Quote of the Day postsWednesday August 09, 2017
Quote for Donald Trump II
“The easiest thing to do with great power,” [Eisenhower] continued, “is to abuse it—to use it to excess.” The United States, he said, must not “grow weary of the processes of negotiation and adjustment that are fundamental to freedom” and slide into “coercion of other free nations.” To do so “would be a mark of the imperialist rather than of the leader.”
-- from pg. 99 of “Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy” by David A. Nichols
Quote for Donald Trump
In a letter to his brother Milton, Dwight Eisenhower wrote that as president he had “never indulged in bitter personal indictment or attack. To my mind, that practice smacks more of the coward and the fool than the leader.”
-- from “Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy” by David A. Nichols
Quote of the Day
“[In my books] I made fun of the people who deserved it: Newt Gingrich, I made fun of Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly at Fox—that was ”Lying Liars.“ He and Fox sued me and it was just a misunderstanding. Bill O'Reilly didn't understand that satire is protected speech in the United States even if the object of the satire doesn't get it.”
-- Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), last night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Jeffrey Toobin's got a piece on the Trump-Sessions contretemps: the belittlement of the little AG.
The core of the President's grievance is that the Attorney General recused himself from the investigation into possible Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election, thereby setting in motion the process that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller, the special counsel. Sessions did the right thing; according to prosecutorial ethics, he cannot supervise a review of a campaign in which he played a prominent role. Trump's willful misunderstanding of the obligations of an Attorney General reflects a larger flaw in his Presidency and in his character—his apparent belief that his appointees owe their loyalty to him personally, rather than to the nation's Constitution and its laws, and, more broadly, to the American people.
What's equally awful is that Sessions has been loyal to Trump—and effective. Toobin lists off the ways Sessions has enacted Trump's agenda, and none of them, to my mind, are any good: disenfranchising voters, increasing civil forfeiture, discouraging police reform, discriminating against the LGBT community, and cracking down on immigration.
That's how awful Trump is. He has us rooting for an ass like Jeff Sessions.
'Mr. Lizza? Anthony Scaramucci on Line 1'
In a year of scoops, The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza has the scoop of the year.
It came about, ironically, because the new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci was trying to plug leaks and find leakers, and in doing so leaked all over the place—including mostly on himself. It's comical, nuts, and definitely NSFW. The fact that Scaramucci didn't ask for the conversation to be off-the-record made it all possible and shows that you probably shouldn't trust such important positions to amateurs. At the same time, it makes you wonder what those off-the-record conversations around D.C. are really like. Do they make “Veep” seem tame? As this does? Seriously, Scaramucci has done something no one thought possible: He has made Sean Spicer, who resigned rather than work with Scaramucci, seem smart.
I particularly love examples of Lizza's journalistic due diligence, often in parenthetical form, in the midst of this insanity:
“They'll all be fired by me,” [Scaramucci] said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I'll fire tomorrow. I'll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he'll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn't been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ 'Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.' ” (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)
On the plus side, no one will ever be able to look at Steve Bannon again without imagining a certain onanistic maneuver.
Stay classy, Trump admin.