Monday Reads: There must be No New Normal

children-in-yellow-starsWe must fight all efforts to normalize a Trumpified America and a press that tries to normalize right wing hate groups and the behavior of a leader with a Personality Disorder. There are too many people in this country whose lives will be getting appreciably worse.  There is already an explosion in the number of hate crimes.  If you cannot be a fighter then be an active witness to all of this and maintain the position that this is unique and in no way normal then speak your mind and values.


>TL Noelle feeling overwhelmed.
November 17 at 4:44pm ·

 

Driving for Uber in Murfreesboro and got a call for a pick up at MTSU. Once I got there, I saw 3 guys hovering threateningly over a young woman wearing a hijab. I called my rider and saw the woman check her phone and answer it, and through the phone and my window I heard one of the guys yell, “Don’t answer your phone when we’re trying to talk to you, didn’t anyone teach you manners over there?”
I was instantly filled with some crazy, angry adrenaline and thought, “I need to get her home safely.” I turned off the car, and got out, clutching the can of mace on my keychain tightly. I used the woman’s name to greet her. She looked up as I asked how she was, making a joke about how she seemed to be hanging out with the wrong crowd. One of the guys stepped forward and started to say I should turn around – I continued to walk towards the young woman and talk to her while raising my hand with the can of mace and very deliberately turned off the safety. The guy stepped away from me, and I put my arm around the woman and walked with her towards the car. I helped her in and then got in and drove down the road a ways where I pulled over to ask the young woman if she needed anything, and to allow myself to stop shaking.
The young woman was speechless most of the ride home but she got there safely, and I gave her my card in case she felt unsafe calling an Uber again some evening. I’m overwhelmed that I witnessed that happening and handled it that well… but I’m done with racism in this country. I will never not speak up.


We still haven not seen the President Elect’s taxes.  What sort’ve fresh hell do they contain?  We also know that he has not stopped conducting his personal business and that he is actively meeting with people that are funneling money to him from foreign countries.  Don the Con is continuing to enrich himself with taxpayer money.

President-elect Donald Trump reportedly met this week at Trump Tower with three Indian business partners, raising fresh questions about a separation between the Trump’s business and future work in the White House.

Trump’s children, who are part of his presidential transition team, also attended the meeting with Atul Chordia, Sagar Chordia and Kalpesh Mehta, according to India’s Economic Times.

The business partners are building a Trump-branded luxury apartment complex south of Mumbai. A picture of Trump standing alongside the men while giving a thumbs up was posted on Twitter earlier this week.

The meeting comes as Trump vowed to hand off his business to his three adult children in a blind trust to avoid potential conflicts of interest while serving in the Oval Office.

A spokeswoman for Trump told The New York Times that the three Indian real estate executives flew from India to congratulate Trump.

“It was not a formal meeting of any kind,” said Breanna Butler, a Trump Organization spokeswoman.

Butler and Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, declined to comment when asked by the Times if the meeting included any discussion of Trump businesses in India or expanding that business.

But Donald Trump Jr. showed interest in expanding the business further in India, Mehta told the Economic Times.

A former deputy editor at GQ India told the Times that he hosted an event at Sagar Chordia’s hotel during the presidential campaign, saying the Indian businessman expressed “elation” about the opportunities Trump’s candidacy could bring.

This meeting with real estate developers from India is most definitely a conflict of interest.

According to a report from The New York Times on Saturday, Trump met with Sagar Chordia, Atul Chordia and Kalpesh Mehta on Tuesday in Trump Tower. The three men have said in the past that they wished to expand their business relationship with the Trump Organization now that Trump has been elected run the country. Sagar Chordia confirmed by text message with The New York Times the accuracy of an Indian newspaper report saying the meeting had indeed been about expanding deals with Trump’s businesses.

Breanna Butler, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, has defended the incident on the grounds that “it was not a formal meeting of any kind.”

If the meeting had been legitimate, of course, one must question why it wasn’t formally announced by the Trump transition team at the time that it happened — especially considering the flak Trump has received for inefficiency in arranging meetings with foreign leaders.

