Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 67,030
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 67,030
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...it's the way the republican agenda has been advanced, for decades.
We've been living big republican lies for decades. Most of their politics revolves around maintaining those lies, at least in their supporters' eyes. War on terror, war on drugs, war on climate science, defending coal, oil drilling, privatization of education and healthcare lies, are enmeshed in our national policy and appropriations.
Now we are seeing full republicanism play out, with their governmental majorities enabling them to advance many of these lies into action or law. Some of them are tragicomedic, like the recent Trump lie about millions of immigrants voting illegally in the past election - put into action under vice-president Pence who hasn't bothered to pick up a phone to call even one state representative to determine the truth.
Others, like Trumps promised plan to 'defeat ISIS' are still floating around like a lost hope as his military lurches forward without direction or clarity from their commander-in-chief. A great deal of Trump and his republican enablers' lies are being employed as cover for their kleptocracy, influence peddling, and outright theft.
We can only hope to regain our only effective counter, removing them from power, because this administration and cohorts don't give a damn about the courts or the law. That's how it always been, for the entire lifetime of my political experience; a fight for the truth, over republicans' self-interested lies, designed to block progressive change and legislative accountability.
Now, we're realizing and experiencing full-republicanism; the essence of deliberate dishonesty. It's the political fight of our lives, for the truth.
Posted by bigtree | Thu Mar 16, 2017, 07:40 PM (4 replies)
...apparently Bharara is being yanked from a number of high-profile cases, some involving New York's financial district, some involving Russian mobsters. Very likely, he would have been at the center of any investigation into Trump's finances, with jurisdiction over Trump Tower.
Of course, Trump had the right to do what other presidents have done and clean house, but Preet had been assured he would stay. It raises the question of what he was investigating and what he was on to. In many ways, Bharara is Trump's Archibald Cox, the special Watergate prosecutor who was fired by the Nixon White House in the ''Saturday Night Massacre''.
Okay, maybe not that big, but this mass firing has to be viewed in the prism of the ongoing investigation(s) into the Trump White House. There isn't anything to be done about it, but it shouldn't go unremarked on. Without replacements in place, there are myriad, ongoing cases and investigations affected, undoubtedly many critical issues left in the lurch.
Maybe the sudden purge is just part of the jitters Trump's developed since he made his 'wiretapping' charge against Barack Obama. Trump had better hope no one finds there's any truth to his claims. In order to snoop on Trump, the Obama Justice Dept. would need a warrant. If a warrant exists, and if the probable cause needed for a judge to approve one is revealed to Congress or the public, the entire bottom will fall out of his presidency.
Maybe he can see the dragnet closing in. Makes sense, from his standpoint, to get rid of this leading corruption expert.
Posted by bigtree | Sat Mar 11, 2017, 05:40 PM (14 replies)
...but a threat to our democracy, itself.
Among the most troubling of Donald Trump's actions have to be the almost daily tweets and declarations from the Chief Executive denigrating the press for daring to criticize him, the majority of his statements opposing them proven demonstrably and unequivocally false.
There's also the, now rescinded, gag orders on several government agencies which would have effectively blocked the free flow of information about the actions and product of our government offices.
In addition, there has been a flurry of executive orders from Trump which has exceeded those issued during President Obama's first week., on track to far outpace the former president's reliance on EOs to overcome republican obstruction. There's no such barrier to legislative progress for Trump, so it's a curious and contradictory exercise considering his and other republicans' many criticisms of President's Obama's.
His behavior reeks of every pattern of the history of autocratic heads of state who fomented severe disruption and destruction of democratic institutions in their countries and ushered in dictatorships or other imperialistic rule.
That's not to suggest that our own democracy is so degraded to easily allow some sort of swift takeover. Yet, there's also a functionally compliant republican legislature in place, well prepared to manipulate our democratic process of law and elections to accommodate and perpetuate such an autocratic rule.
So, plainly speaking, we should be openly asking if Trump is dismantling our democracy in favor of autocratic rule, especially since many of his major actions are directed at taking away so many vestiges of our compacts between government and American citizens, like health care and other social and economic benefits; all the while enriching himself, personally, with unaccountable business interests conflicting with our nation's interests here and around the globe.
I believe, very reluctantly, but resolutely, that Donald Trump is proving himself to be a threat to our democracy. What's less sure to me is where we institutionally trigger that distinction or determination. What I fear is that the closer we allow ourselves to come to that point, the greater the risk that he succeeds.
Posted by bigtree | Sat Jan 28, 2017, 11:58 AM (19 replies)
Leftfielder™ @DaleMoss2 1h1 hour ago
“We feel the difference now. See, now, we're feeling what not having hope feels like" - Michelle Obama
Posted by bigtree | Fri Jan 20, 2017, 02:24 PM (8 replies)
...that's where I believe we've come in this Obama presidency.
As we reflect-on, revel-in the final day of this presidency, many of us are coming to terms with the fact that most of the fights we waged along with President Obama will need to be fought and defended all over again in the Trump presidency. As resolute as ever on this important day, I take great pride in the successive elections of Barack Obama, and depart from this historic moment in time with much the same message I imparted when we began this enterprise.
