A running list of all the ways this is not normal

As I’ve said over and over, it is critically important that we don’t let our guard down and “get used to” Donald J. Trump being president of the United States.

Amy Siskind

Amy Siskind

This situation is not normal, and we must not for a moment act as though it is. We must remember that for 240 years this country had qualified leaders who were, to varying degrees, worthy of our respect. We must keep our expectations high so that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, we can return to normalcy, and get back to being an example for other nations, rather than a country that other countries are embarrassed to be seen with.

Because I believe that, I’m grateful to Amy Siskind, who right after the election started publishing a weekly list of all the things happening that are not normal.

Each week, she kicks off the list with the same headline:

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

Over the weekend, she posted the list for Week 34. She started this way:

This is arguably the most alarming weekly list so far. A plot that has played out week-by-week as Trump alienated our allies while cozying up to authoritarians, followed by his embarrassing behavior at the NATO and G7 meetings, culminated this week at the G20 with US isolationism. This videohttps://goo.gl/VR1zxi, which traces weekly not normal items, explains why Putin is the winner in this new world alignment.

This week Trump amped-up his assault on the media, including encouraging violence. With this, Trump has distracted the country and media, and taken back the narrative. In the atmosphere of chaos, this week also stands out for the number of important stories that received little or no media coverage.

The list follows. So you’re probably thinking there will be three or four items, with things like the CNN-bashing video and Ivanka taking her Dad’s seat at a summit.

No. There are 96 items on last week’s list, and she’s right: Many of them will have escaped your notice. So those among us who wish to be good, vigilant citizens should probably make a note to check in on her list regularly, in order to stay informed, and avoid complacence.

Here are some of the 96 items. Some of them make note of what is different about things you’ve already heard about. Other items may be new to you:

1. As more and more states refused to comply with what Trump described as his “very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL”, he questioned, “What are they trying to hide?”

9. On Sunday, Trump tweeted a video created by a Reddit user from both his personal account and the official @POTUS account, showing him violently wrestling down a person whose face is the CNN logo.

10. The Reddit user was named “HanAssholeSolo” and his posts were full of anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic and other white supremacists materials.

11. The Reddit user later apologized, but Trump did not. The parents and wife of the CNN reporter who covered the story received around 50 harassing phone calls. Allegedly, CNN did not defend the reporter.

13. Following Trump’s tweet, three media watchdog groups have started to do something they never imagined: documenting violent threats and actions against the media in the US.

14. Maine’s Governor LePage said he makes up stories to mislead the press. LePage also called the media “vile” and “inaccurate.”

18. Maddow reported that TRMS was sent a forged NSA document. Maddow speculated this was an attempt to trick her show into reporting a false story, and hence weakening her credibility and dulling that storyline.

20. POLITICO reported on the Trump regime’s obsessive crackdown on leaks from the intelligence community, which has led to an “increasingly tense and paranoid working environment” in the national security community.

22. NBC reported that in Trump’s first 168 days in office, he spent 50 days at Trump properties and 36 days at Trump golf resorts.

23. NYT reported that while working with industry players, not EPA staff, Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or block 30 environmental rules, a rollback larger in scope than any other in the agency’s 47-year history.

32. Female journalists were banned from the Speaker’s lobby, a room area where reporters speak to members of Congress, because their sleeveless dressed were not viewed as “appropriate attire.”

33. In a 53 page memo to the court, Trump attorney Kasowitz argued for the dismissal of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Trump, claiming Trump cannot be sued in state court while in office.

36. The KKK plans a rally in downtown Charlottesville today, and warned that many of its 80–100 members and supporters will be armed.

40. On July 4, NRP tweeted the Declaration of Independence, and was attacked by Trump supporters who called it “propaganda” and “spam.”

43. While his predecessors Clinton, W. Bush and Obama celebrated July 4th by visiting troops, Trump spent the day on a Trump-branded golf course. McCain, Warren and Graham visited troops in Afghanistan.