This isn’t the first time Trump has been accused of cultivating his business relationships in inappropriate ways since being elected. As The Washington Post reported on Sunday, Trump has business operations in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, and a number of other countries, and has refused to either sell his business interests or give them to a so-called “blind trust” during his administration, as other presidents have done with their business ties in the past.

We face a presidency with enormous consequences for every one of us.  The conflict of interests between Trump’s businesses and the public interest of the USA is enormous.  We cannot ignore this.  We can not let the press or any one else normalize this.195897_5_

The Washington Post, meanwhile, reports that foreign diplomats are booking rooms at Trump’s hotel in D.C., hoping to curry favor with the president-elect. The same paper reports today on the dangers associated with Trump’s “vast assortment of foreign business interests never before seen in past presidencies,” creating conditions that “could open him to foreign influence and tilt his decision-making as America’s executive in chief.”

The Post added that some of the potentially problematic deals are relatively new: during his presidential candidacy, Trump launched eight business deals “that appear tied to a potential hotel project in Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich Arab kingdom that Trump has said he ‘would want to protect.’”

And remember, Trump has no intention, at least not yet, of creating a blind trust for his investments and private-sector enterprises.

The Huffington Post had a good summary on the scope of the problem.

No president has ever held a fortune that spans the globe. He has licensed his name to buildings in far-flung countries, including Azerbaijan, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Turkey. Some are allies, some are ruled by autocratic dictatorships and some are at odds with American interests. Further, he owes hundreds of millions of dollars each to the government-owned Bank of China and the privately owned Deutsche Bank. The Trump Organization has plans to continue to expand the company around the globe during its namesake’s presidential administration.

Not only do these foreign holdings, debts and future deals present imminent conflicts of interest for American foreign policy, but they also create an immediate constitutional concern. The U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause states that no government official shall receive favorable payment from a foreign government, foreign government-owned company or foreign official without the consent of Congress. It is, in essence, an anti-bribery clause preventing foreign corruption.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who’ll serve as Trump’s chief of staff, insisted yesterday that the White House counsel’s office will “make sure” everything’s kosher. It wasn’t reassuring: Priebus didn’t explain exactly what steps the counsel’s office would/could take, and it doesn’t help address some of the ongoing questions arising now, during the transition process.

plazademayoThere’s no indication that Republicans are going to deal with this dangerous situation.

This morning, The Post published an ambitious effort to gauge the full scope of that business empire and the potential for conflicts it creates. The story concludes: “At least 111 Trump companies have done business in 18 countries and territories across South America, Asia and the Middle East.” Included in this are deals that were launched during Trump’s candidacy that are tied to a hotel project in Saudi Arabia, which Trump has vowed to protect militarily.

Governmental ethics experts believe all of this creates the potential for a variety of conflicts of interest. Trump has said he is turning his empire over to his children. But this doesn’t eliminate the potential problems here. Government policies, both domestic and foreign, could still impact his family’s holdings. Foreign governments or foreign companies controlled by foreign governments could still do business with Trump entities on terms favorable to the latter in an effort to curry favor with the new administration. One can even envision domestic businesses doing the same, in an effort to ensure against policies that run counter to their interests.

TPM documents that Don the Con is cashing in hugely in Argentina.

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo protest by their familiy disappeared, during the March by the life (Marcha por la Vida) against the Argentine military dictatorship that governed the country between 1976 and 1983. October, 5, 1982. Photo: Eduardo Longoni

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo protest by their familiy disappeared, during the March by the life (Marcha por la Vida) against the Argentine military dictatorship that governed the country between 1976 and 1983. October, 5, 1982.
Photo: Eduardo Longoni

For a number of years, Trump and his Argentine partners have been trying to build a major office building in Buenos Aires. The project has been held up by a series of complications tied to financing, importation of building materials and various permitting requirements.

According to a report out of Argentina, when Argentine President Mauricio Macri called President-Elect Trump to congratulate him on his election, Trump asked Macri to deal with the permitting issues that are currently holding up the project.

