Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Who Do You Trust?

I know whom I do not:

"Trump’s wounded, distracted presidency has created a leadership void in Washington" by Matt Viser Globe Staff  July 01, 2017

WASHINGTON — As President Trump lurches from one crisis to the next, impulsively tweeting, lacking a coherent message, and warring with the media, he has shown limited ability to harness support for policy initiatives in Congress, even though it is controlled by his own party. He’s done little to provide the public with a vision for what he wants to do.

He’s given just one prime-time speech to the nation since his inauguration, a joint address to Congress back in February.

If he is ADD or worse..... you know. 

Neither is national leadership coming from outside the White House. Top Republicans in Congress have shown an inability to use the power of majority control to get big things done and an unwillingness to challenge a dysfunctional White House for control of the Washington agenda. And Democrats? Bless their bleeding hearts. They have almost as little influence at the moment as cable television hosts.

Even more unsettling: There is nothing on the horizon suggesting that this strange and unsettling Washington dynamic will change over the 3½ years that remain in Trump’s term.

That is making the assumption that he remains. If he does not, for whatever reason, that is even more unsettling. That would/could mean 11 YEARS of a Pence presidency.

“The American political system is based on the president taking the initiative and Congress responding. With President Trump, it’s been the opposite,” said H.W. Brands, a University of Texas professor and biographer of multiple presidents, from Andrew Jackson to Ronald Reagan.

“He doesn’t know the details of the policy, so he’s not a persuasive advocate one way or the other,” he added. “When a president doesn’t know the policy, it doesn’t make for a very effective leader.”

Multiple scholars and political experts contacted by the Globe could not recall a period in recent history when Washington was this rudderless.

“The president, to use a metaphor,” said David Gergen, who has served as a White House adviser to four presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, “has been running around like a headless horseman.”

There is, meanwhile, plenty to get done. Subway systems in major American cities are in disrepair, while roads and bridges are crumbling. Health insurers are pulling out of key marketplaces, spooked by uncertainty surrounding former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and the failure of Republicans to pass their long-promised repeal-and-replace law. An opioid epidemic is sweeping large swaths of the country.

Who neglected the infrastructure, and where did all the money go?

Everyone agrees the tax code is too complicated, but prospects for an overhaul seem dim. There’s bipartisan agreement that immigration rules need reform, yet no one is wagering the GOP can use its control of Washington to pass anything or strike a compromise with Democrats.

John Weaver, a longtime Republican strategist, said, “The bulk of the blame has to be with the president.”

A White House spokesman defended Trump’s record.

Trump showed contempt for government when he ran for office, and White House press briefings are short and contentious. Trump’s Twitter comments are a constant distraction that takes the political focus away from health care and immigration and puts it on his treatment of women, his fights with the media, or almost anything but policy. He won’t even agree with the rest of his party and Democrats that Americans have a common enemy, refusing to publicly rebuke and investigate Russia for meddling in the 2016 election.

We are supposed to just accept that last lie, and the media stuff really sticks in their craw, huh? It's like the pre$$ does have a personal grudge against the guy after they fawned over Obama.

While Trump has held 11 press conferences, only one of those took place without a foreign leader also present. That lone solo press conference, which was nearly five months ago, puts him on pace for the fewest for a president in nearly a century, according to figures from the American Presidency Project. Obama had 11 solo press conferences during his first year in office; George W. Bush had five, while Bill Clinton had 12.

I wouldn't watch it anyway.

Trump has also given almost no major policy addresses, prime vehicles for a leader to advance his agenda or help the nation make sense of challenges, foreign or domestic.

Trump has even ceded the most crucial aspect of foreign policy — how many American lives to risk in overseas security operations. He has left the decision of how many additional ground troops to send to Afghanistan to Defense Secretary James Mattis. 

Zionist Israel is driving that boat.

Nor has there been a press conference on his plan to defeat the Islamic State — a public accounting that Trump said on May 21 would take place within two weeks.

And his agenda this week at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, for his first meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin?

Congress will be investigating.

“Well, there’s no specific agenda,” national security adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters last week. “It’s really going to be whatever the president wants to talk about.”

The lack of a concerted effort to rally Americans behind a rationale for governing, or a vision for the future, is having an impact, according to polls.

The same polls that said Hillary Clinton would now be president. Next.

Congress historically has stepped in at times and flexed leadership muscle. Lyndon Johnson as Senate majority leader was one of the most forceful and effective in history. And in the mid-1990s, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich was so adroit at setting the agenda that President Bill Clinton, at a press conference carried by only one major news network, felt he had to declare, “I am relevant. The Constitution gives me relevance.”

I remember that!

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell are not always adept at seizing the national spotlight, nor have they been able to unify the competing forces within their caucuses.

