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Destiny

Donald Trump and his Coterie of the Craven (part 16)

157 posts in this topic

Continued from here:

(Title is courtesy of @GreyhoundFan)

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Yeah.  Man baby is that shallow.

cnn.com/2017/04/18/politics/erdogan-trump-election/index.html

Quote

Why would Trump be so congratulatory of Erdogan given the reservations from his own diplomatic corps and the broader democratic world?

Simple. Erdogan was nice to Trump after his November victory, and supportive of his attack against the Syrian airbase with a chemical attack against civilians was staged.

The simple fact is this: Donald Trump is nice to people who are nice to him. The way to endear yourself to the president is to say nice things about him. He will give you the benefit of the doubt in every circumstance -- until he is provided with overwhelming evidence that the nice things you said about him aren't counter-factuals to the rest of your actions.

That's the easiest lens through which to see Trump's congratulations -- without any discussion of election irregularities or potential crackdowns -- for Erdogan. Erdogan has said nice things about him. And that counts for a whole lot in Trump's book.

 

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Poor baby doesn't like when people protest. "Trump getting hot and bothered by protesters"

Quote

President Donald Trump has tangled with House Freedom Caucus members opposed to his health plan, with Democrats eager to see him flop and with foreign leaders skeptical he has the chops to be a commander in chief.

But there’s one group that really gets under his skin — protesters.

The latest flare-up came this past weekend, when Trump’s motorcade took an unexpected detour on Saturday as he returned to his Mar-a-Lago resort from the Trump International Golf Club. The longer route bypassed a throng of protesters, participating in a nationwide demonstration calling for Trump to release his tax returns, as past presidents have done.

The president also vented on Twitter.

“I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday after Saturday’s tax marches. “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!”

For all the pleasure the president takes in the adulation of massive crowds, he seems to take special umbrage with mass demonstrators who oppose his agenda. President Lyndon B. Johnson may have been quietly pained by chants outside the White House of “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” and Ronald Reagan may have once lost his cool with a heckler (“Oh shut up,” the Gipper said, drawing cheers from the crowd and silencing the interrupter), but Trump appears to be unique among modern presidents for just how clearly he wears his disdain for protesters.

Administration officials used to Trump’s Twitter riffs — which have at turns included accusations that President Barack Obama illegally wiretapped him and evidence-free allegations of massive voter fraud — try to brush off the president’s reactions to protests.

“I don’t think there was much consternation” about the tax march tweets, said one administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“There are bigger battles for us to fight right now,” the official added.

Trump’s campaign rallies often drew protesters, who clashed — sometimes violently — with the real estate mogul’s hard-core supporters. They also often caught flak from the candidate himself, with Trump often yelling, “Get ‘em out of here,” and offering on at least one occasion to bankroll legal bills for attendees who confronted the protesters.

Even with Trump in the White House, he hasn’t eased up.

“Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly,” Trump wrote about the massive Women’s Marches that took place the day after his inauguration, referencing the fact that prominent celebrities spoke at a handful of the events.

Kellyanne Conway, who managed Trump’s campaign and now serves in the White House, on Monday explained the president’s frustration with demonstrators and placed blame on Democrats for not discouraging the protests.

"I would love to hear the new DNC chairman, Tom Perez, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic senator from Vermont, who are going out on the road starting today, and I would love to hear Hillary Clinton, who lost to Donald Trump handily. I would love to hear them come forward as leaders of the Democratic Party and tell the people to stop,” Conway told "Fox & Friends." “They have a right to express their first amendment beliefs but at the same time, violence is not going to get us anywhere.”

The vast majority of anti-Trump protests have been conducted peacefully, but there were 21 arrests at a Berkeley, California, event over the weekend when protesters and Trump supporters clashed in the streets. Focusing on instances of protester violence and suggesting without evidence that the protesters are paid has become part of the GOP playbook in responding to recent demonstrations, which have popped up frequently ever since Trump’s election.

Trump’s griping started soon after the polls closed, with him taking to Twitter on Nov. 10 — two days after the election — to dismiss demonstrators as “professional protesters, incited by the media.”

“Very unfair!” he added.

Trump also went after protesters in early February after demonstrations at the University of California at Berkeley turned violent, prompting the cancellation of a speaking event featuring the controversial Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos. “Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

And a trip to a Harley-Davidson plant in Wisconsin that was scheduled for early February was yanked, with some reports citing concerns about a swarm of protests.

Trump has tempered his overt dislike for protests only occasionally, usually soon after belittling demonstrators. He praised those same post-election protesters for their “passion for our great country” the day after calling them paid, and he lauded protests as “a hallmark of our democracy” the same day he dismissed the Women’s March.

For Trump’s antagonists, irking the commander in chief is an added bonus to protesting.

“The reality is that a majority of the country opposed Trump on Election Day and continue to oppose Trump,” Neera Tanden, the president of the leading liberal think tank Center for American Progress, said in an interview.

Part of the problem for Trump, Tanden said, is fixation on crowd size, especially during the campaign. She admits that Trump in many ways turned out to be right during the presidential race in using crowd size as a barometer for enthusiasm. But now that same calculus works against him.

“People are more motivated than I’ve ever seen them,” Tanden said. And Trump’s complaining about protesters, Tanden said, “prods people to protest more.”

“It strengthens the resolve,” she added.

 

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MoJo has a little more info on the conflict of interest with Erdogan:

Why the presidunce's congratulatory call to Recep Tayyip Erdogan raises serious questions.

Quote

Several media outlets have slammed President Donald Trump for congratulating Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on winning a referendum that will bolster his autocratic power and weaken that nation's democracy. International observers say the referendum took place on an "unlevel playing field" and voting irregularitiesraise questions about the outcome.[...]

