What A True Leader Does

128 Responses to “What A True Leader Does”

  1. January 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Good Morning, Everyone 🙂

  2. 2 desertflower
    January 30, 2017 at 9:00 am

  3. 4 sherijr
    January 30, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Good morning TOD~ thank you Nerdy 🙂 Congrats rikyrah on first

    Has anyone else had this happen: Your account appears to have exhibited automated behavior that violates the Twitter Rules: https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311.

    ?? I’ve literally done nothing to break any rules.. I mostly retweet and when I ‘tweet’ I’m cautious with my words. So I’m really confused by this.

  4. 5 desertflower
    January 30, 2017 at 9:02 am


    DEADLINE: January 31
    Getting covered for 2017 starts right here, but time’s running out.

    Enroll by January 31 for coverage starting March 1, 2017.


  5. 6 desertflower
    January 30, 2017 at 9:05 am

    • 7 jacquelineoboomer
      January 30, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      On her way to the hospital, my mother was questioned similarly once, by one of the EMT folks – at a time when her mind wasn’t that good and during the George W. Bush years. When asked who the President was, my sweet, Democratic mother said: “I forget his name, but he’s NOT GOOD.” Everybody smiled.

  6. 8 Nerdy Wonka
    January 30, 2017 at 9:06 am


  7. 9 desertflower
    January 30, 2017 at 9:09 am

  8. 10 desertflower
    January 30, 2017 at 9:11 am


  9. January 30, 2017 at 9:24 am

  10. January 30, 2017 at 9:27 am

    White House has no regrets following incomplete Holocaust statement
    01/30/17 08:46 AM—UPDATED 01/30/17 08:47 AM
    By Steve Benen

    I’d assumed it was a careless mistake. Donald Trump’s White House issued an official statement honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but it made no reference to the Holocaust’s Jewish victims.

    The White House is not yet fully staffed, and many of those on Donald Trump’s team are, like the president himself, amateurs. And with that in mind, it was easy to assume that this was an oversight that Team Trump will have to avoid next year.

    Except, it turns out the Trump White House deliberately omitted references to Jews from their Holocaust Remembrance Day statement. One presidential spokesperson said the White House “took into account all of those who suffered” in order to be “inclusive.”

    Yesterday, as the Washington Post noted, Team Trump kept pushing this line.
    Facing growing criticism for failing to mention Jews in a statement marking the Holocaust, the Trump administration on Sunday doubled down on the controversial decision. […]

    “I don’t regret the words,” said White House chief of staff Reince Priebus when asked to defend the statement on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
    In the same interview, Priebus added that the White House considers “everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust … to be extraordinarily sad.”

    Wait, is the Trump White House all-lives-mattering the Nazi Holocaust?

  11. January 30, 2017 at 9:28 am


  12. January 30, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Trump’s newest national security moves labeled ‘stone cold crazy’
    01/30/17 09:20 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, reviewed Donald Trump’s new directive on the White House’s National Security Council, and felt compelled to issue a candid assessment. “This is a ‘Holy Crap’ moment,” the congressman said.

    Under the circumstances, it’s hard to argue with Larsen’s conclusion. The New York Times reported:

    [T]he defining moment for [Chief White House Strategist Stephen] Bannon came Saturday night in the form of an executive order giving the rumpled right-wing agitator a full seat on the “principals committee” of the National Security Council – while downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, who will now attend only when the council is considering issues in their direct areas of responsibilities.

    It is a startling elevation of a political adviser, to a status alongside the secretaries of state and defense, and over the president’s top military and intelligence advisers.

    Sure, Trump’s national security team was already something of a mess. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn clearly has no business holding his current post; his deputy is even less qualified; and the person the president tapped to oversee NSC communications was forced to resign.

    But this takes the problems to a whole new level. Susan Rice, who served as one of President Obama’s National Security Advisors, described Trump’s move as “stone cold crazy,” which also seems more than fair.

    Putting the former head of a right-wing website on the White House’s National Security Council is bonkers. Putting him on the National Security Council while removing the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence is so plainly crazy that no one has been able to present a coherent defense.

  13. January 30, 2017 at 9:35 am

  14. January 30, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Americans Think Trump Will Be an Awful President
    by Peregrine Frissell
    January 28, 2017 5:00 PM

    Progressives are still hungover after the surreal election that catapulted Donald J. Trump to the presidency, but here’s some limited solace: Americans aren’t confident in the capabilities of our new commander-in-chief.

    Public Policy Polling released a report on Thursday showing how low the expectations are for the new president—Americans suspect nearly every president over the last half-century will go down as more popular than President Trump. He’s only expected to outperform Richard Nixon, the man who made Watergate possible and ran the country armed with a lexicon of his own racial epithets.

    Of those polled, 46 percent had a negative opinion of Trump, “historically awful numbers for a newly elected President,” notes the report.