This comes from one of Argentina’s most prominent journalists, Jorge Lanata, in a recent TV appearance. Lanata is quoted here in La Nacion, one of Argentina’s most prestigious dailies. Said Lanata: “Macri called him. This still hasn’t emerged but Trump asked for them to authorize a building he’s constructing in Buenos Aires, it wasn’t just a geopolitical chat.”

(For Spanish speakers, here’s the original Spanish we’ve translated: “Macri llo llamó. Todavía no se contó pero Trump le pidió que autorizaran un edificio que él está construyendo en Buenos Aires, no fue solo una charla geo política.”)

Separately, Trump’s business partner on the project, Felipe Yaryura, was there on election night at the Trump celebration in New York City.

Why aren’t we hearing about this in the American press?

article-2600294-1cf3c9f700000578-923_634x423Indeed, why not?  We’re too busy picking on the cast of Hamilton.  Top network execs and anchors will be meeting with Don the Con on Monday.   This was arranged by the harpy of lies, campaign mommy.

Meanwhile, the real support of the Trump movement met in a neo-Nazi, KKK extravaganza. The press are conveniently calling the Heil Victory folks their preferred label of Alt-right.  This is another thing we cannot normalize.  We cannot normalize the Trump Reality. 

What if the push against “normalizing” the potential horrors of a Trump administration ends up making the actual administration seem better by comparison?

In the 10 days since Donald Trump was elected to the presidency, critics — liberal and conservative alike — of Donald Trump and his inner circle have warned that his presidency will violate, undermine, and permanently weaken democratic norms. Comparisons have been made to the rise of Putinist autocracy in Russia (here at Vox and elsewhere), to the slow descent of Turkey into authoritarianism under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Nazi Germany.

People fret that the Trump administration will crack down on a free press; that it will only serve to enrich itself; that it will try to keep itself in power indefinitely. You’ve probably seen warnings that we shouldn’t even assume there will be another presidential election in 2020, because President Trump might have found a way to suspend or amend the Constitution by then.

Given everything that’s happened this year — including what the past two weeks have revealed about the Trump administration-in-waiting — it’s hard to say that planning for the worst-case scenario is irrational. The people most alarmist have, generally, been the most correct. (One notable exception: There was violence at neither the Republican National Convention nor on Election Day.)

But what if the reality of the Trump administration turns out to be not quite the worst-case scenario? What if it is simply very bad in less unprecedented ways? Won’t that seem, by comparison, normal?

This is the real danger of a fight against “normalization” that assumes that the country is being drawn inevitably down the road to authoritarianism: The Trump administration could take another path and go unnoticed.

Donald Trump probably won’t cancel elections, but he could — and is relatively likely to — oversee a sweeping rollback of voting rights. His administration may not throw journalists in jail, but it could easily step up surveillance of domestic protesters. His appointees may not entrench a permanent oligarchy, but it could still — for millions of people in America — reduce the willingness and ability to participate in public life to zero.

sauron_eye_barad_durI have no doubt that I will be upset, depressed, angry, and despondent for quite some time.  I will not accept this as the new normal me. None of this is normal.  It’s what happens with something very dark takes over your country.

Meanwhile, the taxpayer will be footing a tremendous bill for the first family’s refusal to act like the first family.  Melania will not move to the White House.  Don the Con will spend most of his time in the Mount Doom which will have to be up-armored and blockaded a lot.  There have been rumors that Baron is autistic and this might be the reason she doesn’t want him moved from his home in the Tower of Sauron.

The decision to remain in their Midtown home will increase the security presence around Trump Tower — an effort that will involve both Secret Service and the NYPD, an expert familiar with high-level security told The Post.

“That building is going to become the White House of New York,” said Jim Reese, a former Delta Force commander and president of TigerSwan, a global security company based in North Carolina.

