Trump’s traitorous actions to abandon allies in battle

The increasingly incompetent, ignorant and immoral actions by the corrupt president Donald Trump in Syria finalizes his efforts to destroy America’s foreign policy and turn the nation’s back on its allies.

Editorialized The Washington Post Monday:

Until now, it was possible to hope that the damage caused by President Trump’s terrible incompetence, ignorance and impulsivity in foreign policy was largely theoretical, and possibly reparable. That is no longer true. The cost of his latest Syria blunder is unfolding before our eyes: Innocent lives lost. U.S. servicemen and -women betrayed. Butchering dictators emboldened. Dangerous terrorists set free. A ghastly scene is playing out, and it almost surely will get worse.

Mr. Trump — with no consideration, no warning, no consultation with allies, no regard for the other nations that have fought alongside the United States and risked their men and women in the fight — has turned tail. In the past two years, courageous U.S. troops cooperated with our Kurdish allies to defeat the deadly Islamic State caliphate. These allies lost more than 11,000 men and women killed; the United States, a dozen. It was a rare U.S. success in the Middle East.

The president has thrown it all away. His surrender is so hasty that U.S. forces could not execute a long-standing plan to take dozens of high-profile Islamic State detainees with them; we can expect to hear from those terrorists before long, in the region, in Europe or in the United States. The Islamic State is likely to exert its malign force again. The allies who fought alongside us are being slaughtered, and noncombatant women and children, too. Iran is strengthened, which threatens Israel. The murderous Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is strengthened, too. Russia is taking charge. America’s adversaries could not have scripted a better outcome.

In Syria, U.S. soldiers ordered to pack up and leave calls the order “a dagger to the heart to walk away from people who shed blood for us.”

“It will go down in infamy,” an Army officer who served in the Syria campaign told David Ignatius, who covered the efforts in Syria for The Post. “This will go down as a stain on the American reputation for decades.”

“What do these American soldiers feel as they watch Trump retreat from the Syrian battlefield and leave their former comrades to die? They feel sick,” Ignatius writes.

“For these soldiers, abandoning an ally on the battlefield is about the worst thing that can happen,” he adds.

To make matters worse, the orders to pull out come from a disgraced president who allies himself with vicious dictators who are enemies of the United States.

In other words, the actions of a traitor who betrayed the Constitution, the nation and the allies who trusted us.

A traitor named Donald John Trump.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

 

 

What if Trump wants to be thrown out?

Trump exits stage right.

Consider this:  Donald Trump may not want to remain president of the United States, and he privately hopes impeachment removes him from office before the 2020 election hands him the one thing he cannot abide:  A loss.

Losing is alien to Trump’s massive ego. Even when he loses, he claims a win.

But removal from office by Congress give him a platform upon which he can start a new, Trump-praising cable TV news service, and use it to build more power as a dissident.

Impossible? Maybe not.

Nancy Gibbs, director of the Shorenstein Center on Media and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, suggests just such a scenario.

She writes:

What if the president wants out? There’s much about the job he never liked, which is one reason he spends so much time watching TV rather than actually doing it. Under normal circumstances, it involves any number of things he once avoided; shaking hands with germy people, being talked at by experts who know more than he, sitting still for extended periods, being criticized no matter what he does, empathizing — all important parts of the job. He has gone to considerable lengths to reshape the role, fired the experts, cleared his schedule, kept up his golf game … but still. The campaigning was fun, but the best evidence of how little he likes presiding is how seldom he’s actually done it.

Trump escapes the frustration of failing to accomplish his agenda by not having ever had one, beyond his continued exaltation. He could count this moment as a high point: record-low unemployment, still soaring stock markets, judicial transformation. It’s easy to imagine it’s all downhill — and fast — from here. His confidence in his supreme wisdom leads him to make even reckless decisions, such as his abandonment of America’s trust with its Kurdish partners, with no evidence of regret or remorse other than disliking the criticism for doing it. But ever since the Ukraine scandal erupted, his rage-tweeting and Wagnerian self-pity suggest that the incoming fire for his misconduct, occasionally even from his defenders and enablers, has made these days even less fun than usual.

