Tag Archives: Trump

In style: A half-way normal Donald Trump! 🇺🇸🇺🇸

By Rosalie Tirella

Not bad, Donald.

Don’t get us wrong, readers! If Donald Trump can be an effective or even great president, we’re all for him! The above videos – snap shots of Trump being on-message, funny and real – are glimmers of hope. After watching these videos and others, you realize there is something quite endearing – dare I say loveable?! – about the Donald!: #1 – He is authentic. Totally himself … and that is GREAT. It’s a lot of fun, kinda scary, ultimately mesmerizing. Trump doesn’t hold back or disengage or quit working at 6:30 p.m. every night to spend time with his family like President Obama did. Nope. Trump – with wife Melania MIA in another state – is ON 24/7. Like a great, bizarre ’round the clock reality TV show! And we’re all addicted to watching it! Last night I began watching an old President Obama video and shut it off. Boring!!! I tuned into Trump – and had fun. So what if we are all going to be incinerated?!!! Trump is one hell of a roller coaster ride! He is combative but takes his lumps, too – for his gaffes, hissy fits, open bathrobe and fumbling for light switches in a lights-out White House.

Donald Trump seems to crave unending adoration, but his emotional neediness often manifests itself as a kind of goofy friendliness… . President Obama was aloof. Trump is anything but. He’s a hugger, hand-holder, hand-shaker,  glad-hander … a people person. Nutty. But gregarious. I like that. He could be Italian-American – a Rat Pack ba da boom kinda prez! Trump’s out-sized personality is why he has connected with so many – millions of – Americans. They love him! He’s like lots of great U.S. presidents/politicians – loves to, lives to swaddle himself in the hoi polloi and upper classes and everyone in between: FDR, LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt. You can tell Trump LOVES being president! Which is why he filed his papers for re-election immediately after Inauguration Day!!!

Wow.

Trump’s manic energy encompasses all – sucks you in. He has bonded with the forgotten Americans: white working class regular folks who, on a number of fronts, most important, the economic one, have suffered for many many years. He says he will change their – our – lives. Tonic to the people!

Trump, for me, feels especially like Lyndon B. Johnson –  a natural, gifted, LOVE ME NOW-PLEASE! kind of politician. Trump can’t mask his insecurity and he can’t get enough of Americans and our problems, feelings, food etc. The voters, miners, teachers, Congress – he’ll spread the Donald all over the place, like the special sauce on a Big Mac.

And it feels kinda nice. Fucked up. But nice.

Raise the federal minimum wage, Donald! Support our unions! Create a robust AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE REBUILDING federal program that puts millions of regular guys and gals back to work at GOOD PAYING JOBS rebuilding America’s highways, bridges, airports, etc! Quit stomping on the Constitution, and you just may make it, after all!🇺🇸🍦🍟🍔🍕

Steve parked in Rose’s space … MUSLIM BAN MAY BE TRUMP’S BAY OF PIGS

But first 😄😂 …

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By Steven R. Maher

President Donald J. Trump was humiliated when the 9th Circuit of Appeals upheld the injunction blocking his executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven Muslim majority countries. Trump should be happy that he learned such a valuable lesson on the difficulties of governing this early in his Presidency.

Trump is not a man used to losing. This was a painful experience for him. Trump strikes one as a man who loathes the agony of defeat. The lesson Trump derived from this episode will likely restrain him from launching such ill-thought and ill-conceived blunders in the future.

Bay of Pigs

Fifty-six years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a similarly disastrous decision. In April 1961, Kennedy authorized the CIA to implement an invasion of Cuba, to overthrow Fidel Castro, by 1,400 Cuban exiles armed and trained by the CIA.

Kennedy had been in office 90 days when the invasion took place. Just as Donald Trump campaigned on protecting America from Islamic extremists, Kennedy campaigned as a staunch anti-Communist who would do what was necessary to overthrow Castro. The plan called for Cuba pilots to pretend to defect, twice bomb the Cuban Air Force airfields, and then land in Florida and ask for asylum. Kennedy choked as the invasion became imminent and cancelled the second air strike.

Several of Castro’s jet fighters survived the first air strike and wrought havoc on the invasion fleet. Castro, who had an army of 200,000 soldiers, quickly crushed the invasion. The CIA put incredible pressure on Kennedy to invade Cuba and rescue the exiles but Kennedy refused.

Conservatives came down on Kennedy like a hammer, accusing the President of fecklessness, lack of maturity, and a host of other defalcations. “No event since the Communization of China in 1949 has had such a profound effect on the United States and its allies as the defeat of the US-trained Cuban invasion brigade at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961,” wrote Howard Hunt, the ex-CIA agent arrested in 1972 as a Watergate burglar. “Out of that humiliation grew the Berlin Wall, the missile crisis, guerilla warfare throughout Latin America and Africa and our Dominican Republic intervention. Castro’s beachhead triumph opened a Pandora’s Box of difficulties.”

