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Letter Aaron Sorkin Wrote His Daughter After Donald Trump Was Elected President

The Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Social Network and mastermind behind The West Wing reacts to Donald Trump being elected the 45th president of the United States in a moving letter written to his 15-year-old daughter Roxy and her mother Julia Sorkin.

November 9, 2016

Sorkin Girls,
Well the world changed late last night in a way I couldn't protect us from. That's a terrible feeling for a father. I won't sugarcoat itthis is truly horrible. It's hardly the first time my candidate didn't win (in fact it's the sixth time) but it is the first time that a thoroughly incompetent pig with dangerous ideas, a serious psychiatric disorder, no knowledge of the world and no curiosity to learn has.
And it wasn't just Donald Trump who won last nightit was his supporters too. The Klan won last night. White nationalists. Sexists, racists and buffoons. Angry young white men who think rap music and Cinco de Mayo are a threat to their way of life (or are the reason for their way of life) have been given cause to celebrate. Men who have no right to call themselves that and who think that women who aspire to more than looking hot are shrill, ugly, and otherwise worthy of our scorn rather than our admiration struck a blow for misogynistic shitheads everywhere. Hate was given hope. Abject dumbness was glamorized as being "the fresh voice of an outsider" who's going to "shake things up." (Did anyone bother to ask how? Is he going to re-arrange the chairs in the Roosevelt Room?) For the next four years, the President of the United States, the same office held by Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, F.D.R., J.F.K. and Barack Obama, will be held by a man-boy who'll spend his hours exacting Twitter vengeance against all who criticize him (and those numbers will be legion). We've embarrassed ourselves in front of our children and the world.
And the world took no time to react. The Dow futures dropped 700 points overnight. Economists are predicting a deep and prolonged recession. Our NATO allies are in a state of legitimate fear. And speaking of fear, Muslim-Americans, Mexican-Americans and African-Americans are shaking in their shoes. And we'd be right to note that many of Donald Trump's fans are not fans of Jews. On the other hand, there is a party going on at ISIS headquarters. What wouldn't we give to trade this small fraction of a man for Richard Nixon right now?
So what do we do?
First of all, we remember that we're not alone. A hundred million people in America and a billion more around the world feel exactly the same way we do.
Second, we get out of bed. The Trumpsters want to see people like us (Jewish, "coastal elites," educated, socially progressive, Hollywood…) sobbing and wailing and talking about moving to Canada. I won't give them that and neither will you. Here's what we'll do…
…we'll fucking fight. (Roxy, there's a time for this kind of language and it's now.) We're not powerless and we're not voiceless. We don't have majorities in the House or Senate but we do have representatives there. It's also good to remember that most members of Trump's own party feel exactly the same way about him that we do. We make sure that the people we sent to Washingtonincluding Kamala Harristake our strength with them and never take a day off.
We get involved. We do what we can to fight injustice anywhere we see itwhether it's writing a check or rolling up our sleeves. Our family is fairly insulated from the effects of a Trump presidency so we fight for the families that aren't. We fight for a woman to keep her right to choose. We fight for the First Amendment and we fight mostly for equalitynot for a guarantee of equal outcomes but for equal opportunities. We stand up.
America didn't stop being America last night and we didn't stop being Americans and here's the thing about Americans: Our darkest days have alwaysalwaysbeen followed by our finest hours.
Roxy, I know my predictions have let you down in the past, but personally, I don't think this guy can make it a year without committing an impeachable crime. If he does manage to be a douche nozzle without breaking the law for four years, we'll make it through those four years. And three years from now we'll fight like hell for our candidate and we'll win and they'll lose and this time they'll lose for good. Honey, it'll be your first vote.
The battle isn't over, it's just begun. Grandpa fought in World War II and when he came home this country handed him an opportunity to make a great life for his family. I will not hand his granddaughter a country shaped by hateful and stupid men. Your tears last night woke me up, and I'll never go to sleep on you again.
An Absurd and Dangerous President

The United States has voted for a dangerously inexperienced and racist man -- one who was swept into the White House by an army of disenfranchised white working- and middle class Americans. It's a movement that now threatens democracy around the world.
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By Klaus Brinkbäumer

