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July 30, 2020

Hal Brown Blog

 Click here for just Friday edition  This is a blog with my  opinions on news stories that pique my interest. Search for Hal Brown and Trump

Breaking News: McConnell signal to Republican Senate candidates: Distance from Trump if necessary

Trump Has Been Comparing Himself to Nixon. That’s Hooey. By John Dean (Subscription)

The former president could only dream of wielding the police powers Mr. Trump has seized for himself.

First the images (click below to enlarge), then excerpts:

President Trump has been comparing himself to Richard Nixon, tweeting “LAW & ORDER,” and claiming he learned a lot from Nixon. Others have been comparing Mr. Trump’s handling of civil disorder to Nixon’s. No one will ever tag me a Nixon apologist, but in Nixon’s defense these claims are hooey.

I worked for our last authoritarian president, Richard Nixon — a man who experienced violent protests and demonstrations throughout his political career. In 1968, he ran as the “law and order” candidate, for it was a time of tumult: assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy. Riots ripped Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, Washington and other major cities. Civil rights and antiwar protests closed down campuses large and small. There were nightly news reports of endless death from the killing fields of Vietnam, including the Tet offensive and the My Lai massacre.

Nixon was running on credentials established long before the 1968 presidential contest. As vice president, Nixon and his wife traveled though South America, where they frequently were confronted by protesters. Nixon used those protest situations to brandish his I-am-fearless image by walking among the protesters to make 
The video imagines a young Republican
waking up from a three-year coma and
 being updated by his family about Trump
 illegally paying off a porn star, Mexico not
paying for the wall, Trump praising white
 nationalists after the fatal Charlottesville
 “Unite the Right” rally and his administration’s
 failed response to the coronavirus pandemic.
clear that he was not intimidated, nor would they influence American policy.

On becoming president in 1969, Nixon inherited a global anti-Vietnam War protest movement that had contributed to the decision of his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, not to seek re-election.

From his first day in office, Nixon faced huge demonstrations, which he instructed his White House counsel to monitor closely. When I was appointed to that post 18 months into his presidency, I discovered that all of the key intelligence agencies reported domestic and related foreign intelligence about disruptive protests, demonstrations and civil unrest occurring throughout the country to the counsel’s office, where we digested and shared it with the president and senior staff.

-------------------Dean concludes---------------------

Most conspicuously, for Donald Trump it creates optics he believes he can exploit in his re-election campaign. Indeed, Nixon successfully used images of disorder in 1968, and falsely charged demonstrators in 1972 as working for his opponent when he was running for re-election. But Mr. Trump is provoking disorder by using federal forces, which is quite different.

The reason Attorney General Barr is backing this action is that he believes the president should, in fact, be able to do most anything he wishes, whenever he wants. Mr. Barr is using 200 federal officers here and there today, so tomorrow he can dispatch 2,000 or 20,000. He is making the unprecedented precedented.
Richard Nixon closeted his authoritarianism behind closed doors, and only because he taped himself do we have a good understanding of it. Donald Trump, however, has paraded his authoritarianism in the Rose Garden and at rallies. He wants to be seen as a demagogue.

Nixon did not have an authoritarian Republican Party to support his imperial presidency and was forced to prematurely resign. Mr. Trump has a G.O.P. that seeks to expand his authoritarian presidency. Militarizing federal forces to perform state and local police functions is merely another norm-shattering example.

Mr. Trump’s latest threat is that he will not leave the presidency if he loses. He is making Nixon’s authoritarian behavior look tame.

Best letter to The NY Times:

To the Editor:

Weird Science and Self-Pity From President During Briefing

 (news article, July 29):
Watch video

How refreshing to hear Donald Trump actually show some understanding, even if only partial. Trying to figure out why “nobody likes me,” Mr. Trump concluded, “it can only be my personality.”

Indeed, Mr. Trump, your personality does explain, albeit not completely, your unpopularity. The very fact that you are discussing your unpopularity at a briefing about a catastrophic virus is itself evidence of the narcissism that partly explains that very unpopularity. Yet this horrid behavior is itself insufficient to explain why you are held in such low regard.

A more complete explanation would surely include a consideration of your incompetence; your corruption; your general failure to grasp how viruses, tariffs, science and a host of other things work; your sexism; your homophobia; your support of white supremacists; your contempt for the majority of your constituents; and countless other aspects of your failed presidency.

In sum, Mr. Trump, you are unpopular because of your myriad shortcomings as a leader, and not merely because of your personality flaws.

Jonathan Maskit
Granville, Ohio

Portland sees peaceful night of protests following withdrawal of federal troops, The Guardian

In contrast, the state troopers did not intervene even when the scale of the protest on Thursday night passed the point, as demonstrators shook the fence around the courthouse, at which in early demonstrations the federal agents generally fired teargas, stun grenades and baton rounds.

