Category Archives: Tracking Trump

Pulling back the curtain on the Donald of Oz

pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
The Wizard of Oz came to Duluth last Wednesday and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Hiding behind a curtain of presidential power, he pulled all the usual levers and set his supporters roaring “Build that wall!” and “USA!”

Like the Wizard of Oz, Donald Trump is a small man with a big voice and loud lies. Lots of lies. Continue reading

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Trump’s lawyers—not Mueller—wrote the 49 questions

tragedy and comedy masks

Tragedy and comedy masks. (posted to Flickr by Tim Green and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Yes—Trump’s lawyers wrote the 49 questions. Not Mueller. Not Mueller’s office.

That is important.

Most headlines and most news stories talk about the 49 questions that Mueller’s office gave to Trump’s attorneys. That is not an accurate description. Continue reading

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The Post and the perfidy of presidents

Pentagon Papers

Photo by Rory Finneren, published under Creative Commons license.

The Post takes us back to the courage of Daniel Ellsberg and the testing of Katherine Graham and the perfidy of presidents as revealed in the Pentagon Papers. i loved the movie last night, but today I’m thinking harder about what it means.  Continue reading

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Filed under media, Tracking Trump, war and peace

U.S. immigration policy: un-protect and deport

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Image from SEDAC Maps, used under Creative Commons license

CORRECTION 1/10 – DHS=Department of Homeland Security (see below)

Giovanni Miranda was 32 years old when Salvadoran gangs murdered him in front of his family in the tiny room where they lived, behind the small auto body shop he owned. Miranda had lived for most of his life in the United States and was a legal permanent resident, but was deported in 2012, after U.S. authorities discovered a 2002 conviction for possessing a small amount of cocaine. Nothing special about his story: he is one more murder victim in one of the most violent countries in the world, the 2016 murder capital of the world.

On Monday, President Trump and his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ordered more than 200,000 Salvadorans to return to the most violent country in the world. The administration canceled Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for all Salvadorans and gave them until September 2019 to return to El Salvador or be deported. Continue reading

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Filed under human rights, immigration, Latin America, Tracking Trump

Scrooge’s Republican tax plan: Die, and reduce the surplus population

scrooge

Old Scrooge, before he repented, thought the poor and disabled might as well die and reduce the surplus population. He would have loved this tax bill, which is likely to reduce the surplus population by, among other things, reducing access to chemotherapy for Medicare patients with cancer.

The tax bill also eliminates tax deductions for medical expenses.  You might call that the Tiny Tim deduction: Continue reading

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Trump budget: Small towns don’t need clean water

Want to open the faucet and see brown, gritty, unsafe water? Move to St. Joseph, Louisiana, where the town’s water system is irreparably fouled by decades of neglect. The impoverished town is not alone, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting:

“St. Joseph, population 1,029, is one of thousands of small towns across the country that have no access to safe, clean drinking water. The reason: The towns can’t afford it.”

The state of Louisiana stepped in to fund a new water system for St. Joseph. Many other towns turn to the Rural Utilities Service, a USDA program that disburses loans and grants to small towns (population 10,000 or less) for water systems. Or did – Trump’s budget will close down the entire program.

The USDA Rural Utilities Service budget last year — FY 2017 — was only $498 million. This year the Trump administration budget cuts out the program entirely. Zero dollars. Zero help for small towns. Zero future for a program that has been wildly successful. Continue reading

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Filed under Tracking Trump, water

Yom Kippur and Puerto Rico

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UPDATE WITH CORRECTION 10/6/17 – see below:

Yom Kippur is a day of fasting and repentance. It is a day to reflect on what we have done wrong in the past year, and to ask forgiveness. Unless you are the president of the United States. Then it is a day to attack anyone who dares to call you to account.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has it right – Trump’s disgraceful attack on the mayor and people of Puerto Rico follows weeks of the Trump administration’s neglect and mishandling of hurricane preparation and relief efforts. Here’s a short list, followed by a list of ways you can contribute to help rebuild Puerto Rico: Continue reading

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Joe Arpaio and Donald Trump have a lot in common

Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaking with supporters of Donald Trump at a rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons license.

Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio today. That’s an affirmation of Trump’s admiration for Arpaio’s long career of self-promotion, abuse of power, racism, and cruelty. The New Yorker concluded that Trump probably pardoned Arpaio because the former sheriff ” represents in miniature what the President would like to be more maximally—a successful American authoritarian.” Continue reading

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Saying no to hate, saying yes to fairness and equality and caring

 

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Image from August 14 solidarity demonstration in Minneapolis. 

If you have spent the last five days reading and watching and thinking about Charlottesville and the quiet heroism of Heather Heyer and the blatantly in-your-face racism of Unite The Right and the stupidly incoherent racism of the president of the United States, you probably won’t find anything new here. I cannot find anything new to say, but I feel compelled to summarize facts as the president tells lies. That’s a small enough thing to do, but it seems to be all I can do to keep faith with the people who stood up to racism and hate and with a young woman whose life was senselessly taken away by that racism and hate. Continue reading

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Filed under race, Tracking Trump

Aliens, UFOs, Melania and Agent Orange

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Complying with one of Trump’s executive orders, DHS opened the Victims Of Immigrant Crimes Engagement Office or VOICE on April 26. The new office’s hotline was promptly swamped with calls about UFOs, Sasquatch, “an immigrant living in NYC on my tax dollars” (Melania Trump),  “an orange colored, toupee wearing alien in a bathrobe has been spotted at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave,” and kidnapping by flying saucer. The callers took advantage of another coincidence that ICE probably didn’t know about: April 26 was the annual observance of #AlienDay – a promotion by the Alien movie franchise.  Continue reading

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