Sunday, January 21, 2018

Something to Know - 21 January

The NY times has published this User Manual for Republican presidential wannabes.   It is based on the latest edition of a GOP office holder and the behavior of same.   The bar has been lowered so far that we need to pause and take stock of each and every point.   This can be substituted for the next State of the Union address:

JAN. 20, 2018

When the editorial board published the first edition of the Republican's Guide to Presidential Etiquette last May, we hoped to provide a helpful reminder to those morally upright members of the G.O.P. who were once so concerned about upholding standards of presidential decorum. Remember the hand-wringing when Barack Obama wore a tan suit or tossed a football in the Oval Office?

Yet even as the current occupant of the White House continues to find new and shocking ways to defile his office, congressional Republicans have only lashed themselves more tightly to him. The examples come so fast that it's easy to forget that the last one happened just four days ago, or just this morning.

As part of our continuing effort to resist the exhausting and numbing effects of living under a relentlessly abusive and degrading president, we present, for the third time in nine months, an updated guide to what Republicans now consider to be acceptable behavior from the commander in chief. As before, these examples, drawn from incidents or disclosures in the last three-plus months, do not concern policy decisions — only the president's words and actions.

And no, we're not even opening that Michael Wolff book.

Imply, without evidence, that a television anchor was involved in a murder

Question the authenticity of a recording of you bragging about sexual assault, even though you previously admitted it was real

Say the F.B.I.'s reputation is "in tatters — worst in history" and call members of the intelligence community "political hacks"

Retweet inflammatory and fake anti-Muslim videos from an ultranationalist British group

Call the American justice system a "joke" and a "laughingstock"

Have your lawyer pay $130,000 in hush money to a porn star with whom you had an affair while your wife was at home caring for your new son

Ask, in a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?," referring to Africa, and "Why do we want people from Haiti here? Take them out."

Make fun of a military flag ceremony

Retweet a doctored photo of yourself with the name of a national news organization splattered on the bottom of your shoe

Continue to call for a criminal investigation of your former political opponent, whom you call the "worst (and biggest) loser of all time" a year after the election

Exploit a White House event honoring Native American veterans to mock a senator with a racially charged slur

 Change a critical element of your explanation for firing your national security adviser

Shut down a bogus voter-fraud commission because "Democrat states" refuse to turn over necessary information, even though states with both Democratic and Republican leadership did, and for good reason

Tell your rich friends after your tax bill passes, "You all just got a lot richer"

Boast that you have a higher I.Q. than your secretary of state, who fails to deny that he called you a "moron"

Defend your mental competency by saying that you are "like, really smart" and a "very stable genius"

Tell your attorney general not to recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into your campaign, then when he does anyway, call it "a terrible thing"

Falsely claim that your predecessor failed to contact the families of fallen soldiers, and then exploit the death of your chief of staff's son to defend yourself

Threaten to take away a TV network's broadcast license for reporting on your deliberations about the nation's nuclear arsenal

Threaten to use federal tax law to punish a professional sports league for letting its players express political opinions

Tell reporters that "It's frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it"

Warn American citizens in Puerto Rico, only weeks after a catastrophic hurricane, that the federal government can't help them out "forever," even as you tell victims of a hurricane in Texas, "We are with you today, we are with you tomorrow, and we will be with you EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER, to restore, recover, and REBUILD!"

Spend one-third of the first year of your taxpayer-funded presidency visiting your own golf courses or properties

While debating policy with lawmakers on live television, accidentally agree to a deal that is the opposite of what your party wants, get corrected by the House majority leader, and then release an official White House transcript that omits the exchange

Insult people, places and things constantly

Say that your former White House adviser and campaign chief has "lost his mind," after another former adviser and campaign manager is indicted on money laundering and other federal charges

Claim that a new tax bill you support will "cost me a fortune," even though it will probably save you millions, but who knows since you refuse to release your tax returns

