted as a major feat for an administration already becoming known for its leaks. Trump’s pick of Mike Pence as vice president leaked out in news reports prematurely. So did almost all of his Cabinet selections. Many of the executive orders Trump has signed leaked out ahead of time.

But not his Supreme Court pick.

“I thought, with this president there was a decent chance that it would be somebody that we didn’t have any idea it was going to be — and tonight’s ‘Apprentice’-style delivery moment might have had an evening-gown competition and a swimsuit edition,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said.

Of course, Gorsuch had been widely reported as one of Trump’s finalists, and he was on a list of 21 judges Trump released during last year’s campaign as his potential nominees.

Until Trump unveiled his nominee, most news organizations, including major television networks, were reporting only that the choice was down to two finalists. But the Independent Journal Review was the first to report Tuesday afternoon, several hours in advance of Trump’s announcement, that Gorsuch would be the nominee.

Trump considered six finalists to fill the vacancy left by the late justice Antonin Scalia: Gorsuch, federal judges Thomas Hardiman, William H. Pryor Jr., Diane S. Sykes, Amul R. Thapar and Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Of those six, Trump personally interviewed four: Gorsuch, Hardiman, Pryor and Thapar. The first three met with Trump in his personal residence at Trump Tower in New York on Jan. 14, Spicer said.
The path ahead for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee View Graphic

In the interview process, Trump evaluated the finalists in part on which would best emulate Scalia in judicial philosophy and background, his advisers said.

“He was constantly looking for somebody who reflected Justice Scalia’s love of the Constitution, adherence to law, not making up the law as you go to fit your political whims or your personal interests,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.

In recent weeks, Trump began to settle on his choice, but did not make a final decision until Monday, when he called Gorsuch to notify him that he was the pick. White House Counsel Don McGahn informed the other finalists that they had not been selected, Spicer said.

From there, Trump’s aides set into motion a cloak-and-dagger plan they had orchestrated to bring Gorsuch to Washington without him being detected.

After receiving the president’s call, Spicer said, Gorsuch and his wife traveled to a neighbor’s house in Boulder, Colo. They were met by a team of lawyers from the White House Counsel’s Office, who briefed the judge on the announcement plans for Tuesday and helped him prepare for the frenzy that would come.

The White House aides ferried Gorsuch down a quiet farm road to the airport, where they boarded a military jet for the flight to Joint Base Andrews, just outside of Washington, Spicer said.

The judge and his wife stayed in Washington on Monday night at a private residence before visiting the White House on Tuesday, prior to the announcement.

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All day Tuesday, speculation was rampant about Trump’s selections. Hardiman had been spotted at a gas station in Pennsylvania, and CNN reported that he along with Gorsuch were being brought to Washington to add suspense ahead Trump’s final selection. Spicer said that only Gorsuch traveled to Washington, noting that Hardiman had been spotted making a pit stop on his way to a meeting in Pennsylvania.

Then there were the Twitter accounts. Two similar accounts were created identifying both Hardiman and Gorsuch as Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, with links to White House websites. It seemed as if the White House social media team had been behind the accounts — again, to create suspense — but White House officials said that was not the case.

In the end, hopes for a reality-show ending — the president holding a rose, calling both men on stage and, to the drumroll of a military band, giving it to one of them — were dashed.

Trump’s announcement was formal and scripted — presidential, even — as he read from his teleprompters:

“I would like to ask Judge Gorsuch and his wonderful wife, Louise, to please step forward,” Trump said. “Please, Louise, judge. Here they come. Here they come.”
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Offline RE

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Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread: NUKE 'EM!!
« Reply #211 on: February 01, 2017, 01:20:38 AM »
BOOM! FAST COLLAPSE!

RE

© Carlos Barria / Reuters
FEAR ITSELF
Donald Trump Eyes Nukes to Eradicate Terror
The president’s shills say he’s keeping his campaign promises. Remember just how apocalyptic those promises were.


David Cay Johnston
01.31.17 8:00 PM ET

Let’s step back and take a calm look at President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to America by residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries and giving preference to religious minorities in those countries, specifically Christians.

As the libertarian Cato Institute has pointed out, since 1975 the number of Americans slain here by people from those seven countries is zero.

The questions to focus on are:

1) What are Trump and his nationalist advisors trying to achieve, and

2) How does the ban advance their stated goals?

The purpose of the order was not to protect Americans from radical jihadists hell-bent on murder, as the order states. Trump’s subsequent conduct confirms this, as we shall see.

The order justifies itself by declaring that increased vetting of immigrants, refugees, and visitors after the 9/11 attacks “did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.”

