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Archive for the ‘California Politics’ Category



A Quantitative Look at Dawn of Trump Regime

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Trump_Inauguration_34607.jpg-a6dbc_c0-0-2875-1676_s885x516 (1)Some Actual (not Alternative) Facts about the start of the Trump Reich Era:

109. The number of people affected by President Trump’s travel and immigration ban, according to his Twitter account.

60,000. The minimum number of people actually affected by the travel ban.

1 in 1.34 billion. Chance of a U.S. citizen being killed in a terrorist attack caused by a refugee.

1 in 10.9 billion.  Chance of an American being killed by an illegal immigrant.

1 in 174,426.  – Chance of being killed by lightning.

1 in 358.  Chances of being killed by a firearm attack in the U.S.

52.  Number of lawsuits filed against Trump in the first two weeks of his presidency.

4. Number of suits filed against George W. Bush in the first two weeks of his presidency.

sign127.  Number of technology companies that joined in filing a legal brief calling the travel ban “unlawful” and saying immigration is “intimately tied” to economic growth.

200. Estimated number of companies on Fortune 500 started by immigrants.

0. Number of Muslim countries named in travel ban where Trump’s family company does business.

4. Number of Muslim countries where Trump’s family company does business not named in the travel ban.

53 & 51. Percent majorities of Americans in CNN and CBS polls respectively that say they oppose Trump’s immigration order.

2. Number of Tweets Trump sent out attacking the polls as “fake news.”

mushroom4,000.  Number of nuclear weapons that the U.S. President alone can launch.

2.5.  Number of minutes before midnight that the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists last month moved the hands on the Doomsday Clock, which symbolizes imminent global disaster.

5-10. Number of years that White House Chief Strategist and ex-radio talk show host Steve Bannon estimated, in the spring of 2016, before the U.S. would be at war with China.

452.8 Billon. Total number of dollars Californians pay to federal government each year in taxes.

367.8. Total dollars that U.S. government spends on all programs and services in California.

40th. California’s rank in federal money spent compared to taxes paid.

1. State of Mississippi’s rank in federal expenditures received to taxes paid.

62. Percentage of those in a new Public Policy Polling survey who said they want to keep the Affordable Care Act and make changes to it.

33. Percentage of those in the same poll who said they want to scrap President Obama’s heath care law and start over.

33. Percentage of Americans who don’t know Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing.

44-53. Trump’s job performance approval-disapproval rating among Americans, two weeks after taking office.

1,336. Number of days after inauguration before a majority of Americans disapproved of George W. Bush’s job performance.

8. Number of days before a majority disapproved of Trump’s job performance.

14 billion.  Combined number of dollars of estimated worth net worth of Trump’s cabinet picks.

Doctor-Trump3. Prescription medications taken by the President, according to his physician, Dr. Harold Borenstein.

1,370. Lawsuits filed against Merck, manufacturer of finasteride, one of those medications, charging it has had physical, psychological and sexual side effects, including impotence.

28-3. Score by which the President’s favored New England Patriots were losing to Atlanta Falcons when he bailed on his own Superbowl Party at 8:57 p.m.

2. Media interviews unearthed so far in which presidential assistant Kellyanne Conway, coiner of the phrase “alternative facts,” referenced a fake “Bowling Green Massacre” to support the immigration order, before she made the claim during an infamous appearance on MSNBC.

25. Percentage of Americans who say they will become more politically active this year.

40. Percent of Democratic women who say they will become more politically active in 2017.

elxn1,363. Number of days until 2020 presidential election.

A version of this post also appears in the Santa Barbara Independent.

 

 

Delaine Eastin: State’s “Overdue” For Woman Gov

Monday, February 6th, 2017

delaineThis is the second in a series of occasional Calbuzz benchmark interviews with contenders to replace Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018. The purpose of these posts is to give the wannabes space to express their views at some length. Our previous interview, with Antonio Villaraigosa, is here).