Fail to grasp the basic science of climate change

Take credit for the fact that no one died on a domestic commercial airliner during your first year in office

Tell attendees at a rally to be "happy you voted for me," and that they are "so lucky that I gave you that privilege"

Continue to mock foreign leaders by implying that they are, among other things, "short and fat"

After helping to negotiate the release of college athletes arrested in China, say "I should have left them in jail" after the father of one of them — whom you call "the poor man's version of Don King" — doesn't express proper gratitude

Get in a Twitter fight with a senator of your own party, during which you mock his height

Praise the delivery to Norway of fighter planes that exist only in a video game

Call for the firing of a journalist who mistakenly tweeted about crowd size at your rally

Decline to invite Jewish Democrats in Congress to the annual White House Hanukkah party

Say that you're "very frustrated" that you cannot tell the Justice Department what to do, but also claim that "I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department."

Try to stop the publication of a book that says critical things about you and your administration

Tell more than 2,000 lies in a year, or roughly five a day

Tell your advisers that the 15,000 Haitians sent here in 2017 "all have AIDS," and that Nigerians who saw America would never "go back to their huts"

Blame a domestic terror attack on a senator of the opposing party, and then undermine the prosecution of the attacker by calling publicly for his execution

Falsely claim a rise in British crime is due to "radical Islamic terror"

Accuse an F.B.I. agent of treason without evidence

Watch four to eight hours of cable television a day, mostly the channel that feeds you self-serving propaganda

Say a female senator of the opposing party "would do anything" for your campaign donations

Choose for federal judgeships nominees who cannot identify or explain basic legal concepts, and who were rated "not qualified" by the American Bar Association

Falsely claim that you have signed more legislation than any first-year president, when in fact you have signed less than any post-World War II president

Taunt a foreign leader who claims he has nuclear weapons by saying your "nuclear button" is "a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

Criticize a law that your party firmly supports, then, two hours later, reverse yourself

Mock an investigation into whether your campaign colluded with a foreign government to swing the election as a "phony cloud," a "total hoax," "fabricated and politically motivated," a "witch hunt" and an "artificial Democratic hit job" that "makes the country look very bad"and serves as "an excuse for losing an election that they should have won" — oh, and also claim that the Democrats were the real colluders

Mock a foreign leader with a demeaning nickname and threaten his country with nuclear annihilation over Twitter

Call for the firing of "son of a bitch" athletes who choose to exercise their right to free speech

Refer to the White House as "a real dump"

Spend the weekend golfing at your private club while the mayor of an American city wades through sewage-filled water to help citizens after a catastrophic hurricane, then accuse that mayor of "poor leadership" when she criticizes your administration's slow response to the storm

Criticize victims of that hurricane still living without drinking water or electricity by saying they "want everything to be done for them"

During a visit to some of those victims, throw rolls of paper towels at them and tell them they should be "very proud" that only 16 people have died so far, unlike in a "real catastrophe"

Attack a senator battling terminal cancer

Pick nominees to the federal bench who call a sitting Supreme Court justice a "judicial prostitute" and refer to transgender children as part of "Satan's plan"

Campaign hard for a Senate candidate; then when he appears likely to lose, say "I might have made a mistake" and later delete your tweets supporting him

Behave so erratically and irresponsibly that senators of your own party resort to saying you're treated like someone at "an adult day-care center" to keep you from starting World War III

Spend one of every three days as president visiting at least one of your own properties

Publicly and privately humiliate your own attorney general for recusing himself from an investigation into your campaign

Say nothing when a foreign leader's bodyguards brutally attack peaceful protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C.

