Trumpiana: more bad news

Liberals and progressives, there is more bad news in the offing, at least according to President Tr*mp’s highly active Twitter account. Here’s item #1:

At 1:25 p.m. EST, Trump is going to announce details of THE WALL when he visits the Department of Homeland Security.  Good luck getting Mexico to pay for it!

But, as CNN reports, Trump is looking into diverting aid funds currently directed towards Mexico into building the damn wall. Other anti-immigration measures are expected to follow shortly, including the elimination of “sanctuary cities”, which have laws preventing the handover of undocumented immigrants to federal authorities, and a host of other restrictions, including a temporary ban on refugees and restriction of immigration from six Middle Eastern countries.

CNN has Tr*mp’s shortlist for the Scalia replacement, and believe me, none of the choices are pretty. Most are young, with some barely over 40, which means they could be sitting on the court for four decades. They are of course all conservatives, though that won’t change the balance of the court. But at least one of them, William Pryor (54), has called the Roe v. Wade decision “the worst abomination in the history of Constitutional law”, and I’m hoping that we won’t see that landmark decision overturned in the next few years. Trump used to be pro-choice, but of course is now pandering to his right-wing constituents.

The Republicans’ refusal to even consider Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, is something that I can’t forgive; it violates all precedent and was purely obstructionist.

Leave it alone, Donald; there’s not the slightest evidence that this took place. He’s already won; why waste these resources and risk alienating even more people, including some Republican congresspeople. This is the act of an offended bully and narcissist.

Yes, he’s continuing his campaign against the press; in this case the “fake news” of CNN.  Oy vey!

 

121 Comments

  1. Mark Reaume
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    CNN replied to that last one:

    “According to Nielsen cumulative numbers, 34 million people watched CNN’s inauguration day coverage on television. 34 million watched Fox News. There were an additional 16.9 million live video starts on CNN Digital platforms. Those are the facts.”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Considering all the Drumpf loyalists and right wingers doubtless watched Faux News and CNN’s audience was probably the less enthusiastic (and hence less likely to watch), I’d say that was a clear win for CNN.

      cr

  2. Rita
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    More and more, I’m convinced that much of this is payback for the “libruls” who opposed him. Also distraction while he directs his kids to do everything they can to make off with as much money as they can. They’re probably out cutting financial deals worldwide.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Most insecure person I’ve ever seen.

      If they are cutting deal then we’ll be hard pressed to know.

    • Sastra
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Yes, he’s likely to nominate whichever judge he thinks will make liberals scream the loudest. All those rallies gave him a pretty shrewd idea of what will make the people who love him most love him even more. Do anything which makes the liberals scream. A Supreme Court judge who will roll the country back to the 19th century; a flag amendment which removes citizenship for violation; a press shut down; public schools turned into Bible academies — whatever. They want blood; he wants to give them what they want.

      Not “what is in the best interest of the entire country?” but “who will it piss off?”

      • eric
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        I know very little about it, but from that little I opine that Gorsuch may be the best of the worst. He’s not liberal by any stretch, but he has been given high praise for his legal reasoning by some of the liberal justices that have served with him on the circuit court. Evidently even when they disagree with him, they think his reasoning and opinions are legally strong, clear, and well thought out.

        Given that he would be replacing Scalia, even just that would be a step up.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Shh! Don’t make suggestions like that! The Drumpf probably won’t read them but one of his henchmen might…

        cr

    • somer
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I think a lot of it is about Trump’s man-child ego

      • rickflick
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        Child-child ego?

        • somer
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Well *he* thinks he’s a man

  3. Kevin
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I read on Wikipedia that Pryor called for the removal of another judge who favored having the Ten Commandments outside the Alabama Judicial Building. That’s surprising and probably shows a sense of personal restraint and maybe even the willingness to reconsider his opinions.

    • Sastra
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      It was Judge Roy Moore. My recollection is that Pryor said he thought the Ten Commandment should be in front of every courthouse, but Moore had made the mistake of directly defying the order of a higher court, and that broke protocol.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Back in 2003, when he was the Alabama attorney general, William Pryor prosecuted the removal from office of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore — we all remember him, right? — based on Moore’s refusal to remove his three-ton granite-block copy of the 10 commandments from the state judicial building.

      At the time of these proceedings, Pryor said he had no personal objection to displaying the Decalogue in the courthouse, but that as AG he had no choice but to fulfill his constitutional obligation to seek Moore’s removal, given Moore’s obdurate refusal to obey the order of a superior federal court to remove the monument on First Amendment grounds.

      I don’t think there’s much reason to be encouraged if William Pryor receives the new SCOTUS nomination.

  4. Jonathan Dore
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    One of the things it’s hardest to forgive Bill Clinton for is that both of his Supreme Court nominees were not only old, but older than the two appointed by Bush Snr (who were therefore *even younger* at the time of their appointment). That’s just dumb — and now, twenty years later, perhaps disastrously dumb.

