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Friday News: The Twilight…er, “Trump Zone”; Trump Fails to Meet Low, Low Bar; Corey Stewart the “Joke Candidate”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, April 28.

  • Quizzical

    Re Trump warning that a major major conflict is possible in Korea. No kidding. This is not the WWWF. I would feel better if Trump was a student of history and had read some books on the Korean War, but I know that’s not true and will never be true. So I have to hope that Trump listens carefully to Mattis.

    Re Obama cashing in on the speakers circuit, why not? He gives thoughtful and valuable speeches. In fact I was just thinking this morning of buying his collected speeches. Let him follow in Al Gore’s footprints too – get on the boards of high tech companies, get paid in stock. May Obama earn a ton of money, become super rich, and fund and run his foundation. We need a counterweight to the Koch brothers.

    • Yeah, I’m not feeling the outrage about Barack Obama making lots of money.

      • JakeInDC

        not feeling it much. but still the whole thing seems very “rich get richer”, “status quo” to me, would have been nice to see him give wall st $ to anti-lobbying groups

  • Video: Trevor Noah says “f*** you and f*** that” to the idea that the “first black president must also be the first one to not take money afterwards.” I’m with Trevor Noah on this one!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB2gEJLd_p8

    • Quizzical

      I didn’t have a problem with Hillary hitting the speaker’s Bureau circuit either, although I understand why many disagreed with that.

  • Video: Fairfax Public Schools debate, vote on teacher pensions, benefits, etc. (the Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5f9xKzYzr8&t=0s

  • Quizzical

    Voice of America hasn’t been completely neutered yet — here’s a recent article on climate change, noting that sea level on the California coast is now being forecasted by some as being much worse than previously predicted.
    http://www.voanews.com/a/california-says-oceans-could-rise-higher-than-thought/3828829.html

    My theory now is that Trump is still instinctively driven by the laws of television, under which ratings = power, and his primary goal is to dominate every news cycle, and there doesn’t need to be continuity from one day to the next. How else can we understand the one page proposal for “tax reform”? Maybe there is some kind of political framing theory behind this. but if so it is just a rationalization.
    https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/policy-concepts-in-1000-words-framing/
    I think that he is just driven to dominate and thus try to control, the daily news cycle. Even if the coverage is negative, it is still on a subject of his choosing, and most important, it is still about himself.

    That may have worked for The Apprentice, and it seems to have helped in the campaign, but it doesn’t work in the White House. Real tax reform is a good example for that. Tax reform is probably a two year project for the White House and Congress, and is rolled out very carefully so people can understand the trade offs.

  • Beyer Statement on Trump Executive Order on Drilling

    April 28, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Vice-Ranking Member of the House Science Committee Rep. Don Beyer today issued the following statement on President Trump’s Executive Order to expand drilling and petroleum exploration in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans:

    “This decision by President Trump is another gift to the fossil fuel industry from an Administration that has shown unprecedented hostility to environmental protection. His Order is misguided, bad for coastal economies, and represents more destructive apathy on climate change.

    The good news is that today’s Executive Order will not be the last word on drilling. An array of environmental groups has already announced their intention to challenge this move in court. Coastal communities, whose economies will be hardest hit by any drilling and associated seismic activity, will continue to block petroleum exploration with legislation at the state and local level. And my bill in Congress to ban seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic, the Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act, continues to gain support from both sides of the aisle.

  • U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement regarding the National Security Agency’s (NSA) announcement that it will institute certain changes in the way it collects information under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):

    “In recent weeks, I was informed of the decision NSA publicly announced today regarding additional modifications to its FISA Section 702 upstream collection. This development represents the due diligence and extensive review applied across the United States Government pertaining to the Section 702 collection activities. I believe we can now look forward to Congress and, in particular, the Senate Intelligence Committee on which I serve as Vice Chairman, quickly turning to the consideration and debate of this critical authority prior to its expiration set for December 31, 2017.”

  • True Blue

    99 days and we’re still alive; I guess that’s the good news. Excerpts from Tom Nichols, professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College & adjunct professor at the Harvard Extension School resonate:
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/04/27/trump-voters-ruining-america-tom-nichols-column/100926836/

    “President Trump’s record in his first 100 days . . . almost no accomplishments — and a fair number of mistakes. Trump is at this point the most unpopular new president . . . 96% of Trump voters say they have no regrets about their choice.

    The wide disagreement among Americans on the president’s performance, however, is more than partisanship. It is a matter of political literacy. . . too many Trump supporters do not hold the president responsible for his mistakes or erratic behavior because they are incapable of recognizing them as mistakes. They lack the foundational knowledge and basic political engagement required to know the difference between facts and errors, or even between truth and lies.

    . . . voters not only do not understand these issues, but also that they simply do not care about them. As his supporters like to point out, Trump makes the right enemies, and that’s enough for them. Journalists, scientists, policy wonks — as long as “the elites” are upset . . .

    There is a serious danger to American democracy in all this. When voters choose ill-informed grudges and diffuse resentment over the public good, a republic becomes unsustainable.

    Those of us who criticized Trump voters for their angry populism were often told during and after the election not to condescend to our fellow citizens, and to respect their choices. This is fair. In a democracy, every vote counts equally and the president won an impressive and legitimate electoral victory.

    Even so, the unwillingness of so many of his supporters to hold him to even a minimal standard of accountability means that a certain amount of condescension from the rest of us is unavoidable. In every election, we must respect the value of each vote. We are never required, however, to assume that each vote was cast with equal probity or intelligence.”

    • The chances of us making through the entire Trump presidency alive, with our democracy intact, no major disasters, etc? I’d say close to zero.

  • Quizzical

    We owe our planet this climate march. But we also owe it – very faint – hope | Bill McKibben – the guardian
    https://apple.news/A7zXFbqZwP2m2bjESoZUhiA