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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 08, 2018, 02:36:38 pm

Title: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 08, 2018, 02:36:38 pm

from The Seattle Times…

Trump and China: Deal or no deal?

President Trump came back from a meeting in Argentina with the Chinese president
claiming to have made a deal that would end the trade war with China. Then Trump
began sending out tweets that made it clear there may be no deal at all.

By DAVID HORSEY | 1:12PM PST — Friday, December 07, 2018

(https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Trade-war-ONLINE-COLOR-1020x655.jpg) (https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/trump-and-china-deal-or-no-deal)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, who inherited a family real estate business from his father and managed to go bankrupt running a casino, is not really a great businessman. He just played one on TV. Nevertheless, he imagines himself a fabulous dealmaker.

He came back from a meeting in Argentina with Chinese President Xi Jinping claiming to have made a deal that would end the trade war with China. The stock market loved the news. However, in the days following his return, the White House had a terrible time describing the details of the alleged deal (https://www.seattletimes.com/business/white-house-hails-china-trade-truce-as-skeptics-raise-doubts). Then Trump began sending out tweets that made it clear there may be no deal at all. Stocks plummeted.

“President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will,” (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1069968462724980736) Trump declared in a tweet on Tuesday. “… I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so.” (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1069970500535902208)

Boasting about being a “Tariff Man” is a bit like boasting about playing a knight at a Medieval fair. It may be fun to put on a costume, but it is an exercise in anachronism. Tariffs are blunt instruments whose deep flaws became apparent way back in the 19th century. The biggest fallacy in the current situation is that China will pay the cost of tariffs. In fact, it is American consumers who will pay the higher price of the many Chinese products they desire and cannot get anywhere else.

Trump is no longer dealing with some lowly subcontractor in Queens, he is bumbling into the complexities of a deeply integrated world economy. And Americans are paying the price for his ignorance.


• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE (https://www.seattletimes.com/author/david-horsey).

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/trump-and-china-deal-or-no-deal (https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/trump-and-china-deal-or-no-deal)

(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo227/Kiwithrottlejockey/TooFunny_zps2gz4suf2.gif~original) (http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo227/Kiwithrottlejockey/LaughingPinkPanther_zpsy6iu8yso.gif~original) (http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo227/Kiwithrottlejockey/ROFLMAO_Dog_zpsc4esrpyc.gif~original) (http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo227/Kiwithrottlejockey/LaughingHard_zpswco6umsu.gif~original) (http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo227/Kiwithrottlejockey/ItchyBugga_zpsebzrttez.gif~original)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 12, 2018, 02:47:31 pm

The hilariously funny entertainment on the western side of the North Atlantic ocean these days is rivetting stuff.

Such as Trump's dummy-spitting meeting in front of television cameras with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. I guess Trump cannot handle it when a mere woman publicly stands up to him while it is being broadcast on live television, especially when she answered his “chucking the toys out of the cot” threat to shut down the government if she refused to give him $5 billion for his wankfest wall, by telling Trump it was “his choice” if he wished to institute a Trump shutdown of the US federal government. Trump's body language when she publicly put any shutdown squarely on the Orange Idiot himself was hilariously entertaining. And even funnier was the way Trump was continually interupting her and shouting, yet she simply remained calm, but didn't give an inch. Go find the footage (it's on YouTube) and see for yourself. Or … check out the following articles published by The New York Times

Trump Threatens Shutdown in Combative Appearance With Democrats (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/us/politics/trump-border-wall-government-shutdown.html)

‘Don't Characterize the Strength That I Bring,’ Pelosi Tells Trump (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/us/politics/nancy-pelosi-trump.html)

A photo opportunity quickly turned into a heated confrontation. Here are 5 takeaways from Mr. Trump's meeting with Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer. (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/us/politics/takeaways-trump-pelosi-schumer.html)

The smirk on the face of Chuck Schumer as Trump loses his cool in the second photograph kinda says it all…

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/12/us/politics/12dc-nancy/12dc-nancy-jumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/12/us/politics/12dc-nancy/12dc-nancy-superJumbo.jpg)

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/12/us/politics/12dc-takeaways/merlin_148010037_4a0d245d-168d-402e-aa0c-1bfa6196d60f-jumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/12/us/politics/12dc-takeaways/merlin_148010037_4a0d245d-168d-402e-aa0c-1bfa6196d60f-superJumbo.jpg)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on December 13, 2018, 05:52:18 pm
trump owned them money for a wall or close down the government hahaha Dems are pussies

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 13, 2018, 09:30:35 pm

Trump can shut down the government.

Nancy Polosi told Trump to go right ahead and institute a Trump shutdown of the government.

In other words, it is Trump's choice.

Anyway, why does Trump need money for his wall from the American government?

After all, he boasted that Mexico is going to pay for it, so the American government therefore is entitled to take Trump at his word and refuse to contribute because he said Mexico is paying for it.

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on December 14, 2018, 06:33:57 am
they didn't like being own in front of the press it was panic time the Dems looked like the shit they are
trump sucker punched them they don't like the world watching their bullshit
weak pussies can't handle it

and the Dem party is so full of infighting it's fucked with all the new alt left idiots

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 14, 2018, 10:37:52 am

From January next year, Trump's goose is cooked.

Trump has been unable to get legislation passed with Republicans controlling both Congress and the Senate and he definitely won't be able to get legislation passed from next January when the Democrats control Congress, which is the MAIN legislative house where ALL legislative bills have to first be passed.

And ... Trump is no longer going to have two sycophantic branches of the government looking the other way from his criminal families corrupt and criminal activities. A Democrat-controlled congress is going to appoint special investigators to dig deep into Trump and his criminal family and with the FULL BACKING and PROTECTION of the main legislative house in the American government. Hence why Trump is panicking. Hahaha ... it's going to be the greatest entertainment show in the world watching Trump unravel as the screws get tightened on him. But even funnier will be watching investigators turn their blow-torches on Republican politicians who covered up for Trump. Because that is OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE and I reckon a large number of Republicans will be going to jail for obstruction of justice, with many more singing like birds to the special investigators about what they know about Trump's corrupt and criminal activities in a desperate attempt to save their own necks.

However, the best entertainment of the lot will be watching the idiot from Woodville unravel as his hero gets taken down.

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 14, 2018, 12:34:13 pm

from The Washington Post…

Help Trump complete the wall between him and American voters

Stand back and let him self-destruct.

By TOM TOLES | 7:00AM EST — Wednesday, December 12, 2018

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_888w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/12/Editorial-Opinion/Images/7CZHUAKAKVFFZJZIUYUHKPVGAE.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/12/Editorial-Opinion/Images/7CZHUAKAKVFFZJZIUYUHKPVGAE.jpg)

I GUESS President Trump wanted some kind of spectacle in the Oval Office on Tuesday and got one. I guess he thinks if there’s a spectacle and he's in it, he wins. It worked once, anyway, which is why he gets to invite people to the Oval Office. But there is a difference between a campaign spectacle and a spectacle of desperation: a flailing, floundering presidency.

The pundits are frantically rating the performance of Melee Mouth, and I'll leave the finer points of scoring the exchange to others. I was just happy to see Trump confronted with something resembling sanity as the Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer delegation kept the focus on border security as opposed to “the wall,” Trump's middle-school-civics-project-idea that he tries to pass off as policy. I was also glad to see that they apparently learned from early in his first term that there is no point in trying to engage with him normally to reach a “deal.” All Trump deals are either bad or unreliable, as is the very process of dealing with him.

The Democrats' job in the next two years is to let Trump be Trump, all by himself, and let the voters see unmistakably what a defective product he is, just like all of his other products. Trump had his chance in his first two years, and he made his choices. He chose to further bankrupt the government with a deficit-financed tax cut for the rich. He chose to subvert science and public support for a stable climate at every turn. He chose to try and wreck health-care coverage. He chose to rule by division, stoking racial and ethnic divides in a nation that is built on bringing diverse peoples together. He chose to undermine, on a daily basis, truth, respect for truth, and even the very concept of truth, and to attack and undermine the institutions that try to generate and disseminate and hold people accountable to the truth. He chose to govern by building a cult of personality around himself; a government of, by and for Trump.

We've seen a lot. The man is a fundamental menace. To democracy, to science, to the planet, to equality, to justice, to truth, to the United States. Americans are not waiting to see whether Democrats can “work together” to prop up Trump's malice so that he can win re-election. Trump made the 2018 election about him, and the voters gave their preliminary answer. All Democratic legislators need to do is stand back and let all Americans see Trump ever more vividly for who he is. And spend their time laying a foundation for sane governing after 2020.

Trump has made his bed. Let him lie in it and tweet.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/_-DHCyvdytAy208PH287RzL2SbU=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/XTSSFNS5UZEHPHYOF2GJTCNWRU.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/_-DHCyvdytAy208PH287RzL2SbU=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/XTSSFNS5UZEHPHYOF2GJTCNWRU.jpg)


Tom Toles (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/tom-toles) is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. He joined the newspaper in 2002, after 19 years as the cartoonist for the Buffalo News and nine years with the Buffalo Courier-Express. He has also produced a syndicated a comic strip, “Curious Avenue”, and a syndicated panel, “Randolph Itch, 2 a.m.”. The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0231177879), a book he co-authored on climate change, was published in 2016. His cartoons are also collected in six books, and he is the author of a children's book, My School Is Worse Than Yours (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0141303581).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/12/help-trump-complete-wall-between-him-american-voters (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/12/help-trump-complete-wall-between-him-american-voters)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on December 14, 2018, 04:29:01 pm
Poor horse face


Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 14, 2018, 04:35:03 pm

(https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/TrumpBehaviorIllo-780x1034.jpg) (https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/TrumpBehaviorIllo.jpg)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on December 15, 2018, 03:55:35 pm
In the west, we have dogs as pets.

In communist countries they are so poor they eat their dogs

Communist are trash with a life so bad their life is not worth living

China murders their own people and then sells their organs

Compared to communist leaders Trump looks like a saint

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 16, 2018, 10:38:01 am

from The Washington Post…

All the things Trump didn't count on

Trump really didn't think ahead.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 12:30PM EST — Friday, December 14, 2018

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_899w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/14/Editorial-Opinion/Images/EC76ULR44AI6RFK3PUXBTN4ZMY.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/14/Editorial-Opinion/Images/EC76ULR44AI6RFK3PUXBTN4ZMY.jpg)
Michael Cohen walks through the lobby at Trump Tower in January 2017 in New York. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

PRESIDENT TRUMP's inability to respond to one charge emanating from one witness, a charge not even within the purview of the special counsel, suggests he will be entirely overwhelmed when the closet full of shoes starts dropping. He never knew about the payments, or he did, or it was Michael Cohen's fault, or it wasn't a crime, or if it was a crime it was no big deal. This might be the most inept response to allegations of presidential wrong-doing ever.

Michael Cohen's interview with ABC News underscores a critical point: His own credibility has been enhanced because prosecutors have so much information tying Trump to illegal payments and suggesting he knowingly made the payments in a way to avoid detection or harm to his campaign. (“There’s a substantial amount of information that they possess that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth,” he said.)

Now consider all the other investigations out there — on collusion, the Trump Foundation and obstruction of justice. Each of those investigations represents a bevy of possible criminal charges. Under the umbrella of “obstruction,” there could be specific criminal violations for obstruction, witness tampering, perjury and conspiracy. Consider that Robert S. Mueller III and the Southern District of New York could have multiple witnesses, phone records, texts, financial records, Trump's own words and, in some cases, recordings to bolster his case. The sheer weight of all that evidence would break even a stable defendant represented by the best counsel.

For Trump, it is becoming hard to imagine how he survives politically or legally. Even if he avoids impeachment or avoids removal, only about a third of the country (with a smidgen of the total universe of evidence available to them) thinks he's innocent. When charge after charge piles up, each backed up by multiple pieces of evidence, it's not impossible to imagine that elected Republicans will turn on him — or that Republican voters, who see his presidency at a standstill, will begin to look for alternatives for 2020.

Remember that Trump never thought he'd really get elected (https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/donald-trump-wisconsin-232605) — and then all this would come out. And once he got elected, he failed entirely to appreciate that he could not control investigators, witnesses, the press and even former associates. Cohen is right when he says that “the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be. It's not like the Trump Organization where he would bark out orders and people would blindly follow what he wanted done.”

Trump seems to have gotten a bunch of things wrong:

  • He thought former attorney general Jeff Sessions would shut down the Russia probe;

  • He thought the bullying and lies and congressional allies would impede investigators;

  • He thought Cohen would never flip and would never have tapes and other evidence;

  • He never thought Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg or American Media executives or David Pecker would cooperate with authorities;

  • He never thought his tweets and public outbursts were helping to incriminate him;

  • He never thought the shady operation of his foundation would draw the attention of the press, and in turn of New York state authorities;

  • He never thought his pardon power would be so useless (If he pardons associates, the dam may break in Congress; if he tries to pardon himself it likely would be ineffective);

  • He never thought he'd have to answer prosecutors' questions, or that his written answers may have locked him into answers that could be disputed by multiple witnesses;

  • He never thought he'd face Democrats in Congress with subpoena power; and

  • He never thought his media circus would be entirely ineffective in stopping skilled prosecutors.