And there's also another troubling layer to this story: Trump's business ties to Turkey create a conflict of interest. That's according to Trump himself. [...]

On Bannon's radio show, Breitbart News Daily, Trump said on December 1, 2015, "I have a little conflict of interest 'cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul. It's a tremendously successful job. It's called Trump Towers—two towers, instead of one, not the usual one, it's two."

Trump was speaking truthfully. He had a vested interest in smooth relations with Ankara. And he owed Erdogan a solid. In 2012, Erdogan presided over the opening ceremony for the Trump Towers. (At the time, Erdogan was prime minister—a role the recently passed referendum would eliminate).[...]

Trump has not publicly spoken in detail about his relationship with Erdogan. But in December, Newsweek contended that the Turkish president has leverage over Trump and noted that Erdogan wants the US government to extradite to Turkey the man he believes is responsible for an attempted military coup against him in July. "Erdogan of Turkey has told associates," Newsweek reported, "he believes he must keep pressure on Trump’s business partner there to essentially blackmail the president into extraditing a political enemy."

It appears that Turkey's Trump Towers pose more than "a little conflict of interest." 

 

 

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For all the whining the tangerine toddler did about Benghazi, he hasn't taken action to secure diplomats: "Benghazi-obsessed Trump MIA on key security post"

Quote

President Donald Trump has yet to nominate the State Department official who oversees diplomatic security abroad — despite having made the 2012 Benghazi attacks a centerpiece of his campaign against Hillary Clinton.

Congressional Democrats say it’s a striking omission that shows Trump’s campaign rhetoric was just that. And even some Republicans are urging Trump to move faster to fill this and other key State Department posts.

"The State Department has security professionals who are up to the job, but we do need all hands on deck given the many evolving threats we face,” said Rep. Ed Royce of California, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “I hope a nominee for assistant secretary will be put forward soon.”

Royce’s Democratic counterpart on the Foreign Affairs panel, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, said Trump’s failure to nominate an assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security shows the Republican focus on Benghazi was “a bunch of political cheap talk” designed to tarnish Clinton’s reputation.

Democrats attributed the lack of a nominee to two factors: the administration’s overall slow pace of making appointments for senior jobs at federal agencies, especially the State Department, and Trump’s decision to prioritize hiring at the Defense Department over State.

“Unfortunately,” Engel said, “I think it’s indicative of the low priority that Trump and the administration are placing on diplomacy or anything to do with the State Department.”

Trump has made just two nominations for senior management posts at the State Department, not including ambassadorships. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate in February, and Trump tapped John Sullivan to be Tillerson’s deputy last week.

More than three dozen State Department leadership jobs remain unfilled, according to a tracker maintained by The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service — with hundreds of jobs requiring Senate confirmation sitting vacant across the federal government.

A White House spokesman said career professionals are fulfilling positions as needed on an acting basis and cited "a deep bench" at the State Department.

"We are working closely with Secretary Tillerson to finalize additional State Department appointments, which are being filled in order of seniority," the spokesman added. "That process is ongoing and subjects candidates to rigorous and lengthy vetting procedures."

During the campaign, Trump repeatedly seized on the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, to skewer the former secretary of state, often while referring to Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed.

Clinton’s “decisions spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched,” Trump said in a speech in New York City last summer. “Among the victims is our late ambassador, Chris Stevens. He was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed — that's right, when the phone rang at 3 o'clock in the morning, she was sleeping.”

“Ambassador Stevens and his staff in Libya made hundreds of requests for security,” Trump continued. “Hillary Clinton’s State Department refused them all."

Trump also invited the mother of one of the Americans killed in the attacks to be his guest at his third debate against Clinton.

Congressional Republicans also seized on the Benghazi attacks as a way to damage Clinton, launching multiple investigations, including one conducted by a House select committee chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). Gowdy’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

The select committee’s final report, released last July, recommended among other things that “diplomatic security personnel and or security protection specialists should maintain a state of readiness to counter potential attacks at all times in high threat environments.”

In 11 hours of testimony before Gowdy’s panel in 2015, Clinton dismissed allegations that her actions had led to Stevens’ death, even as they remained “personally painful.”

“It has been rejected and disproven by nonpartisan, dispassionate investigators but nevertheless, having it continued to be bandied around is deeply distressing to me,” she said. “I would imagine I've thought more about what happened than all of you put together. I’ve lost more sleep than all of you put together."

The department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security is tasked with protecting U.S. embassies and other diplomatic facilities in more than 160 foreign countries to provide "a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy," according to the bureau's website.

In 2015, there were 22 “significant attacks” against U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world, according to the latest data released by the State Department, including when then-ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert was attacked by a knife-wielding pro-North Korean activist.

Trump has proposed slashing the State Department’s budget, but embassy security would be spared.

The White House spokesman said the president’s budget blueprint for next year is consistent with the Benghazi Accountability Review Board’s recommendation and would provide $2.2 billion toward new embassy construction and maintenance in 2018.

President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, Gregory Starr, stepped down when Trump became president on Jan. 20. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security has since been run on an acting basis by Bill Miller, a career diplomat who has been part of the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service since 1987.

Having the bureau run by an acting official, rather than someone nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, could create “unacceptable risks,” according to a senior Democratic Senate aide.

"An acting official, no matter how capable and talented, lacks the bureaucratic and policy throw-weight necessary to elevate an issue, generate new options, or drive a decision,” said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said “the safety and security of U.S. personnel overseas remains our highest priority,” while encouraging Trump to move quickly to name someone to oversee the bureau.

“We expect a number of nominations for the department in the coming days, and we hope the administration will prioritize naming a permanent head of the bureau as soon as possible,” Corker said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said it was “inappropriate” that Trump had not nominated someone to run the bureau, given his focus on Benghazi during the campaign.

