AMERICA IN CRISIS
With Kirstjen Nielsen’s ouster there is no Secretary of Homeland Security, no Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of the Air Force, no U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director, no Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, no Secretary of the Interior, no Administrator of the Small Business Administration, no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director, no Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator, and no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner.
It was July 21, 2016. Candidate Donald Trump stunned America by announcing at the Republican National Convention, “I alone can fix it.”
The response way back then was fear and trepidation, with charges of authoritarianism – and a good dose of mockery, as CNBC offered hours later:
“I alone can fix it.”
Donald Trump’s message tonight was all about how he alone can fix the country. pic.twitter.com/kElUYF5TuK
— CNBC (@CNBC) July 22, 2016
Candidate Hillary Clinton responded as many others did too:
Trump’s dangerously wrong when he says “I alone can fix it.”
Americans haver never put our faith in one man—we put our faith in each other.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 23, 2016
And again on the campaign trail:
In America, we don’t say, “I alone can fix it.”
We say, “We’ll fix it together.” https://t.co/rKkXeL6c5X
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 6, 2016
We were warned. We knew what was about to happen.
And here we are, approaching the three-year anniversary of Trump’s promise, that he would work alone, that he “alone” would “fix” America.
Trump called it “leaving.” Her “resignation” was to be effective immediately. (She later tweeted she will leave April 10.)
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2019
It’s clear Trump fired Secretary Nielsen. CBS News reports this is part of Stephen Miller’s plan to insert extremists into the administration.
But what is also clear is that President Trump increasingly is operating in that “I alone” mentality.
And America is far more weak as a result.
It’s not a stretch or hyperbolic to say that at this moment in time, heaven forbid we are attacked, there will be chaos – and many lives lost, as a result of how withered the Trump administration is.
With Kirstjen Nielsen’s ouster there is no Secretary of Homeland Security, no Secretary of Defense, no Secretary of the Air Force, no U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, no Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director, no White House Chief of Staff, no White House Communications Director, no Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, no Secretary of the Interior, no Administrator of the Small Business Administration, no Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director, no Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator, and no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner.
Those are the top positions that are empty.
(“Acting” officials, which are in place for many of these leadership positions, are not the same or the same caliber as Senate-confirmed officials, which most of these positions are supposed to be.)
The Trump administration’s White House web site on his Cabinet (which for some reason omits the Acting Secretary of Defense), says “the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.”
Who’s advising the president when all these positions are effectively empty, or filled with, basically, a substitute, a stand-in, someone not experienced enough for the job?
Not convinced America is in crisis yet?
Think about this.
At the Dept. of Defense, 25% of key positions as of April 1 remain unfilled, according to The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service. At the State Dept., that number jumps to 39%. Homeland Security: 44%.
Granted, some percentage of those are nominated and awaiting Senate confirmation, but if Democrats are holding them up, there’s reason to believe it’s the quality of the nominee that’s the problem, given Trump’s record.
As The Post notes, there are currently 140 key positions requiring Senate confirmation for which the Trump administration has never nominated anyone.
Here’s a small sampling:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE:
Chief Management Officer, Deputy chief management officer, Undersecretary for personnel and readiness, Principal deputy undersecretary for personnel and readiness, Assistant secretary for international security affairs, Assistant secretary for logistics and materiel readiness.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE:
Undersecretary for public diplomacy, Coordinator for threat reduction programs, U.S. Ambassadors 19 countries, including to three Central American countries: Honduras, Belize, and Panama. Other critical countries without a U.S. Ambassador: Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Pakistan, and Qatar.
Deputy secretary, Assistant secretary for policy.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:
Undersecretary for industry and security
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
General counsel, Undersecretary, Inspector General
America is in crisis. There are fewer and fewer experts advising the president, and none who are able to tell him “no.”
Image via The White House
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Trump’s Mental Decline Compared to Reagan’s Hidden Alzheimer’s in Brutal MSNBC Assessment
On Saturday morning a deadly serious MSNBC panel took up Donald Trump’s increasingly erratic behavior of late, which led one panelist to sincerely suggest the president needs to be evaluated by mental health officials because she believes the White House is covering for him.
Speaking with host David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley admitted that she is no doctor, but that there are signs of the president’s decline that reminded her of how Ronald Reagan’s White House hid his Alzheimer’s from the public.
“This is the man last week said he was the second coming, the ‘chosen one,’” Wiley began. “It is very, very difficult to not have a conversation about whether or not he’s competent to serve as president. I say that because there were actually objective measures this week.”
“So there’s the possibility, of course, he is just a president without a platform and, therefore, he’s not going to stick to one position and he’s going to waiver based on whoever is influencing him because he doesn’t stand for anything,” she elaborated. “That’s one narrative. The other possibility is, as we saw with Ronald Reagan, who actually did have Alzheimer’s and it was kept under wraps. I just don’t understand why we not actually ask and have a confrontational conversation about whether or not there’s something more going on here with his health, because there are certain statements and behaviors that simply require some analysis because he is the leader — supposedly the leader of the free world.”
“I just want to say that it’s both those things, I don’t know which one is true,” she cautioned. “I’m not making a statement of fact, but this week was a new chapter in bizarre.”
The DOJ Just Emailed Immigration Judges a White Nationalist Website Blog Post With Anti-Semitic Attacks on Immigration Judges
Attorney General Bill Barr’s Department of Justice this week emailed all immigration judges and all immigration court employees a link to an anti-Semitic blog post that appears on a nationally-known white nationalist website, VDare, Buzzfeed reports.
The article “’directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs,’ according to a letter sent by an immigration judges union and obtained by BuzzFeed News.”