Yet it does not apply to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, or Lebanon, the countries where the 9/11 attackers came from, nor to Pakistan or Afghanistan. It does not apply to any of the predominantly Muslim countries where Trump is known to have significant business dealings, with profits hidden in his still-unreleased tax returns here and through his crony state connections there.

What the order unquestionably did was give aid and comfort to ISIS and other apostate Muslim organizations. Even if you believe that Trump and Steve Bannon—his modern Rasputin—had no such intent, the result is what matters. Presidents don’t get a pass for being ignorant or bigoted. Presidents are accountable for their actions.
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Trump’s and Bannon’s public statements show they want us to all be in dire fear for our lives. That fear enhances their power. They want to drive from government anyone who does not support their radical agenda, which Bannon has said is to destroy the existing order in line with his self-proclaimed Leninist views.

When 100 State Department officials used an official channel to express their concerns that the executive order would put Americans in danger, the White House response was retaliatory. Sean Spicer, the press secretary, said they should get in line behind Trump or quit. Never mind that these diplomats acted properly, expressing their concerns under a policy that promises no retaliation. Never mind that American presidents are not dictators, at least not yet.

That Trump acted with disregard for the safety of Americans—soldiers in Iraq, tourists in Britain, executives in Indonesia—became evident Monday night when he fired Sally Q. Yates, a career federal prosecutor who was serving as the acting attorney general.

Yates was the only Justice Department official with authority to obtain surveillance warrants vital to protecting Americans by intercepting terrorist telecommunications.

What makes the firing revealing is that it was gratuitous.

Yates said that—until someone convinced her that the travel ban was lawful—her department would not defend it in court. So far every judge who has heard challenges to the legality of the executive order has ruled against Trump.
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If Trump cared about the safety and security of Americans, he could have used his authority to hire outside counsel to represent the government in defending his order while keeping Yates in place so new surveillance warrants could be obtained when needed until the Senate confirms a new attorney general.

While Trump demands "extreme vetting" of people from Muslim-dominated countries, his order was so poorly vetted that it is unlikely to survive appeals, and an experienced lawyer like Yates knew that.

In reply, the White House said Yates, who it called “very weak,” has “betrayed the Department of Justice.”

Ironically, when Yates was up for confirmation, she was asked: “Do you think the attorney general has the responsibility to say no to the president if he asks for something that’s improper?”

Yates answered that she would always act to ensure the integrity of the Justice Department by defending the Constitution.

The person asking her that? Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general nominee who at his own hearing made a similar pledge to be independent.

Trump’s surrogates keep saying he is just keeping the promises he made to the American people. His executive orders so far make it very clear how far he intends to go to keep those promises, regardless of what actually fulfilling them could mean to the nation and the world.

So let’s take a closer look at some of those promises, which are cause for more fear than the terror threat Trump keeps insisting he will somehow solve.

Let's turn to what Trump surrogates keep telling us: that the president is now faithfully carrying out what he promised on the campaign trail. So what else did he promise that's relevant to this ill-considered executive order?

In his inauguration address Trump promised to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”

Bombs can kill. Drones and assassins can take out jihadi leaders. But only nuclear weapons can wipe something from the face of the earth.

What has Trump said about using nuclear weapons? Candidate Trump repeatedly told voters that, if he became president, he would use nuclear weapons. Trump told voters that he “loves war” and he meant “including nukes, yes, including nukes.”

What more insight is needed? The man whose shills are bragging now about how he keeps his promises said again and again as a candidate that he will use nuclear weapons. Barely a minute into his presidency he promised to wipe jihadis “from the face of the earth.”

That the whole point of nuclear weapons is to never use them is lost on Trump, whose ignorance on many issues I documented in my book The Making of Donald Trump. The man does not know a Shia from a Sunni or even a Sikh, nor the reasons those differences matter. The executive order shows that he does not understand that banning people from Iraq and Sudan—including those who worked with American soldiers, spies, and diplomats at great personal risk—can only put Americans in more danger.

Reviving blind and murderous hatred of America until there are new terrorist attacks helps Trump draw more power into the Oval Office. Think about the travel-ban executive order in relation to Trump’s elevating the nationalist Bannon—whose avowed goal is “to bring everything crashing down”—to his national security meetings while the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon henceforth can attend only by invitation.

These are not the actions of a servant of the American people temporarily imbued with authority to act in our name, but of a know-nothing hell-bent on doing whatever he wants.

So, don’t be surprised if an American tactical nuclear weapon gets used against ISIS. I expect that he will at least try to get the military to do so—and I hope the generals say no.

But whether Trump sticks by that campaign promise or not, expect more official actions designed to inflame the world, to turn annoying minor problems like the dwindling ranks of ISIS into conflagrations that can serve as an excuse for ever more White House power.