    • BJ
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      And I never have and never will forgive Sandra Day O’Connor for retiring from the Court to “spend more time with [her] family.” When you accept a position on the US Supreme Court, you’re accepting the responsibility of basically running the entire country’s legal system and deciding its precedents with eight other people, for the rest of your life to the best of your abilities. You do not retire to because there are other things you feel like doing, especially during an administration that you know will appoint someone who is the ideological opposite of you and while the Court is sharply divided.

      I am still angry about it.

      • eric
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        She served until she was 76. I really don’t think we should be angrily denouncing someone for quitting the job at 76; that’s fairly unrealistic. I don’t plan on working full time at a high pressure job until I’m 76; do you?

        • BJ
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          You didn’t take a job on the Supreme Court.

          • eric
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            So you seriously want our SCOTUS judges to feel obligated to work until their late 70s or early 80s?

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

              No – just into their graves. No reason to keep them working once they’re dead meat, feeding worms.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        O’Connor was 75 when she retired and had served on the Supreme Court bench for 25 years. She was a staunch Arizona Republican who rode in with Reagan and wanted to be replaced by another GOP appointee (which isn’t unusual for justices from either party).

        I was disappointed by O’Connor’s replacement, too, but she earned her retirement. Most people complain that federal judges, with their lifetime tenure, stick around too far into their senescence.

        • BJ
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          I still disagree. She knew what she was doing: retiring and allowing herself to be replaced with an ideological opposite, thus completely changing the complexion of the Court, possibly for decades. She had a responsibility to the entire nation, and she could have waited a few years.

          When you accept that job, you have a responsibility to over 300 million people to do everything in your power to protect the country from danger where you can. She failed to do this, and all because she wanted to retire a few years earlier. As a Supreme Court justice, you have to put the welfare of the nation above your personal desires for more free time.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            Justice Alito is somewhat to Sandra Day O’Connor’s right, but he’s hardly her “ideological opposite.” O’Connor was a rock-ribbed Barry-Goldwater-style conservative in the Arizona legislature before she went on the Arizona state appellate bench (whence she was tapped by Ronald Reagan for her seat on SCOTUS). Once on the Court, she was a centrist on issues like abortion, but otherwise voted with the conservative wing.

            O’Connor was intent on being replaced by a Republican nominee — which is the reason she rather famously almost lost her lunch … er, dinner, in 2000 when the networks initially called the presidential election for Al Gore. And she provided the crucial fifth vote in Bush v. Gore that handed the presidency to Dubya.

            Supreme Court Justices have no responsibility to the nation beyond performing the duties of their office faithfully and honestly — although I’m sincerely hoping that the Notorious RBG, bless her heart, sees things differently, and hangs in until Trump is no longer in office. 🙂

            • eric
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

              She’s 83; highly unlikely.

              Hey BJ, how much do you push this ‘obligation’ logic? If RBG retires at the age of 85, letting Trump replace her, are you going to be angry with her for betraying her country etc.?

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

                Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., made it to the big 9-0.

                Keep hope alive! 🙂

      • colnago80
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        I seem to recall, her husband was sick and she retired to care for him.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Ruth Bader Ginsburg was 60, and Stephen Breyer 55, when they were nominated to the Court. They are now in their 24th and 23rd years of SCOTUS service, respectively. Those are all pretty good numbers for Supreme Court justices, historically speaking.

      Maybe they just seemed old at the time of their appointments because we were all much younger then. 🙂

  5. Historian
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The Senate Democrats have the capacity to block every Trump Supreme Court nomination through the use of the filibuster, which would then require 60 votes to confirm the nominee. The Senate Republicans have only 52 members; the Democrats have 48. But, three questions arise. First, will the Senate Democrats remain united to prevent 60 votes to end the filibuster? Second, assuming the Democrats block the first nominee, do they have the political gumption to block the second and third nominees? Third, will the Republicans resort to the “nuclear option” to get a nominee confirmed? The “nuclear option” is changing the Senate rules to allow a nominee to be confirmed by a simple majority. There are several Republican senators who are quite wedded to the filibuster rule. So, whether the Republican leadership can get the nuclear option passed is an open question.

    There is a debate among Democrats regarding strategy. Should they oppose Trump on everything, such as the Republicans did with Obama or should they only selectively oppose him? My view is that they should oppose Trump on everything, particularly something as important as a Supreme Court justice. Remember, the Republicans blocked Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland (to replace Scalia) for over a year. If the Democrats roll over, I will be deeply disappointed.

    • BJ
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I think they should take the step-by-step approach. The longer Trump acts like an idiot in public, the more even Congressional Republicans will distance themselves from him (we’re already seeing it, and he hasn’t even made it through the first week of his Presidency yet). It’s important that we start to restore a sense of collegiality in Congress between both sides, rather than continue the trend of “the side that’s not the President’s will always and forever block everything he tries to do.” Additionally, deciding on an issue by issue basis will allow the Democrats to garner more public support when it comes to the truly crucial issues (and the Supreme Court nominee is definitely one of those). We don’t want the public or press to get burnt out.