44. Despite his recusal, Sessions spoke to Fox & Friends about the Trump-Russia probe, offering advice to Mueller on hiring practices and tempo.

45. WSJ reported the OGE will release an additional two dozen ethics waivers just filed for Trump regime members working on issues they handled in their private-sector jobs. Trump has already granted as many waivers to WH officials as Mr. Obama did in his eight years in office.

47. In a survey of 35k employees in the State Dept and USAID, workers said they were concerned about the future of their agencies and the lack of support from the Trump regime and Tillerson.

50. One of the DOJ’s top corporate crime watchdogs, Hui Chen, resigned, saying holding companies to standards the Trump regime wasn’t living up to was “creating a cognitive dissonance that I could not overcome.”

53. CREW filed an ethics complaint against Kushner, saying he failed to make the required disclosure of his ownership interest in Cadre. The online real estate investment company has a value of $800mm.

58. Matt Tait, who is cited in the WSJ story on possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia on Hillary’s deleted emails, wrote an op-ed, “The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians,” to tell his story.

63. CNN reported that Russia is stepping up spying efforts in the US post the US elections. Officials cited said Russia feels emboldened by the lack of a significant retaliatory response by Trump and Obama.

71. In their campaign for the upcoming election, Merkel’s party has dropped the reference to the US as a “friend.” Four years ago, her party referred to the US as Germany’s “most important friend” outside of Europe.

73. Pew Research found that 17 of the 19 G20 countries in their survey look to Merkel, not Trump, to lead in world affairs.

74. Guardian reported Trump considered a sneak visit to Downing Street in order to avoid massive UK protests en route to or from the G20 summit. After the story broke, the WH said Trump would not visit.

78. At a news conference in Poland, Trump said he thinks meddling in the US election was done by Russia, but “it could have been other people in other countries” and that “nobody really knows for sure.”

79. Also on his trip to Poland, Trump continued to dismiss and belittle US intelligence, saying, “Do we even have seventeen intelligence agencies?

82. LA Times reported that in preparing Trump for his meeting with Putin, aids had written a list of “tweet-length sentences,” which summarize the main points.

84. Friday, without provocation or reason, Trump tweeted a random lie about Podesta: “Everyone here is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”

85. At the G20, Trump and Putin met for 2:16 hours off-camera, behind closed doors. The meeting was originally scheduled to last 30 minutes.

95. The US abstained from signing onto the G20 communique on climate-related issues, the sole country at the summit to do so.

96. As the summit came to a close, leaders feared for that the G20 summits may be ineffective while Trump is in office. President Macron said, “Our world has never been so divided.”

Yeah, that’s a lot, but I left out some pretty important things as it was…

52 thoughts on “A running list of all the ways this is not normal

  1. Doug Ross

    There is probably a pill available to treat this level of OCD paranoia. Or you and the lunatics who are hyper-analyzing every action by Trump could just admit that you were out of touch with the sentiments of the electorate last fall.

    This is mimicking the behavior of the anti-Obama crowd with birtherism, saying he was a Muslim or Socialist, etc. You just can’t see it because you’re the one living in Loonytown now.

    Were you okay with CNN threatening to out the Reddit guy if he didn’t clean up his act?

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “hyper-analyzing?”

      Everything on that list is a disturbing departure from that basic expectations of how things work in America. Every one of them would have caused great alarm during any previous administration.

      I submit you as Exhibit 1 that people in America are becoming inured to the outrageous. It doesn’t bother you a bit, does it?

      And what on Earth does this have to do with “the sentiments of the electorate last fall?” If everyone in the country but me had voted for Trump (very, very far from the case, since he didn’t even win a majority), this stuff would still be alarming to anyone with an understanding of the presidency, the Constitution, and this country’s role in history and the world.

      Of course, I realize you care nothing for history and don’t believe there’s anything at all special about this country. With that perspective, Idiocracy in the Oval Office doesn’t concern you a bit.