Delaine Eastin says she wants to be governor to fix public education, and criticizes Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic Legislature for “slapping themselves on the back” while California schools remain “terrible.”

“I’m fighting for kids, from pre-school to graduate school,” she said in a telephone interview from Berkeley with Calbuzz, stationed in our just-folks, pulse-of-California executive offices in Aptos and Santa Barbara.

The 69-year old Eastin was elected to two terms as State Superintendent of Public Education back at the turn of the century, after serving four terms in the Assembly representing a Bay Area district. Since then, she’s served on a variety of education non-profits and as a professor at Mills College.

As a political matter, her gubernatorial (ah, for a more graceful adjective) bid is a decided long shot, as she begins the race far, far back in fundraising and organization amid a pack of better-known pols, including the aforementioned Tony V, Prince Gavin Newsom and John “Star Wars” Chiang, not to mention a cast of thousands possibles, led by Calbuzz speculation pick Tom Steyer.

As a policy matter, Eastin’s approach is a good news-bad news deal: she’s obviously got major chops on education but, so far at least, offers little else; often giving the impression she’s seeking a third term as state schools supe, she risks orchestrating a one-note symphony campaign (Example: when we first asked her what California should do about immigration in the current atmosphere of crisis, her default answer centered on schools – “first and foremost we have to focus on educating every child…” Um, okay).

difi-govA quarter century after Difi. Still, an authentic feminist perspective in a field of blue-suit male lifer pols is an unmistakable asset, even if her Sacramento resume is a trifle out of date (at one point in our interview, Eastin boasted that she was “the first woman and the first member of the Assembly to win the MTC Legislator of the Year Award”).

“I think (running as a woman) matters very much and I’m going to make the case,” she said. “I believe very strongly that we’re overdue to have a woman as the governor of the state of California.”

So far Eastin’s most specific proposal is her crusade for a 55-percent threshold for local school bond issues, earmarked for staffing and operating classrooms – i.e. hiring and paying teachers. We’ll leave the legality of such a thing to Prop. 13 evangelists like the sly Joel Fox, but at first glance the argument that parents should be able to finance their kids’ schools by the by the same measure they decide to build them seems sensible.

It is her sternly earnest appreciation for policy complexities and one-foot-in-front-of-the other sensibility about substance that could be Eastin’s best selling point in a race now led by the smugly glib Newsom; after all, it worked for Hillary (oh, never mind).

tony gavinShow me the money. While Delaine talks airily about raising big bucks online, ala Bernie, however, over the next six months she’d best at least collect table stakes in a campaign certain to throw hundreds of millions of dollars into the California economy.

So far she’s reported raising exactly zero dollars, compared to Prince Gavin ($11 million in the bank); Tony V ($2.6 M) and state Treasurer John Skywalker (who famously was introduced to last year’s state Democratic convention to the strains of “Luke’s Theme,” the anthem of the Star Wars saga), not to mention possible future rivals like Silicon Valley moneybags Tom Steyer or Peter Thiel, or potential Republican spoiler Kevin Faulconer.

“We’re going to do a lot of grassroots events, we’re going to do a lot of online things,” she said.

For true junkies, here is an interview transcript, edited for repetition and to make our questions sound less stupid.

cta WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE GOVERNOR?

My first love is education and I’ve been very frustrated by the failure to rebuild California public education. There’s a lot of people slapping themselves on the back like it was all better now and it isn’t.

We’re in the bottom ten of the 50 states in per pupil spending, 42nd if you adjust for the cost of living. Yet we live in the most expensive state in the union with the highest percentage of poor children and the highest percentage of English learners.

So first and foremost I don’t think that it’s acceptable to just kind of say well we’ve got what we’ve got (at Prop. 98) full funding formula now, everything’s been fixed…

The state of our schools is terrible. There are some other things broken as well and so while education is my number one priority, I’m very concerned about the lack of long-range thinking and long-range planning in the state of California.

