Everything Is Great and Amazing

Big Magilla
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:43 pm

The Late-breaking Anonymous N.Y. Times Op-Ed (Sep 5, 2018)

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.
In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.
From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.
The result is a two-track presidency.

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.
Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

Mister Tee
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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:28 pm

So...just another no-news day.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Greg » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:47 pm

DeSantis has an ad where he helps his young daughter use building blocks to build a wall. Exactly where in Florida he expects a wall to be built, I do not know. Perhaps, he means to build a wall on the western Panhandle border and to keep out Alabamans. This would make sense if he plans to use the campaign slogan, "Keep Florida the only state in the South where people don't talk funny."
"Wall Street is not the solution to our problem. Wall Street is the problem!"

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:16 pm

I just saw Gillum interviewed on MSNBC, and he's REALLY impressive. Whatever edge personal dynamism gives to a candidate will be in his favor.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:37 pm

It's going to be an experiment, down there in Florida. Party regulars had wanted Gwen Graham, because of her lineage (father was long-time Governor/Senator), perceived greater electability (a good many disillusioned moderate Republicans seemed ready to vote for her), and Gillum's proximity to a Tallahassee corruption investigation (whether it's a legitimate investigation or involves him directly is open to question). Gillum was more openly liberal, but he's not a fringe candidate -- he was a Hillary delegate two years ago, a career Democrat. By most accounts he's an impressive speaker.

Initial reaction from many I follow was uh-oh, a race blown...but, upon fuller reflection: 1) the GOP nominee DeSantis is a full-on MAGA asshole, the far weaker GOP option (had Adam Putnam won the Republican nomination, he'd be solidly favored) -- a notion instantly underlined this morning by his "monkey" quote; 2) David Jolly, former GOP rep and Never-Trumper, surprised me last night by saying GOPers in the state he knows think Gillum's win will drive much higher African-American turnout throughout the state -- so, even if he falls short in his race, he could help elect Dems in state and local elections, as well as boost Bill Nelson in his race against Rick Scott; and 3) it's undeniable that midde-of-the-road Dems have been failing short in recent Florida state elections -- Nelson is their only winner in the past decade or two -- so why not see how this more risky approach works out? The seeming blue wave -- aided in Florida by the Parkland students -- could be enough to pull Gillum through.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:56 am

Congratulations, Greg, and good luck in the general election. This will be an interesting one to watch.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Greg » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:06 pm

Our Revolution, the group I am in that is an outgrowth of the Sanders Presidential campaign, just had a big victory. Andrew Gillum, a candidate we endorsed, has just won the Democratic nomination for Florida Governor!
"Wall Street is not the solution to our problem. Wall Street is the problem!"

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:26 pm

John McCain has discontinued treatment for his brain cancer. He's an incredibly complicated political figure but he deserves praise for his moments of integrity. There is nothing you can say to a family as they prepare to say goodbye to a loved one...

But not in this case. My hope is that somehow McCain lives to see Trump gone. I know. The chances are so, so small. I still have money on Trump serving out his term. However some people I truly respect have made a terrific case for how we are looking at the end of the Trump Presidency. This has been a disastrous week for Trump, especially with the revelation that his bookmaker has flipped. It's such a long shot. But man, I hope it comes true.

NOTE: Nope. Rest in peace.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:58 am

“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:54 am

Definitely a star on the rise and, yes, he does very much evoke Bobby Kennedy.

He's been on the right side of every issue including universal one-payer healthcare but not necessarily as an extension of Medicare as we know it.

I'll be very disappointed (again!) if he doesn't defeat Cruz.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Sabin » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:53 am

In rare, positive news, I've been following Beto O'Rourke for over a year now. Initially, I thought he was a promising politician with some good instincts but came off as a little too coached and studied. Since his Bill Maher appearance, he's gotten much better and it seems like he is really catching on. I've always thought he had a strong shot at defeating Ted Cruz for a host of reasons. Chief among them, the Republican party respects the appearance of strength and Ted Cruz has displayed stunning weaknesses on the national stage (phone banking for Trump and begging him for help after he called his wife ugly and accused his father of assassinating JFK) and clearly a Senator more for his own political ambitions than for Texans. And now Beto is a handful of points behind, raising million of dollars in small donations, and is already being called a current leader for the Democratic party for a viral speech that has people comparing him to Bobby Kennedy. Even if he doesn't win this seat, it's hard to imagine anybody else getting the DNC Keynote speech in 2020. And yes, I am aware that there is another politician out there with more than a passing resemblance to Bobby Kennedy.

https://nowthisnews.com/videos/politics ... nal-anthem
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:01 pm

Eights are wild -- Manafort convicted on 8 counts; Cohen pleads guilty to 8 counts.

The latter might be even more significant, because Cohen implicates Trump directly in conspiring with him to break campaign finance law.

Whee!

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:44 pm

Kudos to you, Bog, for putting your time and effort where many of our mouths are. I'm sure you were heartbroken at the (apparent) outcome -- I was following it on various sites/twitter accounts, and the way it dribbled to a so-close-but-so-far end crushed me. But you're right to take the long view: if this district, backed by huge RNC expenditures, can only be fought to a draw, all those districts closer in party ID will be ripe for the taking in November. And I think your take is interesting here (one I haven't seen from any of the so-knowledgeable pundits): the conventional view is that incumbency will benefit Balderson three months down the line, but, really, it might mostly serve to take him off the campaign trail during this now-short general election period. (And you're right: that "fuck Franklin County" gaffe may get much wider circulation now than it did in the preceding 48 hours.)

Apart from just falling short in OH-12, the Dems had a pretty great night. MO soundly defeated a union-busting bill, and threw out the DA who failed to prosecute the cop in Ferguson. WA state, with their jungle primaries, show several Dems poised to knock off incumbent GOPers. (WA, CA & PA on their own might provide half the needed House pickups.) And solid, interesting female candidates continue to win nominations -- for governorships in both MI and KS (the latter an actual pickup opportunity, because the odious Kris Kobach seems to have barely eked out the GOP nod.)

Oh, and one last OH-12 note: though it's not quite matching the margin of Dem defeat, the Green Party candidate once again made it much easier for the Republican to win. I have a suggestion for Green Party voters next election day: stay home and masturbate. You'll have an equal electoral effect, and maybe enjoy it a bit more.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Bog » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:05 am

Sabin wrote:Thanks for all your hard work, Bog.


Easiest job I've ever done...was excited to continue the process no matter the results! He would have been the youngest member of Congress had he won last night. Almost definitely Alexandria would have swiped it from him come November and will precede him if they both win at general.

There is something so virginal and uncorrupted about his nature that is hard not to absolutely refresh one in this money grubbing Washington climate of unbendable partisanship purely just to be partisan.

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Re: Everything Is Great and Amazing

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:25 am

Well, it's not over until the absentee ballots are counted but it probably is a lost race at least until November. Why they would even bother to have a special election this close to the real one is a bit of a headscratcher.

The projected blue wave is probably still coming but the size of it may not be as great as it should be.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire


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