Here’s a rumor mill if you’re interested in the speculation which is just speculation.  It would be somewhat interesting that Trump felt so free to mock disabled people while having a son that could, himself, be disabled.  It would also explain some of Don the Con’s fascination with the Anti-Vaxxers but that’s probably another thing that wouldn’t be disclosed.  Just add to the pile of things that we’ll never know about the person who will be in the position to strip us of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I will resist. I will witness.  I will fight.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


56 Comments on “Monday Reads: There must be No New Normal”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Clinton’s popular vote lead now stands at 1.677 million votes, a margin of 1.3 points.

  2. ANonOMouse says:

      • ANonOMouse says:

        Excellent!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        And basically describes all of my neighbors and many of my own family. I’ve fundamentally cut all ties with the few remaining fence sitters in my family since this election. They knew exactly who they were voting for and what they were voting for and the impact on those of us who are in minorities and they simply did not care. One family member emailed me and wrote “I love you and I’ve always defended you”. My reply was “you’ve defended me to your husband and children, but went into a voting booth and voted against me. Goodbye”.

        • Pat Johnson says:

          Myself, as the mother of a gay son I love more than life itself, the only person who ever once said something to my face was my ex husband.

          I threw him to the curb pronto and never spoke to that asshole again. Ironically only one of four 4 kids even bother with him and then on a very limited basis.

          These people are cretins. Sad but true.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Oh, they don’t say anything horrible to my face because I’m a hellion and they know I wouldn’t tolerate it. Their treatment of me is more subtle, snide and veiled. My grandmother and I were very close, like mother – daughter and she accepted my sexuality and my partner, now wife. She was very loving and supportive of us as a couple. On the night she died I was sitting vigil at her bedside. Everyone else was too tired or too busy or too scared to stay, so I was sitting at her side, alone, when she drew her last breath and I felt it was an honor to be with her in her last moments. At her funeral my wife and I along with a friend and some of my children went to the funeral home together. My grandmother knew my friend and loved her, but when we went to the buffet set up by the family, a buffet I contributed to, to get a sandwich, one of my Aunts came up to me and said “you and the kids can eat but I don’t want her or him eating our food”. Then she pointed to our friend, who isn’t gender compliant, and I went off like a bottle rocket. I told her “we’re eating here and if you don’t like it, too damn bad”. My aunt walked away. That’s the sort of humiliation I’ve lived with ever since I came out. So, when someone tells me they “defend me to other family members” after they’ve told me they voted for Trump, that’s the last straw for me. They can all KMA! 🙂 I’ll probably die swinging at thin air I’m so stubborn.

      • contrask says:

        OMG – that article is right on!

      • NW Luna says:

        Oh yeah, “that’s just your education talking.” All too familiar. Railing against big government and a “nanny state,” but wanting government big enough to get in the bedroom and to police private lives. Railing against paying taxes, but constantly using the county library and complaining about potholes in the public roads. Blaming immigrants when their own fathers and grandparents came from another country. Shouting about hellfire and damnation yet nothing about forgiveness and love, nothing about helping the poor and the sick.

        • jan says:

          we are in a blue state but red area and what you say even happens here. We are surrounded by lazy republicans. When people have something that they are too lazy to dispose of properly, they literally throw it out in the street. They rake their leaves into the street, throw plastic pop bottles into public areas, and throw refrigerators in local parks. I expect any day now they will park junker cars in public streets and expect the city to pick them up. They have actually said that when throwing things in the street. “the city can clean it up”.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    • NW Luna says:

      An “off the record meeting” with the Loser of the Popular Vote? Can you imagine what they’d say about Hillary meeting with CEOs of the networks? Hope they enjoy reading their new Trump-dictated scripts on the air. I expect they’ll be full of monotonous praise for Dear Leader day after day.

      What world are we living in?

    • dakinikat says:

      http://nyp.st/2galcQw

      Clusterfuck … Bye bye first amendment…

      And this is the NY Post

  4. dakinikat says:

    I buried this up top but be sure to read it:

    A scramble to assess the dangers of President-elect Donald Trump’s global business empire
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-scramble-to-assess-the-dangers-of-president-elects-global-business-empire/2016/11/20/1bbdc2a2-ad18-11e6-a31b-4b6397e625d0_story.html

    Turkey is a nation in crisis, scarred by government crackdowns following a failed coup attempt and on a potential collision course with the West. It is also home to a valuable revenue stream for the president-elect’s business empire: Trump Towers Istanbul.

