View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?

Nothing was clearer this week than the fact that the White House under Donald Trump is experiencing a soul-sucking vacuum in leadership that his new chief of staff, former Marine general John Kelly, has stepped into.

All aspects of the federal government are in open rebellion against their commander in chief. Congressional Republicans are sending him bills he is loath to sign while ignoring his pleas to pass the one he wants. His military commanders are uniformly ignoring the spontaneous transgender ban he decreed last week via twitter. His cabinet heads, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are doing their best to pretend their boss doesn’t exist when he, for instance, blames China for North Korea’s behavior and Tillerson comes back with, “We certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea” (i.e. please ignore our idiot pr*sident).

The extraordinary lack of loyalty extends straight inside the walls of the

Continue reading “View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?”

View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?

Nothing was clearer this week than the fact that the White House under Donald Trump is experiencing a soul-sucking vacuum in leadership that his new chief of staff, former Marine general John Kelly, has stepped into.

All aspects of the federal government are in open rebellion against their commander in chief. Congressional Republicans are sending him bills he is loath to sign while ignoring his pleas to pass the one he wants. His military commanders are uniformly ignoring the spontaneous transgender ban he decreed last week via twitter. His cabinet heads, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are doing their best to pretend their boss doesn’t exist when he, for instance, blames China for North Korea’s behavior and Tillerson comes back with, “We certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea” (i.e. please ignore our idiot pr*sident).

The extraordinary lack of loyalty extends straight inside the walls of the

Continue reading “View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?”

View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?

Nothing was clearer this week than the fact that the White House under Donald Trump is experiencing a soul-sucking vacuum in leadership that his new chief of staff, former Marine general John Kelly, has stepped into.

All aspects of the federal government are in open rebellion against their commander in chief. Congressional Republicans are sending him bills he is loath to sign while ignoring his pleas to pass the one he wants. His military commanders are uniformly ignoring the spontaneous transgender ban he decreed last week via twitter. His cabinet heads, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are doing their best to pretend their boss doesn’t exist when he, for instance, blames China for North Korea’s behavior and Tillerson comes back with, “We certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea” (i.e. please ignore our idiot pr*sident).

The extraordinary lack of loyalty extends straight inside the walls of the

Continue reading “View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?”

Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation

To state what is so painfully obvious by now—Donald Trump’s administration has no idea what it’s doing. Sure, there’s the Steve Bannon modus operandi which involves tearing down anything and everything that currently stands. But the chaos approach isn’t actually a legitimate technique to governing. It seemed as if the one small thing standing between Trump and total destruction might have been career civil servants. After all, even if this horrific and dangerous crew has no experience, Washington is chock full of people who have worked in government for decades and know what they are doing. But sadly and not surprisingly, they aren’t being listened to.

For instance, take this week’s announcement that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is going to investigate universities for their affirmative action policies that allegedly discriminate against white students. This effort is being housed in the agency’s “front office” where the political appointees work, instead of being

Continue reading “Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation”

Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation

To state what is so painfully obvious by now—Donald Trump’s administration has no idea what it’s doing. Sure, there’s the Steve Bannon modus operandi which involves tearing down anything and everything that currently stands. But the chaos approach isn’t actually a legitimate technique to governing. It seemed as if the one small thing standing between Trump and total destruction might have been career civil servants. After all, even if this horrific and dangerous crew has no experience, Washington is chock full of people who have worked in government for decades and know what they are doing. But sadly and not surprisingly, they aren’t being listened to.

For instance, take this week’s announcement that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is going to investigate universities for their affirmative action policies that allegedly discriminate against white students. This effort is being housed in the agency’s “front office” where the political appointees work, instead of being

Continue reading “Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation”

The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses

John Kelly, a former Marine general, found the White House he is now overseeing unseemly. The New York Times writes:

In his six months as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly often described the White House as one of the most dysfunctional organizations he had ever seen, complained to colleagues and allies about its meddling, incompetence and recklessness, and was once so angry he briefly considered quitting.

Yet after months of entreaties from the man who created and fostered all that dysfunction Kelly despised, he finally accepted a position that will most certainly test his integrity, his leadership skills and his depth of commitment to country. He can count on that because Donald Trump manages to bring everything he touches down to the depths of his low-level vibration—he is currently destroying U.S. standing in the world at record pace. Still, Kelly is reportedly giving it his Marine best.

Mr.

Continue reading “The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses”

The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses

John Kelly, a former Marine general, found the White House he is now overseeing unseemly. The New York Times writes:

In his six months as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly often described the White House as one of the most dysfunctional organizations he had ever seen, complained to colleagues and allies about its meddling, incompetence and recklessness, and was once so angry he briefly considered quitting.