      But, since you ARE concerned about “the sentiments of the electorate,” I should probably note that most Americans ARE concerned.

      It’s just that few of them have as good a grip on precisely WHAT they’re concerned about as Amy Siskind does…

      Reply
      1. Claus2

        Face it Brad, if these liberal reporters could get into the living quarters they’d write about how Trump’s toilet paper unraveled the wrong way.

        Do journalists ever get to the point where they realize that their writing is getting old and predictable? Did they teach you in Journalism school what to do if that ever happens? Even George Carlin used to be interesting to listen to before he went off the deep end and just because another bitter, angry, old man.

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I never much liked George Carlin, personally.

          It doesn’t matter how the toilet paper unrolls as long as it unrolls from the top. Anything else would be unforgivable… :)

          Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            And I don’t know what brought “liberal reporters” to your mind, but don’t get me started on reporters of any kind.

            Did you see what a couple of them did in The State today? Used “impact” as a verb. Right there in the 7th graf of this story.

            Don’t try to tell me about reporters. I’ve been dealing with them most of my life…

            Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                I was going to answer that by quoting my theory about reporters and their political views, which I’ve stated more than once, but I couldn’t find it just now, and didn’t feel like typing all that stuff again…

                Reply
      2. Bryan Caskey

        “Everything on that list is a disturbing departure from that basic expectations of how things work in America. Every one of them would have caused great alarm during any previous administration.”

        No…not really.

        Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            No, that’s not it. Somewhere in between.

            In any case, considered all together, it gets pretty alarming. Some of these things wouldn’t cause concern except that they’re happening against the backdrop of the other things.

            I really expected someone to object to the fact that some of these things aren’t Trump.

            And yet, I was going to say, they are.

            Before Trump, it seems highly unlikely that the governor of Maine would boast of deliberately feeding disinformation to the press…

            Reply
          2. Doug Ross

            That you used “great alarm” is a perfect example of the level of hyperbole you’re shooting for these days (like the “one word could cause horrible results” falsehood).

            You know the Maddow “fake document” issue has already been shot down by Wikileaks, right? They proved without a doubt that all the feverish speculation she made was false. She’s got to do something to try and save face after her embarrassment last year when she went full on snark mode for months about Trump and looked like an idiot on election night.

            None of the examples you listed even move the needle on the “great alarm”

            Like this one: “22. NBC reported that in Trump’s first 168 days in office, he spent 50 days at Trump properties and 36 days at Trump golf resorts.”

            That cause great alarm? You must have been apoplectic when you read the history of your favorite founding father, John Adams, who spent up to SIX MONTHS at a time away from the capital…

            Reply
            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              As I said, I regret the wording. Perhaps I should do a “1984” and erase all traces of it. THAT wold spoil y’all’s fun… and maybe it would prove how authoritarian things are getting. :)

              Reply
        1. Woah there!

          Of course there would’ve been great alarm. And anyone who says differently is a partisan hack. Had Hillary Clinton been elected and done half the things Trump has done and said, Republicans would have been out-of-their-minds with apoplexy and more than just speculation about impeachment would have been circulating on Capitol Hill. Funny how those folks who were constantly railing at what they called Obama’s “unconstitutional” actions, his “extremist policies” and his “recklessness” now can barely even muster a shrug of indifference at Trump’s conduct, his disdain for constitutional norms and the great damage he has done and continues to do to American political culture.

          Reply
    2. JesseS

      I find myself shuddering at the thought of typing this, but it really might be a false equivalency (and man, do I hate it when the left’s response to not getting their way is to shout down all concerns with “False equivalency!”). In this case the very folks who engaged in birtherism are the ones in power. That was literally Donald Trump’s bag. If the folks who they displaced were “Evergreen College Liberals”, I could shrug my shoulders and just assume the world has totally lost its mind.

      As far as the CNN’s “threat”, I’m still not sure how to feel about it. On the whole my sentiment is probably reactionary. CNN did the right thing, but not in the best way (but they were trying to keep their lawyers happy, not the public).