“I guess we should all be immune to hypocrisy in politics at some point,” Warner said. “But I just continue to worry, not only in terms of this position, but most of the agencies are just empty at this point because they've not put people up.”

I agree that we should be immune to hypocrisy by now, but every article I read makes me scratch my head.

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Ok, just one last Keith Olbermann treat before I'm off to bed.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

For all the whining the tangerine toddler did about Benghazi, he hasn't taken action to secure diplomats: "Benghazi-obsessed Trump MIA on key security post"

I agree that we should be immune to hypocrisy by now, but every article I read makes me scratch my head.

If something happened to American diplomats  overseas tomorrow I'm betting every Republican from Orange Fuck Face on down will be whining how it's not their fault and no one could foresee such a thing would happen. 

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9 minutes ago, 47of74 said:

If something happened to American diplomats  overseas tomorrow I'm betting every Republican from Orange Fuck Face on down will be whining how it's not their fault and no one could foresee such a thing would happen. 

Actually, they'd say it was Hillary's fault or Obama's fault. Because of her emails, don't you know?

 

"She wanted her ex-husband to die with a happy thought; she told him Trump had been impeached"

Quote

When Michael Elliott died, the last voice he heard was that of his ex-wife, his best friend.

In a short phone conversation moments before Elliott took his last breath, she told him what he wanted to hear.

“I told him that everything's going to be all right,” Teresa Elliott told The Washington Post. “And Donald Trump has been impeached.”

Michael Elliott died “peacefully,” surrounded by friends and neighbors in his home in a suburb outside of Portland, Ore., according to an obituary published in the Oregonian.

Teresa Elliott, who lives in Texas, said she couldn't make it to Oregon in time. So on April 6, one of Michael Elliott's friends called her and told her that he was about to die. The two talked as someone held up the phone to the dying man's ear.

Afterward, one of his friends took the phone “and told me that he had completely relaxed and taken his last breath, and he was gone,” Teresa Elliott said.

...

Michael Elliott was a longtime Democrat and was very interested in politics; a “CNN junkie” appalled by the current political climate. He found President Trump to be a “loathsome individual,” Teresa Elliott said. Asked what, specifically, her ex-husband had said about Trump, she said, “Nothing that you could print."

She said she gave her ex-husband the false news because she wanted him to die with a happy thought.

Whether Trump would be impeached has been in the public discourse even before the November presidential election.

Allan J. Lichtman, an American University historian who had predicted that Trump would become president, had already made the case for his impeachment. He told The Post's Peter W. Stevenson in September that if elected, the real estate mogul would be impeached by a Republican Congress that would rather have a President Pence.

Now, just a few months removed from when Trump took office, Lichtman has already written a book: “The Case for Impeachment.”

...

 

 

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Actually, they'd say it was Hillary's fault or Obama's fault. Because of her emails, don't you know?

 

"She wanted her ex-husband to die with a happy thought; she told him Trump had been impeached"

 

Hopefully that will come true someday soon that Orange Fuck Face has been impeached, but with the current crop of shitheads infesting Congress it doesn't look all that likely.

 

Edited by 47of74
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He could start with his ties and other products: "Trump signs ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order, promising to fight for American workers"

Quote

KENOSHA, Wis. -- President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that would tighten rules that award visas to skilled foreign workers and directs the federal government to enforce rules that bar foreign contractors from bidding on federal projects.

The order is a first effort to promote a “Buy American, Hire American” agenda, a key promise Trump made during the campaign.

Speaking at the headquarters of Wisconsin-based toolmaker Snap-on, Trump said that the order “declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job.”

“We're going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words 'Made in the USA,' " Trump said. “For too long we’ve watched as our factories have been closed and our jobs have been sent to faraway lands.”

The return to Wisconsin is a first for Trump, who narrowly won the state by about 27,000 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton. But the victory punctured a decades-long history of Rust Belt states remaining solidly in the Democratic column.

During the campaign, Trump railed against free-trade deals, outsourcing of U.S. jobs and the death of American manufacturing in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The message seemed to resonate more than expected with white, blue-collar workers who have for years been drifting away from the Democratic Party.

...

The executive order directs federal agencies to crack down on fraud and abuse in the H-1B visa program, which is heavily used by technology companies. And it directs the federal government to fully enforce federal guidelines prioritizing the use of American firms and goods in federal projects.

Both changes are aimed at discouraging the use of foreign labor, which the administration says displaces American workers and reduces wages. It also aims to give a boost to U.S. steel mills and steelworkers.

While Trump made buying American made products and hiring American workers a theme of his campaign, his business practices often contradicted his political rhetoric. Parts of his clothing line were manufactured abroad and he hired foreign workers at many of his properties.

The trip comes as Trump is seeking to refocus his administration on economic policy, even while other priorities like health care and tax reform have stalled.

Trump boasted that “no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days” that his has, citing the use of military action and efforts to slash regulations, enforce immigration laws and bolster law enforcement.

But critics say that the order is a half measure that masks Trump's inability to accomplish big agenda items.

“President Trump has just repeatedly failed to deliver on the promises he’s made to American workers during the campaign,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “He hasn’t stood up to China, who has robbed millions of Americans of jobs over the last several decades, has been a benefactor of loopholes in our buy America laws.”

“He hasn’t even tried to move legislation that would end tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas, something we Democrats have been advocating for years,” he added.

...

 

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26 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Hey Donnie boy, why don't you lead by example and hire Americans and have things produced in America? Oh wait, you don't because it costs more. 

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This is so true. Donnie talked about "drying the swamp", won the elections and creates an even bigger swamp. So much for hypocrisy
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Turns out that penis measuring contest Donnie Puttiefluffer decided to engage in wasn't an actual penis measuring contest;

nytimes.com/2017/04/18/world/asia/aircraft-carrier-north-korea-carl-vinson.html

Quote

A week ago, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior. “We’re sending an armada,” Mr. Trump said to Fox News that afternoon.

