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👑 Portrait of a President

curated-threads

#401

Nothing said can’t be unsaid.

https://twitter.com/peterbakernyt/status/1269081316282322944?s=19


#402

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1269107210875031557?s=21


#403

89 former Defense officials: The military must never be used to violate constitutional rights - The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/05/89-former-defense-officials-military-must-never-be-used-violate-constitutional-rights/#click=https://t.co/YouxJJOnnA

Looting and violence are unacceptable acts, and perpetrators should be arrested and duly tried under the law. But as Monday’s actions near the White House demonstrated, those committing such acts are largely on the margins of the vast majority of predominantly peaceful protests. While several past presidents have called on our armed services to provide additional aid to law enforcement in times of national crisis — among them Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson — these presidents used the military to protect the rights of Americans, not to violate them.

As former leaders in the Defense Department — civilian and military, Republican, Democrat and independent — we all took an oath upon assuming office “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” as did the president and all members of the military, a fact that Gen. Milley pointed out in a recent memorandum to members of the armed forces. We are alarmed at how the president is betraying this oath by threatening to order members of the U.S. military to violate the rights of their fellow Americans.

President Trump has given governors a stark choice: either end the protests that continue to demand equal justice under our laws, or expect that he will send active-duty military units into their states. While the Insurrection Act gives the president the legal authority to do so, this authority has been invoked only in the most extreme conditions when state or local authorities were overwhelmed and were unable to safeguard the rule of law. Historically, as Secretary Esper has pointed out, it has rightly been seen as a tool of last resort.

Beyond being unnecessary, using our military to quell protests across the country would also be unwise. This is not the mission our armed forces signed up for: They signed up to fight our nation’s enemies and to secure — not infringe upon — the rights and freedoms of their fellow Americans. In addition, putting our servicemen and women in the middle of politically charged domestic unrest risks undermining the apolitical nature of the military that is so essential to our democracy. It also risks diminishing Americans’ trust in our military — and thus America’s security — for years to come.


#404

This is a pretty good overall description of T from someone who was sued by him - Tim O’Brien, author of Trumpnation: The Art of being The Donald.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-07/trump-s-ugly-week-reveals-how-he-wants-to-be-remembered?srnd=opinion

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

—W.H. Auden, “Epitaph on a Tyrant”

Donald Trump strolled from the White House to the steps of St. John’s Church last Monday to take the stage for the most emblematic performance in the most definitive week of his presidency.

His eldest daughter fished a Bible from her purse and passed it to him. He weighed it, turning it around in his hands as police sirens wailed from side streets. Then he held the Good Book above his shoulder, like an auction paddle poised for a bid.

“We have a great country, that’s my thoughts,” he said. “The greatest country in the world. We’ll make it even greater. We will make it even greater. It won’t take long. It’s not gonna take long. You see what’s going on. It’s coming back. It’s coming back strong. It will be greater than ever before.”

He moved stage left and presented his prop to the cameras again, turning its spine outward to make sure his audience got it: The Bible. Fumbling through a last bit of choreography, he invited his secretary of defense, attorney general, national security advisor, press secretary and chief of staff to stand next to him. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, dressed in combat fatigues, watched from the wings. Somewhere above that all-white cast, helicopter blades whirred. And then it ended.

“Okay. Thank you very much. We have the greatest country in the world,” Trump said as he headed back behind the curtains and tossed out a warning. “We’re gonna keep it nice and safe.”

The St. John’s gig was a raw abuse of Trump’s powers, a stunt made possible by deploying state violence to clear a path through peaceful protesters saddened and angered by George Floyd’s death at the hands of police. It marked an end to several days of hibernation as Trump, hiding behind White House walls, his Twitter feed and his golf game, did his best to avoid the pain and anger unspooling across America. But his St. John’s show also was designed to intimidate protesters, stoking fear among people of color who have been demanding merely that their government and police refrain from killing them. And it was tragically off-kilter, a politically inept bit of stagecraft that served only to showcase his irresponsibility and utter lack of empathy.

But I suspect Trump was nonetheless happy. Even if the staging ultimately doesn’t serve him well electorally, it will still serve him well personally. Because however unraveled he may be about weak poll numbers and social disarray he can’t control, performing at St. John’s advanced one of his few long-term goals: promoting Trumpism so that it endures beyond his presidency. Whenever his tenure ends, I imagine Trump will attempt to start or buy a media company that can compete with Fox News and do battle with everyone else. He will continue to tour stadiums, offering the faithful a spiritual revival a la Elmer Gantry. He will remain a force in Republican politics, darkening the national conversation.