In some cases, congressional Republicans outperformed Trump in their home districts in the 2016 vote, so they don’t fear him politically or feel they risk repercussions if they ignore his policy desires. In other cases, Republicans have grown tired of his tweets and are willing to openly criticize the chief executive — as many did last week after his crude attacks on MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

And while one of Trump’s frequent campaign claims was that he could win people over and cut deals, his tactics so far have seemed to have the opposite effect. What may have worked in the world of New York real estate and tabloid media has not translated well to Washington.

“Since he changes his mind all the time, they don’t want to commit to anything because they don’t trust him,” said Linda Fowler, a professor at Dartmouth College. “And trust is probably the most important thing a leader has going for him or her in terms of getting people to do things.”

And once you have lost trust, as the pre$$ should know, you never get it back. There will always be some doubt. Doesn't help when the same behavior is repeated again and again even after being exposed, either.


"Trump says Mika Brzezinski is ‘dumb as a rock,’ keeping up his feud" by Catherine Lucey Associated Press  July 01, 2017

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Trump escalated an intensely personal feud with two high-profile talk show hosts Saturday, suggesting without evidence that their network is biased against him.

He is correct about that!

Trump lashed out at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, cohosts of MSNBC’s ‘‘Morning Joe,’’ on Twitter on Saturday. From his New Jersey golf club, he said: ‘‘Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, Greta Van Susteren lost her nightly show on MSNBC because she ‘‘refused to go along w/ ‘Trump hate!’ ’’

Like I said, this (what about Pike?) has gotten tiresome.

MSNBC confirmed this week that Van Susteren, previously a longtime anchor at Fox News, was being replaced.

“We have friends inside the White House that have told us over the past month they’re getting more concerned about his emotional state,” Joe Scarborough said Friday on the MSNBC morning show.

NBC declined comment on all the tweets Saturday.

Trump also tweeted angrily at CNN on Saturday.

Trump is heading to the annual Group of 20 meeting this week, where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a high-stakes encounter that could put Trump’s ‘‘America First’’ policy to the test.

In a separate development, Trump said Saturday that he is upset that several states, including Massachusetts, are resisting a request from his voting commission for detailed information about every voter in the country.

‘‘Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished voter fraud panel. What are they trying to hide?’’ Trump said in a tweet.

Given the mix of information Trump’s commission will receive, it’s unclear how useful it will be or what the commission will do with it.....

I know what to do with this.


Quit watching the damn TV, DJT! I no longer do, and I used to see the chit-chat shows as better than the Super Bowl and every Sunday, too! How naive I was in the prior age of innocence. Now they are nothing but cartoons.

Just last week: A Day with the First Family


"Environmental advocates have watched in horror, but both sides agree: While much of President Trump’s policy agenda is mired in legal and legislative delays, hampered by poor execution and overshadowed by the Russia investigations, the EPA is acting. Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator Scott Pruitt has outsourced crucial work to a network of lawyers, lobbyists and other allies, especially Republican state attorneys general, a network he worked with closely as the head of the Republican Attorneys General Association. Since 2013, the group has collected $4.2 million from fossil fuel-related companies like Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Murray Energy, and Southern Co., businesses that also worked closely with Pruitt in many of the 14 lawsuits he filed against the EPA. Pruitt’s main source of counsel on industry regulations appears to be the industries he regulates....."

Like that is something shocking or new in government, and I gue$$ you could call him a clo$e friend of the family?

Also see:

Life-changing services at risk for millions if Medicaid is cut

Doctors worked furiously in bid to save victims of hospital rampage

Tufts Medical Center nurses set July 12 for one-day strike

“The result may be chaos, with angry patients waiting an hour or more and dispirited clinicians and staff trying to both appease and care for them.’’

And the ER is filling up:

"25 shot at concert in Little Rock; Police say patrons had been arguing just before gunfire" by Andrew DeMillo Associated Press  July 01, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Police say 25 people were shot after gunfire rang out Saturday at a rap show in a downtown Little Rock nightclub, prompting pleas from top leaders to curb the growing violence in Arkansas’ capital city.

Police said the shooting at Power Ultra Lounge was the result of a dispute among clubgoers and not an active shooter or terror-related attack. They said all the shooting victims were expected to survive.

Police early Saturday cordoned off the block as crime-scene technicians gathered evidence from inside and outside the club. Glass from the club’s second-story windows littered the ground, along with empty drink cups.

Police Chief Kenton Buckner told reporters that ‘‘some sort of dispute broke out between people inside’’ the club and that there are ‘‘probably multiple shooting suspects.’’

In a strange way, they are just reacting the way the U.S. government would.