All of which raises the question: the release of the Ukraine information, the double-dare-you defiance of congressional oversight, the sellout in Syria, even the rising profanity of his Twitter stream each seem expertly suited to inflaming one constituency or another, and not just the people who have loathed him from Day One. The polls are moving for a reason: Republicans and independents, even those serving in Congress, may not agree where the line is, but they know there’s one somewhere, and it does not involve a shooting on Fifth Avenue.

Consciously or not, might he conclude that impeachment and removal is his least bad option for escaping the “great white jail”? Resigning is out; that’s for quitters. Defeat in 2020 is worse; losing is for losers. But being impeached and removed from office is the one outcome that preserves at least some ability to denounce the deep state and the quislings in the Senate who stabbed him in the back, maintain his bond with his tribe, depart the capital and launch a media business to compete with the ever more flaccid Fox News. (This all presumes that President Pence pardons him, for which there’s some precedent.) Impeachment lets him go down fighting, and he will call it rigged and unfair and illegitimate and a coup, all of which would be harder if the verdict was rendered next November by millions of voters.

Gibbs, a former managing editor at Time magazine, says we should look for signs that Trump want out.  If we see Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump leave Washington and return to Manhattan would be a big sign.  Trump renaming Reagan National Airport after himself is another (which fits into Trump’s massive ego and one to piss off the Republicans who still kowtow to him) is another.

She concludes:

When you think about it, with a choice of bad options, impeachment doesn’t look so bad, and gets you home to your gilded tower sooner. Assuming, that is, that you don’t think you can just burn the Constitution to the ground and be the last one standing.

Oh, we can dream.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

 

Donald Trump is killing America

America: Drowning in Donald Trump’s toxic swamp. (Image: Mr. Fish/Truthdig)

America today can best be described as a floundering, drowning whale.

Under the control of a debased, corrupt Donald Trump, the con man who claimed he would “make America great again,” the once land of the free and home of the brave has become the toxic swamp of a madman, wannabe dictator who plunders and loots at will.

The mentally-challenged half-child who calls others “enemies of the people” should be talking about himself.

No president in the history of this once-great nation has lied so openly, so blatantly ignored both the norms and the legalities of his office or turned the White House into a mob-central with a sole purpose of serving his ego or the wallets of his family.

And he continues to plunder and pillage under the protection of a emasculated Republican party that controls the Senate and serves his impulses with no regard for the nation it is supposed to serve.

Trump is served by equally corrupt GOP leaders like “Moscow Mitch” McConnell in the Senate . Kevin McCarthy in the House and others like supportive traitors like Lindsey Graham.

A few Republicans — too damn few — have seen the light.

Former Congressman Joe Walsh, now a long-shot primary candidate for the GOP nomination for Trump’s job, calls Trump a traitor.

“I’m running against President Trump because he’s unfit and a clear and present danger to this country,” Walsh says. “There’s no way in hell I would vote for him in November. The election is about Trump, period.”

Sadly, Walsh was not much a Congressman, just like Anthony Scaramucci wasn’t much of a White House Communications Director during his brief time on the job, but even he now considers Trump a traitor.

“The American president is a traitor to the United States. He is literally the most un-American president that we’ve had probably since Andrew Johnson,” Scaramucci said on CNN.

He adds:

I would have thought that the leadership in the Congress would have broken by now, the Republican leadership in the Congress. Where is the leadership?”

Where indeed. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, now Utah’s Senator, supports the impeachment inquiry, but has not said if he supports impeachment itself.  The is enough for Trump to attack Romney.

Trump calls  Romney a “pompous ‘ass,’” who is “so bad for Rs.”  Romney is said to be among at least 10 Republicans who are learning towards impeachment — less than half of the number needed in the Senate.

The Democratic leadership of the House is in the beginning stages of impeachment proceedings against Trump, something long overdue.  Trump’s attempts to recruit the president of Ukraine to help his re-election efforts brought a formal “whistleblower” complaint started the impeachment outcry.

