Saturday, August 26, 2017

#Charlottesville

Meggai malago' yu' bei sångan put si Donald Trump yan i sinangån-ña (yan håfa ti ha sångan lokkue') put i nina'triste giya Charlottesville. 

Fihu ilek-hu na ti hongge'on i bidadå-ña si Trump. Ya siempre ti siña ha ikak este na malabida pat este na eskareng. Lao atan ha', kulang un chatpago yan sen mutong na fafa'tinas milagro este na taotao. Sigi ha' ha na'långga yan na'manman yu', kada simåna. 

 Meggai malago' yu' na bai hu sångan, lao ti nahong i ora på'go, guaha meggai otro cho'cho'. 

Lao este ha' malago' yu' na bei ensima gi kombetsasion. 

Gof na'chalek yan "ironic" na i manapå'ka, ko'lo'lo'ña i manracist, fihu ma såsangna na manchenglong i manminorities gi i manma'pos na tiempo. Gi fino' Ingles, "they are stuck in the past." Ma sångan este, sa' i manAfrican Amerikanu par otr ti apå'ka na råsa siha, guaha ma keketulaika gi halom i Estådos Unidos pi'ot put i taimanu na manhinekse gi åntes na tiempo. 

Lao anggan ta atan i sinangån-ña si Trump yan i mambåba na taotao ha aguguiguiyi, gi minagahet siha manchenglong gi manma'pos na tiempo. Atan taimanu na ti siña ma sotta un hagas måkpo' na gera yan i butto' siha ni' rumepresesenta ayu. Gof na'ma'ase taimanu na ma gu'gu'ot ha' ayu siha. 


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"Trump doesn't seem to like being President. So why doesn't he quit?"
by David Von Drehle
Washington Post
August 18, 2017

Evidence is piling up that Donald Trump does not really want to be president of the United States.
He certainly doesn’t look happy in the job. In his previous life, Trump met whomever he wanted to meet and said whatever he wanted to say. But like all presidents, he finds himself ever more isolated, and his displeasure shows on his face. The loneliness of the job — which so many of his predecessors have ruefully reported — is wearing on him.

And it’s more than that. Past presidents also tell us that no one can fully appreciate the dimensions of the job in advance. With no previous political experience, Trump’s learning curve has been even steeper than usual, and the more he sees of the job, the less he wants to do it. He balks at the briefings, the talking points, the follow-through.

He was drawn to the fame of it, as he once told me aboard his private jet. “It’s the ratings . . . that gives you power,” then-candidate Trump explained. “It’s not the polls. It’s the ratings.” He loves being the most talked-about man on Earth.

But unlike reality TV stars, presidents aren’t famous for being famous. They command the world’s attention because they are the temporary embodiments of America’s strength, aspirations and responsibilities.

It is a paradoxically self-effacing fame. The job demands that hugely competitive, driven, ambitious individuals — for that’s what it takes to win the job — inhabit a role that requires them to be something other than nakedly themselves.

As some Trump associates tell it, he never intended to be elected. But having won the part, he doesn’t want to play it, a fact irrefutable after Charlottesville. Rather than speak for the nation — the president’s job — he spoke for Trump. Rather than apply shared values, he apportioned blame.
The presidency calls for care and cunning. All successful presidents have known when to say less rather than more. George Washington’s second inaugural address was 135 words long. President Abraham Lincoln often disappointed clamoring crowds, telling them that the risk of a wrong word made it too dangerous for him to deliver a speech. President Ronald Reagan was famous for cupping his ear and shrugging as he pretended not to hear an untimely question.

Did these men ever itch to win an argument, as Trump did in his Tuesday news conference, with such disastrous results? Of course they did. But a president can’t indulge such impulses.

Discipline in thought and speech is the machinery by which a president leads a free people. He hasn’t the power to purge his enemies or censor the press. His strength rests on his ability to persuade. His power grows through a record of hard-won results. He seeks friends and respect, not enemies and outrage. Between fired aides (strategist Stephen K. Bannon got the boot Friday) and fleeing allies, Trump is losing friends faster than a bully at a birthday party.