Trump's presidency, his financial empire and even his freedom are at risk. (Presidents can be indicted after leaving office and cannot pass out pardons for state offenses.) He can be angry at Sessions or Cohen, but he is solely responsible for his own fate, which right now looks awfully bleak.


Jennifer Rubin (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/jennifer-rubin) writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: ‘I will not be the villain’: Michael Cohen's post-sentencing interview, annotated (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/i-will-not-be-the-villain-michael-cohens-post-sentencing-interview-annotated/2018/12/14/8ef56a35-74e0-43d9-ac00-7fb1d194fd04_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Opinion | Here's what you need to know about Mueller's grand juries (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/editorial/opinion--heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-muellers-grand-juries/2018/12/12/53ba9ac8-a864-479d-ae7d-9a73e523a367_video.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/14/all-things-trump-didnt-count (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/14/all-things-trump-didnt-count)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on December 16, 2018, 12:28:44 pm

He Never thought how stupid reporters of propaganda are at the washington post

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 16, 2018, 01:02:11 pm

from The Seattle Times…

Moving on from Tariff Man to Shutdown Man

This is not necessarily a sign of bravery on Trump's part. He knows his hardcore followers will
cheer for any stunt he pulls, so what has he got to lose? It is, however, a sign of ignorance.

By DAVID HORSEY | 2:19PM PST — Friday, December 14, 2018

(https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Branding-genius-ONLINE-COLOR-1020x683.jpg) (https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Branding-genius-ONLINE-COLOR.jpg)

WHETHER OR NOT Congress and the president reach a budget deal, it is singular that President Donald Trump expressed his willingness to accept responsibility for shutting down the government if he does not get $5 billion to fund his scheme to build a wall along the Mexican border. On those past, very rare occasions when the business of government was halted by political gridlock, no one wanted to take credit and everyone was quick to shift blame.

This is not necessarily a sign of bravery on Trump's part. He knows his hardcore followers will cheer for any stunt he pulls, so what has he got to lose? It is, however, a sign of ignorance. Shutdowns are a costly failure that hurt the economy and disrupt vital public services. Politically, they are usually damaging for whomever gets pinned with blame.

Nevertheless, in a bizarre, televised Oval Office meeting with the House and Senate Democratic leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Trump became exasperated when they were unwilling to agree to fund his wall. Instead, right in front of the TV cameras, they pointed out the fallacies upon which his border delusions are built.

“I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down,” Trump finally declared. That is a mantle the Democrats would be very happy to see him wear.


• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE (https://www.seattletimes.com/author/david-horsey).

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/moving-on-from-tariff-man-to-shutdown-man (https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/moving-on-from-tariff-man-to-shutdown-man)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 16, 2018, 01:03:17 pm

Yep ... Donald J. Trump as prez of America is excellent for the world.

'cause Trump is making it easy for China to take over in a post-America world as he burns his own country to the ground.

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on December 19, 2018, 10:12:01 am



Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 30, 2018, 07:20:56 pm

from The Washington Post…

Who's afraid of the MAGA mob? Only Trump.

A politician can only fail to pull a rabbit out of a hat for so long before losing his audience.

By EUGENE ROBINSON | 5:52PM EST — Thursday, December 27, 2018

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1111w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/27/Editorial-Opinion/Images/AP_Eyes_On_The_World_63522.jpg-d8ec4.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/27/Editorial-Opinion/Images/AP_Eyes_On_The_World_63522.jpg-d8ec4.jpg)
Supporters of President Donald J. Trump cheer as he speaks during a campaign rally on September 20 in Las Vegas. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.

FOR THE NEW YEAR, critics of President Trump should resolve not to be intimidated by the potential wrath of his vaunted political base. The only one who should cower before the Make America Great Again legions is Trump himself.

And he does fear them, bigly. The latest illustration is the way he chickened out on a bipartisan agreement to keep the government fully funded, instead forcing a partial shutdown over chump change for “the wall”. I use quotation marks because there never was going to be an actual, physical, continuous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, much less one paid for by the Mexican government. The president is desperately trying to avoid acknowledging this and other realities before the 2020 election.

Anyone who thinks Trump is a master politician is wrong. He's a master illusionist, which isn't the same thing. Politicians can't keep pulling rabbits out of empty hats forever. At some point, they face a reckoning, and Trump's is well underway.

Trump is talented at making it appear that he has more than he really does — more money (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html), more respect, more support. All those campaign rallies before the mid-term elections were not just an attempt to save the Republican majorities in Congress or feed Trump's insatiable ego. They were also demonstrations of the fervor of his core supporters — and implied warnings to Republicans who might cross him.

Trump tries to project an image of immense strength. But it turns out that the man who made “You're fired!” (https://tinyurl.com/lbyc7vvI) a television catchphrase can't summon the nerve to actually dismiss anyone (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/03/19/has-trump-actually-fired-anyone-as-president) in person. Trump's bluster camouflages great weakness.

Look at his political standing. Trump won the presidency with 46 percent (https://www.nytimes.com/elections/2016/results/president) of the popular vote. (That's compared to 48 percent for Hillary Clinton, but who's counting?) His margin in the electoral college, which he tries to portray as a great landslide, was actually quite puny — smaller than (https://www.270towin.com/historical-presidential-elections) either of Barack Obama's, either of Bill Clinton's, the late George H.W. Bush's or either of Ronald Reagan's wins.

Trump did have a bigger electoral margin than George W. Bush ever managed to win. But only Trump has the unflattering distinction of winning a presidential election while losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes (https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2016/1222/Clinton-wins-US-popular-vote-by-widest-margin-of-any-losing-presidential-candidate).

No matter. A skilled politician would seek to expand his base of support. But, according to Gallup, Trump's approval has been underwater (https://news.gallup.com/poll/203207/trump-job-approval-weekly.aspx) since the day he took office — never once reaching higher than 45 percent — and now stands at 39 percent.

Does that apples-to-oranges comparison of vote percentage and approval rating really mean that Trump has lost significant support? Not necessarily — until you also take into account the results of the mid-term elections, which can be read only as a massive repudiation of Trump and all he stands for. Democrats captured the House, defended all but two of their imperiled senators (https://www.washingtonpost.com/election-results/senate/?utm_term=.442b23014600), and grabbed governorships and state legislatures across the country. The Democratic Party's House popular-vote margin was the biggest ever seen in a mid-term (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/democrats-smash-watergate-record-house-popular-vote-midterms-n940116).

So much for the ethnonationalist-populist wave that Trump is supposed to be surfing.

It is a mistake to underestimate Trump's base or to suggest that all the issues he raises are, because he raises them, invalid. There are legitimate reasons, for example, to want to ensure border security (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/an-8-year-old-migrant-has-died-in-us-custody-on-christmas-day/2018/12/25/b45d387a-0870-11e9-85b6-41c0fe0c5b8f_story.html). But racism is not one of them, and a useless wall, meant to symbolize rejection of a brown-skinned “invasion,” is not an actual solution.

The fact is that Trump touched a nerve that was already inflamed. Race, ethnicity, cultural heritage, economic dislocation, opioid addiction, the effects of free trade, the impact of robotics — all these issues were out there already, and a lot of people believed our elected officials weren’t dealing with them adequately. Trump hasn't a clue about what to do or how to do it. But he knows how to poke and prod; he knows how to rile people up and sell them red hats.

If his core, unshakable base of support is, say, around 35 percent, then he almost surely would lose a re-election bid in 2020. I say “almost” because we don’t know whom the Democrats will run against him or whether there will be a significant independent or third-party challenger. And I say “would” because we can't be entirely sure that Trump will run again.

For now, he may be calculating that 35 percent is enough to keep the GOP-led Senate from removing him from office in the event that the House finds compelling grounds to impeach him. What keeps him from compromising isn't principle or determination. It's simple fear.


Eugene Robinson (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/eugene-robinson) writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture for The Washington Post and hosts a weekly online chat with readers. In a three-decade career at The Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper's Style section. He started writing a column for the Op-Ed page in 2005. In 2009, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “his eloquent columns on the 2008 presidential campaign that focus on the election of the first African-American president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture.” Robinson is the author of Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0767929969) (2010), Last Dance in Havana (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0743246225) (2004), and Coal to Cream: A Black Man's Journey Beyond Color to an Affirmation of Race (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0684857227) (1999). He lives with his wife and two sons in Arlington.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Will Trump supporters turn out in key states in 2020? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/will-trump-supporters-turn-out-in-key-states-in-2020/2018/12/17/583b9df3-ef0a-4c61-92f3-fc71b7d9e9da_video.html)

 • Anne Applebaum: The debate over Trump's wall isn't really about border security (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/the-debate-about-trumps-wall-isnt-really-about-border-security/2018/12/27/7d90e930-09fc-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html)

 • Eugene Robinson: Trump is incompetent, impulsive and amoral. Heaven help us all. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-incompetent-impulsive-and-amoral-heaven-help-us-all/2018/12/24/b78e25d2-07bb-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/whos-afraid-of-the-maga-mob-only-trump/2018/12/27/0faa2f1e-0a0e-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/whos-afraid-of-the-maga-mob-only-trump/2018/12/27/0faa2f1e-0a0e-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 30, 2018, 07:21:36 pm

from The New York Times…

Trump Threatens to Close Border if Congress Won't Fund Wall

The president's tweets were the latest indication that he was
digging in for a protracted partial government shutdown.

By ANNIE KARNI | Friday, December 28, 2018

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/29/us/politics/29dc-trump-print/merlin_148543608_ce9157d7-eafa-4d6c-a8c1-c57829ee4d55-jumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/29/us/politics/29dc-trump-print/merlin_148543608_ce9157d7-eafa-4d6c-a8c1-c57829ee4d55-superJumbo.jpg)
Migrants crossed a section of the border wall between Tijuana and San Diego. President Trump threatened to close the border entirely
if a deal to fund the wall is not reached. — Photograph: Daniel Ochoa De Olza/Associated Press.

WASHINGTON D.C. — On the seventh day of a partial government shutdown, President Trump threatened on Friday to close the southern border and cut off aid to Central America if Congress refuses to fund a wall.

“We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Friday (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1078625779670503426). “Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!”

Mr. Trump escalated his threats as up to 800,000 government workers were left in limbo and with Congress not set to take up the issue again until after the new year. “At this point, it looks like we could be in for a very long-term shutdown,” Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina and a close ally of Mr. Trump's, told CNN.

Democrats stood firm against agreeing to funding for a border wall, according to a spokesman for Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California and the incoming House speaker. “Democrats are united against the President's immoral, ineffective and expensive wall, the wall that he specifically promised that Mexico would pay for,” the spokesman, Drew Hammill, said in a statement. Mr. Hammill also noted that the White House has made no formal outreach to Ms. Pelosi since December 11, when Ms. Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, met with the president at the White House.

Mr. Trump also reiterated his threat on Twitter on Friday to cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador as punishment to countries he claimed “are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money.”

Migrants have been fleeing Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, choosing to join caravans and confront Mr. Trump's threats to prevent them from crossing the border over the dangers of life at home.

Mr. Trump has made threats to shut down the border completely before. Last month, Mr. Trump said he would close the border “permanently” if Mexico refused to send asylum seekers back to their native countries.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_888w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/28/Foreign/Images/APTOPIX_Central_American_Migrant_Caravan_68838.jpg-3efba.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/28/Foreign/Images/APTOPIX_Central_American_Migrant_Caravan_68838.jpg-3efba.jpg)
Migrants run after crossing the border fence through a hole to enter the United States from Tijuana, Mexico on December 26.
 — Photograph: Daniel Ochoa De Olza/Associated Press.

His latest warning comes as Democrats are preparing to take control of the House of Representatives and have shown no sign of caving on his demands for $5 billion for a border wall. Democrats are considering three different ways to reopen the government, none of which include money for Mr. Trump's proposed wall, his signature campaign promise.

In a series of tweets on Friday morning, Mr. Trump also complained that the North American Free Trade Agreement cost the United States so much money “that I would consider closing the Southern Border a ‘profit making operation’.”

In another sign that the White House sees no end to the shutdown in sight, Mick Mulvaney, the budget director who is set to take over as acting White House chief of staff in the new year, said on “Fox & Friends” on Friday that Mr. Trump would remain in Washington through New Year's Eve.

Mr. Trump, who had been scheduled to spend a 16-day stretch over the holidays at his private club in Florida, has postponed the trip because of the shutdown. His wife, Melania Trump, left on Thursday for the Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, a spokeswoman said.

When asked about Mr. Trump's threat to close the border entirely, Mr. Mulvaney said that “what the president is trying to do, and rightly so, is shed some light on what's happening here.”

Mr. Mulvaney also sought to divide Democrats, indicating that while he believed Mr. Schumer might be willing to come to a compromise on wall funding, “the more we're hearing this week is that it's Nancy Pelosi who is preventing that from happening.”


Annie Karni (https://www.politico.com/states/staff/annie-karni) covers the White House for Politico. Before that, she covered Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to joining Politico, she was a political reporter at the New York Daily News, where she covered the 2013 mayoral race and the de Blasio administration. She is also a veteran of the New York Post and the now-defunct New York Sun.