      It’s like the GamerGate internet fight from 2014 beginning to trickle out into the real world. For people who weren’t around for that and dodging the rhetorical bullets, it was the English speaking internet’s Homage to Catalonia moment. The fascist were out dropping “meme bombs” and literal death threats while the left were quietly generating proscription lists of who should be purged from their own ranks. All it took was opening your mouth in front of the wrong people to be branded as that moment’s “Trotskyite”.

      Then again who do we have to blame for stoking the fire? Oh yeah, this one is sitting at Trump’s feet. Big shocker there.

      When all is said and done, if the far-left and far-right begin engaging in sectarian violence, beyond ELF loonies and Christian Identity shooters, I know whose feet I’ll place most of the blame for lighting the match. The rest of us will be to blame for piling on the kindling.

      Reply
    3. bud

      No I was not ok that CNN “threatened” to out the Reddit guy. They should have just gone ahead and outed him. His hostile, racist behavior is terrible. If he’s going to sling insults he should do so publicly.

      Reply
  2. Bryan Caskey

    “9. On Sunday, Trump tweeted a video created by a Reddit user from both his personal account and the official @POTUS account, showing him violently wrestling down a person whose face is the CNN logo.”

    Point of order: I believe the move was a “clothesline”.

    Reply
    1. Bryan Caskey

      This list is sorta dumb. A few thoughts in response to a few of these:

      “18. Maddow reported that TRMS was sent a forged NSA document. Maddow speculated this was an attempt to trick her show into reporting a false story, and hence weakening her credibility and dulling that storyline.”
      Sort of a conspiracy theory, there. The other way to go with the speculation is that there is someone out there trying to pass off a forged NSA document that hurts the administration. In any event, it’s speculation.

      “20. POLITICO reported on the Trump regime’s obsessive crackdown on leaks from the intelligence community, which has led to an “increasingly tense and paranoid working environment” in the national security community.”

      Pretty sure all Presidents are tough on leakers…like the last guy.

      “22. NBC reported that in Trump’s first 168 days in office, he spent 50 days at Trump properties and 36 days at Trump golf resorts.”
      Yes, this seems quite nefarious.

      “23. NYT reported that while working with industry players, not EPA staff, Pruitt has moved to undo, delay or block 30 environmental rules, a rollback larger in scope than any other in the agency’s 47-year history.”
      This is a shift in policy, not the second coming of Mussolini.

      “32. Female journalists were banned from the Speaker’s lobby, a room area where reporters speak to members of Congress, because their sleeveless dressed were not viewed as “appropriate attire.””
      Yes, having a dress code sounds awful. You know who else had a dress code? Hitler.

      “33. In a 53 page memo to the court, Trump attorney Kasowitz argued for the dismissal of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Trump, claiming Trump cannot be sued in state court while in office.”
      A lawyer made a statement about the law…in a memo…to a court? It’s like Kristallnacht all over again.

      “36. The KKK plans a rally in downtown Charlottesville today, and warned that many of its 80–100 members and supporters will be armed.”
      I believe the KKK has been around for longer than six months. I don’t care if stupid people march around.

      “40. On July 4, NRP tweeted the Declaration of Independence, and was attacked by Trump supporters who called it “propaganda” and “spam.””
      Stupid people are everywhere. This is not a new phenomenon.

      “43. While his predecessors Clinton, W. Bush and Obama celebrated July 4th by visiting troops, Trump spent the day on a Trump-branded golf course. McCain, Warren and Graham visited troops in Afghanistan.”

      He didn’t visit troops on a particular day? Gosh.

      “85. At the G20, Trump and Putin met for 2:16 hours off-camera, behind closed doors. The meeting was originally scheduled to last 30 minutes.”
      A meeting ran long.

      I could do them all, but you get the drift. In general, lighten up, Francis.