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Trampling on democracy

November 13, 2016 12:54 AM
Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering into the United States, he described Mexicans as rapists and announced his intention to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. He boasted about sexually harassing women and, when women came forward to say that he did in fact harass them, he said: Oh no, not her. Just look at her. You really think ... with her? Trump said Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States, and when it was proven that Trump had lied, he said that Hillary Clinton was the one who created the lie in the first place -- yet another lie. He founded a university and cheated students out of their money. He said he has a plan for the economy, and that this plan is to double growth.
There's nothing new here -- it's all information stemming from the election campaign. But it still remains important.
In the days after an election that horrified the world, one might be tempted to think all of this isn't so bad given that Obama and Clinton accepted the defeat with dignity and congratulated Trump. And because Trump said, in the moment of victory, that the time for healing has come. And because the outcome was reached democratically and the people, of course, are always wise.
But that isn't true. Although Trump will become the democratically elected 45th president of the United States on January 20, he remains a dangerous man. He is dangerously indifferent, unbalanced and inexperienced -- and he is dangerously racist. Trump believes in the superiority of the white race, and if he implements the worst of his campaign promises, he will not be the first elected leader to do so.
In other words, 60 million Americans acted stupidly. They cast their votes for xenophobia, racism and nationalism, the end of equal rights and social conscience, for the end of climate treaties and health insurance. Sixty million people followed a demagogue who will do little for them. And yet ...
... this election goes deeper than that. It says more than that, and all of us, including the media, politicians and civil societies, and unfortunately the entire West, which is now threatened, would be wise to pay far closer attention.
Those who have lived in New York or experienced dinner conversations in Georgetown and debates at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, know how brilliantly intelligent and worldly Americans can be. But these are closed circles -- ones that are unfortunately nowhere near as open as they like to claim, inaccessible as they are to the vast majority of Americans who could never afford access. Once you get outside such circles, such cosmopolitan thinking isn't nearly as widespread.
Those who have traveled recently from the East Coast to the West Coast, and witnessed the neglect and deterioration of entire towns and cities in states like Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana, have seen with their own eyes that connections have been severed in American society. Those who have seen what the disappearance of the steel industry has done and what the computer chip has wrought is familiar with the widespread frustration among the white working class, a group that has been left behind.
Harvard University and Akron, Ohio, or Wall Street and Birmingham, Alabama, no longer have anything in common when 0.1 percent of society possesses 90 percent of the wealth. This is when the American dream is dead and when hate thrives -- hate for immigrants, women, the media, and hate for anything that seems elitist or is simply different. This doesn't justify the hate -- it simply explains it.
The tragedy here is that Clinton offered ideas to fight the roots of this hatred, ideas like a higher minimum wage and investments in infrastructure and education. It is tragic because it was too late for credible plans.
Trump had no ideas, but he sensed that the left-behinds yearn for strength. After Barack Obama's victories, the pundits said that demographic change meant that no US election could be won again without the Latino vote. But Trump gave the Latinos a big fuck you, insinuating that the left-behinds are superior. His words were as crude as those spoken in Germany 80 years ago. :Hitler:
One hesitates to put these thoughts to paper, because they have slowly become clichés, but here it goes. For one, the media should be delving far deeper into social problems and not writing about superficial things. In other words, it needs to stop focusing on lies and angry outbursts, which only serves to inflate the importance of false entertainers. And despite Clinton's defeat, politicians and anyone involved in education should try to reestablish ties to those who feel left behind and strive to achieve true equal opportunity.
This election was about the impotent and about power. Trump, be it strategically or accidentally, understood that the army of the powerless was so enormous that it could become a movement and carry him into the White House. He knew well what he was risking -- the possibility that, in their rage, they would set fires, break all rules and, as a result, could destroy democracy. In America. And, following the election of this absurd president, potentially around the world.
[B]transcript of Joy-ann Reid's statement[/B]

