Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

trump versus the world: totalitarianism versus authoritarianism...


The New York Times has published its opinion: the Case Against Donald Trump

BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD — a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise,

research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.


Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.

Mr. Trump’s ruinous tenure already has gravely damaged the United States at home and around the world. He has abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents, shattering the norms that have bound the nation together for generations. He has subsumed the public interest to the profitability of his business and political interests. He has shown a breathtaking disregard for the lives and liberties of Americans. He is a man unworthy of the office he holds.

The editorial board does not lightly indict a duly elected president. During Mr. Trump’s term, we have called out his racism and his xenophobia. We have critiqued his vandalism of the postwar consensus, a system of alliances and relationships around the globe that cost a great many lives to establish and maintain. We have, again and again, deplored his divisive rhetoric and his malicious attacks on fellow Americans. Yet when the Senate refused to convict the president for obvious abuses of power and obstruction, we counseled his political opponents to focus their outrage on defeating him at the ballot box.

Nov. 3 can be a turning point. This is an election about the country’s future, and what path its citizens wish to choose.

The resilience of American democracy has been sorely tested by Mr. Trump’s first term. Four more years would be worse.

But even as Americans wait to vote in lines that stretch for blocks through their towns and cities, Mr. Trump is engaged in a full-throated assault on the integrity of that essential democratic process. Breaking with all of his modern predecessors, he has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, suggesting that his victory is the only legitimate outcome, and that if he does not win, he is ready to contest the judgment of the American people in the courts or even on the streets.

Kathleen Kingsbury, acting editorial page editor, wrote about the editorial board’s verdict on Donald Trump's presidency in a special edition of our Opinion Today newsletter. You can read it here.

The enormity and variety of Mr.Trump’s misdeeds can feel overwhelming. Repetition has dulled the sense of outrage, and the accumulation of new outrages leaves little time to dwell on the particulars. This is the moment when Americans must recover that sense of outrage.

It is the purpose of this special section of the Sunday Review to remind readers why Mr. Trump is unfit to lead the nation. It includes a series of essays focused on the Trump administration’s rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health and incompetent statecraft. A selection of iconic images highlights the president’s record on issues like climate, immigration, women’s rights and race.

The urgency of these essays speaks for itself. The repudiation of Mr. Trump is the first step in repairing the damage he has done. But even as we write these words, Mr. Trump is salting the field — and even if he loses, reconstruction will require many years and tears.

Mr. Trump stands without any real rivals as the worst American president in modern history. In 2016, his bitter account of the nation’s ailments struck a chord with many voters. But the lesson of the last four years is that he cannot solve the nation’s pressing problems because he is the nation’s most pressing problem.

He is a racist demagogue presiding over an increasingly diverse country; an isolationist in an interconnected world; a showman forever boasting about things he has never done, and promising to do things he never will.

He has shown no aptitude for building, but he has managed to do a great deal of damage. He is just the man for knocking things down.

As the world runs out of time to confront climate change, Mr. Trump has denied the need for action, abandoned international cooperation and attacked efforts to limit emissions.

He has mounted a cruel crackdown on both legal and illegal immigration without proposing a sensible policy for determining who should be allowed to come to the United States.

Obsessed with reversing the achievements of his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, he has sought to persuade both Congress and the courts to get rid of the Affordable Care Act without proposing any substitute policy to provide Americans with access to affordable health care. During the first three years of his administration, the number of Americans without health insurance increased by 2.3 million — a number that has surely grown again as millions of Americans have lost their jobs this year.

He campaigned as a champion of ordinary workers, but he has governed on behalf of the wealthy. He promised an increase in the federal minimum wage and fresh investment in infrastructure; he delivered a round of tax cuts that mostly benefited rich people. He has indiscriminately erased regulations, and answered the prayers of corporations by suspending enforcement of rules he could not easily erase. Under his leadership, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stopped trying to protect consumers and the Environmental Protection Agency has stopped trying to protect the environment.

He has strained longstanding alliances while embracing dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whom Mr. Trump treats with a degree of warmth and deference that defies explanation. He walked away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a strategic agreement among China’s neighbors intended to pressure China to conform to international standards. In its place, Mr. Trump has conducted a tit-for-tat trade war, imposing billions of dollars in tariffs — taxes that are actually paid by Americans — without extracting significant concessions from China.

