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The US Presidency 2019

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211RadOp

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The New York Times   

A Divided House Endorses Impeachment Inquiry Into Trump, Moving to Public Phase

Nicholas Fandos

1 hour ago

WASHINGTON — A bitterly divided House of Representatives voted on Thursday to endorse the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in a historic action that set up a critical new public phase of the process and underscored the toxic political polarization that serves as its backdrop.


The vote was 232-196 to approve a resolution that sets out rules for an impeachment process for which there are few precedents, and which promises to consume the country a little more than a year before the 2020 elections. It was only the third time in modern history that the House had taken a vote on an impeachment inquiry into a sitting president.

More at link

http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/newspolitics/a-divided-house-endorses-impeachment-inquiry-into-trump-moving-to-public-phase/ar-AAJDmqA?ocid=ientp
 

tomahawk6

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Pretty much a foregone conclusion with a Dem controlled House. If they send an article of impeachment to the Republican controlled Senate it will die there as the Republicans have a 20 vote majority but I expect Romney and a couple others might jump ship.Its kind of dumb in an election year to attempt this. If Trump is so bad defeat him at the ballot box. IMO alot of the problem is that Trump never cleaned house of Obama hold overs.
 

brihard

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tomahawk6 said:
IMO alot of the problem is that Trump never cleaned house of Obama hold overs.

I guess Trump has been too occupied frantically cleaning house of the current president’s appointees to go after any residual ones from the last president...
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Brihard said:
I guess Trump has been too occupied frantically cleaning house of the current president’s appointees to go after any residual ones from the last president...

Bets on who the next fired Secretary is? 

;D

 

Good2Golf

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Humphrey Bogart said:
Bets on who the next fired Secretary is? 

;D

Likely Esper, with Barr close behind and Lighthizer as an outlier.
 

FJAG

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Top Military Officers Unload on Trump
The commander in chief is impulsive, disdains expertise, and gets his intelligence briefings from Fox News. What does this mean for those on the front lines?

Mark Bowden November 2019 Issue The Atlantic

For most of the past two decades, American troops have been deployed all over the world—to about 150 countries. During that time, hundreds of thousands of young men and women have experienced combat, and a generation of officers have come of age dealing with the practical realities of war. They possess a deep well of knowledge and experience. For the past three years, these highly trained professionals have been commanded by Donald Trump.

To get a sense of what serving Trump has been like, I interviewed officers up and down the ranks, as well as several present and former civilian Pentagon employees. Among the officers I spoke with were four of the highest ranks—three or four stars—all recently retired. All but one served Trump directly; the other left the service shortly before Trump was inaugurated. They come from different branches of the military, but I’ll simply refer to them as “the generals.” Some spoke only off the record, some allowed what they said to be quoted without attribution, and some talked on the record.

Military officers are sworn to serve whomever voters send to the White House. Cognizant of the special authority they hold, high-level officers epitomize respect for the chain of command, and are extremely reticent about criticizing their civilian overseers. That those I spoke with made an exception in Trump’s case is telling, and much of what they told me is deeply disturbing. In 20 years of writing about the military, I have never heard officers in high positions express such alarm about a president. Trump’s pronouncements and orders have already risked catastrophic and unnecessary wars in the Middle East and Asia, and have created severe problems for field commanders engaged in combat operations. Frequently caught unawares by Trump’s statements, senior military officers have scrambled, in their aftermath, to steer the country away from tragedy. How many times can they successfully do that before faltering?

Amid threats spanning the globe, from nuclear proliferation to mined tankers in the Persian Gulf to terrorist attacks and cyberwarfare, those in command positions monitor the president’s Twitter feed like field officers scanning the horizon for enemy troop movements. A new front line in national defense has become the White House Situation Room, where the military struggles to accommodate a commander in chief who is both ignorant and capricious. In May, after months of threatening Iran, Trump ordered the carrier group led by the USS Abraham Lincoln to shift from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. On June 20, after an American drone was downed there, he ordered a retaliatory attack—and then called it off minutes before it was to be launched. The next day he said he was “not looking for war” and wanted to talk with Iran’s leaders, while also promising them “obliteration like you’ve never seen before” if they crossed him. He threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” and dispatched a three-aircraft-carrier flotilla to waters off the Korean peninsula—then he pivoted to friendly summits with Kim Jong Un, with whom he announced he was “in love”; canceled long-standing U.S. military exercises with South Korea; and dangled the possibility of withdrawing American forces from the country altogether. While the lovefest continues for the cameras, the U.S. has quietly uncanceled the canceled military exercises, and dropped any mention of a troop withdrawal.