    Donald Trump’s company has been paid up to $10 million by the tower’s developers since 2014 to affix the Trump name atop the luxury complex, whose owner, one of Turkey’s biggest oil and media conglomerates, has become an influential megaphone for the country’s increasingly repressive regime.

    That, ethics advisers said, forces the Trump complex into an unprecedented nexus: as both a potential channel for dealmakers seeking to curry favor with the Trump White House and a potential target for attacks or security risks overseas.

    The president-elect’s Turkey deal marks a harrowing vulnerability that even Trump has deemed “a little conflict of interest”: a private moneymaker that could open him to foreign influence and tilt his decision-making as America’s executive in chief.

    But the ethics experts eyeing Trump’s empire are now warning of many others, found among a vast assortment of foreign business interests never before seen in past presidencies. At least 111 Trump companies have done business in 18 countries and territories across South America, Asia and the Middle East, a Washington Post analysis of Trump financial filings shows.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks, Dakinikat. I think you hit all the low points–so far.

    We also can’t forget Michael Flynn’s business connections in Turkey.

    The corruption is already beyond the pale, and he isn’t even POTUS yet. Something has to be done.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    Your post is ominous but not without foundation. This man is already showing signs of a dictator just by ignoring a necessary “blind trust”. It appears to be”business as usual” with the Trump family and shows no signs of stopping.

    I had not heard of any problems associated with Barron Trump but I did find it unusual that Melania accompanies her 10 year old son both to and from school daily, A kid of that age is usually trying to separate a little from the parent but she is either an overprotective mother or one who recognizes some of his limitations. Odd.

    His choices so far are people who will more than likely “heel” to his command. He has always done whatever he wants to do and only a GOP congress can attempt to reel him in. That won’t happen since they see in him the perfect fool to manipulate merely by kissing his fat ass. It’s
    all he asks or expects. Flattery will get them anywhere with this raving, ego driven simpleton.

    He is surrounded by crackpots and malcontents. Their individual agendas are fixed. The US is in for something they could never contemplate even though it was right there all along. He rarely covered his intentions no matter how stupid or ridiculous they appeared to most of us who saw through him.

    Simply said he is a bad and stupid man who is now in charge and there is not a hell of a lot we can do to change it. This is what is making us sad and depressed. The inability to wholly grasp what is about to happen in our name.

    If there is a light at the end of the tunnel it left us on November 8, 2016.

    • jan says:

      also sounds like he is going to be taking bribes (business bribes) while in office. Filling his pockets by living in the WH. God!!

  7. ANonOMouse says:

  8. dakinikat says:

    President-elect Trump reportedly asked foreign leader to approve permits for high-rise
    The request could land Trump in legal trouble

    https://thinkprogress.org/president-elect-trump-reportedly-asked-foreign-leader-to-approve-permits-for-high-rise-f97b2fc2c446#.ttkmtt7oc

    Argentine President Mauricio Macri was one of many such leaders to call Trump and congratulate him on his electoral college victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. According to a report in the Argentinian paper La Nacion, which was first flagged in the United States by Talking Points Memo, Trump asked Macri during this call to “authorize a building he’s constructing in Buenos Aires.”
    According to TPM, Trump is a partner in a project to build an office building in the Argentine capital, but the “project has been held up by a series of complications tied to financing, importation of building materials and various permitting requirements.”

  9. dakinikat says:

    http://www.vox.com/world/2016/11/19/13678070/michael-flynn-national-security-adviser-actual-job

    Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, believes fake news and partisan conspiracy theories
    And now his job is telling Donald Trump what to believe.

  10. Sweet Sue says:

    Is everybody here experiencing this, too?
    I wake up in the morning, opening my eyes and regaining consciousness slowly and feel okay.
    Then, once again, it hits me-hits my midsection like an iron fist-the realization that Trump is going to take the Oath of Office in January.
    I fall back into despair.
    It’s Groundhog Day meets American Horror Show.