Mr. Trump’s inadequacies as a leader have been on particularly painful display during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of working to save lives, Mr. Trump has treated the pandemic as a public relations problem. He lied about the danger, challenged the expertise of public health officials and resisted the implementation of necessary precautions; he is still trying to force the resumption of economic activity without bringing the virus under control.

As the economy pancaked, he signed an initial round of aid for Americans who lost their jobs. Then the stock market rebounded and, even though millions remained out of work, Mr. Trump lost interest in their plight.

In September, he declared that the virus “affects virtually nobody” the day before the death toll from the disease in the United States topped 200,000.

Nine days later, Mr. Trump fell ill.

The foundations of American civil society were crumbling before Mr. Trump rode down the escalator of Trump Tower in June 2015 to announce his presidential campaign. But he has intensified the worst tendencies in American politics: Under his leadership, the nation has grown more polarized, more paranoid and meaner.

He has pitted Americans against each other, mastering new broadcast media like Twitter and Facebook to rally his supporters around a virtual bonfire of grievances and to flood the public square with lies, disinformation and propaganda. He is relentless in his denigration of opponents and reluctant to condemn violence by those he regards as allies. At the first presidential debate in September, Mr. Trump was asked to condemn white supremacists. He responded by instructing one violent gang, the Proud Boys, to “stand back and stand by.”

He has undermined faith in government as a vehicle for mediating differences and arriving at compromises. He demands absolute loyalty from government officials, without regard to the public interest. He is openly contemptuous of expertise.

And he has mounted an assault on the rule of law, wielding his authority as an instrument to secure his own power and to punish political opponents. In June, his administration tear-gassed and cleared peaceful protesters from a street in front of the White House so Mr. Trump could pose with a book he does not read in front of a church he does not attend.

The full scope of his misconduct may take decades to come to light. But what is already known is sufficiently shocking:

He has resisted lawful oversight by the other branches of the federal government. The administration routinely defies court orders, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly directed administration officials not to testify before Congress or to provide documents, notably including Mr. Trump’s tax returns.

With the help of Attorney General William Barr, he has shielded loyal aides from justice. In May, the Justice Department said it would drop the prosecution of Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn even though Mr. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. In July, Mr. Trump commuted the sentence of another former aide, Roger Stone, who was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation of Mr. Trump’s 2016 election campaign. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, rightly condemned the commutation as an act of “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

Last year, Mr. Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation of his main political rival, Joe Biden, and then directed administration officials to obstruct a congressional inquiry of his actions. In December 2019, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Mr. Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors. But Senate Republicans, excepting Mr. Romney, voted to acquit the president, ignoring Mr. Trump’s corruption to press ahead with the project of filling the benches of the federal judiciary with young, conservative lawyers as a firewall against majority rule.

Now, with other Republican leaders, Mr. Trump is mounting an aggressive campaign to reduce the number of Americans who vote and the number of ballots that are counted.

The president, who has long spread baseless charges of widespread voter fraud, has intensified his rhetorical attacks in recent months, especially on ballots submitted by mail. “The Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED,” he tweeted. The president himself has voted by mail, and there is no evidence to support his claims. But the disinformation campaign serves as a rationale for purging voter rolls, closing polling places, tossing absentee ballots and otherwise impeding Americans from exercising the right to vote.

It is an intolerable assault on the very foundations of the American experiment in government by the people.

Other modern presidents have behaved illegally or made catastrophic decisions. Richard Nixon used the power of the state against his political opponents. Ronald Reagan ignored the spread of AIDS. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying and obstruction of justice. George W. Bush took the nation to war under false pretenses.

Mr. Trump has outstripped decades of presidential wrongdoing in a single term.

Frederick Douglass lamented during another of the nation’s dark hours, the presidency of Andrew Johnson, “We ought to have our government so shaped that even when in the hands of a bad man, we shall be safe.” But that is not the nature of our democracy. The implicit optimism of American democracy is that the health of the Republic rests on the judgment of the electorate and the integrity of those voters choose.

Mr. Trump is a man of no integrity. He has repeatedly violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Now, in this moment of peril, it falls to the American people — even those who would prefer a Republican president — to preserve, protect and defend the United
 States by voting.