Such rudderless captaincy creates the headlines Trump craves. He revels when his tweets take off. (“Boom!” he says. “Like a rocket!”) Out in the field, where combat is more than wordplay, his tweets have consequences. He is not a president who thinks through consequences—and this, the generals stressed, is not the way serious nations behave.

The generals I spoke with didn’t agree on everything, but they shared the following five characterizations of Trump’s military leadership.

I. HE DISDAINS EXPERTISE
Trump has little interest in the details of policy. He makes up his mind about a thing, and those who disagree with him—even those with manifestly more knowledge and experience—are stupid, or slow, or crazy.

As a personal quality, this can be trying; in a president, it is dangerous. Trump rejects the careful process of decision making that has long guided commanders in chief. Disdain for process might be the defining trait of his leadership. Of course, no process can guarantee good decisions—history makes that clear—but eschewing the tools available to a president is choosing ignorance. What Trump’s supporters call “the deep state” is, in the world of national security—hardly a bastion of progressive politics—a vast reservoir of knowledge and global experience that presidents ignore at their peril. The generals spoke nostalgically of the process followed by previous presidents, who solicited advice from field commanders, foreign-service and intelligence officers, and in some cases key allies before reaching decisions about military action. As different as George W. Bush and Barack Obama were in temperament and policy preferences, one general told me, they were remarkably alike in the Situation Room: Both presidents asked hard questions, wanted prevailing views challenged, insisted on a variety of options to consider, and weighed potential outcomes against broader goals. Trump doesn’t do any of that. Despite commanding the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering apparatus in the world, this president prefers to be briefed by Fox News, and then arrives at decisions without input from others.

One prominent example came on December 19, 2018, when Trump announced, via Twitter, that he was ordering all American forces in Syria home.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency,” he tweeted. Later that day he said, “Our boys, our young women, our men, they are all coming back, and they are coming back now.”

This satisfied one of Trump’s campaign promises, and it appealed to the isolationist convictions of his core supporters. Forget the experts, forget the chain of command—they were the people who, after all, had kept American forces engaged in that part of the world for 15 bloody years without noticeably improving things. Enough was enough.

At that moment, however, American troops were in the final stages of crushing the Islamic State, which, contrary to Trump’s assertion, was collapsing but had not yet been defeated. Its brutal caliphate, which had briefly stretched from eastern Iraq to western Syria, had been painstakingly dismantled over the previous five years by an American-led global coalition, which was close to finishing the job. Now they were to stop and come home?

Here, several of the generals felt, was a textbook example of ill-informed decision making. The downsides of a withdrawal were obvious: It would create a power vacuum that would effectively cede the fractured Syrian state to Russia and Iran; it would abandon America’s local allies to an uncertain fate; and it would encourage a diminished ISIS to keep fighting. The decision—which prompted the immediate resignations of the secretary of defense, General James Mattis, and the U.S. special envoy to the mission, Brett McGurk—blindsided not only Congress and America’s allies but the person charged with actually waging the war, General Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command. He had not been consulted.

Trump’s tweet put Votel in a difficult spot. Here was a sudden 180-degree turn in U.S. policy that severely undercut an ongoing effort. The American contingent of about 2,000 soldiers, most of them Special Forces, was coordinating with the Iraqi army; the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, consisting primarily of Kurdish militias and Syrians opposed to President Bashar al-Assad; and representatives of NATO, the Arab League, and dozens of countries. This alliance had reduced ISIS’s territory to small pockets of resistance inside Syria. America’s troops were deep in the Euphrates Valley, a long way from their original bases of operation. An estimated 10,000 hard-core Islamist soldiers were fighting to the death. Months of tough combat lay ahead.

...

See rest of article here https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/11/military-officers-trump/598360/

:cheers:
 

brihard

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kkwd said:

What's his plan? Insult a purple heart winner followed by a former POW, frig off a gold star family, and then pardon a few war criminals before having them come up to speak about how awesome he is?