Involvement in Ukraine brought down former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort election and sparked the Special Counsel investigation of Russia’s involvement in helping Trump win the disputed election where challenger Hillary Clinton won the majority of the vote by a record three million ballot margin but lost in the Electoral College, where gerrymandered district overrides the wishes of voters.

Now, two Ukrainian-born clients of Trump’s equally-corrupt attorney Rudy Giuliani, were arrested as they attempted to flee the U.S. after federal investigators found they were violating campaign finance laws.  Those same prosecutors are investigating Giuliani as well.

Trump’s involvement in Ukraine is a tawdry part of his failed foreign policy.  Michelle Goldberg writes in The New York Times:

If America can be said to have a foreign policy at this debased stage of the Trump administration, it mostly consists of sucking up to strongmen while betraying everyone who ever believed in America’s putative ideals. Trump has given Turkey his blessing to assault the Syrian Kurds, America’s crucial allies against ISIS. In June, he reportedly promised China that he wouldn’t speak out in favor of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, some of whom have been carrying American flags, as long as trade talks progressed.

Here in Ukraine, a country locked in a proxy war with Russia, coping with a deluge of disinformation and propaganda and struggling to transcend a history of corruption, reformers are trying to figure out what it means when the American president sides against them.

Pro-Western reformers, the Ukrainian philosopher Volodymyr Yermolenko told me, had seen the United States as a “a perfect democracy functioning very well,” with an admirable system of checks and balances. “And now this image is crumbling and that’s very dangerous.”

Sadly, that perception is correct. America itself is crumbling and Donald John Trump is the destroyer of what once was a great nation.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Trump lies, screams, rants again

Donald Trump. (Jim Mone/AP)

The vile, corrupt, angry, coarse Donald Trump appeared in full, disgusting display Thursday night at a rally in front of his dwindling “core” of supporters in Minneapolis.

In just three minutes, he churned out five major lies as his pitiful defense of his impeachable actions against the Constitution, the nation and its people.

He told his remaining rabid — and clueless — “fans” that Joe Biden “as only a good vice president because he figured out how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.” That, of course, brought raucous cheers from the racists who dominate his base.

His displays of outright bigotry included attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the first Somali-American in Congress.

Trump also mocked Omar, the first Somali-American in Congress.

“How hell did that ever happen?” he said of her election, adding: “Congresswoman Omar is an America-hating socialist.”

Rep Omar is a frequent target of a bigot like Trump.  Earlier this year, he included her in an attack on four minority Democratic female members of Congress, saying they all should “to back and fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

When Elaine Duke was acting director of homeland security, Trump screamed at for not doing more to “ban refugees from fucking Somalia.”

He ignored that all four of the women are American citizens and three of them were born in the United States.

Trump’s tone at the rally in Minneapolis brought outcries from social media.

“This is the kind hate rally ween in authoritarian and fascist countries,” posted Elad Nehori. “We Jews have seen this before, as have countless other minorities.”

And speaking of “totally broken and crime-infested places,” that description could easily describe Washington, DC, which is ever more so since Trump became this nation’s accidental president and Manhattan, which he is from.

Trump tirades came as more and more facts emerge on his corruption and the criminal actions of his administration.  We’ve learned how he tried to get former Secretary of State Tex Tillerson to “intervene” in Ukrainian prosecution of an ally of his lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“The modern day Hitler,” said Mara McEwin  on Twitter.  The red shirts, rec caps are the new brown shirts.  Truly terrifying.”

“The special hate that Trump and the alt-right have for Somalis, above and beyond all other immigrant groups, has always fascinated and disgusted me,” posted Noah Smith.

Erin Maye Quade, a former Minnesota state rep, notes that Trump supporters bombed a mosque in Bloomington, MN, made death threats against a member of the Minnesota Congressional delegation and mailed bombs to Democrats.

“Many elected officials (with Somali constituents) were in attendance tonight,” she adds. “They should be asked about this.”