As for fear, don’t be afraid of pipsqueak ISIS so much as our president misusing our government to make us ever less safe and then offering himself as our only protection.
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Offline RE

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American Psychosis
« Reply #212 on: February 01, 2017, 02:09:26 AM »
Good one from Chris!

RE

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/american_psychosis_20170129

American Psychosis
Posted on Jan 29, 2017

By Chris Hedges


Reality is under assault. Verbal confusion reigns. Truth and illusion have merged. Mental chaos makes it hard to fathom what is happening. We feel trapped in a hall of mirrors. Exposed lies are answered with other lies. The rational is countered with the irrational. Cognitive dissonance prevails. We endure a disquieting shame and even guilt. Tens of millions of Americans, especially women, undocumented workers, Muslims and African-Americans, suffer the acute anxiety of being pursued by a predator. All this is by design. Demagogues always infect the governed with their own psychosis.

“The comparison between totalitarianism and psychosis is not incidental,” the psychiatrist Joost A.M. Meerloo wrote in his book “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing.” “Delusional thinking inevitably creeps into every form of tyranny and despotism. Unconscious backward forces come into action. Evil powers from the archaic past return. An automatic compulsion to go on to self-destruction develops, to justify one mistake with a new one; to enlarge and expand the vicious pathological circle becomes the dominating end of life. The frightened man, burdened by a culture he does not understand, retreats into the brute’s fantasy of limitless power in order to cover up the vacuum inside himself. This fantasy starts with the leaders and is later taken over by the masses they oppress.”

The lies fly out of the White House like flocks of pigeons: Donald Trump’s election victory was a landslide. He had the largest inauguration crowds in American history. Three million to 5 million undocumented immigrants voted illegally. Climate change is a hoax. Vaccines cause autism. Immigrants are carriers of “[t]remendous infectious disease.” The election was rigged—until it wasn’t. We don’t know “who really knocked down” the World Trade Center. Torture works. Mexico will pay for the wall. Conspiracy theories are fact. Scientific facts are conspiracies. America will be great again.

Our new president, a 70-year-old with orange-tinted skin and hair that Penn Jillette has likened to “cotton candy made of piss,” is, as Trump often reminds us, “very good looking.” He has almost no intellectual accomplishments—he knows little of history, politics, law, philosophy, art or governance—but insists “[m]y IQ is one of the highest—and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” And the mediocrities and half-wits he has installed in his Cabinet have “by far the highest IQ of any Cabinet ever assembled.”

It is an avalanche of absurdities.

This mendacity would be easier to repulse if the problem was solely embodied in Trump. But even in the face of a rising despotism, the Democratic Party refuses to denounce the corporate forces that eviscerated our democracy and impoverished the country. The neoliberal Trump demonizes Muslims, undocumented workers and the media. The neoliberalDemocratic Party demonizes Vladimir Putin and FBI Director James Comey. No one speaks about the destructive force of corporate power. The warring elites pit alternative factsagainst alternative facts. All engage in demagoguery. We will, I expect, be condemned to despotism by the venality of Trump and the cowardice and dishonesty of the liberal class.

Trump and those around him have a deep hatred for what they cannot understand. They silence anyone who thinks independently. They elevate pseudo-intellectuals who adhere to their bizarre script. They cannot cope with complexity, nuance or the unpredictable. Individual initiative is a mortal threat. The order for some employees of several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research service, the National Park Service and the Department of Health and Human Services, to restrict or cease communication with the press or members of Congress, along with the attempt to impose 10-year felony convictions on six reporters who covered the inauguration protests, signals the beginning of a campaign to marginalize reality and promote fantasy. Facts depend solely on those who have the power to create them. The goal of the Trump administration is to create an artificial consistency that conforms to its warped perception of the world.

“Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself; in which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home and are spared the never-ending shocks which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations,” Hannah Arendt wrote in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.” “The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda—before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world—lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”

Trump’s blinding narcissism was captured in his bizarre talk to the CIA on Jan. 21. “[T]hey say, is Donald Trump an intellectual?” he said. “Trust me, I’m, like, a smart persona.”

“I have a running war with the media,” he added. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth. And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number one stop [in the new presidency] is exactly the opposite—exactly. And they understand that, too.”

He launched into an attack on the media for not reporting that “a million, million and a half people” showed up for his inauguration. “They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there,” he said about the media’s depiction of the inauguration crowd. “And they said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we’re not going to let it rain on your speech.”