      • Jonathan Dore
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        I agree in principle that it’s “important to restore a sense of collegiality in Congress”, why is it always the Democrats who have to do this, while the Republicans get a free pass to act like spoilt children every time, for as long as they feel like it? Acting the grown-up doesn’t seem to have done the Democrats any favours when it comes to elections … It might actually be more politically astute to engender a sense of siege in an administration, and party, used to getting its own way. Make *them* bend and seek to negotiate, for a change.

        • BJ
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          Whatabouttery is irrelevant. Nobody is giving the Republicans a free pass. If you just want to get back at them, you’ll end up in a never-ending cycle of gridlock. If people want to talk about the Democrats being the adults in the room, they have to act like the adults in the room.

          • Jonathan Dore
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

            Always trying to be the adults in the room is precisely what’s got us to this point. For the last forty years, it hasn’t worked. None of their opponents are responding to them being adults. The voters aren’t noticing them being adults, or if they have, don’t seem to have been impressed. Do you think Republican voters are going to reward Democrats in the 2018 senate elections for confirming Trump’s SC appointment like adults?

            • somer
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

              +1

    • Anthony
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      As payback for Garland, I think the Democrats have a duty to filibuster throughout the whole administration and not allow in any nominee. Of course that will piss off the Republicans to no end and they will do the same during the next Democratic administration. Over time we’ll see a gradual reduction of the size of the Supreme Court, until a senate super-majority is in place to re-populate it.

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Is filibustering that long legally possible?

        • Historian
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          The rules of the Senate are arcane. Certain things can be filibustered and others cannot. In theory, each nominee for the Supreme Court offered by the president can be filibustered. It will be a political decision by the Democrats whether they want to take this route.

    • Craw
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Over a year?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Actually, it was for 24 days short of a year.

        So let’s call Historian’s “over a year” a Trumpian “alternative fact.”

        • Historian
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          This was a bit of carelessness on my part. I should have said almost a year. But, unlike Trump, I will admit a mistake.

  6. Sastra
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    The more Trump attacks the media, the angrier it gets — and that’s cashing out in favor of honest, open, brash journalism with words like “LIE” in the very headlines.

    One of the dire predictions made after Trump’s election does not seem to be coming true: that reporters would adopt a cringing, compliant attitude towards Trump for fear of losing their access. They’d be afraid to say bad things about him or they could lose their press pass. But Trump pushed them way too far for that. They are pissed — and they have prime access to the media because they ARE the media.

    I’m imagining a gaggle of top reporters getting together in a bar one night and saying “okay, let’s stop pussyfooting around hoping it’s not that bad or we can have a positive influence on him or something. Fuck this shit — this is WAR.”

    • DrBrydon
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Yes, but to what end? The people who voted for Trump don’t seem to care (or rather they approve), and the ones who didn’t are already convinced he’s evil. The New York Times seems to be publishing strong, anti-Trump editorials every other day, but I stopped reading them months ago. If everything he does is bad, then it looks a lot like media bias. Articles about his stupid tweets, for example, drown out substantive news on what he’s doing. The press is still falling into the trap of Trump’s being good headline fodder (just like they did in the election).

      • Jonathan Dore
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        To what end? To unnerve the Republicans, who are used to bullying to get their own way. If they can’t find their way around a filibuster with a super-majority, why shouldn’t *they* be the ones, finally, to begin making back-channel overtures and offering concessions? These people don’t respond to ideas of collegiality or the best interests of the country. They are pure partisan animals, and unashamed horse-trading is the way they are accustomed to thinking and acting. People of good will assume that forcing this kind of response would create irreparable damage to trust, but today’s Republicans are psychologically and ideologically incapable of trusting or responding to trust in others. They are amoral calculators of pure self-interest.

        • DrBrydon
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          I think that that critique applies to both parties.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            The Democrats are nowhere near as ruthless as the Republicans. They’ve never had the chutzpah to pull a move like Mitch McConnell did with the nomination of Judge Garland — but it’s high time they found it within themselves to do so; otherwise, the nation’s in for some very dark days in Trumpworld.

          • darrelle
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            The evidence is strongly against that claim. In real life degrees matter. That’s all there is. The degree to which the Republican Party exhibits selfishness, amorality, immorality, hypocrisy, lying, illegality, partisanship, bigotry, misogyny, stupidity and other negative traits, both individually and collectively, is so much higher than the Democratic Party that to equate the two is clearly a factual error. For any reasonable definition of factual error.

            Sure, the Democratic Party also exhibits those traits and we should criticize it for that and pressure it to make changes.

      • Sastra
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        Trump’s approval ratings are going down. If everyone was deeply entrenched into unmovable positions that couldn’t be happening.

        Right before the election, there was still a sizeable number of “undecideds.” I’m going to guess that those who flipped at the last minute towards Trump can probably flip back pretty easily. Plus, there were a lot of “hold your nose and vote Republican” Republicans. They’re not all likely to be able to keep on holding their noses when the shit hits the fan, and hits it, and hits it. Trump is the gift that keeps on giving and he’s sure as hell not stepping up to the plate and impressing people with his presidential skills right now.

