20 Minus 1, The Family Business

The G-19: World leaders at the G-20 summit decided to move ahead with efforts to fight climate change, leaving behind the United States which, under President Trump, pulled out of the Paris climate accord.

What this means is that the US is isolated with its current stance on climate change, and could become the outsider on other matters as well.

President Trump returned to Washington without holding a press conference, but the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, and Russia all spoke to the press. Trump tweeted this morning, “The G 20 Summit was a great success for the U.S. – Explained that the U.S. must fix the many bad trade deals it has made. Will get done!”

The Trumps: Social media erupted yesterday when Ivanka Trump briefly sat in for her father at the G-20 summit table while the President stepped away. One man tweeted, “Sort of the whole point of America was that governmental authority was bestowed by the people not by birth.” In fairness, Ms. Trump is an adviser to her father, and advisers to other world leaders have sat in for them as well.

But both in business and government, everything “Trump” is a family enterprise. The administration announced yesterday that Trump will order the State Department to divert $50 million from foreign aid to an international partnership, created partly by his daughter, to help midsize businesses owned by women.

The NY Times reports that two weeks after Trump won the Republican nomination last summer, his son Donald Jr. arranged a meeting with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin. Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort also attended the meeting, according to documents and interviews cited by the Times. In the midst of investigations into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians, it’s an interesting development.

Don Jr. told the paper in a statement that the conversation was about an adoption program, a curious thing to be discussing in the midst of an election campaign.

Unsafe at Any Speed: David Rothkopf, a visiting professor at Columbia University, writes in The Washington Post that when you consider Trump’s impulsive tweeting about the press, his obsession with cable news, and outbursts that damage both domestic and international relations, “Whether he is actually clinically ill is a matter for psychiatric professionals to consider.” He goes on, “But when you take the above behaviors and combine them with his resistance to doing the work needed to be president, to sitting down for briefings, to reading background materials, to familiarizing himself with details enough to manage his staff, there is clearly a problem.”

Rothkopf concludes, “The United States has had a wide variety of presidents; we have as often been victimized by their errors of judgment as we have benefited from their leadership. But the stark reality is that objective analysis reveals that we have never before seen a president so unfit for office.”

Nation: Members of the Ku Klux Klan, who oppose the re-naming of two parks honoring confederate generals and the removal of statues, were met by about 1,000 protesters yesterday in Charlottesville, Va.

About 50 members of The Loyal White Knights showed up wearing Klan robes, some of them carrying guns.

Lee Park, named for Gen. Robert E. Lee, is being renamed Emancipation Park and a statue of the general on horseback is going to be removed.

Fame: Actor Shia LaBeouf was arrested Saturday in Savannah, Georgia, and charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He’s shooting a movie there.

LaBeouf was taken into custody around 4 am after trying to bum a cigarette from a police officer and a bystander. Police said LaBeouf spewed profanities when he didn’t get the cigarette and refused to leave the area. He has at least two previous arrests for drunkenness and driving while intoxicated.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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