      Reply
      1. bud

        33. Bryan I think the point is that Trump has been accused of a sex crime, not what his attorney said. After all does it matter what any lawyer says? :)

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Yeah, and while we’ve had presidents accused of sexual misbehavior before, it’s not the norm, and it contributes to the overall picture of an administration that is not normal…

          Reply
            1. bud

              Doug I’ll give you the same test I gave Juan on a different post:

              What do these statements have in commo?

              2 + 2 = 4
              The earth is larger than the sun
              Bill Clinton had a sexual encounter with an intern while president

              1. They are all true
              2. They are all false
              3. They are irrelevant to this discussion

              If you answered 3 you would be correct! Why do so many posters have this fixation on the Clintons? It adds nothing to any discussion here. Frankly it just comes across as a lazy way to make a point. Not sure what the point is. Sure Brad is getting annoying with this constant drumbeat about Trump. Heck the entire GOP is a craven, vile party of greed and I’d like to see more on the absurdity of the GOP political agenda in congress. But Brad has the better case concerning Trump. He really is scary. Not sure why that’s not obvious.

              Reply
              1. Doug Ross

                The point is simple. Democrats and Republicans are hypocrites who determine the severity of the offense by the party of the offender.

                Bill Clinton did the worst thing a President has done in office in my lifetime. And then lied about it. It was worse than Watergate in my view. Watergate was a third rate burglary, Clinton was a first class sexual predator.

                When Trump does something as bad, I’ll call him out on it.

                Reply
                1. bud

                  Bill Clinton did the worst thing a President has done in office in my lifetime.

                  LOL That’s ridiculous. Besides, Trump may have done the same thing. He’s a known sexual predator. And besides number 2, so what?

                2. Claus2

                  “He’s a known sexual predator.”

                  Really? This is the first I’m hearing about it and really don’t trust the validity of the source.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        Here’s an example of one that, as I said elsewhere, wouldn’t mean much standing alone:

        32. Female journalists were banned from the Speaker’s lobby, a room area where reporters speak to members of Congress, because their sleeveless dressed were not viewed as “appropriate attire.

        If it weren’t for the fact that this is occurring at the same time as the POTUS and his allies trying to demonize and marginalize journalists, I’d be inclined to dismiss this as feminist paranoia. But within the context of what’s going on between these politicians and the press, it’s worth noting. And think about it: That’s pretty arbitrary. In any group of young women who are professionally, respectfully dressed for office work at this time of year, some of them are going to be wearing sleeveless dresses.

        If it makes you any happier, the first story I saw about this, in the Post, dealt with it lightly as a sort of Lifestyles thing. But the picture with the story struck me as a good illustration of how silly such a rule is.

        Of course, I found it hard to notice whether sleeves were present or not, on account of all the BARE LEGS!…

        sleeveless

        Reply
        1. Bryan Caskey

          “In any group of young women who are professionally, respectfully dressed for office work at this time of year, some of them are going to be wearing sleeveless dresses.”

          I can speak intelligently on a variety of topics. However, that list of topics does not include women’s fashion. Accordingly, I have consulted with Mrs. Caskey who, being a woman (and fashionable) is an expert on women’s fashion. She’s also a lawyer, so she’s qualified to speak as to women’s fashion in professional settings.

          I brought this matter of the Speaker of the House having a dress code up with her, and I asked if this was a reasonable dress code. She responded that for women lawyers, you do not go into court with bare arms. According to her, a women would wear either a jacket or a cardigan which would cover her arms. She also specifically stated that she would never appear in court with bear arms (or bearing arms, for that matter). As such, she has zero sympathy for the bare arm contingent.

          I would also point out that as a man, we are required to wear jackets and ties under this dress code, so I don’t want to hear women complaining that it’s too hot for them to have sleeves.

          I think it’s logical and reasonable for the Speaker of the House of the United States to have the same dress code imposed at the Richland County Courthouse.

          Reply
          1. bud

            I’d like to see dress codes go away entirely. Given that congress is pretty much mooning us anyway why not just drop the presence that they’re doing the people’s work. The only people that seem to count are billionaires.