        So — you could be right, but it might not be as bad as all that.

        • Taz
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          I think Trump could set a record for the smallest favorability rating of any president in modern times.

          • darrelle
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

            He apparently already set the record for the lowest approval rating of any president when entering office in modern times.

        • rickflick
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          From what I see Trump’s approval/disapproval rate shows about 50/50. Eg. Gallup 46/45.

          http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

        • Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

          “Plus, there were a lot of “hold your nose and vote Republican” Republicans. They’re not all likely to be able to keep on holding their noses when the shit hits the fan, and hits it, and hits it. Trump is the gift that keeps on giving and he’s sure as hell not stepping up to the plate and impressing people with his presidential skills right now.”

          If only the “hold your nose and vote Democrat” Democrats had done the same, we might have had a Democrat president. The shit has already hit the fan big time, with much more to come, and
          certain Republicans are crowing about it. They got exactly what they asked for, however repugnant and ugly. I wonder if New Zealand has room for all the Silicon Valley Millionaire survivalists AND disenchanted,
          very sad democrats? But, I think most of us should remain to counteract the insanity.

          • Sastra
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            Well, there’s different kinds of shit happening with Trump right now. There’s the nasty political shit that have the conservative politicians licking their lips — like dismantling health care, restricting abortion, and throwing out environmental standards.

            And then there’s the weird personal shit that has the conservative politicians wrinkling their noses — like telling obvious lies, getting into pissing wars with people in the media, and, I suspect, starting to go through with plans for that ridiculous wall.

            That second pile could turn them queasy. Is there any shit in the first category they couldn’t get from Pence? And, as much as I despise Pence, I have to admit he’s not ass enough to start doing that other shit.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      I saw the reporter who broke the “Pussygate” story, among other Trump related stories, on The Daily Show a week or so ago. He said that he is committed to focusing on Trump for the duration.

      He was asked what he thought about the attitude that journalists shouldn’t even bother with Trump because nothing, not even “Pussygate,” has had any impact on Trump supporters and that Trump himself has no shame. He said that he believed journalists could have an impact on Trump voters and Trump himself. He related how an investigation of his into Trump’s claims about his foundation’s donations, in which he discovered good reason to believe Trump and his people were lying, eventually inspired Trump to have the donations made that had supposedly already been made months previously.

      The journalist said this shows that Trump does have some sort of shame, though it might be outside the norm, and that the right kind of pressures may sometimes have a beneficial affect on Trump.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        That reporter, David Fahrenthold, did a great job investigating Trump’s purported charitable giving. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get some recognition come Pulitzer time.

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        My wife thinks der Drumpfenführer will flame out mentally or physically under the contiuous drumbeat of ridicule he is (rightfully) receiving.

        That he’ll pull a Jesse Ventura temper tantrum in public or blow a gasket and die.

        • darrelle
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps if he has an enraged fit in public congress might be moved to remove him as unfit for office? At only a week in I don’t think Pence could be any worse.

          • Jonathan Dore
            Posted January 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            A tempting prospect, but you don’t want Pence to get his feet under the table too early. You want him to be thought of as a Ford-like caretaker eking out the dying days of a presidency, not someone who, by the time of the next election, is thought of as the elected incumbent.

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      But on the other hand (I’m looking, very hard, for positives here) the idea that there are consequences for what people say is quite refreshing.

      You can argue that the mainstream media has been through an evolutionary economic process that resulted in only the organisations that pander to their readerships views surviving. There are liberal left consensus ‘news’ organisations and reactionary right consensus ‘news’ organisations and both tend to spin like fury for ‘their side’.

      Trump is a crude tool which may help the polarized press realise that they can’t just parrot popular views and consider their job done. Proper investigative reporting could make a comeback (well I can dream).

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Der Drumpfenführer has Liarrhea …

  7. Darth Dog
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    It’s the investigation into voter fraud that scares me the most. My concerns with Trump start way before any discussion of policy. My fear is that he is going to break the system and that it is not just a matter of waiting four years for a chance to remove him. Given his demonstrated disregard for reality, he can state any results he wants for this investigation and then claim that justifies any actions he wants to take. And they will undoubtedly be to strengthen his hold on power.

    I hope I’m wrong but I am afraid that the history books will show Citizens United and the election of Trump as the beginning of the end of the American republic.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      I agree, any investigation by the Trump administration into voter fraud will simply be a propaganda exercise, not a real investigation. Hopefully it stops there and the manufactured propaganda isn’t then used to justify actions. But hoping doesn’t quite cut it.

      The irony, of course, is that if a thorough, honest, unbiased investigation were to occur it would show improprieties, if not outright fraud and other illegal activities, that favored the Republican nominee. Like gerrymandering, foreign meddling, voter suppression scams by state and county governments, and likely more.

    • eric
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      “End of the Republic” sounds fairly hyperbolic to me, but I do think his obsession with voter fraud and not winning the popular vote means we’ll have some form of national ID requirement to vote in the next 4 years. That will be bad, it will result in a skewing of the voter pool up in terms of class and income, and my guess is every conservative supreme court justice will support it. But it won’t be the end of the republic.