A lot of people should also be asked why they elected such a vile, despicable degenerate for president.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

 

Trump: ‘I’m above the law. You cannot impeach me’

President Donald Trump (Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump Tuesday declared himself above the law and is refusing to cooperate or even acknowledge the impeachment inquiry by the Congressional House or Representatives.

“To fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances,” White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone claimed in a scathing eight-page letter to top congressional Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not surprise or deterred by Trump’s latest antics.

“The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction,” Pelosi’s response said in a statement. “Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable.”

Trump’s actions come as new polls show growing support for the impeachment inquiry.  A new poll from Washington Post-School says a clear majority of Americans now endorse the decision by House Democrats and close to half of all adults say Congress should move to remove Trump from office.

Legal scholars note that the letter from the White House counsel “lacks substantive legal arguments” and repeats Trump’s “political broadsides” instead of valid claims.  House Democrats say his failure to comply with the legal requests for information bolsters their case for at least one article of impeachment.

Trump’s latest actions come just a week he promised to cooperate with the inquiry.

“I always cooperate,” he said.  “We’ll work together.”

Instead, the White House blocked an appearance Tuesday of Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, to testify on the impeachment inquiry.

The White House has put “a full halt” on any cooperation.

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify,” the president wrote on Twitter Tuesday, “but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away.”

House leaders responded with a subpoena ordering Sondland to appear next week and turn over documents they are seeking.

“The president is obstructing Congress from getting the facts that we need,” Pelosi told reporters. “It is an abuse of power for him to act in this way.”

Text messages provided to Congress last week shows Sondland worked with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on a statement for the president of Ukraine committing to an investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden while Trump was holding up $391 million in security aid to the country as leverage.

That effort led to the top American diplomat based in Ukraine to question Trump’s actions.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” William B. Taylor Jr., the diplomat, wrote in early September.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin later told The Wall Street Journal that Sondland confirmed to him that release of the aid was contingent upon Ukraine opening the investigation of Biden.

Robert Luskin, Sondland’s lawyer, said Tuesday that his client, as a State Department employee had to comply with Trump’s demand that he not testify, but added that Sondland was “profoundly disappointed” that he not allowed to appear and promised he would do o “in the future if allowed.”

“We were looking forward to hearing from Ambassador Sondland,” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, top Republican on the Oversight and Reform Committee.

Legal experts say Trump is on thin ice by trying to block what is considered a legal Congressional impeachment inquiry.

“I think the goal of this letter is to further inflame the president’s supporters and attempt to delegitimize the process in the eyes of his supporters,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, tells The Associated Press.  “It does not strike me as an effort to provide sober legal analysis.”

Philadelphia attorney Gregg Nunziata calls the White House letter a “direct assault on the very legitimacy of Congress’ oversight authority.”

“The Founders very deliberately chose to put the impeachment power in a political branch rather the Supreme Court,” Nunziata told The Associated Press. “They wanted this to be a political process and it is.”

University of Louisiana political science professor G. Pearson Cross calls the latter “an accelerant on a smoldering fire.”

“It’s a response that seems to welcome a constitutional crisis rather than defusing one or pointing toward some strategy that would deescalate the situation,” Cross added.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Trump & GOP: Corrupt traitors to America

Donald Trump (EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Notice to all who continue to support corrupt president Donald Trump and his immoral, unethical and illegal administration:  Your support shows contempt for America and makes you a traitor to your country.

The Republican Party of Trump abandoned all pretense of conservative values and patriotism when it became followers of the con artist and sexual predator who openly loots the U.S. Treasury to fatten his wallet.

“Trump’s contempt for law, propriety and process is boundless,” writes columnist Charles Blow in The York Times.

“This was the week that made it glaringly clear that the president put his fragile ego, idiotic conspiracy theories and political prospects ahead of American national security interests,” adds Maureen Dowd.

Cindy McCain, widow of the late Sen. John McCain, says the Republican Party of Trump is “not the party that my husband and I belonged to.”