To the sixty million two hundred and sixty-five thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight people who voted for Donald Trump and the nearly one hundred million who didn't bother to vote at all, even though you were eligible, we here at AM Joy are going to tell you what you have won.
Donald Trump now heads the Republican Party which controls all three branches of government. which controls the House, the Senate, and the White House. And the Supreme Court is poised to be filled by the new Republican President.
Now you have given Trump, a man alternately described as vengeful, erratic, narcissistic, and dangerous, and temperamentally unfit to be president and that's just what Conservative Republicans said about him. You've given him control of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the IRS, pretty ironic since he probably hasn't paid taxes in eighteen years not to mention drones and nuclear weapons.
Politically Republicans no longer have any excuse to not do the things that they have been promising their voters for decades. And Trump has no excuse for not doing the things he promised during his campaign. And that means when he gets to Washington, Trump will have to get really busy.
He's promised to build a wall across the southern border. Now that's going to require an appropriation from the Republican Congress. Now, why wouldn't they do it? You wouldn't want Trump voters punishing you in 2018 in the midterms for not keeping your promises, right?
Mexico paying for it is not going to happen so America if this wall is going to be built, you are going to have to pay for it. Trump has promised to cancel DACA meaning seven hundred and twenty-eight thousand people who have identified themselves to the Federal Government under the protection of President Obama, will be at immediate risk of deportation once Trump takes office. Congress doesn't have to lift a finger to let this happen. Trump can simply rescind President Obama's executive order and start the deportation through ICE which he will control. And also through local police departments some of whom have been quite enthusiastic about his candidacy.
Trump has vowed to repeal Obamacare, replace it with something terrific. That means the Republican Congress will need to either pass a new repeal bill or send one of the fifty plus repeal bills already passed in the House, to the Republican-controlled Senate and then to Trump's desk. To prevent Democrats from filibustering, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can simply end the filibuster on the first day of the new Congress. Once the repeal is signed what happens next is that twenty-two million of you, presumably many who voted for Donald Trump, will lose your insurance. That number can go even higher because now Trump is saying he will keep the provision of the law that left by itself could force insurance companies out of business.
Trump has also vowed to institute a ban on any new Muslim immigration to the U.S. and even Muslim tourism to the U.S. Now if you are in a state with a large tourist economy like Florida you might want to start thinking about what that means to your state's bottom line since Middle eastern, Asians, Europeans, and other international tourists offended by this idea might also rethink a visit to the United States in the Trump era.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will now have an open lane to overturn Roe v. Wade, meaning women may soon be refighting issues of legalized abortion and maybe even contraception state by state.
For Black Lives Matter activists and anyone who values the civil rights division of the Justice Department as the protector of voting rights, prepare to face Giuliani time. Unless of course, Rudy becomes Secretary of State instead of Attorney General as the rumor mill suggests he prefers. And then
And then, hello world, he could be joined in the cabinet by pitchfork sheriff David Clark as head of the Department of Homeland security. That would be interesting.
And that's not to mention foreign policy where with a pro-Putin administration in the U.S., a woman is now leader of the free world. No, not that woman [Hillary Clinton], this woman, Germany's Angela Merkel. She is now all that stands between Russia and its global ambitions.
So now that I have told you what you have won Trump America, allow me to tell you what you have lost.
You have lost the morality card. No longer can the U.S. go around lecturing the world about democracy. Because in our democracy, the person who got the most votes will not become the president for the second time in the last three Republican presidential victories. Nor would the party that got the most votes control the House of Representatives. Again we are required to accept this affront to democracy because that's our system. But our acceptance doesn't make it any less undemocratic. And hey, maybe it is a good thing that we can no longer go around the world lecturing them about how to live.
You have also lost the notion of an exceptional America. Because as it turns out, we are just another Western nation falling to the Ethno-nationalist forces sweeping across Europe, from Brexit in the U.K. to France's Marie Le Pen fueled and egged on by the Russians and feeding on the fear of non-white and non-Christian immigrants. We as it turns out are not that different after all.
You've also lost the right to moralize to Blue America about family values. Now we sincerely hope and pray that your daughters or sisters or your wives and all women and girls are never disrespected, never abused the way the next President of the United States has boasted about disrespecting or even sexually assaulting women including walking in on teenage pageant contestants when they are naked. When your sons and daughters ask you if little girls are as valuable as little boys or if they should emulate the President of the United States, we will leave that to you to explain.
And lastly, you've lost the right to rattle along about the Party of Lincoln and Reagan. You are now the Party of Donald Trump, the Party of the Alt-Right, of You have ratified Trump's vulgarity, his crassness. You saw exactly who and what he was and you chose it. You are going to have to own that. If the incoming president makes you feel proud, I am very happy for you. But please don't tell the people who are afraid that they have no right to be.
And to my friends in the media who are rushing to normalize Trump, who are blithely calling on parents and teachers of scared Latino and Muslim kids, and little boys and girls of color to come together and accept what is happening, while Trump ushers in an embolden KKK and an Alt-Right that will soon have a place in the White House, let's remember that nothing at all has changed about Donald Trump. Nothing. He is still the same historically unpopular person who is under criminal investigation over Trump University, whose foundation was revealed to be a sham of self-dealing, whose campaign the Washington Post reports was in direct contact with Russian authorities and who is in an unknown amount of debt to unknown foreign entities in a way we have never seen in a president. He is still the guy who has made racist m
He is still the same historically unpopular person who is under criminal investigation over Trump University, whose foundation was revealed to be a sham of self-dealing, whose campaign the Washington Post reports was in direct contact with Russian authorities and who is in an unknown amount of debt to unknown foreign entities in a way we have never seen in a president. He is still the guy who has made racist misogynistic statements that have offended virtually every group in the U.S. He is still the guy who said this. (She plays the grab her by the pu$$y' video).
We owe it to the country to cover him with clear open eyes. This isn't about access or normalized homogenized politics with a pageantry of succession. We need to cover the next president with the same cynicism the current president was treated to and with the same zeal and skepticism and doggedness, that we expended on I don't know, Hillary's emails. Given how unprecedented what is happening is, including his veiled and not so veiled threat against the First Amendment, maybe we need to cover him with more toughness and skepticism.
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Trump City: This Recurring Nightmare

