Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show, Commerce Secretary Edition

"Forbes magazine says that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross 'lied to us' about his net worth, exaggerating it by billions of dollars to make the widely cited 'Forbes 400' list of richest people in America. Ross was dropped from the list for 2017 after being a presence for 13 years.

In an article Dan Alexander posted Tuesday, Forbes said it discovered a discrepancy after examining Ross’s government financial disclosure forms, on which Ross, a Wall Street investor before President Trump put him in his Cabinet, listed his assets at $700 million.

That’s not even close to qualifying for what the magazine calls “the country’s most exclusive club” in which the richest person, Bill Gates, is worth $89 billion and the poorest a mere $2 billion."

Read the Washington Post, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ‘lied’ about his wealth to make richest Americans list, says Forbes magazine.

Remember: it's all 'bout the show, 'bout the show, stupid people!!! (Repeat til you get it).

Trump's Great Strength: He Know How to Connect to People, Unfortunately He Uses It to Leverage Racism

Again, I've always thought The Donald had an exceptionally high EQ , too bad he misuses it.

Read the Washington Post, What makes President Trump casually dismiss black pain? White rage., which states in part:

"The white resentment that unmasked itself during the Obama era, sparked by the tea party and Trump’s birther crusade, had been pretty obvious even before the predominantly white media devoted legions of stories to it over the past couple of years in a fit of 'Hillbilly Elegy' curiosity. It seemed apparent to people of color that this was the mysterious malady that caused people to support Trump; the press, in the manner of Christopher Columbus, would eventually discover it, too. Much less energy was devoted to, say, examining black anger about racial injustice and other issues. That’s partly why the president was able to get so many (mostly white) Americans to believe the fiction that kneeling athletes were Betsy Ross blasphemers. Those attitudes give Trump license to make targets of outspoken sports commentators and various members of Congress — especially if they’re women of color, his favorite opponents. The act of not believing black folks or performing confusion about our anger has social currency as well, since it makes it look as though we are all crying wolf. Even when we’re talking about a pregnant military widow, perhaps the most sympathetic character in the entire American story. . .

It is also the latest chapter in America’s long history of mistreating African American military veterans, alive or dead. As Peter C. Baker noted in November in the New Yorker, the Equal Justice Institute in Alabama released a report about lynching shortly after the election that indicated that 'no one was more at risk of experiencing violence and targeted racial terror than black veterans' of America’s wars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Baker wrote that those veterans, returning home from fighting overseas, understandably felt more of an entitlement to equal treatment under the law, and the lynchings were intended to disabuse them of that notion.

Lynching was the most violent form of racial denigration in that era. But racial denigration, that act by which bigots strip any respectability or humanity away from black folks to reinforce their false racial hierarchy, has never gone away. And Trump has such a gift for it that he used it to win the White House. He was elected by a swell of bigotry, and so he serves his masters with aplomb. It may be the only consistent thing he does.

While he didn’t break out a noose for the Johnsons or Wilson, he did sic his dogs on them through his continued insistence that they are lying. Already, an Illinois man is being investigated for a Facebook post threatening to lynch Wilson. Knowing that his base either is racist or willing to vote in a man who would metastasize white supremacy, Trump felt secure putting a black Gold Star family in the crosshairs to escape accountability.

Asked toward the end of the interview Monday whether she had anything to say to the president, Myeshia Johnson said, 'No,' then paused a bit before adding, 'I don’t have nothing to say to him.' You should watch it in its entirety, if for no other reason than to see this moment. Her anger and hurt was palpable throughout the interview, but perhaps none more so than right then. You’ll see a woman who clearly can’t believe that she has to deal with this nonsense.

These are surely the worst days of her life. But rather than talking purely about her husband and any righteous rage she may have over the circumstances of his death, she has to talk about Trump and what he is doing to her. She may even be screaming inside over the fact that this maddening episode will always be a part of La David Johnson’s story. The president could’ve prevented that by trying to act like a human being for the five minutes it took to make that call, but alas.