He has been on the cover of Time “like, 14 or 15 times,” Trump said in speaking of his criticism of the magazine because one of its reporters incorrectly wrote that the president had removed a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. “I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine. Like, if Tom Brady is on the cover, it’s one time, because he won the Super Bowl or something, right? I’ve been on it for 15 times this year. I don’t think that’s a record, Mike, that can ever be broken. Do you agree with that? What do you think?” [Editor’s note: Photographs or drawings of Trump were on the cover of Time 10 times in the last year and a half and once in 1989.]

Trump’s theatricality works. He forces the press and the public to repeat his lies, inadvertently giving them credibility. He is always moving. He is always on display. He has no fixed belief system. Trump, as he consolidates power, will adopt the ideology of the Christian right to fill his own ideological vacuum. The Christian right’s magical thinking will merge seamlessly with Trump’s magical thinking. Idiocy, self-delusion, megalomania, fantasy and government repression will come wrapped in images of the Christian cross and the American flag.

The corporate state, hostile or indifferent to the plight of the citizens, has no emotional pull among the public. It is often hated. Political candidates run not as politicians but as celebrities. Campaigns eschew issues to make people feel good about candidates and themselves. Ideas are irrelevant. Emotional euphoria is paramount. The voter is only a prop in the political theater. Politics is anti-politics. It is reality television. Trump proved better at this game than his opponents. It is a game in which fact and knowledge do not matter. Reality is what you create. We were conditioned for a Trump.

Meerloo wrote, “The demagogue relies for his effectiveness on the fact that people will take seriously the fantastic accusations he makes, will discuss the phony issues he raises as if they had reality, or will be thrown into such a state of panic by his accusations and charges that they will simply abdicate their right to think and verify for themselves.”

The lies create a climate in which everyone is assumed to be lying. The truth becomes suspect and obscured. Narratives begin to be believed not because they are true, or even sound true, but because they are emotionally appealing. The aim of systematic lying, as Arendt wrote, is the “transformation of human nature itself.” The lies eventually foster somnambulism among a population that surrenders to the magical thinking and ceases to care. It checks out. It becomes cynical. It only asks to be entertained and given a vent for its frustration and rage. Demagogues produce enemies the way a magician pulls rabbits out of a hat. They wage constant battles against nonexistent dangers, rapidly replacing one after the other to keep the rhetoric at a fever pitch.

“Practically speaking, the totalitarian ruler proceeds like a man who persistently insults another man until everybody knows that the latter is his enemy, so that he can, with some plausibility, go out and kill him in self-defense,” Arendt wrote. “This certainly is a little crude, but it works—as everybody will know who has ever watched how certain successful careerists eliminate competitors.”

We are entering a period of national psychological trauma. We are stalked by lunatics. We are, as Judith Herman writes about trauma victims in her book “Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror,” being “rendered helpless by overwhelming force.” This trauma, like all traumas, overwhelms “the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.”

To recover our mental balance we must respond to Trump the way victims of trauma respond to abuse. We must build communities where we can find understanding and solidarity. We must allow ourselves to mourn. We must name the psychosis that afflicts us. We must carry out acts of civil disobedience and steadfast defiance to re-empower others and ourselves. We must fend off the madness and engage in dialogues based on truth, literacy, empathy and reality. We must invest more time in activities such as finding solace in nature, or focusing on music, theater, literature, art and even worship—activities that hold the capacity for renewal and transcendence. This is the only way we will remain psychologically whole. Building an outer shell or attempting to hide will exacerbate our psychological distress and depression. We may not win, but we will have, if we create small, like-minded cells of defiance, the capacity not to go insane.

The original source of this article is Truthdig
Copyright © Chris Hedges, Truthdig, 2017

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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #213 on: February 01, 2017, 09:57:35 AM »
No shit!!!  That was an awesome article.  He nailed that shit down to the ground. 

I'm impressed. 

Offline agelbert

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #214 on: February 01, 2017, 11:28:24 AM »
No shit!!!  That was an awesome article.  He nailed that shit down to the ground. 

I'm impressed. 

Yes. I had posted that article earlier. I guess not to many people noticed.  :(
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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #215 on: February 01, 2017, 12:31:03 PM »
No shit!!!  That was an awesome article.  He nailed that shit down to the ground. 

I'm impressed. 

Yes. I had posted that article earlier. I guess not to many people noticed.  :(

I didn't see it Agelbert.  Had I seen it, I would have read it and gave you the credit for the find ;)

However, you did not write it.  The props go to Chris Hedges for having penned it.  I even logged onto facepalm (which I haven't done in a month or so) just to share it with virtual land beyond the Diner...which is the only social site I use on the net.  Facepalm is a waste of fucking time because it's mostly about distraction. 

Offline RE

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #216 on: February 01, 2017, 12:42:19 PM »
No shit!!!  That was an awesome article.  He nailed that shit down to the ground. 