Trump has used his time in the White House to cement his relationship with right-wing hardliners, older white guys, conservative Christians, anti-government loners, displaced rural and industrial workers and the more generally aggrieved. He’ll do anything to preserve that bond, even if it means tearing the country apart and fencing off the White House.

Trump loyalists may not recognize it as such, but Trumpism is fundamentally anarchic. It puts racial tolerance, equality, community, authority, morality, expertise, justice, national security and economic progress in play by relentlessly attacking institutions and the conversations meant to promote them.

There’s no substantive vision about what should replace those institutions, let alone a familiarity with the values that inform them. Instead, there’s only an unmoored cult of personality. Trump, who doesn’t read books, thinks “The Art of the Deal” ranks closely to the Bible on must-read lists, providing fodder for comedians such as Sarah Cooper. He’s referred to himself publicly as “the Chosen One” but can’t respond coherently when asked to cite passages from the Bible that hold special meaning for him. “You know, when I talk about the Bible it’s very personal so I don’t want to get into verses,he told reporters five years ago when his presidential bid began. “The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.”

Details, details. Despite having a tenuous grasp of reality and the machinery of government, Trump has survived more than three years of shambolic leadership, federal investigations and an impeachment inquiry. But his response to the Covid-19 pandemic and this week’s wave of street protests have exposed the consequences of his malfeasance in ways that earlier scandals haven’t. His suggestion during a White House press conference that injecting disinfectants might combat the coronavirus is one stark example; taking to Twitter on Thursday night to brand protesters he booted from the park around St. John’s as “terrorists” was also clarifying. The president is wantonly putting lives at risk, especially among the most vulnerable.

By week’s end, Trump had been taken to task belatedly by military leaders and former defense secretary James Mattis for undermining the Constitution by threatening to send soldiers into the streets. Even some Republican senators were moved to question his conduct.

He still seemed undeterred. In fact, the protesters in the streets offered a golden opportunity to fire up his base. He has his own militia, after all. A letter his presidential campaign sent to potential supporters last week reminded them that they were among his “fiercest and most loyal defenders” and they would each “make an excellent addition to the Trump Army.” In exchange for $35, the campaign promised a “Limited Edition Camo Keep America Great Hat.” Proud wearers would be “the President’s first line of defense when it comes to fighting off the Liberal MOB.”

Maybe this kind of stuff is just fun and games for the Trumpistas. But it’s at odds with Trump’s claims — at a press conference he held just before riot officers and police set upon non-violent protesters near St. John’s — that he’s the “President of Law and Order” and “an ally of all peaceful protesters.” Never mind that his administration has maneuvered aggressively to posit that he, as president, exists above the law. A quartet of distinguished law professors — Joshua Geltzer, Neal Katyal, Jennifer Taub and Laurence Tribe — noted in a Washington Post essay on Thursday that “the Trump administration’s authoritarian behavior on the streets is being matched by its authoritarian positions in the federal courts.”

The welcome, but quite possibly temporary, news of May’s better-than-expected employment numbers also gave Trump’s week an unexpected bounce. He grabbed that opening to hold an impromptu and classically bonkers press conference on Friday to celebrate.

Having insisted from the earliest days of his presidency that the robust economy he inherited was his creation, he visited the Rose Garden to boast about “the greatest economy in the history of our country.” Maintaining that narrative is critical for Trump’s survival and underlies much of his magical thinking about the severity of the pandemic and its economic fallout. So the May jobs data, he told the media, “was a very big day for our country.” Then he free associated about “cures” for “the China plague that floated in” and created a “ventilator period” around the U.S. He said two million Covid-19 vaccines were “ready to go.” He repeatedly suggested that the country has already made safe passage through the pandemic and promised that what looked like a looming economic depression was instead poised to become “a rocket ship.”

Of course, workers and their employers may simply be benefiting from the massive federal bailout launched in April. Much of that lift may dissipate if government benefits run out. But for now, Trump said he sees a continued economic rebound leading to a “spectacular October, November, December.” Spectacular, that is, if you forget the catastrophic policy mistakes that got us here in the first place and overlook tens of millions of unemployed workers who are still likely to face daunting challenges for years to come. Trump also glossed over the fact that the May data showed an already bleak employment landscape growing worse for black workers. Accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative is on brand for Trump, as is his administration’s failure to reconcile its morning-in-America platitudes with the singular economic and social disenfranchisement that African-Americans continue to face.

Trump did, however, keep someone in mind during Friday’s briefing: George Floyd.

"Under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement regardless of race, color, gender or creed. They have to receive fair treatment,” he said. “Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing that’s happening for our country,’ This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It’s really what our Constitution requires and it’s what our country is all about.”