Related to this topic:

 • With No Votes Scheduled, a Government Shutdown Will Greet the Democratic House (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/27/us/politics/government-shutdown-trump-democrats.html) (December 27, 2018)

 • End of Government Shutdown May Depend on the Definition of ‘Wall’ (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/us/politics/government-shutdown-wall.html) (December 26, 2018)

 • In Latest Shutdown, Some Lawmakers See a Diminished Congress (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/us/politics/congress-trump-government-shutdown.html) (December 24, 2018)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/us/politics/trump-border-threatens-shutdown.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/us/politics/trump-border-threatens-shutdown.html)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 30, 2018, 07:22:17 pm

from The Washington Post…

How does Trump escape the trap he laid for himself?

The president's folly will end in defeat.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 10:30AM EST — Friday, December 28, 2018

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_933w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/VWWCW2QJYEI6TCKCB32EFZMQSQ.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/VWWCW2QJYEI6TCKCB32EFZMQSQ.jpg)
A migrant family from Honduras is caught climbing a border fence between Tijuana, Mexico, and the United States on December 26.
 — Photograph: Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press.

POLL AFTER POLL shows that Americans hold President Trump and his Republican allies responsible for the shutdown, which is hardly surprising since Trump declared he'd be “proud” to shutter the government. In the most recent poll (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-poll/more-americans-blame-trump-for-government-shutdown-reuters-ipsos-poll-idUSKCN1OQ1FA) conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, 47 percent of Americans blame the president for the shutdown, compared to 33 percent who fault the Democrats. Moreover, according to NBC News (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/poll-47-americans-blame-trump-government-shutdown-n952466?cid=public-rss_20181227), “just 35 percent of those surveyed in the Reuters/Ipsos poll said they backed including money for the wall in a congressional spending bill. Only 25 percent said they supported Trump shutting down the government over the matter.”

For those with a passing relationship to reality, the entire exercise is politically inane. The public doesn't support either the ends (the wall), or the means (the shutdown). Next week, Democrats will take charge of the House, swiftly pass the clean continuing resolution to open the government, and send it to the Senate, daring Republicans there to vote against the exact same resolution they previously supported.

At that point, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) has four options:

First, he can put the clean resolution on the floor, where it will pass, and see whether Trump has the nerve to veto it, and if so, whether there are 67 votes in the Senate for an override. That would be most humiliating option for Trump. Hence, it's the least likely route for McConnell to take.

Another possible outcome would be to pass all the appropriations bills and reserve a separate vote on wall funding, which, of course, will fail. Then Trump can holler about Congress's lack of nerve. This is a less obvious but no less complete collapse so, once again, McConnell likely won't try this.

A third alternative would be to nudge up the dollar amount for border security (from $1.6 billion to, say to $2 billion), without specific permission for the wall-building. Trump can claim he got money for “steel slats” (which he now considers a wall), while Democrats can remind voters Trump didn't get a wall, defined as “a continuous vertical brick or stone structure that encloses or divides an area of land.” This is a less obvious capitulation, so McConnell might try it.

The final alternative makes the most sense, but would be furiously opposed by White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, Senator Tom Cotton (Republican-Arkansas) and the anti-immigrant zealots that make up a critical part of the president's base: Give Trump his $5 billion (less than the $25 billion (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/19/border-wall-democrats-respond-470687) once on the table, reminding us Trump is the worst presidential negotiator ever) in exchange for legalizing the “dreamers.” Given the logistical nightmares entailed in building the wall — beginning with environmental hurdles and Fifth Amendment property seizures (taking rural lands owned mostly by Republicans), Democrats know the wall is unlikely to be built anytime soon. (A subsequent Congress can always defund it.) It would be ransom, but relatively cheap ransom — a phony wall — in exchange for somewhere between about 700,000 and 3.6 million dreamers.

None other than Newt Gingrich (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/newt-gingrich-and-donald-graham-fund-the-wall-and-save-the-dreamers/2018/12/22/eb89b756-05f0-11e9-9122-82e98f91ee6f_story.html) (who, along with Donald E. Graham) recently argued: “Whether you support money to build the wall or regard it as a waste, everyone knows it is of central importance to the president, and he is proving he is prepared to fight for it. Why shouldn't Congress take advantage of the best opportunity in years to give the dreamers the open door they deserve?” In other words, pro-dreamer lawmakers would get a sweet deal, and Trump would no doubt quickly anger a good chunk of his base, which regard any legalization of anyone to be the dreaded “amnesty.” (Cue the scary music.)

And that's why the fourth and most reasonable alternative is unlikely to fly either. The same crowd that went nuts when Trump was prepared to sign a continuing resolution would have a meltdown if Congress spent $5 billion to legalize possibly millions of people.

The solution here, given Trump's rotten bargaining position, is for Democrats to find the approach most advantageous to them and most embarrassing to Trump. If I were a betting person, I'd lay odds we'll wind up with steel slats.


Jennifer Rubin (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/jennifer-rubin) writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Opinion | We are not doomed. Seriously. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/editorial/opinion--we-are-not-doomed-seriously/2018/12/28/01a58885-ccea-49ee-ad54-40f720689558_video.html)

 • Paul Waldman: The best way to force Trump's hand? Ignore him. (http://washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/28/best-way-force-trumps-hand-ignore-him)

 • CARTOON: One day Trump will promise an even bigger wall (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/28/one-day-trump-will-promise-an-even-bigger-wall)

 • Eugene Robinson : Who's afraid of the MAGA mob? Only Trump. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/whos-afraid-of-the-maga-mob-only-trump/2018/12/27/0faa2f1e-0a0e-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html)

 • WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL: The way out of the shutdown has been obvious for weeks (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-way-out-of-the-shutdown-has-been-obvious-for-weeks/2018/12/27/4381fda2-09f6-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/28/how-does-trump-escape-trap-he-laid-himself (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/28/how-does-trump-escape-trap-he-laid-himself)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 30, 2018, 07:22:29 pm

from The Washington Post…

The media should stop playing along with
Trump's threat to ‘close the border’

Another empty boast from the president.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 3:30PM EST — Friday, December 28, 2018

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_955w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/QPBB6TQKTUI6TCKCB32EFZMQSQ.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/12/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/QPBB6TQKTUI6TCKCB32EFZMQSQ.jpg)
A section of border fence near Santa Teresa, New Mexico, on December 23. — Photograph: Paul Ratje/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

PRESIDENT TRUMP in another episode of his extended temper-tantrum over the wall he is getting, now threatens to “close the border” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/28/trump-threatens-shut-down-border-entirely-heres-why-he-cant-do-that). Unfortunately, the media repeats it, as though it's a coherent dare. It's meaningless, and the media should point it out.

What would “closing the border” entail? By definition, legal immigrants intend to cross the border without authorization, so “closing” means … I'm not sure. If he wants more money so the Department of Homeland Security can do a better job securing the border, he should take the Democrats' offer of $1.3 to $1.6 billion in new money. Unfortunately, the government shutdown means that non-essential DHS personnel are furloughed, and I'm not sure what rejecting more money and keeping DHS employees at home accomplishes. It doesn't “close the border.”

Maybe the president means he won't let legal residents and citizens back into the country from Mexico. That's not legally possible. Trump cannot keep out people who, well, have a legal right to be here. Moreover, such a move would destroy a good deal of the economy of border states (e.g., Texas), and wreak hardship on the rest of us. Someone should ask border-state senators and governors — who generally do not even support the wall — how an attempt to shut the border would affect their states.

Perhaps he means he is going to deny all asylum claims. However, two federal courts (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/20/another-win-rule-law-refugees) have already held that his efforts to curtail or redefine asylum are legally and constitutionally ineffective.

As we and others have pointed out, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, in his 107-page opinion, explained that “it is the will of the Congress — not the whims of the Executive” that determine the process for denying asylum claims. He permanently enjoined the administration from removing migrants in the United States “without first providing credible fear determinations consistent with immigration laws.”

Listen, even Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano fesses up (https://thehill.com/homenews/media/418260-foxs-napolitano-trump-cannot-legally-shut-down-southern-border): “[The president] cannot legally do it. We know that because of federal statutes. They were last revised in 1986 when our relationship with migrants coming north was very different than it is now.” He continued that migrants who have an asylum claim, “meaning you are escaping a government that is pursing you, or escaping a government that is failing to enforce basic law and order, can enter the U.S. The president doesn't want to hear this but it's the law.”

So why does Trump say such nonsense? It's unclear whether he thinks he has the power to do this, or if it logistically possible. He probably doesn't care or know what is possible at this point; he's busy whipping his base into a fury. But here's the thing: If he has the power to “close the border,” why does he need a wall?

The media does the country a disservice by simply repeating Trump's threat without pointing out that it is meaningless. It should insist that the president explain what he means.

Good news! Beginning on January 3, a Democratic-controlled House can call administration officials to testify and ask them directly, “What the heck is Trump talking about?” It should make for gripping TV.


Jennifer Rubin (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/jennifer-rubin) writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump says shutdown will last until Democrats agree to fund border wall (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-says-shutdown-will-last-until-democrats-agree-to-fund-border-wall/2018/12/26/1a1bd05f-a9e5-4ee4-8b22-918c7962d577_video.html)

 • Trump retreats from public view as shutdown continues over border wall fight (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-retreats-from-public-view-as-government-shutdown-continues-over-border-wall-fight/2018/12/28/2da7b13a-0abd-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html)

 • Trump threatens to shut down southern border as government funding stalemate drags on (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-threatens-to-shut-down-southern-border-as-government-funding-stalemate-drags-on/2018/12/28/e32f56f0-0aa1-11e9-88e3-989a3e456820_story.html)

 • The Fix: Here’s why Trump can't really shut down the border ‘entirely’ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/28/trump-threatens-shut-down-border-entirely-heres-why-he-cant-do-that)

 • The Fix: Trump's job is about to get much harder with divided government (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/28/trumps-job-is-about-get-much-harder-with-divided-government)

 • Migrant boy dies in U.S. custody; Trump vows shutdown will last until border wall is funded (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/an-8-year-old-migrant-has-died-in-us-custody-on-christmas-day/2018/12/25/b45d387a-0870-11e9-85b6-41c0fe0c5b8f_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/28/press-should-stop-playing-along-with-trumps-threat-close-border (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/28/press-should-stop-playing-along-with-trumps-threat-close-border)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on December 30, 2018, 07:23:18 pm

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Trump, Pelosi likely to tussle on impasse

Republicans appear happy to foist the government shutdown on the Democrats' leader in the House.

By SARAH D. WIRE | Saturday, December 29, 2018

(https://misc.pagesuite.com/3630c326-c935-42f5-b0da-daebc36b7646/images/IMG_GettyImages-10719555_1_1_0P4OC74T.jpg) (https://misc.pagesuite.com/3630c326-c935-42f5-b0da-daebc36b7646/images/IMG_GettyImages-10719555_1_1_0P4OC74T.jpg)
Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles E. Schumer, right, meet with President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
 — Photograph: Jabin Bostford/The Washington Post.

WASHINGTON D.C. — During a combative White House meeting with Democratic leaders on December 11, President Trump said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was constrained in her ability to negotiate for a border wall because of a leadership fight in the House.

Pelosi, who won that fight, was in no mood for mansplaining.

“Mr. President, please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory,” Pelosi said. Later, aides put out word that she had mocked Trump's border wall as “a manhood thing” for him.

Trump's battle with Congress over his demands for $5 billion as a down payment for a border wall was at an impasse on Friday. Democrats have refused to budge past $1.3 billion, and one-fourth of the federal government has been unfunded and shut down since last Saturday because of the dispute.

Negotiations have sputtered to a halt. No votes are likely before Thursday, when the new Congress opens and Pelosi, who has represented a San Francisco district in Congress since 1987, is all but certain to be elected House speaker.

That sets the stage for a possible shutdown showdown between Trump and Pelosi. Republicans, who have controlled both chambers of Congress for the last two years, appeared happy to shift some of the responsibility — or blame — to her.

It could be a risky strategy. In Pelosi's 36 years in Washington, male politicians have repeatedly underestimated her. From her first opponent who called her a debutante before she crushed him, to Republican leaders who tried to bully her when she entered House leadership, it has yet to work.

“She just keeps going. It's like a nuclear sub and then when it's time to strike? Bam,” Representative Anna G. Eshoo (Democrat-Menlo Park) said. “I don't think anyone is a match for her.”

Trump already has sought to throw a depth charge. On Friday, he threatened in three separate tweets to shut U.S. ports of entry along the entire 2,000-mile southwestern border unless Democrats backed down. “Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border,” he warned.

Several hundred thousand people and about $1.6 billion in trade cross the U.S.-Mexico border every day. Shutting the gates would send shock waves through the economy and create instant havoc in San Diego and other communities in the four states directly affected.

By most accounts, Trump lost face when he squared off with Pelosi in that Oval Office meeting.

Video of Pelosi walking out of the West Wing with dark sunglasses and a smile ricocheted across social media. The manufacturer of the orange coat she wore received so much demand it began making the coat again.

Her defiance all but ended a small but vocal resistance to her leadership bid. She is expect to become just the sixth person in history, and the first woman, to fill the speaker's chair twice.

Some Republicans see an up side in positioning Pelosi as their foil, hoping to force her to focus on a fight over funding the border wall rather than on ethics reform, voting rights legislation, investigations of Trump finances and other concerns she has promised will be the Democrats' priorities.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said on Twitter that those saying Democrats can't battle Trump and move on other agenda items underestimate the incoming speaker's political skills.

