(image by Steve Sack)
Cut to the current election. We had heard allegations that Trump kept Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, but somehow we normalized that. We didn’t take him seriously because of all the outrageous, clownish acts and gaffes we thought would cause him to drop out of the race. Except these gaffes were designed to distract. This was his secret strategy, the essence of his success — you can’t take a stand against Trump because you don’t know where Trump is standing. You can’t find him guilty of evil, you can’t find him at all.
Speaking to the U.S. Central Command on Monday, President Trump went off his prepared remarks to make a truly stunning claim: The media was intentionally covering up reports of terrorist attacks.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” he said to the assembled military leaders. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
As an official in the Justice Department, I followed in Hamilton’s footsteps, advising that President George W. Bush could take vigorous, perhaps extreme, measures to protect the nation after the Sept. 11 attacks, including invading Afghanistan, opening the Guantánamo detention center and conducting military trials and enhanced interrogation of terrorist leaders. Likewise, I supported President Barack Obama when he drew on this source of constitutional power for drone attacks and foreign electronic surveillance.
But even I have grave concerns about Mr. Trump’s uses of presidential power.
The United States president is becoming a danger to the world. It is time for Germany and Europe to prepare their political and economic defenses.
“However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”
Bipartisan NatSec officials to court: “In our professional opinion, the Order was ill-conceived, poorly implemented and ill-explained.”
Mike Huckabee to Fox Business: I don’t understand the role of the judiciary, and I’ll frame my ignorance in toxic masculinity!
I think in the past we have had an executive branch that has emasculated itself by surrendering constantly to the idea that once the court says something, that’s it. It’s the law of the land, and when I hear that phrase, it’s the law of the land cause the court said it, I think did you guys pass ninth grade civics for gosh sake? The court can’t make law. They cannot legislate.
But by Republican standards, this should be a major, impeachment-worthy scandal. Unless there’s some arbitrary minimum number of U.S. casualties (greater than one but less than four) above which administrative heads should roll, there’s no standard by which Benghazi should have become the subject of a vast, conspiratorial inquest, but the botched raid in Yemen should not.
Congressman Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-NC.), a vice-chairman on the House Financial Services Committee, has sent a blistering letter to Federal Reserve Chair Yellen telling her in no uncertain terms to stop cooperating with other central banks and insurance supervisors over global rules of conduct, at least until the new administration has given her a clear political line to follow.
Oversight chairman seeking copy of Trump hotel lease Jason Chaffetz makes a vague gesture toward doing his job! Stop the presses!
Cabinet & Federal Appointees
CNN has finally refused to book Kellyanne Conway, which more news outlets should do when WH representatives stand up and lie to the public. Her claim that the “Bowling Green Massacre” was a slip is belied by earlier instances of the same nonexistent incident. Mika Brzezinski says MSNBC has also passed on having Conway on Morning Joe.
Scott Pruitt, EPA pick, perjured himself. No one cares.
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) February 7, 2017
As former ethics counsels to Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, we’ve reviewed more than our share of ethics filings for cabinet nominees. Seldom have we seen a worse cabinet-level ethics mess than that presented by Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s choice for education secretary.
Her extensive financial holdings present significant—and unresolved—conflict of interest issues. She also failed to provide the Senate with accurate information about her involvement with outside organizations. We have regretfully come to the conclusion that these concerns disqualify DeVos for that cabinet position.