WHAT’S THE ANSWER ON EDUCATION – MORE TAXES?

First it is reestablishing our priorities. I tell everyone who will listen that budgets are statements of values…

We were number one in per prisoner expenditures when we were number 50 in per pupil spending. That’s unacceptable – now we’ve dropped a little in per prisoner (spending) but we’re still in the top 10 and we’re in the bottom 10 of per pupil.

And so we let you build the buildings with a 55 percent vote but you have to have a 66 2/3 vote to staff the building and I say to every parent that I meet – if you could spend send your child to a beautiful school with a lousy teacher, or have your child taught by Socrates sitting on a rock, you ought to go with Socrates and a rock.

So first thing, we have to pass the ability to pass a local bond to staff the schools at the same level we have to build schools.

SO, PROP. 98 IS NOT WORKING – OR THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE ARE NOT FULLY FUNDING IT AND IT WOULD WORK IF IT WERE?

It’s not being fully funded. Remember the song, “One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor”?

[Uh, no. – ed.].

Prop 98 was intended to be the floor under funding, but the state of California’s governor and legislature are treating it like the ceiling.

jerrygandalfSO YOU’RE CRITICIZING JERRY?

I will tell you I am very appreciative that Jerry Brown had a nimble response to the economic crash. I applaud that; I applaud him on the environment.

But I do not give him high grades on his attention to schools. He’s taken a lot of money out of child development and preschools and not restored it. He’s not in favor of mandatory kindergarten and that’s disgraceful – it ought to be mandatory and full day.

We have the largest class size in America. We ought to have a campaign to recruit and hire more teachers – they’re running out in droves because many of them can’t afford to live near where they’re teaching and we have a severe teacher shortage right now and he’s underestimated in community colleges, CSUs and UCs.

So I’m fighting for preschool to graduate school.

IF NOT 40%, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE STATE BUDGET WOULD SHOW THAT EDUCATION IS THE STATE’S TOP PRIORITY?

This is a sleight of hand thing.

There are things that have been moved around that are not included in the potential budget for Prop. 98 considerations. So I would actually argue that we ought to have a task force of people that look at how we should have a major change in funding for schools.

WHY DO WE NEED ANOTHER TASK FORCE – SHOULDN’T THAT BE THE PLATFORM OF YOUR CAMPAIGN?

It is the platform of my campaign and I’m going to fight to lower class size and I’m going to fight for full day mandatory kindergarten and I’m going to fight for universal preschool. All of those things I’m going to do.

But I think …when I was the Superintendent – we got some wonderful ideas out of people that helped us to move ahead…And we have a bunch of people, not only in schools and education, but in labor and in business, non-profits and in the Silicon Valley who wants us to fix the schools.

vaccinatePARENTHETICALLY, SHOULD KIDS BE VACCINATED TO BE ALLOWED TO GO TO PUBLIC SCHOOL?

I wish all kids would get vaccinated and we should try to educate all parents to get all kids vaccinated.

BUT WOULD YOU ALLOW THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL IF THEY WEREN’T?

I would. If everybody else is vaccinated we’re fine.

WILL YOU BE IN THE TANK FOR CTA?

I am with the CTA when they are for the kids. When they are for the grown-ups, I’m not with them. Example: when CTA had a bill that said they were going to exempt teachers from having to do lesson plans, I opposed them strongly and we defeated that bill. That was my final year in the Legislature.

There were other occasions when I stood up to them…and they know that about me. So the fact is I think most educators will vote for me, I have a lot of great teachers who support me.

Having said that, I don’t know if I’ll get CTA’s endorsement or not.

 CHARTER SCHOOLS?

I’m with charter schools, as long as they follow the rules.