“Donald Trump is not a patriot,” says Dana Milbank of The Washington Post. “Again and again, he has harmed the nation’s interests to further his own.”

Milbank adds:

He lies, he chases conspiracy theories, he’s racist, he abuses power, he’s cruel. The common thread — a unified theory of Trump, if you will — is that the man who promised an “America First” agenda is instead pursuing a “Trump First” agenda. This is the Me Presidency.

Max Boot says Trump is attempting a “coup against the checks and balances of the Constitution.”

And those who help him, he adds, are the Republicans who have abandoned America all that it is supposed to represent.

He adds:

The odds are that almost all will betray the country rather than the president. So here is the bitter irony: The “Republican” Party has become a threat to republican governance.

“An already unpopular president certainly cannot be given another term.” writes Jennifer Rubin.  “They might even conclude Republicans who protected him have not earned their ongoing trust.”

She suggests the GOP start paying more attention to new polls.

“Keep an eye on the polling,” she adds. “Republicans surely do, and right now it is telling them that leaving Trump on the ticket makes their political survival difficult, if not impossible.”

As a one-time GOP political operative (during an ill-conceived “sabbatical” to the bark side of politics), I saw the deterioration of the Republican Party from the inside.

One could ask if the party is even worth saving?  More important, however, is whether the nation should be saved.

Jeff Flake, a one-term GOP Senator who left because he could not stand Trump and probably not would not have survived his re-election effort in 2018, says his party must make the tough decision to put the nation above the questionable interests of the party that abandoned its principles.

He writes:

My fellow Republicans, it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles. Whether you believe the president deserves impeachment, you know he does not deserve reelection.

Our country will have more presidents. But principles, well, we get just one crack at those. For those who want to put America first, it is critically important at this moment in the life of our country that we all, here and now, do just that.

Trust me when I say you can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Impeach Trump and dump treasonous Republicans

Let’s put this into language that the disgraced president of the United States can understand: “It’s time to impeach the corrupt bastard!”

Donald Trump bragged during his campaign for president in 2016 that he could gun somebody down on Fifth Avenue in New York City and nothing would happen to him.

Then he’s proven that claim over and over again duirng his first disgusting term as presdident.

Aided by a corrupt gaggle of Republicans in Congress, and cowards on the Democratic side of the House leadership, Trump has ignored the Constitution, shredded norms of decency and legality, piled up more blatant lies than any president in history, looted the treasury for his personal benefit and imperiled the nation.

“We have devoted our lives to the service and security of our country, and throughout our careers, we have sworn oaths to defend the Constitution of the United States many times over. Now, we join as a unified group to uphold that oath as we enter uncharted waters and face unprecedented allegations against President Trump,” wrote seven freshman members of Congress in the Washington Post this morning.

They continue:

We believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.

Everything we do harks back to our oaths to defend the country. These new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect. We must preserve the checks and balances envisioned by the Founders and restore the trust of the American people in our government. And that is what we intend to do.

The freshmen members are Reps. Gil Cisneros of California, Jason Crow of Colorado, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia.  All are Democrats.

“Our lives have been defined by national service,” they add. “We are not career politicians. We are veterans of the military and of the nation’s defense and intelligence agencies. Our service is rooted in the defense of our country on the front lines of national security.”

“Republicans only pretend to be patriots,” writes Paul Krugman in The New York Times.  “Democrats need to expose them for what they are.

He continues:

We have a president who really is unpatriotic to the point of betraying American values and interests. We don’t know the full extent of Donald Trump’s malfeasance — we don’t know, for example, how much his policies have been shaped by the money foreign governments have been lavishing on his businesses. But even what we do know — his admitted solicitation of foreign help in digging up dirt on political rivals, his praise for brutal autocrats — would have had Republicans howling about treason if a Democrat had done it.

Yet almost all G.O.P. politicians seem perfectly fine with Trump’s behavior. Which means that it’s time to call Republican superpatriotism what it was long before Trump appeared on the scene: a fraud.

