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Paul Street | Beyond the Madness of King Donald

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Donald Trump has a 40 percent approval rating. (Pixabay)

By this point in George W. Bush’s term, Bush had travelled to twenty-three states and a foreign country. Trump has visited just nine states and has never stayed the night. He inhabits a closed world that one adviser recently described to me as ‘Fortress Trump.’

Paul StreetTruthdig  / Rise Up Times 

May 17, 2017 | President Frankenstein, Donald Trump, has been pretty much the bizarre “insane clown president” (Matt Taibbi’s phrase) that I and many others expected. He’s only shocked me twice: his weird Twitter meltdown alleging that Barack Obama wiretapped his phones and his appallingly timed firing of FBI Director James Comey on grounds that seemed to take us all for complete idiots.

‘Banana Republic’ President

Does Trump’s dismissal of Comey prove that the president is in cahoots with Russia? No, it shows that Trump was incensed with Comey for cooperating with the Senate investigation into alleged ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, for ramping up the FBI’s inquiry into the same matter, for drawing too much media attention and for contradicting Trump’s wacky wiretapping charge.

http://www.truthdig.com/images/staff/Paul_Street.jpg Paul Street is former vice president for research and planning of the Chicago Urban League. Street is also the author of numerous books, including “Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis” (2007), “The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power” (2010), and “They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy” (2014), and a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Z Magazine/ZNet, Black Agenda Report and teleSUR English. He has taught American history at several Chicago-area colleges and universities.

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No, We Can’t Rely On The Special Counsel To Uncover The Cover-Up

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  • There’s no guarantee that Mueller will be allowed to complete his investigation, or that his findings will be disclosed if he does.
  • If we want real answers, it’s up to an engaged public (to) force Congress and the press to keep pushing for the truth.
  • Related: Constitutional Crisis

Philip Rotner, Huffington Post 

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/209360/thumbs/s-SCALES-OF-JUSTICE-large.jpg 06/12/2017 | In the aftermath of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony last week, we’re hearing a lot of people say that it’s time to let Special Counsel Robert Mueller sort it all out. Everything else is “just noise.” This is coming primarily from Republicans, but it is also a line we hear regularly from the cable television talking heads.

The idea is that when the special counsel, with all of his investigatory and prosecutorial powers, finishes his investigation and writes his report, we will find out definitively whether President Trump, or those around him, broke laws, obstructed justice, or simply lied and acted unethically.

Philip RotnerHuffington Post  Contributor,  is an attorney and an engaged citizen who has spent over 40 years practicing law. 

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Constitutional Crisis, Ruth Conniff <info@progressive.org>, the Progressive <progressive.org>

  • Donald Trump plunged the nation into a constitutional crisis this week
  • Related: Dan Rather Just Gave The BEST Response To Trump’s Comey Firing

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Five Truths About Voter Suppression

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An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early voting polling site in Austin, Texas, February 2014. AP/Eric Gay

 

The strength of American democracy depends on the ability of citizens to express their fundamental right to vote. Instead of pursuing the myth of voter fraud and encouraging tougher restrictions on voting, the Trump administration should work to fight voter suppression and expand the electorate.

Connor Maxwell and Danielle Root, American Progress

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May 12, 2017 | The United States has a troubled history of voter suppression. Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states used policies such as poll taxes and literacy tests to prevent African Americans from voting. Even after the voting barriers of the Jim Crow era were removed more than 50 years ago, some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Millian%20Fists%20%7C%20Illusion.jpg Under the guise of tackling voter fraud, 14 states adopted measures to restrict voting ahead of the 2016 election. These measures, including strict voter ID requirements and reductions in early voting opportunities and polling places, created barriers for tens of thousands of low-income citizens and citizens of color. Alarmingly, five of the 14 states have a history of racial discrimination in voting and previously had to seek federal approval before changing their voting laws and procedures.

Connor Maxwell  is a Research Associate for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. Danielle Root is the Voting Rights Manager for the Democracy and Government team at the Center.

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The World Is Better Off if We Leave the Paris Agreement

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  • Will America finally realize that we are no longer the world leader we think we are?
  • Donald Trump is the only world leader who isn’t sure if climate change is real. 
  • Related: 4 Pathways to Our Climate Future—Which Will We Choose?

Susan Matthews, Slate

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2011/04/04/2014681395.gif May 31, 2017 | One terrible game to play during this presidency is to assess the actual cost of the damage Donald Trump will have wrought by the time he’s done being president. How many people will lose their health insurance? How many Americans will be blocked from voting? How many hate crimes will we endure?

The president’s failure to acknowledge or address climate change ranks high in the catastrophic-Trump-decisions Olympics. Failure to act—or worse, acting to exacerbate—climate change could have lasting implications for the entire planet. It’s true that the train may be out of the station when it comes to avoiding climate change altogether, but we can still attempt to mitigate and alleviate the worst of the effects. In that context, Trump’s almost-guaranteed decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, the most promising global initiative addressing climate change, seems like a big deal. 

Susan Matthews is Slate’s science editor.

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4 Pathways to Our Climate Future—Which Will We Choose? Nicole D'Alessandro, EcoWatch 

  • What would the future look like if we took drastic action to cut emissions—or no action at all?
  • We can choose our own ending to this story. Which way will it go?
  • Top 20 ‘Dirty Denier$’ Who Accept Big Bucks from Big Polluters

 

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Series | The Obama Legacy, Part 7: Obama’s Failed Presidency

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Here, then, is Obama’s astounding record of failure.

