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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Trumpworld in Tweets

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. On Sunday, he told several Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries.



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Un-American Racist Tweets

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. On Sunday, he told several Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries.

Yesterday, on a near-party line vote (with 4 Republicans and Amash voting aye), the House passed 
H. RES. 489

Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 15, 2019
Mr. Malinowski (for himself, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. GarcĂ­a of Illinois, Mr. Carbajal, Ms. Omar, Mr. Krishnamoorthi, Ms. Mucarsel-Powell, Mrs. Torres of California, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Pressley, Mr. Raskin, Ms. Jackson Lee, and Mr. Espaillat) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

RESOLUTION
Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.

Whereas the Founders conceived America as a haven of refuge for people fleeing from religious and political persecution, and Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison all emphasized that the Nation gained as it attracted new people in search of freedom and livelihood for their families;

Whereas the Declaration of Independence defined America as a covenant based on equality, the unalienable Rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and government by the consent of the people;

Whereas Benjamin Franklin said at the Constitutional convention, “When foreigners after looking about for some other Country in which they can obtain more happiness, give a preference to ours, it is a proof of attachment which ought to excite our confidence and affection”;

Whereas President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists”;

Whereas immigration of people from all over the Earth has defined every stage of American history and propelled our social, economic, political, scientific, cultural, artistic, and technological progress as a people, and all Americans, except for the descendants of Native people and enslaved African Americans, are immigrants or descendants of immigrants;

Whereas the commitment to immigration and asylum has been not a partisan cause but a powerful national value that has infused the work of many Presidents;

Whereas American patriotism is defined not by race or ethnicity but by devotion to the Constitutional ideals of equality, liberty, inclusion, and democracy and by service to our communities and struggle for the common good;

Whereas President John F. Kennedy, whose family came to the United States from Ireland, stated in his 1958 book “A Nation of Immigrants” that “The contribution of immigrants can be seen in every aspect of our national life. We see it in religion, in politics, in business, in the arts, in education, even in athletics and entertainment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background. Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.”;

Whereas President Ronald Reagan in his last speech as President conveyed “An observation about a country which I love”;

Whereas as President Reagan observed, the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, the compact with our parents, our grandparents, and our ancestors, and it is the Statue of Liberty and its values that give us our great and special place in the world;

Whereas other countries may seek to compete with us, but in one vital area, as “a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on Earth comes close”;

Whereas it is the great life force of “each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America's triumph shall continue unsurpassed” through the 21st century and beyond and is part of the “magical, intoxicating power of America”;

Whereas this is “one of the most important sources of America's greatness: we lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people -- our strength -- from every country and every corner of the world, and by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation”;

Whereas “thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we're a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge”, always leading the world to the next frontier;

Whereas this openness is vital to our future as a Nation, and “if we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost”; and

Whereas President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color: Now, therefore, be it


Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger, and that those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations;

(2) is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin; and

(3) strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.
Jessica Campisi at The Hill:
Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling out President Trump for his tweets attacking minority Democratic congresswomen and telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
“I’m disappointed in this weekend’s untrue, unfair, and un-American attack,’’ the former Republican governor from California told Politico in an email. “It is hateful, it is crude, and it is divisive.”
Susan Page at USAT:
A clear majority of Americans say President Trump's tweets targeting four minority congresswomen were "un-American," according to a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll. But most Republicans say they agreed with his comments, an illustration of the nation's sharp partisan divide on issues of patriotism and race.

More than two-thirds of those aware of the controversy, 68%, called Trump's tweets offensive. Among Republicans alone, however, 57% said they agreed with tweets that told the congresswomen to go back to their "original" countries, and a third "strongly" agreed with them. All four lawmakers are American citizens; three were born in the United States.
That finding may help explain the reluctance of GOP leaders and most GOP members of Congress to castigate the president for tweets and comments in recent days targeting the congresswomen, outspoken progressives who are among his sharpest critics on Capitol Hill. Only four Republicans joined House Democrats Tuesday in passing a resolution condemning Trump's comments as "racist."

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

More Reactions to Racist Tweets

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. On Sunday, he told several Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries.