The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.

White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from an ill-timed announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to an erroneous explanation by the defense secretary, Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea.

By the time the White House was asked about the Carl Vinson, its imminent arrival had been emblazoned on front pages across East Asia, fanning fears that Mr. Trump was considering a pre-emptive military strike. It was portrayed as further evidence of the president’s muscular style days after he ordered a missile strike on Syria while he and President Xi Jinping of China were chatting over dessert during a meeting in Florida.

I hope in all this stumbling around this orange idiot is doing he doesn't awaken a dragon.

 

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, 47of74 said:

 

I hope in all this stumbling around this orange idiot is doing he doesn't awaken a dragon.

 

If he doesn't it's because they want to appear like this

Spoiler

dragons.jpg.2c0538be8a065e3b2d15e5e95d2e71e2.jpg

When they are just like this

Spoiler

costumi-carnevale-bambini-drago.jpg.2d54bdb57e5c9c0b3663c5bba530e632.jpg

Personally I think that if the dictatorial meatball with absurd hair cannot even issue orders articulate enough to actually send the "armada" where he meant to, he won't have an easy life as Commander in Chief.

As for the other buffoon, his power relies in the appearances of being extremely dangerous. While he threatens only with words, mighty displays, failed launches and keeps his country citizens as hostages, he can show around the penis missiles as much as he wants and increase his size like a balloon fish and nothing more than a fuss will happen. The day he acts out and does actually big damage, he is finished. He's crazy and has a disproportionate idea of his own might, but I bet he knows this. 

I am more worried about Syria. When transpacific saber rattling will end, Syrians will still be dying at the hands of various crazies. Unfortunately nor Putin nor Trump, despite his electoral promises (ha the fools believed what he said, what fools), have shown any interest in putting an end to it. Quite the contrary, Syria is the perfect place for Cheeto to put up a penis muscles show and regain an appearance of grasp on power since it seems he has nothing under control, not even the WH hallways. 

Edited by laPapessaGiovanna
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All this talk of penises made me think of this article I read this morning: 

Throw pillows aren’t quite as dainty as they seem

Throw pillows? I hear you say... Well, just look at them and you'll see what I mean. I'll put the (rather large) pic of them under a spoiler, as it could be deemed NSFW. Remember, once seen, it cannot be unseen!

Spoiler

58f755a39a8a1_throwpillow.jpg.c48d82e5ecd6b6d7025cd2dcdfaba324.jpg

 

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"Trump needs a dose of ‘manly virtues’"

Quote

The only modern president who rivaled Donald Trump in his lack of preparation for global leadership was Harry Truman. Both men took office with little knowledge of the international problems they were about to face, and with worries at home and abroad that they weren’t up to the job.

“I pray God I can measure up to the task,” Truman said right after Franklin Roosevelt’s death and the shock of taking the oath of office. Trump wouldn’t be human if he hadn’t had a similar prayer in a corner of his mind on Jan. 20.

Now, in one of those curious rhymes of history, Trump faces a similar challenge to Truman’s in confronting North Korea. Truman went to war in 1950 to reverse a North Korean invasion of the South. Trump is now perilously close to conflict in his attempt to halt North Korea’s defiant nuclear program.

What can today’s occupant of the White House learn from Truman? The Missourian had many qualities now celebrated by historians, but let’s focus on his personal character. Truman exhibited what in those days were called manly virtues — quiet leadership, fidelity to his beliefs, a disdain for public braggadocio. He never took credit for things he hadn’t accomplished. He never blamed others for his mistakes.

President Trump is obviously a radically different person from Truman. He’s a showy New Yorker, where Truman was a low-key Missouri farm boy. Where Trump made his name as a noisy casino tycoon and TV star, the poker-playing Truman always kept his cards close.

What these two presidents have in common is the experience of coming into the Oval Office facing widespread doubts. What Truman teaches us is that character counts, especially for a president with low initial popularity ratings.

On foreign policy, Trump has shown a flexibility and pragmatism that contradict some of his inflammatory campaign rhetoric. He had accused China of “raping” the American economy, for example, but as president, he evidently realized that he needed Beijing’s help on North Korea and other issues and dropped his claims that Beijing was a “currency manipulator.”

...

Trump’s new positions seem right to me. But because they represent reversals from earlier views, they raise the question of what this man really believes.

How does a politician become more trustworthy? There’s no formula; it must be earned. But Trump would help himself if he exhibited more of the virtues that Truman embodied. Trump should stop blaming others, for starters. He should never again say that Barack Obama is the cause of his difficulties in Syria, or anywhere else. Shifting blame sounds political, but it also sounds weak. Similarly, Trump should never again malign his military commanders, as he did after the death of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, when Trump said that “the generals . . . lost Ryan.” Such statements are the opposite of leadership.

Trump should stop taking credit for things he didn’t do (and even for things he did accomplish). These boasts only diminish him. It’s good that he has decided that NATO isn’t obsolete anymore, but he’s foolishly vain to take credit for it. The same is true with job gains from decisions by U.S. companies to keep plants in the United States. The quicker Trump is to claim personal credit, the phonier it seems.

Trump’s taxes present another example of how trust is won and lost. The man running for president might refuse to release his tax returns, but the wise chief executive, never.

When presidents encounter difficulty, they need public confidence. Divisive tactics that may work in a campaign, or attempts to shift responsibility to others, can be ruinous. Truman is remembered as a great president because he overcame a history of personal failure, as a farmer and a haberdasher, to develop the one bond that’s indispensable for a president, which is that in a crisis, people believed him.