By Arlan Ebel [Image: bosch23-jpg_504145_20161111-715.jpg]
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Hell City
(image by Hieronymus Bosch) License DMCA
I speak here for no one but myself. No complicity.
Just because Trump isn'tlooking for war with Russia or any other nation (at this time) and wants to'bring jobs back to America' doesn't mean that his intentions are anythingremotely benevolent. He just doesn't want to die in a nuclear war and his brandof capitalist authoritarianism requires that people have jobs. Trump may wellbe the man who finally shows you just how depraved capitalism really is.
I know a very rich man whoenthusiastically supported and voted for Trump. This man is a medical doctorand he once told me that he thinks there should be no medical facilities forprisoners in American prisons. He said it is a waste of time and money and ismorally wrong. He said that people held in prisons don't deserve medicaltreatment and he has no problem with them just being left to die. No, I am notmaking this up. He really said it and meant it. And if you met him he would probablyseem to you to be a very ordinary man who happens to have lots of money.
I asked him once what we shoulddo about certain super-rich people who financially exploit, cheat, andsometimes ruin the lives of other people. He said he didn't have any idea whatwe should do about it and didn't care because "that's life." He said he thinksTrump is perhaps the man to make it possible for America to finally realize itstrue potential. I didn't ask him what he meant by that, but knowing that heequates 'morality' with making money, I had a pretty good idea.