    The low expectations for Trump’s presidency stem from both the general unpopularity of his agenda, as well as the continued divisiveness and unpredictability of a leader who has a bad penchant for sending out cryptic tweets laced with fringe conspiracy theories. Public Policy Polling found that:

  15. January 30, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Trump’s Cruel Muslim Ban Highlights Need for SCOTUS Blockade
    by David Atkins
    January 29, 2017 9:00 AM

    Yesterday’s news was as dramatic as it was fast. Trump issued an executive order banning immigration from certain Muslim countries–but not from ones where he has business connections. The result was chaos, confusion and catastrophe. Hundreds of legal residents and immigrants from doctors and scholars to vetted refugees sat in limbo both here in the United States and around the world. As airports acorss the country turned into a real-time political morality play, civil liberties groups began to issue legal challenges even as spontaneous protests grew in size.

    Finally, several judges issued stays on the blanket deportations as it became obvious that the policy was not only cruel and unAmerican but flatly illegal. Unfortunately, the judicial rulings don’t actually allow these unfortunate souls to leave the airport, so they remain stuck at airports until the legal system can work out what is to be done.

    And now, even as some Republicans slowly begin to criticize the Trump Administration’s needless outlawry and cruelty and bigger civil protests are planned, it becomes obvious how important it will be for Democrats to do all they can to stop Trump’s Supreme Court nominee for as long as humanly possible.

    It is very likely that the preponderance of federal judges will side against Trump on the ban. Trump’s excuse that he can supposedly restrict whatever immigration he likes if he feels there’s a vague terrorist threat is a flimsy pretext to get around a very clear 1965 law preventing discrimination based on national origin. But the Supreme Court might be another matter if Trump is allowed to seat another justice on it, depending on how justices Roberts and Kennedy decide to rule in the era of Trump. Split 4-4 decisions affirm the rulings of lower courts, which will be a stopgap against aggressive white nationalist barbarism of Trump and especially of Steve Bannon, who apparently has full run of the White House. Assuming, that is, that Trump doesn’t style himself after Andrew Jackson and simply refuse to obey the judicial branch’s orders, precipitating a Constitutional crisis in only his second week.

    Republicans in Congress already stole a Supreme Court nomination from former President Obama by denying Merrick Garland a hearing for the better part of a year. Senate Democrats must show President Trump the same level of discourtesy and disrespect. The safety and security of the Republic, as well as the fates of thousands of innocent souls, depends on it.

  16. January 30, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Is Steve Bannon Trying to Instigate a Constitutional Crisis?
    by David Atkins
    January 29, 2017 8:42 PM

    In 1832, Justice John Marshall ruled that the state of Georgia could not grant licenses for non-Native Americans to settle on federally created Native American land. President Andrew Jackson, a populist white supremacist who despised and murdered Native Americans in the thousands, is reported to have said in response, “”John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

    Donald Trump’s closest adviser Steve Bannon has reportedly been the lead actor responsible for many of Trump’s recent executive orders, including the illegal ban on immigration from large parts of the Muslim world. Bannon is a white nationalist, the ideological architect of Trump’s xenophobic populism, and a big fan of Andrew Jackson. Bannon sees in Trump another Jackson, and even hung a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office. Some historians are pushing back on the comparison, but clearly the current White House is trying to create a 21st century version of what they perceive to be Jacksonian populism.

    Andrew Jackson’s confrontational attitude toward the courts, particularly on matters of race, war, and human decency, bears particular scrutiny. Jackson hated the courts, making every attempt to limit their power and even instigate clashes with the judiciary. Jackson felt that judges had no authority to place any limits on majoritarian rule. Both states and the federal government attempted to nullify or simply refuse to enforce judicial rulings, and various crises were only resolved when majorities who favored court decisions protecting minority interests once again won elected office and created a government culture in which the judiciary was better respected.

    Fast forward to the recent Muslim ban. Bannon had to know that the courts would immediately step in to halt the deportations on multiple legal grounds. But not only did Bannon seek that confrontation, he did so in the most provocative way possible: it was Bannon’s idea to overrule the Department of Homeland Security and include green card holders in the immigration ban.

    And, in fact, a Constitutional crisis has already arisen: some border patrol have been defying court orders by detaining legal residents without access to attorneys, in spite of direct personal pressure from United States senators and armies of lawyers.

    It’s possible that this chaos is simply a result of overzealousness and incompetence on the part of the Administration. But Bannon is known to be a cunning a strategist who doesn’t show his hand and doesn’t like to openly talk about his tactics. His actions are seldom random and always deliberate.

    We do know that Bannon implemented a highly controversial, high-profile order that he knew to be illegal and particularly cruel, but of great importance to his white nationalist base. We know that on the same day he placed himself on the national security council, removing the joint chiefs from the room. We know that Bannon idolizes Andrew Jackson and sees himself as above the courts.