“Pelosi can walk and chew gum,” Hammill tweeted.

Ellen Tauscher, a California Democrat who represented Walnut Grove in Congress from 1997 to 2009 and then joined the Obama administration, said the White House is “used to sycophants and they are used to bullying people, and neither apply to Nancy Pelosi.”

“Anybody who mistakes Nancy's charm and smile for anything other than the kind of the steel that holds airplanes together is in trouble,” she added. “I think the president has finally met somebody who will stand up to him.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued on Friday that Pelosi wouldn't negotiate because she “doesn't want to do anything that might jeopardize her speaker vote,” something the president and other White House officials echoed.

Hammill said the White House had not contacted Pelosi since the December 11 meeting.

Trump has cast the shutdown — which forced him to stay in Washington D.C. over the holidays, other than a one-day trip to visit U.S. troops in Iraq, instead of taking a planned 16-day vacation in Florida — as a fight between his version of border security, meaning a wall, and open borders, which he says Democrats want.

“He has a very simplistic policy solution that is a emotional touchstone in the culture wars. If the debate becomes about open borders versus the wall, Democrats are on very thin ice,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican political strategist. “It behooves the president to wait until the Democrats take over.”

Trump alluded to that strategy on Thursday, tweeting that Democrats may be able to block his plans to build a wall “but we have the issue, Border Security. 2020!”

From all accounts, substantive negotiations to reopen government offices stalled the day the shutdown began on December 22, when Vice President Mike Pence made an offer to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York).

Schumer's spokesman, Justin Goodman, said he rejected the offer of $2.1 billion for the wall and $400,000 for other border security measures immediately, telling the vice president that he could not get Democratic votes to pass the 60-vote threshold needed in the Republican-controlled Senate.

“For the White House to try and blame anyone but the president for this shutdown doesn't pass the laugh test,” Goodman said.

The White House effort to shift blame to Pelosi, especially when her party is not yet in power and she can't bring legislation up for a vote, left strategists and pundits scratching their heads.

“Out of the gate she's not some type of villain that somehow acquits the president of the hole he's dug himself,” Republican strategist Rob Stutzman said. Democrats “are poised to win the showdown on the shutdown. They just are.”

House Democrats plan to vote on Thursday on a spending package to reopen the government. They have floated several options, but none that includes more than $1.3 billion for border security, potentially including a wall.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) has said the Senate won't vote on legislation to fund the government unless the president will sign it, and Trump has said he will not accept less than $5 billion for a wall. Stutzman said it would fall to McConnell to persuade Trump to compromise.

How Trump and Pelosi resolve the impasse could be telling for the next two years.

Trump has dominated Washington as few presidents before him, but after next week he'll be forced to work with a divided Congress for the first time.

“He's going to be playing defense, which he's not good at,” Madrid said. “He's going to have to create a boogeyman. That's how he wins. He has to create an enemy, whether it is Mexicans or Muslims or Pelosi.”

For her part, Pelosi is known as a master legislator and negotiator, someone unlikely to fold under Trump's insults and jibes.

“She knows when to charm him and I think she knows when to give him rope and let him hang himself,” Stutzman said. “She understands him rather well.”


• Sarah D. Wire came to the Los Angeles Times in 2015 to write about California's 55-member congressional delegation after covering politics in Washington D.C. for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She has been a statehouse reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Associated Press bureaus in Idaho and Missouri. Wire, a Colorado native, is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=7e7b4c30-aaa2-4e1b-a4e7-9f537acc47e9 (https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=7e7b4c30-aaa2-4e1b-a4e7-9f537acc47e9)
https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=e7c51a8f-db42-4757-bd05-36673363958f (https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=e7c51a8f-db42-4757-bd05-36673363958f)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 05, 2019, 07:03:58 pm

I'm reading news reports about large numbers of border security workers failing to turn up to work, because with Trump's “shut-down” wankery they aren't being paid and can no longer afford to travel to work. As Trump's “shut-down” wankery continues, a large proportion of border security workers (who are paid crap wages anyway) will be forced to walk away and look for other jobs to pay the bills. And that will mean that hordes of illegal immigrants will be able to cross the southern border into the USA because Trump's stupidity will have opened up the border.

Faaaaaarking hilarious, eh? I'm ROFLMAO!!

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 06, 2019, 03:17:33 pm

The “Trump shutdown” continues…

from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Democrats and Trump make no progress on wall

Party leaders report he's willing to prolong shutdown for ‘months or even years’.

By ELI STOKOLS and JENNIFER BABERKORN | Saturday, January 05, 2019

(https://misc.pagesuite.com/3630c326-c935-42f5-b0da-daebc36b7646/images/IMG_LA-APphoto_Trump_2_1_CM4P3CTU.jpg) (https://misc.pagesuite.com/3630c326-c935-42f5-b0da-daebc36b7646/images/IMG_LA-APphoto_Trump_2_1_CM4P3CTU.jpg)
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin and
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from left, had an unsuccessful meeting with Trump. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/Associated Press.

WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump and congressional leaders remained far from an agreement over his demand for money for a border wall after another White House meeting, an impasse that has blocked funding for many government operations and forced a partial shutdown now two weeks old.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate Democratic leader, said after the talks in the privacy of the White House Situation Room that Trump told the group he would be willing to keep the affected government agencies closed for “months or even years.”

“I did say that, absolutely I said that,” Trump told reporters later. “I don't think it will, but I am prepared.” He added, “I hope it doesn't go on even beyond a few more days.”

The Democrats insisted that negotiating over border security could only follow after funding and opening the quarter of the government that is now shuttered.

“We really cannot resolve this until we open up government,” said new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-San Francisco). “We made that clear to the president.”

Trump and top Democrats each put the burden on the other to end the stalemate. Neither appeared to feel much pressure from their respective supporters to give ground even as roughly 450,000 federal employees had to work without pay and an additional 380,000 are unpaid on furlough. But cracks have opened in support among Republicans in Congress for the president's hard line.

Trump, speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden after the meeting, expressed more optimism than Pelosi and Schumer about resolving the shutdown impasse, possibly through meetings among aides that will continue through the weekend. Even so, he refused to budge from his demand, calling conditions at the border “a dangerous, horrible disaster.”

“We've done a great job,” he said. “But you can't really do the kind of job we have to do unless you have a major, powerful barrier.”

He added, “We won't be opening [the government] until it's solved.”

Trump suggested that he could declare a national emergency to build a wall unilaterally without congressional approval. “I may do it,” he said. “We could call a national emergency and build it very quickly. That's another way to do it. But if we can do it through a negotiated process, that's better.”

In recent days, White House aides had signaled openness to a compromise offering Democrats legal protections for so-called Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, in exchange for more wall funding. But Trump, who has contradicted his aides several times, has not suggested such a trade, and Democrats, now holding the leverage of their new House majority, have ruled it out.

As the shutdown has stretched on, Trump has dug in more firmly. Though Vice President Mike Pence complained this week that Democrats never responded to him over the holidays about a proposal to reduce the funding demand to about $2.5 billion for wall construction, the president subsequently scoffed at the notion that he'd accept that amount — he blamed “fake news” for mischaracterizing his position — and publicly stuck to his demand for $5.6 billion.

Democratic leaders also stuck to a hard line.

Late on Thursday, hours after her election as speaker, Pelosi reiterated to reporters that a wall between countries is “an immorality.” Asked whether Democrats would even give Trump a dollar for a border wall, she responded: “A dollar? Yeah. One dollar.”

She spoke after House Democrats, newly in charge of the chamber after eight years of Republican control, passed measures to reopen the government and to approve $1.3 billion for border security funding that explicitly ruled out spending on a wall.

But the Senate, which approved a similar proposal just over two weeks ago when Republicans assumed Trump would go along, won't consider the two House bills. Wary of the White House's mixed signals, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) has said the Senate won't vote on any proposal until it's clear Trump will sign it.

When Trump addressed reporters after the meeting with Democrats, McConnell was conspicuously missing among the Republican congressional leaders who flanked the president in the White House Rose Garden. A spokesman for McConnell said he would have attended had he been asked.

At one point last month before the shutdown, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, seemed to suggest Trump was backing off his wall money demand altogether, saying that he would be able to find the $5 billion he wanted in other government accounts.

Following a backlash from supporters including conservative pundits Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, who criticized Trump as having caved on the issue, the president reversed course and said no to the package approved unanimously by the Senate, forcing the shutdown that began on December 22.

(https://misc.pagesuite.com/3630c326-c935-42f5-b0da-daebc36b7646/images/IMG_LA-AFP-Getty_us-poli_2_1_CG4P4L65.jpg) (https://misc.pagesuite.com/3630c326-c935-42f5-b0da-daebc36b7646/images/IMG_LA-AFP-Getty_us-poli_2_1_CG4P4L65.jpg)
President Donald J. Trump confirmed he was prepared for the shutdown to last “months or even years,” as Democratic leaders had reported.
 — Photograph: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

Trump has attempted to put pressure on Democrats by claiming there is an ongoing “humanitarian crisis” at the border because of a wave of illegal immigrants, as well as an unsubstantiated influx of terrorists and criminals.

In his remarks to reporters, Trump falsely said his administration had “built a brand-new wall in San Diego.” The border barriers there were first built in the 1990s. Customs and Border Protection has been upgrading some fencing, including a long-planned 14-mile stretch in western San Diego County on which construction began in June. Democrats have already agreed to appropriate money for that project and similar ones.

Trump, who now says a barrier could be of steel bars or fencing, disputed a reporter's suggestion that he'd promised during his campaign that he would build a wall of concrete. He had, however, at one point telling campaign supporters, “No windows, no nothing — precast concrete going very high.” The other day, he tweeted that “An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED.”

Speaking of the Obama-era program for Dreamers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Trump also falsely said that President Obama, when he signed the executive order to defer deportations for about 700,000 young immigrants, “admitted” that “this isn't going to work.” He implied that Obama agreed with him that the order exceeded the president's authority. Obama did not say anything of the sort, but defended DACA's legality even as he acknowledged that executive authority had limits.

On Friday, just before resuming talks with Democrats, Trump sent a letter to all members of Congress with information that his Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, had presented days earlier to congressional leaders. Pelosi and Schumer, Trump wrote, “did not want to hear the presentation at the time.”

Trump argued that “it is essential that we make decisions based upon the facts on the ground — not ideology and rhetoric — and that we listen to the law enforcement personnel on the front lines.”

While Trump and congressional allies believe that fighting for border wall funding is a political winner with their party's base, a few Republicans facing difficult re-election bids in competitive states in 2020 are signaling opposition to the prolonged shutdown.

Polling so far has shown that the general public blames Trump and the Republicans for the shutdown more than they blame congressional Democrats. And spending taxpayer money on a border wall is an unpopular idea with most Americans.

A non-partisan survey last month by Quinnipiac University, for example, found that voters nationwide opposed shutting down the government over money for the wall by nearly 2 to 1. The same polls also show, however, that the wall remains popular with Trump's core supporters, which is the audience the president has consistently focused on.

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, perhaps the most vulnerable Republican senator for 2020, was the first to call for reopening the government and leaving the fight over border wall funding for later.

“We can pass legislation that has the appropriations number in it while we continue to get more, but we should continue to do our jobs and get the government open,” Gardner said on Thursday, referring to the amount for border security that Democrats have already agreed to.

Senator Susan Collins (Republican-Maine), who also could face a tough re-election battle next year, staked out a similar position.

In the House, seven moderate Republicans voted with Democrats on Thursday night in support of the spending package to reopen the government. Five of them also backed the separate bill funding the Department of Homeland Security that did not include money for the wall.

One of the Republican defectors, Representative Will Hurd, represents a sprawling Texas district that includes 41% of the nearly 2,000-mile southern border with Mexico. He has steadfastly opposed construction of a wall, and was re-elected in November after a tough campaign in which he emphasized that position.

Representative John Katko (Republican-New York) said after the vote that he supports border security but not at the cost of continuing a shutdown. “I remain increasingly frustrated by the inaction of both sides in Congress on this issue,” he said.

“Still, a government shutdown is a costly and unnecessary maneuver that does not help resolve Congress' failure to act.”

Friday's White House meeting came on the second day of the new Congress, quickly putting an end to the hopes for bipartisanship expressed by both Republicans and Democrats on Thursday.

Separately, Republicans expressed outrage after newly elected Representative Rashida Tlaib (Democrat-Michigan) told progressive allies Thursday night that she came to Washington to “impeach the mother—.” Democrats were privately upset with the remark as well, as Pelosi and other party leaders have sought to mute talk of impeachment at least until special counsel Robert S. Mueller III releases his report.

Trump called Tlaib's remarks “disrespectful” to the country, adding, “I think she dishonored herself and she dishonored her family.” Trump also said that Pelosi, in the White House meeting, told him that Democrats were “not looking to impeach” him.

On Twitter, Pelosi's spokesman said, “Speaker Pelosi made clear that today's meeting was about reopening government, not impeachment.”