In very much the same spirit as my 'flashback' posts this week, I want to express, one last time, perhaps, my appreciation for all the folks who worked so hard to make this possible in my lifetime, by sharing what I wrote in 2009.
Good luck, best regards, and best wishes to all of us.
A Leader in the White House
In electing Barack Obama, America advanced an authentic leader to the White House.
Posted by bigtree | Thu Jan 19, 2017, 10:37 AM (15 replies)
Raw Story @RawStory 26m26 minutes ago
US press corps fights back with open letter to Trump: You won’t set the rules for us http://ow.ly/DEEt3086dgc
Kyle Pope, the editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review penned an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump on behalf of the U.S. Press Corps setting some clear ground rules moving forward:
Dear Mr. President Elect:
Posted by bigtree | Tue Jan 17, 2017, 10:22 PM (2 replies)
...third in a series, up to the inauguration, of some favorite President Obama posts of mine.
President Obama has a favorite photograph. It's a photo of Abraham Lincoln taken toward the end of his life. Here's what he wrote in Time magazine in 2005. about that face and why it inspires him . . .
What I See in Lincoln's Eyes
by, Barack Obama
Monday, July 04, 2005
My favorite portrait of Lincoln comes from the end of his life. In it, Lincoln's face is as finely lined as a pressed flower. He appears frail, almost broken; his eyes, averted from the camera's lens, seem to contain a heartbreaking melancholy, as if he sees before him what the nation had so recently endured.
It would be a sorrowful picture except for the fact that Lincoln's mouth is turned ever so slightly into a smile. The smile doesn't negate the sorrow. But it alters tragedy into grace. It's as if this rough-faced, aging man has cast his gaze toward eternity and yet still cherishes his memories--of an imperfect world and its fleeting, sometimes terrible beauty. On trying days, the portrait, a reproduction of which hangs in my office, soothes me; it always asks me questions.
What is it about this man that can move us so profoundly? Some of it has to do with Lincoln's humble beginnings, which often speak to our own. When I moved to Illinois 20 years ago to work as a community organizer, I had no money in my pockets and didn't know a single soul. During my first six years in the state legislature, Democrats were in the minority, and I couldn't get a bill heard, much less passed. In my first race for Congress, I had my head handed to me. So when I, a black man with a funny name, born in Hawaii of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, announced my candidacy for the U.S. Senate, it was hard to imagine a less likely scenario than that I would win--except, perhaps, for the one that allowed a child born in the backwoods of Kentucky with less than a year of formal education to end up as Illinois' greatest citizen and our nation's greatest President.
In Lincoln's rise from poverty, his ultimate mastery of language and law, his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat--in all this, he reminded me not just of my own struggles. He also reminded me of a larger, fundamental element of American life--the enduring belief that we can constantly remake ourselves to fit our larger dreams.
A connected idea attracts us to Lincoln: as we remake ourselves, we remake our surroundings. He didn't just talk or write or theorize. He split rail, fired rifles, tried cases and pushed for new bridges and roads and waterways. In his sheer energy, Lincoln captures a hunger in us to build and to innovate. It's a quality that can get us in trouble; we may be blind at times to the costs of progress. And yet, when I travel to other parts of the world, I remember that it is precisely such energy that sets us apart, a sense that there are no limits to the heights our nation might reach.
Still, as I look at his picture, it is the man and not the icon that speaks to me. I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator. As a law professor and civil rights lawyer and as an African American, I am fully aware of his limited views on race. Anyone who actually reads the Emancipation Proclamation knows it was more a military document than a clarion call for justice. Scholars tell us too that Lincoln wasn't immune from political considerations and that his temperament could be indecisive and morose.
But it is precisely those imperfections--and the painful self-awareness of those failings etched in every crease of his face and reflected in those haunted eyes--that make him so compelling. For when the time came to confront the greatest moral challenge this nation has ever faced, this all too human man did not pass the challenge on to future generations. He neither demonized the fathers and sons who did battle on the other side nor sought to diminish the terrible costs of his war. In the midst of slavery's dark storm and the complexities of governing a house divided, he somehow kept his moral compass pointed firm and true.
What I marvel at, what gives me such hope, is that this man could overcome depression, self-doubt and the constraints of biography and not only act decisively but retain his humanity. Like a figure from the Old Testament, he wandered the earth, making mistakes, loving his family but causing them pain, despairing over the course of events, trying to divine God's will. He did not know how things would turn out, but he did his best.