Trumprepresents a certain type of maverick venal power-decadence that the USA hasalways been fascinated with and that can look like anyone from CorneliusVanderbilt to Al Capone. It is in part the fantasy fascination of the ordinaryfrightened little clockwork conformist with the seemingly fearless daring ofthe opportunist who just takes what he wants with a perpetually grinningabsence of compunction. A fascinating cavalier 'freedom'. And the USA has always had arather immature and undeveloped idea of freedom. It's a stunted freedomthat is always held by the chains of some form of venality. 'Americans' areprofoundly vulnerable to this. Is the rise of Trump a sign of entrance into anew age of secretly idolized super-robber barons and super-gangsters who havegovernment complicity? The Age of American Capitalist Feudalism. It's a veryreal possibility.
I see many people gazing on thealienating spectacle of President Trump and angrily longing for the days whenit seemed that Bernie Sanders was bringing a genuinely moral 'revolution'. Letme address this issue of Sanders one more time and be done with it.
Sanders claimed in his primaryrun to be standing up against the oligarchs who are closely connected with aman such as Trump because they are connected with anything that has to do withbig money. Sanders laid out his stance in terms of insurance companies,bankers, college tuition, and other domestic issues and called out theoligarchs on the unfairness of their practices in these areas. Now it caneasily be demonstrated that the real essence of the oligarch agenda lies in itsglobal-hegemony project. All of the oligarch domesticpractices and policies in the USA are just the consequence of this largeragenda. So the place to shoot for the kill in the attack on oligarchs is herein the heart of oligarch agenda: foreign policy. Take out the oligarch foreign policy and thedomestic policy will necessarily dissolve. But if you try to take out thedomestic policy without addressing the foreign policy then you will get hopelesslytangled up in bureaucratic bull sh-t so deep that you'll be lucky to escapewith any sanity because that's all the domestic domain is in the oligarchicsystem: bottomless bureaucratic bull sh-t. That is its design.
If Sanders had attacked theoligarchy in its heart of foreign policy everything else wouldhave followed like falling dominoes. Take out the oligarch foreign policy andit becomes easy to address the domestic-policy issues. So why didn't Sanders dothis? Why didn't he repeatedly and passionately raise the issue of the oligarchforeign policy that was turning domestic USA into an economic nightmare as wellas threatening the rest of the world? Why? Because he wasn't against that foreignpolicy. He never once challenged that foreign policy in general. Therewere details in that foreign policy that he questioned, but more than 95percent of the time he supported that foreign policy. And he never explained toanyone the rationale of opposing the oligarchs in domestic policy andsupporting them in foreign policy because no one openly challenged Sanders onthis blatant contradiction in his campaign message. So he got away withit.
Sanders was never reallystanding against the oligarchy in any essential way. He was merely 'demanding'that the oligarchy be somehow more 'compassionate' in the domestic consequencesof its larger agenda, which he never even considered challenging. Sanders waslike a 'soft-hearted' mid-level Mafia flunky who feels sorry for the ordinarypeople in the neighborhood who are subject to the Mafia tyranny. So he'demands' that the goons be more gentle when they go to collect. But he neveraddresses the larger Mafia policies because he knows if he does he will soon beon the bottom of the East River sporting a new pair of cement shoes. And whenthe goons finally take soft-hearted Bernie into the back room and ask, "You gotta problem, Bernie? Don Giordano wants to know if you gottaproblem. You gotta problem?" Bernie says, "Who me? Hey, Don Giordano knows I'm a true patriot. Look how long Ibeen holdin' up that F-35! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha..." And Bruno says, "Hey, Bernie we're real glad to hear that,Bernie Little Buddy. You can go back home now, Gumba. And tell your wife,Hello, personal from Don Giordano."
Bernie'sokay for a mid-level Mafia flunky; but a game-changer, a revolutionary? Not evenclose. Forget Bernie, he won't be hanging around the neighborhood much anymore.
Now what exactly is PresidentTrump's relationship with Don Giordano? Ah, the question of the hour.
Mafia policy is always that youmake the people think that Don Giordano is the people's best friend; and anyonewho doesn't buy this is the enemy of the people and needs some new shoes. Sothe goal here will be to make Don Trump the neighborhood reflection of DonGiordano. President Trump the Pop Icon of the Oligarchy. The thing to alwayskeep in mind is that Trump is a Capitalist down to his very bone molecules.This means that he takes hierarchy for granted and will 'fire' anyone who evenremotely questions hierarchy and Trump's place in the hierarchy. It also meansthat Trump will do anything and everything to ensure that minimally regulatedcapitalist hierarchy remains the essence and superstructure of the USA. Butwhat exactly does Trump see as his place in the hierarchy? Can Trump toleratehaving a BOSS? Yes, but only if he knows that the BOSS can and willkick his ass. Trump doesn't want a bullet in the brain or some new shoesany more than he wants to die in a hurricane of hydrogen heat. But Trump can'tfunction well unless he has some real power and real access to the 'you'refired' button. Don Giordano will give such power to Trump if Trump serves thecause. And this means that eventually Trump will have to find his proper placein the oligarch agenda of global hegemony. So what about Russia andChina?
Trump says that he doesn't wantmilitary war with Russia, but he does intend to declare economic war on China. Solook for Trump to go against the former (Clinton) military war plan and to playup warm relations with Russia for the purpose of economic war on China. Trump will'peacefully' invade the New Silk Road via relations with Russia and in themeantime look like he is focusing his sincere concern mostly on the domesticissues in the US. But he will maintain the accelerating military budget becausehis peace with Russia is not about real peace. It is about the shift in theoligarchic global plans for global hegemony away from the old war-horse Hillaryto the new peace-war-horse Trump. So, look for the anti-Russian propaganda tobe replaced by a massive 'peaceful' and 'righteous' anti-China propaganda inTrump's presidency. China will be the new enemy. The roar of the propagandatsunami will be deafening and the peaceful US will remain ever-ready to jumpright back onto the war horse.