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There is a certain desperation by the "Liberal media" to distract you away from the fact that Joe Biden is not the best Democrat candidate. Joe has been a WARMONGER and has been shown to be corrupt (see is this a fake senate document?...)... So the Liberal media carries on with the "NOT TRUMP" campaign — leaving aside that ALL THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENTS have aimed to destroy OTHER COUNTRIES, while Trump has not declared war on anyone (yet). It would have been better for the Democrats AND THE LIBERAL MEDIA that the Democrats picked someone else for president. But the image of the smiling nice warmonger is beyond the pale...

you and I have the weight of a feather...

See: a convertible-loving average joe for an average middle-of-the-road, full-blown russian-hating, president...



The top 50 think tanks in America, as ranked by the University of Pennsylvania’s Go To Think Tank Index, received over $1 billion from U.S. government and defense contractors. The top recipients of this funding were the RAND Corporation, the Center for a New American Security, and the New America Foundation, according to analysis by the Center for International Policy.

Donations to these think tanks came from 68 different U.S. government and defense contractor sources, under at least 600 separate donations. The top five defense contractor donors to U.S. think tanks were Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martina and AirBus.



“Think tank experts testify before Congress and, in some cases, literally write laws. The very least they can do is be fully transparent about who is funding them,” said Ben Freeman in an interview with The American Conservative. “Taxpayers have a right to know if that expert they hear advocating for more Pentagon spending is being paid by the Pentagon. If the funding isn’t influencing their work, then they should have no problem disclosing their funders.”

Disclosure matters because journalists rely on think tanks to provide supposedly non-biased experts to weigh in on complicated policy matters. These think tank experts are frequently hosted on TV panels on CNN or Fox News, or are seen penning op-eds in  newspapers or heard on the airwaves of National Public Radio (NPR.)

Think tank experts also frequently appear and give testimony in Congressional hearings, a setting where transparency is of primary importance.

Think tanks contribute to the Washington ecosystem in a variety of ways: while their writers and influence-peddlers appear as experts on news shows and pen op-eds, they also conduct in-depth research on policy, help draft legislation, and write talking points, memos and Congressional scorecards. Think tanks provide a home for legislative experts when their party or views are out of favor, allowing them to cool their heels and collect a paycheck until an administration of another color regains power. Think tanks are also homes for former and future government officials: they employ former senators, representatives, executive branch officials, and their staff. The Brookings Institution is headed by retired four-star General John Allen and they employ two former Chairs of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, among over 300 experts.

Think tanks play an outsize role in shaping U.S. public policy, and have done so since at least the 1980s, when the Heritage Foundation sent president-elect Ronald Reagan over 1,000 pages of policy recommendations. By the end of his presidency, the think tank boasted that Reagan had adopted or attempted to adopt fully two-thirds of Heritage’s recommendations.



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she could be in before donald gets booted out...

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the full Senate Thursday despite a boycott from all 10 Democratic members of the committee.

All 12 Republicans on the committee voted to advance Barrett’s nomination. Rather than appear at the confirmation vote, the Democrats on the committee put pictures of Americans who benefitted from the Affordable Care Act in their places, reinforcing their narrative that Barrett’s presence on the high court would put the 2010 healthcare law in jeopardy.


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frightening when donald makes sense...

President Trump is no fan of Sacha Baron Cohen or his ‘Borat’ character.

The notorious British comedian made headlines this week for tricking Trump ally Rudy Giuliani into an embarrassing cameo in his new film, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”

“Years ago, you know, he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said no way. That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One Friday, The Sun reported. “To me, he was a creep.”

The incident with Cohen happened roughly 15 years ago, Trump said, without going into additional details.


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Yes, and I don’t find Borat funny... 

So,why is Donald trump hated by both the authoritarian right and the totalitarian left? Answer: Donald has not understood he needs to do the great reset... rather than do his own shit...


the crazy uncle don up the flagpole...

There is an opinion piece in the New York Times which explains how chaotic Donald Trump has been in cabinet... Some officials, like Bolton earlier this year in his book, tell the New York Times of the craziness of Uncle Don:


One of the first things senior staff members learned about Mr. Trump was that he was all but un-briefable. He couldn’t seem to take in complex information about policy choices and consequences in the ways presidents usually do in Oval Office meetings.

