Thursday, February 9, 2017

Correspondence: Yet more Trumpery

Edited by Moristotle

“Trump Accuses Media of Not Reporting Voices He Hears in Head” [Andy Borowitz, New Yorker, February 7]. Excerpt:
TAMPA (The Borowitz Report [Satire])—In a blistering attack on the media, President Trump said on Monday that the press has consistently refused to report the voices he hears in his head every day.
    Trump praised the “really terrific information” he gets from the voices, which often speak to him when he is roaming the White House in his bathrobe in the middle of the night.
    “They tell me that I won by the most votes ever and had the biggest Inauguration crowd ever,” Trump said. “These are fantastic voices and they’re doing a great job.”
    Trump said the refusal to report what the voices tell him makes the media “the most dishonest people on earth.” [read more]
Debacler in Chief: “Donald the Menace” [Paul Krugman, NY Times, February 3]. Excerpt:
...This administration doesn’t seem prepared on any front. Mr. Trump’s confrontational phone calls, in particular, don’t sound like the working out of an economic or even political strategy — cunning schemers don’t waste time boasting about their election victories and whining about media reports on crowd sizes.
    No, what we’re hearing sounds like a man who is out of his depth and out of control, who can’t even pretend to master his feelings of personal insecurity. His first two weeks in office have been utter chaos, and things just keep getting worse — perhaps because he responds to each debacle with a desperate attempt to change the subject that only leads to a fresh debacle.
    America and the world can’t take much more of this. Think about it: If you had an employee behaving this way, you’d immediately remove him from any position of responsibility and strongly suggest that he seek counseling. And this guy is commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military.
    Thanks, Comey. [read more]
With God and the spirit of our Statue of Liberty as my witnesses, I cannot go along with the rationalization that many of Trump’s gestures are simply correctable mistakes by a novice – for example, his politicization of remarks before our military: “Trump’s Mix of Politics and Military Is Faulted” [Michael R. Gordon, NY Times, February 7].
    Let’s face it – we must face it – Trump is dedicated to furthering his brand and co-opting any and everything that can strengthen his advantage. He is a scourge, a malignant tumor, a blight on our form of government, our principles of democracy. Excerpt:

...Trump opened his remarks at MacDill Air Force Base on Monday with a campaign-style celebration of his election victory, citing polls that indicated he had won the votes of a large percentage of the military.
    “We had a wonderful election, didn’t we?” he proclaimed to an auditorium packed with officers and troops. “And I saw those numbers, and you liked me and I liked you. That’s the way it worked.”....
    “If they don’t endorse, believe me, if you’re ever in this position, it’s never quite the same, O.K.,” Mr. Trump said. “You can talk, but it never means the same.”
    As for the military, Mr. Trump’s comments suggested that he saw service members as another constituency: Like factory workers, farmers and coal miners, they seemed to be cast as an interest group to be wooed....
    ...Trump’s trip to MacDill follows similar appearances at the Pentagon and the C.I.A., both of which the president used as a backdrop for comments that veered into politics....
    “This is part of a pattern,” said Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger officer who held a senior policy position in the Defense Department on Middle East issues during the Obama administration. “Whether it is the Memorial Wall at the C.I.A., or the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, he is using institutions that have previously been walled off from politics to generate political support for some of his more contentious policies.”
    “If the military is seen as a Donald Trump institution, that’s dangerous as well,” Mr. Exum added. “It could create the impression among young Americans that the military is a political institution.” [read more]

So, The Trumper now proclaims himself both Chief Executive & Chief Legislator: “Trump Vows to ‘Destroy’ Law Banning Political Endorsements by Churches [Mark Landler & Laurie Goodstein, NY Times, February 2].
    I wish he’d eat all those donuts and totally clog his coronary arteries.
    This could be The Trumper’s biggest whopper – to pretend that religiously motivated political participation is a form of worship. “Trump said he’ll ‘totally destroy’ the Johnson Amendment. What is it and why should people care?” [Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post , February 2] Excerpt:

...Trump made one clear policy declaration [speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast!]: “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.”
    ...It’s named for Lyndon B. Johnson, who introduced it in the Senate in 1954....It bans all tax-exempt nonprofits — which includes churches and other houses of worship, as well as charities — from “directly or indirectly” participating in any political candidate’s campaign.
    ...Trump presents this ban on participating in politicking as a restriction on the freedom of faith groups to put their religion in action, if their religion calls on them to campaign for a impinges on the American “right to worship according to our own beliefs” — apparently describing campaign participation as a form of worship. [read more]
    Oh, wait a moment – he thinks the religiously motivated want to worship him!

I guess Trump may actually believe he’s “keeping his promise” to “make America great again” – and further his and Ivanka’s brands – but the greatest gift he could give mankind would be to give up playing at being President of the United States and put himself into the hands of neuroscientists to study the pathology of the likely unique brain of a high-functioning, emotionally and mentally deranged egomaniac.
    The neuroscientists might also do a parallel study of the brains of a few of the most fervid Trump supporters, toward determining whether there is a neurological basis for their brains to have been “paired” in some way (maybe in Bluetooth fashion?) with Trump’s.

Do you read comments & letters on articles in the NY Times and elsewhere? Here is an excerpt from one written in response to the “Trump Vows to ‘Destroy’...” article above. [Luke from Utica, NY, February 3]:
The repeal of the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates, would be a devastating blow to American religion....
    The desire for repeal comes from white evangelicals...They now want their religious organizations to conduct political advocacy. This freedom already exists. They just need to revoke their religiously based tax-exempt status so society doesn’t subsidize this advocacy through tax breaks.
    Like most things, this is about power and money, not principle. President Trump is perhaps the least religious president in American history. He doesn’t understand how greed will destroy religious vitality, the very thing his supporters hold dear. [read more]

“Is the Swedish deputy PM trolling Trump with this all-female photo?” [Guardian, February 4]. Excerpt:
Isabella Lovin signs bill surrounded by women colleagues, apparently a reference photos of Trump signing bills surrounded by men. [read more]

Alec Baldwin returned for another outing as President Trump, but Ms. McCarthy stole the show: “‘S.N.L.’ Goes After Trump Again, With Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer” [Dave Itzkoff, NY Times, February 5]. Excerpt:
The diplomatic travails of President Trump and his past Twitter fixation with Kristen Stewart provided plenty of fodder for “Saturday Night Live” this weekend. But a sketch lampooning Sean M. Spicer, the White House press secretary, in which he was impersonated by Melissa McCarthy, the comic actress and a surprise guest star, stole the show as “S.N.L.” continued to take swings at a president who delights in hitting back. [read more]

Grateful for correspondence, Moristotle

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