But if Russia doesn't buy intothe Trump/oligarch friendship-ruse then what will Don Giordano do? He alwayshas the military option to return to. But whatever he does, Trump does not andwill never represent a real peace offer. The goal is still global hegemony.
Unless it is clearly beneficialto the oligarch agenda, there will be no Clinton/Obama prosecution. There willbe no new 9/11 investigation. Relations with Saudi Arabia and Israel will bedownplayed but not ended. Turkey will be put on a short leash. There will be nofurther attempt to topple Assad, and Trump will reach out to Iran. There willbe an attempt to draw Russia into closer ties with Europe and to separate itmore and more from China. And all of this will have the goal of returning'America' to the role of the good guy in the global drama.
Are there contradictions inthis plan? Obviously there are. But when have there not been contradictions inthe global-hegemony project? Putin proved to be too resilient and resourcefuland determined and Hillary proved to be too transparently corrupt. So switchhorses. It doesn't matter which one of your horses crosses the finish linefirst.
And what will Don Giordano doabout all the internet-swarming, street-swarming anti-Trump sentiment on theyouthful and aging Left? He will activate cyber-tyranny to cut their lines ofcommunication and confront them in the street with militarized police as anti-Americansubversives. And he will appeal to the Russian cultural proclivity for socialorder in portraying this resistance as simply anti-social pathologyto the Russian observers. Will it work? That depends on how far theresistance is willing to go. If it eventually caves in as the 60's resistancedid then it will work for the goal of closing the fascist grip on America.
I keep having this nightmarishdream of finding myself in an ever-more strange and alienating city where thepeople are not friendly and seem to be almost not even human. I don't have anymoney to get home and I'm not even sure which direction home is. It is gettingdark and cold and I find the way to the edge of town and come upon this greathighway vanishing into the distant horizon. I see a sign that might indicatethe right direction for me to go. I know intuitively that no one will stop fora hitchhiker on this highway and that it might not turn out well for me even ifthey did stop. So I tell myself, "Well, start walking. You'll get thereeventually." I take a step and suddenly wake up feeling very lonely and need toremind myself of my real values and purpose. I get myself ready for the day. Igo outside to my car and suddenly stop and look around and I realize why I keephaving this dream: It's not a dream. This is the city of strangersthat is not my real home and that changes its surface, but just keeps repeatingthe same nightmare pattern until... Until what?
Ah, the question of history. Whereare we really going in this kaleidoscopic hi-tech carnival circleever-deepening toward death? Well, I don't know exactly, but I do see now thatyou can only have nightmares if you are asleep. Time to wake up and look aroundthis city. Unreal city. How do I stop your nightmare circling into darkness? Ah,now I see it. The city is my dream. Change myselfand the city must follow. And even if the other people don't wake upand change themselves then it is still my city if I am strong enough tohold it in myself. The nightmare city is my city and I say, "Time to wakeup. No more nightmare. I claim this city of expanding consciousness. If youwant to go on tracing the nightmare-circle city of Trumps and Clintons and DonGiordanos then that is your choice. It begins with you even if you are alone inthe nightmare city with no friends. And besides, when you wake up you arealways alone. But if you don't wake up then you don't even know how to recognizereal friends. Time to take the city for yourself and your real friends.
This is not primarily a matterof political beliefs or any beliefs at all. It's on a deeper level than that.It is a matter of what you are and what you are willing to become in order to actuallydestroy the nightmare social paradigms that imprison thesleepwalking hordes all over the globe. Donald Trump is the POTUS because theUS is a land of sleepwalkers who think that voting for whom you want to beabove you in the hierarchy is a sign of being awake. As long as the hierarchyis in place then there will always be someone above you. And if that someonewere really an ethical person that person would not be willing to be above you.The progressively anxious sleepwalkers don't want to hear it. Fine. Welcome to Trump City.

Trump Campaigned Against Lobbyists, but Now They're on His Transition Team


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Jeffrey Eisenach at a Senate hearing in 2014. Mr. Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is now the head of the Trump team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission. Credit Win Mcnamee/Getty Images WASHINGTON President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists.
Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.
Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the "energy independence" portfolio.
Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.
Continue reading the main story

Mr. Trump was swept to power in large part by white working-class voters who responded to his vow to restore the voices of forgotten people, ones drowned out by big business and Wall Street. But in his transition to power, some of the most prominent voices will be those of advisers who come from the same industries for which they are being asked to help set the regulatory groundwork.
The president-elect's spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, declined a request for comment, as did nearly a dozen corporate executives, consultants and lobbyists serving on his transition team, which was outlined in a list distributed widely in Washington on Thursday.
A number of the people on that list are well-established experts with no clear interest in helping private-sector clients. But to critics of Mr. Trump both Democrats and Republicans the inclusion of advisers with industry ties is a first sign that he may not follow through on all of his promises.
"This whole idea that he was an outsider and going to destroy the political establishment and drain the swamp were the lines of a con man, and guess what he is being exposed as just that," said Peter Wehner, who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush before becoming a speechwriter for George W. Bush. "He is failing the first test, and he should be held accountable for it."
Transition teams help new presidents pick the new cabinet, as well as up to 4,000 political appointees who will take over top posts in agencies across the government. President Obama, after he was first elected, instituted rules that prohibited individuals who had served as registered lobbyists in the prior year from serving as transition advisers in the areas in which they represented private clients. They were also prohibited, after the administration took power, from lobbying in the parts of the government they helped set up.
"They wanted to make sure that people were not putting their thumb on the scale, or even the perception of that," said Martha Joynt Kumar, the director of a nonprofit group called the White House Transition Project, which has studied two decades of presidential transitions.
Among the advisers assisting Mr. Trump who have no clear private-sector ties are Brian Johnson, a top lawyer for the House Financial Services Committee, who is helping to pick top staff members for the federal government's many financial services agencies.
Edwin Meese III, who served as attorney general under Mr. Reagan and is now associated with the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank, is helping oversee management and budget issues, along with Kay Coles James, a Bush administration official who now runs an institute that trains future African-American leaders.
Former Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan, who served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and was once a special agent in the F.B.I., is overseeing issues related to national security, including the intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security.