A video posted online by a club patron, Darryl Rankin, showed a packed house for
Finese 2Tymes, a performer from Memphis. About a half-minute into a break in the raucous concert, several bursts of gunfire rang out — about 24 shots in an 11-second period.

Rankin said he was recording the show on Facebook Live when gunfire erupted and that one of his friends is now at a hospital with a bullet ‘‘stuck in his spine.’’

Courtney Swanigan said she was near the front of the club with her sister when gunfire erupted about an hour into the show. They were not injured. She didn’t know what led to the shooting, but she said she saw someone onstage with a handgun amid the melee.

‘‘I just closed my eyes, got down on the ground and put my hands on my head,’’ Swanigan said.

A posting on Finese 2Tymes’ Facebook page expressed thoughts and prayers for those injured and said: ‘‘The violence is not for the club people. we all come with one motive at the end of the day, and that’s to have fun.’’

The shooting follows a week in which there have been about a dozen drive-by shootings in Little Rock, though there’s no indication the events are linked.


It's Little Rock, not Chicago!

‘‘Little Rock’s crime problem appears to be intensifying,’’ Goernor Asa Hutchinson said. ‘‘Every few days it seems a high profile shooting dominates the news, culminating with this morning’s event.’’

Early Saturday, Raida Bunche waited outside the club after she had heard from a friend that her son had been at the club. Later Saturday morning, she said she found out her son ran out when the shooting began and was unharmed.

‘‘I’m sick of all the killing and I’m tired of all the shooting, the kids getting hurt,’’ Bunche said.

It's nice to see an antiwar voice in the paper from time to time.

Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control officials suspended the club’s alcohol license hours after the shooting occurred and set a hearing for July 10.


Maybe they should move to Nevada and chill:

"Nevada on Saturday became the fifth state in the United States with stores selling marijuana for recreational purposes. It is eventually expected to outpace any other in the nation, thanks to the millions of tourists who flock to Las Vegas. People began purchasing marijuana just months after voters approved legalization in November. It marked the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales in the country (AP)."

And here Ma$$achu$etts Legislooture can't get its act together and is dragging its feet.

Just don't try to fly a plane to California after imbibing:

"The pilot of a small plane told air traffic controllers the aircraft lost an engine before crashing on a busy freeway near a Costa Mesa airport and exploding into flames Friday. The pilot and his fiancé were injured (AP)."

One if by land, two if by.....

"A commercial fisherman has been charged with killing his wife, who he said fell into Lake Erie. Christopher Leclair, 48, is jailed on a charge of criminal homicide in the presumed death of his wife, Karen, whose body has not been found. Leclair said his wife fell overboard during a trip June 11. Police said video showed he got on the boat with his wife the day before, and returning hours later without her (AP)."

Better get your boots on.

Time to start up the engine and move ahead:

After years of delay, Harvard’s Allston expansion gains ground

We will see what it looks like when they finish, and let's hope they don't have to redesign the place.

I was going to take a stab at the missing briefs, but..... kind of left you hanging there, huh?


  • Here are some selections from those I do trust:

    Deception Inside Deception: The Alleged Sarin Gas Attack From Seymour Hersh’s latest investigative report, we learn that President Trump makes war decisions by watching staged propaganda on TV

    (Well, Sy Hersh is a limited hangout artist for the US intelligence community so you need to see his reports through a certain lens. Doesn't mean the stuff isn't true, but doesn't mean it is, either)

  • Trump Blasts "Fraudulent Media" For Trying To Silence Him, "But I Am President And They Are Not"It was a Tantrump twofer. Twelve hours after the president unloaded on Twitter, again 

    (Globe didn't report that tweet)

     "Remember When a Dead Intern Was Found in Joe Scarborough's Office?".  Time for a revisit/reinvestigation? xymphora

    (Yeah, Joe better shut up)

    "July 1, 2017

    Gay Pride Parades Have Sucked the Life out of  Public "Activist" Demonstrations 

    ..... the Deep State is all about pedophilia and perversion.  

    Let's be clear, I am not against homosexuality...just against politicizing it at the expense of the family.  I have also concluded that open transgenderism is an attack on women.  When you think about it...If a woman decides to be a man...(s)he ends up being a weaker (physical) specimen of a man.  But if a man decides to become a a lot of sham athletes have proved, due to muscle mass, (s)he becomes a "super" woman, physically "stronger" than the average woman.  This eclipsing of women by male "superwomen" is, IMO, the beginning of the end for women.  When "scientific transhumanism" has perfected the transgenderfication of human males into females...complete with ability to become pregnant and give birth...WHO will then want to be "just" a woman?  Ordinary normal women will become to humanity like a third leg on a biped.

    But, I digress...       

    --read the REST--"

    Globe says its time for a truce, and you can trust in Katahdin.