I'm impressed. 

Yes. I had posted that article earlier. I guess not to many people noticed.  :(

I didn't see it Agelbert.  Had I seen it, I would have read it and gave you the credit for the find ;)

However, you did not write it.  The props go to Chris Hedges for having penned it.  I even logged onto facepalm (which I haven't done in a month or so) just to share it with virtual land beyond the Diner...which is the only social site I use on the net.  Facepalm is a waste of fucking time because it's mostly about distraction.

I missed AGs posting of the article also, otherwise I would have credited him for the find.

Ya can't read every post on the Diner Forum, there are simply too many posted each day.  You get involved in discussions on particular threads, and you miss other ones.  Nature of the beast.

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #217 on: February 01, 2017, 02:05:24 PM »
The question is though, can Hedges meet the challenge posed in two articles I have posted here which ask where these liberal critics were when Obama was in power, and doing the exact same thing?  Just to clarify, I think both Obama and Trump (and Bush and Clinton before them) policies are despicable and extreme right-wing, yet it is clear there is a partisan liberal campaign against only Trump, which is totally hypocritical.

Quote
Hedges: Tens of millions of Americans, especially women, undocumented workers, Muslims and African-Americans, suffer the acute anxiety of being pursued by a predator. All this is by design. Demagogues always infect the governed with their own psychosis.

And the criticism of Obama, who had 8 years to address these issues?  No mention of him and his policy of deporting undocumented workers, his non-stop wars against Muslim countries, his drone strikes on targeted individuals (plus collateral damage), and maintenance of the position on women and African Americans.

I used to be a fan of Juan Cole's biting criticism in the Bush years, but he went soft on Obama, and where did it get him - did he manage to influence the great man into doing liberal things on Iran?  No.

In the previous article we had Bannon being called both Rasputin and a Leninist, FCS.
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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #218 on: February 01, 2017, 02:14:38 PM »
That is a good article but lunatics were in charge before Trump took office.  Trump is only a lunatic of a different flavor.  While it is true that if Trump is moving his lips lies are leaking from it like anal drippage from a loose sphincter, the paradox is that Trump is not pretending to be other than who he actually is.  That is actually an improvement. 

Trump is our national laxitive.  He purges us of the delusions that BAU was good enough.  Had BAU been good enough we would not have been Trumped.
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The Great SCOTUS Battle
« Reply #219 on: February 01, 2017, 03:50:53 PM »
Give it up.  This is a battle that cannot be won.

RE

http://www.newsweek.com/why-neil-gorsuch-must-not-be-confirmed-supreme-court-eichenwald-551429

 Opinion
Eichenwald: Neil Gorsuch Is Supremely Qualified, and Must Not Be Confirmed
By Kurt Eichenwald On 2/1/17 at 3:55 PM

Opinion
Neil Gorsuch

This is a very hard column to write. I’m about to abandon everything I have believed for much of my life about the proper principles for federal governance. Unfortunately, too many of our political leaders did that long ago, which makes this conclusion inevitable: Federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, must not be confirmed. Democrats must fight it to the bitter end. The preservation of the final, tattered remains of American constitutional government demands it.

This has nothing to do with Gorsuch as a nominee. On first assessment, there is no doubt he is eminently qualified, perhaps more so than several other sitting justices were at the time of their nomination. He has done it all. His legal education is first-rate, with a law degree from Harvard and a doctorate in jurisprudence from Oxford. He has seen up close how the Supreme Court works, serving as a clerk for Justice Byron White and then Justice Anthony Kennedy. For more than a decade, he has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, where he has gained a reputation as someone committed to the rule of law. He is a member of the federal Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.

There was a time in history when that would have been enough. And if someone with Gorsuch’s pedigree had been nominated by, say, George W. Bush in his first term, I would be supporting Senate confirmation under Article II of the Constitution—not because I agree with him on policy, which to me has usually been irrelevant in selecting a judge, since the high court is not supposed to be filled with the equivalent of lifetime senators. If he is qualified and has a philosophy of jurisprudence that is widely recognized as legitimate—which Gorsuch does—that would be enough.

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02_01_jurt_gorsuch_01 Donald Trump announced his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court on January 31. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Related: With Gorsuch, Trump leans right but stays mainstream

But no more. Gorsuch, unfortunately, must be sacrificed on the altar of obscene partisanship erected by the Republicans in recent years. Temper tantrums designed to undermine the Constitution for naked political purposes cannot be rewarded. Our government cannot survive the short-term games-playing that has replaced fidelity to the intent of the Founding Fathers’ work in forming this once-great nation.

