Donald Trump

Appparently Walter Jones' shoes are too big to fill

Both GOP candidates for NC03 are pushovers for Trump:

Both state Rep. Greg Murphy, R-Pitt, and Dr. Joan Perry recently told The Daily Advance they’re willing to defer to President Trump on handling tensions and avoiding war with Iran, although Perry did say she would support Congress holding a formal vote before the president committed any troops to any armed conflict with the Middle Eastern country. Murphy, for his part, believes Trump has the power to initiate military action against Iran. We assume he believes the president enjoys this authority under a nearly two-decades-old authorization to use military force, even though that was adopted to fight terrorism in the wake of 9/11, not wage wars against sovereign nations.

That neither candidate would demand a vote by Congress before Trump committed any U.S. troops to armed combat in Iran shows just how much fear Republicans have of asserting any independence from Trump. Unfortunately, it also suggests we’ve learned nothing since the last time a GOP commander-in-chief was rattling a saber and slowly marching us off to war against a Middle Eastern country.

Bolding mine, because there was at least one man who learned something from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and these two candidates are trying to replace him. Back in 2007 Jones tried to pass a bill specifically stopping a sitting President from attacking Iran without a Congressional thumb's-up, and in 2012 he tried to pass a resolution making it an impeachable offense for a President to make war without Congressional approval:

Tillis & Tucker bump heads trying to brown-nose Trump

And it's only going to get worse over the next 10 months:

“Like other conservatives I had my doubts about Mr. Trump,” Tucker said. “Without a policy record, I questioned whether he would govern as a conservative. . . . I could not be more delighted, and frankly amazed, at how he has transformed this country in the last two years.”

Tillis allies don’t buy it. “It is laughable that a charlatan like Garland Tucker thinks he can make this race into a question of who can better support our booming economy under President Trump,” said Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund. “North Carolina needs a senator who will work with the president – not one . . . now lying to cover his tracks.”

Oh, the irony. Tucker is lying alright, but he's lying about Trump's "transformation" of the country. He has brought us about halfway to the United States depicted in Idiocracy, and clawing back from that is going to be damn near impossible. Also, I kinda hate to see Carter Wrenn devolve once again:

Trump's tax giveaway for the wealthy is squeezing poor college students

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Whether it's a flaw or a feature, it needs to be fixed asap:

A little-noticed provision in President Trump’s sprawling new tax law is treating middle- and low-income college students as if they are trust-fund babies, taxing sizable financial aid packages at a rate first established 33 years ago to prevent wealthy parents from funneling money to their children to lower their tax burdens.

Students with large financial aid packages are finding their nontuition assistance for items such as room and board taxed by as much as 37 percent, even if their family income tax rates are much lower.

Do the math. A poor kid receiving $11,000 a year for room and board is coughing up $4,000 of that in taxes. If that's "winning" I'd hate to see what happens when we start losing. This should not have come as such a surprise to lawmakers, because they've already been raked over the coals for over-taxing survivor benefits for Gold Star families:

Burr vs. Trump Jr: Subpoena ignites a firestorm in the GOP

Russiagate may be far from over:

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s decision to subpoena Donald Trump Jr. has ignited an internal Republican firefight over the fate of the committee’s Russia probe, as the panel’s GOP chairman showed no signs of backing down despite fierce criticism from many of his colleagues that it was time to move on.

Much of the backlash against the decision by Chairman Richard Burr (N.C.) to subpoena President Trump’s eldest son came from GOP senators who are up for reelection next year and from those closely aligned with the president. The outrage was partially fueled by Trump Jr. and his own allies.

Much like his father, Trump Jr is simply not clever enough to understand the pros and cons. He could put this issue to bed pretty quickly by showing up and giving a few hours of testimony, but (just like dad) he's too arrogant to do that. And the end result is more focus on the Russia meeting, not less. Say what you will about Richard Burr, he's wholly invested in the reputation of the Intel Committee, and he's not going to leave any questions unanswered. Here's some whining from the peanut gallery:

Earth Day 2019: Judge blocks Trump effort to mine coal on public lands

This is a big win, folks:

The decision, by Judge Brian Morris of the United States District Court of the District of Montana, does not reinstate President Barack Obama’s 2016 freeze on new coal mining leases on public lands. That policy was part of an effort by the Obama administration to curtail the burning of coal, a major producer of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

But the court ruling does say that the 2017 Trump administration policy, enacted by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to overturn Mr. Obama’s coal mining ban did not include adequate studies of the environmental effects of the mining, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, or NEPA, one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. “Federal Defendants’ decision not to initiate the NEPA process proves arbitrary and capricious,” Judge Morris wrote.

