Friday Reads: Redecorating the Oval Office and America with that Bordello MentalityPosted: August 18, 2017
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
I have one of those summer colds now. I can barely talk since my Thursday night lecture and my entire head feels like something is using ice picks to get out of it. The other headache I now have is what to do with the roof over the newer edition to the house. It has to be replaced and there is structural damage to some of the beams that support the roof. I have an old school style roof which means no plywood. It means sold pine beams. Needless to say, little old semi-retired lady is not in the position to deal with all of this.
But, I still feel like I’m in better shape than our country right now. I really can’t imagine what the Oval Office is going to look like when Kremlin Caligula returns to it. I’m thinking he’ll bring that Persian Whore House motif with him and that all the soldiers that enter the door will think they’ve entered one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces. Same ethos. I’ve found what other people think the redecoration job will look like.
Let’s face it. Trump has no idea what it means to be President or American. He only knows what it means to be Donald Trump and that is a very dark, shallow, and insane person. It’s time for him to go.
The Economist has an op ed up to that end. They explain that “U-turns, self-regard and equivocation are not what it takes.” I think that’s way too kind but then, they’re British aren’t they?
Start with the ineptness. In last year’s presidential election Mr Trump campaigned against the political class to devastating effect. Yet this week he has bungled the simplest of political tests: finding a way to condemn Nazis. Having equivocated at his first press conference on Saturday, Mr Trump said what was needed on Monday and then undid all his good work on Tuesday—briefly uniting Fox News and Mother Jones in their criticism, surely a first. As business leaders started to resign en masse from his advisory panels (see article), the White House disbanded them. Mr Trump did, however, earn the endorsement of David Duke, a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The extreme right will stage more protests across America. Mr Trump has complicated the task of containing their marches and keeping the peace. The harm will spill over into the rest of his agenda, too. His latest press conference was supposed to be about his plans to improve America’s infrastructure, which will require the support of Democrats. He needlessly set back those efforts, as he has so often in the past. “Infrastructure week” in June was drowned out by an investigation into Russian meddling in the election—an investigation Mr Trump helped bring about by firing the director of the FBI in a fit of pique. Likewise, repealing Obamacare collapsed partly because he lacked the knowledge and charisma to win over rebel Republicans. He reacted to that setback by belittling the leader of the Senate Republicans, whose help he needs to pass legislation. So much for getting things done.
Mr Trump’s inept politics stem from a moral failure. Some counter-demonstrators were indeed violent, and Mr Trump could have included harsh words against them somewhere in his remarks. But to equate the protest and the counter-protest reveals his shallowness. Video footage shows marchers carrying fascist banners, waving torches, brandishing sticks and shields, chanting “Jews will not replace us”. Footage of the counter-demonstration mostly shows average citizens shouting down their opponents. And they were right to do so: white supremacists and neo-Nazis yearn for a society based on race, which America fought a world war to prevent. Mr Trump’s seemingly heartfelt defence of those marching to defend Confederate statues spoke to the degree to which white grievance and angry, sour nostalgia is part of his world view.
Trump’s infrastructure council has melted into nothing. His Arts Commission resigned en masse. After all, who wants to be associated with a NAZI apologist?
The remaining members of a presidential arts and humanities panel resigned on Friday in yet another sign of growing national protest of President Trump’s recent comments on the violence in Charlottesville.
Members of the President’s Committee are drawn from Broadway, Hollywood, and the broader arts and entertainment community and said in a letter to Trump that “Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed.”
“Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville,” the commissioners wrote in a letter sent to the White House on Friday morning. “The false equivalencies you push cannot stand. The Administration’s refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn the cancer of hatred only further emboldens those who wish America ill. We cannot sit idly by, the way that your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions.”
“Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values,” they added. “Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.”
Republicans are beginning to get verbal about Trump’s lack of veracity and morality. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker’s response was muted but unusual in that he has been a Trump ally.
Sen. Bob Corker slammed President Donald Trump’s handling of the racially motivated protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, charging that the President “has not demonstrated he understands the character of this nation.”
The Tennessee Republican told reporters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Thursday that he thinks there must be “radical changes” within the White House.
“The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” Corker said, according to a video posted by local news website Nooga.com.
“He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today, and he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that,” Corker added.