Despite his sudden devotion to Floyd, and the idea that Floyd is soaking up economic news in heaven, Trump still hasn’t managed to attend any of Floyd’s memorial services. And Trump’s Rose Garden remarks Friday didn’t acknowledge all of the fair and equal treatment police had meted out with their batons and shields to the bodies of protestors in Los Angeles, Buffalo and other cities the day before. Out in the real world, Washington, D.C., and its mayor, Muriel Bowser, took a more direct path than Trump to memorialize last week’s events. The district painted enormous yellow “Black Lives Matter” letters across 16th Street in front of the White House on Friday. And the square by St. John’s where Trump staged his photo op was renamed, fittingly enough, Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Later that evening, Bowser had the streets around St. John’s illuminated for Trump. “We turned on the night light for him so he dreams about #BlackLivesMatter Plaza,” she tweeted.

Trump, alas, dreams only of himself. And he crossed his Rubicon last week. Don’t expect him to let go of anything. Whether he serves a second term as president or moves on to reshape himself as a media titan, he intends to stay very much with us. We’ll need leaders like Bowser, and the protesters galvanizing the country, to keep standing tall.


#405

Trump Criticizes 75-Year-Old Buffalo Protester Injured in Altercation With Police

President Trump criticized a 75-year-old protester who was captured on video bleeding from his ear after police officers in Buffalo, N.Y., shoved him to the ground, suggesting without providing evidence that the activist could instead be an “ANTIFA provocateur.”

Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday that Martin Gugino “was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?”

Mr. Trump appeared to be citing a report from the conservative channel One America News Network, but didn’t provide any further evidence for his claims. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments.

[…]

Two Buffalo, N.Y., police officers were charged with felony assault in connection with the Thursday night altercation. Video posted by WBFO, a public radio station, shows the officers pushed protester Mr. Gugino as they cleared the city’s central square shortly after a curfew took effect.

Watch video of the assault here👇

https://twitter.com/wbfo/status/1268712530358292484?s=21


(David Bythewood) #406

Our reality TV president:

Part of the reason first lady Melania Trump delayed her move from New York City to the White House in 2017 was because she was renegotiating her prenuptial agreement with President Donald Trump

New Melania Trump book says she renegotiated her prenuptial agreement

:flushed::exploding_head::rofl:


#407

At West Point today…Some non responses for T makes him uncomfortable…

https://twitter.com/bessbell/status/1271839938137321472?s=19

Video - no claps for T- zilch, nada

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1271823762061656072?s=20


#408

Have we talked about T’s physical decline?

Granted there is ample speculation from a possible stroke to frontotemporal dementia. See his gait and inability to coordinate basic motor skills. Not to mention his lack of cohesive speaking which is what we listen to all the time.

Lifting his cup to drink water is now 2-handed.

https://twitter.com/DavidYankovich/status/1271857380259704834?s=19

https://twitter.com/TomJChicago/status/1271898564675821568?s=19

Does this look normal??


#409

Some push back from T himself.

https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1272012952225361921?s=20

https://twitter.com/davidgura/status/1272003068863922176?s=20

https://twitter.com/CharlesPPierce/status/1272002242456031233?s=20

https://twitter.com/neeratanden/status/1272013680650211328?s=20

#trumpIsNotWell trending on Twitter

https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1272016556541739013?s=20

He’s trembling again.

President Trump struggled to lift a glass of water Saturday during his speech to U.S. Military Academy graduates at West Point.

Trump started to lift the glass with his right hand but seemed unable to guide it all the way up to his lips.

The president used his left hand to steady the glass and tilt it into his mouth.

Trump still hasn’t totally figured out how to drink water pic.twitter.com/IO8CDXmD9i

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 13, 2020

After his speech, Trump also looked unsteady as he walked down a set of stairs after a lethargic speech to the graduates of the Army college.

then, there’s the stairs. pic.twitter.com/ngwru8TTNy

— Lipstick Killer (@lipstickkills) June 13, 2020

He also had difficulty pronouncing the name of iconic World War II Gen. Douglas McArthur.

The incidents took barely a couple of moments to play out but drew an instant reaction on social media.

One troll tweeted photos of Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, grinning as he used just one hand to a hold a coconut.

Others recalled one time Trump rival Sen. Marco Rubio’s infamous speech in which he repeatedly sipped from a water bottle.

Despite the jokes, Trump’s health is a topic of intense interest and his every move is closely watched.

Trump critics and even some medical professionals believe the tics are signs of potentially serious medical problems.

“This is a persistent neurological sign that, combined with others, would be concerning enough to require a brain scan,” Dr. Bandy Lee, a Yale psychiatrist wrote on Twitter.