So I’m on the charter school board of SYATEC – System Integrated Academies for Technologies. This is a drop-out recovery high school…90% of these kids are emancipated, many of them have been in total train-wreck families, they dropped out maybe when they were 14, maybe to have a baby or maybe when they were 15 they were in a court and community school and never went back to their regular school because they weren’t welcome…

But we publish our agenda, we’re open, you can look at our books. We’re not doing what those crooks in Livermore were doing –charging $30,000 per child to Chinese families to send their kids to a public charter school. That’s illegal, that’s wrong, those people should go to jail.

WHAT SHOULD CALIFORNIA DO ABOUT IMMIGRATION?

First and foremost we have to focus on educating every child and the teachers do not want to be immigration naturalization police. Their job is to educate children and that should be our job. And you know perfectly well there are kids in our schools who were born in California whose parents are here illegally and so I don’t think it should fall on the backs of the children that we have an immigration problem.

I think the schools are not the problem and they’re not the place we should solve the problem.

BUT YOU’RE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR – WHAT ABOUT THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA GENERALLY?

The state of California has to make sure that it does make everybody play by the rules. If you were living in this state, than you have to play by the rules. You’ve got to pay your taxes, you’ve got to make sure you’re abiding by the law and you’ve got to make sure you are doing all the right things by your own family and by everybody around you.

So if somebody gets arrested because they didn’t play by the rules, then that’s a different story, then we ought to bounce them out of here. But the truth is if you’re playing by the rules, I think we don’t have the time or the money to become the federal immigration and naturalization service.

trump-hitlerWHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE TO TRUMP ON IMMIGRATION?

(We interviewed Eastin a few days before his chaos theory executive order on immigration. Her #1 response below came that day; in fairness (stop laughing!) we later asked Andrew Acosta, her consultant, if she wanted to update her remarks; #2 is what he emailed us in response).

#1-I really and truly don’t want to get into a fight with Mr. Trump. I will tell you I support sanctuary cities, I support children in schools and I hope Mr. Trump, you know, someday grows a little patience and understanding and a little more composure. I find him very objectionable in the tone he uses and the words he uses.

#2- I fought Governor Pete Wilson when he wanted to target immigrant children in schools with Prop 187, and I will fight this latest assault on our immigrant families and religious minorities. What Donald Trump has proposed is un-American… Of course I will fight against proposals that threaten Californians and our core values.

WE GET $100 BILLLION OF FEDERAL MONEY – HOW AT RISK IS CALIFORNIA WITH TRUMP?

We already only get back less than 80 cents on the dollar of what we send to them, so California’s already being disadvantaged.

I do have some confidence in our court system and I hope that if he does try his thuggery, that our attorney general and our governor will respond in kind and take him to court.

I don’t think that the constitution of the United States says that you should be able to pick on people that don’t agree with you and withhold their own resources from them which we have contributed fairly and squarely and not even no are getting our fair share back.

SO YOU’RE NOT ALL CONCERNED?

I wouldn’t put words in my mouth. I’m very concerned.

I really believe that we will have to respond in kind, in court if he does more than bluster. And you know we don’t know right now whether he’s going to do more than bluster.

groperAS GOVERNOR, WOULD YOU BE A LEADER OF THE RESISTANCE?

I certainly think that the governor of California has to be a representative of its people, all of its people.

And so I will certainly represent the people of California and I will stand up to thuggery from a president of the United States when it hurts our people who happen to be Latino, who happen to be Asian, or who happen to be Muslim. The governor has to be the leader of all the people, for all the people, with all of the people.

WHAT ABOUT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT?

I don’t know what our solution’s going to be.

I’ll be honest with you, I hope that there is going to an active attempt on the part of the rational people in Washington to have some kind of a replacement. That we don’t really damage so many millions of Californians.

I hope the state will step up and try to fill some of the gap, if there is a gap…people with pre-existing conditions, people with cancers who would have been bankrupt if they hadn’t gotten care, people with children who desperately need to have some kind of care, and so having worked with people in foster care, as well as some of our kids who really are at the margins, this has been a lifesaver.