This goes back to the unconscionable decision of Republicans who refused to consider any nominee put forward by President Barack Obama following the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. Obama nominated Merrick Garland, another eminently qualified candidate who served as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second most important court in the nation. But in a decision that will go down as one of the greatest abuses of the Constitution in this nation’s history, the Senate’s Republican majority, under the leadership of their unprincipled majority leader, Mitch McConnell, declared they would not give Garland hearings, would not examine his qualifications and would not take a vote.

Instead, they made up a rule: A nominee for the Supreme Court can be considered for only three-quarters of any president’s term. In the fourth year, confirmations have to wait until after the election. And so the Supreme Court has been hobbled for coming up on one year—and, because the confirmation hearings will inevitably drag on, for months more to come.

The Republican fiat horrified those who care about the Supreme Court as an institution. Sixteen scholars sent a letter to Obama to express their dismay, writing, “The Constitution gives the Senate every right to deny confirmation to a presidential nomination. But denial should come after the Senate deliberates over the nomination, which in contemporary times includes hearings in the Judiciary Committee, and full debate and votes on the Senate floor. Anything less than that, in our view, is a serious and, indeed, unprecedented breach of the Senate’s best practices and noblest traditions for much of our nation’s history.”

A letter to the Senate leadership, signed by 356 legal scholars, said refusing Garland a vote “is contrary to the process the framers envisioned in Article II, and threatens to diminish the integrity of our democratic institutions and the functioning of our constitutional government.”

In another letter, 33 law professors issued to Obama and the Senate Republicans an open letter stating, “The Senate’s constitutional duty to ‘advise and consent’—the process that has come to include hearings, committee votes, and floor votes—has no exception for election years. In fact, over the course of American history, there have been 24 instances in which presidents in the last year of a term have nominated individuals for the Supreme Court, and the Senate confirmed 21 of these nominees.”

No matter—the Republicans would not budge. Garland received no hearings, no vote, no consideration whatsoever.

And don’t think this has anything to do with a philosophy about how the court should run. When Obama in 2013 nominated Patricia Ann Millett to be a judge for the all-important circuit court in Washington, D.C., the Republicans pulled another “principle” out of their nether regions: no new judges should be added to that court to…save money. And because the court didn’t have a big enough workload. Seriously. Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that nonsense without bursting out laughing at the magnitude of his mendacity.

At the time, there were four seats open on the D.C. circuit court. That Obama was unable to get a single judge confirmed to that court by Senate Republicans—despite having already served his first term and being only into the first year of his second—puts the lie to this idea that the GOP obstruction of judicial nominees was about anything other than undermining the constitutional authority of the president of the United States. Grassley, who will certainly appear in future history books as the political hack who destroyed our judicial branch of government, let the veil slip about his real reasons for trying to keep Obama nominees off the court: politics.

“The court is currently comprised of four active judges appointed by Republican presidents and four active judges appointed by Democrat presidents,” Grassley said in a floor statement on the Millet nomination, using the incorrect name for the Democratic Party in a petty game some conservative bullies find amusing. “There is no reason to upset the current makeup of the court, particularly when the reason for doing so appears to be ideologically driven.”

In other words, in the first year of a president’s term, the senior Republican most responsible for getting judicial nominees to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote said that disrupting a 4-4 balance on the panel second to the Supreme Court was politics. So a first-year nominee can’t be accepted, a fourth-year nominee can’t be accepted, and courts should function with the constant risk of tie votes because a president fulfilling his constitutional duty by nominating judges for courts is “ideologically driven.”

This might explain why Democrats now say the Supreme Court should remain divided in the same way—four justices appointed by Democratic presidents, four by Republicans—for the rest of Trump’s term. “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that President Trump puts up,” said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. “I promise you.”

Liberal commentators agree. “It would be completely decent, honorable and in keeping with the Senate’s constitutional duty to vote against essentially every judicial nominee Trump names,’’ said the Americans for a Progressive Judiciary, a liberal think tank. “If you truly believe that a particular nominee would wreak havoc on America, why not do everything you can to stop him?”

I’m sure these words of principle enrage conservatives. I’m sure they believe that the Democrats' allowing the high court to continue in its current hobbled state throughout Trump’s term is un-American and destructive to our country. In fact, these statements have already been roundly condemned on Fox News, with numerous pundits ripping at the Democratic Party (or Democrat Party) for allowing its thirst for partisan advantage to blind them to our constitutional principles. And, if you’re a conservative, I hope you seethe at those statements.

Why? Because it exposes your grotesque hypocrisy.

