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.”
PALM BEACH, FL—Clawing over each other and gasping for air as they emerged, hundreds of miniature Sean Hannitys reportedly burst from Roger Ailes’ corpse Thursday shortly after the former Fox News CEO’s death.
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.
Do you remember the last eight years of right wing smear merchants screaming about Obama bowing to the Saudi King, because the much taller Obama leaned over to shake hands with him? Well, I hope to hell that we see this picture every day until Trump is dead:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So far, talk of impeaching Trump has been just talk. Republicans hold majorities in both the House and the Senate, so Democrats would need the cooperation of at least some Republicans to impeach and remove him. And so far, few or no Republicans in Congress seem to be even considering cooperating with such a move, despite the rich abundance of grounds for doing so. But there’s another aspect of the issue that they ought to be thinking about.