And I think the state of California has to continue to put on the Affordable Care Act cape and fight for these kids, and for these grownups, to have protection…

SO YOU WOULD USE STATE FUNDS TO MAKE UP WHATEVER DIFFERENCE THERE IS IF OBAMACARE IS ABOLISHED?

I don’t want to say anything in flat terms because obviously there’s so much federal money, we don’t have that kind of money…

I think the state will step up and try to fill the gaps but we have to see what the federal government does. But there are Republicans in California who want to see us continue the Affordable Care Act…

There are lots of people like that who may have voted for Mr. Trump but he said he was going to find a replacement. Hopefully we’ll be in a position to not come down with a hammer but they’ll do something that is generous and California can pick up some of the slack if there is some.

YOU’VE BEEN OUT OF OFFICE QUITE A WHILE – HOW ARE YOU GOING TO COMPETE WITH THESE GUYS?

First, having been out of office makes me not a career politician and second, you know me, you’ve heard me, I know what I’m talking about. I do my homework, I always have. I’ve never lost touch; I continue to be very well informed…

…nobody has more background in strategic planning than I do, nobody has better credentials when it comes to transportation, remember I’m the first woman and the first member of the Assembly to win the MTC Legislator of the Year Award.

I know what I’m doing when it comes to things like garbage and waste. I wrote the big landfill clean-up bill, the biggest ever written in the state…

WHAT ABOUT FUNDRAISING?

There is a grassroots donor movement, we know.

Why? Because Bernie taught us there was. And I believe I’m going to step up, and with my voice and my values and my articulate presentations, I think I’m going to get a whole bunch of folks that supported Hillary and Bernie but also that will be for me because I’m the best candidate to be the governor of the state of California.

We’re going to do a lot of grassroots events, we’re going to do a lot of online things, but it is true that everybody should have woken up and looked at Bernie…He was very competitive monetarily because he got a lot of small donations – that’s what I’m planning to do.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Sanders delivers a speech at a campaign event in ChicagoBERNIE IS A FIREBRAND – YOU’RE NOT EXACTLY A FIREBRAND.

I don’t think you can say I’m not a firebrand.  I actually do believe that I’m as good environmentally as any candidate, in terms of infrastructure and transportation as any candidate and better on education than any candidate and I really have a diverse background…

Nobody who knows me doesn’t think I get it. I understand these issues and I can move the needle. I did it.

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT YOU’LL BE RUNNING AS THE FIRST WOMAN GOVERNOR?

I think it matters very much and I’m going to make the case. I believe very strongly that we’re overdue to have a woman as the governor of the state of California. I was only the fourth woman to be a constitutional officer and we’re up to a total of eight in the history of the state. We elect eight every four years and we’re up to a total of eight women

But you shouldn’t elect me because I’m a woman. You should elect me because I’m the most articulate, hardest working and frankly I’m very, very focused. When I get working, I work steadily, hard and long and I get it.

delaine-easton-logo-topbarWHAT’S THE BUMPER STICKER THAT SUMS UP YOUR CANDIDACY?

Because we can do better. We can do better.

Field Poll’s DiCamillo to Run Berkeley’s IGS Survey

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

dicamillonewIn the wake of the closure Field Poll, Mark DiCamillo, its former director and one of California’s most reliable pollsters, has signed on at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies to expand its public opinion operation.

This is good news for polling in California, adding the Berkeley IGS Poll to the non-partisan public surveys being conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California and the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll.

According to DiCamillo, the Berkeley IGS Poll will involve a mix of live telephone and internet surveys, fielded by YouGov, a market research and opinion survey firm based in Redwood City that specializes in online polling – a less expensive methodology than traditional phone surveys.

The use of internet polling is a leap from the surveys conducted by DiCamillo and the Field Poll, which, until last year, relied exclusively on live interviews with respondents over the phone. The online methodology carries risks, relying on an internet panel which may or may not include some of the hardest-to-reach respondents like young minority males, for example.

