Der Spiegel takes a look at Donald Trump’s first three months in office. What they see is not pretty. A nugget (emphasis added):
On Wednesday, a few hours before the special counsel was set loose on him, Donald Trump was standing before the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy. He was supposed to hold an inspiring talk, to spread a positive message, as one does at graduation speeches. Instead, he once again spoke about himself. “Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair,” he said to the graduating students. “Look at the way I’ve been treated, especially by the media,” Trump said. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.
“No politician in history. Not Nelson Mandela. Not Mahatma Gandhi, not John F. Kennedy. Him. There stood a billionaire, inhabiting the most powerful office in the world, complaining about how unfair the world was. Because there seems to be one rule with Donald Trump: He is never to blame, even though almost everything currently happening to him is his fault.
Do read the rest.
Thom summarizes the history and failure of Neo-Liberalism, in particular its role in molding oligarchies.
Jill Abramson discerns a disturbing drift towards despotism. An excerpt:
America’s founding fathers were deathly afraid of centralised, absolute power. This is why the government they structured had three equal branches, and plenty of checks and balances. And the first amendment is first for a reason. Freedom of the press is guaranteed because the founders envisaged the press as a bulwark against absolute power. This goes to the heart of who we are, and what we might become.
This is American law for dummies, but Trump gives no indication of knowing its basic tenets. Fundamentals bear repeating. No one in the United States has absolute power or an absolute right to do anything that violates the constitution. But apparent violations seem to be occurring almost daily.
Politeness is a Republican Family Value.
Thus passeth another day in NRA Paradise.
At Above the Law, Joe Patrice details a recent and Kafkaesque attempt by the Sessions Department of “you can laughingly call it” Justice to deny immigrants access to legal advice.
It appears the vile is in style.
W. Edwards Deming:
UC Berkeley professor Alison Gopnik takes issue with comparisons of Donald Trump to pre-school children.
Having researched child development intensely, she finds such comparisons insult the children. Here’s a bit:
Four-year-olds care deeply about the truth. They constantly try to seek out information and to figure out how the world works. Of course, 4-year-olds, as well as adults, occasionally lie. But Mr. Trump doesn’t just lie; he seems not even to care whether his statements are true.
Four-year-olds are insatiably curious. One study found that the average preschooler asks hundreds of questions per day. Just watch a toddler “getting into everything” — endangering his own safety to investigate interesting new objects like knives and toasters. Mr. Trump refuses to read and is bored by anything that doesn’t involve him personally.
Much more at the link.
(If you are unclear as to what this cartoon refers to, just read this.)
When I went to college, I briefly–oh so very briefly–considered rushing a frat.
Then I realized I could get drunk quite nicely on my own without having to waste my drinking money on dues.
Because, frankly, getting drunk is what college fraternities do. All the rest is window dressing.
Shaun Mullen explores the Russian connection. Here’s how he starts out:
Trump, the billionaire New York real estate mogul and reality television star, wanted even more power and money, while Putin, the autocratic Russian president, wanted even more power and influence. Trump fantasized about becoming president of the United States while Putin dreamed of returning the former Soviet Union to its Cold War glory and was willing to do whatever it took, most especially undermining America’s standing as the sole superpower.
Follow the link to see how he wraps up.
(2017-05-22 23:15 Link updated to a more thorough description of the conduct of the New Secesh.)
At The Charlotte Observer, historian David B. Parker finds a parallel to Donald Trump’s “oh, no, it’s not really a Muslim ban” ban. It’s not pretty. Here’s the gist:
It might be useful to consider a historical analogy.
In the late 19th century, Mississippi’s Democratic leaders were concerned about the state’s political future. Democrats had controlled Mississippi since the end of Reconstruction, but the black population was growing, and Republicans (at the time, the more civil rights-oriented party) had just gained control of both houses of Congress and the White House. How could Democrats ensure that they would stay on top?
If only there were some way to limit the black vote, they would be safe. If only they could pass a law that said, “Negroes may not vote in Mississippi,” that would settle it. But the Fifteenth Amendment prohibited states from denying anyone the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” So this is the problem that white Mississippians faced: how to cut out the black vote without looking like they were cutting out the black vote.