“Republicans were never the patriots they pretended to be, but at this point they’ve pretty much crossed the line into being foreign agents,” Krugman writes.  “If a party is willing to rig political outcomes by preventing minorities from voting, if it’s willing to use extreme gerrymandering to retain power even when voters reject it, why won’t it be equally willing to encourage foreign powers to subvert U.S. elections? A bit of treason is just part of the package.”

There’s a reason why GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell is now known as “Moscow Mitch.”  He sold out America.  So has his party.

I say this as a former GOP operative.  I worked, and in most cases succeeded,” to elect Republicans to Congressional offices for more than a half-dozen years in the 1980s.  That is not the only reason that I should face enternal damnation, but it is a primary one.

Donald Trump and the GOP are flushing America down into the toxic sewer where politics swamps patriotism and benefit of self blankets service to our nation.

It’s time to dump Trump and his infected allies into that hell hole and seal it forever

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

The ‘nonsense’ in our nation today comes from Trump

“This nonsense has never happened to another President,” claims nonsensical president Donald Trump while bitching about coverage of his mistake claiming Alabama faced potential hurricane damage from Hurricane Dorian and his then dumbfounding attempt to doctor official National Weather Service reports to back up his lie.

Perhaps, Mr. Trump, this happened because we’ve never had such a nonsensical president as you

The weather service had to issue an immediate “fact check” on Trump’s claim to try to avert panic and other problems.

Creating panic, however, is a Trump trademark.  So are exaggerations and outright lies to support unfounded claims.

Trump is the president who claimed he had the largest inaugural crowd in American history, a lie easily documented but that did not stop him from sending his former press secretary — the discredited Sean Spicer — into the press room to promote the lie.

As a candidate, he promoted the discredited claim that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, had a fake birth certificate and was not American born.  He later said he “accepted” the fact that Obama was a citizen, but he never apologized for his lies.

Notes Philip Bump:

It’s hard to overstate the importance of this and similar arguments to Trump’s politics. Trump, according to Trump, is uniquely targeted by the news media, a function of the media’s purported alliance with Trump’s political opponents. The reality, of course, is primarily that Trump is willing to make untrue and misleading claims with far less trepidation than past presidents. Or, really, mayors. Or dog catchers.

Adds , the chief television critic of The New York Times, who says the real Donald Trump is really nothing more than the reality TV show host he played on TV:

The institution of the office is not changing Donald Trump, because he is already in the sway of another institution. He is governed not by the truisms of past politics but by the imperative of reality TV: never de-escalate and never turn the volume down.

This conveniently echoes the mantra he learned from his early mentor, Roy Cohn: always attack and never apologize. He serves up one “most shocking episode ever” after another, mining uglier pieces of his core each time: progressing from profanity about Haiti and Africa in private to publicly telling four minority American congresswomen, only one of whom was born outside the United States, to “go back” to the countries they came from.

The taunting. The insults. The dog whistles. The dog bullhorns. The “Lock her up” and “Send her back.” All of it follows reality-TV rules. Every season has to top the last. Every fight is necessary, be it against Ilhan Omar or Debra Messing. Every twist must be more shocking, every conflict more vicious, lest the red light grow bored and wink off. The only difference: now there’s no Mark Burnett to impose retroactive logic on the chaos, only press secretaries, pundits and Mike Pence.

To ask whether any of this is “instinct” or “strategy” is a parlor game. If you think like a TV camera — if thinking in those reflexive microbursts of adrenaline and testosterone has served you your whole life — then the instinct is the strategy.

And to ask who the “real” Donald Trump is, is to ignore the obvious. You already know who Donald Trump is. All the evidence you need is right there on your screen. He’s half-man, half-TV, with a camera for an eye that is constantly focused on itself. The red light is pulsing, 24/7, and it does not appear to have an off switch.

And so we repeat to Mr. Trump.  You, sir, are the most nonsensical president ever to accidentally occupy the White House in America.

