Donald Trump

Two-Faced Tillis and the desperate love affair with Trump

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His post-op recovery after having his spine removed is not going well:

Take Trump’s suggestion to investigate Joe Biden in a phone call with the Ukrainian president. Some GOP senators call it inappropriate but not impeachable; other at-risk incumbents have struggled with the query. It’s the central question of Trump’s impeachment inquiry.

Tillis sides firmly with Trump: “Would I have done it? I don’t know because I’m not the president, and I haven’t been pursued relentlessly for three years.”

He can't even say that he wouldn't pull the same stunt as Trump. That stunt being misusing his power to bribe a foreign leader into helping him dig up dirt on a political opponent. Withholding military funding that was approved and directed by Congress, no less, merely for personal gain. And Tillis can't (or won't) say that he wouldn't do that himself. File that away for next year's General Election, just in case Tillis does survive the GOP Primary:

NC National Guard now protecting Syrian oilfields

Right in the crosshairs of ISIS, and anybody else who wants that oil:

The mechanized National Guard brigade combat team that is tasked with protecting infrastructure has been in Syria for a little over a week now, a key part of the U.S. military's repositioning of forces. While Pentagon officials will not put an exact figure on the number of troops expected to remain in Syria, they have said it is likely to be a few hundred fewer than the roughly 1,000 troops deployed there before October.

The policy changes have shaken up an already volatile region and severely tested the relationship between the U.S. and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, one of Washington's closest allies in the fight against ISIS.

The 30th Brigade Combat Team had recently deployed to Kuwait to replace a previous unit, and I had hoped their tenure would be uneventful. But when I saw reports of Trump wanting to move in some tanks and other armored vehicles to "provide security" for the oilfields in Syria, I got a sinking feeling. And with them being deployed after a monumental clusterfuck by Trump, I'm even more concerned:

Virginia Foxx has been a no-show at Impeachment hearings

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Because you don't need to learn anything when your mind's made up:

Two North Carolina lawmakers sit on the committees with access. However, one of them has so far not attended any of the secure testimony: Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District.

“Several depositions have been scheduled when Congress is not in session and other events have been scheduled in North Carolina. Others have had their time changed, conflicting with other responsibilities in Washington, including my work as Republican Leader on the Education and Labor Committee,” she wrote.

I won't say she is dumber than a box of rocks, but she's pretty damn close. She just admitted that depositions have been held when Congress was in session and not in session, meaning she had ample opportunity to attend at least one of these hearings. By trying to cover her ass with this catch-all statement, she accomplished the opposite. And this Tweet from late September shows she is nothing more than a hypocrite:

Constitutional disregard: Trump's emoluments lawsuits move forward

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When you have absolutely no ethical boundaries:

Trump opened the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House, shortly before he was elected in November 2016. Unlike past presidents, he has retained ownership of numerous business interests, including the hotel, while serving as president.

Since his election, the hotel has become a favored lodging and event space for some foreign and state officials visiting the U.S. capital. The lawsuit alleges that, in failing to disengage from the hotel, Trump has made himself vulnerable to inducements by foreign governments seeking to curry favor, violating the Constitution.

Even the lowliest bureaucrat in the Federal government ranks has to be wary of receiving gifts from individuals, lest they be raked over the coals for an ethical misstep. But Trump? He won't give you the time of day unless there's something in it for him. We all remember his declarations in 2016/2017 that he would sever himself from the family businesses, but he's done the exact opposite. Like doubling the annual membership fee at Mar-A-Lago to over $200,000 right after he was elected, then turning it into a shadow Camp David. But the particular case we're looking at today deals with Trump's DC hotel, and a look at the initial subpoenas is an eye-opener:

Proud Boy organizes rally at high school for Trump cheerleaders

These guys are popping up everywhere:

Jeremy Onitreb, who told The Washington Post in Facebook messages he is not a student and does not have any relationship with anyone on the cheer squad, is organizing a free-speech rally on Friday across from the school. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 130 people have said they’re going and more than 950 people have said they’re interested in attending the event Onitreb created on Facebook.

“The truth is if there were a Bernie 2020 or Biden 2020 [sign] and conservatives complained, nothing would have been done at all,” Onitreb said. “It’s only because of the name Trump that there was ever an issue.”

Of course the right-wing nutters are up in arms about this, but it's really not a 1st Amendment issue. Had those girls not been in uniform, I doubt anyone would have even noticed, or taken any disciplinary actions. But they were, and that crosses several lines. Of course if you're an idiot like Richard Hudson, somebody needs to spell that out for you:

Dan Forest claims he built his political career on positive ground

For a guy who has done basically nothing his whole career, Dan Forest sure does like to talk about himself. Just yesterday he was chatting with his own private PR machine to extol his own virtues as a man who's built his political career on positive ground. Let's break it down.

"Trump 2024" is not a joke, it's a warning

Because violating the Constitution (22nd Amendment) is just another day in crazyville:

President Trump’s tweeting of a “Trump 2024” meme should concentrate the minds of his opponents. So should the results of North Carolina’s special congressional election Tuesday.

Perhaps it’s a mistake to take the first too seriously. But it does underscore the utterly abnormal, chaotic, norm-breaking and corrupt nature of this administration. We have a leader who, like some of his dictator friends abroad, would love to be president for life.

I'm actually much more worried about what he and his rabid followers will try to do when he loses the 2020 Election. He may have to be (physically) removed from the White House in January 2021, but even if he rides off into the sunset on his golf cart, there will be some violent confrontations as a result. Here's more from EJ Dionne:

Breaking the chains: Trump's trade war will have lasting and devastating effects

And it's become obvious the President doesn't understand that:

President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the United States’ trade terms, as newly released data showed his trade war was washing back to American shores and hurting the factories that the president has aimed to protect.

The president has continued to insist that pain from the trade war is falling primarily on China, not the United States. On Friday, he said American companies were leaving China in response to his tariffs, a development that put the United States in an “incredible negotiating position.” And he said any business that complained about financial pain from the tariffs was suffering from bad management, not the trade war.

"Blaming the victim" has become so common with this bumbling fool that we hardly even notice it anymore. But we should, because it exposes his inability to recognize a mistake when he's made one, a character flaw that puts our country at risk on almost a daily basis. In order to understand what his reckless trade war is causing, follow me below the fold for an ecological analogy:

Beware of the false remedy of "Opportunity Zones"

A better name might be, "Gentrification On Steroids":

President Trump has portrayed America’s cities as wastelands, ravaged by crime and homelessness, infested by rats. But the Trump administration’s signature plan to lift them — a multibillion-dollar tax break that is supposed to help low-income areas — has fueled a wave of developments financed by and built for the wealthiest Americans.

Among the early beneficiaries of the tax incentive are billionaire financiers like Leon Cooperman and business magnates like Sidney Kohl — and Mr. Trump’s family members and advisers.

Personal anecdote time: Last year my town's merchant's association held a "business social," bringing in bankers and other Very Important Persons to discuss economic growth possibilities. One of the topics I was very keen to hear about was Opportunity Zones, because we have some areas that really need a lift. But the investment advisor (woman) who presented did not even mention economic improvement, or helping marginalized citizens. It was all about how to leverage the program to reap the most financial benefits. And another quick take: The more the merrier. The more expensive the project, the more tax savings reaped. Which means, the finished product (luxury apartments, high-end retail) would be inaccessible for people on the low end of the totem pole:

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