 Tweet GIFs of yourself violently attacking the media and your former political opponent

Encourage police officers not to be "too nice" when apprehending criminal suspects

Help draft a misleading statement about the purpose of a meeting between your son, other top campaign aides and representatives of a rival foreign power intent on interfering in the election

Deliver a speech to the Boy Scouts of America that includes mockery of a former president and winking references to sexual orgies, and then lie by claiming that the head of that organization called and told you it was the best speech ever delivered in Boy Scout history

Hang a framed copy of a fake Time magazine cover celebrating your business acumen in your golf clubs around the world

Mock a female television anchor's appearance, saying the anchor was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" at a holiday gathering at your private resort

Force your cabinet members to take turns extolling your virtues in front of television cameras

Welcome into the Oval Office a man who threatened to assassinate your predecessor, whom he called a "subhuman mongrel," and who referred to your political opponent as a "worthless bitch"

Continue to deny that Russia attempted to influence the presidential election, despite the consensus of the American intelligence community — and yet also blame your predecessor for not doing anything to stop that interference

Grant temporary White House press credentials to a website that, among other things, claims that Sept. 11 was an "inside job" and that the massacre of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax

Block people who criticize you on Twitter

Claim that an investigation into your campaign's possible collusion with a foreign power is "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Pressure multiple intelligence chiefs to state publicly that there was no collusion between your presidential campaign and the Russian government

Without consulting anyone at the Pentagon, announce a new policy barring transgender soldiers from serving in the military

Pardon a former sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to obey the law

Continue to repeat, with admiration, a false story about an American military general committing war crimes

Mock the mayor of a world city for his careful, sober response to a terrorist attack

Tell Americans that a march of torch-carrying white supremacists and neo-Nazis includes "some very fine people" — and when one of those marchers murders a peaceful counterprotester, condemn violence on "both sides"

Run an administration whose ethical standards have, in the words of the federal government's top ethics enforcer, made the United States "close to a laughingstock"

Hide data that don't support your pre-existing policy preferences

Admit to trying to intimidate a key witness in a federal investigation

Continue to leave hundreds of executive branch positions unfilled

Profit off the presidency, accepting millions of dollars from foreign government officials, businesses, politicians and other supporters who pay a premium to patronize your properties and get access to you — while also attempting to hide the visitor lists at some of those properties from the public

Promise to drain the swamp, then quietly grant ethics waivers to multiple former industry lobbyists who want to work in your administration

Tell a lie, on average, more than five times a day

Call for criminal investigations of your former political opponent, seven months after winning the election

Appoint your family wedding planner to head a federal housing office

Shove aside a fellow head of state at a photo-op

Attack private citizens on Twitter

Delegitimize federal judges who rule against you

Refuse to take responsibility for military actions gone awry

Fire the F.B.I. chief in the middle of his expanding investigation into your campaign and your associates

Accuse a former president, without evidence, of an impeachable offense

Employ top aides with financial and other connections to a hostile foreign power

Blame the judiciary, in advance, for any terror attacks

Call the media "the enemy of the American people"

Demand personal loyalty from the F.B.I. director

Threaten the former F.B.I. director

Accept foreign payments to your businesses, in possible violation of the Constitution

Occupy the White House with the help of a hostile foreign power

Intimidate congressional witnesses

Allow White House staff members to use their personal email for government business

Claim, without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally

Fail to fire high-ranking members of your national security team for weeks, even after knowing they lied to your vice president and exposed themselves to blackmail

Refuse to release tax returns

Hide the White House visitors' list from the public

Vacation at one of your private residences nearly every weekend

Use an unsecured personal cellphone

Criticize specific businesses for dropping your family members' products

Review and discuss highly sensitive intelligence in a restaurant, and allow the Army officer carrying the "nuclear football" to be photographed and identified by name

Obstruct justice

Hire relatives for key White House posts, and let them meet with foreign officials and engage in business at the same time

Promote family businesses on federal government websites

Tweet, tweet, tweet

Collude with members of Congress to try to shut down investigations of you and your associates

Threaten military conflict with other nations in the middle of news interviews

Compare the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis

Display complete ignorance about international relations, your own administration's policies, American history and the basic structure of our system of government

Skip daily intelligence briefings

Repeat untruths

Share highly classified information with a hostile foreign power without the source's permission


Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.
- Adlai Stevenson

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