In the absence of confrontation, and with the state police remaining largely unseen inside the courthouse, tensions quickly eased. Without the federal forces to draw attention, protest organisers kept the focus on Black Lives Matters and reform of the Portland police.

Some in the crowd worked to avoid trouble by stopping demonstrators from lighting fires and shooting fireworks at the courthouse as they had done on previous nights.

"None dare call it treason, but perhaps one day they will," Joe Scarborough addresses his Washington Post OpEd to congressional Republicans enabling Trump. Washington Post subscription.


I know Trump’s devotion to Putin deeply disturbs you, but somehow you swallow that bile and keep running cover for them both. How hard it must have been to keep all of that down when Trump’s foreign policy advisernational security advisercampaign chairmandeputy campaign chairmanpersonal lawyerpolitical consultant and attorney general were all busted for lying to federal investigators or Congress about their contacts with Russians. But you still kept your head down and marched in a single formation behind Trump.

When it was revealed that Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign was “sweeping and systematic,” you shrugged your shoulders. You later learned that Russian nationals with connections to the Kremlin promised Trump’s family dirt on Hillary Clinton, and that they were excited to learn it was part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” You remained motionless, numb to it all, when federal investigators later revealed that Russia’s GRU began hacking Clinton-related email accounts hours after Trump announced this: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

By this time, you began mindlessly regurgitating the former reality TV host’s propaganda about the “Russian hoax,” and hoped Americans would be stupid enough to ignore the mountains of damning evidence against Trump. Your singular focus turned to the Steele dossier’s most lurid tales, and you believed then, and now, that Christopher Steele’s fantastical claims could erase a multitude of Trump’s sins.

 You repeated the lies of Attorney General William P. Barr and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey O. Graham when they falsely claimed the FBI’s investigation began with Steele’s dossier. And you kept repeating this idiotic defense even after it became painfully evident that Trump’s team welcomed Russia’s interference in American democracy and then tried to cover it up. You still refuse to criticize the Trump team’s use of material stolen by Russia during the last month of the campaign, just like you and your president continue turning a blind eye to any Russian bounties.

None dare call it treason, but perhaps one day they will.

And then there's Jim Jordan

Does the screeching Jim Jordan ever watch videos of himself? Does he realize 1) that he comes across as unhinged, and 2) that his political agenda is so obvious. Number 3) would be a stretch to assume he might know that his logic if you can call it that is flawed.

 Here he is haranguing Dr. Fauci who at first remains matter of fact  to being baited to say Black Lives Matter protesters should stay at home top protect themselves from Covid. He's fairly stoic the beginning, but ends up looking from side to side almost laughing at Jordan. Watch video
Jordan went off on a rant, loudly asserting, “You make all kind of recommendations. You made comments on dating and baseball and everything you can imagine. You just said protests increase the spread — should we try to limit the protest?” “No, I think I would leave that to people who are more in a position to do that,” Fauci replied while beginning to smile and look from side to side as Jordan went off on a rant about churches being forced to close, finally answering the congressman and telling him, “I’m not favoring of anybody over anybody. I’m just making a statement that’s a broad statement that avoid crowds of any type no matter where you are because that leads to the acquisition and transmission, and I don’t judge one crowd versus another crowd. when you’re in a crowd, particularly if you’re not wearing a mask.”
This article has some good tweets about "Gym Jordan" the sexual abuse enabling former wrestling coach.

How about this quote from CNN:

The co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society said Thursday in a blistering New York Times op-ed that President Donald Trump's tweet musing about a delay to November's presidential election is grounds for impeachment
Steven Calabresi, a Northwestern University law professor who has offered broad defenses of the President in recent years, wrote, "I am frankly appalled by the president's recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats' assertion that President Trump is a fascist."
"But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president's immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate," he said. 
It's a significant break from the co-founder of one of the most influential groups in Republican politics. The Federalist Society has emerged as a leading conservative and libertarian voice in recent years, urging a limited role for judges in society's problems.

No doubt Trump wishes he had the power to do this: Hong Kong postpones legislative elections for a year over coronavirus fears

Under the Basic Law -- Hong Kong's mini constitution -- Legislative Council terms are limited to four years. Lam said she has therefore reached out to the Central People's Government for guidance as to how to deal with this one-year "vacuum." She said Beijing will make a submission to the National People's Congress standing committee for a decision.
Lam said that while it is not up to her, she believes a logical solution would be to allow the current Legislative Council to continue for the next year.
Some pro-democracy activists including Joshua Wong have claimed the government is using the pandemic as an excuse to indefinitely postpone a crucial election for Hong Kong.
They have accused the government of wanting to avoid a potential loss following China's imposition of a new national security law on the city, banning secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. 
The democratic camp had set its sights on winning a majority in the 70-member Legislative Council polls this September.

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