You see, I lied. Feinstein never said anything about the Democrats refusing to confirm any Trump nominee for the next four years—that was actually Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, in statements he made when most of the political world believed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was going to be president. As for the comment from the Americans for a Progressive Judiciary? I made up the name; as far as I can tell, no such organization exists. Instead, I was quoting the conservative publication The Federalist, which, once again, was writing at a time when almost no one believed Trump would win, to justify engaging in a blanket refusal to ever confirm any Clinton nominee.

Now if you’re a conservative who was angered by those statements when you thought they came from Democrats—and now that you know they were uttered by your partisan brethren, you’re scrambling to justify them—face facts: You are lying and self-deluded.

02_01_kurt_gorsuch_02 Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch walks with former New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner before a meeting on Capitol Hill on February 1. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

With the elevation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court (“the worst justice in history”©), whose rulings often contain the same blatant hoop-jumping demonstrated by Grassley in justifying pure partisanship as a matter of constitutional principle, I gave up on the idea of my once-beloved Supreme Court as a deliberative body in which legal interpretations are weighted against constitutional precepts and precedent. Instead, I now accept it is just an apparatus of political parties.

I always know how Alito will rule; his decisions are amusing because I enjoy trying to predict what assertions of nonexistent fact he will employ in his arrogant effort to reach the outcome he desires. None of the other justices—conservative or liberal, past or present—are as flagrant in their use of the court to impose their political beliefs on the rest of us. At the very least, until Alito is gone, the Supreme Court is a partisan joke deserving of no respect, which for me is a horrifying thing that I could never have imagined I would say.

No doubt, Gorsuch would be a better judge than Alito (and so would my dog). Like Garland, he would bring some desperately needed jurisprudential intelligence, fairness and consistency to the court, regardless of what anyone may think of his decisions on a political basis. But none of that matters. There is a country to save.

The Republicans cannot be allowed to reap the rewards of unprincipled obstructionism that sets a precedent that will destroy the last remnant of our country’s constitutional credibility. They cannot wing it—that a court doesn’t have enough work to justify the number of judges it is supposed to have, or that a Democrat should not be allowed to have a judicial nominee confirmed in a fourth year or first year or full term of a presidency—and just make up rules as they go along, undermining everything this country has stood for just to grab some short-term gain. There are no principles anymore; just as with Alito’s decisions, there are desired outcomes and an infinite number of rationalizations to help anti-American conservatives get there.

So what should the Democrats do? Fight. Recognize the nature of the other party. There is no longer reason; there is no longer fidelity to our history or to the Founders’ intents; there is no longer compromise. Republicans cannot be allowed to benefit from their efforts to undermine the intent of the framers of our Constitution. (To give you an idea of how bad this could become if Democrats don’t fight, think of this: that conservative commentator writing for The Federalist who was justifying obstructing every Clinton nominee argued that Republicans, as an option, could constitutionally just let the Supreme Court die if it could be done without paying too high a political price. There is no limit to how far the Republicans may go.)
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Will the Republicans use the “nuclear option,” which will allow them to override any attempt at a filibuster, making it so that a Supreme Court nominee needs only a majority vote? Let them. If Democratic senators won’t throw everything into stopping this nomination, regardless of the price, then they may as well pack it up and go home, because they have cowered and cringed their way into a government where governance has died, where party is more important than country.

The end game: Force Trump to renominate Garland. Filibuster every nominee until he does. I have no illusions that the Senate would accept Garland; the Republicans still have the majority. Then Trump will come in with another nominee, almost certainly Gorsuch. Yes, even under that scenario the Republicans will gain a seat on the court; they would have anyway, even if they had considered Garland during the Obama administration, because the GOP had the Senate majority then too and would have voted him down. (Democrats knew the price of a Trump victory could be that the Republicans would get to name the next Supreme Court justice, and enough of the anti-Clinton types chose to sit out or cast their vote for someone who could not win anyway. They have relinquished the right to object.) 

So even though Garland would not have won a Senate confirmation vote, a precedent needs to be established: the Senate’s confirmation responsibilities under the Constitution are not a joke, are not something where absurd rationalizations that pass for smarts on Fox News can be used to circumvent history and precedent. Nominees must be given hearings and votes. And yes, if that means letting the Republicans blow up the filibuster, let them do it.

Then, when a Democratic president is in office, the Democrats control the Senate, and there is no filibuster, show the Republicans a real exercise in raw power: revive Franklin Roosevelt’s plan to pack the Supreme Court and fill it with the most liberal justices around. If the Republicans insist on turning the judiciary into a political plaything, play the roughest game of hardball they have ever seen.
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Online Eddie

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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #220 on: February 01, 2017, 05:32:29 PM »
Better than Scalia. Better than the other two on the short list.