            Reply
          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            The thing that makes me wonder is that ladies don’t freeze in buildings that are surely chilled to the comfort of gentlemen in suits.

            What is appropriate for women to wear is a huge mystery to me. I remember when, in senior staff meetings, our publisher, HR director and ad director — all women, and all good friends of mine, so I don’t mean to disparage — went off on a tirade about some of the young female ad reps going out on calls wearing… brace yourselves… open-toed shoes! There was no end of hand-wringing over this unacceptable state of affairs, which was regarded as “unprofessional.”

            For some time after that, I would glance down in the elevator in the former AT&T building on my way to breakfast, and it seemed to me that half the female feet in that venue were wearing open-toed shoes, assuming that I understand the definition of the term. I mean, you know, there were toes to be seen.

            And it seemed to me that if it was acceptable in that office building, with the Commerce Department, law firms and so on, it wasn’t so unprofessional.

            I don’t know.

            Women’s clothing is just so variable, you know? For a man, there’s the coat and tie and you’re set — as long as the coat is made of some sort of cloth, and the colors are subdued and conservative. Blue or gray for the coat and/or suit, perhaps khakis if it’s a blazer, a white or blue shirt, and a tie that is some combination of navy blue, deep red and/or gold.

            It’s like a uniform, which is what my Dad wore to work every day when I was a kid, so it makes sense to me.

            But women might be wearing practically anything, and I won’t know whether it fits with the Uniform of the Day or not…

            Reply
  3. Mark Stewart

    I can’t muster much condemnation for most of the things on this reporter’s list. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that Trump’s Presidency is an abomination on this nation.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      That’s a perfectly fine opinion. One held in the past by others against pretty much every President since the beginning of time.

      Plenty of people hated FDR, JFK, Lincoln.. and probably used similar language to describe their feelings.

      Reply
      1. bud

        Trump and his minions have denied Oman least 20 occasions that anyone involved int the campaign had any contact with the Russians. This is looking very much like the Bush lies about WMD. Oh well, another Republican president another pack of lies.

        Reply
        1. Bart Rogers

          “Why do so many posters have this fixation on the Clintons? It adds nothing to any discussion here. Frankly it just comes across as a lazy way to make a point. Not sure what the point is.”

          Now compare your comment criticizing Clinton to the criticisms you continue to make – again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

          “This is looking very much like the Bush lies about WMD.” Look familiar bud?

          “Heck the entire GOP is a craven, vile party of greed……” Really a great way to “Win Friends and Influence People”, right? Dale Carnegie would be so proud.

          Are you aware that you in fact are no different than Trump when it comes to your rhetoric and the way you describe your ideological and political opponents? Who knows, maybe he read some of your comments and was inspired to follow your lead.

          Reply
          1. bud

            The vile Republican Party is in power not Bill Clinton. I don’t apologize for condemning this extremist outfit for ruining this great country. It’s not just Trump but McConnell, Ryan, Graham, Cruz, Paul and the rest are working to create a plutocracy where only the wealthy will thrive. Just go check out the health care bills. Nothing but a tax cut for the rich. Paul Ryan is a self professed disciple of Ayn Rand. To be clear my abhorrence of the GOP is limited to the current version. I have absolutely no patience for false equivalenc. That approach is partially to blame for Trump. Bart I know we don’t agree on this but its how I feel. And I make no apologies.

            The only solution is for Democrats to win elections. I urge all people who love America to always vote Democratic or if someone like Alvin Greene comes up don’t vote at all. A vote for a Republican is unacceptable.

            Reply
            1. Bart Rogers

              bud, again you miss the point. The point I was trying to make is that Bush is no longer in the White House either so why do you continue to bring him up but criticize others who bring up Clinton? Clinton has been out for over 16 years and Bush over 8.