Reflecting more and reacting less: That’s how a president gets through all seven days of a week supposedly focused on infrastructure without having his advisory council on infrastructure implode. With enough of that focus and discipline, a president might eventually foster an infrastructure bill — an actual law with real money behind it, something more than bluster — that creates jobs and feeds progress and raises spirits.

It’s hard work. As shareholders in this enterprise, Americans are asking what disciplined, focused labor Trump performed to pass a health-care bill. What hard ground has he plowed, what water has he carried, to grow the seeds of tax reform?

The president’s job is to understand that the world has plenty of troubles in store for this nation. His role is not to add to their number. There will be moments when the president must stir us up, so in the meantime, his task is to keep us calm.

If Trump were still in private business, he would have no trouble diagnosing this situation. A serial entrepreneur like Trump learns to recognize when a venture isn’t panning out. Over the years, he splashed, then crashed, in businesses as diverse as casinos, an airline and for-profit seminars. His willingness to fish has always been matched by a willingness to cut bait.

Or, as a veteran boss, he might see his predicament as a personnel move that hasn’t clicked. Trump has made many, many hires over his career, and some (as recently as Bannon’s) don’t work out. “Not a good fit,” the saying goes.

The presidency is not a good fit for Trump. It’s a scripted role; he’s an improviser. It’s an accountable position; he’s a free spirit. Yes, the employment contract normally runs four years. But at his age and station, what’s the point of staying in a job he doesn’t want?

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 "History will remember the Republicans who stick around"
by Eugene Robinson
Washington Post
August 17, 2017

President Trump has dropped all pretense and proudly raised the banner of white racial grievance. The time has come for Republicans in Congress to decide whether this is what they signed up for.
Business leaders decided Wednesday that they’d had enough, quitting two presidential advisory councils before Trump quickly dissolved the panels. Military leaders made their call as well, issuing statements — in the wake of Charlottesville — making clear that they embrace diversity and reject bigotry.

With only a few exceptions, however, GOP political leaders have been too timid to denounce the president and the reprehensible game of racial politics he’s playing. I think the corporate chief executives who bailed are making the right bet: History will remember who spoke out, who was complicit and who stood idly by.
On Twitter (where else?), Trump poured salt in the nation’s wounds Thursday by coming out firmly against the removal of public monuments to the Confederacy — the issue that brought white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan to Charlottesville and led to the death of Heather Heyer.

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” he wrote. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!” 

Some slippery-slope arguments are valid, but the one Trump makes is absurd. He can’t possibly be so dense that he doesn’t see a clear distinction between the men who founded this nation and those who tried to rip it apart.

Trump may indeed not know that most of those Confederate monuments were erected not in the years right after the Civil War but around the turn of the 20th century, when the Jim Crow system of state-enforced racial oppression was being established. They symbolize not history but the defiance of history; they celebrate not defeat on the battlefield but victory in putting uppity African Americans back in their place.

But even if someone explained all of this to Trump — perhaps in a one-page memo with lots of pictures — he wouldn’t care. For him, the important thing is to tell the white voters who constitute his base that they are being disrespected and dispossessed. It’s a cynical and dangerous ploy.

We know this is Trump’s game because White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon told us so. In an interview with journalist Robert Kuttner of the American Prospect, published Wednesday, Bannon is quoted as saying: “The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

But Trump’s base won’t identify with Nazis and the KKK. That’s why Trump maintained — falsely — that among the torch-bearing Charlottesville white supremacists there were also plenty of “very fine people.” And it’s why he now seeks to broaden the issue to encompass Confederate monuments nationwide, abandoning his earlier position that the question should be left to local jurisdictions.

That’s probably also why Bannon, in the interview with Kuttner, referred to the white-power clowns as, well, “clowns.” He’s smart enough to reassure Trump supporters that they’re not like those racists and that all the racial game-playing is on the other side.

Trump’s desperation is palpable. His approval ratings have slid perilously close to the danger zone where Republican officeholders no longer fear crossing him.

For titans of the business community, the tipping point came Wednesday. The chief executives of General Electric, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson and 3M decided they could no longer serve on Trump’s advisory Manufacturing Council or his Strategy & Policy Forum.