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        As I am telling everyone I know, help people vote. Drive them to the polls. Hold an absentee voting party. Talk to young people.

        If the national registration happens, then bundle them into the car and take them down to the station to get their serial number tattooed onto their forearm to get their National ID Card.

        Now is the time for action.

        Drumpfenreich, T-minus 1456 days

        • eric
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Though a month or two before the next election is NOT when you want to be going to the DMV to get that card, it’ll be a longer wait than the poll line in a democratic area of a red state. So I’d say priority #1, register to vote. priority #2, get Drivers’ Licence or equivalent ID card.

          • Posted January 26, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            Absolutely. We need a ground game, desperately.

      • Taz
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        A lot of Trump voters would not look kindly on a national ID requirement.

      • Darth Dog
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Not sure it’s hyperbolic. Parabolic maybe (-:

        I hope that you are right. But I worry that Trump and those around him are creative. There seem to be lots of things that he could do beyond just voter ID. What about taking more control of the voting process, or reporting on the voting results? After all, he just talked about “sending in the feds” to take over Chicago’s “carnage” problem – something that is clearly local law enforcement.

        I think Trump will just act rather than try to get approval, even when it is questionable. Then it will be up to others to stop him. He wields a lot of power as the chief executive.

    • Craw
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Can you make any sort of case at all the CU had anything to do with Trump’s win? Because he did not outspend Jeb Bush, and he did not outspend Clinton, and he did not get lots big donations from corporations compared to what Hillary got.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      I think the immediate cause of Trump’s current noise about initiating a voter-fraud investigation is his butt-hurt over being called out on his vacuous claim that he lost the popular vote because 3 to 5 million aliens voted illegally.

      But I fear that, once such an investigation is underway, it will be used as a pretext by the Republicans to add to their previous measures aimed at suppressing the votes of minorities and other registered Democrats. What loosed this voter-suppression mischief upon us was the gutting of the “pre-clearance” provisions of the Voting Rights Act (which only recently had been re-authorized by congress through a rare showing of bipartisan support) by the Roberts Court in 2013.

      • Taz
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        The voter fraud thing could backfire on Trump. The bottom line for any investigation into illegal activity is arrests and convictions. Millions spent and a handful of arrests won’t go over well.

        • DaveP
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Millions spent investigating voter fraud for a handful of convictions. Like the ACORN investigation? The accusations outweighed the facts in that one; only a few misdemeanor convictions for voter registration fraud came out of it (NOT voter fraud). I doubt the current administration is exactly shaking in their boots of what any real findings there are.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes — it’s purely to distract from the issue of Russian interference and further ridicule and delegitimize the Democrats.

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    It’s going to be important to sort what is Trump posturing (or perhaps flailing), and what is actually being implemented. For example, Trump may think that he’s moving forward on the wall or he may know what it’s actually impractical, but in either case there would need to be Congressional action to fund it, which isn’t assured.

    I read an interesting piece a couple months ago about the difficulties of building a wall such as Trump has touted. One thing in particular that stands out is that much of the wall would have to be built in areas that have zero infrastructure. No roads to bring in people and equipment, no housing for workers, no food, no water, no electricity. The cost of the physical materials to build a wall is one thing, but the cost of the rest would be yuge.

    • BJ
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Indeed, I wish people (especially the media) would stop taking every tweet from this infamously full of shit and unstable man as if it’s a statement of fact. He knows now that he can use tweets both to convince his base of lies and to cause media uproar so he can distract from other things. We could also find ourselves in a “boy who cried wolf” scenario if we keep doing this for too long, constantly bringing up things he has tweeted for long periods of time that have yet to or may never come to fruition.

  9. BJ
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I hate Trump and think he is the worst President in modern history, but I have to take issue with a couple things here. First, I don’t understand what the problem is with building a wall on a country’s border when that country has had several million illegal immigrants coming in over that border every years for several decades. The principal at issue here is whether or not a country is wrong to take non-lethal, humane efforts to protect its own borders. I don’t see how a wall is any different from having a border patrol or other measures to protect a border that is infamous for being porous and constantly used for illegal crossing, both of people and drugs run by murderous cartels.

    Second, while I abhor the idea of the “sanctuary cities” being shut down, it has always been the case that federal law supersedes all local law. If a President wants the DOJ to start enforcing a federal law that is being bucked by certain municipalities, that is again a principal which shouldn’t really cause shock or severe denunciations. I wish it wouldn’t happen, but I can’t find it within myself to be all that angry about it, especially after there wasn’t much outrage about all the deportations Obama engaged in.

    Everything else here is terrible though 😦

    • Ann German
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Has it occurred to anybody that the folks who voted for pussygrabber aren’t going to be able to afford the cars which are made in America of American-made parts UNLESS migrants (and illegals, at that) are hired here at low wages to build them??? All this talk of American jobs ignores the reality that stuff made here is more expensive than stuff from China . . . just like pgrabber’s hats at the inauguration were made in Vietnam. I try to buy USA goods, but they are a LOT more expensive.

      • Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        I do not think any country benefits from cheap labor, particularly cheap labor connected to violation of immigration laws (and, I guess, often insurance laws as well).

    • eric
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      I don’t understand what the problem is with building a wall on a country’s border when that country has had several million illegal immigrants coming in over that border every years for several decades.

      Its a complete waste of money. Our illegal immigration rate is 0.3%, both the absolute numbers and percent have been dropping over the last several years even without Trump’s wall, and approximately half of the million or so annual illegal immigrants are visa overstays, for which the wall would do absolutely nothing because they entered the country perfectly legally.

      Add to that that it will cost billions and any wall can be gotten over if we don’t post guards and monitor every linear mile of it. So that’s going to cost even more.

      Oh, and the Mexican cartels smuggle tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana through border tunnels every year already. So how deep are you going to dig it?

      Last but not least, the federal government doesn’t even own a lot of of the land where they want to build their wall. In Texas it’s mostly private landowners who own the border lands. Some of them graze their cattle on both sides of the border. Now yes, Eminent Domain would allow the federal government to force those ranchers to sell it to them at below-market price, but I really doubt that this administration wants to tick off Texas ranchers. The symbolism and imagery of the federal government ‘stealing’ land from practically icons of their red conservative base is really, really bad.

      • BJ
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        But I’m talking about the principle here. People talk about building the wall as if it is part of some nefarious agenda to hurt Mexicans. I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with a boarder wall in principle.

        • eric
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          In principle it damages the ecology by preventing animal migration and ranging. A minor thing for most Republicans, I think, but it’s still going to be something that both nations will have to live with.

          It also reduces the flow of legal trade (along with the illegal trade) of goods and services, which is an economic cost.

          But the biggest problem with your addendum is that in principle doesn’t matter, its the what the wall will do in practice that should drive the policy decision on whether to build it. At least IMO.

        • Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          In principle, a border wall is utterly horrific.

          We’ll brush aside the ecological and environmental catastrophe its existence and construction entails.

          No wall, ever, has ever stopped the flow of “undesirables.” Not even the Great Wall of China; not even Hadrian’s Wall; not even the Berlin Wall. Nor, for that matter, the existing militarized fence on the Mexican / American border…or even the Korean DMZ. To think that The Yuge Wall of Drumpf will be any more successful is pure wilful idiocy.

          And it’s no coincidence that all those examples I just gave are not merely the most famous examples of such walls, but also hated symbols of tyrannical oppression: because that’s what walls actually are useful for — for tyrants to control their subjects.

          When I was growing up, we all took pride in the thousands-of-miles-long unguarded border between the US and Canada: the longest such in the history of humanity, and a symbol of the peace, prosperity, and friendship our two nations shared. Indeed, rather than build a wall, we literally built a Friendship Bridge.

          I’m one of Saint Reagan’s harshest critics, but I’ll give him credit for demanding of Gorbachev that he “tear down that Wall.”
          That his acolytes today want to build its replacement on our own border tells you all you need to know about their own lust for power, their own dreams to grind their boots in the faces of humanity, forever.

          Cheers,

          b&

          • CFM
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

            I agree such a wall is horrific.

            But, interestingly, the lands along the former Iron Curtain show that of can lead to the very opposite of an environmental catastrophe: This deadly border actually preserved many endangered species and their natural environments:

            http://www.europeangreenbelt.org/

            • CFM
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

              it, not of…

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

              I have heard that the inter-Korean “DMZ” is also a wildlife haven.
              What a great example to cite.

        • Jeff Lewis
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          Maybe some people talk about it that way, but the vast majority of people I’ve spoken to who are in opposition to the wall are opposed mainly because it’s a colossal waste of money, for all the reasons eric already listed. (There’s the standard joke that if Trump really does build the wall, I’ll go invest in a ladder company.) Secondarily, because it would hurt U.S. – Mexico relations, and in a distant third because it would be bad environmentally.

        • Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          I agree. And I think Fox’ statement about the “(expletive) wall” was arrogance worthy of Trump.

    • eric
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      it has always been the case that federal law supersedes all local law. If a President wants the DOJ to start enforcing a federal law that is being bucked by certain municipalities, that is again a principal which shouldn’t really cause shock or severe denunciations.

      There is never enough resources to enforce every law the way the government wants to. So they prioritize and allocate resources accordingly. “Small government” and “states rights” conservatives are being highly hypocritical when their federal government starts dictating exactly what those state priorities should be – the how, where, and when of state’s using their own, state-tax-supported police forces.

      Now, if the Fed wants to supply a big chunk of money or thousands of extra federal law enforcement officers in order to give the States the resources to enforce laws they currently don’t, that would be another thing. In that case, I would probably agree with you – I may not agree with the the policy, but I see how the Fed has a right to do that. But that isn’t going to happen. Trump isn’t going to provide the states with squat. This is going to be an unfunded mandate that interferes directly with local policy decision-making about how to use state-funded police resources.