    We don’t yet know the Trump Administration’s response to the court rulings. But it’s worth considering the possibility that Trump’s closest adviser is actively seeking a Constitutional crisis that tests the power of the judiciary to stop any potential actions by the Executive Branch.

    This is a very dangerous time for the country.

    Update: Donald Trump’s team has removed The Judicial Branch from the White House website. This is not a joke.

  17. January 30, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Bannon’s Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A Global War With Islam
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    January 30, 2017 9:20 AM

    It is now obvious that in the battle for power in the Trump White House, Steve Bannon is winning. In just 10 days we’ve seen that he:

    wrote Trump’s belligerent inaugural address,
    is the author of Trump’s executive orders (with no legal, departmental or congressional review),
    has been given a seat at the table of the National Security Council’s Principals’ Committee – something that has never happened with a White House political operative before.

    What most of us know about Bannon is that he is the former director of Breitbart News and has strong anti-globalist, pro-nationalist views with ties to white supremacists and anti-semites. In light of Bannon’s authorship of Trump’s recent executive order banning refugees and immigrants from some Middle Eastern Muslim countries, it is also important to note that he is (like many in Trump’s inner circle) an Islamophobe. Take a look at some excerpts from a speech he gave to a conference inside the Vatican in 2014 where he talks about the secularization of the West.


    Bannon is doing the same thing fascists have done throughout history – use fear as a tool to mobilize nationalism. While it is true that ISIS must be defeated, to assume that they represent the beginning stages of a global war is absurd.

    So how does Bannon inspire the kind of fear that would spark the kind of nationalist movements in the white (predominantly Christian) countries of the Norther Hemisphere that dominated the globe for centuries amidst a rising tide of economic expansion in the world of black/brown people? You begin by creating a fear of immigrants across our Southern borders via a confrontation with Mexico and extend that to a fear of Muslim terrorists. That fear drives policies that lay the battle lines for the kind of global war Bannon is predicting, and it becomes a self-fulling prophecy.


    If anything is designed to ignite WWIII, it is the actions of this administration. As Josh Marshall points out:

    For all the talk about ‘populism’, what really imbues this White House is nationalism. But not just nationalism in a general sense which can have positive, communitarian aspects. It is a hateful and aggressive nationalism based on zero-sum relationships and a thirst for domination and violence. These are dangerous people.

    At the heart of what is dangerous about these people stands Steve Bannon – who seems to be calling the shots right now and is eager to promote a global war with Islam as a rallying cry for white nationalism.

  18. 28 JER
    January 30, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Good Morning Everybody.

    New York Daily News – 47 minutes ago
    An ex-Trump exec says she knew he was ill for the last 35 years http://nydn.us/2kFAakm
    …It is gratifying to see a confirmation of our speculations. I pray America survives his presidency, for however long it lasts. …

  19. January 30, 2017 at 9:49 am

    California Secession is a Terrible Idea
    by David Atkins
    January 29, 2017 8:00 AM

    As a Californian, the idea of seceding from the union can be tempting. We’re the world’s sixth largest economy, home to the country’s largest agriculture sector, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and a thriving economy, diverse in its people and its production. We also voted for Clinton over Trump by 30 points, with a couple more to Jill Stein for good measure. Our state has supermajority Democratic control at all levels of government, with no statewide Republican officials in office and a decimated GOP bench. And we are ground zero for the legal resistance to Trump on immigration, healthcare, drug policy and much else. Most importantly, Californians only get back 79 cents for every dollar we send to the federal government, only to see red states who take the most from the federal government using our money elect Republicans who hate California and see themselves as ill-used John Galts.

    It’s hard to blame many Californians for wanting to cut the chain and free ourselves from the yoke of those who despise us while taking advantage of us. That’s why a movement has grown to gather signatures to place California secession on the state ballot. But it’s a terrible idea.

    First, the question of secession was settled militarily at Appomattox. Second, legal secession would be incredibly destructive both to California’s economy and to that of the rest of the United States. Third, the other western states along the Colorado River would doubtless use water rights to squeeze California even drier than it already is in revenge.

    But most importantly, California is the moral vanguard of the nation. We are the guarantor of the nation’s future, its primary innovator and its demographic harbinger. Our shining example provides hope to the rest of the country that a better, more tolerant, more progressive future is possible–that America can not only survive but thrive in a society that is socially libertine, environmentally friendly, economically progressive and racially diverse.

  20. 31 Allison
    January 30, 2017 at 9:50 am

  21. January 30, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Found at Balloon Juice:


    What we are experiencing right now is a GOP blitzkrieg, concocted by the Heritage Foundation and Paul Ryan and fronted by Trump. That all the cuts and executive orders are coming fast, intense and extreme is not a surprise. It is smart strategy on the GOP’s part.

