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 on: July 15, 2019, 02:03:33 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post…

Acosta is gone as Trump retreats again

Trump caves twice in a week.

By JENNIFER RUBIN | 10:59AM EDT — Friday, June 12, 2019

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta in 2018 in Washington D.C. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta in 2018 in Washington D.C. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

SECRETARY OF LABOR Alexander Acosta and President Trump bowed to reality, the reality that retaining the man who cut a secret plea deal with a “monster” (as Republicans described him) sex offender was untenable. Acosta, as many anticipated after his heartless, soulless and entirely disingenuous news conference, stepped down on Friday (or was pushed out).

This is a frequent pattern for Trump: A scandal-plagued Cabinet member or White House staffer comes under fire (e.g. Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, Rob Porter). Trump insists the real victim is the accused, who is a “great guy” and doing “a great job.” Republicans mumble, fidget and insist there is nothing to see here, while Democrats lace into the malefactor and Trump. Democrats stress the spinelessness of Republicans who enable a president whose natural affinity is with those accused of corruption, self-dealing and abusive conduct. Trump blames the press, insisting the coverage is “fake news.” Then Trump dumps the guy, leaving the Republicans who insisted there was never any problem looking like spineless sycophants. Rinse, repeat.

In this case, the retreat comes the day after an even more humiliating walk-back on the attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, which crushed the dreams of right-wing activists who actually believed Trump could jigger the census in Republicans' favor.

“Top figures in the conservative legal community are stunned and depressed by President Trump's cave in his fight for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census,” Axios reported. “Sources say Leonard Leo and other Federalist Society stalwarts were shocked and floored by how weak the decision was. ‘What was the dance … all about if this was going to be the end result?’ a conservative leader asked.” Imagine being so gullible as to think the president believes in any principle and so intellectually blinded as to think Trump's outrageous positions are going to past muster. If conservatives are still shocked when Trump betrays them and kicks their heroes to the curb, they must not have been paying attention — or, more likely, must be so intellectually and morally corrupted that they can no longer tell what is going to pass muster outside the Trump cult.

Meanwhile, the right-wing state media over at Fox News, which initially ran to the defense of whomever Trump was defending, is left with two options: ignore the results or whine about the big, bad media that apparently has more power over Trump than his defenders do.

Both Acosta and the census issue suggest the merits are rarely at issue with Trump. He's generally motivated by two things: inherent sympathy for men accused of mistreating women or other vulnerable people (make your own psychological evaluation) and the desire to inflame his base. The latter is achieved by appealing to their sense that women are aggressors, out to destroy the lives of men (especially white men), and that they are all victims of media elites who insist that men be held accountable for their conduct.

Trump is the most powerful man on the planet, a billionaire (we are told) or at least millionaire and head of a major national party. He's tough, a winner, a dealmaker — and weirdly is always a victim like his poor bedraggled advisers. Trump is both the perpetual victor and victim, which for any rational person would be ludicrous. Alas, we left rationality behind a long time ago.

All of the wailing and rending of garments on the right, however, should not obscure the truth in these incidents: When Trump and his accomplices' base mendacity is laid bare, the American people (even some of his supporters) cannot stomach it. The lesson therefore is simple: Expose, accuse, hammer and demand accountability. It doesn't always work, but it does now and then. When it does, truth, decency and our democratic system are vindicated.


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: ‘This was him, not me’: Trump announces Acosta's resignation

 • Alex Acosta resigns as labor secretary, the latest Trump official to leave amid scandal

 • Helaine Olen: What Jeffrey Epstein's crimes say about our era

 • Randall D. Eliason: No, the Epstein prosecution is not a ‘redo’

 • Jennifer Rubin: Acosta does himself and Trump no good

 • The Washington Post's View: The Jeffrey Epstein charges raise grave questions about Alexander Acosta

 • Jennifer Rubin: Alexander Acosta must go


 on: July 15, 2019, 02:02:44 am 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Seattle Times…

Trump's revisionist history

President Donald Trump's former party buddy, Jeffrey Epstein, now faces decades in prison for sex crimes.

By DAVID HORSEY | 11:04AM PDT — Friday, July 12, 2019

BACK IN 1992, George Houraney was an event organizer at casinos and other venues owned by President Donald Trump. It was nothing out of the ordinary when Trump asked him to put together a party at his Mar-a-Lago club that would feature 28 beautiful young women taking part in a calendar-girl competition. What surprised Houraney, according to his interview with The New York Times, was that, other than the women, only two people would be on the guest list: Trump and his buddy, Jeffrey Epstein.

In those days before he got into politics, Trump was an admirer of the multimillionaire hustler. “I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Now, Trump is president and Epstein is facing charges of sex trafficking that could put him in prison for the rest of his life. Epstein allegedly exploited dozens of underage females for his sexual gratification. Reportedly, Trump cut his ties to Epstein several years ago after Epstein tried to lure a female Mar-a-Lago employee into his sordid web.

Trump has seldom shown himself to be a good judge of character, but Epstein became too much of an obvious source of scandal, even for Trump. One wonders, though, just what went on at their two-boy, 28-girl private party back when Trump thought Epstein was a “terrific guy.”


• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE.


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