      • BJ
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Again, I’m just discussing the principle here. I’ve already made clear that I don’t want the sanctuary cities to be swept away, but I can’t oppose it in principle as someone who believes that we have a pretty good system of laws in this country. Until Congress passes a bill saying that sanctuary cities are allowed, the choice of whether or not to enforce immigration law in this manner is at the discretion of the President and his DOJ.

        • eric
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          In principle the federal government should not be telling state police forces what law enforcement missions they should prioritize over others. That is clearly something the state’s Governor and legislature should be doing, under the guiding doctrine of federalism. In principle, the federal government should only be setting the priorities for federal law enforcement officers and agencies that they, the fed, funds.

          How’s that?

          • Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            It seems to be not about “prioritizing” some law enforcement missions over others, but about open refusal to enforce certain laws.

            • eric
              Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

              They are, in the vast majority of cases, equivalent. You’re my employee and you have an hour of time. You can work on illegal immigration cases or theft cases. I choose for you to work on theft cases because I decide theft is the more critical problem to solve. That’s the state’s prerogative. Police and prosecutors tend to have long backlogs of cases, they are rarely or never in the position of having completed so much of everything else that they would have nothing to do except work on immigration enforcement.

              Even for something like reporting: I have an IT specialist. I can have them work an hour on reporting immigration cases to the Fed, or…

              • Posted January 26, 2017 at 6:01 am | Permalink

                My problem is the declaration of a city as a “sanctuary”, which (to me) implies that the authorities openly defy federal immigration laws and do not intend ever to do anything about illegal immigration even if all other work for law enforcement (such as thefts) magically disappears.

              • eric
                Posted January 26, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

                AIUI, the typical ‘sanctuary city’ policy is something like don’t ask, don’t tell. IOW police and city officials will go about doing their normal business and not enquire about your legal status. So they don’t ask “papers, please” before issuing you a marriage license. They don’t demand proof of citizenship when they pull you over for speeding. Its kind of the anti-Arpaio position. They are not actually flouting any law; they are not, for instance, choosing to actively not-issue traffic tickets to people they suspect of being illegal immigrants.

        • Posted January 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          I find it bizarre even that the President and his DOJ should specifically tell state authorities to enforce the laws. Laws are to be enforced, aren’t they?

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted January 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

            No. Unless you want to live in a police state, with a policeman on every street corner.
            Not every law has to be rigidly enforced at all times.

            cr

      • darrelle
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Well, in your two comment here you already covered the two points I wanted to make better than I could have, so I’ll just leave it at, “what he said.”

      • eric
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Update: it appears Trump now signed an EO indicating that he wants to triple the number of DHS border agents. So it appears that at least on paper/symbolically, he is committed to the notion of the Fed ramping up their own resources to meet his new enforcement goals. However, it’s Congress that sets the DHS budget, including how much gets spent on what. Without that, his EO really means nothing. So we’ll see if Congress agrees with a budget increase needed to triple CBP border guards. That’s a pretty massive hiring effort.

  10. Earle
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Finally a renewal of an old Victorian term- Tin-pot Dictator, defined as-An autocratic ruler with little political credibility, but with self-delusions of grandeur.

  11. docbill1351
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Trump starts clamping down on science. Communication lockdown at EPA, USDA and NIH.

    And this:

    The employees were notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that the administration had instructed EPA’s communications team to remove the website’s climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions. The page could go down as early as Wednesday, the sources said.

    “If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear,” one of the EPA staffers told Reuters, who added some employees were scrambling to save some of the information housed on the website, or convince the Trump administration to preserve parts of it.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      I’ve captured the html from that page and will add it to my own website and distribute the meme.

      Some stuff like graphics may not work; but the links will be there.

      Google likes my website.

  12. Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    One thing we can all do is subscribe toa newspaper. Subscribe to magazines. Don’t just read them online. One of the problems is lack of funding for good journalism. I saw something somewhere that Mother Jones(?) had spent $350k to write some really good investigative reporting but had got only $5k in ad revenue from it. We need to support our journalists.

    I also hope they support themselves. When Trump refused to take a CNN question the rest of the reporters in the room should have refused to ask one until he answered CNN. Next time, they could be the one ignored.

    • Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I did this Monday.

      I never read newspapers. The frequency with which I access the NYT is so low, I can view there for free.

      HOWEVER: I subscribed to their online content. Costs about as much as supporting an NPR station. (Which I also do.)

      I encourage all who can afford to to do the same. Now, more than ever, we need hard news papers to counter the Drumpfenreich.

  13. docbill1351
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Six days in and Trump is acting like the Boss, doing everything in his power to do.

    It appears if you want to be a thug president, it’s possible.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Of course it’s possible. Always has been. Avoiding thug leaders is supposed to be one of the key responsibilities of our election system. The people who designed our system feared a Trump president and designed our system as best they could to prevent such a thing. Regardless of whether or not their design was a good one for preventing that, the system began being gamed by power brokers and power seekers from the very first day. After 240 years of cumulative gaming we have Trump.