Why don’t you follow the advice you tried to mistakenly give to four American citizens: “Go back to wherever you came from” and crawl back into whatever shit hole you find there.

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

Black voters hold the key to 2020 presidential election

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to community faith leaders after serving breakfast during a visit to Dulan’s Soul Food on Crenshaw in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

For all the strategic calculations, sophisticated voter targeting and relentless talk about electability in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Democratic presidential nomination will be determined by a decidedly different group: black voters.

African Americans will watch as mostly white voters in the first two contests express preferences and winnow the field — then they will almost certainly anoint the winner.

So far, that helps explain the front-running status of former Vice President Joe Biden. He has name recognition, a relationship with America’s first black president and decades long Democratic resume. Black voters have long been at the foundation of his support — his home state of Delaware, where he served as a U.S. senator for nearly four decades, is 38 percent black — and until another presidential candidate proves that he or she can beat him, he is likely to maintain that support.

In the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton held a strong lead among black voters over Barack Obama until he stunned her by winning the Iowa caucuses and proved to black voters that he was acceptable to a broad spectrum of Democrats. Those same voters returned to Clinton in 2016.

This cycle, many black voters are also making a pragmatic choice — driven as much or more by who can defeat President Donald Trump as the issues they care about — and sitting back to see which candidate white voters are comfortable with before deciding whom they will back.

At the same time, the early courtship of black voters, overt and subtle, is part of a primary within the primary that includes detailed plans on issues like criminal justice reform, reparations, maternal mortality among black women, voter suppression and systemic racism.

“As black voters and movers and drivers of national politics, our self-image and awareness of our power and influence is evolving,” said Aimee Allison, founder of the She the People network, which hosted the first presidential forum aimed specifically at female voters of color.

Trump appealed to black voters during the 2016 campaign by saying “What the hell do you have to lose?” and ended up with only 8 percent of the black vote. But the Republican president again is saying he will try to win over black voters, frequently citing low unemployment and his own success in signing criminal justice legislation. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that he will succeed.

But the first test of the decisiveness of black voters will come in the primaries. African Americans make up roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population but 24 percent of the Democratic primary electorate. That number is more formidable in the early primary state of South Carolina, where black voters are two-thirds of primary voters, and in other early voting states like Georgia, Alabama and Virginia.

Biden reminded black reporters in a recent roundtable that his strength is not just with working class whites, but with the black voters he’s known for more than half a century in politics.

“After all this time, they think they have a sense of what my character is and who I am, warts and all,” Biden said. “I’ll be surprised if you find any African Americans that think I’m not in on the deal, that I’m not who I say I am … I’ve never, ever, ever in my entire life been in circumstances where I’ve ever felt uncomfortable being in the black community.”

He acknowledged that his familiarity is no assurance of success. And he noted that black voters may ultimately prefer black candidates like Sens. Kamala Harris of California or Cory Booker of New Jersey. First, though, one of them would have to prove to black voters that they were viable alternatives.

Black voters can be decisive not only in determining the Democrats’ nominee but also the ultimate winner. While Democrats have peaked in recent cycles with white voters at around 40 percent, black voters have been their most loyal constituency.

But in 2016, a drop-off among black voters had consequences. Black voter turnout dropped from 65.3 percent in 2012 to 59.6 percent, and Hillary Clinton received 89 percent of the black vote, compared with 93 percent for Barack Obama in 2012 and 95 percent in 2008.

“It comes down to a strategy decision that campaigns have to make: Do they believe that the way to win the White House is to win white voters, or do they believe that the way to White House is to mobilize voters of color?” said Leah Daughtry, who recently hosted a 2020 Democratic forum for black faith voters in Atlanta.

“Is there a strategy that allows you to do both? Perhaps,” Daughtry said. “But one is a sure bet. If you get us to the polls, we are most likely to vote Democrat. If you get white folks to the polls, you don’t know what they’re going to do.”

In the past, Biden would have been a prohibitive favorite, said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter. But black voters are demanding that candidates deliver on their priorities in a way they haven’t done in recent history.