              I support your right to express your opinion but it is the way you express it that gives cause to an opposite reaction to the point you are trying to make. When reading your comments, if your “dog whistle” words appear, the point you are trying to make is no longer considered valid. For me, all I see or read at that point is just another Trump-like comment.

              One last comment, time to get back to work. Whether you, me, or anyone else likes it or not, to a greater degree than we care to admit, the United States has always been a form of a plutocracy. The wealthy have always been in control in the private, public, and government sector. How many middle-class citizens have been elected to Congress or the White House? The Clintons were not wealthy but they most certainly were not among the lower echelon on the social ladder. Jimmy Carter was wealthy, so was the Bush family, Reagan, and Obama wasn’t exactly on food stamps either. And now, Obama like the Clintons is a multi-millionaire. So, just who do you think is actually in control here? Hillary Clinton spent multiple times more than Trump ever thought of spending but in the end, she lost.

              There is an old saying that was true when it was coined as it is today. “Money talks, bullsh!t walks”. So far, money has been doing all of the talking – on both sides. Multi-millionaires and billionaires, Republican and Democrat, run this country and never forget that one simple fact of life. Any one of them will go to battle with you over a dollar if either one believes it will benefit them over you or me. As long as it doesn’t come out of their pocket, great, but try to take it away from them, watch out! Wonder if Warren Buffett ever paid the $8 million tax bill he was fighting? Think about it, Buffett could write a check, settle the issue and never miss one penny. But, he is a Democrat so it is okay but if it was a Republican, why the SOB is nothing but a vile, greedy, money-grubbing low life trying to cheat the people out of what he or she owes.

              As Michael Corleone said in Godfather II, “We’re both part of the same hypocrisy senator.” Best line to describe politics on both sides in our present political climate.

              Reply
    2. Bart Rogers

      Agree with you Mark. And I agree with Doug’s reply but on Doug’s reply, all I can say is that, yes, other administrations have been hated by opponents and attacked with great zeal and enthusiasm. But, this one is different in so many ways than the others. Trump holds no real allegiance to anyone other than Donald Trump and that is obvious or at least it is to me. He has fulfilled many of his campaign promises and whether we agree with his promises and actions or not, he did what others have failed to do by keeping his promises. At the same time, he has succeeded in alienating our allies in Europe with his blunt talk and rhetoric. He chose the wrong time and venue to chastise the NATO members about paying their fair share and because of his behavior and actions, he has given Merkel de facto leadership of the G20 nations.

      Trump has demonstrated he is not as serious about his responsibilities as POTUS as he should be or at least his public persona and commentaries via Twitter and other media outlets has clearly proven the point or at least it has for me. Hopefully his actions and words will not do as much damage as the media is declaring and if so, maybe the next POTUS will be able to repair the damage if it is not too late.

      Lastly, during Obama’s eight years in office, for the most part, he led from behind or tried to. Because of the sudden departure from the leadership of all of our previous administrations with the exception of the Carter administration, the United States was the recognized leader of the free world and was either respected or feared by despots and dictators plus Russia and China. Obama supporters will not agree but when he changed the way the POTUS handled domestic and foreign affairs, enemies and critics interpreted it as a sign of weakness. Trump is trying to reverse the course but he is not qualified nor does he have the temperament, ability, or diplomacy skills to effectively do so.

      Protocol is important in international affairs but Trump has violated almost every protocol when it comes to dealing with our allies. When he was rude to the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, there was no reason or excuse for what he said and did, none whatsoever. When he held a “press conference” in the middle of the dining room at MAR-A-LAGO with the area roped off and crowds milling about, the only comment I could muster is the one on one of the football shows, “C’mon Man!” This was not a wrestling show but an affair of state, demonstrate a modicum of class.

      I don’t agree with the way Republicans are handling the ACA at all. But, Trump did promise to repeal and change it and when Republicans continue to fall flat trying to do something they obsessed about for years, Trump finally called them out and told them if they can’t produce a replacement, then repeal it in its entirety. Of course we all know that is not going to happen, it would be certain death for the Republican Party for the foreseeable future.

