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Thoughtful reading…and the substantive area that a leader can excel by creating a narrative where our national ‘story’ feels compelling to us and it is inclusive of all. To hear exclusionary stances is not leadership at all, but airing petty grievances towards the few who are ‘other.’

And we will never get any perspective from this fly-by-the-seat of his pants T because he can never get beyond what he needs from this arrangement - self-aggrandizement and fulfillment of his megalomaniacal desires.

(David Bythewood) #442

Trump is a leader, of the worst kind. That’s the thing, not all leaders are good or benevolent. His incredible levels of malice, greed, and selfishness enable others who try to live up, or rather down, to his example. He’s the ringleader, the bully, the mob boss, the tempter, so grandiose in his evil that others who aspire to similar goals can’t help but be impressed and cast aside their own masks to embrace his callous, cruel philosophies.

There’s no denying he’s ignorant, incurious, and incompetent, but he’s also entirely unencumbered by tradition, morality, or inhibitions, and this appeals to the very worst of us.


I agree with y’all about Trump but when I wrote this I was thinking about what kind of new leadership I would like in 2020. :smiley:

Maybe real leadership like porn, you know it when you see it. I guess I’m just trying to figure out if there’s a candidate I get this vibe from, who’s telling the best story for America and more importantly do I believe them?

President Obama tweeted out his summer playlist this morning and just it got me thinking about our current Democratic leadership, is all.


Good one…that is THE tell all.

And I remember hearing from a news writer, that people’s decision about who might be good as President really did have to do with things like an affinity seeing them ride a horse, standing and speaking. (Reagan - riding his horse on the ranch) Do they look collected and in charge of the facts? (Obama) Are they sweating like a demon (Nixon v. Kennedy.)

Others might say - Do they have enough conviction and intellectual energy to handle the job? And when we hear Warren, Harris, Buttigieg…and even perhaps Booker, Beto we get that from them. Biden is not as strong in his ability to communicate forcefully (and with conviction) and lacks the ‘energy’ in some cases. But is he or could he be the electible one…who appeals across the board?

T has his base captivated by all the put downs, bullying the ‘elites’ or those of lesser advantage, and that base likes his ‘strength’ in doing so. T never speaks to all…and his remarks are to his base, niche oriented…and ultimately he will have alienated Women/college/non-college enough to refuse to vote for him. We know blacks/hispanics would never vote for him…and will get out the vote.

Because these 20 + Dem candidates are all still vying for their positions, and each one does present various leadership strengths…there are so many calculations as to what they can say…or should say, ie How far left do they go on healthcare…? How much do they appeal to those who are call climate crisis the only issue now? Would any of them be able to create a power base to fight gun control, persuade the other side etc? All of these positions are still being tested.

So here’s to hoping…someone gets all those talking points down, appeals to the majority of voters, and those who detest T.

All TBD…but we need that leader now. :worried:


This is Trump’s third G7 fail. Here’s an excellent 3-minute summary of how Trump is destroying our country’s reputation on the world stage:

And here’s the list of very public lies he packed into the weekend:

And here he is called out for lying about why he did not attend the meeting on climate change. That picture of the empty chair right next to the two people he said he was actually meeting with is worth a million words:

Trump claimed he wasn’t at the climate change meeting because he was at another meeting with Merkel and Modi – yet there they are to the right of his empty chair.


Just what Putin ordered…

It’s just astounding that Trump says he will unilaterally invite Putin to the next G7.

President Trump capped days of advocacy on behalf of Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by announcing here Monday that he intends to invite the leader to the Group of Seven summit in 2020, which Trump will host in an election year amid warnings that Russia is actively trying to interfere again in the U.S. presidential election.

And he further isolates the U.S. while helping destroy the planet:

… The last question President Trump took at his concluding [G7] press conference asked what he thinks the world should be doing on climate.

  • Trump answered with a paean to the U.S. oil and gas boom and his pro-development policies — including opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to planned drilling.

  • “I’m not going to lose that wealth. I’m not going lose it on dreams, on windmills — which, frankly, aren’t working too well,” said Trump, who earlier had not joined other heads of state at a session on climate (though aides did).