What they saw instead was the guy from the first debate. He’d switch subjects, go on crazy tangents, abuse and humiliate people, cut them off midsentence. Officials I interviewed described this scenario again and again.

In the middle of a briefing, Mr. Trump would turn away and grab the phone. Sometimes the call would go to Fox television hosts like Sean Hannity or Lou Dobbs; sometimes the officials wouldn’t even know who was on the other end. But whoever it was would instantly become the key voice in the debate.

In one meeting about the border wall, Mr. Trump called a person “who built a flagpole at one of his golf courses,” said an official in attendance that day. Mr. Trump explained that because this person “got in a big fight about the size of the flagpole” and because it was “really big,” “the president thought, of course, they would understand how to build a wall.


The officials of course had to say that:


“Obviously,” ... “it is not the same.”


But where the nuttiness of Uncle Don, possibly drunk on power like he's always been, really hurt the official US carry-on is on the subject of the military and wars and bombing was to insist on US troop withdrawal from many theatres of wars (some small wars — a bit like boils on the arse of humanity — mostly maintained through hypocrisy rather than common sense). This removal of US troops must have been crazy as it was running against the official dogma of the Pentagon, itself supported for years by the Democrat and Republican parties for yonks...


I believe that Trump isn't one dude who wants to fight and be killing people. He does not mind humiliating and bankrupting other nations. This is how he has operated for years, but he does not want to kill people... 


In March 2018, Mr. Trump took a trip on Air Force One to Charlotte, N.C., for the funeral of the Rev. Billy Graham.

History may note that the most important thing that happened that day had little to do with the religious leader and his large life, save a single thread of his legacy. That would be his grandson, Edward Graham, an Army Ranger “right out of central casting,” as Mr. Trump liked to say, who’d served eight tours in Afghanistan and Iraq over 16 years. In full uniform he met Mr. Trump to escort him, and the two talked about the country’s grueling conflicts overseas.

For Mr. Trump, the meeting was a face-to-face lifeline call. When he returned to Washington, he couldn’t stop talking about troop withdrawals, starting with Afghanistan. During his campaign, he had frequently mentioned his desire to bring home troops from these “endless wars.” As president, his generals — led by the polished, scholarly, even-keeled Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — explained the importance of U.S. troops in stabilizing whole regions of the world, and the value of that stability. Suddenly, after talking to Edward Graham, Mr. Trump didn’t want to hear it.

“In a normal, sane environment,” said a senior Pentagon official, “were it Obama or Bush, or whatever, they’d meet Billy Graham’s grandson and they’d be like ‘Oh that’s interesting,’ and take it to heart, but then they’d go and they’d at least try to validate it with the policymakers, or their military experts. But no, with him, it’s like improv. So, he gets this stray electron and he goes, ‘OK, this is the ground truth.’ ”

Mr. Graham, now working in his family’s ministry, said, “Any conversations that I have had with the president are private.” And, “additionally, when I had those conversations with the president, I was in the Army and I was speaking with our commander in chief.”

Several weeks later, at a speech in Ohio, Mr. Trump said, “we’re knocking the hell out of ISIS” in Syria and the U.S. troops there would be coming home “very soon.”

Once they heard this, shock started to run through Mr. Mattis and his old friend, John Kelly, who’d commanded Marine forces but was then the chief of staff to the president. Both men understood that the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria were, soldier for soldier, probably the most valuable fighting force on the planet. They not only fought alongside the Kurds in routing ISIS, which was battered yet still a threat. These few troops helped hold the region intact, supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces, also filled with Kurds, which in turn checked the expansion of Syria’s murderous leader, Bashar al-Assad, and also kept Russia, Mr. Assad’s patron, in check. The Kurds had suffered tremendously in these conflicts, much more than the Americans had.


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As I keep repeating myself on this site, when Joe Biden is president be prepared for the bombing of Damascus, with of course untold consequences, but at least the pride of the military objectives would have been protected UNDER FALSE PRETENCES. But this is secondary. The dirty foreign politics of the Democrat/Republican alliance to conquer the world will carry on as usual, by blaming others, including Assad, Iran and Russia — while of course the Saudis/Sunnis are "angels of peace". BULLSHIT.