Do Not Call Us Immigrants, Call us “Americans By Choice”

That’s what I am, that’s what millions of us are.

So, why are we lesser Americans, or rather why do so many think so.

If anything, the argument that “we Americans by Choice have shown more committement to America” would be stronger than the one that “Americans by Birth have shown more committement.”

And, pray, how come Americans by Ancestor Capture are so often the best of all?

Now We Know, Health Care is Complicated, as Per Trump

Finally, I understand.  With Trump’s help, I now realize that:

“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

Having got my breath back after hearing this insight, I realized that this is indeed classic Trump.

When you can not do something, you look for an excuse.

You never apologize, you never consider that you might have been wrong.

You never, ever, ever admit that others were right before you.  (Stalin used to convict people for “premature morality.”)

The distortion, at best, of truth to continue to keep things on the prior path.

The lack of introspection

I suspect that when we look back at the history of Trump’s presidency, we will discover that such acknowledgements are a prelude to a major change.  I suspect that this precursor will be followed on attacks on prior allies for their positions, also then followed by the separation from  decision-making and participation.

To be continued.  .  .   .

 

The Right Wing Press Loses Its Credibility if They Do Noting to Pressure Trump on Press Access

Fox, the Wall Street Journal and friends, now face a critical pass-fail test.  As the Times put it:

Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, the BBC and The Huffington Post were among those shut out of the briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer admitted only reporters from a group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.

Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Fox News also attended.

Reporters from The Associated Press and Time magazine, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions. The Washington Post did not send a reporter to the session.

Is the response of the right wing press, to paraphrase Martin Miemoeller:

First they came for the mainstream press, and we did not speak out, because we are not mainstream press.   .    .   .

And here the immediate needed action, shown by AP and Time, is simple.  If you want to talk to us, you have to talk to everyone.

If those who attended the gaggle, fail this test again, they will have shown that political loyalty and short term economic interest trump freedom of the press.  So, they have lost all intellectual credibility, and so have any who continue to work for them.

This is a pivotal moment of choice.  History will hold them accountable, whatever else happens.

Issa’s Call For Independent Prosecutor May Show Fear of Trump Dragging Down Allies

From Congressman Issa, via Politico:

“You cannot have somebody, a friend of mine Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee,” the California Republican said in response to a question from host Bill Maher. “You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office to take — not just to recuse. You can’t just give it to your deputy. That’s another political appointee.”

Could it be that Issa realizes that AGs who are perceived as protecting Presidents fall, and that unless you are absolutely insulated, it is hard not be drawn into a coverup.

While the word “friend” in the above could just be designed to prevent any sense of betrayal, it could also be designed to emphasize that Sessions needs this for his ongoing credibility.  In any event, this makes it easier for Sessions to support  special prosecutor, without seeming to undercut Trump.  Of course, Sessions, as a Cabinet member, would get to vote in any process to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment.

The Party-Switch Way Forward For the Senate

While there are many reasons for the slowness of the institutional response in the political system to Trump, one actually can be fixed quite easily.

Right now, the press are energized, the courts seem to be standing up for judicial supremacy, and the investigatory agencies are still able to get the most disturbing facts before the public.

The problem is that there is no truly independent set of investigations going on, because of the Republican failure.

The simple solution is for three or more senators to shift parties for the purpose of establishing the appropriate investigatory process.  Such a switch, perhaps by McCain, Lindsey and one more, could be limited to the organization of the Senate, and the Rs could still vote with their colleagues on all substantive matters if they wished.  Those three would have to expect to be primaried, but who knows, by the end of this they might be the safest Republican senators.

Anyway, just the threat of this should be enough to get McConnell to back down, set up a true investigation, and allow it to go wherever it goes.  The tax returns alone might be enough.

 

Read Politico and the Twenty Fifth Amendment Together

From Politico:

Trump’s West Wing, a team of rivals marked by seemingly endless infighting, leaking and inexperience, has helped unify the partially formed Cabinet into an actual team, according to interviews with more than a dozen senior staffers inside the agencies and the White House who were not authorized to speak on the record.

In their first weeks on the job, the heads of these sometimes competitive departments and agencies are working together, fighting to staff the agencies they lead and to maximize their collective influence over an administration struggling to find stability. Their shared hope: that things will get better.  (Bold added)

And, from the Twenty Fifth Amendment:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. (Bold added)

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

In other words, in the end, it will all be up to Pence.  It does not take that many Republicans to add to the Democrats in Congress to get to two thirds.

 

Trump’s “Finely Tuned Machine” Sounds More Like a Nixon Tape Transcript

I was reading through the transcript of Trump’s press conference, and started to feel in my gut that I had been here before.

Then I realized what it was.  It was just like reading an old Nixon tape transcript.  Look at this from today:

It’s very important to me and especially in this position. It’s very important. I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle a bad story better than anybody as long as it’s true and, you know, over a course of time, I’ll make mistakes and you’ll write badly and I’m OK with that. But I’m not OK when it is fake. I mean, I watch CNN, it’s so much anger and hatred and just the hatred.

I don’t watch it any more because it’s very good — he’s saying no. It’s OK, Jim (ph). It’s OK, Jim (ph), you’ll have your chance. But I watch others too. You’re not the only one so don’t feel badly. But I think it should be straight. I think it should be — I think it would be frankly more interesting. I know how good everybody’s ratings are right now but I think that actually — I think that’d actually be better.

And

No, that’s how I won. I won with news conferences and probably speeches. I certainly didn’t win by people listening to you people. That’s for sure. But I’m having a good time.

Tomorrow, they will say, “Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.” I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you. You know, you’re dishonest people. But — but I’m not ranting and raving. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it.

But tomorrow, the headlines are going to be, “Donald Trump rants and raves.” I’m not ranting and raving.

For those of us who remember Nixon with a certain distorted nostalgia, it is all there.  The resentment, particularly at the press, the belief that he can handle thing that others can not.  His claim not to care about it.  His insults.  His repetition when a point has been made.  Above all it is the constant sense of being aggrieved and a victim, and that he is the only straight shooter in the room.

There is only one problem.  Nixon was speaking in private.  Trump is speaking in public.

I wonder what on earth is he like in private?  Oh, actually, we do know. He is focused on privates.