Paul Fahri at WP:
The Washington Post initially avoided any direct characterization of the tweets, sticking to the reaction of others, in its news story about it Monday. However, later in the day, it began using the direct, unvarnished label.
“The Post traditionally has been cautious in the terminology it uses to characterize individuals’ statements, because a news organization’s job is to inform its readers as dispassionately as possible,” Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said in a statement. “Decisions about the terminology we use are made only after a thorough discussion among senior editors. We had that discussion today about President Trump’s use of a longstanding slur against African Americans and other minorities. The ‘go back’ trope is deeply rooted in the history of racism in the United States. Therefore, we have concluded that ‘racist’ is the proper term to apply to the language he used Sunday.”
George Conway at WP:
No, I thought, President Trump was boorish, dim-witted, inarticulate, incoherent, narcissistic and insensitive. He’s a pathetic bully but an equal-opportunity bully — in his uniquely crass and crude manner, he’ll attack anyone he thinks is critical of him. No matter how much I found him ultimately unfit, I still gave him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist. No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot.
But Sunday left no doubt. Naivete, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president. Trump could have used vile slurs, including the vilest of them all, and the intent and effect would have been no less clear. Telling four non-white members of Congress — American citizens all, three natural-born — to “go back” to the “countries” they “originally came from”? That’s racist to the core. It doesn’t matter what these representatives are for or against — and there’s plenty to criticize them for — it’s beyond the bounds of human decency. For anyone, not least a president.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Reactions to Trump's Racist Tweets

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  Yesterday, he told several Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries.

Lindsey Graham goes there:


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Born in the USA

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.



AOC's dad was born in the Bronx.  Her mom was born in Puerto Rico, which is also part of the United States.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Trump: Speech I Dislike Is Not Free Speech


Trump at his social media summit:
And we don’t want to stifle anything. We certainly don’t want to stifle free speech, but that’s no longer free speech. See, I don’t think that the mainstream media is free speech either because it’s so crooked. It’s so dishonest.
So, to me, free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad. To me, that’s very dangerous speech and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech. Somebody came to my office — and I won’t say who, but a very big person. And I said, “Okay, you don’t like the term ‘fake news’” — which I think I get credit for, but I’m sure that, if I said I get credit, they’ll say, “Thirteen years ago, somebody came up with the terms ‘fake.’” (Laughter.) I think I’d get credit. I’d be very proud to take it. But I think I’d get credit.
Now, by the way, the worst fakers of all are using “fake news.” I saw the other day on CNN — total fakes — I see on CNN — they go, “Fake-news media has reported…” No, no — they’re fake-news media. (Laughter.) They’ve turned it around. (Applause.) They’ve turned it around.
Boarding Marine One:
And they never saw anything.  They have phony sources.  They don’t even have sources.  They write whatever they want.  The New York Times is a very dishonest newspaper.  They write what they want.  And what they do is a tremendous disservice to this country.  They are truly the enemy of the people, I’ll tell you that.  They are the enemy of the people.  And what they wrote about detention centers is unfair.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Trump's Personnel Scandalabra

In  Defying the Oddswe discuss the people surrounding Trump (The update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.)

The choice of servants is of no little importance to a prince, and they are good or not according to the discrimination of the prince. And the first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful he may always be considered wise, because he has known how to recognize the capable and to keep them faithful. But when they are otherwise one cannot form a good opinion of him, for the prime error which he made was in choosing them.
Unable to satisfy the public about his lenient deal, as a prosecutor, of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Alexander Acosta has quit as Labor Secretary.  At WP, Paul Waldman lists other Trump officials who had to quit:

  • Michael Flynn, national security adviser (pleaded guilty to crimes)
  • Sean Spicer, press secretary (terrible liar, became object of universal ridicule)
  • Anthony Scaramucci, communications director (lasted 10 days)
  • Steve Bannon, chief strategist (fired in White House shakeup)
  • Tom Price, secretary of health and human services (had taste for private jets)
  • Rex Tillerson, secretary of state (called Trump a “f---ing moron”)
  • Brenda Fitzgerald, CDC director (bought and sold tobacco stocks while leading one of America’s chief health agencies)
  • Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator (too many scandals to detail)
  • Ryan Zinke, secretary of the interior (multiple mini-scandals)
  • Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of homeland security (combination of malice and incompetence)
  • Patrick Shanahan, acting secretary of defense (bizarre domestic violence story)
  • David Shulkin, secretary of veterans affairs (had government pay for European vacation)
  • Rob Porter, White House staff secretary (accused of domestic abuse by both his ex-wives)
  • David Sorenson, speechwriter (accused of domestic abuse by ex-wife)