    It seems impossible to counter all this stuff, while trying to tank Trump’s nominations as well as engaging in perhaps-not-so-wise-right-now-as-it-can-wait campaigns like investigating Trump’s taxes and foolhardy-pie-in-the-sky things like impeachment. You aren’t imagining anything: It is impossible to stop all of it. This sucks but you must accept it. There are going to be losses, we knew that. Now they are coming. Hang in there. Step back and look at what they are going after.

    Cutting the budgets of the NEA and NEH, muzzling the EPA, USDA, and Park Service, etc. are all relatively minor attacks. They might sting and that is exactly the point. Who supports the NEA and NEH? Liberals and people on the Left. Most Americans don’t care or even know that these agencies exist. These attacks are aimed at our hearts. Trump and GOP don’t care about these agencies. They want to demoralize us. They want us to feel defeat after defeat as soon as possible. They want us to get fatigued and give up.

    If you care about this country, if you are in for the long haul, you absolutely must let these defeats go. Yes, you can care. Yes, you can get angry. But don’t rest on the anger. Try to use it for energy, for motivation, but that is all. Make a note of it – we will rebuild – and let it go. There are much bigger things on the GOP’s agenda – getting rid of Medicare, Social Security, stripping down government to everything but defense and police functions, and selling off whatever is public. They also want to put as much in the way between us and our rights, including voting rights, as possible. These are the things to watch and fight. While we were fretting about cabinet appointments before inauguration, Congress devalued public lands. That is the first step to selling them off and allowing mining in National Parks. Selling off what is public to corporations and the mega-wealthy is what really matters to them.

    Please note that I am not saying that the NEA and NEH or muzzling public agencies does not matter. It does and we must make noise about it, but we also must look at what the GOP’s fundamental goals are, realize the motives behind what they are doing, act on what we have the power to change, and be mindful of how we act and react. These people are not acting willy-nilly. As flaky and screwed-up as Trump is/seems, the people behind him are not. They are rational. They are professionals. They are tacticians. They know exactly what they are doing and exactly how to kill our spirit. This is basic strategy: Use the enemy to destroy the enemy (Sun Tzu). They are trying to destroy our resistance by creating frustration and despair, and letting that do the job. Know that. Drill that into your brain. Come back to this when you are feeling defeated. This insight in one of the most important things to know.

    Scott Soriano, 1/26/17

  22. 36 Allison
    January 30, 2017 at 9:52 am

  23. 37 Anjo
    January 30, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Good Morning All….Have a great and productive day resisting the Orange Blob

  24. January 30, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Please remember:

    Most Americans who voted in 2016 DID NOT vote for this. And, I don’t give a shyt if a majority of HIS voters are OK with the horrificness of the past 8 days, I and millions more are not. My parents lived in a Police State known as the Jim Crow South. I have no intentions of doing the same.

  25. 40 Nerdy Wonka
    January 30, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Good read.

  26. January 30, 2017 at 10:32 am

    A word from Queen Viola:

  27. 44 JER
    January 30, 2017 at 10:45 am

  28. 45 JER
    January 30, 2017 at 10:56 am

  29. January 30, 2017 at 11:00 am

    This is crazy……

  30. 49 globalcitizenlinda
    January 30, 2017 at 11:02 am

    If you have a few moments today, please encourage the people in your network to sign up for Obamacare before the deadline. Thanks a lot

  31. January 30, 2017 at 11:03 am

    GM TODers.

    Hi Nerdy and thank you, as always.


    Dudettee, missing and thinking about you. ((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))

  32. January 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

    We can’t stop.

  33. January 30, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Secretary Mattis finds himself in an unenviable position
    01/30/17 10:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), a decorated military veteran, was asked yesterday what he’d say to retired Gen. James Mattis, Donald Trump’s new Defense Secretary, about the White House’s Muslim ban. The congressman didn’t hesitate in his response.

    “I worked for General Mattis,” Moulton explained. “I know him. There is no way in hell that he is supportive of this. He relied on translators for his life, just like I did. He understands what it means to put your life in the hands of an Iraqi or an Afghan. And he also knows that implicit in that is that they put their lives in our hands, as well – and now we’re abandoning them.”

    Moulton added, “[W]hat’s frightening about this situation is it shows that people like General Mattis … clearly don’t have a voice in the Trump administration.”

    That assessment is bolstered by revelations about how the president’s controversial executive order came to be. The New York Times reported overnight:

    Jim Mattis, the new secretary of defense, did not see a final version of the order until Friday morning, only hours before Mr. Trump arrived to sign it at the Pentagon.

    Mr. Mattis, according to administration officials familiar with the deliberations, was not consulted by the White House during the preparation of the order and was not given an opportunity to provide input while the order was being drafted.