A few weeks ago, I spoke at the commencement at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. I stood in view of the spot where Lincoln and Stephen Douglas held one of their famous debates during their race for the U.S. Senate. The only way for Lincoln to get onto the podium was to squeeze his lanky frame through a window, whereupon he reportedly remarked, "At last I have finally gone through college." Waiting for the soon-to-be graduates to assemble, I thought that even as Lincoln lost that Senate race, his arguments that day would result, centuries later, in my occupying the same seat that he coveted. He may not have dreamed of that exact outcome. But I like to believe he would have appreciated the irony. Humor, ambiguity, complexity, compassion--all were part of his character. And as Lincoln called once upon the better angels of our nature, I believe that he is calling still, across the ages, to summon some measure of that character, the American character, in each of us today.
the essay: www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/06/28/obama.lincoln.tm/
How newspapers covered Abraham Lincoln’s assassination 150 years ago: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/04/14/how-newspapers-covered-abraham-lincolns-assassination-150-years-ago/?postshare=3721429009768815
Flashback Post #1
Flashback Post #2
Flashback Post #4
Posted by bigtree | Mon Jan 16, 2017, 10:47 AM (10 replies)
...second in a series, up to the inauguration, of some favorite President Obama posts of mine.
President and First Lady's visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation
Kat 4 Obama @Kat4Obama 15m
MT @NerdyWonka Native American dancers from 20+ reservations prepare for arrival of POTUS & FLOTUS. #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/4lOywtClQC
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
Native American children await the arrival of POTUS and FLOTUS to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/Qrsjz1oJV8
Chris Stearns @stearnsseattle
Native youth represent w/ pride at the President and First Lady's visit to Cannon Ball Pow Wow grounds. #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/ZsTVyV8tTW
@BarackObama & @MichelleObama received gift of "love and honor" given to leaders. Beautiful quilt. #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/I1Xo96fF9p
Team Barack Obama @TeamBarackObama
A Native American dancer takes a selfie with President Obama on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/W19txO1MT2
Ruth Hopkins @_RuthHopkins 37m
Check out FLOTUS Haha #ObamaSelfie pic.twitter.com/wGteJYZxTU
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
Pres. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama thank Native American dancers at Cannon Ball Powwow Grounds #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/wGJm5dRvY9
President Obama smiling with Native American children on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/soU2xJeWJQ
Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka
Historic: President Obama poses with Native American children at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. #PrezRezVisit pic.twitter.com/ydvRM9LSg3
Posted by bigtree | Sun Jan 15, 2017, 01:21 PM (4 replies)
...first in a daily series of some favorite posts of mine, up to the inauguration.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Josh Earnest @PressSec
AF1 landed in Denver where POTUS stopped for dinner at Wazee Supper Club with locals who wrote him a letter.
Doug Mills @dougmillsnyt 3m
President Obama has dinner at Wazee Supper Club with Alex Dooley, right, and her friends in Denver, CO.
Mark Knoller @markknoller 3m
"We're going to have some pizza," said POTUS at dinner with 5 letter writers.
Josh Earnest @PressSec 3m
Gorgeous evening for a stroll down 15th Street in Denver.
Sandy Phillips @MamaRedfield 33m
President looking great in Denver! Thanks @darrelrubin for the great photo
Josh Earnest @PressSec 5m
POTUS shoots pool with Gov Hickenlooper. Just another Tues night in Denver.
Julie Pace @jpaceDC 14m
In today's episode of "Obama On The Loose", he drinks a beer and plays pool...
petesouza @petesouza 7m
Whistling along to "Brown Eyed Girl", Pres Obama shoots pool w Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in Denver
Zeke Miller @ZekeJMiller 54s
Pool: As the pool started to leave, Obama suddenly got hot, sinking multiple shots and winning the game. "Did you record that?" Obama asked
Mark Knoller @markknoller · 2h
#IllinoisSlim After sinking several balls, POTUS wanted to make sure press recorded his win.
Doug Mills @dougmillsnyt 3m
Obama has a beer with Gov. Hickenlooper at the Wynkook Brewing Company bar in Denver.
Jacquelyn Martin, AP
Neil Westergaard @NOWesteDenBiz 1h
Smiling Obama exits Wazee Supper Club . He looks satisfied. Good pie will do that.
Obama reacts as he is greeted by a man wearing a horse-head
Zeke Miller @ZekeJMiller 16m
MT @dougmillsnyt: Obama reacts as he is greeted by a man wearing a horse-head as he walked the streets of Denver.
Flashback Post #2
Flashback Post #3
Flashback Post #4
Posted by bigtree | Sat Jan 14, 2017, 12:50 PM (7 replies)
...is they tend to stick if the subject or substance reinforces or serves to corroborate widely-held views or impressions about the person accused. It's even more consequential for politicians who are regularly judged on appearances.
In Trump's case, it's entirely believable that he engaged in perverted sex acts, because of his own words about groping women; his bragging of ability to sexually exploit women based on his position; as well as his intrusions into girls and women's locker rooms while they were in a state of undress.
The standard of proof for Trump's responses to issues of sexual misconduct is understandably high for many, and he will be judged on those impressions, even more than people will judge the accuracy of claims against him.
Whether or not that's fair or right, Trump is entirely responsible for the way the public perceives these salacious accusations. So far, nothing he's said or done, in response, has removed that cloud of disbelief over his denial of the latest (albeit, unproven) allegations contained in the Russian dossier.
Posted by bigtree | Wed Jan 11, 2017, 07:59 PM (5 replies)