Truman was grieved by North Korea’s invasion in 1950. The war went badly, his popularity plummeted, his commander, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, defied him. But the public stuck with Truman for a simple reason: He had built a reservoir of the trust that is essential for a successful leader.

Forgive me for being cynical, but (to the bolded text above), I can't see the tangerine toddler offering a single silent prayer about measuring up.

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The tangerine toddler has whined incessantly about NAFTA. I thought this article was interesting in explaining some of the impact of NAFTA. "The great dairy trade war that will test President Trump"

Quote

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Seven generations of Gartmans have birthed calves in this barn, a white-roofed, red-sided structure within a short walk of the land the first Gartmans are buried on.

But the bull that Luke Gartman, 36, pulled into the world on a recent Tuesday morning was a special one. This calf — steaming and soggy and apparently unbreathing, before Luke began to poke his face with straw – could be one of the very last calves born on the Gartmans’ farm.

The family has two weeks to find a new dairy processing company to buy their milk and sell it into the market. The contract with their existing buyer was just canceled, the latest casualty of an increasingly acrimonious trade war with Canada over the price of ultrafiltered milk, an ingredient in cheese.

“We could be in a situation where we have to sell the cows,” said Gartman’s brother Matt. “If we’re to that point of May 1 and have no solutions — well, we would no longer be a dairy farm.”

The dispute — which has played out in surprisingly barbed remarks across the normally friendly northern border — illustrates the enormous complexity of fulfilling President Trump’s promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the free trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

While NAFTA is often portrayed as a single trade agreement, it has specific provisions affecting thousands of products in hundreds of industries. The trade pact contains terms governing dozens of different dairy products alone.

Reworking many of these, experts say, will involve not just complex technical discussions but a fight between powerful political interests on both sides of the border. And in almost every case, on the line will be the livelihoods of the people who grow or make the products, each with a compelling case for why their side should prevail.

This particular dispute has already affected 75 family farms, caused more than $150 million in losses, and prompted a bipartisan alliance of lawmakers to demand that Trump deliver on his tough talk about protecting U.S. industries from unfair trade practices.

“This could certainly become an issue in any attempt to renegotiate NAFTA,” said Luis Ribera, an agricultural economist at Texas A&M who studies North American trade. “Once you open NAFTA, everything is theoretically on the table for debate.”

The dairy industry, like much of agriculture, has never been predictable. But until receiving the cancellation letter earlier this month from their processor, Grassland Dairy Products, the Gartmans at least knew where their milk would end up.

Every morning at 5, Luke, Matt and their father, Mark, begin herding the family’s 120 Holsteins from the 13,000-square-foot barn where they sleep. They guide the cows to pumps in the 12-stall milking parlor, where they produce 3,800 pounds of milk in each of the herd’s two daily milkings. The milk is siphoned via stainless-steel pipes to a Civil War-era cold room, where it awaits pickup by an insulated tanker truck.

From there, the milk travels 194 miles west to Greenwood, Wis., where Grassland processes it into butter, cream, dry milk powder and a high-protein milk concentrate called ultrafiltered milk. The bulk of ultrafiltered milk is shipped to Canada and used as a protein added to cheese.

At least that’s how it was until April of last year. That’s when dairy farmers in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, took steps that undermined their U.S. competitors.

Trade agreements between the United States and Canada govern what kinds of tariffs the countries can impose on each other’s goods. While NAFTA eliminated many tariffs between the countries, some large tariffs on dairy remained.

But ultrafiltered milk hit the market after NAFTA’s 1994 enactment. As a result, it could enter Canada without facing big tariffs.

Ontario farmers, frustrated with the arrangement, last April dramatically cut the prices on Canadian ultrafiltered milk. Other provinces plan to follow suit, posing a dire threat to U.S. farms.

Companies such as Grassland and New York’s Cayuga Milk Ingredients have already reported losses of $150 million since the price drop began.

American agricultural interests have decried Canada’s actions as deeply unfair.

“Our federal and state governments cannot abide by Canada’s disregard for its trade commitment to the United States,” Tom Vilsack, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council and former secretary of agriculture under President Barack Obama, said in a statement. Canada, he continued, has “pursue[d] policies that are choking off sales of American-made milk to the detriment of U.S. dairy farmers.”

The Canadian dairy industry disputes these allegations, arguing that U.S. milk producers have built far too much capacity in recent years and face such an oversupply of milk that they have to cut back.

“To use a phrase that has recently come out of the U.S., Wisconsin farmers are using alternative facts,” said Isabelle Bouchard, the director of communications and government relations at the industry group Dairy Farmers of Canada. “The Wisconsin people are trying to find an enemy — when in reality the problem they have is that they’re overproducing.”

With dairy farmers scrambling to find new markets for their milk, a bipartisan alliance of policymakers, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), have called on the Canadian government to intervene in its dairy industry.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — a liberal Democrat and a tea-party Republican, respectively — joined a statement by House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) this month that alleged that the new pricing policies “appear to violate Canada’s existing trade obligations to the United States.”

Industry groups, meanwhile, have called on the Trump administration to intervene directly. On Thursday, several powerful dairy trade associations sent a joint letter to Trump, asking that he push Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the issue and direct U.S. agencies to “impress upon Canada in a concrete way the importance of dependable U.S. trade.” The letter called on Trump to escalate the issue to the World Trade Organization if Canada doesn’t respond positively.

The industry is also concerned the dispute could spill into other products. The Ontario price drop applied not only to ultrafiltered milk but also to skim milk powder, which could eventually result in Canadians selling more of the ingredient on global markets. That could depress prices for American farmers, and ultimately hurt them even more than the lost trade in ultrafiltered milk.