While we don’t yet understand why La David Johnson was left behind to die, we understand why his family has been treated like trash. A fallen soldier’s family is being forced to make space for the president’s petty grievances in their time of bereavement, all because, even at an unconscious level, America accepts white anger. Even when viewed as wrong, it is at least tolerated more than the fury of black folks. This has been a long con by conservatives, dating back to before the birth of the Southern Strategy after Jim Crow, and it is paying out for them now.

The president knows that white resentment is a perfect fit for his pugnacious politics, so he can continue reflexively picking fights that wiser men ignore. He has cover from his acolytic base, who see the disrespect and hatred they have nurtured for so long exploding into presidential action. What appear to be confounding, unforced errors borne of his inherent cruelty are also chunks of red meat for his base. The satisfaction that Trump derives from feeding them clearly matters more to him than the outrage of a black war widow. If that’s disturbing, consider that it makes some political sense for him to behave like this. Whose fault is that?"

Trump's Big CON: He is Unfit to Be President, And Republi-CONs Know It, CONt. Part 2

UPDATE:  "There is no president in modern memory who has repeatedly and directly called on the Justice Department to investigate a political opponent in such a manner. A politician, one could imagine, upon new and actual evidence of wrongdoing, might say something like, “The appropriate authorities should look into this.” That’s not what Trump is doing here. He is both assuming guilt and applying pressure to go after an opponent based on scurrilous propaganda that he and his followers have generated. This is the conduct of a Third World dictator, and by any stretch of the imagination, an abuse of presidential power.

Trump’s latest call — following “lock her up” chants at rallies that continued after his election — is not an isolated event, but, as noted before, part of an ongoing pattern of trying to lean on the Justice Department either to pursue or not to pursue criminal proceedings against specific individuals. This certainly clears the bar of abuse of power established in the impeachment of Richard Nixon (who “merely” countenanced using the CIA to shut down the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break-in) and goes well beyond the discrete action of Bill Clinton in lying under oath in the Paula Jones matter and to the grand jury. Trump’s conduct is pervasive, and if allowed to go unpunished will permanently distort our constitutional system. We simply cannot tolerate presidential meddling in our criminal-justice system to protect friends and persecute enemies. . .

Republican leadership, however, has entirely abandoned its constitutional obligations and makes no effort to halt such conduct. The leaders are not acting in good faith to uphold their oaths of office — namely to defend the Constitution."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s latest impeachable actions.

"Trump chooses to ignore this and other evidence that led our intelligence community to conclude Russia had meddled in the election. In refusing to address the issue because his own ego is at stake (and the country’s perception of his legitimacy), he thereby puts out the welcome mat for further efforts to meddle in our democracy. He cannot bring himself to recognize what Russia did for him, so he cannot take seriously his obligation to defend against future Russian attacks on our democracy.

Failing to vet high-ranking officials and disinclination to act to defend America’s electoral democracy are not illegal. Nor is it illegal to deride the First Amendment, equate neo-Nazis with protesters, lie hundreds if not thousands of times or berate one’s attorney general for recusing himself as required by law. It’s not illegal to refuse to master policy basics. Nevertheless, when we consider all that, plus his firing of FBI director James B. Comey, his alleged effort to interfere with the Flynn investigation, his alleged attempt to chase the Justice Department off the prosecution of Joe Arpaio, his lying about the existence of tapes of Comey, his self-enrichment and his conflicts of interest (including receipt of foreign emoluments), the stark portrait emerges of someone unwilling or unable to act in the interests and defense of the Constitution. Whenever the choice is between his own self-interest and the country, the former prevails. The president lacks the ability to sublimate his own interests, and thereby is unable to uphold the oath that requires he put the country first.

When and if Congress ever gets around to considering impeachment, all of this is relevant to the political consideration of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' And even if all that does not warrant Trump’s removal, it must require much greater congressional oversight (e.g. mandatory disclosure of his tax returns, ending nepotism, required liquidation of his businesses). To the extent that Republicans aren’t willing to do even that, they make the case for voting the whole lot of them out of office."

Read the Washington Post, While Mueller probe plays out, Republicans shouldn’t forget Trump is unfit.