    Mattis was, however, used as a prop when Trump hosted an event to unveil his executive order.

    It’s enough to make one wonder whether the Defense Secretary, chosen in part because the president thinks Mattis has a cool name, is going to be satisfied serving in this administration.

    Let’s not forget that it was Mattis, just six months ago, who said in reference to Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, “This kind of thing is causing us great damage right now, and it’s sending shock waves through the international system.”

    Now the White House is implementing that policy, without consulting with their Defense Secretary, and while using Mattis to lend his credibility to the initiative.

    • 53 Betsy
      January 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Makes me think of Colin Powell during Bush’s rationale for invading Iraq, ie. weapons of mass destruction.

  34. 54 whenpamelawandered
    January 30, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Angie Bradbury:

    Shared from a friend.. interesting:

    “”A very important read about the likely reason behind the recent immigration ban. Please READ this. They are trying to pull a fast one on us and we may be falling for it.
    Copy & paste to share.
    Very interesting perspective from the Facebook page of US/GOP historian, Boston College professor Heather Richardson. Keep in mind that while all this has been going on, Trump demoted several members of the NSC and put Bannon on it. This is what we need to keep an eye on, IMHO.
    From Prof Richardson:
    “I don’t like to talk about politics on Facebook– political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends– but there is an important non-partisan point to make today.
    What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.” Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order. When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.
    Last night’s Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.
    Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.
    My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one’s interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won’t like. I don’t know what Bannon is up to– although I have some guesses– but because I know Bannon’s ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle– and my friends range pretty widely– who will benefit from whatever it is. If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.
    But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event. A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union. If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln’s strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power. Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
    Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it.” “

  35. January 30, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Theresa May is going to catch it.

  36. January 30, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Trial Balloon for a Coup?
    Analyzing the news of the past 24 hours

    The theme of this morning’s news updates from Washington is additional clarity emerging, rather than meaningful changes in the field. But this clarity is enough to give us a sense of what we just saw happen, and why it happened the way it did.
    I’ll separate what’s below into the raw news reports and analysis; you may also find these two pieces from yesterday (heavily referenced below) to be useful.

  37. January 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

    This is BEYOND VILE

  38. January 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Trump supporters are the vice, not the voice, of America
    A few days ago I predicted that “within a year, perhaps deferred to 18 or even 24 months, Trump should be settling into George W. Bush’s final approval rating of 22 percent.” It seems I overshot probable reality by 12, 18 or 24 months.

  39. January 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm

  40. 62 57andfemale
    January 30, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Sociopaths. Every last one of the GOP:

  41. January 30, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Another MUST READ today:

    • 64 vcprezofan2
      January 30, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Meta, this is depressing, shocking, and links well with the FB comment MPamela shared above. Part of me has had my jaw dropped for days now as I realize The Orange Puppet and his puppeteers are marching ahead without much in terms of a stop sign in sight. I would never have thought it possible that they could sweep away norms so effortlessly and so quickly without significant, effective, and immediate, push-back! This is honestly a painful lesson for me to learn.

      • January 30, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        It’s a tremendous shock that our democracy is so fragile. That one clinically disturbed man could be joined by a cabal of extremist power mongers and take our government down in a week is beyond our wildest imagination and yet here we are. It sickens me. I don’t know how this ends anytime soon.

        • 66 vcprezofan2
          January 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm

          ‘I don’t know how this ends anytime soon’, is really how I feel, Meta. Since the actual inauguration, and because I cannot believe what is happening is happening, a part of me has felt that maybe if I sit quietly in a corner and not say much of anything (even on TOD) the scene will change into something more realistic, but …..

          If anyone had told me that events unraveling as rapidly as they have would soon seem the ‘norm’, I’d have told them ‘not in America’. As stupefied as I am, I don’t even know how to be supportive any more.

          • January 30, 2017 at 3:09 pm

            I think that’s part of the Shock & Awe approach Trump and his cabal are taking. They intend to overwhelm, confuse, distract, demoralize. It’s a form of psychological abuse.

            • 68 vcprezofan2
              January 30, 2017 at 3:18 pm

              Yea, that’s the message I got from a couple of the articles I read earlier today. My hope now is that that message is also getting out, so that despite their plotting the ‘bait and switch’ they’re engineering falls really short.

            • 69 vcprezofan2
              January 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

              Did you see that when The Orange Puppet was signing Priebus had to show him *where* to sign? Because I was looking for it, the little stalling he did by playing with his pen was so, so obvious! I’m daily more convinced that he’s functionally illiterate.

      • 71 Gazelle
        January 30, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        I’ve totally lost my ability to speak, apart from the fairly frequent OMFG! I’m horrified every, single day.

    • January 30, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      From the frightening article…

      Yesterday was the trial balloon for a coup d’état against the United States. It gave them useful information.