• Eli Stokols is a White House reporter based in the Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C., bureau. He is a veteran of Politico and The Wall Street Journal, where he covered the 2016 presidential campaign and then the Trump White House. A native of Irvine, Stokols grew up in a L.A. Times household and is thrilled to report for what is still his family's hometown paper. He is also a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

• Jennifer Haberkorn covers Congress in Washington, D.C., for the Los Angeles Times. She has reported from Washington since 2005, spending much of that time roaming the halls of the U.S. Capitol. Before arriving at the L.A. Times, Haberkorn spent eight years at POLITICO writing about the 2010 healthcare law, a story that took her to Congress, the states, healthcare clinics and courtrooms around the country. She also covered Congress and local business news for The Washington Times. Haberkorn is a native of the Chicago area and graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=8bf6925d-4f08-494d-a80e-74463233a81c (http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=8bf6925d-4f08-494d-a80e-74463233a81c)
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=aea249dd-564b-46ac-a8bd-16ba8979176a (http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=aea249dd-564b-46ac-a8bd-16ba8979176a)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 06, 2019, 03:19:58 pm

Economics, Trump-style…

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DwLKYVtVYAAob6s.jpg) (https://twitter.com/domesticanimal/status/1081649402308059136)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on January 07, 2019, 04:28:26 pm

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 07, 2019, 09:13:01 pm

Hahaha … America is most definitely the world's laughing stock.

All thanks to President Donald J. “shit-for-brains” Trump … the idiot who keeps on giving to the world of comedy.

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 07, 2019, 09:13:47 pm

Yep, President Dumb is being totally out-foxed by the Chinese. Hilarious, eh?

from The Washington Post…

China is trying to woo U.S. allies.
The White House's response contains glaring failures.

Trump's unwillingness to listen to reason is driving away our allies.

By JIM HOAGLAND | 6:50PM EST — Sunday, January 06, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/9H0Lq9GE08l-WrLpIhqXeGhXoVE=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/ARBIEBQQNAI6TBH42WGDHVWIY4.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/9H0Lq9GE08l-WrLpIhqXeGhXoVE=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/ARBIEBQQNAI6TBH42WGDHVWIY4.jpg)
Employees sort boxes at the logistics center of an express delivery company after an online shopping festival, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China,
on November 12, 2015. — Photograph: China Stringer Network/Reuters.

EMBOLDENED by the Trump administration's denigration and threatened abandonment of traditional U.S. allies in Europe and other regions, China has launched a strategic campaign to woo, gain control over or otherwise undermine nations that have long supported U.S. goals and alliance management abroad.

The campaign was outlined in barely veiled terms in a recent speech delivered by China's defense minister to a closed-door meeting in Beijing with U.N. Security Council representatives. The Chinese effort is having growing influence, say experienced diplomats who attended the meeting.

“The Chinese have correctly assessed that American allies now doubt they can ever rely on the U.S. again in many areas,” said one senior Western diplomat. “President Trump seems to represent enough of American public doubts and distrust of foreign nations that we all have to re-examine our place in the international order.”

The Trump White House is clearly aware of China's newly stoked ambitions. National security adviser John Bolton devoted much of a December 13 speech (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bolton-says-predatory-china-is-outpacing-the-us-in-africa/2018/12/13/7b906626-fee2-11e8-83c0-b06139e540e5_story.html) at the Heritage Foundation to accusing China of using “bribes, opaque agreements and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands.” He singled out China's “One Belt, One Road” economic initiative as being a tool to advance “Chinese global dominance” (https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/opinion-and-analysis/2018-12-23-africa-is-once-again-a-battlefield-in-the-uss-great-powers-wars).

But the White House response to China's diplomatic and economic campaign contains two glaring failures.

It does not recognize or seek to correct its own role in creating the conditions that cause allies to doubt U.S. resolve and support. And it has missed the expansion of Chinese strategic aims into undermining American leadership in the transatlantic and global institutions that have helped preserve global stability since World War II. White House staffers are either asleep at the switch or, more likely, deliberately looking away from the impulsive, vindictive and frequently childish behavior of a president who treats his partners as cheats, liars or fools.

Trump makes no secret of his intentions. With startling and ill-advised candor, he has told at least one leader of a NATO ally that his campaign to break China's unfair trade practices is a prelude to an effort he will then lead to “destroy” European Union practices that have created trade imbalances (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/why-the-us-trade-deficit-is-getting-bigger--despite-all-of-trumps-promises/2018/11/27/f2c2dd34-de1f-11e8-b3f0-62607289efee_story.html) with the United States. The comment was taken by this leader as the nail in the coffin of transatlantic cooperation during the Trump presidency and perhaps beyond, according to an aide who recounted the conversation on condition of anonymity.

Awareness of the frazzled state of American leadership abroad pervaded the remarks made by Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe (http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2018-11/26/content_9356264.htm) to members of the Security Council who visited Beijing on November 26. The meeting was intended to focus on China's role in international peacekeeping missions. But participants portray Wei as laying heavy emphasis on the need for new leadership at the United Nations and in international affairs, and on China's ability and willingness to take on a greater role in both if other states cooperated with Beijing.

“He put flesh on the bones of One Belt, One Road as a strategic concept,” said one diplomat present at the meeting. “He made clear other nations would have to make choices in the kind of alliances they join or stay in.”

Two weeks later, Bolton sharply denounced the Chinese One Belt program of loans and investments that is intended to develop trade routes leading to and from China. The Chinese use their economic leverage to take over African ports and national industries, and in Djibouti to establish a military base (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2018/12/14/could-china-squeeze-us-out-its-only-permanent-military-base-africa) that interferes with a nearby U.S. base, he complained.

But Bolton's speech was also heavy with Trump-like complaints that past U.S. aid to Africa had been wasted and suggestions that future aid would be conditioned on political loyalty from recipients. Bolton did avoid outhouse analogies (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-attacks-protections-for-immigrants-from-shithole-countries-in-oval-office-meeting/2018/01/11/bfc0725c-f711-11e7-91af-31ac729add94_story.html) in talking about African countries.

Meanwhile, China is rapidly becoming a strategic competitor in Europe, where Chinese investments and loans target infrastructure and new technology assets. China invested nine times more in Europe than it did in the United States in the first six months of 2018, according to the international law firm Baker McKenzie (https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/newsroom/2018/07/chinese-fdi-h1-2018). China has also gained financial control of the main port facilities of Athens, the Greek capital, and has injected itself into the European Union's political debates through the strong links it has developed with needy Eastern European and Balkan countries.

Chinese purchases have focused on European companies working on artificial intelligence, software and data, robotics and other new technologies. Germany has become sufficiently concerned to begin restricting investment from Beijing on strategic grounds.

Once upon a pre-Trump time, this would have been a problem ripe for transatlantic cooperation. But Trump's refusal to let reason instead of impulse direct his actions pushes away allies and the possibility of united action.


• Jim Hoagland is a contributing editor for The Washington Post. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971 for International Reporting and in 1991 for Commentary.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/china-is-trying-to-woo-us-allies-the-white-houses-response-contains-glaring-failures/2019/01/06/981eabf0-1057-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/china-is-trying-to-woo-us-allies-the-white-houses-response-contains-glaring-failures/2019/01/06/981eabf0-1057-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 07, 2019, 09:37:46 pm

Hahaha … for the idiot residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the lift (elevator, if you prefer that term) doesn't quite reach the top floor.

from The Washington Post…

While Trump wallows in the White House,
America's allies are left on their own

His conduct gives Putin and other bad actors room to step up their aggression.

By JACKSON DIEHL | 6:51PM EST — Sunday, January 06, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_800w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/02/12/Editorial-Opinion/Images/Trump_84563-c9433.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/02/12/Editorial-Opinion/Images/Trump_84563-c9433.jpg)
President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office on January 23, 2018. — Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press.

WHILE President Trump was all by myself in the White House (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-cabinet-meeting-12) over Christmas, watching the “guys out on the lawn with machine guns,” Russia's Vladimir Putin seemed to be contemplating another war with Ukraine. While his top aides issued threatening statements, the Ukrainian government and some Western observers warned of suspicious movements of Russian aircraft and equipment. The Institute for the Study of War reported on December 23 (http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2018/12/warning-update-russian-preparations-for.html) that “the data suggests Putin is preparing to attack.” Analyst Michael Kofman of the Wilson Center judged an invasion unlikely but concluded that (https://russianmilitaryanalysis.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/is-a-russian-military-operation-against-ukraine-likely-in-the-near-future) “Moscow is looking to bloody Ukraine at the first available opportunity.”

So far, nothing has happened, though Russia continues to hold the two dozen sailors it captured when it assaulted three Ukrainian ships (https://uawire.org/russia-seizes-three-ukrainian-navy-ships-in-the-kerch-strait) near Crimea on November 25, and it is still hindering shipping to several Ukrainian ports. But Putin's maneuvering points to how the United States' adversaries are likely to react to the steadily increasing chaos of the Trump presidency. They will spend 2019 testing how much they can gain at the expense of a U.S. president who has sidelined most of his national security team and has been making a display of his ignorance of and disregard for U.S. interests.

If there is to be no U.S. response — and so far, there hasn't been — Putin has reason to step up military attacks on Ukraine ahead of its presidential election (https://www.rferl.org/a/ukrainian-presidential-election-set-for-march-31-2019/29625670.html) in March, which he hopes will unseat pro-U.S. incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Now that Trump has declared that Iran “can do what they want” (https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5440085,00.html) in Syria, expect Tehran to entrench more forces and missiles near the border with Israel. While the government of Benjamin Netanyahu won't be happy with that, it has taken its own advantage of Trump's passivity, launching what the Associated Press described last week as “what could be the largest construction binge in years” (https://www.apnews.com/f5a41dfb809c4de4868dc80930983d64) in the occupied West Bank.

The leader whose calculation of Trump's weakness may matter most is China's Xi Jinping, who reacted to Barack Obama's retreat from enforcing U.S. red lines by taking over much of the South China Sea. Xi and Trump are engaged in a trade negotiation that could be crucial to the fortunes of both countries this year. China starts at a seeming disadvantage: U.S. tariffs already have helped induce a sharp slowdown in consumer spending and a 25 percent drop in the Shanghai stock market, the largest decline in the world (https://www.scmp.com/business/markets/article/2179765/hong-kong-shares-steady-early-trading-after-wall-streets-wild) in 2018.

But Xi no doubt has been listening as Trump has revealed an obsession with U.S. stock prices and anxiety over their decline. Last week, Trump predicted the markets will rebound “once we settle trade issues” (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/02/trump-says-stocks-will-rise-once-trade-battle-settled-calls-last-months-market-decline-a-glitch.html). Xi's most likely conclusion: He can wait Trump out. Beijing will offer to settle the trade war for token measures, such as a promise to buy more U.S. products. Xi will bet that Trump won't seek to truly break Chinese mercantilism if it means more plunges in the Standard & Poor's 500.

Meanwhile, China's step-by-step bid for hegemony over East Asia will continue. Xi will quietly encourage North Korea's Kim Jong Un to continue resisting any denuclearization deal with Trump that doesn't include a withdrawal of U.S. forces and assets from the region. After all, he would have heard Trump say (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-cabinet-meeting-12) that Patrick Shanahan (https://www.businessinsider.com/patrick-shanahan-could-be-permanent-us-defense-secretary-2019-1), the inexperienced former Boeing executive he appointed to fill in for departed defense secretary Jim Mattis, agrees with him that “we're giving military protection to countries that are very wealthy, and they're not doing anything for us.” In Trump's mind, that means South Korea.

Putin was no doubt listening to that rant in front of the Cabinet, as well. He would have heard Trump defend, of all things, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan while dumping on the performance of U.S. commanders there. He would have heard him describe Syria as “sand and death.” And he would have noted that there was not a word about Ukraine, despite Russia's unprovoked attack on the Ukrainian ships, illegal restriction of commercial shipping and deployment of forces capable of initiating a new ground offensive.

Any other U.S. president would have by now taken common-sense steps to deter Putin from further aggression, in conjunction with allies such as Germany, Britain and France. Allied ships would be appearing in the Black Sea and stopping at Ukrainian ports, and teams of observers from NATO would be deploying in eastern Ukraine to monitor Russian activity. U.S. diplomats would be negotiating with the European Union on a new round of sanctions on Russia, specifically in response to its naval belligerence.

But Trump has no interest in such matters, and he has driven off or stopped his ears to the advisers who might explain them to him. He wallows in his ignorance and his prejudices, all alone in the White House. Ukraine, and all other nations that used to depend on the United States, are on their own.


Jackson Diehl (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/jackson-diehl) is the deputy editorial page editor of The Washington Post. He is an editorial writer specializing in foreign affairs and writes a bi-weekly column that appears in print on Mondays. Diehl joined The Post in June 1978 as a reporter on the Metro staff. He joined the foreign desk in 1981, working as a correspondent from January 1982 until July 1992 in three of The Washington Post's bureaus: Buenos Aires, Warsaw and Jerusalem. From October 1992 until November 2000, Diehl worked in several newsroom management positions, including assistant managing editor/foreign and assistant managing editor/national. He became deputy editorial page editor in February 2001. Jackson Diehl holds a BA in English from Yale University.