“Black folks are looking to figure out who white voters are going to align with, but I don’t think that’s the driver that it has been in the past,” she continued. “Black voters, like white voters, are increasingly frustrated with the process. No longer is it good enough to choose between the devil or the witch.”

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Trump’s ‘war’ with Fox News: Made for TV news hype?

President Donald Trump. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

America’s bombastic, and usually lying, president complains over and over that Fox News no longer works for him.

“Fox isn’t working for us anymore,” Donald Trump says in one of his usual tsunami of Twitter “tweets.”

“We have to start looking for a new News outlet,” he adds. “The new Fox News is letting millions of great people down.”

The response by Fox?

Nothing.

“I don’t think Fox cares about Trump’s attacks,” Republican communications consultant Alex Conant, tells the Associated Press.  “They just care about their audience.”

Some say this could be just another dog and pony show by Trump and Fox.

“Not for nothing was Donald Trump inducted into the WWE wrestling hall of fame in 2013. The man knows how to stage a fake fight—like his current brawl with the Fox News Channel,” says media writer Jack Shafer of Politico.

Shafer adds:

It’s possible that Trump is once again laying the groundwork to start his own, Foxier than Fox TV channel or conservative news website—annoyed to have his 2016 campaign plan interrupted by a presidency. But it’s far likelier that this is all make-believe.

Trump so adores Fox that he’s peppered his administration with former Fox News staffers, and five of his former employees have moved on to jobs at Fox or its parent company. Just recently, former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, among the most loyal of all Trumpies, took a job as a Fox News contributor.

Trump’s faux-fight with Fox is designed 1) to add drama and excitement to where there is none; 2) make him the primary focus of events; and 3) temporarily complicate the storyline so viewers keep watching. Fox benefits from Trump’s periodic attacks (remember when he boycotted one of Fox’s 2016 presidential debates because it wouldn’t dump Megyn Kelly from the broadcast). They make the channel look like it’s standing up to the president, and Fox ends up looking more independent and credible.

Is is possible to make Fox look either independent or credible?

We doubt either is possible.  Watch the Showtime series, “The Loudest Voice,” about how Roger Ailes took time from molesting female staffers to turn Fox into a right-wing shill operation that is better called “faux news.”

It depicts Ailes for what he was:  An obnoxious pig who knew that lies could become “facts” when presented as news.  He fed the birtherism fantasies of Donald Trump, lied outright when it served his purpose and turned cable news into a carnival of misinformation fed to a cult like audience.

During my time on the dark side of political activity, I worked with Ailes on campaign spots for GOP candidates in the 1986 elections. He was a pig then.

“One time he asked me if I was wearing underwear, and was he going to see anything ‘good,’” a former Fox News employee told investigators who were hired by Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch to look into Ailes’ behavior. “It’s happened to me and lots of other women… He’s a disgusting pig.”

Other staff members said Ailes judged a female news anchor’s talent by the amount of skin she was willing to display on camera.  One said he ran Fox News “like his personal fiefdom  The about showing lots of bare legs on screen was not a secret.  It was open company policy.”

Gretchen Carlson, the fired news anchor whose lawsuit started Ailes’ journey to the exit door at Fox, said Ailes wanted sex on his terms and whenever he felt he needed it.

Randi Harrison, a segment producer hired by Ailes, asked for a higher salary.

Ailes response:

If you agree to have sex with me whenever I want I will add an extra hundred dollars a week.

“I was in tears by the time I hit the street,” she said.

Reports Newsweek:

One woman, who was 16 at the time, described Ailes cornering her in a locked room, pulling down his pants and demanding that she kiss his genitals. “They were red like raw hamburger,” she recalled.

“You know if you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys,” Ailes allegedly told another woman, before soliciting oral sex.

It took more than two years after reports of Ailes’ behavior reached Murdoch before the network fired him in 2016.

After leaving Fox News, Roger Ailes became a campaign confident to Donald Trump, advising him on debates with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  He died on May 18, 2017 in Palm Beach, FL.

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