But with response rates to live telephone interviewing declining, researchers have sought new methods of sounding public opinion and YouGov’s online methodology is widely regarded as one of the more scientifically rigorous attempts to replicate general populations.

“The IGS Poll is a significant research tool for examining and studying California public opinion,” said Jack Citrin, institute director and UC Berkeley’s Heller Professor of Political Science. “Mark has long been recognized as one of the state’s leading pollsters, and bringing him to the institute will enable our polling program to continue to grow, advancing our mission for both cutting-edge research and public education.”

According to a release from IGS, “DiCamillo will oversee all aspects of the IGS polling program, including the design, execution and marketing of its polls, as well as the public release of survey findings to the news media. In this capacity, he will work with Citrin and other faculty members and graduate students affiliated with the institute.”

National News Media Must Call Out Trump’s Lies

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

trumpatciaThe unhinged fabrication that Donald Dinky Hands and his bootlicker mouthpiece Sean Spicer spouted on the Trump Regime’s first full day in office, preposterously claiming that his inaugural crowd was bigger than any before, would be laughable if it weren’t such chillingly clear evidence of the 46% 45th president’s Big Lie strategy.

It’s easy to make it a joke. Size matters. Ha, ha. But it’s not funny. It’s deadly serious.

Herr Trump showed that on something as photographically and measurably obvious as the size of the meager crowd he attracted to celebrate his inauguration, compared not only to the multitudes that feted Barack Obama but also to Saturday’s D.C. Women’s March protesting his vile politics, he is unable to accept any reality in which he is diminished.

“This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer — surely under orders from the boss — told the White House press corps on Saturday. “Both in person and around the globe.”

He accused the news media of “deliberately false reporting,” not just with crowd estimates but with its photos as well.

spicerAre you gonna’ believe me or your lying eyes? Spicer, in a yelling, madman performance in the White House press room, said 420,000 people had used the D.C. metro on Trump’s inauguration day, compared to 317,000 for Obama’s 2013 inauguration.

But, according to the Washington Post, Metro said 570,557 people took trips on Friday in total, compared with 1.1 million trips at Obama’s 2009 inauguration and 782,000 at his 2013 inauguration.

Here’s one Twitter post from Metro itself: Metro Ridership: As of 11am, 193k trips taken so far today. (11am 1/20/13 = 317k, 11am 1/20/09 = 513k, 11am 1/20/05 = 197k) #wmata

Trump harangued officers assembled at the CIA with a totally inappropriate and fantasy declaration that his inaugural crowd was about 1.5 million, compared to most estimates that topped out at 250,000.

Complaining about one TV report, Trump said, “It showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people. Now that’s not bad. But it’s a lie.

inauguralpix“We had 250,000 people literally around, you know, in the little bowl we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area all the way back to the Washington Monument, that was packed.”

But live television shots, videos along the parade route and other photographic records proving this was a lie were easier to read than any evidence the intelligence analysts he was addressing might use to target ISIS encampments.

Help us Obi Wan Kanobi. You’re our only hope.  The national news media – especially the network and cable White House press corps – must not laugh this off.

We are relying on them to make a HUGE deal of it because it was a first-day-in-prison test: Will Trump and his press secretary get away with standing up and lying through their teeth, denying what is happening in the real world, without urgent pushback from the Fourth Estate?

Push back now or get rolled and bitch slapped for the next four years.

ciawallAnd that’s not the worst of it. Trump’s CIA visit, which was expected to be a kiss-and-make-up session for intelligence agents he in recent weeks called “Nazis” and mocked for erroneous recommendations and information gathering about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; instead it was a debacle, not only because of his lies about his crowds, but also due to a rant that blamed the media — “the most dishonest people on earth” — for his recent attacks on the Agency. He couldn’t even resist delivering a whopper about the inauguration day weather, as the WashPost, to its credit, did not let pass.

