Donald Trump’s campaign boast that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters” may still hold true for the dead-enders who cling to the fantasy that he’s a competent commander in chief. But the Trump team doesn’t set the standard for presidential accountability. That was done back in 1787, when the initiators of the American experiment delineated the impeachment power that is suddenly all the rage.
Impeachment is not the only tool for checking and balancing errant presidents. Congress has the power of the purse, the duty to declare wars, and “advise and consent” oversight authority. Unfortunately, the separation-of-powers protections outlined in the Constitution have taken a beating on the long march from George Washington’s “prudent” administration to the imperial presidency that Trump inherited.
Pentagon officials are in shock after the release of a transcript between President Donald Trump and his Philippines counterpart reveals that the US military had moved two nuclear submarines towards North Korea.
“We never talk about subs!” three officials told BuzzFeed News, referring to the military’s belief that keeping submarines’ movement stealth is key to their mission.
While the US military will frequently announce the deployment of aircraft carriers, it is far more careful when discussing the movement of nuclear submarines. Carriers are hard to miss, and that in part, is a reason the US military deploys them. They are a physical show of forces. Submarines are, at times, a furtive complement to the carriers, a hard-to-detect means of strategic deterrence.
Could the president be influenced by threats to his profit margin?
Since Donald Trump’s election in November, and especially since his January inauguration, hundreds of small and not-so-small organizations have sprung up to oppose the president. They joined the ranks of established left-leaning and liberal groups already revving up their engines to fight the administration. Among all the ways you can now voice your dissent, though, there’s one tactic that this president will surely understand: economic resistance aimed at his own businesses and those of his children. He may not be swayed by protesters filling the streets, but he does speak the language of money. Through a host of tactics—including boycotting stores that carry Trump products, punishing corporations and advertisers that underwrite the administration’s agenda, and disrupting business-as-usual at Trump companies—protesters are using the power of the purse to demonstrate their opposition and have planned a day of resistance against his brand on June 14th.
Such economic dissent may prove to be an especially apt path of resistance, especially for the millions of Americans who reside in blue states and have struggled with a sense of powerlessness following the election. After all, it’s not immediately obvious how to take effective political action in the usual American way when your legislators already agree with you. But what blue-state dwellers lack in political sway they make up for in economic clout, since blue states have, on average, greater household incomes and more purchasing power than their red-state compatriots. The impact of coordinated blue-state boycotts could be enormous. That’s why Grab Your Wallet, along with Color of Change, a racial-justice group, and numerous other organizations are encouraging individuals to see their purchasing power as political muscle.
There are certain moments in politics that, when they occur, one immediately says, “Oh, we’re going to remember that one.”
One such moment occurred Monday, as President Trump addressed reporters alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a moment that raised once again a profound question: How much of a problem is it that the president of the United States, the most powerful person on Earth, is a blithering idiot?
Here’s what happened. During a chaotic moment with many people speaking at once, a reporter asked a question about Trump’s passing on highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during an unusual Oval Office meeting.
Though rumors swirled about the identity of the U.S. ally, with many pointing to Israel, government sources wouldn’t confirm it — until Trump hushed the assembled reporters and said, “Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel.’ Never mentioned it during that conversation.” Meanwhile, Netanyahu worked hard to keep a friendly smile on his face. “They were all saying I did,” Trump went on (meaning the journalists), “So you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel.” So in trying to tamp down the story that he revealed sensitive information to the Russians, Trump enthusiastically confirmed to the entire world that Israel was indeed the U.S. ally who had supplied the intelligence information. Nice work, Einstein.
From The New York Times and written by Nick Wingfield —
A year ago, when Amazon let a homeless shelter for families move into a former motel it owned, it was viewed as a nice but fleeting gesture.
The motel was on a chunk of downtown property where Amazon planned to eventually erect yet another set of sparkling buildings to meet its insatiable need for office space in this city, where it has come to embody both the region’s economic boom and its struggles with affordability. The hotel would be torn down and the shelter kicked out when that time came.
Instead, Amazon has decided to let the shelter stay. In an unusual arrangement, the company has agreed to give the shelter, Mary’s Place, a permanent home inside one of the new office buildings for which it will break ground in the fall.
Amazon will give roughly half of the six-story building to the shelter, providing it with 47,000 square feet of space with private rooms that can hold 65 families, or about 220 people and their pets. The facility, expected to open in early 2020, will have its own entrance and elevators.
From The Nation and written by Joan Walsh —
Donald Trump began his presidency in a troubling crisis of legitimacy, given charges that Russia meddled in the election to help him defeat Hillary Clinton, and that Clinton won the popular vote nonetheless. This crisis is now devouring him.
From the moment he and his staff began haranguing the media for accurately reporting the size of his inaugural turnout, compared with Obama’s much larger crowds, we have been watching Trump spiral into paranoia. With the firing of FBI Director James Comey, we may be witnessing Trump’s presidency unraveling.