      Combining all of these facts, we have a fairly clear picture in play.
      1. Trump was, indeed, perfectly honest during the campaign; he intends to do everything he said, and more. This should not be reassuring to you.
      2. The regime’s main organizational goal right now is to transfer all effective power to a tight inner circle, eliminating any possible checks from either the Federal bureaucracy, Congress, or the Courts. Departments are being reorganized or purged to effect this.
      3. The inner circle is actively probing the means by which they can seize unchallenged power; yesterday’s moves should be read as the first part of that.
      4. The aims of crushing various groups — Muslims, Latinos, the black and trans communities, academics, the press — are very much primary aims of the regime, and are likely to be acted on with much greater speed than was earlier suspected. The secondary aim of personal enrichment is also very much in play, and clever people will find ways to play these two goals off each other.

      • 73 CEB
        January 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm

        Better add liberal and progressive whites to the list, all the others listed have been pretty much silenced, or as in much of the national press, appropriated.

    • January 30, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      This can happen in America. I am hoping that people will continue this mass push back in the street. This is the only thing that will deter these people. It is the biggest power grab under way. All of us have to be a part of this. All of us.

    • 75 sherijr
      January 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      Meta this is horrifying… but unfortunately rings too true and believable.

  42. 76 Allison
    January 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm

  43. January 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm

  44. January 30, 2017 at 12:54 pm

  45. January 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm

  46. January 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm

  47. 83 whenpamelawandered
    January 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    “Be vigilant, don’t be afraid.” ~
    President Obama, 10 Jan ’17

    “Keep you The Heart.” ~ W/MPW

  48. January 30, 2017 at 1:20 pm

  49. 85 mtmarilyn
    January 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Good morning TOD. My husband is listening to ESPN and they are talking about how this ban affects sports. I agree with those saying this is more than it looks. They want chaos. We must be vigilante. This is very scary

  50. 86 Allison
    January 30, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    • 87 CEB
      January 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Whatever traps you set for your brother/sister (as in we are all from one family) will entangle you sooner or later. IN all of this I try to keep myself from dark thoughts of death and destruction against those who have wronged us because you just cannot put that type of evil in the universe. We are right to be horrified by these creatures who are trying to destroy us and much of the world, but we must fight in the right way, through the courts, influencing elected officials, running for office and voting our values. We must not give in to violence or to even wish violence on others that we so vehemently disagree. We must be smart and we must do things in such a way that our vision of an inclusive, smart, caring, and respectful world will be the one that wins the culture war and leads us into a future that is just.

      • 88 Believe Again
        January 31, 2017 at 2:33 am

        The boundaries are being tested by this administration and it is obvious they are not afraid of any of the govt institutions. This is dangerous because there are no checks, therefore they can do anything. To fight them, Americans have to think creatively and also form groups that include people in different countries. This will enhance the quality of help and perhaps provide assistance in areas that is not yet evident. This will be critical, if this devolves to groups of people being arrested for no legal reason.

  51. 89 57andfemale
    January 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

  52. January 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

  53. 92 Jey
    January 30, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Lock him up! Need new election to replace the rigged one on Nov 8th. Is a recall not possible?

    Is it bad to wish Anonymous or likes of that could and would release the tapes and Russian related stuff. Surely someone out there is able to.

    I have CNN on now … can’t believe the crap that’s coming out of Spice boy’s mouth.

  54. 93 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Hello TOD.
    Thank You, TOD for being Here!

  55. 94 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:15 pm

  56. 95 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm

  57. 96 Jey
    January 30, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Spicer can’t help but compare everything to PBO’S administration. Just about every question is replied with well the last administration did this … blah blah blah.

  58. 97 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm

  59. 98 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm

  60. 99 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:33 pm

  61. 100 57andfemale
    January 30, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Oh my effing God:

  62. 102 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm

  63. 103 JER
    January 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    View this post on Instagram

    Service project, 2012.

    A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

  64. 104 sherijr
    January 30, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    This article is by the same person that wrote the article posted above by meta: https://medium.com/@yonatanzunger/what-things-going-wrong-can-look-like-400f84a0cc3a#.vrlop7h23

  65. January 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Jennifer Rubin.


    -Rubs gets it – the Right is split, and our democracy is up for grabs

    The two halves of the party differ on priorities, sensibilities, tone and values. The Trumpkins have put aside rationality and democratic norms; the other side of the GOP resists. The divide also separates those who already serve in the administration and those who refuse to. Among the latter are Trump critic, former State Department official and scholar Eliot A. Cohen, who wrote:

    We were right. And friends who urged us to tone it down, to make our peace with him, to stop saying as loudly as we could “this is abnormal,” to accommodate him, to show loyalty to the Republican Party, to think that he and his advisers could be tamed, were wrong. …

    To friends still thinking of serving as political appointees in this administration, beware: When you sell your soul to the Devil, he prefers to collect his purchase on the installment plan. Trump’s disregard for either Secretary of Defense Mattis or Secretary-designate Tillerson in his disastrous policy salvos this week, in favor of his White House advisers, tells you all you need to know about who is really in charge. To be associated with these people is going to be, for all but the strongest characters, an exercise in moral self-destruction.

    In short, #NeverTrump Republicans were right to take him literally and to understand the threat he poses to our democracy.

  66. 106 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:42 pm

  67. January 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    McKay Coppins has a piece at The Atlantic that especially non-New Yorkers should read.

    It’s a dynamic that I’ve not seen elsewhere in the nation, something about Manhattans hard geographic boundaries that create a hard cultural border between it and the outer boroughs. And he’s exactly correct, possibly even a little generous to Trump, that Trump was never accepted in Manhattan. See, Trump thinks that money can buy you status – which is why he gold plates every fucking thing. And in some places that may be true, but it’s not true in Manhattan. It’s something of a prerequisite, don’t get me wrong, but it’s only a piece of it. Trump may have money but he doesn’t have class, and that leaves him out of the culture. KFC on your private jet is what low-rent people do that have won the lottery. The culture he wants to be part of eat with style, even if they don’t have a lot of money to throw around. He does it exactly wrong. And NYC being what it is, that has always been pointed out to Trump, so he knows he’s on the outside looking in. He hosts Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice, and yeah, he’s got suck-ups like Billy Bush, but Hollywood rejects him as well, probably because Gary Busey gets it better than Trump does. But his whole persona is wrapped up on being accepted as an elite, so it pains him terribly when he isn’t.

    Becoming President was part of his plan to finally break through. Popular support + money must surely be the ticket, no? Apparently not. DC doesn’t accept him. Sure, early on here they are polite and collegial, but that’s collapsing quickly. The media that used to sort of fawn over him as a playboy have all turned pretty viciously against him. The media is easy on people that don’t have material impact on the world around them, and are quite a bit more serious and critical with those that do. It was all fun and games talking about a ‘piece of ass’ with Howard Stern, but Chuck Todd is more interested in playing down his inauguration turnout numbers.

    So here’s a guy with money and now political power that is still on the outside and it pisses him off something fierce. I’m sure a lot of voters identify with that (smug coastal liberals, anyone?), but it’s a seriously big part of his psyche that will never, ever, ever fade. He will not get over this and he will not stop fighting for that spot, and the more he fights, the less likely he will get it. There was another piece at Vox about Bannon that is similar. Bannon is reacting to immigrants rising in social standing faster than he, a white native-born American has, in spite of being well educated and generally successful. He likely sees that as unfair, not understanding that it’s because he’s a horrible human being and that matters. Much of the racism in the south was really tied up in the social insecurity of whites starting to find themselves at lower social standing than blacks. That’s why they cried ‘sociallism’ in the 50s and 60s – they were less focused on the socialism policy of redistribution of wealth and more on the redistribution of social status. They were actually fine being poor, but they couldn’t abide by being a lower social class. That’s Bannon and that’s Trump. That Americans will fawn over some Syrian orphan and call Trump a short-fingered vulgarian and Bannon a Nazi is the very essence of unfairness to them. Bannon’s party that he wants to preserve at the expense of the state (which is also likely Trumps goal), is to put white Christian males back in the top social class, regardless of education or income or achievement. That’s the only thing that matters. That’s enduring to Bannon. So long as that’s happening, it can run under communism or fascism or democracy – it doesn’t matter. The state comes and goes, but the party of white Christian males must endure. Trump fits that mold as well. Putin does too. That coastal liberals are outraged – well, they’re good with that. Knocking us down a few pegs is the goal, after all.

    This is not an ideological fight that we recognize. This really is a straight up white supremacy fight, but in terms that we don’t recognize and don’t fully understand how to respond to. The GOP is just a convenient instrument to get where they want to go. They can burn in the end for all Trump and Bannon care.

    This is why the ‘fuck working class whites’ message is so dangerous. That’s what they want us to say, That’s the wedge being driven in.

  68. January 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm


  69. 110 57andfemale
    January 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

  70. January 30, 2017 at 2:51 pm

  71. 112 JER
    January 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    ‏@MarketWatch 3m

    U.K. petition calling for the British government to stop a Trump state visit gets nearly 1.4 million signatures: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/petition-calling-for-uk-to-cancel-trumps-state-visit-hits-1-million-signatures-2017-01-30?link=sfmw_tw

  72. January 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    This Situation Is More Dire Than I Want to Admit
    by Martin Longman
    January 30, 2017 12:36 PM

    Anyone who writes daily for a living is going to occasionally have periods when writing doesn’t come easily. Every once in a while, you won’t feel like writing. Maybe you just want to veg out or do something normal. Maybe you can’t find anything truly inspiring to discuss. Maybe your creative juices get depleted and need to be recharged.

