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Trump’s Witch-Hunt

Michael Winship

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What a petty, venal, corrupt and foul thing it is. More media-generated homunculus than man, every day, Donald Trump behaves more and more like the cornered animal desperately trying to save itself by viciously biting in every direction, pulling out every nasty trick that has worked for him before. But now he gnashes his teeth on a global stage so vast that the pettiness of his vindictiveness is unconcealed, cast in a spotlight that diminishes every American.

With last week’s firing of Rex Tillerson and the dismissal of Andrew McCabe as deputy director of the FBI just hours before he was eligible for his pension after 21 years of service, the president once again demonstrated that as the Mueller investigation seems to get closer to a truth he does not want revealed, there is no bottom to the well of deception, posturing, vengefulness—and fear— that motivates his actions. Trump’s is the real witch-hunt.

Yes, it’s important that we soon see the inspector general’s report that was used to justify McCabe’s ouster, but to follow that character assassination Friday night with a Trump tweet celebrating the sacking as “a great day for Democracy” is a cruelly ironic subversion of our founding principles of liberty and justice.

Ironic, too, that this McCabe madness and that first of a new fusillade of dumb and desperate weekend tweets deliberately aimed at undermining Mueller’s probe should come down on the very day we marked the contributions of two politicians who dedicated their lives not to avarice and self-aggrandizement but to public service.

March 16 was the 50th anniversary of the day Robert F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. It was a controversial decision; as the Vietnam conflict raged on, Gene McCarthy had emerged as the leading antiwar Democrat challenging Lyndon Johnson’s re-election and Kennedy was accused of opportunism, of using McCarthy’s bid to test the waters for his own race.

Those old enough to recall 1968 remember it as a year like no other. The campaign for the White House was a cauldron of roiling drama and crisis. Kennedy was not running solely on his charisma and the family name; nor was he a one-issue candidate. He spoke out in opposition to the Vietnam War but consistently and passionately against poverty and social injustice as well. Here’s a little of what Kennedy said in a speech just two days after he declared he was running:

“… The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

“It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

“And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

Try to imagine Donald Trump or his pals saying any of that and you’ll realize just how far our republic has fallen. Right after you recover from a fit of bitter laughter.

Friday also was the day we lost Rep. Louise Slaughter, the western New York congresswoman who was the oldest sitting member of the House. She served for nearly 32 years.
Here’s how Harrison Smith in The Washington Post described her: “The daughter of a blacksmith in a Kentucky coal mine, Rep. Slaughter traced her lineage to Daniel Boone and attacked her political opponents with a marksman’s accuracy and, not infrequently, a disarming grin.”

She was a microbiologist who moved to New York State with her husband in the 1950s. A local fight over a stand of beech-maple trees drew her to elected office, serving in county and state legislatures and then Congress. Slaughter was the first woman to chair the powerful House Rules Committee. She co-sponsored the 1994 Violence against Women Act, defended the right to choose, fought to get the Senate to hear Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court, co-chaired the Congressional Arts Caucus and wrote the STOCK Act to bar members of Congress from insider trading.

I was proud to be her friend. Louise Slaughter and I sat next to each other at a dinner in Rochester, NY, eight years ago and bonded over politics and a shared love for the song lyrics of Johnny Mercer. We would talk on the phone from time to time and the day she died I found a recent voicemail in which she cheerfully chatted about being up to her neck in work and pushing back against the unending Republican attempts to kill Obamacare, a bill she had helped advance through the House.

Both Louise Slaughter and Bobby Kennedy represented New York State on Capitol Hill but their concern was for the whole nation. They shared a commitment to compassion, fairness and equal rights that transcended payoffs, privilege and bullying egos. They recognized that country and citizenship should come first and that elections are supposed to be about being chosen to speak for the best interests of the people.

There’s speculation that the latest Trump rant was set off by special counsel Mueller’s subpoena of Trump corporate records and an initial list of questions he has submitted for the president to answer. They doubtless are just the beginning of queries intended to determine whether our chief executive has obstructed justice or colluded with Russia in election tampering, whether he chose profit and self-interest over patriotism and loyalty.

Compare Trump to Kennedy and Slaughter and it makes you want to weep. And then pray.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Michael Winship, senior writing fellow at Demos and president of the Writers Guild of America-East, was senior writer for Moyers & Company and Bill Moyers’ Journal and is senior writer of BillMoyers.com.

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Trump

Estate of Prince Asks Trump to Stop Stealing His Song

Polipace Staff

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Donald Trump is apparently a fan of late Prince. The President of United States has been using the late singer’s hit song “Purple Rain” at pre-Election Day rallies, including one in Mississippi last week. However, Prince’s family members are not happy about it and have asked Trump to stop playing his songs.

In a statement released through the singer’s half-brother Omarr Baker, Prince’s estate stated, “The Prince Estate have never given permission to President Trump or the White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediate

With that, the Prince estate is the latest in a long line of musicians who asked Trump to stop using their music at his rallies. Among them are The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and Tom Petty. Recently, Steven Tyler sent him a cease and desist letter asking him to stop using Aerosmith’s music at rallies. It came after Trump played the band’s 1993 hit “Livin’ on the Edge” at a West Virginia rally without Tyler’s permission.

“This is not about Democrats vs. Republicans,” the band’s frontman said in a statement. “I do not let anyone use my songs without my permission. My music is for causes not political campaigns or rallies. Protection copyright and songwriters is what I’ve been fighting for even before this current administration took office. This is one of the reasons why Joe and I have been pushing the Senate to pass the Music Modernization Act. NO is a complete sentence.”

Music Modernization Act legislation itself was officially signed by Trump earlier this week. Kanye West and Kid Rock, as well as executives from the music industry, attended the event.

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Trump

Trump Attacks President Lincoln, Embraces Racist Confederate General in Rant

Polipace Staff

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Trump has decided that the racist confederate leader, Robert E. Lee is really deserving of praise — but President Lincoln, who freed the slaves has some serious issues he wants to talk about.

Near the end of his rally speech, Trump also offered praise for Civil War General Robert E. Lee, saying Lincoln almost developed “a phobia” about being unable to defeat him, until Gen. Ulysses Grant, who Trump noted had “a drinking problem,” but is recognized as a great person.

This is a strange claim, because even Robert E. Lee himself admitted that he waged a war to hold onto legal institution of white supremacy. How Trump is supposed to gain more black voters by praising known racists

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Entertainment

Donald Trump Jr. and Aubrey O’Day Tried to Have A Baby While His Wife Was Pregnant

Polipace Staff

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Donald Trump Jr. and Aubrey O’Day’s affair was much more than a one-night stand, so much so that they even considered the prospect of starting a family together.

Multiple sources confirmed tothat President Donald Trump’s eldest son, 40, and the former Danity Kane member, 34, began an intimate relationship after meeting on the season 5 set of The Celebrity Apprentice in late 2011. The dalliance continued until March 2012, when his wife, Vanessa Trump, found email exchanges between her husband and O’Day and forced them to stop.

Sources say that Vanessa — who filed for divorcefrom President Donald Trump’s eldest son after 13 years of marriage — was devastated when he told her that he planned to leave her for O’Day.

It seems like the former Celebrity Apprentice adviser was the one who started things. A source told Page Six he “pursued [Aubrey]. It was him who chased her,” and, “he told her that his marriage was already in the process of dissolving” in 2011.

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