Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Other Voices On The Trump- GOP Shutdown - And Why Republicans Merit Much Blame Too

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Other voices, their takes on the ongoing shutdown, and why Republican cowards also deserve much of the blame:

by William Rivers Pitt | January 16, 2019 - 7:28am | permalink


"Let me see if I have this straight: Over the course of this past weekend, the president of the United States of America was exposed as being the target of a 2017 counter-intelligence investigation by the FBI. The FBI initiated its unprecedented investigation after Donald Trump fired then-Director James Comey but before Robert Mueller was tapped to begin his own investigation, because the agency feared the president might be working for the Russian government.

Hours later, The Washington Post revealed that Trump has made a practice of confiscating notes taken by the translators during meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and furthermore sworn those translators to absolute secrecy: Not even officials within Trump’s own investigation were allowed to see what he and Putin had discussed.

“As a result,” reported The Post, “US officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what US intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.”

Yeah, no, that’s not at all creepy. It all sounds exactly as innocent as Jared Kushner attempting to open back-channel communications with Russian officials during the 2017 transition, with Kushner suggesting they use Russian diplomatic facilities and equipment in order to try and thwart National Security Agency monitoring. Exactly as not creepy as that.

Another week, another barrage of horrors from the White House, and still the Republicans in Congress and the party apparatus refuse to say or do anything that could so much as ruffle the coif of Russia’s favorite TV star. Even the faintest peeps of displeasure are muffled now that senators like Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have gone home to lick their wounds.

I swear to Dog, some days it feels like Trump will have to plant a “WE HEART RUSSIA” billboard on the White House roof and then actually shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue before any Republicans in Congress get around to taking this situation seriously. Trump is not morally, ethically, temperamentally or intellectually fit to be allowed within 1,000 yards of the White House. Even his possession of those official White House M&Ms should be deemed a major national security threat; if he has them, it means he’s been in the building, and that is unacceptable on its face."


Cody Fenwick's picture
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"It was obvious from the start that President Donald Trump’s rash decision to shut down the federal government was callous, destructive, and strategically obtuse. But a new report from the New York Times late Tuesday night revealed that the shutdown will be much more economically harmful than initially believed — and the White House knows it.

The White House confirmed, the Times reported, that it had originally underestimated the negative economic impact of the shutdown, which Trump has said could last for months or “even years.” In light of these more negative predictions, the shutdown itself could cause the economy to contract, according to the report."

Chuck Collins's picture
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"The shutdown is a Trump-made disaster, with an estimated 420,000 “essential workers” required to show up for work without a paycheck. They have full-time responsibilities, which makes finding another part-time job nearly impossible.

Another 380,000 federal workers have been furloughed, including Coast Guard employees that are being encouraged to take on babysitting gigs and organize garage sales. They saw their last paycheck on December 22 and are scrambling to pay rent, mortgages, alimony, and credit card bills, let alone the groceries.

The average federal employee isn’t wealthy, taking home a weekly paycheck of $500, according to American Federation of Government Employees, the union representing affected workers.

The vulnerability they feel isn’t unusual. A majority of the U.S. population is living with very little by way of a savings cushion."

P.M. Carpenter's picture
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"The Washington Post reports what we all suspected: that Trump & Friends' government shutdown is about much more than a wall; it's about the right-wing thrill of watching the federal government get gutted.

"Prominent advisers to the president have forged their political careers in relentless pursuit of a lean federal budget and a reined-in bureaucracy," writes the Post. "As a result, they have shown a high tolerance for keeping large swaths of the government dark [and] services offline."

The more remarkable line in the Post's reporting, however, is this bit of Hayekian whimsy: "The shutdown has in some ways underscored their view that government can function with fewer employees."
by Jaime O'Neill | January 16, 2019 - 7:12am | permalink

"They could have taken a knee, those boys from Clemson, invited to the White House for yet another of the photo-op stunts All-Drama Donald stages with such stunning regularity. And "stunning" is the precise word for what these stunts have done to a nation that is wandering around, dazed and confused, stunned to imbecility by the unending barrage of bullshit, shell-shocked by the incoming rounds we're bombarded with daily, from Giuliani, from McConnell, from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, from the incessant fog of poison gas from Fox and right wing media from coast to coast"

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