The National Association of Immigration Judges’ union chief, Ashley Tabaddor, responded to thge DOJ email by sending a letter to the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
“The post features links and content that directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs and the label ‘Kritarch.’ The reference to Kritarch in a negative tone is deeply offensive and Anti-Semitic,” wrote Tabaddor. The VDare post includes pictures of judges with the term “kritarch” preceding their names.
Tabaddor said the term kritarchy is a reference to ancient Israel during a time of rule by a system of judges.
“VDare’s use of the term in a pejorative manner casts Jewish history in a negative light as an Anti-Semitic trope of Jews seeking power and control,” she wrote.
Tabaddor is calling for the email to be withdrawn and for an apology to all immigration judges.
“Publication and dissemination of a white supremacist, anti-semitic website throughout the EOIR is antithetical to the goals and ideals of the Department of Justice,” she added.
VDare is linked to the alt-right, white nationalism, and white supremacism, and appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.
Although Buzzfeed only touches on this in its reporting, just ten days ago PBS’ NewsHour reported the DOJ has bee trying to dismantle the immigration judges’ union:
“The Department of Justice is challenging the right of the country’s 440 immigration judges to be represented by a labor union in a move the judges said was aimed at silencing their criticism.”
‘In America, the Nightmares Come When You Wake Up’: Americans Respond to New Mass Shooting Overnight
Dayton, Ohio: 9 People Dead, 26 Injured in ‘Less Than a Minute’
Americans, many still with broken hearts over the slaughter of 20 people at an El Paso, Texas Walmart, are responding to waking up to news that nine more people were shot to death at a bar in Dayton, Ohio. It is the second mass shooting in less than 24 hours, and the 250th mass shooting this year.
Death and injury toll from mass shootings attacks in public spaces in the past week across the US in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton:
At least 34 killed and 71 injured.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 4, 2019
Mayor Nan Whaley at an early morning news conference (photo above) revealed the gunman, who was shot dead, “was able to kill 9 people and injure 26 in less than a minute.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley: “The shooter was able to kill 9 people and injure 26 in less than a minute.” pic.twitter.com/Gu3GoEoRCj
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 4, 2019
Multiple reports say the shooter wore body armor and had additional high-capacity magazines. His identity has not yet been released.
“If Dayton Police had not gotten to the shooter in under a minute,” Mayor Whaley said, “hundreds of people in the Oregon District could be dead today.”
Right now every one of the top 10 trending items on Twitter is about Dayton and/or El Paso.
Here’s how some are responding to the early morning news:
How many others did what I did? — fell asleep with the latest news out of El Paso on the TV, slept fitfully for about 6 hours and woke up at 5 a.m. startled to see carnage in Dayton on the screen. In America, the nightmares come when you wake up
— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) August 4, 2019
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) August 4, 2019
BREAKING: 9 killed overnight in Dayton, OH.
The deadliest mass shooting in America since…yesterday.
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) August 4, 2019
It’s ok to politicize El Paso now, because now we’ve moved on to it being too soon for Dayton.
— David Waldman-1, of Yorktown LLC™ (@KagroX) August 4, 2019
There were 323 mass shootings in 2018.
In just 216 days in 2019, we’ve now had mass shooting #250 (El Paso) and #251 (Dayton).
It’s not your imagination. Things are getting worse.
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) August 4, 2019
Waking up to see El Paso is no longer trending because Dayton is.
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) August 4, 2019
Another mass shooting in less than 24 hours, this is ridiculous. First El Paso and now Dayton Ohio, chunks of people are being wiped off the face of the earth for nothing. Something has to be done about this man. That’s about 30 people just today smh
— Jaron B, LMSW (@Phroz3n_TriUmph) August 4, 2019
Gilroy: 3 dead, 12 injured
El Paso: 20 dead, 26 injured
Dayton: 9 dead, 16 injured
If there were 3 ISIS-inspired attacks killing 32 and injuring 54 across 3 states in one week CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE the policy options we would be discussing right now.
— Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) August 4, 2019
Waking up to NOW Dayton.
One of deadliest weekends in less than 24 hours.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) August 4, 2019
Waking up to news of a second mass shooting: https://t.co/Xh8KNs6CYC
“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Trump said at his inauguration — and he hasn’t done a damn thing about it.
— Dan Rodricks (@DanRodricks) August 4, 2019
So First El Paso Walmart shooting, and now a Dayton bar shooting? I went to sleep knowing about the first shooting now I’m waking up to another shooting trending. I don’t even know what to say about this anymore.#NowDayton pic.twitter.com/dueeLYwFpK
— Paul (@PaulSLTS) August 4, 2019
Waking up to the news in Dayton, and I am absolutely sick to my stomach.
— Matthew Kist (@matthew_kist) August 4, 2019
It was a matter of time before it hit our city. Fuck this. Fuck waking up and having to make sure all my friends are still alive. Thinking about the victims and their families deeply. What kind of world is this? #EnoughIsEnough #Dayton
— コナー (@cjmund17) August 4, 2019
People in America are waking up on a Sunday morning, turning on the news to find updates on the El Paso terrorism, only to find news of another mass shooting in #Dayton.
Our country is unsafe, not because of immigrants, but because of the @GOP.
— Anonymous White House Official (@littledeekay) August 4, 2019
To those waking up, #ThisIsAmerica…
Another mass shooting, this time in Dayton Ohio…
Fuck this shit.
— Perfect Stable-Genius-Based Timing (@Perfect_Timing) August 4, 2019
What a country we live in when I wake up at 230, check my phone and read about 20 killed in El Paso, go back to sleep for a couple hours and then find out 9 more were slaughtered in Dayton. It’s a waking nightmare.
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 4, 2019
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