A Civil Discussion of Trump’s Character

found online by Raymond

 
From Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist at The Moderate Voice:

My dear sister, who is a faithful reader and critic of both my political rants and of my more sedate human interest writings, often has some good advice for me, especially when I use the Spanish word “pend***” to describe the present occupant of the people’s house.

She tells me that one can be just as persuasive and passionate – perhaps even more effective — without being uncivil.

Reflecting on her advice, I re-read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham City Jail, written by a man who had every reason to be angry, combative and “inelegant.”

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No, the 25th Amendment Isn’t the Way to Boot Trump

found online by Raymond

 
From Jonathan Bernstein:

Donald Trump has amply demonstrated he is not fit for the office he holds. But it would be a grave mistake to use the mechanism of the 25th Amendment to get rid of him, as a wide group of liberals have urged for a while, now joined by conservatives such as Ross Douthat.

Sorry, Congress: If you believe Trump needs to go, you’re going to have to do it yourselves.

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Trump, Scary, Trump, Spicy, Hot, Trump, Truth, Christianity

  • Is there a way to defend Trump from criminal charges? nojo at Stinque thinks that, when it comes to the wrongdoing going on around him, you would have to be totally adorable to think that President Trump could not be stupidly unaware.
     
  • On the other hand, Green Eagle has watched The Godfather, has read this week’s papers, and has determined that, one night, my President placed the bloody head of a horse in Michael Flynn’s bed.
     
  • Michael John Scott suggests national Republicans are becoming increasingly unnerved by President Trump.
     
  • John Scalzi at Whatever writes about why, as a practical matter, it’s hard to write about our national Trump trip.
     
  • Iron Knee at Political Irony has a way to predict President Trump’s behavior. Just look to internet tweets from years ago and find what he accused others of doing.
     
  • driftglass finds it hard to blame Democrats for Donald Trump, difficult to sympathize with those who voted for him, and impossible to find any patience with those who do both.
     
  • Dave Dubya sees a failure of our system of electoral college Russian roulette as a candidate is imposed upon us after being rejected on election day by the American people. Dave wonders if our system of laws will deter further destruction. Dave does not seem fully confident.
     
  • Jonathan Bernstein is okay with a special counsel, but argues the move doesn’t go far enough.
     
  • Yellow Dog at Blue in the Bluegrass watches as Attorney General Jeff Sessions is uninterested in a police shooting of a black man while he is held down on the ground but decides to prosecute a protester for laughing at … well … Jeff Sessions. Yellow dog suggests a disparity in … you know … justice.
     
  • Last Of The Millenniums has a way guaranteed to get Mexico to pay after all.
     
  • Jack Jodell at The Saturday Afternoon Post names names and amounts in his analysis of the flow of political money and has conclusions about whom representative government represents.
     
  • Wow. You think national Republicans are bad? David Robertson at The Moderate Voice takes us to the GOP horror show in Oklahoma.
     
  • The Journal of Improbable Research finds a study, conducted jointly by the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India, and the University of Texas at Austin, on whether hot and spicy food leads to political anger.
     
  • Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives uses a letter written in support of health care as a jumping off point in his support of the libertarian ideal. As Michael sees it, forcing anyone to pay for bridges, sidewalks, libraries, flowers, parks, or art that person chooses not to drive on, walk on, read, smell, or view is immoral. Classic Ayn Rand stuff. I don’t know if police, fire departments or anti-ballistic missiles are included in his formulation. That depends on which strain of objectivism is followed.
     
  • We’ve been concerned at his health problems, but Vincent returns this week to A Wayfarer’s Notes. He conducts an exploration of happiness, a sort of living in the moment, not needing anything to change, a bit of deliberate aimlessness. He takes a look at the ancient Tao Te Ching for the associated art of not doing. He seems to have the not needing change part down, but still has trouble with not doing.
     
  • In The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser, former pastor and current atheist Bruce hits hard, discussing the difficulty confronted by thoughtful people of faith: hardship inflicted on innocents.
     
  • My friend T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, argues that non-Christians must necessarily embrace moral relativism. My friend defines this as 9.5 billion people acknowledging 9.5 billion separate, equally valid, truths.
     
    I dunno. I expect a lot of those 9.5 billion folks would disagree. And many of my brothers and sisters in Christ see Truth as: Jesus loves you and shares your hatred of Obama, Hillary, Gays, and Muslims.
     
    Still, it is good finally to see my friend turn away, however unconsciously, from the Fox News we-report-you-decide inclusion of rumor and spin, explaining to conservatives that truth is whatever they want it to be.
     
  • This Week In Trumpian ‘Alternative Facts’, The Washington Post helpfully compiles 586 false and misleading claims Donald Trump has made in 17 weeks as President. That assumes, of course, that we don’t just make up our own factual truth. See my friend, Mr. Paine, for guidance.
     

Leaking From the Top

found online by Raymond

 
From Cato Institute: Julian Sanchez:

On Monday, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell, reporting that Donald Trump had shared highly classified “codeword” intelligence—provided by an ally on the condition that it not be more widely disseminated—with Russian officials during their meeting last week. While administration officials initially issued fierce denials, national security advisor H.R. McMaster, who had himself blasted the story as “false” in a carefully-worded statement, effectively confirmed the key elements of the report at a press briefing Tuesday morning. While McMaster repeatedly insisted that Trump’s decision to share information had been “wholly appropriate,” his remarks (perhaps inadvertently) raised several additional grounds for concern.

First, let’s dispense with the obvious: Classification authority in the United States flows from the president, and so a president is legally entitled to declassify or disclose information as he sees fit, for any reason or no reason at all. This is a case where that infamous Nixonism—”When the president does it, that means it is not illegal”—actually applies. Nobody, as far as I can tell, is seriously disputing that. It’s also true that presidents often choose, for strategic or diplomatic reasons, to share particular pieces of intelligence with foreign governments. Yet this does not appear to have been a “routine” instance of such sharing, as McMaster sought to characterize it—not by a longshot.

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Bending the Arc of the Universe

found online by Raymond

 
From North Carolina pastor John Pavlovitz:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

In 1871, Unitarian minister Theodore Parker first spoke these words in opposition to slavery here in America.

In 1958 Dr Martin Luther King Jr. repeated them to a nation still fighting for equality for all its people.

In this day of uncertainty and grief, these words desperately need to be repeated again, though not as solace for weary spectators—but as battle cry for warriors.

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