 

 

Eric Zuesse, Strategic Culture Foundation

 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Change%20You%20Can%20Believe%20In%20Redacted.jpg 31.12.2016 | I’m a former lifelong Democrat, stating here a clear and incontestable fact: Barack Obama is a failed President.

It’s true not just because of the sad realities such as that «Top Ex-White House Economist Admits 94 % Of All New Jobs Under Obama Were Part-Time» — or, as the economists Alan Krueger and Lawrence Katz wrote in the original of that study: «94 percent of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements». («Alternative work arrangements» referred there to Americans who were involuntarily working only part-time jobs — they simply couldn’t find full-time, though that’s what they wanted.) In other words: Obama’s failure isn’t just because of America’s increasingly sales-clerk, and burger-flipping, workforce.

And Obama’s failure is also not just because «Poverty Rose In 96 % Of U.S. House Districts, During Obama’s Presidency». (However, that reality turned out to be decisive in Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump on November 8th, as Nate Cohn pointed out in The New York Times on December 23rd, headlining, «How the Obama Coalition Crumbled, Leaving an Opening for Trump». Hillary was running on Obama’s poor record.)

Eric Zuesse: American writer and investigative historian

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Previously in this series:

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Shocking Truth: This Is How Barack Obama Was Able To Prop Up The U.S. Economy, Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse / the Daily Sheeple

  • A day of reckoning is fast approaching, and I am not sure if Donald Trump even realizes that he will soon be faced with some incredibly heartbreaking choices.
  • Related: Capitalism's war on climate science

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This piece is part of a series on Obama’s legacy that The Huffington Post will be publishing over the next week. Read other pieces in the series here.

 

On Trump, McCarthyism, and the Russia Hacking Charges

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Chief Counsel for the Army Joseph Welch (left) being questioned by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy during the McCarthy-Army hearings in 1954. credit - Wikimedia Commons / US Senate // The Nation

  • One legacy of the McCarthy era is the cloud of suspicion that still hangs over anything connected with the former Soviet Union. If Trump or his associates were indeed guilty of collaborating with the Russians by interfering in the American election, then they broke the law and should be held accountable. But in a world threatened by nuclear weapons, ISIS, and climate change, it seems to me more important than ever that we talk to our adversaries and work toward détente.
  • Related: If We’re Gonna Impeach Trump, Let’s Make Sure We’re Clear on A Couple Points.

Victor Navasky, The Nation / Portside

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https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*ruwNn1LCyLKCeXOXpxVH-g.jpegApril 6, 2017 | So Peter Beinart in The Atlantic writes an article on “The New McCarthyism of Donald Trump.” Simon Jenkins in The Guardian informs us that “Donald Trump on terror is just McCarthyism for a new age.” Jonathan Chait in New York magazine argues forcefully that “Donald Trump Is the Perpetrator of McCarthyism, Not the Victim of It,” and Trump himself famously tweets, “Terrible! I just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Even the Russians chime in, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov observing that the uproar over Jeff Sessions “strongly resembles a witch hunt or the times of McCarthyism, which we thought were long over in the United States as a civilized country.”

The charges of McCarthyism are important because (a) McCarthyism indeed had such a profound impact on our country, our culture, and beyond; and (b) because some of its consequences may still be with us.

Victor Navasky has served as editor, publisher and now publisher emeritus of The Nation. He teaches at the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where he chairs the Columbia Journalism Review.

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If We’re Gonna Impeach Trump, Let’s Make Sure We’re Clear on A Couple Points, Thugz n Kisses, Medium 

We should be careful what we wish for.

 

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How the Left’s Long March Back Will Begin in the States

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The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) was founded in 2014 as a progressive answer to ALEC. It works with state legislators in a variety of ways to advance legislation, educate lawmakers and build a progressive power base in the states. (Blackbird Film Co./ Flikr)

  • 'For too long, we’ve been very focused at the federal level. And we’re seeing what happens when you put all your eggs in that basket and suddenly the basket breaks.'
  • Progressives’ answer to ALEC is helping to build power from the ground up.
  • Related: A Tough-Love Letter to the Left

Theo Anderson, In These Times

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February 6, 2017 Since the 2010 election, in which the GOP won power in a majority of statehouses, progressives have often lamented the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which creates template bills that allow legislators to easily replicate right-wing laws across states. It’s been a driving force, for example, in the spread of “right-to-work” legislation as the GOP’s strength in the states continues to grow.

The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) was founded in 2014 as a progressive answer to ALEC. It works with state legislators in a variety of ways to advance legislation, educate lawmakers and build a progressive power base in the states. Last year, staff members met with groups of legislators in about 20 states, to help them establish their policy priorities and understand the issues better. SiX’s priorities include climate change, predatory lending, criminal justice reform, education, election reform, and worker wages and benefits.

Theo Anderson, an In These Times staff writer, has contributed to the magazine since 2010 and is currently a Schumann Center writing fellow. He has a Ph.D. in modern U.S. history from Yale and is working on a book about the intellectual and religious origins of conservatism and progressivism.

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A Tough-Love Letter to the Left, Sam Adler-bell, New Republic / Portside 

  • A new book urges activists to avoid insularity and purism--and to focus on winning.
  • Related: The silence of the pseudo-left on the danger of war

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