  • However, Trump also said that he’s an environmentalist.

To the last statement: :rofl:

The article includes a spot-on graphic from Axios’s Lazaro Gamio:


Worn down, nerved-out and tired of this (blank) and we need him out.

I was sapped — if not quite of the will to live, then of the will to tweet, to Google and to surf the cable channels, where his furious mien and curious mane are ubiquitous. What I was feeling was beyond Trump fatigue and bigger than Trump exhaustion. It was Trump enervation. Trump enfeeblement.

And within it I saw a ray of hope.

Until now it has been unclear to me precisely how Trump ends. His manifestly rotten character hasn’t alienated his supporters, who are all too ready with rationalizations and fluent in trade-offs. They’re also unbothered by many of his missteps, because he has sold those to a cynical electorate as media fables and rivals’ fabrications. He’s so enterprising and assiduous at pointing the finger elsewhere that many voters have lost their bearings. Defeat is victory. Oppressors are liberators. Corruption is caring. Mar-a-Loco is Shangri-La.

But Americans of all persuasions recognize melodrama when it keeps smacking them in the head, and he has manufactured a bruising degree of it. They’re not keen on Washington or politics, so they don’t care for the way in which fevered discussions of both have become so pervasive as to be ambient.

They’re woozy and wiped out, and they can’t lay their depletion on the doorsteps of frustrated Democrats and Fake News. The president’s tweets speak for themselves, in both volume and vitriol. The president’s thunder is deafening without any amplification by CNN or MSNBC.


I’ve wondered for a while about what would happen if the news media stopped reporting the insanity. I see no reason to repeat the lies and fantasies just because they were tweeted or even spoken.

They could focus on actions, not words. Or pivot to reporting on all things Congress is doing.


Some news groups do not highlight all the tweeting…but calling him out on his wrong doings is part of a journalist’s job. It would be the viewer/reader/listener’s choice to tune it out.

I agree…actions are where it is at. Reading the daily bullet points here that @matt provides helps. Those are things being done - good/bad etc.

But he’s become such a train wreck/car crash/explosion worth of news, that it is hard to look away.

But I agree with this writer’s sentiment…we’ve had enough of all this nonsense. And the weakening polls reflect it too.

(David Bythewood) #450

Behind Trump’s craziness, there’s always corruption. Here’s the latest.

  • Trump has privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. A White House official claims Trump is joking when he offers pardons, but this obviously doesn’t make it acceptable. In fact, it stands as confirmation that Trump actually has said this — leaving his underlings in the position of interpreting it as a real directive and offer. This demands further scrutiny.
  • Trump has privately admitted a wall isn’t the best way to stop illegal immigration — but he has told top aides that if he fails to deliver, it would be a letdown to supporters heading into reelection. Indeed, in private meetings, Trump has justified this position by musing about the loud cheers his wall receives at rallies.
  • Trump has not delivered on the wall. Sixty miles of replacement barriers have been built during the Trump presidency — all in areas where infrastructure previously existed. This explains Trump’s anguish about getting more done faster.

All of that is remarkable enough. But it must not be allowed to overshadow this:

Trump has recently urged the Army Corps to award a contract to a company he favors, North Dakota-based Fisher Industries, though the firm has not been selected. Fisher has been aggressively pushed by Trump ally Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who briefly held up the confirmation of a Trump budget office nominee last month in an attempt to put pressure on the Army Corps.

Cramer demanded to see the contracts awarded to Fisher’s competitors, lashing out at the “arrogance” of the Army Corps in emails to military officials after he was told the bidding process involved proprietary information that could not be shared. The CEO of Fisher Industries is a major backer of Cramer and has donated to his campaigns.

(M A Croft) #451

Today (1 Sep 2019) is the 80th anniversary of WW2. The day when Germany invaded Poland. Posting this opinion piece here because whilst it is not specifically “Trumpian” it offers a well considered and global perspective on the state of democracies at this present time. Well worth the read.