The same CIA bigwigs who created the Bay of Pigs concept had in 1954 overthrown the government of Guatemala using a similar plan. Earlier, they had overthrown the government of Iran. They were the experts. The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously supported the invasion. Kennedy was a young President, and he thought the experts and military, by din of their experiences, were right.

Learned Lessons

Kennedy took away from the Bay of Pigs ignominy and several harsh and painful lessons. Kennedy became a more thoughtful President, less willing to trust the advice of the military and “experts.” General Douglas MacArthur told Kennedy he was lucky to have learned so much from an operation like the Bay of Pigs, where the strategic cost was small.

Trump, like Kennedy, had made campaign promises to his followers. Where Kennedy had vowed to rid the hemisphere of Castro, Trump had vowed to rid America of Muslim terrorists. Both ended up early on embarrassing themselves.

Trump’s executive order banning was written poorly and rolled out catastrophically. “The details of the president’s executive order ― as well as the timing and the confusion that accompanied the rollout ― are disconcerting,” Bush Presidential adviser Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “The administration issued its policy Friday afternoon, a time normally used in Washington to bury bad stories. Moreover, it came unaccompanied by briefing papers and talking points, and no officials immediately explained it. It took two hours before reporters received copies of the final order ― and another two before White House officials answered their questions.”

Rove wrote Trump should have realized what would happen: “Chaos and controversy predictably followed. Thousands of protesters turned up at airports around the country. Lawyers rushed to courthouses and were rewarded with judicial orders hobbling the policy’s execution. The administration reversed itself a day later, allowing green-card holders to be exempted on a case-by-case basis. Now imagine if the president had waited and implemented the policy carefully and deliberately.”

Defeat is so rare for Donald Trump that he will probably learn some painfully necessary lessons from the botched ban. Like Kennedy, he will likely to be less trusting of the “experts” who advised him on the Muslim ban. Trump now understands that his policies will be attacked in court and, at times, defeated by his enemies.

Jim parked in Rose’s space … McGovern Calls on Trump to Make Human Rights a Top Priority

From The New York Times:

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From Stephen Colbert:

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McGovern at Tufts University Addresses U.S.-Russia Relations, Need for Strong American Leadership on Human Rights Around the World

U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) called on President-Elect Donald Trump to make human rights a top priority in his administration. At a discussion at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University with William Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, McGovern spoke about the future of U.S.-Russia relations seen through the lens of human rights abuses by the Russian government and its impact on business and trade.

“During the campaign, two words I never heard Donald Trump utter were ‘human rights.’ Quite frankly, that worries me,” Congressman McGovern said. “I hope, as our next president, that human rights in Russia and around the world will become a major part of our foreign policy.

Congressman McGovern has been a leading voice in the call for U.S. leadership and action to strengthen human rights across the world, including in Russia. Congressman McGovern is one of the authors of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, legislation passed by both the U.S. House and Senate in 2012 to establish a critical precedent that human rights must be an essential component of trade legislation.

The Magnitsky Bill was named after Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and auditor who worked for Hermitage Capital Management. Magnitsky’s arrest and subsequent death while in Russian custody triggered both official and unofficial inquiries into allegations of fraud, theft, and human rights violations. Mr. Browder, an international human rights crusader, wrote the New York Times bestseller Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice based on these experiences.

“The United States is not above criticism when it comes to human rights. But we remain the best hope for so many around the world who are oppressed. We must not turn our backs on bad behavior – either from our adversaries or our allies,” Congressman McGovern added.

“The Magnitsky bill is not anti-Russian people – it’s anti-Russian corruption, murder and oppression. We should continue to have a constructive relationship with the Russian government. But we should not turn a blind eye; we should not be indifferent; and we should not rationalize or explain away the type of behavior that resulted in the death of Sergei.

“Going forward, will the fact that there has been strong Republican support for the use of sanctions matter? Like most sanctions legislation, the Magnitsky law is discretionary; it authorizes but does not require the president to impose sanctions on those whose names the Congress forwards. The decisions the new president takes on Magnitsky sanctions will send a clear message as to the importance he places on human rights and the fight against corruption in Russia and globally.”

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Full text of Congressman McGovern’s speech:

“Good evening. It is a great pleasure to be here tonight, and to be sharing the stage once again with my good friend Bill Browder, who has worked tirelessly to bring corrupt officials and human rights violators to justice in Russia and around the world.

“I especially want to thank Tufts University and the Fletcher School for hosting this important event. In two short months a new president will be sworn in whose foreign policy positions, including those on Russia, are simply unclear. So it is a good time to be discussing the U.S. relationship with countries like Russia, where concerns about human rights and corruption are often at the forefront.

“I’d like to take a few minutes to remind you of the origins of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 that is in effect for Russia, and its sister legislation, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, that I cosponsored in January 2015 and is currently being considered in the Congress.

