Enough is Enough

The following editorial by the Los Angeles Times’ Editorial Board was posted August 20, 2017:

These are not normal times.

The man in the White House is reckless and unmanageable, a danger to the Constitution, a threat to our democratic institutions.

Last week some of his worst qualities were on display: his moral vacuity and his disregard for the truth, as well as his stubborn resistance to sensible advice. As ever, he lashed out at imaginary enemies and scapegoated others for his own failings. Most important, his reluctance to offer a simple and decisive condemnation of racism and Nazism astounded and appalled observers around the world. Read More

U.S. Lawmakers Seek Kushner Company Records on Maryland Apartments

The following article by Alec MacGillis was posted on the ProPublica website August 18, 2017:

Democrats from the state’s congressional delegation say articles by ProPublica, The New York Times Magazine and The Baltimore Sun raise “very serious and troubling concerns” about whether Kushner’s businesses comply with federal housing standards.

Morningside Park, a Kushner Companies-owned housing complex, in Middle River, Maryland. Credit: Philip Montgomery, New York Times

Maryland’s two U.S. senators and four of its U.S. House representatives, all Democrats, sent a letter today to the large real-estate company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, demanding information about the company’s management of 17 apartment complexes it owns in the state.

The letter to Kushner Companies came in response to a May 23 article co-published by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine investigating management practices at the rental complexes, most of which are in the suburbs of Baltimore, as well as an article this week in The Baltimore Sun that revealed additional details. Read More

Yes, Donald Trump really did look into the sky during the solar eclipse

The following article by Chris Cillizza was posted on the CNN website August 21, 2017:

There’s literally only one rule with eclipses: Don’t look at the sun during them.

Which brings me to the President of the United States:

President Donald Trump looks up toward the Solar Eclipse while joined by his wife first lady Melania Trump on the Truman Balcony at the White House on August 21, 2017.

And, again:

Read More

Federal Taxes: Paulsen ‘touts plan’? Where are the details?

Re: Friday’s subhead “Minnesota Republican touts plan …” — that is, a plan to lower and simplify taxes. What? Where’s the plan? I read the article twice and saw absolutely no detail, none. Sure, there were some vague suggestions, but no plan (“Paulsen pitches lowering, simplifying taxes,” Aug. 18).

What I saw was the Star Tribune running a PR piece for Paulsen. Where are the details? Where is the plan the subhead promised?

We end up with nothing. Come back with a real story when he tells us specifically what he’ll do. Stop being a shill for our elected officials with notions, wishes, slogans, and bumper-sticker sayings.

Without breaking a sweat or doing what the headline implied, Paulsen got what he wanted: a headline someone can place on a piece of campaign literature.

Tom Krueger, Crystal
Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 18, 2017

The Trump administration just disbanded a federal advisory committee on climate change

The following article by Juliet EIlperin was posted on the Washington Post website August 20, 2017:

President Trump speaks about the U.S. role in the Paris climate change accord in the Rose Garden of the White House in June, 2017. (AP)

The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government’s climate analysis into long-term planning.

The charter for the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment — which includes academics as well as local officials and corporate representatives — expires Sunday. On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s acting administrator, Ben Friedman, informed the committee’s chair that the agency would not renew the panel.

The National Climate Assessment is supposed to be issued every four years but has come out only three times since passage of the 1990 law calling for such analysis. The next one, due for release in 2018, already has become a contentious issue for the Trump administration. Read More

Post Politics Schiff questions Trump’s ‘capability,’ says issue could get worse with time

The following article by John Wagner was posted on the Washington Post website August 20, 2017:

In the wake of the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, politicians question President Trump’s response and ask whether he has the ‘moral authority’ to lead the nation through divisive times. (The Washington Post)

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday that he sees “some serious issues” with President Trump’s capabilities that aren’t likely to get better but that it’s premature to consider invoking a constitutional provision to force him from office.

“I certainly think that there’s an issue with the president’s capability. There’s some attribute of his character that makes him seemingly incapable of introspection and a broad understanding of what the country really needs, and I think it’s a question that people are asking, you know, ‘What is going on with this president? What can explain this kind of behavior?’ ” Schiff said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Read More

The elites strike back — getting under Trump’s skin

The following article by James Hohmann with Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve was posted on the Washington Post website August 21, 2017:

President Trump claps as he walks across the South Lawn on his return to the White House from New Jersey August 20, 2017. (J. David Ake/AP)

THE BIG IDEA: The 2016 election represented, as much as anything else, a repudiation of America’s elites and everything they believe in. By running on the hollow promises of populism, nativism and isolationism, an angry outsider challenged many of the bipartisan shibboleths that have long united most of the highly educated and affluent leaders of our country and culture.

Seven months into President Trump’s reign, the elites are striking back. From Wall Street to West Palm Beach and West Hollywood, the past week has been a turning point, perhaps even a tipping point. Since Trump abdicated his moral leadership after Charlottesville, the well-connected have used their leverage — like checkbooks and celebrity — to send a message about what truly makes America great. Read More

Warning signs of mass violence – in the US?

The following article by Max Pensky, Co-Director of the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Binghamton University, State University, of New York and Nadia Rubaii, Co-Director, Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, and Associate Profession of Public Administration, Binghamton University, State University of New York was posted on the Conversation website August 21, 2017:

Protesters with opposing views face off at a ‘Free Speech’ rally in Boston. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

There are those who say that comparing President Donald Trump’s rhetoric to that of Adolf Hitler is alarmist, unfair and counterproductive.

And yet, there has been no dearth of such comparisons since the 2016 presidential election. Many commentators have also drawn parallels between the conduct of Trump supporters and Holocaust-era Nazis.

The comparisons continue today, and Trump’s comments in the wake of the Charlottesville attack show why. The president’s reference to violence on “both sides” implies moral equivalence, which is a familiar rhetorical strategy for signaling support to violent groups. His comments give white supremacists and neo-Nazis the implied approval of the president of the United States. Read More