Trump of course has responded thus:

(David Bythewood) #452

There are more immigrants and their citizen children in the US than Trump voters – and this is why Stephen Miller wants to punish immigrants whose children use social services programs and block them from becoming citizens.

“There Won’t Even Be a Paper Trail”: Has Stephen Miller Become a Shadow Master at the State Department?


From the LA Times Editorial Board

In a blatantly cynical ploy to undo 35 years of preservation, the Republican controlled Congress in 2017 buried a provision in the GOP’s tax-cut bill to open portions of the 19 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. Never mind that the only people in the country backing the idea were energy companies, the politicians who do their bidding and the people who profit from them. In fact, a poll taken shortly after the vote found that only 35% of Americans supported opening ANWR to drilling.

President Trump, of course, and his political appointees at the Interior Department are among that 35% eager to despoil the near-pristine preserve that provides vital habitat for caribou, polar bears and other species of the north. Proponents note that the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act designated a section known as the 1002 area as a site for future drilling should Congress approve it. But that’s a far cry from saying it must be open for drilling, and the balance of interests tilts decidedly toward leaving the region alone.

Yet recent reports indicate that officials in the Trump administration, some of whom came straight out of the industries from which they are supposed to be protecting the environment, have been rushing to auction off leases — no doubt with an eye to the election calendar and the current president’s poll numbers. If there’s any good news to be found in the speeded-up process, it’s that in their haste the paperwork has reportedly been so badly botched that legal challenges will likely succeed.


We have gotten so used to the formulaic story — interview member of President Trump’s base, find he still loves Trump, conclude Trump is invincible — that we wind up surprised when the logical and predictable laws of political gravity hit. This is certainly true of farmers.

You know the setup — a sturdy farmer suffering from Trump-imposed tariffs grits his teeth and says he’s hurting but, by josh, he’s not parting with Trump whom he trusts to do the right thing. We are to conclude that Trump possesses magical political power, that farmers are too dumb to know what’s good for them or both.

Well, it turns out Trump has no magic, and farmers know exactly what the president is doing to them. MSNBC on Monday interviewed Bob Kuylen, vice president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, who explained that his wheat farm, which depends on overseas markets, has lost $400,000 because of the administration’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and subsequent trade wars. During another interview, Christopher Gibbs, a soybean and corn farmer in Ohio, ridiculed Trump’s farm bailouts — which he called “hush money” intended to “sedate" farmers — and made clear that taxpayers are paying for this, not China. He, too, is losing money.

Likewise, the Associated Press reports from Lincoln, Neb.: “The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association issued a joint statement criticizing the Trump administration for continuing to issue oil refinery waivers that thwart ethanol production and for a trade policy that they said has damaged agriculture. ‘Many of our corn farmers have stood with Trump for a long time, but that may soon change,’ Dan Nerud, a Dorchester farmer and president of the 2,400-member Nebraska Corn Growers Association, said in a release.” The statement also said, “As harvest approaches after an extremely difficult year for agriculture, many Nebraska corn farmers are outraged by the Trump administration’s lack of support for the American farmer.”

For Ohio, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and other states whose farm economies are seeing record bankruptcies, the villain is not merely the president. Their Republican representatives and senators could take tariff authority back from Trump. They could also publicly object to Trump’s use of farmers as fodder in his senseless, unwinnable trade war with China. Instead, they do nothing.

The good news is that, in 2020, all the farm states’ congressmen will be on the ballot with Trump, as will Republican senators such as Ben Sasse (Neb.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Steve Daines (Mont.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.).

The Farm Bureau … reported that the top 10 states in farm bankruptcies in 2018 were Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, New York, California, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. The good news is that Republican-held Senate seats in Kansas, Texas, Georgia (both seats!) and Nebraska will be on the ballot in 2020.

Republican red-state congressmen and senators are so busy fawning and kowtowing to Trump, excusing his ignorance and craziness, and straining to avoid mean tweets that they have, along with Trump himself, failed some of the most reliable Republican voters in the country.