Corker is the latest Republican senator to criticize Trump’s handling of the Charlottesville protests. Trump attacked two other Republican senators — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona — on Twitter on Thursday morning over their criticisms of him
South Carolina Senator Scott–a Republican African American—gave an interview and spoke strongly against Trump’s words and actions.
In an interview with VICE News on Thursday, he condemned the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville and questioned the president’s moral authority following the tragedy. “I’m not going to defend the indefensible…[Trump’s] comments on Monday were strong. His comments on Tuesday started erasing the comments that were strong. What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised when Tuesday happened. There’s no question about that.” Scott added that the president hasn’t reached out to him to discuss Charlottesville.
Mitt Romney’s Facebook page is catching some interest by the usual mainstream Republican suspects. Mitt still wants to believe he’s the White Horse. (I can’t believe I’m writing about Mittens again, gawdesses help me!)
The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis–who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat–and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute. And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association.
Trump’s white supremacist supporters are likely to start acts of desperation as city as states rush to remove Confederate Monuments and public buildings and roads named after Confederate traitors. Calls are being made in Arlington, VA to rename Washington-Lee High School. Native-American lawmakers in Montana have asked for removal a a fountain in Helena memorializing the Lost Cause. WTF is Montana doing with a Confederate memorial? I can understand the the role the lost cause has in the south as it led to Jim Crow and forced segregation but MONTANA? There’s very little historical or educational use of a fountain in Helena. Pull the damn thing down!
A Confederate fountain in Helena, Mont., is set for removal from a city park after Native American lawmakers petitioned the city council, according to a report on Thursday.
The Helena City Commission directed City Manager Ron Alles to remove the granite fountain from a downtown park on Tuesday, although no official vote was held on the matter, the Independence Record reported.
Helena Mayor Jim Smith was previously opposed to removing the century-old memorial, until violence during a white supremacist rally protesting the removal of a Confederate statue in Virginia on Saturday claimed the life of a 32-year-old woman.
“I believe the time has come for the removal of the fountain,” Smith said, the Record reported.
The decision follows a number of other cities choosing to remove Confederate statues following the deadly Charlottesville rally, which was organized by white nationalist and white supremacist groups.
The ACLU has historically defended the right of all Americans to exercise Free Speech. They have now added a caveat. They will not defend any one that protests carrying firearms.
The American Civil Liberties Union took a new stance on firearms Thursday, announcing a change in policy that it would not represent hate groups who demonstrate with firearms.
ACLU executive director Anthony Romero told The Wall Street Journal that the group would have stricter screenings and take legal requests from white supremacist groups on a case-by-case basis.
“The events of Charlottesville require any judge, any police chief and any legal group to look at the facts of any white-supremacy protests with a much finer comb,” Romero told the Journal. “If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able to carry loaded firearms,’ well, we don’t have to represent them. They can find someone else.”
The ACLU has come under fire after it filed a lawsuit in defense of the organizers who planned the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., after city officials denied them a permit to hold the rally around a statue of Robert E. Lee, which is set to be removed.
Everybody is still watching Bannon and his position in the White House. The news yesterday was about Bannon basically drunk dialing the press. He was probably among the many surprised to read himself in print. We’re still on Bannon Death Watch.
A decision is imminent from White House chief of staff John Kelly on whether Steve Bannon will keep his job, according to administration officials with knowledge of the situation:
- Bannon, who has run afoul of Trump in the past, is now suspected by the president of leaking about his West Wing colleagues. And Trump resents the publicity Bannon has been getting as mastermind of the campaign.
- Many West Wing officials are now asking “when,” not “if,” Bannon goes.
- Chief of Staff General John Kelly has been reviewing Bannon’s position.
- A recent deluge of media coverage of Bannon — including Bannon’s explosive conversation with the American Prospect — have not escaped either the president’s or Kelly’s attention.
One White House source twists the knife: “His departure may seem turbulent in the media, but inside it will be very smooth. He has no projects or responsibilities to hand off.”
It seems Kelly isn’t plugging the leaks. He’s not stopping the President from doing and saying vile things spontaneously in front of the press and–as always–on Twitter. How long before we get this hot mess moved out of the White House with his little sidekick Governor Enabler?
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?