The White House has not yet taken action and did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though the dairy industry is confident it will act. Trump will be in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, visiting a manufacturing plant.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s 2017 report on barriers to U.S. trade, which articulates the country’s trade enforcement priorities, discussed the dairy concerns. Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for the office, said that USTR was “aware of the importance of the Canadian market for American dairy farmers” and was “examining” the matter.

“The administration has demonstrated strong interest in trying to resolve this issue,” said Jaime Castaneda, vice president of trade policy at the National Milk Producers Federation. “They are definitely paying a lot of attention.”

The escalating rhetoric has begun to alarm some Canadians.

“A lot of people are very nervous in Canada because of Mr. Trump’s statements about trade,” said Sylvain Charlebois, a professor of food policy at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. “You could easily see the U.S. refusing to buy Canadian beef, for instance, unless Canada opened its dairy markets.”

...

Should that fall through, however, the brothers are discussing the possibility of moving their herd, short term, to a relative’s farm. And if they still can’t find a processor at that point, they’ll begin to truck their cows to auction.

That is a prospect that Gartman said he refuses to think about, yet. He knows each of his 120 cows on sight, by name: There’s Yodel, Dinah, Egypt, Cosmic, Jolly — generations of cows milked in this room his mom hand-stenciled with a cow motif in the ’80s.

On a recent Monday night, his 8-year-old niece Audrey herded cows around the parlor, unfazed by the fact that most were twice her height. Gartman’s own children were off the farm at a 4-H meeting for the night.

“This was supposed to be their farm next,” he said. “What will be left for them?”

Then he headed to the back barn to haul manure. That, at least, remains a constant.

Unfortunately, the tangerine toddler isn't capable of understanding all the nuances of these complicated trade agreements.

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44 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

"Trump needs a dose of ‘manly virtues’"

Forgive me for being cynical, but (to the bolded text above), I can't see the tangerine toddler offering a single silent prayer about measuring up.

FDR hadn't kept his new VP in the loop

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/how-f-d-r-s-death-changed-the-vice-presidency

Quote

Truman knew next to nothing of what F.D.R. had discussed with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin when the Big Three war leaders met in Crimea, in February, until Roosevelt spoke to Congress on March 1st, the day after he returned. In fact, from the time that Truman was chosen as the Vice-Presidential nominee, in July, 1944, replacing Henry Wallace, until Roosevelt’s death, the two met only eight times, and most often in the company of legislative leaders. “I was handicapped by lack of knowledge of both foreign and domestic affairs—due principally to Mr. Roosevelt’s inability to pass on responsibility,” Truman wrote in his diary. He told Jonathan Daniels, who worked as an aide to both of them, that “Roosevelt never discussed anything important at his Cabinet meetings. Cabinet members, if they had anything to discuss, tried to see him privately after the meetings.”

Truman stepped up after the war though. 

https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=84

Quote

After the war, President Harry Truman, Roosevelt's successor, faced a multitude of problems and allowed Congress to terminate the FEPC. However, in December 1946, Truman appointed a distinguished panel to serve as the President's Commission on Civil Rights, which recommended "more adequate means and procedures for the protection of the civil rights of the people of the United States." When the commission issued its report, "To Secure These Rights," in October 1947, among its proposals were anti-lynching and anti-poll tax laws, a permanent FEPC, and strengthening the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.

In February 1948 President Truman called on Congress to enact all of these recommendations. When Southern Senators immediately threatened a filibuster, Truman moved ahead on civil rights by using his executive powers. Among other things, Truman bolstered the civil rights division, appointed the first African American judge to the Federal bench, named several other African Americans to high-ranking administration positions, and most important, on July 26, 1948, he issued an executive order abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services. Executive Order 9981 stated that "there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin." The order also established an advisory committee to examine the rules, practices, and procedures of the armed services and recommend ways to make desegregation a reality. There was considerable resistance to the executive order from the military, but by the end of the Korean conflict, almost all the military was integrated.

Donnie Putiefluffer would never have done anything like that.   Hell if he could he'd gut every civil rights advancement made over the past 100 years.

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"Trump makes rare effort to sell his ‘America first’ agenda outside Washington"

Quote

KENOSHA, Wis. — President Trump on Tuesday traded the gold drapery of the Oval Office for a backdrop of glittering American-made tools at a manufacturing company here, promising “bold new steps” to boost American workers and companies.

For a president who has come to love the optics of an Oval Office signing ceremony and prefers to remain close to home, the event, held in a state he narrowly won in November, represented a change of scenery and strategy.

By hitting the road, White House officials are seeking to reassure the president’s supporters that he will keep promises made during the campaign — following policy reversals that raised questions about whether the administration is moving away from its nationalistic agenda toward a more centrist approach.

“We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words ‘Made in the USA,’ ” Trump told the employees of the Kenosha-based tool manufacturer Snap-on. “We’re sending a powerful signal to the world. We’re going to protect our workers, defend our jobs and finally put America first.”

Shortly afterward, Trump signed an executive order that will attempt to limit foreign workers coming to the United States by cracking down on fraud and abuse in a high-skilled visa program, fully enforce rules barring foreign contractors from bidding on federal contracts, and ensure that steel used in federal projects is melted and poured in the United States.

Left unmentioned at Tuesday’s event was Trump’s history of manufacturing some of his company’s products overseas and hiring foreign workers at his properties. Several of his businesses, including golf clubs and his modeling agency, have also sought to use the visa program targeted by the order.

Trump has rarely ventured far from the White House or his private properties as president, even to boost his agenda. Allies said that approach is a mistake and one that has kept him from fully capitalizing on the political support that put him in office.

“Trump won because of states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania,” said Stephen Moore, a strategic partner at 32 Advisors who advised Trump on economic issues during the campaign. “Those voters took a gamble on him. If I were him, I’d be going back to those neighborhoods and towns all the time, because you dance with the one who brung you.”