Yet after months of entreaties from the man who created and fostered all that dysfunction Kelly despised, he finally accepted a position that will most certainly test his integrity, his leadership skills and his depth of commitment to country. He can count on that because Donald Trump manages to bring everything he touches down to the depths of his low-level vibration—he is currently destroying U.S. standing in the world at record pace. Still, Kelly is reportedly giving it his Marine best.

Mr.

Continue reading “The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses”

The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses

John Kelly, a former Marine general, found the White House he is now overseeing unseemly. The New York Times writes:

In his six months as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly often described the White House as one of the most dysfunctional organizations he had ever seen, complained to colleagues and allies about its meddling, incompetence and recklessness, and was once so angry he briefly considered quitting.

Yet after months of entreaties from the man who created and fostered all that dysfunction Kelly despised, he finally accepted a position that will most certainly test his integrity, his leadership skills and his depth of commitment to country. He can count on that because Donald Trump manages to bring everything he touches down to the depths of his low-level vibration—he is currently destroying U.S. standing in the world at record pace. Still, Kelly is reportedly giving it his Marine best.

Mr.

Continue reading “The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses”

Proof that Trump’s policy-by-tweet eruptions are a menace to our national security

Donald Trump’s on-the-fly policy making has become legendary, but what we don’t always see is the behind-the-scenes damage it inflicts on the process of actually making policy. But the AP has new reporting that pulls back the curtain on just how harmful Trump’s errant thumbs are to any sort of informed, measured attempt at formulating policy that might, say, serve our national interests.

Aides to President Donald Trump were in deep talks about how to defuse tensions between Qatar and other Arab nations when the door to the secure room at the White House burst open.

The urgent message: Trump had just tweeted about Qatar.

One adviser read the tweet aloud and with that, the policymakers in midconference call had no other choice but to rework their plans to reflect the president’s tweeted assertion that Qatar, host to some 11,000 U.S. troops, was funding terrorism.

It was an accusation

Continue reading “Proof that Trump’s policy-by-tweet eruptions are a menace to our national security”

Proof that Trump’s policy-by-tweet eruptions are a menace to our national security

Donald Trump’s on-the-fly policy making has become legendary, but what we don’t always see is the behind-the-scenes damage it inflicts on the process of actually making policy. But the AP has new reporting that pulls back the curtain on just how harmful Trump’s errant thumbs are to any sort of informed, measured attempt at formulating policy that might, say, serve our national interests.

Aides to President Donald Trump were in deep talks about how to defuse tensions between Qatar and other Arab nations when the door to the secure room at the White House burst open.

The urgent message: Trump had just tweeted about Qatar.

One adviser read the tweet aloud and with that, the policymakers in midconference call had no other choice but to rework their plans to reflect the president’s tweeted assertion that Qatar, host to some 11,000 U.S. troops, was funding terrorism.

It was an accusation

Continue reading “Proof that Trump’s policy-by-tweet eruptions are a menace to our national security”

Sessions threatens to clamp down on First Amendment press freedoms: ‘It is not unlimited’

Donald Trump doesn’t like the unflattering press coverage he is getting, and now his attorney general is doing what Trump has repeatedly urged him to do: Target the leaks. But Sessions’ focus isn’t just on the leakers, it involves a review of whether the Justice Department will subpoena news organizations in pursuit of those leakers.

“We respect the important role that the press plays and will give them respect, but it is not unlimited,” he said at a Friday press conference where he also refused to take questions. “They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance their role with protecting our national security and the lives of those who serve in our intelligence community, the armed forces, and all law abiding Americans.”

Just to be clear, leaking classified information can be prosecutable, but the vast majority of the leaks that really tweak Trump aren’t about sensitive material, they’re

Continue reading “Sessions threatens to clamp down on First Amendment press freedoms: ‘It is not unlimited’”

Kelly’s babysitting of Trump sounds like a 24/7 proposition

Several new threads this week have suggested that Donald Trump’s new chief of staff John Kelly has always viewed Trump as someone who needs constant supervision. We learned from an AP article that early on in the administration Kelly had a pact with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that at least one of them would remain in the country at all times to keep tabs on Trump. 

With that in mind, comes this tweet:

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Kelly also reportedly called Jeff Sessions last weekend and assured him his job was safe, indicating he had the authority to both break with Trump and set policy.

Taken together, Kelly appears to have not only been given broad authority, but really seems to view his supervision

Continue reading “Kelly’s babysitting of Trump sounds like a 24/7 proposition”

Kelly’s babysitting of Trump sounds like a 24/7 proposition

Several new threads this week have suggested that Donald Trump’s new chief of staff John Kelly has always viewed Trump as someone who needs constant supervision. We learned from an AP article that early on in the administration Kelly had a pact with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that at least one of them would remain in the country at all times to keep tabs on Trump. 

With that in mind, comes this tweet:

x

Kelly also reportedly called Jeff Sessions last weekend and assured him his job was safe, indicating he had the authority to both break with Trump and set policy.

