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Trump’s Triangulation (and How To Not Fall For It)

Yesterday, leaders of the building trades unions went to the White House, to meet with Donald Trump.  Trump was just signing the executive orders to move ahead with the Keystone XL pipeline, and the Dakota Access Pipeline, both projects that many of those unions support.

When they came out, the union leaders spoke glowingly of Trump, who just delivered two projects to them.  In fact, North America’s Building Trades Unions put out this release, which positively gushed about Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is, if nothing else, an avid salesman of himself.  He got what he needed – the unequivocal praise of unions, for the price of just two projects.

Meanwhile, he is pushing through a harshly anti-labor nominee for the Labor Department, opposes any minimum wage, and supports so-called “Right to Work” laws that will end unions. Nowhere in their press release was any warning from the unions that they’d oppose Trump on such moves.

Looking at the whole exercise, I was reminded of the 1990s, when Bill Clinton engaged in what became known as “triangulation.”

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The Trump Show.

When all the world is a show, people stop being people.  They become characters and props.

Donald Trump views the world as his stage – a kind of “Truman Show,” except one in which he, the title character, controls everything around him so he can live in the show in which he wants to live.

Once contained within an actual reality show, now Trump sees the planet as one giant shoot of “The Apprentice,” where everyone has a role – good guy, bad guy, etc. – that he determines.

When you take that into account, Donald Trump’s press conference this week makes sense.

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Normalize Part of Trump, Normalize All of Trump

Democrats, led by Senator Chuck Schumer, are already blowing it.

“Sounds good to me!” Schumer recently declared, regarding Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-proposed infrastructure plan.

At the risk of seeming to violate Godwin’s law, Trump isn’t the first authoritarian to propose massive infrastructure activity as the proverbial sugar to make his autocratic, bigoted medicine go down.

“At least he built the Autobahn,” Germans used to declare.

Call it the “it’s not all bad” playbook of authoritarians.  The reason why it works is quite simple.  If they can normalize part of themselves by giving people something they like, then everything about them becomes normalized.

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Trump Dispute On Wall Could Be an Implosion

I’ll make this short and sweet. Donald Trump’s campaign is built on three pillars:

  1. He will make foreign leaders fear and respect us, because he’s tough
  2. Relatedly, he will make great deals for America, because he can strong arm others
  3. Unlike “crooked Hillary” and the establishment, he will never lie to you, and will tell it like it is

In one news cycle, it is possible he has blasted those three pillars with dynamite.

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Bernie, Israel, Britain, and Perspective

It is hard to remember that Israel, now much maligned for how it handles the West Bank, Gaza, and Palestinians, was once a group of fighters seeking to oust an occupying force — the British — from what was, then, the “Palestinian Mandate.”

Throughout the  1920’s and 30’s, as the British restricted Jewish immigration into modern-day Israel, Zionists, who were seeking a homeland, began to form paramilitary groups, like Haganah and Irgun.  They bombed British military installations, and important infrastructure, as Zionists continued to illegally bring in more Jews.

Things came to a real head in 1939, with the release of the so-called “White Paper.”  That document, from the British government, rejected the notion of a partitioned Jewish homeland outright, and severely restricted all Jewish immigration, as a means to crush all dreams of a Jewish homeland.

Then came Hitler.

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What Trump Refuses To Say On Shootings Says It All

It wasn’t until the Associated Press asked him in an interview to address bias against African Americans that Donald Trump even acknowledged that Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were black.

That’s no mistake.

Throughout the days since the tragic murders of Castile and Sterling, and the brutal slayings of heroic police officers in Dallas, Trump’s statements have been carefully crafted to avoid any inference that black Americans face any kind of special circumstance when it comes to their safety.  That includes avoiding any mention that they were black, at all.

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Paul Ryan Commits Political Malpractice (On Purpose?)

Paul Ryan cannot be this stupid.  He really can’t.

FBI Director James Comey barely finished saying the words “no charges,” in relation to the Hillary Clinton email investigation, when Speaker Ryan promised to drag Comey in front of Congressional hearings, implying something just wasn’t right with Comey’s announcement.

Let’s cut to the chase: James Comey can either be an unimpeachable man of integrity, who thoroughly investigated and offered up very harsh, stern rebukes of how Hillary Clinton handled her personal email server, or he is hiding something, in trying to protect Hillary Clinton.

It cannot be both.

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