...

Although the executive order Trump signed Tuesday included a modest provision calling for his administration to review trade agreements with an eye toward making them fairer for American workers, Trump, apparently ad-libbing during his speech, said he is going to make “very big changes” to the North American Free Trade Agreement ,“or we are going to get rid of NAFTA for once and for all.”

“We cannot continue like this,” he added.

But last month, the Trump administration sent a draft letter to Congress that proposed making more-modest changes to the agreement than he promised during the campaign and on Tuesday.

Trump also boasted that his administration has “accomplished more in the first 90 days” than any other in history, but much of his agenda has failed to advance in Congress and his proposed travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries has been blocked by the courts.

...

Helen Powell, 67, took a bus to down the street to try to catch a glimpse of Trump and view the spectacle of protesters gathered at the site of the president’s speech.

She named “jobs” as the reason she voted for Trump after previously casting a ballot for Barack Obama.

“And he’s got God in his life,” she added. “Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to help us at all.”

She added, “She was going to get rid of all Christians, and she was going to bring in more Muslims.”

Across the street, Dawn Wrath, who didn’t vote for Trump, walked over to the crowd with her daughter after taking the day off from work.

Wrath, 41, said she has no problem with the president’s jobs message, “if it’s true.” But she said that isn’t the reason Wisconsinites voted for him.

“I think it’s mainly racism,” she added.

Helen Powell, who is quoted in this article, is a nitwit. Agent Orange has "God in his life"? Seriously?

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43 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Unfortunately, the tangerine toddler isn't capable of understanding all the nuances of these complicated trade agreements

Poor widdle tangerine toddler. You sure didn't know things would be that complicated when you became presidunce, did you?

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18 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

"Trump makes rare effort to sell his ‘America first’ agenda outside Washington"

Helen Powell, who is quoted in this article, is a nitwit. Agent Orange has "God in his life"? Seriously?

Yeah nitwit at the least.  I have much more unprintable terms of endearment for Helen.

Here's a hint Helen.  If someone is whispering in Agent Orange's ear it sure as fuck isn't God.  It's most likely the same demon that whispered in Bushpatine's ear. 

Helen sounds like one of those who claims persecution the moment someone stands up and says no to something reich wing Christians said.

This got me thinking of something Rowan Williams once said;

theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/15/rowan-williams-persecuted-christians-grow-up

Quote

Christians in Britain and the US who claim that they are persecuted should "grow up" and not exaggerate what amounts to feeling "mildly uncomfortable", according to Rowan Williams, who last year stepped down as archbishop of Canterbury after an often turbulent decade.

"When you've had any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word very chastely," he said. "Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable. 'For goodness sake, grow up,' I want to say."

True persecution was "systematic brutality and often murderous hostility that means that every morning you wonder if you and your children are going to live through the day". He cited the experience of a woman he met in India "who had seen her husband butchered by a mob".

One time at St. Peter's in the Vatican one of the panels on the entrance door caught my attention.  It said something along the lines of remembering the martyrs, and had images of Christians being executed by hanging or crucifixion, with thorns or barbed wire wraped around them.   That's persecution for one's religious beliefs.  It is not being told that you can't discriminate against others because Jesus.

That's one thing that really pisses me off when reich wing Christians get on their high horses and whine about being persecuted.  When you whip out the persecution card every time something happens you don't like it diminishes the sacrifice of everyone who has suffered for their religious beliefs, from Roman times up to the present.  It's a large part of why I'm now a recovering Catholic.

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57 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

The tangerine toddler has whined incessantly about NAFTA. I thought this article was interesting in explaining some of the impact of NAFTA. "The great dairy trade war that will test President Trump"

Unfortunately, the tangerine toddler isn't capable of understanding all the nuances of these complicated trade agreements.

Have the pastry chef at Grift-a-Lago tell Trump that he or she can't make anymore of that damn chocolate cake Trump likes because of this.

That would get his attention.

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A good editorial: "Mr. Trump Plays by His Own Rules (or No Rules)"

Quote

Anyone who has been paying the slightest attention knows by now that this president and this White House intend to play by their own set of rules — rules that in some cases come close to breaking the law and, at the very least, defy traditions of conduct and transparency Americans have come to expect from their public servants. We know that Donald Trump has refused, unlike other presidents, to release his tax returns; that his trust agreement allows him undisclosed access to profits from his businesses; and even that he clings to a profitable lease on a hotel only a stone’s throw from the White House when divesting himself of that lease is not only the obvious but the right thing to do.

But just when you think you’ve seen enough there’s more. On Friday, the administration announced it would no longer release White House visitors’ logs that have been available for years. (It cynically said posting these records would cost taxpayers $70,000 by 2020. Compare that with the multimillion-dollar tab estimated for every weekend trip Mr. Trump takes to Mar-a-Lago.) Meanwhile, news trickled out that on the very day that two of Ivanka Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s children were serenading the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, at Mar-a-Lago, the People’s Republic of China approved new trademarks allowing Ivanka to peddle jewelry, bags and spa services to a nation of 1.4 billion where she is a role model for aspirational oligarchs.

In the great scheme of things, neither the visitor blackout nor Ms. Trump’s commercial coup seems a big deal. Yet both symbolize larger problems. One is an almost total absence of openness in an administration that is already teeming with real and potential conflicts and that has decided it can grant secret waivers to ethics requirements. The other is a culture of self-enrichment and self-dealing in which corporate C.E.O.s, lobbyists and foreign officials seeking the first family’s favor hold parties at Mar-a-Lago and at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, a couple of blocks from the White House. On Tuesday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group, expanded a lawsuit charging that the hotel violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits the president from taking payments from foreign nations.