Trump also misrepresented what happened to the weather during his swearing in. He said he felt a few drops of rain as he started delivering his address, but then, “God looked down and, and he said we’re not going to let it rain on your speech.. . .The truth is it stopped immediately.”

Light rain continued to fall through the first few minutes of the speech — and VIP’s at the dais took out ponchos, including former president George W. Bush — and then quit. Trump said there was a downpour right after he finished, which did not occur.

John Brennan, the president's assistant on homeland security and counterterrorism, on Monday, May 2, 2011, spoke to the press about the raid and subseqent killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden. This is a file photograph of the Deputy National Security Advisior John Brennan made as he talked to the press about security during the holiday season.  He is with White House press Secy Robert Gibbs in the White house briefing room.Brennan steps up. Trump’s rambling diatribe was so egregious that John Brennan, a CIA lifer, and its just-resigned director, called it “despicable,” speaking through a former top aide.

“Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” Brennan said via former CIA deputy chief of staff Nick Shapiro. “Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself.”

Both the Post and the NYT deserve credit for soberly calling out Trump on some of his lies. (He even lied about how many times he’d been on the cover of Time magazine, a subject that only a brazen narcissist could bring up in remarks to the CIA.)

“With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift,” the Times headlined its story. The Post reported Trump’s statements straight but followed each falsehood with a sentence or graf pointing out his untruths.

But it’s not enough.

Even if the national papers used stronger disclaimers, which they should, the fact remains that newspapers increasingly are read by well-educated elites who already oppose Trump. The networks and cable outlets (excepting of course the lickspittle “reporting” on Fox delivered by Trump pal Rupert Murdoch) must refuse to be intimidated and hammer away in tough, direct and uncompromising language that refuses to normalize what clearly is unbalanced person and a dangerous tyrant.

It also wouldn’t hurt to point out that he’s clinically mentally ill.

Trump: “Amerika Zuerst” as Regime Takes Power

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

trumpbobbyfistsThe raised fist — an insult to the patriotic Americans who protested racial discrimination and the Vietnam War decades ago — conveyed the spite and bile Donald Trump unleashed in his inaugural address on Friday.

But to understand what Herr Trump was actually saying, it helps to see what David Duke tweeted out: Trump Inauguration Speech Declares War on the Neocons & Promotes Our Slogan “America First!”

trumpasnaziPast is Prologue. The former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan conflated Trump’s attack on Washington elites with neocons, but he got the essential point: That the new president had vowed that he was issuing “a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward a new vision will govern our land,” he said. “From this day forward, it’s only going to be America first, America first.”

The use of Charles Lindbergh’s anti-Semitic slogan from 1941 is no coincidence. It perfectly invokes the retrograde, authoritarian government Trump plans to establish based on the false grievance that President Obama has left behind “American carnage.”

Before a savior can be sanctified, he must first establish that the people need saving. So Trump painted a false vision of America that was purely dystopian:

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential…

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.

(Here’s a good WashPost fact check of the speech, with a subhed that read “President Trump painted a portrait of the United States that often was at variance with reality.” Surprise, surprise).

Donald Trump Is Sworn In As 45th President Of The United StatesHe Alone Will Fix It. The key to restoring America, of course, is Trump himself.I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down. America will start winning again, winning like never before,” he said, as if a wedding vow.

When even the loathsome George Will declares your speech “the most dreadful inaugural address in history,” you know it was truly horrible.

Had Trump had his way, his parade would have included missiles, tanks and masses of soldiers, marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. The idea was thwarted by cooler heads in the military command. But that was his totalitarian vision.

“We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny,” said Trump, sending chills down the spine of anyone who ever listened to a speech by Adolph Hitler.

Fascism will not come to America in a coup. It will insinuate itself, masquerading as patriotism and nationalism. We are on the razor’s edge.