Taken together, Kelly appears to have not only been given broad authority, but really seems to view his supervision

Continue reading “Kelly’s babysitting of Trump sounds like a 24/7 proposition”

Kelly’s babysitting of Trump sounds like a 24/7 proposition

Several new threads this week have suggested that Donald Trump’s new chief of staff John Kelly has always viewed Trump as someone who needs constant supervision. We learned from an AP article that early on in the administration Kelly had a pact with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that at least one of them would remain in the country at all times to keep tabs on Trump. 

With that in mind, comes this tweet:

x

Kelly also reportedly called Jeff Sessions last weekend and assured him his job was safe, indicating he had the authority to both break with Trump and set policy.

Taken together, Kelly appears to have not only been given broad authority, but really seems to view his supervision

Continue reading “Kelly’s babysitting of Trump sounds like a 24/7 proposition”

Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet

It’s an understatement to suggest that Republicans aren’t exactly forward thinking when it comes to women’s rights. Their legislative record, both at the state and federal levels, speaks for itself. In trying to limit women’s access to reproductive health care, it’s quite obvious that their version of progress is taking us back to a place in time when a woman’s place was solely limited to the home. Leading the way is Pastor Ralph Drollinger, a Californian and former UCLA basketball player, who is now teaching Bible study sessions for the members of Trump’s cabinet. He has some pretty retrograde views on women—and he doesn’t mind at all sharing them publicly.

He is the evangelical spiritual leader who once counseled a group of Sacramento lawmakers that female politicians with young children have no business serving in the Legislature. In fact, he called them sinners. […]

“It is one thing for a mother to work out of

Continue reading “Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet”

Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet

It’s an understatement to suggest that Republicans aren’t exactly forward thinking when it comes to women’s rights. Their legislative record, both at the state and federal levels, speaks for itself. In trying to limit women’s access to reproductive health care, it’s quite obvious that their version of progress is taking us back to a place in time when a woman’s place was solely limited to the home. Leading the way is Pastor Ralph Drollinger, a Californian and former UCLA basketball player, who is now teaching Bible study sessions for the members of Trump’s cabinet. He has some pretty retrograde views on women—and he doesn’t mind at all sharing them publicly.

He is the evangelical spiritual leader who once counseled a group of Sacramento lawmakers that female politicians with young children have no business serving in the Legislature. In fact, he called them sinners. […]

“It is one thing for a mother to work out of

Continue reading “Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet”

Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet

It’s an understatement to suggest that Republicans aren’t exactly forward thinking when it comes to women’s rights. Their legislative record, both at the state and federal levels, speaks for itself. In trying to limit women’s access to reproductive health care, it’s quite obvious that their version of progress is taking us back to a place in time when a woman’s place was solely limited to the home. Leading the way is Pastor Ralph Drollinger, a Californian and former UCLA basketball player, who is now teaching Bible study sessions for the members of Trump’s cabinet. He has some pretty retrograde views on women—and he doesn’t mind at all sharing them publicly.

He is the evangelical spiritual leader who once counseled a group of Sacramento lawmakers that female politicians with young children have no business serving in the Legislature. In fact, he called them sinners. […]

“It is one thing for a mother to work out of

Continue reading “Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet”

Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet

It’s an understatement to suggest that Republicans aren’t exactly forward thinking when it comes to women’s rights. Their legislative record, both at the state and federal levels, speaks for itself. In trying to limit women’s access to reproductive health care, it’s quite obvious that their version of progress is taking us back to a place in time when a woman’s place was solely limited to the home. Leading the way is Pastor Ralph Drollinger, a Californian and former UCLA basketball player, who is now teaching Bible study sessions for the members of Trump’s cabinet. He has some pretty retrograde views on women—and he doesn’t mind at all sharing them publicly.

He is the evangelical spiritual leader who once counseled a group of Sacramento lawmakers that female politicians with young children have no business serving in the Legislature. In fact, he called them sinners. […]

“It is one thing for a mother to work out of

Continue reading “Pastor who thinks mothers don’t belong in public office leads Bible study for Trump’s cabinet”

WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies

Campaign Action

The Russia probe that has dogged the Trump administration isn’t going away any time soon. The Wall Street Journal writes:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort. […]

Before Mr. Mueller was tapped in May to be special counsel, federal prosecutors had been using at least one other grand jury, located in Alexandria, Va., to

Continue reading “WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies”

WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies

Campaign Action

The Russia probe that has dogged the Trump administration isn’t going away any time soon. The Wall Street Journal writes:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort. […]

Before Mr. Mueller was tapped in May to be special counsel, federal prosecutors had been using at least one other grand jury, located in Alexandria, Va., to

Continue reading “WSJ: Mueller impanels a grand jury as Russia probe intensifies”