      Of course the president is merely the primary gear in a very large machine. A bad president here or there shouldn’t necessarily cause bad, lasting damage to the machine. Can the machine survive Trump without significant, lasting damage? I don’t know, but I think everyone should be worried.

  14. Rob
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Don’t be fooled. Trump and his crew don’t know and don’t care if illegals voted. This is simply a smokescreen to “investigate” and then create new rules making it harder for some groups of people to vote. Evidence for voter fraud will not be found, but new laws and rules will be enacted anyway.

  15. Craw
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    “The Republicans’ refusal to even consider Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, is something that I can’t forgive; it violates all precedent and was purely obstructionist.”

    This isn’t quite right I think. It’s precisely that they had the “Biden rule” as precedent that allowed them to get away with it.

    The GOP might regret the obstruction in the long term, if Trump picks someone bent on overturning Roe. They will be blamed.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      The “Biden Rule,” so-called, is a right-wing myth.

      In the summer of 1992 there was speculation that a SCOTUS justice might retire. The then-chairman of the Judiciary committee, Sen. Joe Biden, gave a speech saying that if that happened and if then-president G.H.W. Bush nominated a successor, then (given the upcoming party conventions) the Senate should wait until after that Fall’s election to conduct the nominee’s confirmation hearing. Biden did not suggest that no hearing be held until a new president was in office.

      As it turns out, no justice retired; no procedure rule was proposed or adopted; no nomination was ever delayed.

      The bullshit Mitch McConnell and the Republicans pulled last year is unprecedented in the annals of this nation’s history.

  16. Historian
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    There is no such thing as the “Biden Rule.” Joe Biden, then a senator, made a speech in which he argued that under certain circumstances the consideration of a nominee for the Supreme Court should be deferred until after the presidential election, not until a new president took office. The Senate passed no resolution adopting his suggestions. Mitch McConnell, Republican leader in the Senate, invoked the “Biden Rule” as the excuse not to consider Garland. We should also remember that when it appeared Hillary Clinton would win the election, the Republicans threatened not to consider any of her nominees. McConnell is the most wily and most dangerous of all the Republican establishment leaders.

    Polititfact provides the details of the “Biden Rule.”

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/mar/17/context-biden-rule-supreme-court-nominations/

    • Historian
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      This is in reply to comment #15

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I responded to #15 above before I saw your comment. Sorry.

  17. Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    “why waste these resources and risk alienating even more people, including some Republican congresspeople”

    Because size really matters to der Drumpfenführer.

    Small hands, small hands …

  18. Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Drumpfenreich, T-minus 1456 days.

  19. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    This is the act of an offended bully and narcissist.

    Above all, VOTER FRAUD is the mark of a conspiracy theories against the consistent finding of none.

    It took 2 days for Trump to make all my check marks, from anti-planetary science (against AGW) to pro-post science (“alternative facts”, “VOTER FRAUD”). The Trumpet blows, hard.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      The mark of a conspiracy theorist.

    • nicky
      Posted January 25, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Wild accusations of ‘voter fraud’ are not so much the mark of a conspiracy theorist, as the instrument to allow for real electoral fraud by voter disenfranchisement (immo). See ‘Crosscheck’; Crosscheck -and the way it was implemented- involved hundreds of thousands of voters. Crosscheck alone may have been enough to give Trump the victory in the stolen 2016 election.

      • Andy
        Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Yes! There’s quite a good argument that the Republicans stole the election simply by managing to get enough of the people they don’t like barred from voting.
        I’d definitely recommend: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast. Really interesting, and shows the true reason that Republicans keep talking about voter fraud… It’s basically to prevent anyone who is unlikely to vote Republican from being allowed to vote!

        Oh, I think saw a post on FB that Tiffany Trump and Mark Bannon were both registered to vote in 2 states. (I didn’t check it out.)

        • Andy
          Posted January 25, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          Whoops! I meant Steve. But that typo probably illustrates quite nicely some of the perils associated with schemes like CrossCheck.

        • nicky
          Posted January 26, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          And the thing is they were very successful with the disenfranchisement in the ‘swing states’, except for Virginia, where the counting was overseen by a Demorat.

  20. Mike
    Posted January 26, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Seems your Supreme Court is to become just an organisation for rubber stamping whatever legislation his Insaness dreams up next,thank “god” ours will still kick the Government up the arse when needed.

    • nicky
      Posted January 26, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, the infamous Scalia dies, and by (immo) unfair means the mad Reps (=tea bagz) will get someone worse installed.
      Only the ‘Indivisible’ tactics might work, I think.

  21. Posted January 26, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The voting investigation is an attempt to offset the fact that Trump is probably the most disliked person in the world right now. He wants the world to believe he won the “popular” vote.

    Any Republican would install a right wing SCJ…so i guess we can’t pin that on him.

    Of course more people watched the inauguration on FAUX…who else would would watch it but FAUXers?

    All in all, he’s just another prick with a wall.

    • Posted January 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Except that according to Nielsen ratings that CNN shared, both of them had 34m viewers, basically a dead heat. CNN also said they had 14m (IIRC) online viewers. No number on other networks/providers on that. So he’s still full of it.


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