      Reply
  4. Mark Stewart

    Meanwhile, Rome actually is burning on the banks of the Potomac and the Trump organization (I mean “family”) has now each individually admitted to actual crimes, both during the campaign and in office.

    It would seem we passed the tipping point yesterday with the admission that collusion with the Russian government was occurring well before the Clinton emails were released.

    The next stop on this train is Treason. We should all stop and think about that. It’s easy to brush off the individual details and glimpses as the sorts of “normal” things which occur in politics; but at some point these immaterial pieces start to coalesce into a picture we cannot (should not) ignore. We are almost there; sadly. No exclamation point, no sarcasm, no dramatic flourish – just cold, hard reality of what we have occupying the office of the President of the United States.

    Reply
    1. Doug Ross

      “The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the presidential campaign denied in an exclusive interview with NBC News that she had any connection to the Kremlin and insisted she met with President Donald Trump’s son in 2016 to discuss sanctions between Russia and the U.S., not to hand over information about Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

      “I never had any damaging or sensitive information about Hillary Clinton. It was never my intention to have that,” Natalia Veselnitskaya said. “

      Reply
        1. Doug Ross

          So what? Did he meet with a Russian government lawye? No. Was any opposition research turned over? No evidence exists.

          What’s he guilty of?

          Reply
          1. bud

            What’s he guilty of?
            Collusion with a hostile foreign government to influence an American election. Doug, her denials mean nothing.

            Reply
            1. Doug Ross

              Ok. So you have the evidence of collusion, right? Lay it out for me please.

              It’s a good thing America can stand on the pedestal of sanctity and proudly claim to have never interfered in any other country’s election. Definitely never did anything to undermine Russia. That’s what makes us exceptional.

              Reply
            2. Bryan Caskey

              “Collusion with a hostile foreign government to influence an American election.”

              This is certainly a bad thing. People shouldn’t do it. However, you’ll have to forgive me. Being a lawyer, I have a small question: Where in federal law is this made a crime? I’m not saying it is or isn’t a crime. I have no idea. I’m simply asking if you’re going to indict someone for that act, what is the charge? It has to be based on some actual federal criminal law.

              It can’t be a crime to try and “influence an election”. That’s what politicians do. They try to influence elections with ads, speeches, websites, etc. That’s campaigning. Perhaps it’s the foreign government aspect of it. That’s really all I can think of. Perhaps it’s illegal to coordinate with other governments (hostile or not) or maybe its simply illegal to coordinate with foreigners. I sort of doubt the latter, but I guess it’s possible this is the law.

              I have nothing invested in Trump or any of his family. I will be happy to see them go. If someone broke the law, then charge them, go to Court, get a result, and move on. However, I do object to contorting a criminal law to fit a fact pattern for which is is not intended.

              Reply
              1. Bob Amundson

                The Bipartisan Campaign Act of 2002 states that it is prohibited for “a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election.”

                Was there money exchanged, and what will the courts define as “other thing of value?” Perhaps nothing illegal occurred, but this whole situation appears, at the least, unethical.

                Reply
                1. Mark Stewart

                  §30121. Contributions and donations by foreign nationals
                  (a) Prohibition
                  It shall be unlawful for—
                  (1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
                  (A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
                  (B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
                  (C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or

                  (2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.

      1. Doug Ross

        “No wonder former FBI Director James Comey refused to press charges last summer against Hillary Clinton for her egregious security breaches: It turns out, he may have been guilty of the same thing. As the inside-the-beltway political publication The Hill reported, more than half of the memos FBI Director James Comey wrote after having spoken to President Trump about the Russia investigation contained classified information. The Hill cites as its sources “officials familiar with the documents.”

        Yeah. it’s all Trump… everyone else is clean as a whistle.

        If Rome is burning, the fire was lit long ago by all the corrupt politicians who live their. They are pyromaniacs.

        Reply

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