Bolding mine, because that is the most succinct definition of Trump's behavior I've seen. We don't know what he's going to do from day to day (arbitrary), but it almost always involves some little pissing contest he was drawn into (capricious). And apparently nothing gets under his skin more that previous policy moves by Obama:

Richard Burr warned Trump lawyer about Mueller targets

FYI, Jerry Falwell Jr. is not only a bigot, he's also a hypocrite

Big fan of campus free speech, just not his campus:

Among the incidents of alleged censorship that have become public, Falwell instructed the editor of Liberty Champion, the campus newspaper, in October 2016 to spike a column critical of then-candidate Trump after a leaked recording from Access Hollywood in which he is heard bragging about assaulting women.

In October 2017 and again the following year, Falwell and faculty members pressured student journalists not to cover a gathering of a progressive evangelical Christian group in Lynchburg, Va., where Liberty is located.

If Falwell blocked that "grab them by the pussy" article merely to help Trump's campaign, it would be bad enough. But he wanted more than that; he wanted his students to follow a false prophet, and was willing to deceive them in the process. And the school's lack of transparency and rigid control of student journalists is more akin to a cult than an institution of higher learning:

Two-Faced Tillis strikes again, waffling on Trump "emergency" vote

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Give him a back door, and he will bolt right through it:

Four Republican senators have publicly said they will support a House-passed resolution of disapproval when it comes up for final passage in the Senate on Thursday. That would be just enough to ensure passage of a measure overturning the national emergency that the president declared to secure border wall funding over Congress’s objection.

But that near certainty appeared to shift on Tuesday as Vice President Mike Pence pressed Senate Republicans at a closed-door meeting before their weekly policy lunch.

If I'm reading this correctly, the Senate would be revising the law on future emergency declarations, but not the Wall issue. Which would almost be worth it, just to keep Trump under control going down the road. But what if Trump Vetoes that bill? Can we count on enough Republican Senators to have the intestinal fortitude and personal integrity to override? That was a rhetorical question, because that fantasy creature doesn't exist. As for Tillis, he's just blowin' in the wind, as usual:

Trump threatens universities with "campus free speech" executive order

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Vowing to withhold billions of Federal dollars if they don't comply:

President Trump vowed Saturday to "soon" issue an executive order that would deny federal research funds to colleges and universities that do not support free speech. "If they want our dollars and we give them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people to speak," said Trump in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

During his speech, President Trump brought on stage and praised Hayden Williams, who was punched last week when he was at the University of California, Berkeley, seeking support for the president and conservative causes and criticizing Jussie Smollett, the actor who is facing charges of false reporting to the police in a hate crime he claimed to have experienced.

First of all, I don't condone physically assaulting somebody because of what they say, for several reasons. And one of those reasons is because (often) that is exactly what the speaker wants, just like this Berkeley dude. He's a field organizer for the Leadership Institute, the same incubator that produced the white supremacist group Youth for Western Civilization that plagued the UNC campus ten years ago:

Wetlands primer: Don't repeat the same mistakes of 40 years ago

Lost in the crazy Trump show is a startling move by his EPA:

In 1976, 3,000 commercial fishermen and residents signed a petition that pleaded with state officials to do something about the runoff that plagued our estuaries and threatened their ability to make a living fishing. Many of these folks were from Hyde County, and they saw firsthand vast areas of wetlands converted to “superfarms” and other land uses. Trillions of gallons of drainage flowed directly into salty estuaries. This runoff made these essential fish nurseries much less productive for shrimp, oysters, flounder, trout and other commercially and recreationally important marine life.

This regulatory rollback proposed by EPA to eliminate most existing regulatory safeguards for wetlands in our state will extinguish our fishing industry. We know from the past experiences of our fishing forefathers that no wetlands means no seafood.

If there's one thing Republicans are masters at, it's forgetting the past. Or acting like they forget, which is even worse. You can take virtually any environmental movement of the last 50 years, and you'll see a cycle of progress and regress, needed changes gained and then subsequently lost. But when it comes to something as important as wetlands, what's lost cannot be gained back again. They're not just a breeding ground for seafood resources, they're also a critical habitat for stationary and migratory avian species. But preserving wetlands is also good business, because they can greatly mitigate losses from hurricanes and flooding:

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