Related to this topic:

 • Jennifer Rubin: Trump doesn't understand his leverage is gone (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/02/trump-doesnt-understand-his-leverage-is-gone)

 • Mitt Romney: The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump's character falls short. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mitt-romney-the-president-shapes-the-public-character-of-the-nation-trumps-character-falls-short/2019/01/01/37a3c8c2-0d1a-11e9-8938-5898adc28fa2_story.html)

 • Jackson Diehl: Trump gives American hostages held abroad hope — and also takes it away (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-gives-american-hostages-held-abroad-hope--and-also-takes-it-away/2018/12/23/965a5f28-046b-11e9-b6a9-0aa5c2fcc9e4_story.html)

 • The Washington Post's View: Russia's escalation against Ukraine shows how little Putin worries about the West (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/russias-escalation-against-ukraine-shows-how-little-putin-worries-about-the-west/2018/11/26/f7eee828-f1ae-11e8-aeea-b85fd44449f5_story.html)

 • Anne Applebaum: Putin's war is transforming Ukraine (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/putins-war-is-transforming-ukraine/2018/09/23/d56d5a10-bdd7-11e8-8792-78719177250f_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/while-trump-wallows-in-the-white-house-americas-allies-are-left-on-their-own/2019/01/06/1f1b4f54-0f6e-11e9-8938-5898adc28fa2_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/while-trump-wallows-in-the-white-house-americas-allies-are-left-on-their-own/2019/01/06/1f1b4f54-0f6e-11e9-8938-5898adc28fa2_story.html)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on January 08, 2019, 07:33:27 am
The Washington Post owner richest man in the world and his number one arse licking fan is ktj the part-time male white trash commie
with more fake news and conspiracy theories

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 08, 2019, 12:55:35 pm

You appear to have the attention span of a common garden slug.

Just like your hero Donald J. Trump who is too stupid to even read a security briefing paper by himself.

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 11, 2019, 05:21:35 pm

from The Washington Post…

Trump's nothingburger speech

The networks got conned.

By NENNIFER RUBIN | 6:50PM EST — Tuesday, January 08, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_755w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2019/01/09/Editorial-Opinion/Images/YAKFPAQTW4I6TK3ZGDGU66JG6I.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2019/01/09/Editorial-Opinion/Images/YAKFPAQTW4I6TK3ZGDGU66JG6I.jpg)
The president's address to the nation on immigration was littered with falsehoods he's said before.
 — Photograph: Meg Kelly/The Washington Post.

THE ONLY THING surprising about President Trump's address from the Oval Office (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pence-calls-on-democrats-in-congress-to-accede-to-wall-funding-demand-end-shutdown/2019/01/08/944291ac-1338-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html) on Tuesday night was how totally unnecessary and un-newsworthy it was. Trump did not declare he was reopening the government. He did not issue an “emergency” declaration. He did not even offer any new arguments for a border wall that voters say they don't want for a crisis that doesn't exist. Instead, he delivered a weak, unconvincing promise to sit down with Democrats. Never has he looked so helpless and small.

In short, the president snookered the networks into giving him free time to commune with his base. They should not make that mistake again.

The speech, again not surprisingly, was delivered in a wooden cadence. Without a cheering campaign-style rally filled with his cult followers, his words fell flat, and he seemed to lack energy. Another rally might have worked better.

Again, as anticipated, the speech was littered with falsehoods. He claimed there was a growing crisis along the U.S-Mexico border, though illegal crossings are a fraction of what they were in 2000. He bemoaned the influx of heroin, but didn't mention that the vast majority of heroin doesn't come over the border but through airports and other ports of entry. He claimed the wall would be paid for by NAFTA 2.0, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/united-states-mexico-canada-agreement), but that's bunk, and no official has adequately explained how it would work. He falsely claimed that Democrats would not fund border security. In fact, they have offered $1.3 billion. Perhaps his weirdest statement was to claim that African Americans and Hispanics are the groups hurt most by illegal immigration.

Calling it a "humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul,” the president did shy away from phony claims about terrorists. But a humanitarian crisis, of course, won't be solved by a wall. Refugees will still come to have their status adjudicated.

It’s difficult to imagine Trump would change the mind of any voter not already devoted to his cause and immunized against reality. To the contrary, one wonders whether Republican members of the House, voting this week on separate bills to reopen departments of the government that have been shut down, will think, “That's all he’s got?” If so, be prepared for a substantial number of them to abandon Trump and vote with Democrats when individual spending bills come to the House floor.

Had Democrats anticipated such a nothingburger speech they might have delivered a simple message in a few seconds: “The president said nothing new. He can't hold the country hostage. Open the government. Mr. President. Real people are being hurt.” Instead, they made a number of now familiar points: Democrats do favor border security; the wall is an expensive, counterproductive solution in search of a problem; and the only crisis is one of governance, which Trump created all by himself.

However, the Democratic leaders were able to get off a fair number of zingers. “Sadly, much of what we have heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) began. “The President has chosen fear. We want to start with the facts.” She reminded the audience that Trump had created the shutdown: “President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well-being of the American people and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation — many of them veterans. He promised to keep the government shut down for ‘months or years’ — no matter whom it hurts. That's just plain wrong.” They also debunked the claim that Democrats did not want border security. “We all agree that we need to secure our borders, while honoring our values: we can build the infrastructure and roads at our ports of entry; we can install new technology to scan cars and trucks for drugs coming into our nation; we can hire the personnel we need to facilitate trade and immigration at the border; and we can fund more innovation to detect unauthorized crossings,” Pelosi said. She correctly stated that this was a humanitarian challenge, but that Trump had made it worse.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York) picked up from there. “We don't govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down, hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage.” He continued: “There is bipartisan legislation — supported by Democrats and Republicans – to reopen government while allowing debate over border security to continue. There is no excuse for hurting millions of Americans over a policy difference.” He closed with a plea to reopen the government.

This may have been the only modern presidential address where the response was better than the president's. Taking a step back, it's difficult to figure out why Trump did this. When Republicans bolt, it will seem even more like a personal rebuke than it would be had he not given the speech. His weak performance is unlikely to reduce Democrats' resolve; in fact, they may see him on the ropes and believe him more vulnerable for a knockout.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) is going to have a hard time continuing to shirk responsibility for the shutdown. His members were antsy before, and the lack of clear direction from the president is likely to raise their anxiety level still further. McConnell says he is waiting for Trump to make his position clear. By now, he should know it's a fruitless endeavor. Maybe it is time for McConnell to get serious, put a bill on the Senate floor and dare Trump to veto it. Otherwise, the government will remain closed for a good deal longer.


Jennifer Rubin (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/jennifer-rubin) writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement, the Republican Party and threats to Western democracies. Rubin, who is also an MSNBC contributor, came to The Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Prior to her career in journalism, Rubin practiced labor law for two decades, an experience that informs and enriches her work. She is a mother of two sons and lives in Northern Virginia.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump's full address to the nation on border security (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trumps-full-address-to-the-nation-on-border-security/2019/01/08/cde3f6b9-c87c-49bb-8038-9f01a4b636b7_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Schumer and Pelosi's full response to Trump's border address (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/schumer-and-pelosis-full-response-to-trumps-border-address/2019/01/08/8bc723ec-c4d9-43e4-a93f-daa8c5bcce20_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Trump and Deocrats spar over shutdown messaging, border wall (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/trump-and-democrats-spar-over-shutdown-messaging-border-wall/2019/01/08/80237718-0cf5-4962-92e5-f31ec8ce8d18_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Fact-checking President Trump's Oval Office address (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/fact-checking-president-trumps-oval-office-address/2019/01/08/21c058e0-3956-419c-b10a-4922f1e6f945_video.html)

 • Fact-checking President Trump's Oval Office address on immigration (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/09/fact-checking-president-trumps-oval-office-address-immigration)

 • Trump's prime-time address on the border wall shutdown, annotated (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/09/trumps-prime-time-address-border-wall-shutdown-annotated)

 • Did Trump's Oval Office address change anything? (http://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/01/09/did-trumps-oval-office-address-change-anything)

 • Trump's Oval Office address was a pure propaganda opportunity. Networks shouldn't allow it next time. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/trumps-oval-office-address-was-a-pure-propaganda-opportunity-networks-shouldnt-allow-it-next-time/2019/01/09/6e13a198-140e-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/09/trumps-nothingburger-speech (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/09/trumps-nothingburger-speech)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 11, 2019, 09:44:50 pm

from The Washington Post…

Raging, weakened Trump is running out of options

Trump is not getting his way, but he's projecting manly action, with the help of Fox News.

By GREG SARGENT | 10:28AM EST — Thursday, January 10, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_888w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2019/01/10/Editorial-Opinion/Images/AADR4VAU5MI6TK3ZGDGU66JG6I.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2019/01/10/Editorial-Opinion/Images/AADR4VAU5MI6TK3ZGDGU66JG6I.jpg)
When asked on January 10 if he would declare a national emergency, President Donald J. Trump said, “If this doesn't work out,
I'll probably will do it, maybe definitely.” — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

PRESIDENT TRUMP departed this morning to visit the southern border as part of his floundering effort to sell his wall, but he doubts it will do any good. In private, he reportedly groused (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/us/politics/donald-trump-speech.html) that “it's not going to change a damn thing,” but added that he'd been talked into it by his communications advisers, including Bill Shine, who just happens to also be a former executive at Fox News.

It's telling that Shine in particular advised this trip, and in that context, Trump's gripe contains a real insight: The trip is clearly less about rallying public support that might pressure Democrats to relent on the wall — since that won't work — and more about projecting what might be called optics of manly action. A former Fox executive surely understands that what Trump's supporters need to see right now is Trump appearing to act decisively, that is, appearing to take control of events.

Yet it's increasingly obvious that Trump's gestures of action are largely empty ones — and not just on the wall. This is evident on two of the biggest running stories right now — Trump's flirtation with declaring a national emergency to build the border barrier without congressional authorization, and his legal team's noisy public threats to try to quash public release of the special counsel's findings.

Trump just raged on Twitter (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1083353895030702080) against Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (Democrat-New York), describing him as “Cryin Chuck”, while denying reports that he slammed the table before storming out (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/shutdown-day-19-trump-comes-to-congress-as-gop-faces-unity-test-over-wall-funding/2019/01/09/8f3bfab8-1423-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html) of a meeting with Democrats. At that meeting, Trump made no headway, but now he's compensating for it by publicly lashing out with juvenile name-calling, which is supposed to show his supporters that he's “fighting”.

Trump may very well declare a national emergency to build the wall. But new reporting indicates that even if he does, it's not even remotely clear how much of his wall he'd get from it. As Charlie Savage details in a must-read piece (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/09/us/politics/donald-trump-national-emergency.html), there are multiple legal obstacles standing in his way. It isn't just that the presidential declaration itself would face a legal challenge that would go all the way to the Supreme Court; it would also face multiple lawsuits from landowners along the border.

As one legal expert puts it to Savage: “We're going to be in 2020 before this is resolved.” It very well might get blocked by then, but even if Trump did prevail on all these fronts, it's unclear how much wall he'd have time to add before his re-election campaign, if any. And of course, he might lose, which would mean a Democratic president would halt the project.

Still, the act of declaring of a national emergency to force the wall issue would itself likely drive his supporters into a state of delirium. Which, for Trump, would be the real point of it. This is also the real point of threatening to do it.

Trump and Republicans take themselves hostage

Trump also just raged at the media (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1083356326833602561) for supposedly exaggerating Republican splintering over his shutdown strategy, insisting there is “GREAT unity” among them. For Trump supporters, any whiff of weakness or failure on his part can be instantly dispelled by a tweet describing it as a “fake news” fabrication (which also has the virtue of portraying him as “fighting”).

But the reality is quite different. The Washington Examiner's David Drucker reports (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/trump-equivocates-on-shutdown-strategy-with-moves-to-avert-harsh-consequences) that even some Republicans believe Trump's position is weakening, and they have discerned a flaw in his strategy. These Republicans point out that behind the scenes, the administration is taking steps to mitigate the impact of the shutdown on real people, such as keeping tax refunds and food stamps flowing, which they say illustrates that the shutdown is rebounding on Trump.

As one GOP strategist puts it: “Republicans have pulled a gun and taken themselves hostage. When you're mitigating the negative impacts against yourself, you have a political problem.”

Meanwhile, Politico reports (https://www.politico.com/playbook) that even people in the White House believe this dynamic is unlikely to change, because they recognize that Democrats have zero incentive to give him his way.

Sorry, Trump. Mueller's findings will become public.

On another front, The Washington Post reports (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-beefed-up-white-house-legal-team-prepares-aggressive-defense-of-trumps-executive-privilege-as-investigations-loom-large/2019/01/09/066b8618-1045-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html) that Trump's legal team has hatched a new strategy to prevent portions of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's imminent report from seeing the light of day. The idea is to exert executive privilege to argue that Trump's confidential discussions with advisers detailed in the report should not be released, which Democrats fear could limit what the public learns about Trump's efforts to obstruct justice.

Justice Department regulations stipulate that the attorney general has discretion (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/04/04/mueller-is-planning-a-report-on-trump-heres-what-happens-next) to decide how much of the findings to reveal to Congress, and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is loudly threatening (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-beefed-up-white-house-legal-team-prepares-aggressive-defense-of-trumps-executive-privilege-as-investigations-loom-large/2019/01/09/066b8618-1045-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html) to demand that Trump's team sees the report even before the attorney general makes the call. But even if Trump's pick for attorney general gets confirmed and sides with Trump, House Democrats will be able to subpoena the findings. And one legal expert tells The Post it's very likely the courts would rule for public release, as befell Richard Nixon.

