Threatened by the Truth? Create a Diversion

“Who cares about the virus, economic collapse and unrest? President Trump has said he wants  Senator Lindsey Graham to  investigate the investigation into Russian election interference, and Graham complied. With party-line votes, he circumvented decades-old rules to give himself unilateral power to issue subpoenas to Trump’s favorite villains: John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Nellie and Bruce Ohr, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, John Podesta, Susan Rice and more. Graham made perfectly clear his motive: vengeance. ‘Comey and McCabe and that whole crowd — their day is coming,’ he vowed at the hearing Thursday. He declared Robert Mueller ‘off script’ and he proposed alternatives for Russia-probe investigators: Either people ‘need to be fired, they need to be disciplined,’ or ‘they are good candidates to go to jail.’”  Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, June 12

No More Pretzels

“The Chasm Between the president and pretty much everyone else in Washington is growing, as Donald Trump seems more alone and isolated with his thoughts, and detached from the overall political conversation in the Capitol, and the rest of America… Gone are the days when lawmakers twisted themselves in pretzels to defend the president. Now they just move on, as if he hardly exists at all.”  PoliticalPlaybook, June 9

No Unity with Trump

“The more America is united the better it can strive to ensure all its citizens are able to live by its founding ideals. Unity will not come from Mr. Trump, who has spent four years trying to divide the country. Instead, leaders of protest movements, along with America’s mayors and police chiefs, must inspire it themselves.” The Economist, June 6-12

The Last Confederate President

‘It should have happened 155 years ago, when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox but maybe — just maybe — the Civil War is finally coming to an end. And perhaps Donald Trump, not Jefferson Davis, will go down in history as the last president of the Confederacy.” Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, June 12

 I Am a Miracle Man

The president at a roundtable in Dallas: “In Minneapolis, they went through three nights of hell. And then I was insistent on having the National Guard go in and do their work. It was like a miracle. It just — everything stopped. And I’ll never forget the scene. It’s not supposed to be a beautiful scene, but, to me, it was — after you watch policemen running out of a police precinct.” Politico, June 12

America Becomes a Hypocrite

“June 4th marked the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. Mike Pompeo, America’s secretary of state, undeterred by the irony that America now appeared far more likely than China to deploy armored vehicles against peaceful protesters in its national capital, observed the date bymeeting veterans of China’s democracy movement. Hu Xijin, editor of Global Times, a tub-thumping party-controlled tabloid clearly enjoyed drawing attention to these coincidences. On Twitter, he called on Mr. Pompeo to ‘stand with the angry people of Minneapolis, just like you did with people of Hong Kong.’ Meanwhile, Iran’s leaders have been milking America’s predicament for all it is worth. ‘A cop kneeling on a black man’s neck and letting him choke to death…is the nature of the American government. They have done the same to such countries as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria,’ said Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader.”  The Economist Today, June 9

 More Hypocrisy: America Loses Moral Authority

 Police violence and President Trump’s threats to use military against protestors have undercut American criticism of autocrats and called into question the country’s moral authority. Diplomats say that the violence has undercut their criticisms of foreign autocrats and called into question the moral authority of the United States as it promotes democracy and demands civil liberties and freedoms across the world. It has handed adversarial governments—including those of China, Russia and North Korea—a powerful propaganda tool to paint a dark portrait of the United States.” The New York Times editorial, June 6

 Trump’s Summit Stage Collapses

“In a transparent attempt to boost his sagging political fortunes, President Trump proposed to stage a summit meeting of the Group of Seven nations in Washington this month, with Vladimir Putin among the special guests. In a May 30 phone call that reportedly turned testy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel demurred, citing the continuing threat of the covid-19 pandemic as well as the lack of preparation for such a meeting.  One week later, Trump responded to Merkel with a vindictive and, for U.S. national security, deeply damaging decision to withdraw nearly a third of the American troops stationed in Germany…The pullout, which Mr. Trump arrived at in the absence of any National Security Council deliberation, could substantially weaken U.S. ability to deter Russian aggression in Europe or respond to other foreign crises.”  Editorial in The Washington Post, June 9

What REALLY Creates Safer Communities?

“We do have to reimagine what public safety looks like. And here’s the thing. It is status quo thinking to believe that putting more police on the streets creates more safety. That’s wrong. It’s just wrong. You know what creates more safety? Funding public schools, affordable housing, increased homeownership, job skill development, jobs, access to capital for those who want to start small businesses, or who are running small businesses in communities.” Kamala Harris in and in an interview with Lisa Lerer, The New York Times, June 9

 Defunding the Police: What that Really Means

“Advocates for police reform are making the case that the phrase ‘defund the police’ doesn’t mean what many people think it means. ‘Be not afraid,’ Christy E. Lopez, a Georgetown University law professor, wrote in The Washington Post. ‘Defunding the police is not as scary (or even as radical) as it sounds.  What it actually means, these advocates say, is reducing police budgets and no longer asking officers to do many jobs that they often don’t even want to do: resolving family and school disputes, moving homeless people into shelters and so on. Instead, funding for education, health care and other social services would increase.’” David Leonhardt, The New York Times, June 9


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