One has to ask when this seamless meshing of statesmanship and merchandising will stop, if ever. Mr. Trump struggled for years to close deals across the Middle East; now that he’s president, doors are opening. His family is seeking or holds trademarks in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, where the president’s sons just opened a golf course in Dubai, and in Jordan, whose King Abdullah II just visited the White House to discuss joint efforts against ISIS.

But Americans who expect that their government will stop this grotesque flouting of rules and traditional norms have been deeply disappointed. The Office of Government Ethics received 39,105 public queries and complaints about Trump administration ethics over the past six months, compared with 733 during the same period eight years earlier at the start of the Obama administration. But the office has no investigative or subpoena power: Its authority rests on the willingness of a president to take transparency in public service seriously, which this president does not.

...

Mr. Shaub and his team have been working nights and weekends trying to rein in what they can of the Trump entourage’s abuses, combing through the financial disclosures of administration appointees and ringing alarm bells. They’ve had a few successes: So far the Senate has refused to confirm nominees whose financial disclosures don’t earn approval from the ethics office, which has unearthed potential conflicts and led several nominees to shed assets that pose problems. But that’s hardly a match for an administration filled with people who seem determined to wring every last dollar and ounce of trust from the American people.

 

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When was stumbling around on my broom... 

duckweed.jpg.aefe2b23246fe37d39e2b3a51c926dfe.jpg

I found this tweet, and had to share with you guys:

In case you cannot decipher the date, it's November 11, 2016.

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Uh-oh, one of Agent Orange's buddies is out: "Bill O’Reilly is officially out at Fox News"

Quote

Fox News ended its association with Bill O’Reilly, the combative TV host and commentator who has ruled cable-news ratings for nearly two decades and who was the signature figure in the network’s rise as a powerful political player.

The conservative-leaning host’s downfall was swift and steep, set in motion less than three weeks ago by revelations of a string of harrassment complaints against him. His departure, and the questions swirling around him, represented yet another black eye to Fox, which had sought to put a sexual harrassment scandal involving its co-founder and then-chairman, Roger Ailes, behind it last summer.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox, the news channel’s parent company, said in a statement.

Fox and 21st Century Fox — both controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family — had vowed then to clean up an apparent culture of harrassment at the news network. Instead, the allegations kept coming — against Ailes, O’Reilly and some of the senior executives that Ailes had hired and Fox kept in place after Ailes’ exit.

Fox had re-signed O’Reilly to a multimillion dollar, three-year contract only last month, fully aware of the long history of complaints against him. In less than a month, however, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, were forced to decide whether the economic and reputational fallout from the O’Reilly scandal were irreversible.

In addition to Ailes, Fox has lost popular hosts Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly since the turmoil began last summer. The network has nevertheless continued to roll to record ratings, driven in part by viewer interest in Donald Trump, a longtime friend of Ailes, Murdoch and O’Reilly and a frequent interview guest for years.

The loss of O’Reilly, however, is of a different magnitude to Fox: His program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” has been the network’s flagship show for nearly 20 years, and in many ways has embodied its pugnacious, conservative-oriented spirit.

O’Reilly, 67, seemed to be at the peak of his popularity and prestige only a three weeks ago. His 8 p.m. program, which mixes discussion segments with O’Reilly’s pugnacious commentary, drew an average of 4 million viewers each night during the first three months of the year, the most ever for a cable-news program. His popularity, in turn, helped drive Fox News to record ratings and profits. O’Reilly was also the co-author of two books that were at the top of the bestseller lists in April.

But the fuse was lit for his career detonation when the New York Times disclosed that O’Reilly and Fox had settled a series of harrassment complaints lodged against him by women he’d worked with at Fox over the years.

The newspaper found that O’Reilly and Fox had settled five such allegations since 2002, paying out some $13 million in exchange for the women’s silence. Two of the settlements, including one for $9 million in 2004, were widely reported. But the others had been kept secret by O’Reilly, Fox and the women involved.

...

In addition to the potential longterm financial damage to Fox News, the O’Reilly controversy was casting a shadow over 21st Century’s $14 billion bid to win the British government’s approval to buy Sky TV, the British satellite service.

The Murdochs abandoned a 2011 offer for Sky amid another scandal, the phone-hacking conspiracy perpetrated by employees of the Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid in London. A parliamentary panel later declared Rupert and James Murdoch to be “unfit” to run a public company--a description they hoped would not be revived by regulators with the O’Reilly matter hanging over them.

O’Reilly survived several controversies during his 21 years at Fox, including a lurid sexual harrassment case in 2004 that was fodder for New York’s tabloid newspapers. He also beat back a wave of headlines in 2015, when reporters examined his claims about his days as a young reporter and found them to be dubious.

All the while, O’Reilly’s audience not only stuck with him, but continued to grow.

Leaving O’Reilly in place now, however, would likely have been a public relations nightmare for James and Lachlan Murdoch, the sons who head 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent.

In the wake of the Ailes scandal last summer, the brothers vowed to clean up a workplace environment that women at Fox had described as hostile under Ailes. In one of their few public statements on the matter, they said at the time, “We continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect.”

But those efforts have seemed unavailing, and at times have even seemed hypocritical. Since the Ailes scandal, the company has continued to employ almost all of the senior managers who were in charge when Ailes’ was allegedly harrassing employees, including Bill Shine, currently Fox’s co-president. Shine was accused of enabling Ailes’ retalitory efforts against an accuser, Fox contributer Julie Roginsky, in a sexual-harrassment lawsuit Roginsky filed earlier this month.

O’Reilly has never acknowledged that he harrassed anyone. In his only public statement about the matter in early April, he said his fame made him a target of lawsuits and that he settled the harrassment claims against him to spare his children negative publicity.

Not that I watch Faux News, but I'm happy he's out.

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