But here again, the threat of action by Giuliani has its own obvious importance, conveying to Trump's supporters that his team is at war with Mueller.

The grand illusion

Now, none of this means these actions won't have an impact. They will. The crucial distinction here is that, even if they don't produce the outcomes Trump wants, they will still cause great harm. As historians Kevin Kruse and Julian Zelizer detail (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/09/opinion/president-trump-border-wall-weak.html), this goes to the heart of the “imperial presidency,” which former presidents like Barack Obama and George W. Bush did empower in their own ways, but which has broken new frontiers under Trump.

Kruse and Zelizer note a fascinating paradox about Trump's imperial presidency: He is shredding norms in a way that will damage our institutions, while also not getting a great deal of what he wants. Yet crucial to his grand illusion is creating the impression that his norm-shredding is producing results: “The imperial presidency is, in many ways, propped up by media partisans who insist that the naked emperor has glorious new clothes”.

Have a look at what “Fox and Friends” aired this morning:

(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo227/Kiwithrottlejockey/Washington%20Post%20pix/20190110twar_TwitterAaronRupar_zpsllw7swdn.jpg~original) (https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1083351361650069504)

Trump is not making headway on his wall, and he probably can't stop public release of Mueller's findings. But the media partisans are busy putting glorious new clothes on the naked emperor.


Greg Sargent (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/greg-sargent) writes The Plum Line (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line) blog for The Washington Post, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant — what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left. He joined The Post in early 2009, after stints at Talking Points Memo, New York Magazine and the New York Observer. He lives in Maryland with his wife, son and daughter.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump says he ‘probably’ will declare an emergency if there's no wall deal (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-says-he-probably-will-declare-an-emergency-if-theres-no-wall-deal/2019/01/10/6bb3b73f-2662-42eb-9ed0-246821125733_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Trump on Mexico paying for the wall: ‘Obviously they're not going to write a check’ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-on-mexico-paying-for-the-wall-obviously-theyre-not-going-to-write-a-check/2019/01/10/122ed452-f66c-497d-b5bf-df0480732798_video.html)

 • Sister Norma Pimentel: Welcome to the border, Mr. President (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/10/welcome-border-mr-president)

 • Pelosi knows the magic word for beating Trump: ‘No’ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/10/pelosi-knows-magic-word-beating-trump-no)

 • Trump treats the border like a natural disaster. He even dresses the part. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/2019/01/10/7049b5a6-14f9-11e9-803c-4ef28312c8b9_story.html)

 • Alyssa Rosenberg: Trump tried to play a normal president on television. The result was very strange. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/09/trump-tried-play-normal-president-television-result-was-very-strange/?utm_term=.f7db1c4fcfc4)

 • The Washington Post says: Congress gave the president too many powers. Now it must scale them back. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/congress-gave-the-president-too-many-powers-now-it-must-scale-them-back/2019/01/10/ac128504-1508-11e9-803c-4ef28312c8b9_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/10/raging-weakened-trump-is-running-out-options (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/10/raging-weakened-trump-is-running-out-options)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 11, 2019, 11:04:44 pm

ROFLMAO … Trump got caught out by his own bullshit. What a stupid wanker & dropkick he is.

from The Washington Post…

‘The story keeps changing’: Trump falsely asserts he never
promised Mexico would directly pay for the border wall

The president's mendacity over how he planned to fund his
top campaign promise has boxed him in during shutdown fight.

By DAVID NAKAMURA | 6:55PM EST — Thursday, January 10, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_899w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2019/01/10/National-Politics/Images/Trump_93250-09fdf.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2019/01/10/National-Politics/Images/Trump_93250-09fdf.jpg)
Since 2015, President Donald J. Trump has proposed no fewer than thirteen ways Mexico would pay for a southern border wall.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

IT WAS a foundational promise of Donald Trump's historic presidential campaign: Mexico would pay for his 2,000-mile border wall. But as he desperately fights for $5.7 billion in taxpayer money for the project, Trump now claims he never said Mexico would directly foot the bill.

“Obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they're going to write out a check,” the president told reporters on Thursday at the White House.

He did say it (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/10/trump-claims-he-never-said-mexico-would-cut-check-wall-lets-go-tape) — at least 212 times during his campaign and dozens more since he took office. And he put it in writing — in a March 2016 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/memo-explains-how-donald-trump-plans-to-pay-for-border-wall/2007) memo to news outlets that was then posted on his campaign website.

Specifically, Trump threatened to cut off billions of dollars in remittance payments from Mexican nationals in the United States to families in their home country. That, he proclaimed, would pressure the Mexican government to cough up “a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” for the wall.

Some observers said at the time that the plan would not work, and the Trump administration never tried to enact it. But 2½ years later, with parts of the federal government shut down for three weeks in a budget impasse over Trump's wall, the episode illustrates how his routine application of falsehoods, exaggerations and lies in service of political combat has come back to burn him.

First, then-Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto openly defied Trump and canceled two scheduled visits to the White House, one in 2017 (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/26/mexican-president-cancels-us-visit-border-wall-nieto-trump) and the other in 2018 (https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/24/politics/mexican-president-cancels-white-house-trip/index.html), in retaliation for Trump's demands that Mexico pay for the wall.

“Mexico will not pay for any wall,” he stated. His successor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has shown no willingness to change course.

The Republicans who controlled Congress over the past two years never made funding the wall with taxpayer money a priority.

And now during the shutdown, the White House is searching far and wide for potential pots of money it can tap as the president considers declaring the situation at the border a national emergency — a move that is sure to kick off a legal battle and inflame political tensions.

“The story keeps changing by the day — like everything,” said Cecilia Muñoz, a vice president at New America, a liberal think tank, who served as a White House domestic policy adviser under President Barack Obama. Of Trump's original plan for funding the wall, she added: “They had no earthly idea how they would get Mexico to do that, so they came up with an idea to try to pass the laugh test, which they didn't do.”

Trump and his aides have floated other ideas to pressure Mexico to pay — canceling visas or increasing fees for consular services for Mexicans, and taxing imported goods (https://www.c-span.org/video/?422871-1/sean-spicer-border-tax-mexico-pay-wall) at 20 percent.

Most recently, Trump has resorted to arguing that Mexico will indirectly pay through a revised trade deal that his administration signed with Mexico and Canada. But that deal has yet to be ratified by Congress, contains no provisions earmarking money for the wall, and economists have doubted whether it would significantly increase revenue flowing to the U.S. treasury.

“Obviously, they're not going to write a check,” Trump said of Mexico on Thursday, before leaving Washington D.C. for a tour of a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas. “But they are paying for the wall indirectly, many, many times over, by the really great trade deal we just made.”

News fact-checkers have poked holes in Trump's assertions. And Democrats have not been swayed, confident that the president's strategy of shutting down the government for a publicly funded border wall is a political loser.

“Today is Thursday. That means @realDonaldTrump is lying, again,” Representative Ted Lieu (Democrat-California) wrote on Twitter (https://twitter.com/tedlieu/status/1083432907660840960), referring to Trump's claim about Mexico. “Hard for Democrats to negotiate with @POTUS when he makes stuff up, changes his mind on a whim and lies repeatedly.”

Trump has been promising that Mexico would pay for a wall since before he was a candidate for the White House, and the vow figured prominently in his June 16, 2015, campaign announcement (http://time.com/3923128/donald-trump-announcement-speech).

“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border,” he declared that day at Trump Tower in New York. “And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

What might have seemed a preposterous boast from a vanity candidate became a staple of his campaign rallies, where supporters chanted “Build the wall!” Trump would often add: “Who's going to pay for the wall?” The crowd would respond: “Mexico!”

By the spring of 2016, after he had emerged as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Trump was under pressure to explain how he would make good on the promise.

In the two-page policy memo, the Trump campaign described using powers under the Patriot Act to compel U.S. financial institutions to block personal remittances to Mexico, which totaled more than $20 billion a year.

Such money is an important source of income for many families in Mexico and other Latin American countries, experts said, and gives those countries' economies a boost. For example, Muñoz recalled that officials from El Salvador cautioned the Obama administration not to end temporary protected status for tens of thousands of Salvadoran nationals living in the United States because sending them home would cut off those funds and seriously disrupt El Salvador’s economy.

“My first reaction was, ‘That sounds counterproductive’,” said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute. “Mexican migration [to the United States] is dropping in part because Mexican migrants are sending money home so more Mexicans can have a dignified life.”

Cutting off such a flow would potentially disrupt their lives and result in more migration from Mexico to the United States, he added.

Experts also said it was highly unlikely that Mexican officials would have acquiesced to what would essentially be a ransom demand from the Trump administration.

“No, it would have launched a trade war,” said Manuel Orozco, an expert on migration and remittances at the Dialogue, a think tank that promotes democratic governance in Latin America. “If they tried to stop national assets in the U.S., the home country would do something retaliatory, and the implications would be far more devastating for the U.S. business sector than to Mexico.”

White House officials did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

In March 2017, Representative Mike D. Rogers (Republican-Alabama) introduced legislation (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2017/05/26/congressman-proposes-new-tax-to-pay-for-trumps-border-wall) to impose a 2 percent fee on electronic remittances to Mexico and other Latin American countries — with the funds going toward Trump's border wall. The fee would have applied to individuals, not businesses, and would have covered U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants.

“I have long supported the border wall, which will protect Americans,” Rogers said in unveiling the bill (https://mikerogers.house.gov/press-release/rogers-introduces-bill-tax-illegal-immigrants-help-fund-border-wall), which gained several co-sponsors. It was referred to the House Financial Services Committee, where it languished. A spokeswoman for Rogers did not respond to a request for comment.

Ironically, since Trump's election, remittance transfers have skyrocketed. In 2017, the amount of cash Mexicans in the United States sent home reached an all-time high (https://www.bbvaresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/170202_ObservatorioMigracion_eng.pdf) at nearly $27 billion, an increase of nearly 9 percent from 2015.

Experts cited several factors, including that migrants were so fearful of Trump's threats to crack down on immigration that they increased their transfers.

Looking back, Selee said the Trump campaign was “scrambling to figure out how Mexico would pay for the wall. It was a policy solution to a political statement.”


David Nakamura (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/david-nakamura) started at The Washington Post as a summer intern in 1992. After four years as a sports reporter, he moved to the local news staff and wrote about education in Virginia and Maryland and city government in the District. In 2004, he was part of a team that uncovered high levels of lead contamination in Washington D.C. tap water, a series that won the 2005 Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting. He has reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: The many ways Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/the-many-ways-trump-said-mexico-would-pay-for-the-wall/2019/01/10/6a6f346e-7ade-417c-8342-56f76ada296b_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Trump visits Texas in effort to boost argument for border wall (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-visits-texas-in-effort-to-boost-argument-for-border-wall/2019/01/10/27e3a603-01e0-44d8-a1e2-968f6f9bdafd_video.html)

 • Analysis: Trump claims he never said Mexico would cut a check for the wall. Let's go to the tape. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/10/trump-claims-he-never-said-mexico-would-cut-check-wall-lets-go-tape)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-story-keeps-changing-trump-falsely-asserts-he-never-promised-mexico-would-directly-pay-for-the-border-wall/2019/01/10/92ffee8e-14f5-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-story-keeps-changing-trump-falsely-asserts-he-never-promised-mexico-would-directly-pay-for-the-border-wall/2019/01/10/92ffee8e-14f5-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 13, 2019, 03:52:00 pm

from The New York Times…

Nancy Pelosi Spanks the First Brat

Flags of their fathers: In the battle for Washington, the president and
House speaker are armed with very different values from their upbringings.

By MAUREEN DOWD | Saturday, January 12, 2019

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/01/13/opinion/13DOWD/merlin_149039202_b357d31c-639c-49dd-ab62-5347749a7cba-jumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/01/13/opinion/13DOWD/merlin_149039202_b357d31c-639c-49dd-ab62-5347749a7cba-superJumbo.jpg)
Big Tommy D'Alesandro Jr. talked with President John Kennedy in the White House in 1961 after being sworn in to serve on a federal board.
In the background are his wife and their daughter, Nancy. — Photograph: William Allen/Associated Press.

WASHINGTON D.C. — Two men, sons of immigrants, rising to be the head of their own empires, powerful forces in their ethnic communities. Both dapper and mustachioed with commanding personalities. And both wielding a potent influence on the children who learned at their knees and followed them into the family businesses.

But here's the difference: Big Tommy D'Alesandro Jr. taught little Nancy how to count. Fred Trump taught Donald, from the time he was a baby, that he didn't have to count — or be accountable; Daddy's money made him and buoyed him.

Fred, a dictatorial builder in Brooklyn and Queens from German stock, and Big Tommy (https://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/24/obituaries/t-d-alesandro-jr-a-baltimore-mayor-dies.html), a charming Maryland congressman and mayor of Baltimore from Italian stock, are long gone. But their roles in shaping Donald and Nancy remain vivid, bleeding into our punishing, pressing national debate over immigration, a government shutdown and that inescapable and vexing Wall.