But in other areas, most notably the energy sector, the transition team advisers are far from independent.
Mr. Catanzaro's client list is a who's who of major corporate players such as the Hess Corporation and Devon Energy that have tried to challenge the Obama administration's environmental and energy policies on issues such as how much methane gas can be released at oil and gas drilling sites, lobbying disclosure reports show.
He also worked with oil industry players to help push through major legislation goals, such as allowing the export of crude oil. He will now help pick Mr. Trump's energy team.
Michael McKenna, another lobbyist helping to pick key administration officials who will oversee energy policy, has a client list that this year has included the Southern Company, one of the most vocal critics of efforts to prevent climate change by putting limits on emissions from coal-burning power plants.
Advisers with ties to other industries include Martin Whitmer, who is overseeing "transportation and infrastructure" for the Trump transition. He is the chairman of a Washington law firm whose lobbying clients include the Association of American Railroads and the National Asphalt Pavement Association.
David Malpass, the former chief economist at Bear Stearns, the Wall Street investment bank that collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis, is overseeing the "economic issues" portfolio of the transition, as well as operations at the Treasury Department. Mr. Malpass now runs a firm called Encima Global, which sells economic research to institutional investors and corporate clients.
Mr. Eisenach, as a telecom industry consultant, has worked to help major cellular companies fight back against regulations proposed by the F.C.C. that would mandate so-called net neutrality requiring providers to give equal access to their networks to outside companies. He is now helping to oversee the rebuilding of the staff at the F.C.C.
Dan DiMicco, a former chief executive of the steelmaking company Nucor, who now serves on the board of directors of Duke Energy, is heading the transition team for the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Mr. DiMicco has long argued that China is unfairly subsidizing its manufacturing sector at the expense of American jobs.
In his campaign, Mr. Trump promised to take steps to close the so-called revolving door, through which government officials leave their posts and then personally profit by helping private companies reap rewards from policies or programs they had recently managed.
In October, declaring that "it's time to drain the swamp in Washington," he promised to institute a five-year ban in which all executive branch officials would be prevented from lobbying the government after they left. He has also promised to expand the definition of a lobbyist, so it includes corporate consultants who do not register as lobbyists but still often act like one.
Bruce F. Freed, the president of a nonprofit group called the Center for Political Accountability, which is pressing major corporations to be more transparent about their political spending, said Mr. Trump's transition team had sent an unfortunate signal to his followers.
"This is one of the reasons you had such anger among voters people rigging the system, gaming the system," Mr. Freed said. "This represents more of the same."
Hold on to yer hats kids this is going to be a wild ride on the Kaucasian Khristian Kaliphate Klown Kar!

If you previously thought Americans were generally a stupid race you ain't seen nuthin' yet!

Trump just wanted to win the Presidency.

He doesn't actually want to be President.

He doesn't want to move into the White House any more than he has to.

The Trump Presidency is going to be a clown show of squabbling factions revolving around someone who doesn't want to be there.

He's going to turn over what passes for "governance" to second-tier GOP establishment types who'll battle each other over turf, perks and access.

Living here in San Francisco I don't fear any impact Trump could directly have on my life. He got less than 10% of the vote in my town.

San Francisco is a city of the world -- not a city of Trump's America.
We'll do fine. It's the rest of the world I'm worried about.:Confusedhtf::
Peter Lemkin Wrote:An Absurd and Dangerous President

The United States has voted for a dangerously inexperienced and racist man -- one who was swept into the White House by an army of disenfranchised white working- and middle class Americans. It's a movement that now threatens democracy around the world.

100,000 voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin won Trump the White House.