It’s the second time in a couple of weeks that Trump has drawn attention at a public event.

He appeared unable to stand still during a solemn ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. Some observers noted that he had difficulties lifting a wreath with his right arm.

Trump insists he is in perfect health and the White House released an annual physical that claimed he is in good shape for his age. He turns 74 on Sunday.


#410

Well…here’s something to behold. More books to be read on what TRUMP really looks like.
She was the leaker for all his financial details to the NYT. Read on…

@Pet_Proletariat or @MissJava - Can you post on Portrait of a President? Plz!

Donald Trump’s niece, his deceased brother’s daughter, is set to publish a tell-all book this summer that will detail “harrowing and salacious” stories about the president, according to people with knowledge of the project.

Mary Trump, 55, the daughter of Fred Trump Jr. and Fred Trump Sr.’s eldest grandchild, is scheduled to release Too Much And Never Enough on August 11th, just weeks before the Republican National Convention.

One of the most explosive revelations Mary will detail in the book, according to people familiar with the matter, is how she played a critical role helping The New York Times print startling revelations about Trump’s taxes, including how he was involved in “fraudulent” tax schemes and had received more than $400 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real-estate empire.

As she is set to outline in her book, Mary was a primary source for the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation, supplying Fred Trump Sr.’s tax returns and other highly confidential family financial documentation to the paper.

In a 2019 interview, Donald Trump admitted to pressuring his brother over his career choices but said he had come to regret it. “I do regret having put pressure on him,” Trump told The Washington Post . Discussing his brother and the family business Trump said it “was just something he was never going to want” to do.

“It was just not his thing. . . I think the mistake that we made was we assumed that everybody would like it. That would be the biggest mistake. . . .There was sort of a double pressure put on him,” Trump admitted.

After Fred Jr.’s children brought their messy court case against the family—contesting their grandfather’s will and alleging it was “procured by fraud and undue influence” on the part of Donald and his siblings—they highlighted Donald’s callous treatment of family members as he, along with siblings Maryanne and Robert, cut off the medical benefits to his nephew’s sick child William, who was born with cerebral palsy. The move, the family said at the time, was payback for Mary and Fred the 3rd’s challenge to the will.


📚 Recommended reading for the resistance (books)
#411

https://twitter.com/jonfavs/status/1273636026607525890?s=20

https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1273637388233957376?s=20

@Pet_Proletariat @MissJava - can we put in Portrait of President…??

Thanks!


More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
(David Bythewood) #412

This is the difference between taking responsibility and taking none at all.

What Joe Biden’s Event Was Like

As one candidate plays to a nearly empty room, another prepares for a rally with health risks.


(David Bythewood) #413

Trump posted a faked video he claimed was debunking CNN, mocking their coverage of racism and his racist followers.

Twitter marked it as “Manipulated Media.”

And then post a slick video about a false allegation of racism going viral, pushing the idea that all of these accusations of racism are false.

image

Because nothing says “I hear you and feel your pain” like mocking the very existence of the thing hurting black Americans.


(David Bythewood) #414

Meidas Touch takes aim at how Trump treats women.

https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1274127338163171329?s=20


#415

Yes…what you see is what you get. WYSIWYG

https://twitter.com/DanRather/status/1275456218371260416?s=20

https://twitter.com/brianbeutler/status/1275432257235357696?s=20

video
https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1275431341132308480?s=20


(David Bythewood) #416

Twitter posts warning on new ‘abusive’ Trump tweet for ‘threat of harm’ to protestors


#417

WTF

When T talks about words (and he has thousands of good words) he then launches into
talent. He’s really not up to much and has zero ideas about a 2nd term.

https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/1276343969971146755?s=20

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1276341601632206848?s=20

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1276337293234769921?s=20

https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/1276335156127830018?s=20


🗳 2020 Primary Election
(David Bythewood) #418

The Week It Went South for Trump

He hasn’t been equal to the crises. He never makes anything better. And everyone kind of knows.

Trump brags he is ‘the most perfect person’ during Fox News interview: ‘Isn’t it true?’


#419

Trump shares video where supporter yells ‘white power’

“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Trump tweeted. “The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!“

The pro-Trump parader twice exclaimed “white power” while holding a fist and was sitting next to another supporter chanting “Trump.” Another person, who appeared to be an anti-Trump protester, pointed toward him and responded: “There you go, white power."


(David Bythewood) #420

https://twitter.com/fred_guttenberg/status/1277350752223137792?s=20
image

https://twitter.com/mmpadellan/status/1277318495764692993?s=20