At this fraught moment when the pain of the shutdown is kicking in (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/business/federal-shutdown-divide.html), President Trump and Speaker Pelosi offer very different visions — shaped by their parents — of what it means to be an American.

When Trump gave his Oval Office address, the framed photo of his dad was peering over his shoulder. In her House speaker's office in the Capitol, Pelosi prominently displays a photo of herself at 7, holding the Bible as her father is sworn in as Baltimore mayor in 1947.

D'Alesandro was a loyal New Deal Democrat, just as Pelosi — the first daughter to follow her father into Congress — is a resolute liberal. She grew up in a house with portraits of F.D.R. and Truman.

Donald Trump spent most of his life as a political opportunist, learning from his dad that real estate developers must lubricate both sides of the aisle. Trump was once friendly with Pelosi, sending her a note in 2007 when she won the speaker job the first time — with a boost from his $20,000 donation to the party — calling her “the best.” (Unlike with “Cryin' Chuck,” Trump has not gone for the jugular with a nasty nickname for Pelosi.)

In her memoir, Pelosi recalled that her Catholic parents “raised me to be holy.” She told me, “My mother and my father instilled in us, public service is a noble calling” and to “never measure a person by how much money they had.”

A constant stream of strangers lined up at their house in Baltimore's Little Italy, seeking food and help. One of Pelosi's most arresting memories, she told CNN's Dana Bash (https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/11/09/badass-women-of-washington-nancy-pelosi-dana-bash-orig.cnn), was giving immigrants who came to the door advice on how to get into the projects or to the hospital.

Alexandra, Pelosi's documentarian daughter (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/style/alexandra-pelosi-outside-the-bubble.html), recounts this anecdote: Her son, Thomas — who was named after Big Tommy and who stood at the speaker's side as she reclaimed her gavel — wanted an Xbox in 2017, so he set up a lemonade stand in Manhattan and raked in $1,000.

His grandmother sat him down and asked, “That's going to the victims of Hurricane Harvey, right?”

He set up the stand again the next year and was once more schooled by his grandmother asking, “That's going to the victims of the California wildfires, right?”

Contrast that with Don Jr.'s uncharitable message on Instagram on Tuesday: “You know why you can enjoy a day at the zoo? Because walls work.”

Where the D'Alesandros saw the downtrodden and immigrants as people to weave into the American dream, the Trumps saw suckers to squeeze.

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/01/13/opinion/13DOWD02/merlin_149039205_dbef49db-2a1b-4c13-9fa0-8dbb9a41e0d8-jumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/01/13/opinion/13DOWD02/merlin_149039205_dbef49db-2a1b-4c13-9fa0-8dbb9a41e0d8-superJumbo.jpg)
Donald J. Trump joined Mayor Ed Koch and Governor Hugh Carey in 1978 at a ceremony for the launch of construction on a new hotel.
 — Photograph: Associated Press.

According to The New York Times's blockbuster tax investigation (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html), Fred lavished Donald with three trust funds and $10,000 Christmas checks. When Donald was 8, he was already a millionaire, thanks to his tax-scamming father. Fred Trump was hauled before a congressional panel investigating whether he had looted government money through fraud. (One congressman said the patriarch's chicanery made him “nauseous.”)

By the time Donald was 27, he had fully absorbed Trump family values, a callous inversion of noblesse oblige: He and his father were getting sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent to blacks. As Woody Guthrie, who lived in a Fred Trump complex near Coney Island, wrote in a song (https://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/25/woody-guthrie-sang-of-his-contempt-for-his-landlord-donald-trumps-father), “I suppose/Old Man Trump knows/just how much/racial hate/he stirred up/in the bloodpot of human hearts”. Not quite the same as “This Land Is Your Land”.

Fred's favorite parlor trick was calculating big numbers in his head. But when Howard Stern had Donald, Ivanka and Don Jr. on his show in 2006 and asked them a multiplication question, they were all stumped (https://tinyurl.com/ycvugp5o).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMIKzUAY8n4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMIKzUAY8n4)

Over the years, Fred funneled tens of millions of dollars to clean up Donald's messes. The father even gave the son $3.5 million in chips to save an Atlantic City casino. By the time he was in his 40s, Donnie's allowance was more than $5 million annually. No wonder he's still an infant.

When Trump said he could “relate” to federal workers who are now going without pay, it may have been the most audacious lie he told all week. He may know what it's like to go from bankruptcy to bankruptcy — though always with a paternal safety net — but he has no idea of what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, much less none at all.

As Pelosi told reporters: “He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money. But they can't.” She also leveled the barb on Trump in person.

Pelosi deploys what she calls her “mother of five” voice on our tantrum-prone president, perhaps in an effort to re-parent him. But how do you discipline the world's brattiest 72-year-old?


Maureen Dowd (https://www.nytimes.com/by/maureen-dowd), winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and author of three New York Times best sellers, became an Op-Ed columnist in 1995. In August 2014, she also became a writer for The New York Times Magazine. Born in Washington, Ms. Dowd began her journalism career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. In 1983, she joined The New York Times as a metropolitan correspondent and then moved to The Times's Washington bureau in 1986 to cover politics. Ms. Dowd has covered nine presidential campaigns, served as The Times's White House correspondent, and written “On Washington”, a column for The N.Y. Times Magazine. In the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, G. P. Putnam published her first book, Bushworld (https://www.amazon.com/dp/039915258X), which covered the presidency and personality of George W. Bush. After “Bushworld” quickly climbed the best-seller list, Ms. Dowd switched from presidential politics to sexual politics in another best seller, Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide (https://www.amazon.com/dp/042521236X) released in 2005. In addition to The New York Times, Ms. Dowd has written for GQ, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, Mademoiselle, Sports Illustrated and others. Her column appears every Sunday.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Sunday, January 13, 2019, on Page SR9 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Nancy Spanks The First Brat”.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/opinion/sunday/dowd-nancy-pelosi-donald-trump.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/12/opinion/sunday/dowd-nancy-pelosi-donald-trump.html)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 16, 2019, 09:37:00 pm

from The Washington Post…

What it means that Trump served Big Macs in the State Dining Room

Clemson's football team dined on Filet-O-Fish by candlelight in a symbolic image of our times.

By MAURA JUDKIS | 10:35AM EST — Tuesday, January 15, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/QftzxkH5U9lyBBEcUbPyg2duNuU=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/3WOJBFYPXQ6HJAXSVT2MHSNL5U.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/QftzxkH5U9lyBBEcUbPyg2duNuU=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/3WOJBFYPXQ6HJAXSVT2MHSNL5U.jpg)
President Donald J. Trump's McFeast banquet at the White House on Monday night. — Photograph: Chris Kleponis/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia-EFE.

OF ALL the bizarre images that have come from the Trump White House, this one will endure: On Monday night, as President Trump hosted Clemson's national champion college football team, a White House worker lit the candles of a gilded candelabrum in an elegant room, which had been laid out with a banquet. The feast came in cardboard boxes, stacked in neat piles. There was Filet-O-Fish. There were Quarter Pounders, too, and Big Macs, and — perhaps the piece de resistance — a tray of silver bowls full of single-serve tubs of dipping sauce for chicken nuggets. President Trump stood proudly before it.

Everything a supporter or detractor of the Trump administration could possibly hope to see was contained within this image. It was symbolic and decadent, evocative of a baroque painting.

To the president's fans, it was an example of Trump's resourcefulness, his relatability, his rule-breaking moxie. He had ordered the McDonald's — there was Wendy's, Burger King and Domino's, too — because the government shutdown had furloughed White House staff who would have otherwise prepared a meal, he said. He served the players fast food, he said earlier in the day, because he “would think that's their favorite food.” He would think that because it's his favorite food, too: “Great American food,” he pronounced it. “We have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, many, many french fries. All of our favorite foods.” And, according to press secretary Sarah Sanders, he had paid for the feast himself. (The Washington Post's Philip Bump crunched the numbers (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/15/president-trumps-extravagant-sandwich-celebration-clemson-university) and came up with an estimated tab for the spread: $2,911.44.)

There was even more for his followers to like: The juxtaposition of the White House's elegance with the ordinary Big Macs made him seem like a man of the people. Someone who ate what regular, furloughed Americans ate — but with golden candelabras, and the wealth and success one needs to possess them. And he used the attention the food had gotten to change the topic to the reason all those Quarter Pounders were stacked up before him: They were understaffed in the White House because of the shutdown, because of the wall, because of — it was implied — the Democrats (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/americans-blame-trump-and-gop-much-more-than-democrats-for-shutdown-post-abc-poll-finds/2019/01/12/9c89aff2-16a9-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html). “The Republicans are really, really sticking together. It's great to see it because we need border security,” he said, before exiting and telling a reporter to “grab one” (https://twitter.com/hunterw/status/1084954858254405633) of the hamburgers.

But for those who dislike the president, the image of him and his 300 hamburgers was something altogether different. It was chintzy, boorish, brazen. It was an example of him trying to get sympathy for the shutdown when he was the one who had triggered it (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-proud-to-shutdown-the-government-for-border-security/2018/12/12/01c92771-e738-4485-a467-b9ac082e55e1_video.html). It was disrespectful to the players, who had come to the White House expecting elegance and were served nothing but empty calories. “Our nutritionist must be having a fit,” one Clemson player reportedly said (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mbvd/trump-fast-food-burgers-pizza-clemson-white-house). It was yet another example of how, in the Trump White House, you might think you were getting one thing (a nice dinner at the White House; getting Mexico to pay for the wall) and end up with something altogether different and worse (a pile of cold, limp fast food; the longest-ever government shutdown). The Filet-O-Fish were symbolic of a bait-and-switch.

(http://i378.photobucket.com/albums/oo227/Kiwithrottlejockey/Washington%20Post%20pix/20190115twrn_TwitterRichieNakano_zpsr8ww1kok.jpg~original) (https://twitter.com/linecook/status/1084997157889794048)

The players, by many accounts, enjoyed the food. Some reporters said they “whooped” when they entered a room with burgers piled up like croquembouche. There are pictures of them with towering stacks of Big Mac boxes, and cocktail tables littered with crinkly wrappers (https://twitter.com/BrianKarem/status/1084954791854387201). When Trump addressed the room, he told the players that he had considered recruiting Melania to make a meal for them.

“Or do we give you some little quick salads that the first lady will make, along with the second lady; they'll make some salads,” the president continued. “And I said, ‘You guys aren't into salads’.”

President Obama was mocked for his love of arugula (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/22/AR2008082202958.html), you'll recall. Republicans want meat. Salads are effete.

But our salad days have been topped with Russian dressing (er, Special Sauce (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2018/10/05/heres-the-secret-sauce-your-burger-needs)), and now they're over. What the picture seems to evoke, as well, are the banquet scenes from Sofia Coppola's “Marie Antoinette (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-N1Q_shlWafk/T23B6xCHFdI/AAAAAAAABNQ/r91z01agAaE/s1600/3MA.jpg): a leader who inflicts more harm as he tries to sympathize with his constituents' struggles. Let them eat burgers.


Maura Judkis (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/maura-judkis) is a reporter for The Washington Post, covering culture, food and the arts. She is a 2018 James Beard Award winner for humor, and her work has been honored by the Association of Food Journalists and the Virginia Press Association. Maura has appeared on local and international TV and radio, including MSNBC, CNN, PBS and Al Jazeera. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report, TBD.com, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper and the Onion A.V. Club.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Late-night hosts mock Trump's fast-food feast for Clemson Tigers (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/entertainment/late-night-hosts-mock-trumps-fast-food-feast-for-clemson-tigers/2019/01/15/83381327-9fd1-4844-b865-dd507eaf08ae_video.html)

 • ‘Trump has turned the White House into a White Castle’: President roasted for serving Clemson fast food (https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/01/15/trump-has-turned-white-house-into-white-castle-president-roasted-serving-clemson-fast-food)

 • ‘This is an emergency’: José Andrés to open relief kitchen for federal workers during shutdown (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2019/01/14/this-is-an-emergency-jose-andres-to-open-relief-kitchen-for-federal-workers-during-shutdown)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/01/15/what-it-means-that-trump-served-big-macs-in-the-state-dining-room (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/01/15/what-it-means-that-trump-served-big-macs-in-the-state-dining-room)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 10, 2019, 09:38:23 pm

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/_LLEHh-Kb6MpylurzmYIffHXOXA=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/X5EL7T3KEBCHZPF6N53WMKMFPU.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/09/trump-demonstrates-that-he-governs-by-rule-thumb)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on April 14, 2019, 06:10:39 am
fake news propaganda

But our salad days have been topped with Russian dressing (er, Special Sauce), and now they're over. What the picture seems to evoke, as well, are the banquet scenes from Sofia Coppola's “Marie Antoinette”: a leader who inflicts more harm as he tries to sympathize with his constituents' struggles. Let them eat burgers.

so this is what trump eats on airforce one lol


Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 14, 2019, 07:09:43 pm

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D3_MaG1UwAAkY-Y.jpg) (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D3_MaG1UwAAkY-Y.jpg)

Title: Re: Donald Trump is the village idiot who keeps on giving comedy to the world…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on April 19, 2019, 11:58:59 pm
Dem's and their helpers @ the fake news create a big Russia Hoax