Why stick around? Prospects that Trump can actually follow through on a business-friendly agenda, including tax reform, look increasingly dim. And Trump’s “many sides” reaction to Charlottesville wasn’t going over at all well with employees, customers or the executives themselves.

“Constructive economic and regulatory policies are not enough and will not matter if we do not address the divisions in our country,” JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon wrote in a message to his employees. “It is a leader’s role, in business or government, to bring people together, not tear them apart.”

The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and National Guard also publicly condemned hate groups in the wake of Charlottesville. They, of course, could not mention the commander in chief by name.

But politicians can. And they must.

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"Trump just hit a new low"
by Dana Milbank
Washington Post
August 15, 2017

It’s a case of being careful what you wish for.

Critics left, right and center panned President Trump for his initial refusal to denounce the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, one of whom allegedly drove his car into counter-demonstrators, killing one and injuring 19. When Trump finally gave a canned and grudging disavowal of white supremacists, he was urged anew to say more, to be presidential, to bring the nation together.

Well, late Tuesday, Trump said more and told the nation what he really thought. It was downright ugly.

There, from Trump Tower in New York, was the president of the United States declaring that those protesting against Nazis were . . . the same as Nazis. “You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that,” said Trump.

Nobody wants to say that because there is — and there can be — no moral equivalence between Nazis and those who oppose Nazis. But Trump saw them as equal. He said the anti-Nazi demonstrators didn’t have a permit and “were very, very violent.” Trump maintained that those marching with the white supremacists have been treated “absolutely unfairly” by the press, and there “were very fine people, on both sides.”

Trump was not done with his apology for white supremacists. He went on to endorse the cause that brought these racists, David Duke among them, to Charlottesville: the Confederacy. “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” the president said. “But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee.” 

Right. The man who led an army against the United States. “So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down,” Trump went on. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?”

Thus did Trump, after putting Nazis on the same moral plane as anti-Nazis, put the father of our country and the author of the Declaration of Independence on the same moral plane as two men who made war on America. Duke and white-nationalist leader Richard Spencer applauded Trump’s performance.

The nationalist-turned-presidential-adviser Stephen K. Bannon used to say that the publishing outfit he led, Breitbart, was a “platform for the alt-right,” a euphemism for white nationalists and related far-right extremists. But now there is a new platform for the alt-right in America: the White House.
It looks more and more like the White Nationalist House.

Trump, who this week retweeted an “alt-right” conspiracy theorist and ally of white supremacists, continues to employ in his White House not just Bannon and Stephen Miller, two darlings of the alt-right, but also Sebastian Gorka, who uses the platform to defend the embattled white man.

“ ‘It’s this constant, ‘Oh, it’s the white man. It’s the white supremacists. That’s the problem.’ No, it isn’t,” Gorka said in an interview with Breitbart days before the Charlottesville mayhem. “Go to the Middle East, and tell me what the real problem is today.” At an inaugural ball in January, Gorka wore a medal from the Hungarian nationalist organization Vitezi Rend, a longtime anti-Semitic group that claimed Gorka as one of its own. (He denies it.)

It’s more than words. The administration proposed eliminating the “Countering Violent Extremism” program; officials argued that the effort should target only Islamist radicalization, not right-wing extremism. In June, the Trump administration canceled a grant to a group called Life After Hate, which rehabilitates neo-Nazis. “At a time when this is the biggest threat in our country, to pull funding from the only organization in the United States helping people disengage from this is pretty suspect to me,” the group’s co-founder Christian Picciolini told me.

And now we have the spectacle of the president, in response to reporters’ questions, defending the character and motives of the neo-Nazi demonstrators in Charlottesville.

Trump, who has issued scores of tweets without benefit of accurate information, explained his initial unwillingness to single out the white supremacist who drove into a crowd of demonstrators: “Before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.”

Trump, who has criticized others for failing to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” declined to call the incident terrorism, dismissing the question as “legal semantics.”

Asked about the culpability of the “alt-right” in the Charlottesville attack, Trump replied: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging them?”

Political violence, by anybody, is wrong. But to equate neo-Nazis with those who oppose them is, even for our alt-right president, a new low.

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