Clinton will end up with an almost 3 million vote lead in the popular tally.

Having the head of the FBI come out 11 days from an election to smear a candidate over nothing was an unprecedented intrusion in the election process, a clear violation of the Hatch Act.

FBI head James Comey is a criminal.

Any analysis of 2016 that doesn't take these points into consideration is off-base, imo.
David Guyatt Wrote:
Cliff Varnell Wrote:
David Guyatt Wrote:
Cliff Varnell Wrote:I got 2000 hours, at least -- June 16, 2015 to Nov 8, 2016.

How can Johnson accuse me of being a troll when Johnson doesn't know dick about how 2016 was rigged?


You'd be amazed, but we founders and moderators talk regularly about forum matters.

Ergo: Lauren was reflecting a growing sense that you're approaching the precipice here.

This is a forum to discuss deep political subjects amongst members. It is not a forum to be hijacked by one member and littered with soap-box venting about everyday partisan politics. There are plenty of other political fora around that are ideal for that. Use Google to find them.

Regard this as a warning.

Fine by me, David, but the subject was the rigging of the election.

Media exposure is manipulated, and the language itself is rigged.

"Liberty proponents" is an example of rigged language.

That's what I meant by -- "Fascist branding exercise."

But I can take a hint, and for reals take a powder.

No need to take a powder. Cliff. Just take the hint.

I'm just trying to figure out the lay of the land, David. I'm hyper-sensitive to having my posts sent down the memory hole since the one thing that means most to me is my work here in the Arts section.

There was something wrong with my pointing out rigged political language on a thread devoted to a rigged election?

I'm respectfully, genuinely curious.
David Guyatt Wrote:Btw, I agree that the media is manipulated, or rather the media manipulates -- it's an awful cacophony of pre-packaged neocon opinions and state propaganda and is no longer worth the time or effort to read it.

Donald Trump turned cable news into a 24/7 Reality TV Show. Those who were not consumers of this Reality TV Show cannot fully comprehend what happened in the 2016 election.

CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News saw major increases in their viewership and they gave Trump and his surrogates billions of dollars in free air time -- "earned media," they call it.

They allowed Trump and his people to lie unchallenged about everything for a year and a half.

On the day before Comey's treason e-mail letter to Congress the focus of The Donald J. Trump Show Starring Donald J. Trump Featuring the Lovely Ivanka
was on Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, and all the women who went public with his serial sexual harassment.

The last 11 days of the campaign were devoted to attacks on Clinton over the e-mails which ended up having nothing to do with her.

And she's still going to end up with almost 3 million more votes!

Our election process is obsolete and needs a revamp.

Quote: There are far better options out there now for information and insight. I rarely read any mainstream media or watch mainstream news either.

I'm suffering from a serious case of post-election-traumatic-stress-disorder.

I haven't been able to watch "the TV news" since it became apparent fairly early on Tuesday that Clinton would lose Wisconsin.

I cancelled my cable subscription Wednesday morning.

The Donald J Trump Show Starring Donald J Trump Featuring the Lovely Ivanka was given a 4-year run by CNN/MSNBC/Fox.

That's who "won" the election, that's who rigged the election. Assange, Putin, the GOP Benghazi Committee -- they all played important roles but without Comey's interference and the mass-media's compliance Clinton would have won.

Quote:Let me also add that I agree the election was rigged. In all sorts of ways. The DNC rigged it against Bernie and it increasingly appears that one tentacle of the oligarchy may well have rigged it for Trump to win.

For me it's becoming ever clearer that the political class are simply paid actors to play the straight guy in what is a nation utterly controlled by perpetual gangster/mafia class.

Now a new Don has taken over the family and will be running things for the next 4 years.

Yet again the US purse will be picked clean.

The American ruling elite is bi-polar.

Clinton is a card-carrying Globalist, friendly to bankers.

Trump leads the Dominionists, who seek to make the world safe for Jesus to return.

Isn't that something? Millions of white bible-thumpers went to church on Sunday and voted for a pedophile rapist on Tuesday.

If we can keep Il DoucheBag from attacking Iran we might get through the next four years relatively unscathed.

For non-Americans who relish the schadenfreude from watching American society's self-mutilation -- these will be the best of times as long as the world isn't blown up!
Quote: I'm hyper-sensitive to having my posts sent down the memory hole since the one thing that means most to me is my work here in the Arts section.

Cliff, how about this? You keep on doing your fantastic work in the Arts section -- which I love -- and leave deep politics stuff to the others here. We don't need the help. Get busy on what you do well.