He doesn't have a leg to stand on talking about service, honour, or respect for veterans. The military and veterans are just another tool for his crass and self-centered politics.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
The military and veterans are just another tool for his crass and self-centered politics.

Although I'm far from a Trump fan, I'm guessing that isn't much different from many other politicians.
 

mariomike

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Brihard said:
What's his plan?

A cynic might suggest,

When NYC cheers the vets, Fox can claim they were cheering him.

When NYC boos him, Fox can claim they were booing the vets.



 

The Bread Guy

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Brihard said:
What's his plan? Insult a purple heart winner followed by a former POW, frig off a gold star family, and then pardon a few war criminals before having them come up to speak about how awesome he is?
My loonie bet if he does step on his unmentionables:  Variation on the "I've had it tough, too, ya know" theme ...
daftandbarmy said:
Although I'm far from a Trump fan, I'm guessing that isn't much different from many other politicians.
Sad, but true.
 

mariomike

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daftandbarmy said:
, I'm guessing that isn't much different from many other politicians.

I'm guessing a difference may be his apparent fascination with military parades.

There was the planned, then cancelled, Nov. 10, 2018 military parade.

The July 4, 2019 military parade.

The upcoming Veteran's Day parade in NYC,
The New York Times stated that in 1995, Trump agreed to give the parade $200,000 and asked to be named a parade grand marshal, but it was reported that he never got to hold the honor. He will not be marching in this year’s parade.
https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/new-york/president-trump-comes-nyc-veterans-day-parade

Perhaps they preferred a veteran as parade grand marshal, rather then someone with five Vietnam era draft deferments?







 

brihard

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mariomike said:
A cynic might suggest,

When NYC cheers the vets, Fox can claim they were cheering him.

When NYC boos him, Fox can claim they were booing the vets.

For all its flaws as a media outlet, I believe that most of the *people* working at Fox probably hold their ideological views fairly earnestly (as much so as anyone), and that respect and veneration for veterans is quite likely as honest and heartfelt as it would be anywhere else. I have to think they wouldn't be quite that callous.

From his own actions, over and over, I do not have any such faith in Trump. I believe his actions towards veterans are calculated entirely towards the political utility of being seen to take them. Respect and veneration from veterans has clearly come secondary or tertiary, over and over, to the political gain he may achieve. I formed this opinion during the McCain debacle, and it has been reinforced repeatedly since then.
 

mariomike

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Brihard said:
From his own actions, over and over, I do not have any such faith in Trump. I believe his actions towards veterans are calculated entirely towards the political utility of being seen to take them.

In today's news regarding The Trump Foundation and veterans,

NBC

Nov. 7, 2019

Judge orders Trump to pay $2 million for misusing his foundation
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/judge-orders-trump-pay-2-million-misusing-his-foundation-n1078306
The judge was referring to a Jan. 28, 2016, event Trump held in Des Moines, Iowa, that he'd billed as a fundraiser for veterans.


 

mariomike

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Saw this in Canadian Politics. Perhaps Global Politics is a better forum to reply.

daftandbarmy said:
, America is great again

If MAGA has been such a success, why did Democrats make a net gain of 41 seats in the United States House of Representatives in the mid-term election? The election was widely characterized as a "blue wave".
 

QV

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mariomike said:
Saw this in Canadian Politics. Perhaps Global Politics is a better forum to reply.

If MAGA has been such a success, why did Democrats make a net gain of 41 seats in the United States House of Representatives in the mid-term election? The election was widely characterized as a "blue wave".

It was a significant improvement over Obama's mid term, so yes by that measure, it was a success.
 

Remius

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The core principle of MAGA is to convince people it is a success.  It does not have to be a success and can be an abject failure.  As long as people believe it is a success then it is a success.
 

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I agree with the point made about midterm elections.

But, he told voters in the recent elections in deep-red Kentucky and Louisiana that they were personal reflections on himself. Yet the voters elected Democrats anyway.
And in Virginia, Democrats captured control of both chambers of the state legislature.

Should this trio of elections in the past two weeks be a concern to Republicans that perhaps MAGA has been less of a success than some may believe?
 

tomahawk6

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Its hard to argue the economic gains under this president. If any country had low unemployment, record setting stock market gains and other indicators of a solid economy there would be dancing in the streets. Also under Trump we are net exporters of energy.
 
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