    I have a different problem. I want to write and have plenty to write about. I just don’t want to say what I feel I have to say.

    Call it a heavy heart or something too close to despondency. Call it an uneasiness with stating plainly what is growing painfully obvious. I’m naturally inclined toward calm and suspicious of hyperbole. If I find my political heat boiling too quickly, I tend not to trust myself and to doubt the value or utility of what I have to say.

    I have to toss those reservations aside to make commentary on the state of our nation. This is a five-alarm fire, and anything I might say about it can hardly match what even some Republicans are already saying. For example, Eliot Cohen has taken a tone that is so dire and vituperative that it would be very difficult for a liberal like myself to surpass.

    Precisely because the problem is one of temperament and character, it will not get better. It will get worse, as power intoxicates Trump and those around him. It will probably end in calamity—substantial domestic protest and violence, a breakdown of international economic relationships, the collapse of major alliances, or perhaps one or more new wars (even with China) on top of the ones we already have. It will not be surprising in the slightest if his term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. The sooner Americans get used to these likelihoods, the better.

  73. 114 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 2:56 pm

  74. 115 0388jojothecat
    January 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I think Democrats need to start using the words “Impeachment” and “removal under the 25th Amendment” every day. Comparing him to the worst presidents won’t work….comparing his failures at governing to PBO and calling them that “Failures”. He claimed Congress is going to start WW3 is very telling that he wants to do this. Without a doubt that is what they are praying for, an attack that kills Americans. However, this time it won’t work….that game has been played. He is starting shit and is welcoming an attack with no one to document warnings.

  75. 116 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm

  76. 118 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm

  77. 119 vcprezofan2
    January 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm

  78. 120 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm

  79. January 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    SCOTUS Fight Will Change Everything
    by Martin Longman
    January 30, 2017 2:42 PM

    There was no filibuster of Robert Bork’s 1987 confirmation for the Supreme Court. He was given a vote on the floor of the Senate and defeated 42-58. There was no filibuster of Clarence Thomas even though one could have been theoretically sustained considering that he only received 52 votes to be confirmed as a Justice to the Supreme Court. In both cases, the Democrats granted their unanimous consent to a motion to proceed to a full confirmation vote. However, there is no possibility that there will be unanimous consent to proceed to a similar vote on the nominee President Trump announces tomorrow night at 8pm. Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, for one, will exercise his right to object.

    The best precedent for this happened when John Kerry objected to proceeding to a vote on Samuel Alito, but his effort went down to defeat and Alito was confirmed with 58 votes, which was less than the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. If those Democrats who refused to confirm Alito had refused to allow a vote at all, he would likely not be on the Supreme Court today.

    I say “likely,” because it’s possible that the Republicans would have responded by invoking the so-called Nuclear Option and taking away the minority party’s right to stop a vote on Supreme Court nominees. It’s hard to say if that would have happened back in 2005, but it seems more certain that it will happen this time around.


    In this case, no real effort has been made to prevent a filibuster, which is the same as inviting one. That can only mean that the administration’s expectation is that the Senate will invoke the nuclear option and do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.

    This will, of course, cause a massive uproar and it will drown out all the things people are talking about today, from the Muslim immigration ban to putting Steve Bannon on the National Security Council to the Russian question to the wall on the Mexican border to the threat of war over Taiwan with China to Trump’s inability to discern the difference between reality and fantasy.

    Maybe that’s half the point, especially because conservatives are so motivated over this Supreme Court appointment that they’ll set aside everything else to fight for it.

  80. 122 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 3:16 pm

  81. January 30, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Foreign Service Officers Join the Dissent
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    January 30, 2017 11:41 AM

    Over the weekend thousands of people took to the streets (again) and international airports to protest against the current occupant of the White House. This time the focus of their dissent was on the executive order Trump signed banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

    According to the folks at Lawfare, opposition to that order has now been joined by hundreds of foreign service officers and diplomats at the State Department. They’re using the State Department’s Dissent Channel, which was created in 1971 in response to concerns within the Department over the government’s handling of the Vietnam War.

    Employees have drafted a dissent memo (which you can read at the Lawfare link above) stating their opposition to the president’s executive order, saying that “the ban” will not achieve its ends, is likely to be counterproductive, and it even offers a more pragmatic way forward. It ends with this:

    We do not need to place a blanket ban that keeps 220 million people – men, women and children – from entering the United States to protect our homeland. We do not need to alienate entire societies to stay safe. And we do not need to sacrifice our reputation as a nation which is open and welcoming to protect our families. It is well within our reach to create a visa process which is more secure, which affects our American values, and which would make the Department proud.

  82. 126 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 3:19 pm

  83. 128 Nena20409
    January 30, 2017 at 3:43 pm

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