Instead of visiting those West Virginia diners to find Trump voters still enamored of the president, the media should head out to Nebraska, Ohio and other hard-hit farm states to find out what Trump is doing to their farms and the economies in rural America. They might find that farmers’ patience has worn thin.

(David Bythewood) #455


Farmers fight to save their land in rural Minnesota as trade war intensifies

How to Stop Russia From Attacking and Influencing the 2020 Election

A new report offers a roadmap. If only Trump gave a damn.

(David Bythewood) #456

Just Security editors — Joshua Geltzer (former DOJ, NSC) and Ryan Goodman (former DOD)—teamed up to:

• catalog the specific ways in which President Trump has undercut the U.S. Intelligence Community
• explain Trump’s (bad) motives
• raise national security concerns

The Pattern and Practice of Trump’s Assaults on the Intelligence Community


NYT Editorial Board

From The New York Times:

Three North Carolina Judges Step In Where the Supreme Court Refuses

The Supreme Court’s conservatives said gerrymandering was not a matter for courts, leaving the job of protecting democratic self-rule to state judges.

Dragonfly9 note: my posts are brief and copied as my trusty laptop in for repairs


Jonathan Frazen poses the more terrifying question about the Climate Crises. What if we will never be able to reduce (likely they are saying)?

What if We Stopped Pretending the Climate Apocalypse Can Be Stopped? | The New Yorker

Call me a pessimist or call me a humanist, but I don’t see human nature fundamentally changing anytime soon. I can run ten thousand scenarios through my model, and in not one of them do I see the two-degree target being met.

To judge from recent opinion polls, which show that a majority of Americans (many of them Republican) are pessimistic about the planet’s future, and from the success of a book like David Wallace-Wells’s harrowing “The Uninhabitable Earth,” which was released this year, I’m not alone in having reached this conclusion. But there continues to be a reluctance to broadcast it. Some climate activists argue that if we publicly admit that the problem can’t be solved, it will discourage people from taking any ameliorative action at all. This seems to me not only a patronizing calculation but an ineffectual one, given how little progress we have to show for it to date. The activists who make it remind me of the religious leaders who fear that, without the promise of eternal salvation, people won’t bother to behave well. In my experience, nonbelievers are no less loving of their neighbors than believers. And so I wonder what might happen if, instead of denying reality, we told ourselves the truth.

First of all, even if we can no longer hope to be saved from two degrees of warming, there’s still a strong practical and ethical case for reducing carbon emissions. In the long run, it probably makes no difference how badly we overshoot two degrees; once the point of no return is passed, the world will become self-transforming. In the shorter term, however, half measures are better than no measures. Halfway cutting our emissions would make the immediate effects of warming somewhat less severe, and it would somewhat postpone the point of no return. The most terrifying thing about climate change is the speed at which it’s advancing, the almost monthly shattering of temperature records. If collective action resulted in just one fewer devastating hurricane, just a few extra years of relative stability, it would be a goal worth pursuing.

In fact, it would be worth pursuing even if it had no effect at all. To fail to conserve a finite resource when conservation measures are available, to needlessly add carbon to the atmosphere when we know very well what carbon is doing to it, is simply wrong. Although the actions of one individual have zero effect on the climate, this doesn’t mean that they’re meaningless. Each of us has an ethical choice to make. During the Protestant Reformation, when “end times” was merely an idea, not the horribly concrete thing it is today, a key doctrinal question was whether you should perform good works because it will get you into Heaven, or whether you should perform them simply because they’re good—because, while Heaven is a question mark, you know that this world would be better if everyone performed them. I can respect the planet, and care about the people with whom I share it, without believing that it will save me.

(David Bythewood) #459



Give this a read. Jamil Smith makes an interesting argument about casual bigotry and the nominee’s ability to gage bigotry accurately and call out Trump when he makes casually racist or misogynistic remarks on the trail.

I posted this as a look at some of the harsh criticism I’ve been reading after the 3rd debate. I think it’s good to read a spectrum of critique, see where everyone is landing. I like Joe Biden as a person and I just want to see him do better with this stuff because if he is the nominee I would be banking for him in the general. :grimacing: