Friday, May 25, 2018

WHO'S STUPID? ~

Etiquette-Header.jpg
Illustrations by Rose Wong
Remember when President Michelle Wolf outraged the conscience of conservatives across America by cracking a joke about the press secretary’s eye makeup? Oh, wait — Ms. Wolf is a comedian. Telling jokes is her job.
A better example is President Hillary Clinton, who disregarded all protocol and endangered our national security by relying on a private email server to conduct some government business. Hold on, you say Mrs. Clinton isn’t president, either?
O.K., then — how about Barack Obama, an actual president? His disrespect for that station is the stuff of legend. A tan suit. Shirtsleeves in the Oval Office. Those big, impertinent feet defiling the presidential desk.
President Trump has managed to avoid those particular offenses. His suits are dark, his ties patriotically long. Yet in so many other ways he is violating Americans’ expectations of how presidents should behave — even of how adults should behave, particularly when children are watching. Yes, Mr. Trump has now been compared to Joseph Stalin by one senior senator from his party, and, yes, he has been pre-emptively disinvited to the prospective funeral of another. But most Republicans, usually such vigilant guardians of Oval Office decorum, have remained strangely silent.
So, for the fourth time in a year, we’ve compiled a list of Mr. Trump’s more egregious transgressions. These items don’t represent disputes about policy, over which reasonable people may disagree. They simply serve to catalog what Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and all the other Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress and across America, through their silence, have now blessed as behavior befitting a president of the United States.
We find this guide a helpful way to avoid growing numb to what is so abnormal about this presidency, and to remind ourselves that a day may yet come when dignity and decency will matter again, even, perhaps, to Mr. McConnell and his fellow hypocrites.

IF YOU ARE PRESIDENT, YOU MAY NOW:

U­se your unsecured personal cellphone to call, among others, media personalities who parrot your talking points — and when you’re told this is a security risk, refuse to stop, saying that would be “too inconvenient”
Say that professional athletes who don’t stand during the national anthem perhaps “shouldn’t be in the country
Fire your veterans affairs secretary by tweet, then pick as his replacement the White House doctor, who turns out to have a disqualifying history of alcohol abuse and handing out strong drugs
Hold a meeting with top Justice Department officials about a continuing criminal investigation into your campaign, seeking to force them to act in your personal legal interest
Falsely claim your approval rating among black Americans has doubled
Tell Americans to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day “with acts of civic work and community service,” and then play golf at your private course
Tell reporters who question your racial views, “I am the least racist personyou have ever interviewed.”
Mockingly imitate the accent of the Indian prime minister
Call politicians of the opposing party “treasonous” and “un-American” for declining to stand and clap during your State of the Union speech
Accuse an F.B.I. official of “treason” for sending a joke in a private text message that you take out of context
Be described by your future E.P.A. chief as likely to be “more abusive to the Constitution than Barack Obama”
Be described by your current chief of staff as “uninformed” on immigration policy
Make more than 3,000 false or misleading claims in less than 16 months in office
Try at least twice to fire the special counsel investigating you, and back off only when your White House counsel refuses to do it
When accused of obstructing justice, say you are just “fighting back”
Keep an alleged domestic abuser on the White House staff and promote him, even after the F.B.I. denied him full security clearance because of the allegations, and then after he is gone, talk about your hopes of bringing him back on staff
Blame a high school gun massacre on the F.B.I. because it is “spending too much time” investigating your campaign’s possible collusion with a foreign power
Suggest that a law enforcement officer who failed to stop the massacre was a “coward,” that sheriff’s deputies who responded to the attack were “disgusting” and a “disgrace” — and later claim, despite dodging the draft because of bone spurs in your heels, that you would have rushed in, even without a weapon
Solicit campaign donations using a photo of yourself posing with a survivor of the massacre
Say, with regard to mentally ill people who own firearms, “Take the guns first, go through due process second”
Attack Amazon and other American companies, causing their stocks to plunge
Kick a journalist out of a press conference for asking you a question you don’t like
Threaten to take away the press credentials of reporters who publish stories you don’t like
Congratulate the Russian president on his sham election victory even after aides warn you, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” and, when you call him, fail to mention Russia’s meddling in your election
Ask the deputy director of the F.B.I., in a private Oval Office conversation,whom he voted for in the last election —and later say of the request, “I don’t think it’s a big deal”
Ask the deputy director of the F.B.I. how his wife, who was defeated in a campaign for political office, feels being a “loser”
Tell your attorney general to pressure the F.B.I. director to fire his deputy
Call your attorney general “DISGRACEFUL” on Twitter and “Mr. Magoo” in private, for following department procedure
Ask the deputy attorney general if he is “on your team”
Choose a pastor to lead a prayer at the opening of a new American Embassy in Jerusalem who previously said Jews are going to hell
Resist accounting for more than $100 million raised for your inaugural celebration
Require senior White House staff to sign nondisclosure agreements that are supposed to last beyond your presidency
Say of unaccompanied migrant children at the American border, “They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.”
Permit the public release of a sensitive memo prepared by your protectors on the House Intelligence Committee, who won’t even show the memo to the F.B.I. or Senate
Stream on your re-election campaign website a live list of donors giving money during your State of the Union speech
Claim that your speech was the most watched ever when it wasn’t
Tweet that you “hereby demand” the Department of Justice investigate the F.B.I. for supposedly infiltrating your campaign for “political purposes”
Tell the Pentagon you want a military parade “like the one in France”
Call a leading member of Congress “the leakin’ monster of no control” and accuse him, baselessly, of a crime
Call the former F.B.I. director, whom you fired for refusing to end an investigation into possible illegal acts by your campaign, a “weak and untruthful slime ball” and accuse him of committing crimes
Mock the outgoing deputy director of the F.B.I. after your attorney general fires him, two days before he would have been eligible for a full government pension
Trade threats of physical violence with a former vice president
Hire an attorney who publicly endorsed a conspiracy theory that the F.B.I. framed you
Hire another attorney who floats the prospect of presidential pardons to lawyers for top aides of yours who have pled guilty to or been indicted on federal charges during an investigation into your campaign
Hire another attorney whose office gets raided by federal authorities, then denounce the raid as an “attack on our country in a true sense”
Lie about having no knowledge of a $130,000 hush payment that your lawyer made, in the weeks before your election, to a porn actress who claims she had sex with you while your wife was at home caring for your newborn son, then later admit that you paid the money back in full, even though you omitted it on your financial disclosure form, possibly violating federal law — and even though you also didn’t sign the nondisclosure agreement that younow are trying to invoke in order to keep the porn actress silent
Stand by your E.P.A. administrator even when he is mired in ethics scandals and everyone is telling you to fire him
Make frequent misstatements of fact about a special counsel’s investigation into you and your campaign
Go more than 400 days without holding a solo press conference at the White House
When asked why you relentlessly attack the press, say, “I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you”

AND ALL OF THAT IS JUST FROM THE PAST FOUR MONTHS OR SO. IN ADDITION, THE PRESIDENT IS NOW ABLE TO:

Question the authenticity of a recording of you bragging about sexual assault, even though you previously admitted it was real
Say the F.B.I.’s reputation is “in tatters — worst in history” and call members of the intelligence community “political hacks”
Retweet inflammatory and fake anti-Muslim videos from an ultranationalist British group
Ask, in a meeting with lawmakers on immigration policy, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?,” referring to Africa, and “Why do we want people from Haiti here? Take them out.”
Retweet a doctored photo of yourself with the name of a national news organization splattered on the bottom of your shoe
 Change a critical element of your explanation for firing your national security adviser
Shut down a bogus voter-fraud commission because “Democrat states”refuse to turn over necessary information, even though states with both Democratic and Republican leadership did, and for good reason
Tell your rich friends after your tax bill passes, “You all just got a lot richer
Tell your attorney general not to recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into your campaign, then when he does anyway, call it “a terrible thing”
Falsely claim that your predecessor failed to contact the families of fallen soldiers, and then exploit the death of your chief of staff’s son to defend yourself
Threaten to take away a TV network’s broadcast license for reporting on your deliberations about the nation’s nuclear arsenal
Threaten to use federal tax law to punish a professional sports league for letting its players express political opinions
Tell reporters that “It’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it”
Warn American citizens in Puerto Rico, only weeks after a catastrophic hurricane, that the federal government can’t help them out “forever,” even as you tell victims of a hurricane in Texas, “We are with you today, we are with you tomorrow, and we will be with you EVERY SINGLE DAY AFTER, to restore, recover, and REBUILD!”
While debating policy with lawmakers on live television, accidentally agree to a deal that is the opposite of what your party wants, get corrected by the House majority leader, and then release an official White House transcript that omits the exchange
Say that your former White House adviser and campaign chief has “lost his mind,” after another former adviser and campaign manager is indicted on money laundering and other federal charges
Claim that a new tax bill you support will “cost me a fortune,” even though it will probably save you millions, but who knows since you refuse to release your tax returns
Take credit for the fact that no one died on a domestic commercial airliner during your first year in office
Tell attendees at a rally to be “happy you voted for me,” and that they are “so lucky that I gave you that privilege
Continue to mock foreign leaders by implying that they are, among other things, “short and fat”
After helping to negotiate the release of college athletes arrested in China, say “I should have left them in jail” after the father of one of them — whom you call “the poor man’s version of Don King” — doesn’t express proper gratitude
Get in a Twitter fight with a senator of your own party, during which you mock his height
Praise the delivery to Norway of fighter planes that exist only in a video game
Call for the firing of a journalist who mistakenly tweeted about crowd size at your rally
Decline to invite Jewish Democrats in Congress to the annual White House Hanukkah party
Say that you’re “very frustrated” that you cannot tell the Justice Department what to do, but also claim that “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”
Try to stop the publication of a book that says critical things about you and your administration
Tell your advisers that the 15,000 Haitians sent here in 2017 “all have AIDS,” and that Nigerians who saw America would never “go back to their huts”
Blame a domestic terror attack on a senator of the opposing party, and then undermine the prosecution of the attacker by calling publicly for his execution
Falsely claim a rise in British crime is due to “radical Islamic terror”
Watch four to eight hours of cable television a day, mostly the channel that feeds you self-serving propaganda
Say a female senator of the opposing party “would do anything” for your campaign donations
Choose federal judgeships nominees who cannot identify or explain basic legal concepts, and who were rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association
Falsely claim that you have signed more legislation than any first-year president, when in fact you have signed less than any post-World War II president
Taunt a foreign leader who claims he has nuclear weapons by saying your “nuclear button” is “a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” and threaten his country with nuclear annihilation over Twitter
Criticize a law that your party firmly supports, then, two hours later, reverse yourself
Mock an investigation into whether your campaign colluded with a foreign government to swing the election as a “phony cloud,” a “total hoax,”“fabricated and politically motivated,” a “witch hunt” and an “artificial Democratic hit job” that “makes the country look very bad”and serves as “an excuse for losing an election that they should have won” — and also claim that the Democrats were the real colluders
Call for the firing of “son of a bitch” athletes who choose to exercise their right to free speech
Refer to the White House as “a real dump”
Spend the weekend golfing at your private club while the mayor of an American city wades through sewage-filled water to help citizens after a catastrophic hurricane, then accuse that mayor of “poor leadership” when she criticizes your administration’s slow response to the storm
Criticize victims of that hurricane still living without drinking water or electricity by saying they “want everything to be done for them
During a visit to some of those victims, throw rolls of paper towels at themand tell them they should be “very proud” that only 16 people have died so far, unlike in a “real catastrophe”
Attack a senator battling terminal cancer
Pick nominees to the federal bench who call a sitting Supreme Court justice a “judicial prostitute” and refer to transgender children as part of “Satan’s plan”
Campaign hard for a Senate candidate; then when he appears likely to lose, say “I might have made a mistake” and later delete your tweets supporting him
Behave so erratically and irresponsibly that senators of your own party resort to saying you’re treated like someone at “an adult day-care center” to keep you from starting World War III
Spend one of every three days as president visiting at least one of your own properties
Publicly and privately humiliate your own attorney general for recusing himself from an investigation into your campaign
Say nothing when a foreign leader’s bodyguards brutally attack peaceful protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C.
  Tweet GIFs of yourself violently attacking the media and your former political opponent
Encourage police officers not to be “too nice” when apprehending criminal suspects
Help draft a misleading statement about the purpose of a meeting between your son, other top campaign aides and representatives of a rival foreign power intent on interfering in the election
Deliver a speech to the Boy Scouts of America that includes mockery of a former president and winking references to sexual orgies, and then lie by claiming that the head of that organization called and told you it was the best speech ever delivered in Boy Scout history
Hang a framed copy of a fake Time magazine cover celebrating your business acumen in your golf clubs around the world
Mock a female television anchor’s appearance, saying the anchor was “bleeding badly from a face-lift” at a holiday gathering at your private resort
Force your cabinet members to take turns extolling your virtues in front of television cameras
Welcome into the Oval Office a man who referred to your political opponent as a “worthless bitch” and who threatened to assassinate your predecessor, whom he called a “subhuman mongrel”
Continue to deny that Russia attempted to influence the presidential election, despite the consensus of the American intelligence community — and yet also blame your predecessor for not doing anything to stop that interference
Grant temporary White House press credentials to a website that, among other things, claims that Sept. 11 was an “inside job” and that the massacre of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn., was a hoax
Block people who criticize you on Twitter
Pressure multiple intelligence chiefs to state publicly that there was no collusion between your presidential campaign and the Russian government
Without consulting anyone at the Pentagon, announce a new policy barring transgender soldiers from serving in the military
Pardon a former sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to obey the law
Continue to repeat, with admiration, a false story about an American military general committing war crimes
Mock the mayor of a world city for his careful, sober response to a terrorist attack
Tell Americans that a march of torch-carrying white supremacists and neo-Nazis includes “some very fine people” — and when one of those marchers murders a peaceful counterprotester, condemn violence on “both sides”
Run an administration whose ethical standards have, in the words of the federal government’s top ethics enforcer, made the United States “close to a laughingstock”
Hide data that don’t support your pre-existing policy preferences
Admit to trying to intimidate a key witness in a federal investigation
Profit off the presidency, accepting millions of dollars from foreign government officials, businesses, politicians and other supporters who pay a premium to patronize your properties and get access to you — while also attempting to hide the visitor lists at some of those properties from the public
Promise to drain the swamp, then quietly grant ethics waivers to multiple former industry lobbyists who want to work in your administration
Call for criminal investigations of your former political opponent, seven months after winning the election
Appoint your family wedding planner to head a federal housing office
Shove aside a fellow head of state at a photo-op
Attack private citizens on Twitter
Delegitimize federal judges who rule against you
Refuse to take responsibility for military actions gone awry
Fire the F.B.I. director in the middle of his expanding investigation into your campaign and your associates
Accuse a former president, without evidence, of an impeachable offense
Employ top aides with financial and other connections to a hostile foreign power
Blame the judiciary, in advance, for any terror attacks
Call the media “the enemy of the American people”
Demand personal loyalty from the F.B.I. director
Threaten the former F.B.I. director
Accept foreign payments to your businesses, in possible violation of the Constitution
Occupy the White House with the help of a hostile foreign power
Allow White House staff members to use their personal email for government business
Claim, without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally
Fail to fire high-ranking members of your national security team for weeks, even after knowing they lied to your vice president and exposed themselves to blackmail
Refuse to release tax returns
Hide the White House visitors’ list from the public
Vacation at one of your private residences nearly every weekend
Criticize specific businesses for dropping your family members’ products
Review and discuss highly sensitive intelligence in a restaurant, and allowthe Army officer carrying the “nuclear football” to be photographed and identified by name
Obstruct justice
Hire relatives for key White House posts, and let them meet with foreign officials and engage in business at the same time
Promote family businesses on federal government websites
Collude with members of Congress to try to shut down investigations of you and your associates
Threaten military conflict with other nations in the middle of news interviews
Compare the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis
Skip daily intelligence briefings
Share highly classified information with a hostile foreign power without the source’s permission
Display complete ignorance about international relations, your own administration’s policiesAmerican history and the basic structure of our system of government

2 comments:

Luster said...

Dear Bob,

When he's done, Paradise Lost will seem a jacket blurb in both content and comparative length.

stay close,

mike

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Mike,

Can we get an "Amen"?

all's well, Bob