“As you will hear today, this all started when Bill Browder began to expose corruption in the Russian economy, which led to him being declared a threat to Russia’s national security, and got his company raided and fraudulently transferred to state control. Bill hired a Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, to investigate what was going on. Sergei’s investigation uncovered a $230 million dollar fraud committed by Russian government officials – but it was Sergei, not the corrupt officials, who was arrested. He was held for 358 days, tortured, and eventually beaten to death in 2009. He was 37 years old.

“This terrible experience led Bill to start a global campaign to expose endemic corruption and human rights abuses in Russia. He brought this cause to the U.S. Congress, and that led to the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act which Sen. Ben Cardin and I introduced in September 2010. There wasn’t enough time to move the bill in the 111th Congress, so we reintroduced in the 112th, and the Magnitsky Act was passed in December 2012.

“The Act directs the President to identify individuals responsible for the detention, abuse or death of Sergei, or of other Russians seeking to expose illegal activity by Russian officials, or otherwise defend human rights. The people on the list then become ineligible for U.S. visas, any current visas are revoked, their U.S. assets are frozen and any transactions involving U.S. property are prohibited. As of today, 39 people have been sanctioned under this law, including many of those directly involved in Sergei’s death.
Of course, corruption and human rights violations do not only occur in Russia. People continually bring new cases of rights abuses or corrupt practices to my attention, from places all over the world – Syria, Tibet, Burma, Turkey, Sudan, Bahrain, Guatemala, to name just a few. This is why, when we started working on the Sergei Magnitsky Act, we wanted it to have global reach.

“But because that didn’t happen in 2012, I introduced the Global Magnitsky bill during the current Congress, together with my colleague Rep. Chris Smith. I remain hopeful that Global Magnitsky will be passed yet this year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. If so, we will have achieved an important victory.

“It’s important to recognize that the Magnitsky legislation is not a substitute for strengthening rule of law in the countries where human rights abuses and corruption are occurring. We should all work for the day when judicial systems at the national level are strong enough and independent enough to investigate and punish the people who use their positions of power to repress their citizens’ most basic rights, or to enrich themselves at public expense. What Magnitsky legislation allows us to do is prevent people who are responsible for abuses from benefitting by coming to our country and doing business here.

“This approach, this way of contributing to ensure some kind of accountability for terrible abuses, has strong bipartisan support. When I first introduced the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act in the House in September 2010, I only had three co-sponsors. When I reintroduced the bill in April 2012, it garnered 80 cosponsors, showing growing bipartisan support. In December 2012, the bill passed the House by a vote of 363-45. The Global Magnitsky bill has also had strong support on both sides of the aisle.

“One big question going forward is whether the new Administration will continue to use the Magnitsky and other sanctions authorities to communicate to foreign governments that the United States will oppose human rights abuses and corruption.

“Let me be clear that in my view, many more people in Russia could have and should have been sanctioned by President Obama under Magnitsky. Doing so would have been consistent with the focus in the U.S. National Security Strategy on building rule of law, combatting corruption and protecting and strengthening human rights. But at least the current Administration has implemented some sanctions.

“Going forward, will the fact that there has been strong Republican support for the use of sanctions matter? Like most sanctions legislation, the Magnitsky law is discretionary; it authorizes but does not require the president to impose sanctions on those whose names the Congress forwards. The decisions the new president takes on Magnitsky sanctions will send a clear message as to the importance he places on human rights and the fight against corruption in Russia and globally.

“I have always believed in engaging other governments, even those with which we have strong disagreements. But engagement without attention to accountability feeds the kinds of internal conditions in countries that can lead to marginalization, radicalization, and internal uprisings whose consequences spill over borders. Sanctions take time to be effective, and by themselves may not be sufficient to change behavior. But it would be irresponsible for the United States not to use all the tools it has to foster the good behavior of states internally and internationally.

“The story of Sergei Magnitsky is a tragedy. It is an outrage. The Russian government had hoped we would all just forget and move on. We didn’t – and as someone who cares deeply about human rights, I’m glad we didn’t. The Magnitsky law is not perfect, but it sent a clear message that there would be a consequence for those who are corrupt and commit human rights violations.

“The United States is not above criticism when it comes to human rights. But we remain the best hope for so many around the world who are oppressed. We must not turn our backs on bad behavior – either from our adversaries or our allies.

“The Magnitsky bill is not anti-Russian people – it’s anti-Russian corruption, murder and oppression. We should continue to have a constructive relationship with the Russian government. But we should not turn a blind eye; we should not be indifferent; and we should not rationalize or explain away the type of behavior that resulted in the death of Sergei.

“During the campaign, two words I never heard Donald Trump utter were “human rights.” Quite frankly, that worries me. I hope, as our next president, that human rights in Russia and around the world will become a major part of our foreign policy.