    • dakinikat says:

      Yeah. I’ve described it as the Orwellian version of Groundhog Day.

    • NW Luna says:

      You describe my mornings, except that it’s hitting me even before I open my eyes.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m experiencing something similar, but I’m so damned mad that I wake up ready to fight. I’m consuming news at a rate much faster than normal because I want to know what’s going on.

    • contrask says:

      I haven’t had a day since Nov 9 that my stomach wasn’t in semi-nausea and I still can’t think clearly. I’m a wimpy girl that’s read too many fantasies – still hoping the prince(ss) is coming to save the day.
      It’s Dumbledore’s Army hiding in the room of requirement, hoping Harry is finding the Horcruxes meets Frodo trying to keep the ring off Sauron’s hand.

      • Boo Radly says:

        Ditto, shock, loathing what will follow for our country as well as globally. Dak – you nailed.

      • NW Luna says:

        I remember the bumper stickers from 2000 saying “Frodo failed. The Enemy has the ring” after W. Bush was selected. Much, much worse now.

        I commented at another place: “Sauron won. Mordred lived.” And their soldiers too.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes. Every day since the election.

    • Riverbird says:

      The same thing happens to me every morning.

  11. NW Luna says:

    Remember:

  12. ANonOMouse says:

    ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

  13. Pat Johnson says:

    President Elect Pussy Grabber met with tv honchos today and called the “a roomful of liars”.

    How awful. Let’s see how far they bend over for this pig.

  14. William says:

    There are so many things to be infuriated and horrified about. Right now, I am thinking about how Hillary was attacked, mocked, criticized for every single little thing, most of which were not even things. But Trump is given a free pass on everything. We spent 18 months listening to the media caterwaul about emails, on a private server which was never hacked. Now Trump is making calls to world leaders on unsecured lines, and the media smiles and lets it go. We heard about the Clinton Foundation, a great charity which the media decided was very troublesome, but they could not find anything, so they settled for screaming about “optics.’ Trump has hundreds of conflicts of interest, shady deals, lawsuits against him; and the media is hiding or obscuring it all.

    What is going on here? No media could be that absymally incompetent. It has to be that they wanted Trump to win, they will put up with dictatorship if they get profits out of it. Or mybe they want America to be run by a dictator. Hillary was treated so absymally by the media, that one cannot even bear to think about it. It is like a chld whose parent either hates her, or is deranged, and so yells at her and punishes her for whatever she does. Hillary, instead of falling apart, dealt with all of it, and surmounted it–until the media managed to seriously damage her by jumping up and down about a complete non-story. I can only conclude that the media is corrupt and biased to an extreme degree, and that everyone should , for their own sanity, stop watching or lsitening to them. The problem is that too many credulous and uninformed people do listen, just like they do in fascist dictatorships where the news is simply propaganda. Fox has been disseminating propaganda for years, and now it looks as if the rest of the media has joined in, to our very great peril.

  15. I think it is partly misogyny, but must also be that there have been preparations to take over the country for a long time, and Democrats were and are not able to stop it or even see it fully. We all keep waiting for the leadership of the Democratic party to be stronger and bolder. If they cannot do that, then it is up to the rest of us. Maybe Hillary has been neutralized. I hope not, but if so, again, it is up to the rest of us. What hurts for me, aside from all the damage that will result to so many of us, is that we are being played against one another so very easily, and in that, misogyny did play a big role–and unless that is reversed (and can it be?), I don’t see us coming together sufficiently. We have had a sleepy citizenry in many ways. At least Hillary’s run has helped wake us up as we see and feel the loss of what could have been. But with all the aroused feelings, can we seek a woman for leadership who has that breakthrough quality of seeing with a different mind than the usual?

  16. contrask says:

    Sauk County, WI had 31,838 votes total but 34,323 cast for President? #AuditTheVote dammit https://t.co/KXIUelVDGT— Barbara Seiders (@eigenseide) November 22, 2016

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js