But might be a conservative influence on Kennedy. Gorsuch was Kennedy's clerk, and Kennedy respects him a lot. It is rumored that Kennedy could retire any time (he's 81) and then Trump might bring in another conservative justice, maybe somebody worse than Gorsuch.
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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #221 on: February 01, 2017, 06:04:37 PM »
Wwellll, that doan mattah, 'cause, by executive order, emperor  trump has declared and decreed that the Official Language of the United States shall henceforth be BULLSHIT.

Bullshit.  All the time. Beginning to end.  DONE!

https://youtu.be/i-4r9XE5EM0
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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #222 on: February 01, 2017, 06:19:36 PM »
Boom. Done.
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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #223 on: February 01, 2017, 06:43:45 PM »
Oops!  I forgot to say BOOM.   Sorry.


Boom, done!
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Re: Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread
« Reply #224 on: February 01, 2017, 06:45:10 PM »
Some information from RT, not one line "jokes":

https://www.rt.com/usa/375992-us-president-muslims-migration/
Preferences, registries and bans: How US presidents dealt with Muslims
1 Feb, 2017

President Donald Trump’s temporary travel restrictions on seven countries has polarized the US public, with critics calling it a “Muslim ban” unfairly singling out a religion and proponents defending it as necessary for Americans’ safety.

The Trump administration has rejected the descriptions of the January 27 order as a “Muslim ban,” noting that more than 40 Muslim-majority countries in the world are not affected by it.

“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months,”Trump said, defending the order. “The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.”

    ‘Ammunition to jihadists’: Democrats decry Trump's 'Muslim ban' outside Supreme Court https://t.co/5HG2Yp2RUT
    — RT America (@RT_America) January 31, 2017

Obama’s Iraqi ban

President Barack Obama indeed ordered a review of all background checks for Iraqi refugees resettled in the US and imposed new security requirements on any new ones, after the May 2011 arrest of two Iraqis in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The duo was captured in a FBI sting operation and charged with conspiring to send material support to Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The investigation showed the men lied on their immigration paperwork and had previous ties with terrorists; one’s fingerprints were even found on an unexploded bomb in Iraq.

While Obama’s decision did not amount to a ban, in practice the increased scrutiny resulted in “significantly fewer” refugees entering the US in 2011 and 2012. According to a report compiled by the Congressional Research Service, the number of refugees in 2011 was 26,500 below the allotted 80,000, while the shortfall in 2012 amounted to 17,700 fewer than the reduced quota of 76,000.

Bushes’ Muslim registry

The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program was introduced by President George H. W. Bush in 1991 during the first Gulf War, when US immigration demanded fingerprints and registrations from certain travelers from Iraq and Kuwait.  While the requirement was dropped by 1993, the legal structure remained in place.

President George W. Bush resurrected the registry following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The list of countries affected was expanded to include Iran, Libya, Sudan and Syria. By 2003, the NSEERS applied to 25 countries, all but one with Muslim majorities: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The Obama administration discontinued the use of the registry in 2011, and officially shut down the NSEERS in December 2016. The official reasoning was that the program had become obsolete and inefficient. In practice, it had been expanded to everyone entering the US, through the US-VISIT program (Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) introduced in 2007.

Carter’s Iran ban

In April 1980, President Jimmy Carter banned Iranians from entering the US due to the ongoing hostage crisis at the American embassy in Tehran. Carter’s order to sever diplomatic relations with Iran and impose a trade embargo also instructed the US departments of state and justice to “invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States.”

“We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly,” the order said. The ban was lifted in 1981, after Iran released the US hostages.

Muslim refugees very welcome

While refugee admissions were suspended for a short time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, refugees from Muslim-majority nations accounted for an ever-larger percentage of the total US admissions in the years that followed.

The final guidance documents issued by the Obama administration increased the US refugee admission quota to 110,000. Of those, 40,000 were supposed to come from the Near East and South Asia, specifically from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan – and a very small group of Bhutanese refugees living in India since the 1990s.


© fas.org

The same document included an allocation for 35,000 refugees from Africa, primarily from Congo, Somalia and Eritrea – the latter two being majority Muslim. Trump's executive order has temporarily halted all refugee admissions, pending review.

'Sovereign right'

While the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has expressed concern over Trump’s executive order, at least one prominent Gulf Arab statesman did not seem perturbed.

“Countries have the sovereign right to make decisions to ensure their sovereignty. The US president used this sovereign right,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, said on Wednesday at the press conference in Abu Dhabi after meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“There are attempts to claim that this decision is aimed against a religion, but it is not aimed against a specific religion. This is a temporary decision, it is important to take these points of view into account,” Al-Nahyan added.
"The State is a body of armed men."

 

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